Palestinians see the Hamas-Fatah unity deal to be signed in Cairo today as strengthening their push for statehood. But they say that reconciliation will be a year-long project at least.
The Arab Spring has inspired young Palestinians to protest for an elected, unified government. Hamas has agreed – a hint that its moderates may be gaining influence. Don't dismiss the pact too quickly.
In upcoming visits to the US and Europe, Israel's prime minister is likely to argue against UN recognition of Palestinian statehood now that Hamas is joining Fatah at the helm.
Analysts see some good news for the US, but mostly bad in a Palestinian rift-ending accord. The deal is also seen as a hint of things to come in the increasingly democratic Middle East.
But many are skeptical that the accord will hold, given that huge differences remain between Fatah and Hamas, and Israel is strongly opposed to Palestinian unity.
The Geneva Accord – a joint effort by Israelis and Palestinians – details what a credible, negotiated peace agreement could look like. It addresses all the major issues, including security arrangements, the status of Jerusalem, access to holy places, borders, settlements, and refugees.
The Palestinian Authority has gained a crucial boost from the IMF and World Bank ahead of a possible UN vote on statehood in September, as Arab unrest adds urgency to their cause.
International airstrikes led first by France devastated an armored column loyal to Muammar Qaddafi overnight – saving the rebellion with little time to spare.
Hamas's military wing claimed direct responsibility for a Saturday mortar attack on Israel, which prompted a swift response from Israeli forces.