PA Unity Government - Opportunity for Israel

The establishment of a Palestinian unity government may serve as an opportunity for defining a new political agenda vis-a-vis the Palestinians and for securing an effective Palestinian address.

Elements within the Palestinian Authority (PA) declared that Hamas and Fatah are likely to reach an agreement on the establishment a national unity government within the next few days.

Hamas' demand that the establishment of a unity government will be conditioned upon lifting the economic embargo off the PA, turns Israel into a de-facto "third party" to the internal Palestinian agreement. The possibe release of the Hamas ministers and members of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) arrested by Israel was also raised in that context.

The Reut Institute contends that due to Hamas' dominance in the PLC, any new government established in the near future will rely on Hamas' support.

However, Israel should reconsider its policy regarding the Hamas-led PA. In any political scenario, whether negotiations, unilateral steps or even maintaining the current status-quo, the existence of a PA that has the capability to deliver is a basic necessity.

Israel can use the establishment of the unity government to renew direct contacts with at least some elements in the PA, so to improve its ability to function as the Palestinian Address in the West Vank and Gaza.

Sources

  • Issacharoff and Stern, Ha'aretz, 9/3/06. Full Text