What is the meaning of the recent Palestinian national unity agreement brokered by Egyptian leader Al Sisi, and above all, how the Glocalist/Statalist analysis may help to predict the final outcome of the ongoing Fatah-Hamas negotiations? Before trying to answer these extremely significant questions for the stability and prospects for peace of the whole Mediterranean and Middle East, region, a short overview of the latest events in Gaza may help the reader to understand the situation, and its main political players.
Latest news related to Gaza Strip and Hamas
Hamas (the Islamic Resistance Movement) and Fatah (the largest faction of the confederated multi-party Palestine Liberation Organization-PLO) on Thursday, October 12, agreed to declare December 1 as a final deadline for the Palestinian Authority (PA) to take over the Gaza Strip.
Hamas has controlled Gaza since 2007 when it forcibly ousted the Fatah-dominated PA from the territory. However, less than a month ago, Hamas announced its readiness to cede control of Gaza to the PA.
The rival parties’ agreement on Thursday came after senior Hamas and Fatah delegations met in Cairo for two days.
The two movements agreed to measures to enable the national unity government to undertake its full responsibilities in administrating the affairs of the Gaza Strip, as it does in the West Bank, on all the government institutions and bodies in Gaza without exception.
Hence, Hamas consented to the PA taking over also Gaza’s border crossings with Egypt and Israel and deploying its security forces along the Egyptian-Gaza border, a move aimed at pushing Israel and Egypt to lift several restrictions on the movement of people and goods.
A Palestinian government delegation from the West Bank arrived in the Gaza Strip on Monday to begin the process of receiving the Gaza Strip crossings under the latest Egyptian-brokered reconciliation agreement. The Gaza Strip has three crossings: two with Israel – Erez / Beit Hanoun, which is designated for the passage of individuals, Karam Abu Salem for goods – and the third with Egypt, the Rafah border crossing.
Hamas, Fatah and other Palestinian factions are expected to meet in Cairo on November 21, seeking to resolve the outstanding issue related to enabling the PA government to operate in Gaza, as well as establish a Palestinian unity government, set a date for general elections and address other issues.
The Israeli security cabinet met Monday and discussed the Fatah-Hamas reconciliation pact but, despite a call by Education Minister Naftali Bennett to sever ties with the PA, issued no statement containing operative decisions.
This was in marked contrast to three years ago, when – following the announcement of a Fatah-Hamas reconciliation pact at the time – the security cabinet met and issued a statement saying it would not negotiate with a Palestinian government backed by Hamas.
Bennett, a member of the security cabinet, said earlier this week that the Palestinians have formed a terrorist government, and that by joining with Hamas, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has turned the PA into a “terrorist authority.”
Meantime, Hamas condemned on Monday an attack on Egyptian soldiers in the Sinai peninsula last night, calling it a terrorist act. The killing of six members of the Egyptian army during an armed attack targeted the security points of North Sinai in the area of Qweids. Following the attack, the Border and Crossings Authority in the Gaza Strip announced that the Egyptian authorities had canceled the opening of the Rafah crossing with the Gaza Strip as scheduled today and postponed to a later date was not specified.
Glocalist-Statalist Analysis and trend predictions
The Palestinian national unity newly resumed negotiations represent an additional historical evidence of the current prevalence of the Statalist trend and prevailing State-boundary defined collective identity model over the Glocalist one. If this assumption is correct, then we can grasp from the latest developments summarized above enough hints of progressive success for the current Statalist inter-Palestinian negotiations, despite the dangerous hurdles and the enormous obstacles on the ground, and in spite of the pessimistic and critical views from Glocalist experts commenting on this issue the world over.
Such Glocalist comments in fact tend to minimize the authentic significance of the aforementioned initial breakthrough between the two belligerent Palestinian factions, to maximize any unclear, or still indeterminate, aspect of the agreement, to forecast nightmare scenarios of dramatic uncompromising differences, hidden agendas, dangers of violent clashes between the parties and vis-à-vis Israel, and above all deep lack of good faith, accompanied by general mistrust, charactizing all previous Palestinian reunification attempts, as yet ended with no result.
In fact, this time the reality on the ground is so far telling us a different story. The new Statalist Haniyeh-Sinwar Hamas leadership is radically distant, and to a great extent totally opposite, from the past Yasin-Rantisi-Meshaal Glocalist approach once dominating Hamas. Therefore, the recent impressive political changes in Gaza, blessed by Statalist Egyptian leader Al Sisi, cannot just be an empty mask to trap naif peace dreamers, but they are sincere, courageous and well considered actions, strategically consistent with the new Statalist leadership, and most likely coordinated with such Statalist Fatah leaders as jailed Marwan Barghouti (designated Arafat’s successor) and Fatah Secretary General Jibril Rajoub.
Glocalist leaders, such as Trump and Netanyahu, have unwillingly accepted the current course of events in Gaza, since they are both betting on other Palestinian horses, namely Glocalist Fatah leaders Abu Mazen and Mohammed Dahlan, though they qremain quite unpopular, according to recent Palestinian polls.
The coming days may see further clashes, new threats and acts of violence, dramatic steps backwards, and even murderous terror attacks, followed by mutual reprisals, among the various parties involved in the Israeli-Palestinian and Palestinian-Palestinian conflicts. Nevertheless, the analyzed upcoming Statalist trend makes predictable a final positive outcome for the intensifying Palestinian national unity dialogue and the resulting prospects for peace.