"The Palestinian Authority has to choose either peace with Israel or peace with Hamas. Peace is impossible with both of them. Hamas is trying to destroy Israel, and sends missiles on our cities and our children."
In response to Netanyahu's statement, a spokesman for PA President Mahmoud Abbas announced: "we say that the Palestinian reconciliation and the agreement that was signed today in Cairo are internal Palestinian issues."
Concurring, Hamas representative Mahmoud Azhar reiterated that his organisation's policy is "no recognition [of Israel] and no negotiations". (http://www.palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=157&doc_id=4951)
Switzerland is one of the few Western countries to talk openly with Hamas, and a reader of my blog, Roger, who resides in Switzerland, has alerted me to outrageously contentious remarks by Swiss analyst Riccardo Bocco in the course of an interview by Swissinfo, the news platform of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation.
"I have complained again and again about their relentless demonisation and delegitimisation of Israel but to no avail. This interview is a typical example."
"The negotiations that were going on had been stalled until the beginning of 2011. The events of the Arab Spring have just sped things up, pushing Hamas and Fatah to get together....
We really need to wait and see what the precise contents of the agreement are. It will be interesting to see what position Hamas takes: will it renounce violence and agree to recognise the state of Israel? From a purely strategic point of view, Hamas may be ready to make concessions, as long as there is some reciprocity - they too want to be recognised.Netanyahu has of course no interest in a united Fatah and Hamas. He has no real desire to make peace. He would be happy with a form of economic peace which would not involve the creation of a Palestinian state. As long as there are internal divisions among the Palestinians, Israel can point to the fact that there are no negotiation partners representative of the whole Palestinian people.
I am not trying to defend Hamas here, but we are looking at two kinds of terrorism: Hamas kills Israeli civilians, and Israel carries on its own state terrorism targeting the Palestinian civilian population. Getting out of this dilemma will require political will which only the United States can provide.
If the processes of change presently going on, particularly in Egypt, yield positive results - for example with the adoption of political pluralism - this will continue to give an impulse to processes of democratisation in other countries.
Israel will find itself in difficulty once it is no longer able to claim that it is the only democracy in the Middle East. At that point, one might begin to wonder about the kind of "democracy" that really exists in Israel, a country which discriminates against its Palestinian minority and which occupies another state using processes of colonisation.
To the best of my knowledge, there was no direct Swiss involvement in this latest Cairo agreement. I don’t know what role Swiss diplomacy will have in future, but I feel proud of what it has accomplished so far.
When there was that boycott of Hamas in 2006, Switzerland was one of the few to engage in dialogue with the new administration. The Swiss government’s position is an intelligent one. To boycott Hamas, as the Americans and Israelis did, just sends a message to al-Qaida and other extremist groups that following the path of democracy to achieve power gets you nowhere. And what was the result? Many of them have just kept up the armed struggle."http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/specials/the_arab_spring/Arab_Spring_brings_Fatah_and_Hamas_together.html?cid=30119032