Palestinian Unity Government: Ineffectual Past, Encouraging Future?

Benjamin Moore

Abstract


Since Hamas’ electoral victory in 2006, one of the most consequential impediments to reaching a substantive breakthrough in Israeli-Palestinian negotiations has been the disunity of Palestinian government. With Hamas’ de jure control over the Gaza Strip and Fateh’s de facto reign in the West Bank, two separate Palestinian Authority governments currently exist. The Quartet refused to recognize the Hamas’ government, and instead imposed a stringent diplomatic and economic embargo. The parties’ brief participation in their National Unity Government (NUG) received near unanimous condemnation from the international community. Since the breakup of this NUG, international intransigence and inaction have characterized the internal Palestinian political situation, and as a result the greater peace process has stalled. Based primarily on personal interviews in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Israel and Lebanon, this work analyzes this impasse while providing and critiquing substantive solutions. Three main interdependent factors are shown to have the most inhibiting effects on unity government: international response; contention over security forces control; and disagreement on a political program. Despite the dismal nature of the present situation, the international community has potent policy options at its disposal.

Keywords


Fateh; Hamas; Unity Government

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