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Palestinian factions see a window of opportunity

Positive developments on Palestinian reconciliation and the 72nd UN General Assembly were the two topics that dominated headlines in the region’s papers

Image Credit: REUTERS
An Israeli soldier aims his weapon during clashes with Palestinian protesters near the Jewish settlement of Qadomem, in the West Bank village of Kofr Qadom near Nablus September 8, 2017. REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman
Gulf News

Better late than never is an appropriate phrase for the step that was recently taken by Hamas following more than ten years of division in Palestine, wrote the UAE’s Al Khaleej.

“Whatever Hamas’ relations are with Iran or the Qatari regime, both have limited Hamas’ options and impeded previous efforts by Arab nations that would lead to Palestinian reconciliation. Whatever the reasons that drove Hamas towards this decision, regional and international developments may have led Hamas to reassess its stance. Hamas has reassessed its policies, alliances, relations and ideology and realised that the Palestinian issue is more important than any affiliations, ideologies and alliances. Most Palestinian factions welcomed the decision and expressed their satisfaction with the step taken by Hamas. They are hoping that this decision would lead to a real path towards reconciliation and that it would put an end to the Gaza Strip’s isolation from the rest of Palestine and Arab world, so that the Strip can once again become a habitable place, not a prison for 1.5 million human beings.”

On Sunday, Palestinians were revelling in some good news, something they have not had for a very long time, wrote Lebanon’s Daily Star. “In Gaza, Ramallah and the diaspora, they welcomed the announcement from Hamas that it has accepted key demands to end the decade-old split with Fatah by dissolving the committee that runs Gaza, inviting Abbas’ government to return to the Strip, and saying it is ready to hold new elections. At first glance, the news is hard to believe, and it will take some time to digest. But there is no doubt it should be welcomed unreservedly by the millions of Palestinians in and outside of Palestine. Let us hope that Fatah and Hamad have sobered up to the fact that their unity is vital to warding off all kinds of aggressive acts. Unity will give all Palestinians new strength and shield them from the storms raging around them.

UN General Assembly

The 72nd United Nations General Assembly meeting is a significant one for the world and Middle East, and it will witness an active Egyptian participation, said Egypt’s Al Ahram. “The meetings of Egyptian President Abdul Fattah Al Sissi during the General Assembly will focus on Egypt’s vision for current regional developments, in addition to ways to bolster the UN’s role in driving forward multi-pronged international work for reaching peaceful solutions in Arab and African crises. The General Assembly will also touch on ways to combat terrorism and extremism. This General Assembly is also the first for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who assumed his duties earlier this year.”

The agenda of this year’s UN session is inundated with regional and international political and economic crises, as well as armed conflicts, the North Korean nuclear programme and the unprecedented refugee crisis that many parts of the world face, noted the Jordan Times. “There is a pressing need for Arab nations to form a united front this year, when so many regional and international issues on the docket of the UN General Assembly await resolution. The Palestinian problem needs one single Arab position, Sto be put ahead of all other regional conflicts.”

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