Hamas – Facilitating Convergence?
Point of View | 34
Prime Minister Olmert will soon visit the US in order to coordinate the Convergence Plan. The US has said it would support a unilateral withdrawal but that international recognition of the border would come only with an Israeli-Palestinian agreement (Ha’aretz, 4/26).
The Re’ut Institute contends that the Hamas regime may increase the probability of obtaining the required international support for Convergence.
What is the Issue?
According to press reports, the Convergence Plan will include a withdrawal from the West Bank, evacuation of settlements, and the continuation of Israeli control over settlement blocks and the Jordan Valley.
The Convergence Plan is a unilateral act. As such, it seemingly does not require Palestinian consent, but rather coordination with and support by the international community.
International support for the Convergence Plan in the West Bank is likely to be harder to obtain than it was in Gaza, since Israel will maintain control over the settlement blocks, Arab neighborhoods in East Jerusalem and the Jordan Valley and for various other reasons.
A key component in gaining international legitimacy for the Convergence is the nature of the PA government and its ability to control its territory.
Point of View
Israel & The Palestinians
The Convergence Plan is based on the assumption that there is no partner for political moves. In contrast to Fatah, Hamas negates the right of the state of Israel to exist, and refuses to negotiate with it.