The rival Palestinian political entities, Fatah a secular, social democratic party, and Hamas an Islamic nationalist, radically anti-Zionist force, have been at odds since the mid-2000s, with their conflict leading to a de-facto split of the Palestinian Authority between the Fatah-controlled West Bank, and Hamas-controlled Gaza, in 2007.
Recent events, including the United Arab Emirates’ decision to normalize relations with Israel, have prompted Hamas and Fatah to agree to join forces to confront Tel Aviv, Hamas deputy political head Saleh al-Arouri has announced.
Speaking to Lebanon’s Al-Mayadeen TV on Monday night, al-Arouri said that Palestinians had been ‘stabbed in the back’ three times in 2020, with the first time being the Trump administration’s announcement of a lopsided Israeli-Palestinian peace proposal in January, the second being Israel’s announcement of plans to annex wide swathes of the West Bank and the Jordan Valley this spring, and the third being Abu Dhabi’s move to normalize ties with Tel Aviv in August.
According to al-Arouri, the unprecedented “dangers strangling the Palestinian cause” mean that Palestinians can no longer accept a split between their nation’s major political forces. Therefore, he said, Hamas has made contact with Fatah and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to discuss joining forces against Israel.
The parties have reportedly agreed to three initiatives, to be implemented by joint committee, including the organization of resistance against Israeli in the West Bank, reforming the Palestine Liberation Organization (the multi-party organization in which Fatah is the largest faction), and an effort to put an end to the dispute between Hamas and Fatah sparked by the 2006 elections and the 2007 Hamas takeover of Gaza.