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The Fatah-Hamas accord is unlikely to produce either unity or improve prospects for peacemaking; indeed, it could actually make serious negotiations and a settlement harder to achieve. Against the backdrop of a largely young and secular Arab Spring, Hamas’ message has grown old and tired; its Islamist trope isn’t all that compelling any more. Nor was armed struggle ever a terribly resonant tactic if the goal was to improve the lives of Palestinians in Gaza. In addition, Hamas’ association with two regimes (Syria and Iran) that are gunning down their own citizens in the streets isn’t an endearing image for the Palestinian public.

How can anyone say to Israelis that they have to negotiate with – much less make concessions to – a Palestinian government, half of which won’t recognize Israel or lay down its arms?

(Aaron David Miller – Foreign Policy)

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