||This week, the two main Palestinian ruling factions – Fatah and Hamas – announced they will create a unity government. A unity government gives Hamas, currently in control of Gaza, access to much more territory, including the West Bank, and places, at further risk, Israeli civilians who have as recently as this month been the victims of Hamas’ murderous attacks launched from Gaza.
By including Hamas in the government, Palestinian leadership has sided with violence and terrorism rather than entering into serious negotiations with Israel. Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, who began the process of building a flourishing Palestinian economy and effective institutions of civil society, will not be part of the new government, further weakening any possibility of peace, democracy and prosperity for the Palestinian people. This is a troubling event for all of us who support a two-state solution and pray for peace.
Israeli President Shimon Peres, who is deeply committed to the peace process, said it clearly:
"The move, as it stands, is a fatal mistake." A Palestinian election could lead to a "terror organization ruling both Gaza and Judea and Samaria and the triumph of Hamas' policies."
A Palestinian unity government with Hamas – an organization which in its charter seeks the destruction of the State of Israel – leaves Israel without a partner for peace. Instead, as Peres noted, it indicates the Palestinian Authority would prefer "walking hand in hand with a terror organization," than make any effort toward peace.
Peres added that the result of the unity government would be "continued rocket fire, the continued killing of innocent people, and the continuation of Iran's intervention, which supports and funds regional terror."
Those of us who have visited Sderot understand Hamas. Years of rocket fire have scarred the children of Sderot and those of us who have experienced those rocket attacks first hand will always remember the pain of the children and their families. We would all do well to read the Hamas charter to fully understand the danger faced by Israel, the Jewish people and the entire democratic world.
We join President Peres in his hope for peace:
"Unite for peace instead of creating a façade of unity that would prevent you from moving in any direction. The choice is in all our hands and we mustn't miss the opportunity created to make peace in favor of incessant clashes."
Please forward this to 10 of your friends so that they understand what this accord between Fatah and Hamas really means, and how it damages hopes for peace.