Hamas and Fatah unite

Unity government between the Palestinian factions has great potential for peace.

Following months of negotiations and a history of violence between members of Fatah and Hamas, the two Palestinian factions have agreed to the formation of a unity government. The move has great potential for success. Not only could the new government end the killing and unify the Palestinian people, it will hopefully put an end to international sanctions that have crippled the Palestinian economy by issuing a statement of recognition of the state of Israel.

Given the turbulent history between the two Palestinian factions, their willingness to unite shows how desperate times are for Palestinians. During the last few months, Palestinians have found themselves in an economic crisis where lack of funds has nearly halted the delivery of salaries to government workers.

With money and necessities short, many Palestinians turned their criticism away from Israel and toward their own leadership. As a result of their frustrations, tens of thousands of Palestinian civil servants even launched strikes in protest of the situation. An end to international isolation could very well put an end to this suffering.

A unity government allows for the dissolution of many Palestinian internal problems, many of which are rooted in Hamas-Fatah conflict. Under the new government, all Palestinian people will be represented. For the first time, Palestinians will be able to present a united force in their fight against an unjust occupation. Instead of fighting against each other, their leadership will be focused on negotiating with Israel. For Palestinians, whose battle for sovereignty has long been impeded by deep divisions within their leadership, a unity government is a significant step.

Although the specific details surrounding the agreement are vague at the moment, it has been reported that the new government would accept all previous Israeli-Palestinian agreements, an implicit recognition of a two-state solution. It would call for the negotiation of an independent Palestine outside of Israel’s 1967 borders. Hopefully, this new Palestinian leadership can re-energize peace processes and provide positive momentum for Israeli-Palestinian dialogue. Considering the instability that currently plagues the Middle East, any sign of cohesiveness is auspicious.