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25
Apr
2014

The Hamas-Fatah Accord: A Legal Perspective

Any unity accord between Fatah, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad, and any unity government established on the basis of such an accord, in order to be acceptable to Israel and to the international community, must fulfill the PLO’s Oslo commitments to combat and prohibit all forms of terror as well as the Quartet principles for recognition of Hamas. It would constitute a serious erosion of the original peace process if Hamas was not expected to do at least what the PLO had to do in 1993.

These requirements include a clear commitment by Hamas/Islamic Jihad to end all terror, recognize Israel, and accept the agreements between the PLO and Israel, including the very clear commitments by the PLO to end, and to act against, terror. In other words, it is not enough for any new Palestinian unity government to adhere to these terms, but also the parties that create this government must meet this requirement as well.

Any new Palestinian unity government that does not fulfill, formally and openly, such requirements would be incompatible with and in violation of the very basis of the peace process, and would undermine the series of agreements that serve as the basis for any further negotiation.

Such a situation of frustration of the Oslo accords would oblige Israel to view the accords as no longer valid, and to take whatever unilateral measures it considers necessary to ensure its security and other interests, and to prevent Palestinian weaponry and monies, including international funding, from being placed in the hands of Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

About Amb. Alan Baker

Amb. Alan Baker, Director of the Institute for Contemporary Affairs at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, participated in the negotiation and drafting of the Oslo Accords with the Palestinians, as well as agreements and peace treaties with Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon. He served as legal adviser and deputy director-general of Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and as Israel's ambassador to Canada.
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