Revisiting Hamas-Fatah Reconciliation

January 9, 2018

Neil Thompson

Hamas rally 2007, cc Wikicommons Hoheit (¿!), modified, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Yasin_Rantisi_Hamas_Wahlkampf.jpg

 

Summary

Back in October 2017, the two main Palestinian political factions, Hamas and Fatah, signed a deal that was supposed to end a decade of political estrangement and sporadic violence between the two sides. The 2006 elections had ended in bloodshed after Hamas defeated Fatah in parliamentary elections that the latter ultimately refused to recognize. The Islamist Hamas then defeated the US-backed Fatah during subsequent fighting in the Gaza Strip in 2007, and the two sides ruled different Palestinian enclaves in the decade that followed. Despite early doubts however, the Egypt-brokered reconciliation agreement between the two sides seems to be holding, perhaps helped by deteriorating relations between Fatah and its US and Israeli ‘frenemies.’ Some border posts in Gaza have been returned to the control of the Palestinian Authority (run by Fatah) and Hamas has dissolved its Gaza administrative committee. On the other hand, the enclave continues to be run by Hamas, whose armed wing shows no sign of dissolving itself for now.

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