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Is the Fatah-Hamas agreement a new revolution?

April 29, 2011 1:11 P.M. (Updated: April 30, 2011 7:30 P.M.)
By: Bassam Abu Eid
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Several questions are raised by the agreement reached between Fatah and Hamas Wednesday.

Questions like: Can we consider the Fatah-Hamas agreement a new revolution? What are the guarantees that this agreement will succeed, especially with files remaining such as security, elections and the unification of Gaza and the West Bank, which could jeopardize it? And is Hamas ready to lead national policy similar to the Turkish model?

These questions were posed to Fatah and Hamas officials. Leaders in both movements downplayed the characterization of the agreement as a new revolution.

Yousef Rizqa, an advisor to Gaza premier Ismail Haniyeh, said the reconciliation deal was influenced by the recent revolutions in the Arab world, but is not a revolution itself. Major efforts had been exerted for some time, he pointed out, including the past dialogue phases in Cairo and Syria.

So, the deal was not a direct result of the Arab revolutions, but we can say it assisted the process of agreement.

Rizqa said Thursday in an interview with Ma’an, that the agreement is a “first step” and the next steps will bring some dangers, urging that “everyone has to be careful and act in a wise manner because there are internal and external impediments.”

Asked if Hamas can transform into a moderate movement and lead state policy, Rizqa said that Hamas is already among the moderate movements and deals with internal and external polices with responsibility.

Rizqa expects that the government to be formed will be either a national unity government or a technocrat government, and that caretaker Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad will not take the same role in the new government, he told Ma’an.

Nabil Amro, a leading figure in the Fatah movement and former PA Minister of Information, also said in an interview with Ma'an Thursday that the agreement is not a revolution; it is a correction of a path that had gone wrong.

He added that the success of the agreement depends on the level that can be reached to bring about solid national unity.

The basic issue, he said, is to reach political reconciliation between Hamas and the PLO, and to see Hamas abide by the commitments of the PLO.

Amro said the signing of the agreement was due to Hamas calculations, which changed after recent events in Egypt and Syria.

Further, he continued, Hamas must be ready for a state, as there is no political future outside the international umbrella. Even Turkey, whose government follows an Islamic model, is under the international umbrella, he noted.
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