A November 9 report from i24NEWS stated that the Biden administration is attempting to form a Palestinian unity government between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority (PA).
According to the report, the government would feature representatives from Hamas, Fatah (the ruling party in the PA) as well as nonpartisan economic experts.
“The idea there is to promote calm in the region, particularly when it comes to Gaza and the ongoing armed conflicts with Israel,” Guy Azriel, a correspondent for i24NEWS, said during a broadcast. “The idea is that a unity government like this would be a basis for a long-term truce with Israel.” He added that the unity government is aimed at ending the longstanding conflict between Fatah and Hamas and “to rebuild the Palestinian economy.”
But Dr. Ahmad al-Majdalani, the PA Minister for Social Development, told i24NEWS that until the Biden administration agrees to reopen a Palestinian consulate in Jerusalem, they will not respond to overtures from the U.S. The administration has promised to reopen the consulate, which was closed during the Trump administration, but the current Israeli government opposes such a move. Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has argued that “there’s no room” for the consulate. The Palestinians argue that the consulate is necessary to show that they have a claim to Jerusalem.
Azriel also pointed out that a unity government could complicate Israel’s relations with the PA because the two governments coordinate on security measures, including arresting Hamas terrorists. “How is that going to happen when Hamas is a part of that unity government?” he asked.
Fatah and Hamas briefly shared a unity government in 2006 in the Gaza Strip when Israel withdrew from the area until Hamas seized power from Fatah in a 2007 coup. Subsequent efforts to form a unity government between the two have failed.
“This administration has no understanding of Palestinian politics,” writer and activist Yoni Michanie tweeted.
This administration has no understanding of Palestinian politics. https://t.co/9GYy28TBVD
— Yoni Michanie (@YoniMichanie) November 9, 2021
Joel M. Petlin, Superintendent of the Kiryas Joel School District, also tweeted: “Pushing for a Palestinian unity government with Hamas & the PA reminds me of the story of when there was a push to reunite East and West Germany. A comedian commented that it didn’t work out too well the last time they were united, so why do we think it will be any better today.”
Pushing for a Palestinian unity government with Hamas & the PA reminds me of the story of when there was a push to reunite East and West Germany. A comedian commented that it didn't work out too well the last time they were united, so why do we think it will be any better today.
— Joel M. Petlin (@Joelmpetlin) November 9, 2021