The Hamas-Fatah agreement creates a Janus-faced government in the West Bank and Gaza, which is more smoke and mirrors than reality. When the time comes to divide up the spoils, the deep-seated divisions between Hamas and Fatah will again come to the fore.
It seems likely that in the near term Egypt will be a society plagued by political intrigue and instability. The governments of the world must be vigilant for developments that could threaten the Suez Canal, the peace with Israel, and regional stability.
Egypt does not mind if Hamas bleeds Israel a little; it gains domestically by indirectly aiding Hamas; gains internationally by playing a mediating role (in a conflict which it helps maintain on a “low flame”); and is incapable of stopping the Sinai Bedouins who smuggle weapons into Gaza.
Many realize that the most important task confronting the international community today is the prevention of Iran’s nuclearization. Opinions are divided on the question of how to stop Iran without causing too much damage to other countries, including the Gulf States, Israel, and the US.
Since the 1991 Madrid Peace Conference, Arab leaders have repeated the mantra that peace with Israel hinges upon a withdrawal to the pre-1967 border. However, it is the Arab demand for a return of all Palestinian refugees to pre-1967 Israel that remains at the core of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and this demand disguises Arab intentions to destroy Israel.