History's End

History will end only when Man does

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  • Friday, December 03, 2004

    Hamas Appears to be Cracking

    The Jerusalem Post is reporting that some factions of Hamas, at least, are willing to agree to a two state solution(reg required).

    In an apparent change in long-standing policy, a top Hamas leader in the West Bank said Friday the group would accept the establishment of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip as well as a long-term truce with Israel.

    "Hamas has announced that it accepts a Palestinian independent state within the 1967 borders with a long-term truce," Sheik Hassan Yousef told The Associated Press, referring to lands Israel captured in the 1967 Six Day war.

    This is a major change for Hamas, which was founded on the basis of destroying Israel. However, not everyone in the organization agrees:
    However, in Lebanon, Hamas spokesman Ossama Hamdan denied the group had changed its policies. "I can say there has been no changes in the movement's stance and policy toward occupation," Hamdan said.
    It appears that the Israeli assassination of top Hamas leaders has had a decided effect. A leadership struggle within the organization appears to be under way. It is not out of the question for part of the organization to split off, or for more than two factions to appear. This is good news for Israel, assuming that this isn't a false hudna proposal. If Hamas, or most of it anyways, accepts a two state solution that Israel has much better prospects of being safe after it pulls its forces from Gaza and the West Bank. However, if Hamas does splinter, it could make it difficult for Israel to determine which factions pose a threat.

    Arafat's death might be part of this, although it is probably too soon to know for certain. The coming Palestinian 'election' will likely be a big indicator of how things turn out. If the moderates win, and Hamas does become more willing to accept peace, then we might finally be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Of course, we have had similar illusions before.

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