Analysis: Why Hamas came out clear winner from Mecca summit

Khaled Abu Toameh, THE JERUSALEM POST Feb. 11, 2007

Hamas leaders have every reason to laugh all the way back from Mecca to Damascus and the Gaza Strip. The unity government agreement they signed with Fatah on Thursday, which has become known as the Mecca Accord, does not require Hamas to make any far-reaching concessions.

As one Hamas leader in Gaza City put it, “Fatah made 90 percent of the concessions, while Hamas made only 10%.”

Moreover, the same deal reached in Mecca could have been struck several months ago, when Hamas and Fatah launched the unity talks.

Some senior Fatah officials who participated in the Mecca summit admitted over the weekend that it was their party, and not Hamas, that was forced to compromise on most of the sticking points.

The officials even went so far as to criticize the Saudis for exerting heavy pressure on Palestinian Authority Chairman and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas to abandon some of his previous conditions for forming a unity government.

“On Thursday evening, the Saudis told us that we [had] only two hours to sign an agreement and that they [wouldn’t] accept any excuses,” a top Fatah official told The Jerusalem Post. “It was a real threat that made President Abbas very nervous and forced him to accept almost all of Hamas’s conditions.”

A careful reading of the understandings between the two parties shows that Fatah has moved closer to Hamas, and not vice-versa. The Palestinians’ general impression is that Abbas was forced to sign after all his US-backed attempts to weaken or topple the Hamas-led government failed.

Abbas is now likely to face trouble from within his Fatah party. Some “young guard” Fatah leaders are said to be disappointed with the “humiliating” deal which, in their view, turns Fatah into a “junior partner” in a Hamas-led government.

Why the agreement is perceived as a victory for Hamas:

February 11, 2007 | 1 Comment »

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  1. My comment: The “Mecca Accords” are a charade anyway. I look at Fatah and Hamas as the same piece of cloth. The only difference between the two is that Abbas talks sweet talk to the West. Hamas is at least honest and forthright in its hatreds. Their so-called meetings and accords are simply another Palestinian propaganda tool for the biased media to seize upon in their complicity to legitimize both Fatah and Hamas.

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