Part of the reconciliation agreement between Hamas and Fatah will see the Gaza-based terror organization hold off on “independent” attacks against Israelis in Yehudah and Shomron, a report in Arab media said over the weekend. In exchange for Hamas’s agreement to halt terror attacks, it will become a part of the Palestinian Authority’s decision-making process, and coordinate moves – military and diplomatic – against Israel along with the Fatah terror group, the London-based Al Sharq al-Awsat newspaper reported.
The deal between the two terror organizations was engineered by Egypt, and signed by Hamas and Fatah on Thursday. At the end of the week, the report said, top Hamas terrorist Saleh al-Arouri announced that among other things, “security and police forces in Gaza and the West Bank will work together, in a manner that would ensure their unity.” The integration of Hamas into the PA’s security apparatus “means partnership in decisions of war and peace,” al-Arouri was quoted by the report as saying.
The report quoted a Hamas official as saying that the terror group had entered into the agreement because “the Palestinian people demand it. We want to give the agreement a chance. We will remain loyal to this agreement whether or not the harassment and arrests of our members by the PA ceases or not.” The official was relating to the ongoing sanctions by Fatah against Hamas members in PA-controlled areas of Yehudah and Shomron, the PA’s response to Hamas’s failure to live up to a previous reconciliation agreement in 2011, in which Hamas failed to restore the PA’s authority in Gaza.
Israel has strongly criticized the deal, as much for what it does not address as for what it does. “Any reconciliation between the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Hamas must include honoring international agreements and the Quartet conditions, first and foremost among them, recognizing Israel and disarming Hamas,” the Prime Minister’s Office said in an official statement. “Continuing to dig tunnels, manufacture missiles and initiate terrorist attacks against Israel are incompatible with the Quartet conditions and the efforts of the United States to renew the diplomatic process. Israel demands that these conditions be met and the immediate release of Israeli civilians Avra Mengistu and Hisham a-Said, who are being cruelly held by Hamas, and the remains of fallen IDF soldiers Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin, Hy”d.
“As long as Hamas does not disarm and continues to call for the destruction of Israel, Israel holds it responsible for all terrorist actions originating in the Gaza Strip. Israel opposes any reconciliation that does not include these components,” the statement added.