Sunday, June 18, 2006

Hamas close to accepting Prisoner's document.

In what could be the biggest step taken by any side recently in the long middle east quagmire, Hamas and Fatah have apparently almost concluded negotiations over implementing the Prisoner's Plan.

Beneath all the gunfire and bickering
a consensus appears to be solidifying among Palestinians - by negotiating an acceptance of the Prisoners document Hamas seeks to avoid the explosive loss of face that would come from getting smashed by an Abbas forced referendum - current polls suggest almost 90% of Palestinians would vote for the Prisoner's Document - and the bleeding to death of their last vestiges of legitimacy by refusing to allow a vote at all when they would clearly lose.

How will Israel react? On the face of it the Olmert Kadima government will be getting what they said they wanted: A recognition of Israel's right to exist by Hamas. Will they embrace this opportunity? Historically, Israel has savagely repressed secular and moderate voices in the Occupied Territories, and supported Islamists groups to counter-balance them. Hamas is very much a child of Israeli policy.

This feels like it could be one of those moments where anything is possible. An opportunity that I'd like to think won't be wasted.


Well you can dream, right?

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