The October 2 issue of Time magazine has the following article by Jared Malsin entitled “Hamas takes a step away from isolation”:
“The Islamist group Hamas agreed on Sept. 16 to elections in Gaza and the West Bank, raising the prospect of Palestinian reconciliation after 10 years of squabbling and violence.
“The two Palestinian factions, Hamas and its secular rival Fatah, have been at odds since a 2007 civil war that left the Gaza Strip under Hamas control and the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority overseeing the West Bank. In March, President Mahmoud Abbas accused Hamas of attempting to form a ‘shadow government’ in Gaza by taking over key administrative roles. Abbas cut fuel payments that led to blackouts across the coastal territory.
“Under pressure, Hamas agreed to cede control of certain administrative functions in Gaza and move forward with elections. It’s just the latest evolution toward moderation from the militant group under new leader Ismail Haniyeh. Hamas eve released a policy document in May that accepted the idea of a Palestinians state based on pre-1967 borders, though it stopped short of acknowledging Israel’s right to exist.
“Few experts believe reconciliation is a realistic prospect; no date has been set for elections, and previous efforts have failed. The Palestinian Authority is also unlikely to drop its objections to Hamas’ military and security forces, or its control of Gaza. But this move might at least convince Abbas to lift sanctions and improve the lives of the 1.8 million Palestinians living in the desolate Gaza Strip.”I posted last May 7th about Ismail Haniyeh being selected as chief of Hamas political bureau. He is politically moderate. From what I’ve read over the years, he seems to be a fairly reasonable man. He has said publicly multiple times that Hamas’s purpose is not to destroy Jews but to get a state in Palestine. He is a family man with thirteen children.
After living in the Gaza Strip for a long time, Ismail Haniyeh recently moved to Qatar and governs the Gaza Strip from there. I think that move was partly for security reasons. Israel can take out any Hamas leader about anytime it wants with a ballistic missile. Last year, I posted about these two Palestinian factions trying to unite in October, but it failed. Maybe this time it will work. We’ll learn which group is most popular. If Palestinians are ever to get their own state, these two factions must unite.