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Rival Palestinian parties may be forced into alliance

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Significance

The document forms part of a major rebranding that aims to end years of isolation and earn the movement more regional and international legitimacy. It comes at a time of crisis in Hamas-controlled Gaza, as President Mahmoud Abbas, from the rival Fatah party, has cut off funds for electricity and salaries in an effort to force the Islamist movement to acknowledge his leadership. It may also reflect Hamas’s fear that Abbas’s meeting with US President Donald Trump in Washington today could launch a new Israeli-Palestinian peace process from which it will be excluded.

Impacts

  • A successful rebrand could improve relations with Egypt.
  • An eased Egyptian blockade and new Gulf Arab aid may improve the economic situation in Gaza in the longer term.
  • Nevertheless, desperation over the immediate humanitarian crisis in Gaza raises the risk of renewed hostilities with Israel.
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