C’est une thèse assez répandue dans les milieux proches de l’Autorité palestinienne, mais elle n’a une grande crédibilité à mon humble avis.
Trump’s peace plan may have a surprising Palestinian partner: Hamas -
Senior Hamas figures are sending up a direct-negotiations trial balloon, indicating interest in buying into the White House plan to ease the crisis in Gaza. The consequences could be explosive
Muhammad Shehada SendSend me email alerts
Jun 25, 2018 4:56 PM
Last week, the former spokesperson of Hamas’ interior and security ministry, Islam Shahwan, posed an unusual question on Facebook.
“What if decision makers in Gaza invited [Israeli] decision makers to meet at the [Erez] border crossing to discuss Gaza’s tragic conditions, to find a direct solution between the two sides, away from the interventions of [Palestinian Authority, Egyptian and other mediator] devils?”
Facebook question by former Hamas spokesman, Islam ShahwanFacebook
It seems hardly coincidental that Shahwan raised this possibility of a public debate about direct contact with Israel at the same time as Trump Mideast advisors Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt were visiting the region to discuss Trump’s apparently imminent peace plan which, by many accounts, not least Kushner’s own hints, intends to deal with Gaza separately from the West Bank.
This trial balloon on such a sensitive topic, likely the result of instructions from high up in the ranks of Hamas, reveals a vital discourse going on now within the Islamist movement which rules Gaza. The same organization, formally dedicated to Israel’s destruction, now appears to be suggesting direct talks with it- to break the predicament of its reliance on mediators for what have been years of fruitless indirect talks with Israel.
Two hours after Shahwan’s post, senior Hamas analyst, Ibrahim al-Madhoun, proposed a framework for that dialogue: setting out, in effect, the best case scenario: maximum Hamas gains with minimal and unarticulated concessions. That can easily be seen as a tactic for neutralizing most kneejerk opprobrium for steps towards appeasement with Israel.
“Hamas doesn’t mind any deal through which Gaza will be set free, the blockade will be lifted, with a seaport and an airport and a prisoner swap. Weapons would be regulated, without giving up any of the rights of the Palestinian people,” he suggested.
Close enough to top Hamas leaders to know what’s going on behind the scenes, Al-Madhoun reiterated widely-reported news in the region - that Hamas is working with Egypt to push a comprehensive cease-fire deal with Israel. That deal would mean Hamas would stop building tunnels, continue to prevent primitive projectiles from being fired towards Israel, and participate in a prisoner swap. In return, Israel’s illegal blockade on Gaza would be lifted and Gaza would build an internationally-run airport and seaport.
The timing of reproducing such proposal might show how Hamas is hastening to pre-empt the Trump peace plan, to finally get a share of the “peace process cake” - and to have their revenge on the Paestinian Authority at the same time.
Palestinian Hamas top leader Ismail Haniyeh, center, attends the Eid al-Fitr prayers marking the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan, in Eastern Gaza City. June 15, 2018Khalil Hamra/AP
In fact, Hamas has consistently proposed those same parameters after each of the last three wars on Gaza. As Haaretz’s Amos Harel wrote last week, quoting a former senior IDF official, that Hamas’ proposals are known and predictable, and “whatever issues will be discussed [after a new round of fighting] can and should be discussed now.”