Whoever makes peace with Hamas cannot make peace with IsraelVolume 29 Summer 2014 Issue 3
Just before the Hamas and Fatah agreement, Hamas officials dedicated a monument in Gaza in celebration of their murderous rocket attacks on Israel.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, after meeting with his security cabinet this past April, suspended the peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA). This conclusion was reached after leaders of the Palestinian Authority and Hamas formally signed a treaty to establish a unity government between Fatah and Hamas. Fatah is the largest political organization associated with the PA, as well as its military branch. Hamas is a terrorist organization that controls the entire Gaza Strip.
“Whoever makes peace with Hamas cannot make peace with Israel,” said Netanyahu. “Instead of choosing peace, President Mahmoud Abbas formed an alliance with a murderous terrorist organization that calls for Israel’s destruction. He formed an alliance with an organization whose covenant calls for Muslims to wage Jihad against Jews.”
Hamas, which is under the leadership of Ismail Haniyeh, took control of the Gaza Strip in 2007 in a bloody coup. It also has many supporters among Palestinians living in the West Bank. Since Hamas took over Gaza, it has fired more than 10,000 rockets into cities and towns in Israel. In 2014 alone, Hamas has made over 100 rocket attacks on Israel.
The attempt by Hamas and Fatah to form a unity government will not be easy, since they have been at odds with one another for many years. An Israeli official said, "If elections were held in the Palestinian territories, as agreed by Hamas and Fatah, Hamas would clearly win, both in Gaza and the West Bank. There is a clear trend toward confrontation. Hamas deals with classical terrorism; Abbas does diplomatic terror."
In recent weeks Israel has discovered the existence of a sophisticated network of tunnels running from Gaza into Israel. Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniya acknowledged the tunnels and said: "The tunnels are the new Hamas strategy in the war against Israel. From below the ground and above the ground, you the occupiers will be dismissed. You have no place in the land of Palestine....What the resistance forces are preparing secretly for the next confrontation with Israel is beyond imagination."
In the meantime, Mahmoud Abbas told Secretary of State John Kerry that the new unity government to be formed by Hamas and the Palestinian Authority will halt all violence and recognize Israel's right to exist. That, in itself, would be an amazing accomplish- ment, since the actual charter of Hamas states their resolve to destroy Israel. Believing that Hamas will denounce their own charter is the fodder of fools.
A major hurdle the Palestinian unity government will have to jump relates to financial aid from the United States. A law passed by congress states that in order for American aid to be given to the Palestinians, parties in a power- sharing government must declare Israel's right to exist, renounce violence and accept previous agreements between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. The likelihood of a unity government between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas being successful is remote at best. It is even more remote that the Obama administration will halt its funding of the Palestinian government, even though the terrorist organization Hamas is part of it, and even though Hamas still refuses to recognize Israel's right to exist.