Thursday, April 23, 2009

ICG report on the Gaza stand-still

Efforts should focus on an outcome that meets [Fatah and Hamas'] immediate needs. Neither wants to give up the territory it controls, so for now let them keep it. That should not prevent forming a government that helps rebuild Gaza, gives Ramallah a foothold in Gaza and Abbas the greater legitimacy he needs to deal effectively with Israel – and with his own people...

Words matter, but actions matter more. The international community should judge the government on... willingness (or not) to enforce a mutual ceasefire with Israel, acceptance of Abbas’s authority to negotiate an agreement with Israel and respect for a referendum on an eventual accord. Hamas’s position on whether a Palestinian state would recognise Israel will matter only once that state exists. Prior to that, it is academic.

Sage words. It's hard to believe it's been two years since the last National Unity Government.

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