Hamas and Fatah come together to form united national government

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There seems to be some hope for those who wish Palestine - that now stand politically divided - to present a unified and credible face to the world. The two ruling factions of Fatah (in control of West Bank) and Hamas (ruling Gaza Strip) have inked an agreement to form a united national government. The deal, if succeeds, will end a 7-year-long bloody rift between the two regions politically divorced since 2007.

Achievements

  • The consensus-based central government will come up under the umbrella of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) in five weeks.
  • They also plan to hold national elections in six months.

The history of Rift?

  • Hamas, an extremist militant organization, won Palestinian parliamentary elections in January 2006 to the surprise of many.
  • The capture of power and events thereafter led to a rise in clashes between the 2 parties.
  • This soon spiralled into a bloody conflict which saw Fatah being driven out from the coastal enclave of Gaza Strip and relegated to West Bank territory.
  • Mahmoud Abbas (Fatah): President of West Bank territory
  • Ismail Haniyeh (Hamas) : Prime Minister of Gaza Strip

The Present Situation

  • Hamas now independently administers the 40-kilometre long Gaza strip that is home to nearly 18 lacs Palestinians.
  • Fatah governs areas of the West Bank that houses over 27 lacs Palestinians.

The Context

  • The treaty has come at a crucial time when the US-brokered talks between the Israelis and Palestinians are at a standstill.
  • Many eye this with suspicion in the wake of similar deals inked-but failed in 2011 and again in 2012.

Israel Reaction

  • The Jewish nation has viewed the deal with disbelief and foreboding. 
  • It has expressed its anger with Fatah, the faction its involved in peace talk with, calling the deal a setback for regional peace and security. 
  • Its notable that US and EU together with Israel have declared Fatah a terrorist organization.  

(Hamas has an official intention to destroy Israel)

The accord is also important for Hamas which seeks to maintain its relevance and end its regional isolation after falling out with Egypt, Syria and Iran in the wake of the Arab uprisings.

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