If Palestine is to have a bright future, the two main Palestinian factions need to stop their feud. The more secular Fatah with its support of negotiations with the Israelis and the Islamist Hamas with its rejection of direct talks, need to come back to being two political parties in one Palestinian state. They do not need to agree on everything, but they do need to agree on both being part of one Palestine.
The bitterness of their feud has wrecked Palestine. After Hamas beat Fatah decisively in the 2006 Palestinian parliamentary elections, it was denied office, but it seized power in Gaza in 2007, where it has stayed ever since.
Palestine has an urgent need of a government with a popular mandate which can stand up to Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing Israelis and seek American President Barack Obama’s active support for the two-state solution.
Therefore, it was astonishing to see a vast rally in Gaza last weekend in support of Fatah, to mark the anniversary of its founding.
It was a notable moment of emotional support for Fatah in Hamas-dominated Gaza, which should be grabbed by both Fatah’s Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas’ Esmail Haniya to build a better relationship, with the intention of reuniting the two halves of Palestine and holding new elections across the entire country so that Palestine has a better political future.