Know More About Palestine

Wednesday Aug. 25, 2010 12:18 PM (EST+7)

RAMALLAH, August 25 (JMCC) - Now that Palestinians and Israelis are entering direct talks, there remains the outstanding question of how to handle Hamas. The movement remains outside the political process, writes Daniel Byman, and as long as it stays there is a potential spoiler for negotiations.

Byman argues that Hamas and Israel should strike a deal where Hamas would end all smuggling and rocket strikes in exchange for a complete lifting of the Gaza blockade.

Such a deal would allow Hamas to claim credit for improving the lives of Gazans, and it could use the resulting increase in the flow of goods to reward its supporters. For Israel, the regular rocket attacks would come to a complete halt and the threat of renewed attacks would diminish. A cease-fire would also free up Israel diplomatically. If the problem of Hamas receded, Israel could take more risks at the negotiating table with Abbas.

Palestinian moderates would rightly complain that Israel was rewarding violence. And if Gaza’s economy improved, the contrast between living conditions there and living conditions in the West Bank would become less stark, which would hurt Abbas politically. In order to offset any political gains Hamas might make, the international community should encourage efforts to provide law and order, reduce corruption, and otherwise build a state in the West Bank. This would help make Abbas’ government a true rival to Hamas when it came to governance.

Formalizing the cease-fire with Hamas would raise the question of whether Israel and moderate Palestinians were simply postponing an inevitable fight and allowing the enemy to get stronger. However, if the rocket attacks from Gaza resumed or if credible evidence emerged that Hamas was dramatically increasing its military capabilities, Israel would have a strong case for resuming the siege in a more comprehensive way or using force. The international community, therefore, must support not only the idea of formalizing the cease-fire but also Israel’s right to retaliate militarily if, despite Israel’s concessions, Hamas returned to violence.

Read the editorial at the International Herald Tribune...







Al-Madaris St. (same building as
MBC and al-Arabiya studios)
First Floor, Al-Bireh
PO Box 4045, Ramallah
PO Box 25047, Jerusalem 97300
Phone: ++972-2-297-6555
Fax: ++972-2-297-6555
Log in to My JMCC
 or Sign Up
Forgot your password?Close
Front Page
My Comments Photo of the Day
Calendar Hot Spot(for journalists)
Audio of the Day Video of the Day
Most Popular Historical Timeline
Noticeboard Blogs
My Tags Help Desk
User Info
First Name
Last Name
My Tags 
I am a
After signing up,you will receive
an automatically
generated password in your
Recover Password
Submit Your Email
 or Sign Up