A deal has been reached between Fatah and Hamas to create a Palestinian unity government that will serve for one year, until elections are held. The truth is a Palestinian government that represents all Palestinians, and with security and governance capacity in both the West Bank and Gaza, is vital to any future peace agreement.
What we know for sure:
• Efforts to pressure Hamas through boycotts and blockade have failed. They have neither ousted Hamas from power nor forced it to accept international pressure . Instead, these policies contributed to creating a miserable humanitarian situation that has sparked harsh criticism of Israel throughout the world.
• The current status quo (since the 2008 Gaza War) is not sustainable. Renewed rocket attacks from Gaza threaten to escalate into broader conflict. Gilad Shalit remains a prisoner. Military force alone cannot “solve” the problem of Gaza.
What we need to do:
• The international community needs to demand that Hamas end/prevent rocket and mortar attacks on Israel.
• Israel has to end the siege on Gaza, while leaving reasonable Israeli measures to block the import of weapons in to the area.
Get the peace process back on track. In the absence of a credible effort to reach a negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict – one that takes into account the situation in Gaza – extremists will inevitably gain popular support.