Reconciliation of Fatah and Hamas – Assessments by Mahmoud Jaraba

Two crossed Palestinian Flags

Will the two conflicting Palestinian groups Hamas and Fatah manage to achieve a lasting reconciliation and to establish a united Palestinian leadership? The Carnegie Middle East Center has asked a variety of scholars to assess the chances for reconciliation.

Among them is Mahmoud Jaraba, political scientist and scientific researcher at EZIRE. Regarding the latest attempts of reconciliation, Jaraba is rather skeptical: The move of Hamas to dissolve its Administrative Committee might be seen as a first step to solve the conflict between the two parties. However, there were still deep divisions.The measures to weaken Hamas as taken up by President and Fatah-member Mahmoud Abbas had definitely softened Hamas’ positions, but had on the contrary strengthens the territorial rivalry between the West Bank and Gaza. Yet another humanitarian crisis in Gaza could also be ascribed to Abbas’ approach. This could also be seen by the shrinking support for Fatah in Gaza, which, according to recent polls, has plummeted from 40% to 28%. Furthermore, the people in Gaza supporting Fatah were closer to Abbas’ political rival Mohammed Dahlan, whose popularity has recently been growing.

According to Jaraba, all these factors would hinder negotiations between Hamas and Fatah. This is why the political scientist does not believe reconciliation is realistic in the near future.