The announcement of a Palestinian reconciliation agreement between Fatah and the Hamas movements on April 23, was greeted with much skepticism. After all, there have been a number of unsuccessful bids to form a coalition government over the past seven years since Hamas won the elections in 2006. Moreover, the animosity between the two Palestinian factions has not diminished throughout these years. The irony is that despite Israeli protestation about Hamas becoming part of the Palestinian government, the new government after all consists of technocrats. Their task is mainly to steady the Palestinian ship until elections take place in the absence of any of the well-recognized figures from either of the parties. The main challenge for this government is to stabilize the Palestinian political system, steering it safely towards reconciliation between the supporters of Fatah and Hamas, and thus bring the Gaza Strip and the West Bank closer politically, socially and economically. It might also prepare the groundwork for new bid for statehood in the United Nations. Not surprisingly, the new government was endorsed by most countries around the world.
There is little doubt, that the Israeli government will exploit, quite disingenuously, the inclusion of the Hamas in the PAYossi Mekelberg