Monday, April 15, 2024

Palestinian groups aim to come together in Moscow to work together, while Russia tries to play a bigger part in the conflict in Gaza

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Groups from Palestine, who haven’t been getting along for a long time, are having a meeting in Moscow. They want to talk about making a new government after the old one resigned. The plan is to bring all these groups together under the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), a bunch of parties that agreed to peace with Israel in 1993. They want to create a new government in the Palestinian Authority (PA). This info was shared by Hussein Hamayel, who speaks for the Fatah political party, in an interview with CNN.

Hamas is also part of the discussion, even though they are fighting with Israel in Gaza. Over 30,000 people have died in this conflict. It’s important to note that Hamas doesn’t belong to the PLO and doesn’t accept Israel. Khaled Elgindy, a senior fellow at the Middle East Institute, thinks it’s crucial to include groups like Hamas to improve and bring life back to the PLO. Without them, the PLO can’t really say it represents everyone.

Fatah is in control of both the PLO and the PA. The PA is like a temporary government in the part of the West Bank controlled by Israel, set up after they agreed to the Oslo Accords in 1993.

The PA is not liked by many Palestinians because they think it’s corrupt and can’t keep them safe from Israeli military actions. The United States wants the PA to make changes.

Hamas used to control Gaza until 2007 when they were kicked out by the PA after winning elections. Now, Hamas runs Gaza, and the PA controls parts of the West Bank.

The PA Foreign Minister, Riyad al-Maliki, hopes that people will agree on supporting a technocratic government, but he doesn’t expect anything miraculous. He thinks there should be more meetings in the region after the one in Moscow.

If Hamas joins the PLO, it would be a big deal. It could bring all Palestinian groups together and create a government that everyone agrees on. They want a government without any political group members but approved by all of them.

Even if Hamas joins the PLO, it doesn’t mean they automatically accept Israel. It might limit what the PLO can agree to in future talks with Israel.

Hamas has said before that they’d accept a Palestinian state on lands taken by Israel in the 1967 war but won’t recognize Israel. Israel doesn’t want the PA to return to Gaza after the war, but the US wants a changed PA that can rule both areas.

The hard parts of Hamas joining the PLO would be deciding how much power they get and what happens to their weapons and fighters. It’s tough because Fatah and Hamas, the main groups, would have to give up some power for national unity.

Russia wants a bigger role in the conflict and offered to help mediate between Hamas and Israel. They haven’t directly condemned the October 7 attack on Israel, even though 16 Russians died that day. This is different from how they usually act as a peacemaker. Russia also gets criticized for not calling Hamas a terrorist group, but they have pressured them to change in the past.

Russia is hosting talks to control how people see things in a conflict where Western countries are also involved. According to Borshchevskaya, there’s a battle for global stories happening, and Russia might be winning. She thinks Russia is doing these talks just to talk.

President Vladimir Putin is making things messy in the region to make the West and its supporters weaker, according to Borshchevskaya. She believes that in both the fighting and the way we tell the story, the West is losing against Russia.

Elgindy thinks Russia is joining the war to show off its power and grow its influence in the Middle East, making the US look bad. He says Russia can talk to all Palestinian groups, even Hamas, which the US can’t do and many Arab countries don’t want to do.


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