[News] "Text" of Hamas-Fatah deal emerges and it doesnt look good - PFLP greets reconciliation
news at freedomarchives.org
Wed May 4 12:14:45 EDT 2011
"Text" of Hamas-Fatah deal emerges and it doesnt look good
Submitted by Ali Abunimah on Tue, 05/03/2011 - 16:59
Palestine Monitor, the website affiliated with
the Al Mubadara movement of Dr. Mustafa
Barghouti, has published what it says is the
Of The Agreement Between Fatah And Hamas to be
officially signed in Cairo this week. If this
text is genuine and while the source is
trustworthy there is no way to verify that it is
genuine then it shows the
I raised about the agreement when it was first
announced last week are no closer to being
answered. Here is the reported text (in italics),
with my commentary in between:
Text Of The Agreement Between Fatah And Hamas
3 May 2011
Translated by Al Mubadara, the Palestinian
National Initiative, this document is currently
in the process of being signed by all of Palestines factions and parties.
Under the auspices of Egypt, delegations from the
Fatah and Hamas movements met in Cairo on April
27, 2011 to discuss the issues concerning ending
the political division and the achievement of
national unity. On top of the issues were some
reservations related to the Palestinian National Unity Accord made in 2009.
Both political parties mutually agreed that the
basis of understanding made during the meeting
are committing to both parties in the
implementation of the Palestinian National
Reconciliation Agreement. The basis of
understanding agreed upon by Fatah and Hamas are as follows:
A. Election Committee:
Both Fatah and Hamas agree to identify the names
of the members of the Central Election Commission
in agreement with the Palestinian factions. This
list will then be submitted to the Palestinian
President who will issue a decree of the reformation of the committee.
B. Electoral Court:
Both Fatah and Hamas agree on the nomination of
no more than twelve judges to be members of the
Electoral Court. This list will then be submitted
to the Palestinian President in order to take the
necessary legal actions to form the Electoral
Court in agreement with the Palestinian factions.
C. Timing of Elections:
The Legislative, Presidential, and the
Palestinian National Council elections will be
conducted at the same time exactly one year after
the signing of the Palestinian National Reconciliation Agreement.
The section on elections deals only with limited
technicalities about holding elections within the
framework of the Oslo Accords for elections
restricted to the West Bank and Gaza Strip. It
seems explicitly to recognize the existence of
the Palestinian president (presumably Mahmoud
Abbas), thus reversing Hamas long-standing
insistence that Abbas term of office had expired
and that he was without legitimacy.
It does not explain how free and fair elections
can be held while Hamas is considered a
terrorist organisation by Israel and will
presumably not be able to operate or campaign
freely in the West Bank. Both Fatah and Hamas
have engaged in severe political repression of
their opponents. Yet, this reported agreement
offers no guarantee that, notwithstanding the
brutal Israeli military tyranny both also operate
under, all Palestinian authorities commit
themselves to political freedoms for all Palestinians.
2. Palestine Liberation Organization
The political parties of both Fatah and Hamas
agree that the tasks and decisions of the
provisional interim leadership cannot be hindered
or obstructed, but in a manner that is not
conflicting with the authorities of the Executive
Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization.
This clause is mysterious. What it seems to be
saying is that the Fatah-controlled PLO as
currently constituted can carry on with its
activities representing the Palestinians even
without any sort of mandate or accountability. In
other words, it gives authority to the
Abbas-controlled PLO to continue recognizing
Israel and engaging in the peace process charade
which Hamas formally rejects. There is nothing
here about reforming the PLO or democratizing it
to restore its legitimacy. A key demand heard
from more and more Palestinians, especially youth
who staged demonstrations on March 15, is for
elections to the Palestine National Council in
which all Palestinians would take part, not just
those in the West Bank and Gaza.
It was emphasized that the formation of the
Higher Security Committee which will be formed by
a decree of the Palestinian President and will
consist of professional officers in consensus.
Another vague clause. Again, it seems to restore
the legitimacy of Abbas as president in the
eyes of Hamas (a remarkable achievement for
Abbas). Nothing here about ending security
coordination (collaboration) between the forces
of the Fatah-controlled West Bank Palestinian
Authority and the Israeli occupation. Hamas it
seems is ready to join a unity government which
openly cooperates with the very Israeli
occupation army which is besieging and routinely
bombarding Gaza, and assassinating Hamas cadres.
A bizarre arrangement to say the least. It
certainly implies that there will be no true
integration of Palestinian armed groups, but each
faction will continue to control its own, under
the umbrella of a superficial Higher Security
Committee. This is very unpersuasive.
A. Formation of the Government:
Both Fatah and Hamas agree to form a Palestinian
government and to appoint the Prime Minister and
Ministers in consensus between them.
There have been
reports that such a consensus would mean
getting rid of Salam Fayyad, the darling of the
international community (the Western donors to
the PA), and the likes of Thomas Friedman who
have been talking up Fayyads
state building initiative. It would be
interesting to see if the state-building
initiative survives the departure of Fayyad. The
same reports suggest that a consensus candidate
to replace Fayyad would be billionaire Munib
al-Masri. If this happens it would confirm the
neoliberalization of Palestinian political elites
and the move further and further from any sort of
genuine democracy and popular accountability a
process that has been mirrored in many other
countries and former colonies (Palestine though
being somewhat unique in undergoing this process of while still a colony).
B. Functions of the Government:
Preparation of necessary condition for the
conduction of Presidential, Legislative and the
Palestinian National Council elections.
Supervising and addressing the prevalent issues
regarding the internal Palestinian reconciliation
resulting from the state of division.
Follow-up of the reconstruction operations in the
Gaza Strip and the efforts to end the siege and
blockade that is imposed on it.
Continuation of the implementation of the
provisions of the Palestinian National Accord.
To resolve the civil and administrative problems
that resulted from the division.
Unification of the Palestinian National Authority
institutions in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Jerusalem.
To fix the status of the associations,
Non-Governmental Organizations and charities.
5. Legislative Council:
Both Fatah and Hamas agree to reactivate the
Palestinian Legislative Council in accordance to the Basic Law.
Straightforward enough, but again, hard to see
how a government can govern when Hamas
ministers would be vulnerable to arrest or
assassination by Israel and cannot move about
freely. Fatah and Hamas may simply agree to keep
running their respective West Bank and Gaza Strip
fiefdoms as they are, while claiming to do it
under one umbrella. The Palestinian Legislative
Council if it meets now (though it would have to
do so by video conference as West Bank and Gaza
members cannot meet in one place), would have to
meet presumably with the members that were
elected in 2006, when Hamas won a huge majority.
Does this mean that Fatah is now agreeing to
respect the result of the election and abide by majority decisions?
It must not be forgotten that as of April 15 this
year, Israel still held
members of the legislative council in its jails.
Israel continues to detain and harass Palestinian elected officials.
What is also noticeably absent here are
specifics. There are a lot of commitments to
solve problems, but very few actual solutions. My
main criticism stands. Hamas and Fatah seem
concerned about running the Oslo Authority and
offer absolutely nothing in this agreement or
beyond it as a program or vision for
Palestinian liberation that united, includes and
mobilizes all Palestinians. There is no mention
of Palestinian rights, especially refugees, no
mention of supporting popular struggle on the
ground or BDS internationally, no mention of the
situation of the Palestinian people as an
occupied people struggling for freedom. For a
long time Fatah has pretended it is running an
actual state while in reality Israel dominates
every aspect of Palestinian life. It now seems
that Hamas are ready to join Fatah in that
pretense. Reconciliation indeed! Fatah and
Hamas may aspire to run the West Bank and Gaza
municipality together, but we should not
confuse that with deep reconciliation around a
vision for the Palestinian people as a whole, and
a strategy to reach it. That vision, alas, cant be left up to them.
Note, Agence France Presse has also published an
summary of the reported agreement.
PFLP greets reconciliation and emphasizes that
unity means confrontation of the occupier
The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine
said on May 3, 2011, as the Cairo agreements to
end division and restore national unity are
signed, that breaking the siege on the heroic
Gaza Strip, opening its crossings, and
reconstruction after years of blockade and
aggression by the occupation, must be national priorities.
In a press statement, the Front said that the
Palestinian leaders and representatives who have
gathered in Cairo have come together under the
auspices of the revolution of January 25. It
noted that the threats of the occupation and
financial and material pressure and foreign
intervention will not dissuade the Palestinian
movement from meeting the aspirations and goals
of our people at home and in exile to return to a
serious national solidarity and mutual struggle
to confront the occupation, aggression, and siege.
The Front also said that the Palestinian people
and the broader Arab nation are looking today
toward events in Egypt to not only sign an
agreement, but to embody Palestinian national
unity with all political, militant, social and
cultural rights under the banner of an inclusive
Palestine Liberation Organization, to carry on
the national, democratic and human struggle on
the path to liberate our land and our people, to democracy, unity and justice.
The event was attended by a delegation from the
Front, led by Comrade Maher al-Taher, leader of
the PFLP's branch in exile. Other members of the
delegation are Comrades Abu Ahmad Fuad, Rabah
Muhanna and Jamil Majdalawi. Comrade Abdel Rahim
Mallouh, Deputy General Secretary of the PFLP,
was blocked from leaving the West Bank by an
Israeli prohibition on his exit and denied the
ability to participate. Comrade Ahmad Sa'adat,
General Secretary of the PFLP, is imprisoned in
Israeli jails - having spent over 775 days in
isolation at present - and thus unable to lead the delegation.
Comrade Khalida Jarrar, member of the Political
Bureau, said that the occupation was trying all
methods to thwart Palestinian unity, saying that
"Israel is launching threats and restriction on
freedom of movement of political leaders such as
Abdel Rahim Mallouh in an attempt to thwart
efforts of Palestinian reconciliation."
Comrade Jamil Mizher, a member of the Central
Committee of the PFLP, said the winds of change
in the Arab region has had a clear impact on the
signing of the reconciliation agreement, saying
that he hoped this important step would continue
in the framework of a comprehensive national
movement to safeguard the national rights of the Palestinina people.
In an interview with Al-Aqsa TV, comrade Mizher
said that there is a state of cautious optimism
on the Palestinian street about the
reconciliation, noting that the Palestinian
people have gone through many dialogues, meetings
and past agreements, including the failed Mecca
agreement, and lived through a difficult period
with serious repercussions on all aspects of life.
Comrade Mizher emphasized that overcoming the
state of division relies on serious political
will, stressing that all forces, particularly
Fateh and Hamas, must live up to their
responsibility to our people and address all
issues through a comprehensive national dialogue.
He noted that real national unity requires firm
commitment to Palestinian national goals, not
merely sharing positions between Fateh and Hamas and factional quotas.
He emphasized that there is an Israeli interest
in prolonging division and exploiting Palestinian
contradictions. He noted that Palestinian
leadership must not rely on the U.S.
administration or the Quartet, saying such forces
will only put obstacles before any meaningful
reconciliation, and emphasized the need for an
official statement expressing an end to
negotiations with the occupation as it continues
to murder, imprison and attack our people, deny
our rights, and construct colonial settlements.
Comrade Rabah Muhanna, one of the members of the
delegation to Cairo and a member of the Political
Bureau, emphasized that the people's control is
necessary for any effective agreement. He also
emphasized that the security services must
protect Palestinian security and end
participation in security cooperation with the
occupation state. He pledged that the PFLP would
maintain transparency before the masses, the only
guarantor of success of any reconciliation.
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