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Mahmoud Abbas’s balancing act

The Palestinian unity agreement — how close is too close?

By Karin Laub and Mohammed Daraghmeh, Feb 2012

 

RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — A mounting rebellion by Hamas leaders in Gaza against a breakthrough power-sharing agreement with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas highlights a potentially fatal flaw — the deal never spelled out how the Western-backed leader can take charge again in Gaza, the territory he lost to a violent takeover by the Islamic militants.

 

Former bitter foes Abbas and Khaled Mashaal, Hamas’ top leader in exile, signed the Qatar-brokered deal in Doha last week, saying they are committed to a true partnership. As part of the agreement, Abbas is to head an interim unity government that replaces rival administrations in the West Bank and Gaza and leads the Palestinians to general elections.

Abbas needs to strike a delicate balance to make it work.

The Palestinian leader has to satisfy international demands that the interim government — to consist of politically independent technocrats — not be a front for Hamas, shunned by the West as a terror group. If it is seen as too close to Hamas, the Palestinians would likely lose hundreds of millions of dollars in Western aid.

.http://www.timesofisrael.com/mahmoud-abasss-balancing-act

 

 
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