RAMALLAH, May 4 (JMCC) - Former US president Jimmy Carter has penned an editorial calling on the United States to support the Palestinian unity agreement being signed in Cairo Wednesday.
In the op-ed, published in
the Washington Post
, Carter says that if the international community does not support the pact, violence could result.
Why should the United States and the international community support the agreement? First, it respects Palestinian rights and democracy. In 2006, Hamas won the legislative election, but the “Quartet” — the United States, the European Union, the United Nations and Russia — rejected it and withheld aid, and the unity government collapsed. Competition between the two factions turned vicious, and each side has arrested the other’s activists. Instead of exacerbating differences between the two parties, the international community should help them resolve disagreements through electoral and legislative processes.
Second, with international support, the accord could lead to a durable cease-fire. Israel and the United States are concerned that Hamas could use a unity government to launch attacks against Israel. I have visited the Israeli border town of Sderot and share their concern. I urged Hamas’s leaders to stop launching rockets, and they attempted to negotiate a lasting mutual cease-fire. The United States and other Quartet members should assist Hamas and Israel’s search for a cease-fire.
Third, the accord could be a vehicle to press for a final peace agreement for two states. Abu Mazen will be able to negotiate on behalf of all Palestinians.