There are few things more important to average Palestinians than seeing reconciliation between their two main political factions, Fatah and Hamas. For a decade, the Palestinian political system has been divided between them, with Fatah governing in the West Bank and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
While the split has suited the parochial interests of both factions, which have been able to manage affairs in their respective enclaves uncontested by the other, it has been disastrous to Palestinians as a whole and to the national interest of ending Israel’s military occupation.
Last week, Fatah and Hamas embarked on a new effort at reconciliation. It was heralded by the visit of Rami Hamdallah, the prime minister of a reconciliation government that was formed three years ago but fell apart over factional discord, to the Gaza Strip to chair a Cabinet meeting with Hamas leaders and begin the process of Hamas handing over governing control of the territory to the Palestinian Authority.