Haniyeh's Compromise – a Political Trap?
Point of View | 35
Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said: "If Israel withdraws to the 1967 borders, peace will prevail and we will implement a cease-fire [hudna] for many years". Haniyeh emphasized that he is speaking as the leader of the Palestinian government, and not as the leader of the Hamas movement. (Interview with Haniyeh, Ha'aretz, 5/23/06).
The Re’ut Institute contends that the compromise Haniyeh offers may enable Hamas to undermine the international coalition and lead Israel into a political deadlock, lacking both the ability to reach a negotiated agreement and the ability to implement the Convergence Plan.
What is the Issue?
At present, both the US and the EU pressuring Israel to enter negotiations with the Palestinians based on the Roadmap, and to suspend the Convergence Plan.
Israel contends that Hamas' adherence to the three demands, primarily to recognize Israel, should serve as precondition for entering negotiations.
Additionally, Hamas is currently under heavy pressure to adjust its policy towards Israel:
External pressure – Although the Quartet is designing an economic mechanism to assist the PA, the Hamas-led government is still politically isolated and economically weak;
Internal pressure – Power struggles between Hamas and Fatah over the security apparatus and the institutional crisis between the PA government and the president's office are undermining the effective control of the Hamas regime.
Point of View
Distinguishing between a "moderate" PA government and a "radical" Hamas movement will enable the movement to maintain its radical ideological principles.
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