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The Cairo talks may be difficult, but could be relatively easy

February 11, 2021 at 1:00 pm

Hamas director Khalil al-Hayya (L) and Palestinian leader of Hamas in the Gaza Strip Yahya Sinwar (C) with the leaders of the Palestinian groups leave the city at the Rafah Border Gate in Gaza to attend the national dialogue talks scheduled to begin tomorrow in Cairo, the capital of Egypt. in Rafah, Gaza on 7 February 2021. [Ashraf Amra – Anadolu Agency]

Sincere intentions are not enough for the success of the Cairo talks between the Palestinian factions. What we need are sincere positions, sincere decisions and the forfeiting of individual gains and organisational interests in favour of the country’s interests. Without this, the talks are a waste of time and will both disappointment the people and destroy their hopes.

When I say sincere positions, I mean reaching common goals successfully for all of the existing contentious issues. This should start with the political programme, freedoms, correcting the distorted decisions that have restricted the electoral process, and agreeing on guarantees that ensure the integrity of that process and the results. The first thing should be the immediate lifting of sanctions against the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

Looking at the list of those participating in Cairo, I saw that the individuals in the Hamas and Fatah delegations are in leadership roles and influential within their movements; they should be authorised to make decisions and promote them. They are all facing a difficult challenge after the ships were burned when the presidential decree for the elections was issued. There is no room for failure. They have no option but to succeed, put a smile on the face of the Palestinian people, declare a consensus and success, and continue the democratic process based on internationally-recognised principles.

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The success of the talks will mean moving the Palestinian issue from separation to unity, from weakness to strength, from individual to collective leadership, and from economic and security dependence on the Israeli occupation to defiance over and above that displayed by the illegal settlers. This revival can only be achieved with all organisations embracing the truth that the Palestinian people are masters of themselves; that they are experienced and conscientious people; and that they are the most capable of electing the most appropriate leadership to confront the settlers’ plans and the ambitions of the occupation state. There is no justification for imposing guardianship over the electoral process and its results.

What is taking place in Cairo will be very difficult if there is no trust and if the talks are beset by political traps and ill intentions. They could be relatively easy, though, given an accurate political reading of the future of the Palestinian cause, and the impact of failure on all of the factions.

Egypt has a major role to play in this regard, as it is the host of these talks and must not allow them to fail, even if the delegations need require additional time beyond the specified period, and face unprecedented diplomatic pressure. The Palestinian people are waiting and hoping for salvation from the internal division that has plagued them for so long. Moreover, the Arab nations are watching, and praying to the Almighty for success.

This article first appeared in Arabic in Felesteen on 9 February 2021

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.