Hamas and Fatah have reached a reconciliation agreement

The report about the reconciliation agreement signed in initials between Fatah and Hamas has caught many by surprise. This surprise was the result of Hamas denying Mahmoud Abbas' call for a joint decision on elections only two months ago, and the fact that it appeared as thought recent regime changes in Egypt were in Hamas favor.

Now, in attempt to explain Hamas decision to cooperate, many suggest that the developments in Syria have raised Hamas to act before Assad's regime, one of the movement most loyal supporters may fall down.

I tend to believe that this analysis is incomplete, at best.
Hamas has shown in the past that it is very capable of using democratic processes to get to power, and has no inhibitions when the time comes to throw away all democratic pretenses and take power by force. That is how the movement got its control over the Gaza strip in middel 2007, remember ?

Remembering that Hamas, like other extreme movements in history has no respect for agreements or democracy, one has to wonder why Fatah has chosen this route. The  answer is simple - without a unity government, it will be much harder for the Palestinians to demand a recognition of their coming state from the world. But under a unified government, there will be less moral objections and a clearer cause - recognizing the Palestinian's right of self determination, which has been denied from them since 1948.

I believe that both Hamas and Fatah believe that the future, following the declaration of the independent state, is a future in which their side will be stronger. The declaration, which will most probably take place on September, is anticipated to receive support from the vast majority of the international community, and it will take place in what will probably be a changing middle east.
Hamas probably assumes an Egypt with the Muslim brothers having a dominant and improving position, a Syria whose regime, whatever it may be, under heavy pressure from Iran, and who knows what may happen until then in Jordan and other countries, in the age of revolutions.
Fatah probably assumes an Egypt with a democratic regime roughly supported by the army, a new secular leadership in Syria supported by the west, and a middle east which is more similar in ideology, world-views  and perceptions to Fatah's modern views, than to the extrenen Muslim movements, of which Hamas can be counted.

Considering the fact that both sides are well aware of the events that took place in 2007, and that the army wing of Hamas, unlike its civilian wing, have not yet come to terms with the concept of power-sharing, I fear that the agreement shall not remain valid in the years to come, and that both sides, captured in their own version of the prisoner's dilemma, shall try to be the one to make the best out of this agreement, before making the first move on the other side.

One can only hope that such unilateral moves shall not take place before  the establishment of an independent Palestinian state. If that will be the case, it might just be that  Palestinians and Israelis will be able to use this opportunity to reach a peace agreement, and following that, the political dynamics, together with thoseof the middle east age of revolutions, will take all sides involved to a better future than they are even able to imagine right now.

Is it a fool's dream ? Only time will tell. 

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