Despite the positive measures taken by Hamas and the positive remarks made by Fatah, Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are still doubtful about Palestinian reconciliation.
The Palestinian Authority (PA) and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas has made positive remarks about ending internal division and reconciling with Hamas after the latter announced the dissolution of the administrative committee in Gaza.
Hamas spokespeople have several times called on Abbas to end punitive measures against Gaza. On Tuesday, Hamas spokesman Abdel Latif Al-Qanou asked when Abbas would take actual measures on the ground and let the unity government take up its responsibilities in Gaza.
Head of the unity government Rami Hamadallah announced that he would meet with his ministers in Gaza next Monday, but Gaza residents do not believe he will take other concrete measures beyond the meetings.
“I am sure that there is no real reconciliation,” Mahmoud Shansheer, an unemployed 50-year-old father of seven siblings from Gaza, told MEMO. “They do not accept [ruling over] Gaza except when the Palestinian resistance gives up its arms,” he added.
Shansheer added: “As long as Abbas is leading Fatah, it will never come close to Hamas because this man is only concerned with Israeli interests and this absolutely does not meet with Hamas’ interests.”
Meanwhile, Rami Sahabani, 38, a shopkeeper in Gaza, said: “They sat together in Cairo, but they do not have any real intention [of sitting] together in Gaza.”
For his part, 84-year-old Mohamed Al-Najjar, whose village was occupied in 1948, said: “I am sure if they [Israelis] thought that Abbas’ rapprochement with Hamas would not harm them, they would have allowed him to become Hamas’ best friend.”
He added: “The Israeli occupation does want to see the Palestinians united; therefore, it puts pressure on its Palestinian hand – Mahmoud Abbas – in order to keep the Palestinians disunited.”
Several times in the past Palestinian factions have come close to ending their division but their efforts ended without any progress. Waiting for Palestinian reconciliation is like waiting for Godot.