Palestinians throw another wrench in peace process

Thursday, April 28, 2011 |  Ryan Jones

A year ago, the Palestinian Authority defeated American efforts to kick-start the peace process by refusing to sit at the negotiating table with Israel.

Since the start of this year, the Palestinians have been laying the groundwork for a unilateral declaration of independence backed by the UN General Assembly.

Now, the regime of so-called Palestinian "moderate" Mahmoud Abbas is determined to put the final nail in the coffin of the peace process by reconciling with blood-soaked terrorist organization Hamas.

On Wednesday, Hamas and Abbas' own Fatah faction signed a preliminary reconciliation agreement brokered by the interim government in Egypt. The document is meant to be a first step toward a Hamas-Fatah unity government.

If the two groups come together, the US Congress is threatening to cut off American financial aid to the Palestinians. US law forbids granting financial aid to recognized terrorist organizations.

Israeli Prime Minister says the move will effectively kill any chances of a bilateral peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.

Hamas agrees.

"Our plan does not involve negotiations with Israel or recognizing it," Hamas delegation leader Mahmoud Zahar told The Jerusalem Post. "It will be impossible for an interim government to take part in the peace process with Israel."

World powers had previously expressed willingness to accept Hamas as part of the peace process, but only if it recognized Israel's right to exist.

It should be remembered that Hamas actually holds a majority in the Palestinian parliament after being overwhelmingly voted into power by the Palestinian public in 2006.

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