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Israel


Hamas-Fatah Reconciliation: The ADL View

Posted: May 10, 2011

On May 4, 2011, Hamas and Fatah signed a reconciliation agreement after a violent and entrenched four-year split.  The agreement was facilitated by the Egyptian Foreign Minister and was signed in Cairo. 

All of the terms and conditions of the agreement have not yet been made public.  There are many unknowns as to the agreement all related to implementation and day-to-day governance and coordination.

ADL is concerned about the Fatah-Hamas agreement and what it portends for the pursuit for Israeli-Palestinian peace. 

 Hamas is a terrorist organization dedicated to the violent eradication of the State of Israel and espouses deep anti-Semitism.

 Hamas has offered no indication it will recognize Israel, renounce the use of terrorism, renounce its founding Charter which calls for the eradication of Israel and espouses age-old anti-Semitism, or accept previously negotiated Israel-Palestinian agreements

 In joining with an un-moderated Hamas, and in refusing to return to negotiations with Israel, the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority seems to be signaling that it is rejecting a negotiation of a peace agreement with Israel.

The reconciliation agreement raises questions about Fatah's commitment to peace with Israel:  The new agreement between Fatah and Hamas raises serious questions about whether the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority is committed to achieving peace with the State of Israel, or is rejecting reconciliation with Israel and will once again intensify the more than six-decade long war against Israel's existence through violent and political means. 

Hamas is a terrorist organization whose basic ideology calls for the violent eradication of the State of Israel:  Hamas is an Islamic extremist terrorist organization which controls the Gaza strip and  calls for the eradication of the State of Israel. Both the United States and the European Union have designated Hamas as a terrorist organization. Hamas (the Arabic acronym for Harakat Al-Muqawama Islamiya fi Filistin, or the Islamic Resistance Movement in Palestine) was established in 1988 by Sheikh Ahmad Yassin, then a preacher with the fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood in Gaza. Its ultimate goal is the establishment of an Islamic Palestinian state ruled by Islamic theocratic law in place of the State of Israel.

Hamas' fundamental ideology is deeply anti-Semitic:  The Hamas covenant, issued in 1988, is replete with anti-Semitic rhetoric and echoes the notorious Protocols of the Elders of Zion charging Jews with an international conspiracy to gain control of the world. In Hamas' world-view, Islamic precepts forbid a Jewish state in the area known as Palestine, and the Jewish people have no legitimate connection to the land of Israel. As its covenant proclaims, "The land of Palestine is an Islamic trust... It is forbidden to anyone to yield or concede any part of it... Israel will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it..." To this end, the leaders of Hamas have denounced compromise with Israel as a betrayal of the Palestinian cause.

Since 2000, Hamas has launched thousands of rocket and mortar attacks at vulnerable southern Israeli cities such as Sderot, Ashkelon, Netivot and nearby environs, landing in or near private homes, schools and day care and recreation centers.  Hamas has constructed hundreds of smuggling tunnels underneath the border with Egypt and stockpiled an enormous cache of weapons and associated supplies and receives aid, training and munitions from Iran.

Hamas continues to hold kidnapped Israel soldier Gilad Shalit, who was captured in a cross-border raid in 2006.

There are no indications that Hamas has moderated its ideology or will renounce terrorism:   There are no indications that Hamas is prepared to abandon its deep ideological commitment to the violent eradication of Israel, its entrenched hatred of Jews, and its continued promotion and use of terrorism as part of the reconciliation agreement with Fatah.

The international community demands Hamas meet criteria:  The long-standing requirements of the international community and the State of Israel that Hamas must recognize Israel's right to exist, renounce the use of violence and terrorism, and accept previously negotiated Israeli-Palestinian agreements before engaging with Hamas remain the only basis for engaging with Hamas. Following the announcement of the Hamas-Fatah agreement, the United States affirmed its designation of Hamas as a terrorist organization and its requirement that any Palestinian government accept these principles.

The Palestinian Authority refuses to negotiate peace with Israel:  Since early 2009, the Palestinian Authority has refused to conduct peace negotiations with Israel (aside from a brief period in September 2010).  Instead, the PA has announced it will bypass direct negotiation with Israel, and instead unilaterally declare statehood in September 2011.  The United States, the EU and other key states in the international community have urged the PA and Israel to resume direct negotiations.

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