The PA Under Hamas – From “Partner” to “Address”?

Following the electoral victory of Hamas the Israeli position is that there is no Palestinian “partner” for the political process (Ha’aretz, 3/7/06). The declaration by Hamas leader Khaled Mashal that Hamas will not accept the Roadmap (Ha’aretz, 3/5/06) strengthens this perception. However, the absence of a Palestinian “partner” does not necessarily mean that there is no political “address” within the Palestinian Authority (PA).

What is the Issue?​
  • ​The Re’ut Institute proposes the following definitions for the purpose of creating Israeli policy vis-à-vis the PA:

    • “Address” is a political entity that has delivery capability, i.e. carrying capacity, legitimacy and responsibility;​

    • “Partner” is a political entity that is an “Address” and has the Will to carry-out a shared political goal.

  • In light of Hamas’ objection to negotiations with Israel, it appears that Hamas will not become a “partner” for the political process. Therefore, it is important to ascertain whether there is a political “address” within the PA according to a number of variables:        

    • ​Carrying capacity –​​​ 

      • Material components – Availability and quantity of human, financial and physical resources.​

      • Political components – Ability of the government to stay in power and form a coalition for the purpose of passing decisions and laws.​

      • Legal-constitutional components – capacity to ratify decisions of the executive branch and legislation in the judicial and constitutional institutions.

      • Institutional components – Ability of governmental branches to implement governmental policy and enforce relevant laws.​​​

    • Legitimacy – The legitimacy of the PA among its residents and the international community.

    • Responsibility – In the Palestinian context, “responsibility” relates to the PA’s obligation to abide by international legal norms and existing political agreements with Israel.​​

​Following its electoral victory the international community and Israel both seem to consider Hamas responsible for Palestinian residents of the West Bank and Gaza.

Tags

Two State Solution, Partner for Peace, Legitimacy, West Bank, Gaza

2006-04-01

National Security

Israel & The Palestinians

The Hamas movement is a terror organization loyal to the Palestinian ethos of struggle and explicitly strives for the destruction of Israel. Hamas rejects negotiations with Israel.

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