Saturday, October 31, 2009

Abbas ...."unity or bust"

Reuters, here
"Abbas has no intention of going down in history as the man who legitimized the permanent and possibly fatal division of the Palestinian independence movement.
But he has called an election for January that could be a nail in the coffin of Palestinian unity, assuming his Islamist political rivals in control of the Gaza Strip are serious about their threat to ban the vote on their territory.
The outcome of an election held in the West Bank but not in the Gaza Strip would be "worse than the two Koreas," said Zakaria al-Qaq, an expert on national security issues. "Here we would see a total rupture for a long period of time," Qaq said. Gaza would be cut off and the West Bank would end up as little Gazas, with "transportational continuity rather than territorial continuity."
So why would Abbas take such a gamble?
...Analysts said Abbas has made Palestinian unity his priority goal and chosen the election deadline as his strategy. He is using it to persuade Hamas to make peace with the Fatah movement and end the deep split in Palestinian ranks.
"Abbas is aware that as long as he negotiates with Israel while he's not in control of Gaza, the Israelis won't give him anything," said Bassem Zubeidi, political analyst at Birzeit university in the West Bank. After all, he points out, "they didn't concede anything when the Palestinians were united."...
If Hamas still reject a deal, Abbas can condemn them for putting their factional interests above those of 4 million Palestinians, but he will have to live with the ramifications..."

No comments: