When The People Don’t Need Divides – Alaa Mahdi Kudaih, Gaza, Palestine

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Gaza, Palestine – In the middle of May 2007, the differences between the Palestinian National Liberation Movement (Fatah) and the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) led to conflict between the two parties. These conflicts ended with many dead and each organisation getting a part of the Palestinian land, both administratively and politically. Fatah got the West Bank and Hamas, Gaza.

This division undeniably undermined the struggle of the Palestinian people for freedom, since Palestinians were forced to either support or oppose Fatah and Hamas, respectively. Under their administration the quality of people living in both territories was largely neglected, in light of the skirmish between them and the Israeli authorities. However, possible the saddest side-effect of this division was that it forced Palestinians into yet another conflict, this time between them, as supporters of Hamas and Fatah have not hesitate to murder their fellow Palestinians who support the opposite faction. Ironically enough, even divorce rates have increased in the last two years, especially in the Gaza Strip,as a result of the political differences between the spouses or the families of the couple.

A survey reported that that 84.6% of Palestinian families were affected by the division and conflict. 62% of those who have experienced conflict also claimed that it caused family problems and 19,9% even had to resolve to the use of violence and threats. Many also reported that their contacts had changed as a result of not being able to find common group with their political opponents.

Many countries, like Saudi Arabia in 2007, Egypt in 2009 and Syria in 2010 intervened to ease the tensions between the two organizations, to no avail, of course. Recently, Qatar called for reconciliation. The leaders and officials of the two factions negotiated, hoping to find a solution to their problems and create a common government that will work to improve living conditions in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. After two days of intense negotiations, no progress had been made, as both sides were extremely reluctant to compromise, remaining strong on their incongruent position.

As the Palestinian division continues, it seems as if their is no end in sight and no hope for the people. With the internal divides still raging, a possible negotiation and solution with Israel seems rather utopic, if not completely unfeasible.

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