Palestinian unity government: EU should find ways to cooperate
Hamas and Fatah, along with other Palestinian factions and parties, signed a unity agreement on the 27th of April, with the aim of ending a four-year-long political division of the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The announcement of the deal came as a surprise as the reconciliation efforts stalled mid-2009, when Hamas refused to sign an agreement brokered by Egypt. The agreement, involving 13 Palestinian factions and the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), is a result of popular pressure and a first step to restore the democratic deficit in the oPt. It also presents the international community with a new opportunity to change the status quo. Delivery of development aid to the Gaza Strip could become far less constrained. Dealing with a technocratic unity government could also be an opportunity to push Hamas to become a responsible political player and respect international humanitarian law (IHL).
(Photo credit: EP, Flickr)