The futility of talking peace....
A great article by Khaled Abu Toameh...
The US Administration, which just forced Israel and the Palestinian Authority to enter direct peace negotiations, seems to have completely forgotten about the Gaza Strip. Perhaps Washington is deliberately sticking its head in the sand; and perhaps we should all stop dreaming?
The peace process is going nowhere and everyone is just pretending: it is important to remind everyone of what they want to conceal or forget.
The Americans seem to be ignoring Gaza: Possibly -- even though the Gaza Strip is back in the news as rockets and mortars are again being fired into Israel -- they do not want the grim reality to spoil the Peace Process Party.They know that for now the Gaza Strip is a lost cause, so they pretend the problem does not exist.
If the Obama administration is hoping that apeace deal might prompt the Hamas and the residents of the Gaza Strip to seek a similar deal, they are they are being naïve; on the contrary, such a deal would only increase Hamas's determination to step up itsefforts -- with the help of Syria and iran -- to scuttle the peace process.
The first and most important question that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton need to ask themselves is whether the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, would ever even be able to implement a peace agreement in the Gaza Strip.
Abbas and his Fatah faction fled the Gaza Strip just over three years ago, handing it over to Hamas. As soon as Hamas started shooting in the summer of 2007, Abbas's forces and loyalists either surrendered or ran away.
They gave Hamas everything, including security headquarters, weapons, and government offices.
The handful of Fatah policemen and militiamen who chose to put up a fight were swiftly crushed by Hamas.
Since then, Abbas has not been able to set foot in the Gaza Strip. He is not even able to visit his private residence, which was seized by Hamas.
The Palestinian president is not a fool and he is acting properly by following the advice of his security advisors not to even consider the idea of visiting the Gaza Strip.
Abbas's seaside headquarters, once an important symbol of the Palestinian Authority's control over the Gaza Strip, has been turned into a Hamas detention center, where many of the president's loyalists are being held and tortured at the hands of the Islamist movement.
Have Obama and Clinton ever given a thought as to whether the Palestinian president has the power to enforce a peace agreement in the "southern part of Palestine" - the Gaza Strip?
Any peace agreement Abbas reaches with Israel will apply only to those areas in the West Bank that are under the jurisdiction or control of the Palestinian Authority.
By being forced out of the Gaza Strip, Abbas lost direct control over some 1.5 million Palestinians, roughly half the Palestinians living in the Palestinian territories.