Home Headline News End Times Review World View: Palestinian Reconciliation Talks Ignore Hamas Commitment to Destroy Israel by JOHN J. XENAKIS

World View: Palestinian Reconciliation Talks Ignore Hamas Commitment to Destroy Israel by JOHN J. XENAKIS

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The two major governing factions for the Palestinian territories – Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip, and Fatah, which governs the Palestinian Authority (PA) in the West Bank – are meeting in Cairo, the capital city of Egypt, in order to try to find a way to form a unity government. The meeting comes at the invitation of Egypt’s president Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi.

In 2005, Israel withdrew all Jewish settlements from the Gaza Strip in order to promote peace with the Palestinians, and as a step in the so-called “peace process” between Israel and the Palestinians. The intention was that Fatah would govern both Gaza and the West Bank and negotiations for permanent peace with Israel would proceed.

However, in 2006, the rival faction Hamas scored a landslide victory in parliamentary elections in the Gaza Strip, completely shutting out Fatah. Fatah tried to regain control of Gaza through military means in 2007 but was quickly defeated by Hamas. in a stunning surprise victory that shocked the entire Mideast.

Since then, there have been numerous attempts at a “unity government” between Fatah and Hamas, and all have failed spectacularly. And so, at the invitation of Egypt, why not give it another shot?

It is easy to believe that the Palestinians are homogeneous, all with the same worldview and behaviors. That may have been true decades ago, but it is certainly not true today. The Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank have been physically separated from one another for several generations, and the two regions have grown into two completely distinct cultures.

There are even important demographic differences, according to the CIA World Fact Book: The average age in the West Bank is 20.8, and in Gaza it is 16.9. The average population growth rates are 2.3 percent and 1.8 percent, respectively. By way of contrast, the average age in the United States is 37.9, and the growth rate is 0.8 percent.

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