[News] "Text" of Hamas-Fatah deal emerges and it doesn’t look good - PFLP greets reconciliation

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Wed May 4 12:14:45 EDT 2011

"Text" of Hamas-Fatah deal emerges and it doesn’t 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 Palestine’s 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:

1. Elections

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.

3. Security

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.

4. Government

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 Fayyad’s 
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, can’t 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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