Six Months or Intifada Three

November 25, 2006

Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal has given the international community six months to reach “real political horizons.” Those horizons are to return Palestine to the pre-1967 War borders.

This is the needed support for Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas to go into negotiations knowing that his efforts will not be short-circuited by Hamas, an influential political group which also won electoral office in the Palestinian Authority. It is also a needed signal that violence will not get out of control, considering the ongoing Israeli air strikes of the occupied territories and the Qassam rocket launches into Israel. It once again reaffirms Hamas’ willingness to operate within diplomatic confines.

However, the statement does come with a deadline; if it is not respected, Mashaal warns of a third Intifada. This means that while Hamas’ response to the ongoing fighting in and around Gaza will be measured for now, a full offensive from Hamas and its allies is likely if there is no progress on the peace talks in six months.

Hamas publicized its intentions of acting from within the political system when Ariel Sharon was Prime Minister in Israel. At the time, the then Israeli Prime Minister made his own overtures to the Palestinians signaling his desire to reach a peace deal. Since, the situation has deteriorated with current Prime Minister Olmert’s stay in office; since July, his government has proceeded with several acts of preventative violence in Gaza and Lebanon.

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One Response to “Six Months or Intifada Three”

  1. J Says:

    I’d be surprised if Mashaal is still alive in six months.


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