How does Hamas see the reconciliation government?

تم نشره في Wed 11 June / Jun 2014. 11:18 AM

By Fahed Khitan

One the reasons that prompted Hamas to walk in the path of reconciliation with the Palestinian Authority is the expensive financial cost of ruling the Gaza Strip.

In a private dialogue with the leaders of the Hamas movement, dedicated to the discussion of the motives of Hamas’s reconciliation and the formation of a national consensus government, one of the leaders wondered whether anyone has “heard of a political party that governs a country and pays of its own money to the state treasury? We were paying for it ourselves; the salaries and expenses of the government”.

But Hamas, which has sought to get rid of the financial burden of Gaza, did not expect the reconciliation government to refrain from paying the salaries of the staff of the interim government, and most of whom are affiliated with the movement, and now we see the first crisis in the face of the government less than two weeks after its formation. Hamas leaders in Gaza are now taking turns criticizing the Government of Rami Ahamdallah.

Salaries crisis is an emergency, but it will not be the last in the face of consensus government. Days before the government was formed, the leaders of Hamas movement were keen to emphasize, in the same closed session, that the new government is not the Hamas government, "and we are not responsible for its decisions and policies”.

Reconciliation government, in the eyes of Hamas, is evidence of a choice dilemma for both sides; Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas no longer has options after the failure of the efforts of U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, and did not find before him any other option but to walk in the path of reconciliation to fill the political vacuum, as per Hamas’s understand of the situation.

Hamas, on the other hand, and as per some of its leaders, drove into a wall in Gaza, and can no longer tolerate, morally and politically, the existence of more than a million Palestinians under a double siege; Israeli and an Egyptian, not to mention the political embargo faced by the movement after the fall of the Islamists in Egypt, and the fierce Gulf campaign against Muslim Brotherhood in the region.

Among “important” reasons that prompted Abu Mazen to walk in the path of reconciliation, at the discretion of the leaders of Hamas, is the raging conflict with Mohammed Dahlan; the ex-Fatah leader who is affiliated with the Gulf states.

Before the eruption of the salaries crisis in Gaza, Hamas believed that things, in the first phase, will go smoothly, and the government will not face problems that could disrupt reconciliation efforts, whereas actual, threatening problems will appear when both sides approach the issue of security in the West Bank; here's the big dilemma in the eyes of Hamas. The security apparatus in the West Bank, a fundamental element in the system of Israeli security, was founded to protect Israel, and the latter, and neither the US, will allow Hamas to be part of the security establishment.

Restructuring the security services in the West Bank along the lines of what is happening in the Gaza Strip will not be an easy process, and may lead to failure of the reconciliation efforts. In addition to the reform of the PLO and Hamas’s entrance into its institutions, which was agreed upon in the Cairo agreement years ago. But the said agreement is subject to various interpretations.

Hamas’s leader, Khaled Meshaal, seems very faithful to the idea of ​​reconciliation. He is one of the most respected leaders of the movement and has the confidence of Mahmoud Abbas. But neither entire Fatah, nor whole Hamas are similar to their leaders; a small crisis, like the salaries crisis, has shown that the government of reconciliation is not sponsored by both parties of the Palestinian reconciliation government; what is the point, then?



This article is an edited translation from the Arabic edition.