Monday, October 20, 2008

Egyptian proposal could move Palestinians toward peace with Israel

A welcome new proposal from Egypt could help Palestinians clean up their political disarray and get ready for serious negotiations with Israel on a permanent peace deal in the fractious Middle East. Reports Monday from Gaza say the Egyptian government in Cairo has proposed an alliance between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, the breakaway Islamist group that seized control of the Gaza Strip in 2007, to end their power struggle and focus their attention on negotiations with Israel. The Reuters international news service reports that Cairo presented a four-page proposal to the PA, which is led by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah organization, and to Hamas. Egypt came up with the proposal after meetings with 13 Palestinian factions and called for a Nov. 9 meeting in Cairo between all parties. Israel has long complained, and rightfully so, that agreements it reaches with the Palestinian Authority would not end their conflict with Palestinians because more-radical groups would reject it. Fatah apparently understands this, because it accepted the Egyptian proposal on the condition that Hamas accept previously negotiated agreements with Israel, Reuters said. Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said his group would accept the proposal with "some amendments ... and some clarifications." But Hamas has always refused to accept the existence of Israel and rejected past agreements, making a permanent settlement unlikely.


e-claire said...

You can always hope. If you don't try, there is NO HOPE.

NatetheGrate said...

Yes, that's true. At least it's heartening so see both Egypt and the Palestinian Authority apparently committed to negotiations.