Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Hamas, Israel, Unfrozen Tax Revenues, & Coincidence

Today it was reported that Israel would release some of the tax revenue and customs payments it had withheld on behalf of the Palestinian Authority to said authority. Israel had withheld the money last month because of Palestine's successful bid to change its status at the United Nations.

Quite separately Haaretz is reporting that Khaled Meshal of Hamas's political bureau has accepted the idea of a two-state solution between Israel and Palestine. Mr. Meshal gave King Abdullah of Jordan permission to share this concession with President Obama (though perhaps not Haaretz).

I'm wondering if A isn't connected to B somehow. A good friend tells me Mr. Meshal has designs on the Palestine Liberation Organization chairmanship  Also, Mr. Meshal met with King Abdullah on Monday and Tony Blair met with Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday.  This is all conjecture on my part, and even to me feels way too linear and neat, but if the Hamas not running the Gaza Strip is moving toward accepting a two-state solution it would be an incredibly interesting development.

To be sure, the Israel-Palestine peace process is all but non-existent right now, but if it does get going again having a faction of Hamas receptive to a two-state solution it could change the underlying dynamics of the negotiations as compared to the past couple decades.

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