Reactions to Terror Attack Raise Doubts that PA-Hamas Reconciliation Can Bring Peace

The reactions to Tuesday morning’s terror attack that left three Israelis dead by the two largest Palestinian political factions raise doubts that reconciliation between them can boost the chances of peace with Israel.

On its official Facebook page, the Nablus chapter of Fatah, the main party constituting the Palestinian Authority, called Nimr Mahmoud Ahmed Al-Jamal, the shooter who killed the three Israelis and wounded a fourth, a “martyr.” This designation according to PA regulations means that Al-Jamal’s family will qualify for a 6,000 shekel ($1700) grant and monthly stipends up to 2,600 shekel ($737), according to Palestinian Media Watch.

A spokesman for Hamas, the Gaza-based terrorist group and other major Palestinian faction, also praised the attack.

“Once again Jerusalem proves that it is the heart of the conflict with the occupation,” Hamas spokesman Hazim Qassim said in a Facebook post, The Jerusalem Post reported. “The operation this morning in northern Jerusalem is a new chapter of the Jerusalem intifada and… an affirmation that our uprising youth will continue to fight until the people and land are completely liberated.”

The support for the terror attack comes at a time that the Palestinian Authority and Hamas have reportedly arrived at a reconciliation agreement. PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah will return to Gaza next week to begin the process of the PA taking over administrative control of the Gaza Strip.

Hamdallah and other PA officials will arrive in Gaza in order “to begin assuming the responsibilities of the government,” a statement released by the PA said.

The reconciliation with Hamas, which is still committed to terrorism against Israel, would put the PA at odds with the Quartet’s Roadmap for Peace which outlines the necessary conditions for peace with Israel. The Quartet principles were endorsed by the United Nations Security Council, and requires Palestinian leadership to issue an “unequivocal statement reiterating Israel’s right to exist in peace and security and calling for an immediate end to all acts of violence against Israelis anywhere.”  The support for the terror attack by both Fatah and Hamas shows that both reject the Quartet principles.

In a press briefing hosted by The Israel Project last week, former deputy national security adviser Elliott Abrams noted that President Donald Trump was “quite unhappy with the behavior of Mahmoud Abbas during the Temple Mount incident, where he could have spoken in ways that would have ended the crisis. Instead his rhetoric was hot.” According to Abrams, Abbas’s actions “really changed their [the Trump administration’s] opinion of him.”

During a May meeting with Abbas, Trump told the Palestinian leader, “Peace can never take root in an environment where violence is tolerated, funded and even rewarded.”

[Photo: PM Dr. Rami Hamdallah / YouTube]