Monday, December 29, 2008

Hamas, Fatah, Israel, and the United Nations.

By now, I am sure you are aware of the conflict between Israel and Hamas. But, do you know who Hamas is, other than "the bad guy" in this conflict?

The name "Hamas" is an acronym for the "Islamic Resistance Movement". That says a lot on its own, however, let's look further into Hamas.

Hamas "is a Palestinian Sunni paramilitary organization and political party which holds a majority of seats in the elected legislative council of the Palestinian National Authority." Hamas was created in 1987 and has become popular in Palestinian society by establishing services such as hospitals, libraries, and others throughout the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. "Hamas' charter calls for the destruction of the State of Israel and its replacement with a Palestinian Islamic state in the area that is now Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip". Note: source -- Wikipedia

The issues in the Palestinian government run deep and have a seemingly unending timeline. More recently, "The Palestinian National Authority was formed in 1994, pursuant to the Oslo Accords between the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the government of Israel, as a 5-year interim body during which final status negotiations between the two parties were to take place but never did. According to the Accords, the Palestinian Authority was designated to have control over both security-related and civilian issues in Palestinian urban areas (referred to

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as "Area A"), and only civilian control over Palestinian rural areas ("Area B"). The remainder of the territories, including Israeli settlements, the Jordan Valley region, and bypass roads between Palestinian communities, were to remain under exclusive Israeli control ("Area C"). East Jerusalem was excluded from the Accords." So, what needs to happen here, in addition to many other things, is that the negotiations need to be mandated and oversight by the United Nations must be in place as a peace making middle-man. Additionally, the Israeli settlements should currently remain theirs, according to the Oslo Accords. "The Oslo Accords, officially called the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements or Declaration of Principles (DOP) was a milestone in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It was the first direct, face-to-face agreement between Israel and political representatives of Palestinians. It was the first time that some Palestinian factions publicly acknowledged Israel's right to exist."

On an international basis, the U.N. should use their power to intervene and uphold this agreement (the Oslo Accords), inclusive of the violence from Hamas and Hamas' power as a result of their victory in parliamentary elections. This is not a U.S. fight, although we are in need of standing up for our allies, which include Israel. However, this is a disturbance that the U.N. needs to pursue as an international peace keeping mission.

"The PA maintains an official uniformed armed service which various sources estimate to include anywhere from 40,000 to 80,000 recruits employing some armored cars, and a limited number carry automatic weapons. Officially termed a "police force", it violates the Oslo Accords which limit the force to 30,000 recruits."

Fatah is also a major political player in the Palastinian government. President Mahmoud Abbas a major player in the Fatah party. In the mid-1950's Abbas "became heavily involved in underground Palestinian politics, joining a number of exiled Palestinians in Qatar, where he was Director of Personnel in the emirate's Civil Service. While there, he recruited a number of people who would become key figures in the Palestine Liberation Organization, and was one of the founding members of Fatah in 1957. Yasser Arafat was among other key members...He (Abbas) is credited with initiating secretive contacts with left-wing and pacifist Jewish groups during the 1970s and 80s, and is considered by many to be a major architect of the 1993 Oslo peace accords (evidenced in part by the fact that he travelled with Arafat to the White House to sign the accords)."

The Palestinian terrorist organization called "Black September", responsible for the Munich massacre was assumed to be an operational cover for Arafat's Fatah group. "Abbas came into conflict with Palestinian militant groups, notably Islamic Jihad and Hamas; his pragmatic policies were opposed to their hard-line approach. However, he made it perfectly clear that he was forced to abandon, for the moment, the use of arms against Israeli civilians inside the green line due to its ineffectiveness; the Abbas doctrine allowed for selective terrorism."

"On December 16, 2006 Abbas called for new legislative elections, to bring an end to the parliamentary stalemate between Fatah and Hamas in forming a national unity government.

On March 17, 2007 a Palestinian unity government was formed incorporating members of both Hamas and Fatah, with Ismail Haniyeh as Prime Minister and independent politicians taking many key portfolios."

"... Ismail Haniyeh the Hamas prime minister has continued to operate in Gaza, and be recognized as by a large number of Palestinians as the legitimate caretaker prime minister. Anis al-Qasem, the Palestinian constitutional lawyer who drafted the Basic Law, is among those who publicly declared Abbas' appointment of Fayyad to be illegal."

You can infer from these statements that there is a power struggle that continues in the Palastinian government that does not have a simple answer. When there are two opposing terrorist-type groups, which is the lesser evil? When you have a choice between Hamas and Fatah groups, who do you want in charge? A message to the United's pass time to intervene.

1 comment:

bokjae said...

Hey natasha! firstly a very Happy New Year to you! This is a very informative post on the current Israel-Palestine issue. Thanks!