The agreement between Fatah and Hamas to end the schism that has plagued the Palestinian system since June 2007 surprised not only the world but also most Palestinians. More than anything, it reflects the profound changes the Middle East is experiencing and the new regional dynamics unleashed by the ouster of Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak. For the better part of four years, Palestinian reconciliation was not an option. From the perspective of PLO, PA and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas, it came down to a simple choice: US-sponsored bilateral negotiations with Israel, which, accompanied by Western funding and other forms of support, would maintain Fatah control in the West Bank and lead to an independent Palestinian state; or Palestinian reconciliation, which would produce renewed international sanctions while strengthening the relative position of Hamas.
Read more here: The Fatah-Hamas Accord | The Nation.