Photo: Danny Zeidman
Dr. Menachem Klein
Photo: Danny Zeidman
Olmert-Abbas meeting
Photo: Avi Ochayon, GPO

Kiss is no plan

Hamas, Fatah working on diplomatic plans, while Israel does nothing

While officials in Israel consider plans and think about what to do, Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh's advisor, Ahmed Yusuf, declared: "We have a diplomatic plan." Fatah, meanwhile, has its own plan.


The two political movements declared that they reject intermediate agreements, including what the Fatah characterized with contempt as "Hamas' Geneva agreement" – a Swiss proposal for a deal that is valid for five years.


The proposal talks about a complete and mutual ceasefire, partial Israeli withdrawal to a line to be agreed upon by both sides, the curbing of any settlement activity, and free Palestinian movement within the 1967 PA territories and out to Jordan and Egypt.


The implementation of the deal will be monitored by the international Quartet and if it works well there will be a possibility of replacing it with a final-status agreement based on the establishment of a Palestinian state in the 1967 borders. The two movements reject a Road Map-style deal, President Bush's vision, or the Oslo agreements, and instead want to deal with a final-status agreement.


Not surprisingly there's a high level of congruence between Hamas and Fatah regarding Israel's part in such arrangement. The two movements demand a complete withdrawal from territories occupied in the 1967 war, the establishment of a completely sovereign Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital, the release of all prisoners, and realization of the right of return.


At times, senior figures in both movements say they demand the return of all refugees to their homes and property, while at times they make do with a general, principled wording. The refugee issue distinguishes the Fatah and Hamas approaches from the Arab League's peace initiative. The latter talks about a just and agreed upon solution to the refugee problem, based on UN Resolution 194, thus opening the door to an Israeli veto on some clauses.


Fatah and Hamas agree that in exchange for those Israeli steps, a system of functional ties will be established between the two states and combat against Israel will end.


Not even on the agenda

The disagreements between Hamas and Fatah center on the part of Palestine in a final-status deal. Fatah is willing to accept a formal, contractual peace agreement and full recognition of Israel. Meanwhile, Hamas believes that de jure recognition means legitimizing the State of Israel's establishment and the renunciation of historical rights and patrimony.


On the other hand, functional ties and de facto recognition without contractual agreement do not signify renouncing this historical right. Hamas offers a hudna – a long term cessation of fighting. Even those who limit this ceasefire in time note that it would be renewed automatically without a limit on the number of times it is extended.


In other words, the resistance to the occupation is moving from practicality to the principle, and some will say: The resistance is minimized to the level of principle and symbolism only. Some will interpret it as preparation ahead of a practical struggle to liberate the 1948 territory despite the system of ties to be established between Israel and Palestine.


And what is Israel's peace plan? This isn't even on the agenda. A kiss on Mahmoud Abbas' cheek is not a diplomatic plan. The prime minister needed a few minutes or hours to lead his country to war, but he's finding it difficult, for months, to decide on moves that can save human lives. Olmert even cannot or does not want to implement the removal of a few roadblocks, which he promised Abbas.


Israel is not dealing with peace, but rather, with holding the Palestinian inside the occupation's pressure cooker. It attempts to regulate the pressure cooker's temperature so it doesn't explode in its face, but is unable to prevent serious burns in the form of Qassam rocket hits, Hamas' rise to power, and the group's ability to smuggle funds and weapons.


If Israel is rejecting the Hamas-Fatah coalition, it should accept the Arab League's peace plan and through it draw the Fatah closer, in the hopes that the Palestinian public would prefer this over Hamas' diplomatic plan.


פרסום ראשון: 01.02.07, 19:34
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