Jerusalem Reacts to Hamas/Fateh ‘Unity’
On April 28th, formerly rivaling Palestinian parties announced their
intention to begin reconciliation and hold an election within one year.
Hamas is in power in the Gaza strip and Fateh is the leading party in the
Palestinian Authority, ruling the West Bank. Since 2006 the parties have
fought each other, leading to hundreds of casualties and many failed
attempts to reach reconciliation. In 2005 Palestinian political prisoner
Marwan Barghouti managed to convince all party representatives to sign
The Prisoner’s Document which laid out the plan for unity, however the
document did not translate to unity on the ground. In recent months, youth
in the occupied territories have been demanding the parties come
together and reconcile.
LIA TARACHANSKY, JOURNALIST: I’m Lia Tarachansky with The Real News in occupied East Jerusalem. On Thursday, April 28, the rivaling Fatah and Hamas parties announced their plan to reach reconciliation and hold an election within one year. We spoke to Palestinians on the eastern side of the green line and Israelis on the western side to get their response to the surprise announcement.
UNIDENTIFIED: I think that’s good. It will save lives. And the people arrested–you know that the Palestinian Authority arrested many people of Hamas. You know, in the same family, you have one from Fatah and one Hamas. They are brothers, and one of them Fatah, and Hamas. It’s a big problem to be fighting each other.
UNIDENTIFIED: I think, to be the same, to be the same. There are no difference between Hamas–. We are Palestinian, not this he have another idea or another idea. We want to live here in peace.
TARACHANSKY: Why do you think this is happening now?
UNIDENTIFIED: I think they’re tired of fighting. They spent three or four years fighting each other.
TARACHANSKY: Most Palestinians we spoke to on the street were afraid to express their political opinions publicly. Ola is a Palestinian 22-year-old university student who only agreed to be interviewed if her face wasn’t shown.
OLA: I don’t think that the results will be as we hope.
TARACHANSKY: So one of the things that they said is that they will hold an election in one year. Do you think that’s actually going to happen?
TARACHANSKY: Why not?
OLA: Honestly, no, because there is a motto in Arabic: [Itafaka el Arabou Ala El Atafakou]. This means that they reach the point that there would never be a peace in this world.
TARACHANSKY: The Real News also spoke to Israelis on the western side of the city.
TARACHANSKY (SUBTITLED TRANSL.): What was your reaction when you heard the Palestinian parties united?
UNIDENTIFIED (SUBTITLED TRANSL.): That it’s probably good.
UNIDENTIFIED (SUBTITLED TRANSL.): I think it’s a time bomb.
UNIDENTIFIED (SUBTITLED TRANSL.): Actually, I haven’t decided how I feel about it yet. It seems very obscure, very formless. Like everything else, it can develop in many directions. I don’t think there’s real unity between these parties.
TARACHANSKY (SUBTITLED TRANSL.): Why do you think the parties came together now?
UNIDENTIFIED (SUBTITLED TRANSL.): It’s an expression of the entire surroundings. The situation, whether in Egypt or the other Arab countries, is not right, and they want to show that everything is right with them and they’re taking positive steps.
UNIDENTIFIED (SUBTITLED TRANSL.): I think what’s happening now is the Palestinian state is on the verge of international recognition and they know they have to be united for that moment.
TARACHANSKY (SUBTITLED TRANSL.): The PM Benjamin Netanyahu replied the PA can either make peace with Hamas or with Israel. Do you agree?
UNIDENTIFIED (SUBTITLED TRANSL.): It was an unwise, emotional response.
UNIDENTIFIED (SUBTITLED TRANSL.): No, I think it’s not an intelligence response [sic].
UNIDENTIFIED (SUBTITLED TRANSL.): Every government in Israel didn’t want to talk to Hussein, but eventually talked to Arafat, Haniyeh. It’ll talk to everyone. There’s no choice.
End of Transcript
DISCLAIMER: Please note that transcripts for The Real News Network are typed from a recording of the program. TRNN cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.