Last weekend, emissaries from the rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah met in Cairo and signed an agreement to put an end to Palestinian divisions. Again.
Even people who try to keep track of how many times the two organizations have agreed to reconcile have lost count. It's easy, on the other hand, to remember how many times the deals have achieved their stated goal of forging Palestinian unity: never.
Perhaps this is the one that will work. But experience has shown --- and then shown again -- that Hamas and Fatah have more reasons to remain apart than to come together. Profound ideological divisions and overpowering practical considerations conspire to keep the Islamists of Hamas and the pragmatists of Fatah from bridging their differences.