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Hope for Peace between Palestinians

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TEHRAN, April 8 (ICANA) – The visit of acting Palestinian Authority Chief Mahmoud Abbas to Cairo paves the way for future visits by Palestinian officials after the fall of Hosni Mubarak.
Friday, April 08, 2011 7:31:02 PM
Hope for Peace between Palestinians

High-ranking Egyptian diplomatic sources say the heads of the Hamas and Islamic Jihad movements have also been invited to Cairo and the prospect of a peace agreement has increased.

Hosni Mubarak, the deposed Egyptian dictator, was one of the main obstacles to a peace agreement between various Palestinian factions. Omar Suleiman, former chief of the former Egyptian central intelligence agency, had drawn up a peace agreement in accordance with the US and Israel but Hamas was not willing to sign the agreement. Even the Fatah movement didn't completely agree with the peace agreement.

Agreement to the peace deal was a prerequisite for Hamas officials to be able to travel to Egypt and the rest of the world. Hamas officials had not been able to enter Gaza in the past two years as they have refused to agree to the terms of the agreement. The Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil al-Arabi has lifted this restriction.

Egypt, Israel and the US have laid the Gaza Strip under siege. Israel's policy to limit imports of various products into the Gaza Strip was met with harsh international condemnation. Many European governments have asked Israel to put an end to its inhumane blockade of the Gaza Strip.

Still, Egypt constructed a metal barrier on its boder with Palestine during Mubarak's rule to stop the flow of goods and deprived the Palestinian people of their basic needs; and the US did not do anything to put an end to the siege.

The only way out of this situation was for Hamas in Gaza to agree to Egypt's conditions in the peace talks with Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank. The recognition of Israel was at the center of the preconditions. For Israel, geographic as well as political separation between Gaza and the West Bank was the ideal situation. The US and Israel would veto all attempts of reconciliation between the Palestinians. International recognition of Palestine based on the 1967 borders was meaningless without the participation of Hamas. Therefore, there was no way out of the stalemate.

Egyptian youth found the solution. The US and Israeli plans to prevent a peace deal between the Palestinians took a blow from a place where it was least expected. The fall of Hosni Mubarak was not only a domestic affair. Its regional effects will slowly begin to emerge.

The new leadership in Egypt is not among the group of governments opposing the US but is no longer in the hands of Israel and at the service of the US like it was in the past regarding Palestine. The recent statements made by Egyptian foreign minister regarding Egypt's ties with Iran and the upcoming visit of Iran's foreign minister to Cairo is not viewed positively by Israel and the US.

In its latest report, the World Bank announced that the Palestinian Authority (PA) is capable of managing an independent state in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. According to the bank's estimates, Palestine had an eight-percent economic growth in 2010, thanks to foreign aid.

Now that Palestine is about to be recognized as a state in the United Nations, the publication of this report gives Palestinians an international credit. It also results in the increase of other governments' cooperation with them as an independent country.

Israel has so far described the measures taken by European and Latin American countries to recognize the independent state of Palestine as futile, but how long can Israel hide its head in the sands?

Arab governments are changing one after another. Even if a regime does not change, its policies will change. One of the important aspects of the old Middle East -- before January 2011 -- was that there was no connection between the governments and the nations regarding decisions made in the foreign and domestic policy.

For example, while the majority of the Egyptian people demanded the Gaza siege to end, former Egyptian ruler Hosni Mubarak was involved in the intensification of the siege. This situation in Middle East is changing.

Israel's announcement that Head of Egypt's Higher Military Council Mohamed Hussein Tantawi has promised that Camp David accords will continue to be the framework of bilateral relations is not enough.

Holding free elections in Egypt and other Arab countries will result in people's real representatives entering Parliaments. This means the great distance that existed between Arab nations and their governments in the past will decrease. The new governments of Arab countries will no longer be able to ignore their nations' public opinion about domestic and international issues.

So far, Israel has behaved as if nothing has changed in the region. Measures such as attacking Gaza and assassinating Palestinian fighters, kidnapping a Palestinian engineer in Ukraine, launching an aerial attack against Sudan and killing two people on the suspicion that they are Palestinians, passing numerous laws for expanding settlement construction in the West Bank, may at first seem like taking advantage of an opportunity, but it shows that Israel has not understood the region's fundamental changes.

Some former Israeli officials, including the heads of its security and intelligence organizations, have presented a plan based on which Israel will withdraw from lands occupied during the 1967 war and will give parts of East Al-Quds to Palestinians. It also includes joint Israeli-international supervision of al-Aqsa Mosque and the establishment of an arms-free Palestine. The advocates of this plan say that they have formulated it according to their analysis from Middle East's future after the Arab revolutions.

Aside from the stance Palestine might take, the main problem of this plan is convincing the Israeli government and society which are moving toward right-wing extremism and fascism. (Press TV)

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