Azerbaijan, Baku, May 6 / Trend, E.Tariverdiyeva /
Fatah, the secular core of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), which has the West and Ramallah as its base, has agreed to a unity government with Hamas, the Islamic Resistance Movement which rules Gaza, Ariel Cohen, leading expert of the Heritage Foundation for Russian and Eurasian Studies and International Energy Policy, member of Trend Expert Council, believes.
After four-year confrontation the Palestinian organizations
Hamas and Fatah signed an agreement on reconciliation and formation of united Palestinian government in Cairo on May 4.
This agreement caused great concerns of the Israeli authorities, as the new Palestinian leadership's first step was refusing to recognize Israel and condemning the U.S. Special Forces' operations to kill number one terrorist Osama bin Laden.
"This is effectively an abandonment of even a pretense of peace negotiations with Israel. This is because Hamas, the offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, doesn't recognize Israel's right to exist and subscribes to violence and terrorism in its quest to destroy Israel," Cohen said in an interview with Trend.
He said Hamas is supported by Iran and Syria, and its leadership resides in Damascus.
The emergence of the unity government between Fatah and Hamas is a capitulation of Fatah's independent path and possibly the end of a secular Palestinian national movement, Cohen believes.
"This agreement is abandonment of even a pretense of peace negotiations with Israel and is also a part of the Palestinian strategy to unilaterally declare a Palestinian state in the pre-June 1967 armistice lines, to include all of the West Bank and East Jerusalem, while not recognizing Israel," he said.
According to Cohen, the Palestinians will attempt to do it through a UN General Assembly vote.
Such a declaration, which the Palestinians see as the "stage-by-stage" solution of eliminating Israel, will undermine future peace prospects and is a prescription for more conflict and war, as it avoids a bilateral peace treaty and the "end of conflict" recognition between Israel and the Palestinians, Cohen believes.
The United States and Europe have not yet rejected and denounced the unity government and a unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state, he noted.
"However, as Hamas is a pro-Iranian organization whose leaders bemoaned the killing of Osama bin Laden, and as it refuses to recognize Israel and denounce violence and terrorism, America and the EU should call a spade and spade, and resist a further escalation of Palestinian militancy," Cohen said.