PRAYER ALERT: Today the two main Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas formally ended a long rivalry. They announced they would form a Fatah-Hamas unity government for the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Israel has already warned it would sever all ties with the Palestinian Authority once the unity government was sworn in. Israel also called on world leaders to deny recognition to this new government.
But Fatah’s leader Mahmoud Abbas denies any hostile intentions. He promises he will follow the conditions set by other nations for dealing with Hamas. He says the Fatah-Hamas unity pact will “recognize Israel, denounce violence and recognize the international agreements. This is a technocrat government. It has nothing to do with Fatah, Hamas or any factions.” In fact he says that Hamas will have no seats in the Fatah-Hamas unity government.
These promises are hard to believe. But one thing is true. Hamas is currently in a weak position. It lost support from Iran and Syria after it backed the revolt against Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad. Hamas lost another lifeline last year when the Muslim Brotherhood fell from power in Egypt. The MB had opened tunnels from Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula into Hamas’ Gaza Strip. The military closed those tunnels again after its takeover of Egypt. This cost Gaza 20,000 jobs and hundred of millions of dollars a month.
Egypt blames Hamas in part for a rash of attacks on military and police targets in Sinai last summer. Hamas is also accused of trying to interfere with Egypt’s internal politics on behalf of MB. In contrast, Fatah has better relations with Egypt and its President-elect AbdelFatah Al Sisi. In fact, last November Fatah’s leader Abbas met with Al-Sisi in Cairo. Al-Sisi affirmed that he will always support the Palestinians’ right to an independent state in Israel. Will Egypt now strengthen Fatah’s hand over its more militant partner Hamas? Or will Hamas be strengthened in its plots against Israel?
Read more on Egypt’s dilemma, and how to pray about these issues
BPN articles related to Fatah-Hamas unity:
Related sources for Fatah-Hamas unity:
Tags for Fatah-Hamas unity: Israel, Palestinians, Fatah, Hamas, Fatah-Hamas unity, West Bank, Gaza Strip, Fatah-Hamas unity government,
Mahmoud Abbas, Egypt, Al Sisi, Muslim Brotherhood, US, Syria, Assad, Sinai, Jesus