A senior member of Fatah's Revolutionary Council has said that Palestinian reconciliation is now "inevitable". Without it, claimed Nabil Amr, "other achievements make no sense".
In exclusive statements to the Palestinian media, Mr Amr regretted that the discussions and agreements on reconciliation have not been translated into reality. "The indications are that nothing has changed," he said. "The conditions for genuine reconciliation have not been met, so we cannot be optimistic until we see agreements moving from words on paper to reality."
Amr stated his belief that the ball is now in Hamas's court. "I think that Hamas should take the initiative and the PA should respond, and not waste time in never-ending dialogue. I say Hamas because it was the one that first started military action, but we do not stop at this point. The success of any Palestinian diplomatic effort must be based on genuine national reconciliation, and [PA President Mahmoud] Abbas will benefit from this step before any other parties."
Writing in the London-based newspaper Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (The Middle East), Amr painted a grim picture and warned of surprises to come, post-UN initiative. "After the adjournment of the United Nations process, and the wild celebrations in the streets, you will be hard pushed to find anyone who thinks the issue will go any further once the leaders' jets have left New York." The people celebrating on the streets of occupied Palestine will go back to their jobs, universities and schools and life will carry on, he added.
"The only foreseeable thing is a political vacuum," Amr claimed. "It will not be filled by politicians' visits, conferences and initiatives, but the unexpected may come out of it. That's our situation here in the Middle East."