Some have suggested that it’s possible to look on the bright side and see the Hamas takeover of Gaza as opening the door to some kind of rapprochement between Israel and Fatah on the West Bank, now that Hamas appears to have been removed from the equation there.
Unfortunately, recent developments seem to point in the opposite direction. Here’s one observer’s possible scenario, following the recent summit at Sharm El-Sheik:
In the first days following the Gaza coup of the Hamas, it appeared as if no responsible power in the Middle East would acquiesce in the new situation. Hamas had broken the pledges of the unity government engineered by Saudi Arabia, massacred its Fateh rivals in the cruelest ways possible, and announced the formation of an Islamic regime…
President Hosni Mubarak, who hosted the Sharm summit, had originally called the Hamas takeover a coup. But Mubarak changed course. He threw a monkey wrench into the proceedings, when he announced in his summation speech at the conference, that Fateh and Hamas must work together to restore Palestinian unity.
This was reiterated by an Egyptian spokesperson after Mubarak met with Saudi officials following the summit. So it appears that
…the Saudis and the Egyptians perceive that the Hamas and their Iranian and Syrian benefactors are in control, and that Abbas and his US supporters are no longer powers to be reckoned with in the Middle East. Nothing succeeds like success. Nothing fails like failure. Saudi Arabia made this assessment originally when it brokered the unity agreement, which forced Fateh to accept Hamas hegemony on their own terms…
The acceptance of the fait accompli in Gaza and the prospects of another “unity government” create a very dangerous situation for Israel. A likely scenario is that the Fateh government will get arms, support and recognition, as well as possible peace concessions from Israel. The flow of foreign aid to the Palestinian government (of Abbas) has resumed. At a certain point, Abbas will be forced to accept the hegemony of the Hamas in a new “unity” government, in a deal mediated by Saudi Arabia and possibly Egypt. Remarkably nobody in the US government seems to be concerned that client states Egypt and Saudi Arabia are busy sabotaging the last hopes for the US sponsored Middle East peace effort.
Once the unity government deal is consummated, the Hamas government will then have been foisted on Israel and on the quartet, who will find that they have given arms to the Hamas in effect, and made concessions to the Hamas, and that they are obligated to give foreign aid to the Hamas government. The roadblocks removed from the West Bank will enable the free flow of arms and terrorists and the solidification of Hamas rule. Abbas, weakened from within and abandoned and betrayed by his erstwhile backers will have no choice but to acquiesce in a renewed and very virulent intifada, and Israel will be faced with extremely unpleasant choices…
– Ami Isseroff, ZioNation (the whole article is recommended)
Even murder and terrorism don’t disqualify a regime from international recognition and aid.