New Egypt Shaping Palestinian Relations

New Egypt Shaping Palestinian Relations

Egypt’s role in reconciling Fatah and Hamas is a step in the right direction to achieve real peace in the Middle East. It’s the first time since 2006 that there will be united Palestinian position in the peace process.

The intermediary role that Egypt has played reflects not only a new dawn in terms of foreign policy, but also a new direction.

Under the Mubarak regime neither Hamas nor Fatah were satisfied with reconciliation deals as both factions felt that their control on their territories was under threat. Furthermore, Egypt under Mubarak was clearly favoring Fatah over Hamas, which represented an strategic extension to its main political rival, the Muslim Brotherhood.

Clearly, Mubarak’s regime was intent on maintaining a peace process that was heading nowhere, while retaining the idea that Egypt played a central role in the region.

With the discretion and moderation that characterizes Egyptian politics since the January 25 Revolution ousted Mubarak, the Palestinian reconciliation took place without the theats of the past regime.

While Hamas and Fatah have been juggling power, the Palestinian people have become increasingly frustrated by the lack of progress, and achieving statehood seems a far cry. This has been the result of factional fighting as well as Israeli obstinacy.

The Fatah/Hamas agreementt signed in Cairo brought about the emergence of an interim government, which will remain in power until elections are held later by the end of the year.

Both groups are expected to retain their influence and therefore implementing any agreement will be no easy task. 

Regardless, the reconciliation is a significant step, because without unity there can be no independence and definitely no state.