Hamas: Toward Palestinian Reconciliation, or Abdication of Governmental Responsibility?


By: Gilead Sher Kobi Michael and Liran Ofek


Despite the announcement by the Hamas leadership that it was willing to disband the administrative committee for the Gaza Strip, which was founded six months ago as an act of defiance against PA President Mahmoud Abbas, the road to Palestinian reconciliation is still long. Moreover, it is quite likely that Hamas has maneuvered skillfully, and has successfully caught Abbas and the PA in a honey trap, since if the PA-led Palestinian government returns to Gaza, it will assume the heavy responsibility for reconstruction in the Gaza Strip and the welfare of the population. This is liable to divert public criticism from Hamas to the Palestinian government. Israel has no substantive influence on the current maneuvers for reconciliation in the Palestinian arena, and should not intervene in them at this stage. At the same time, the PA is still the most comfortable partner for Israel in reconstruction of the Gaza Strip, following many years of cooperation in the civilian and security spheres.


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