Expert Urges to Ignore Palestinian-Hamas Deal, Continue Peace Talks

Middle East expert Professor Alex Bley of Ariel University sat down with Arutz Sheva Friday to analyze the reconciliation deal made between Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah faction and Hamas.

According to Bley, there is no great cause for surprise over the deal – and it should not have lead to a suspension of the peace talks, which are approaching an April 29 deadline.

“There were already five to six attempts like this in the past, and they never were completed,” noted the professor. “I’d propose that the government not hold emergency meetings or stop the peace talks.”

The world understands that the talks would have failed in any case, and that they were meant only as a means for each side to blame each other, according to Bley.

“We need to keep sending Tzipi Livni to talk with Abbas,” he argued.

Abbas “is trying to give Israel a message that if within five or six weeks there won’t be advances, he will bring the ‘big brother’ to beat us up,” said Bley, referring to Hamas. “But neither Hamas or Fatah really have the ability to make peace with each other.”

Abas on Tuesday demanded that Israel place a three month construction freeze on Judea and Samaria as a condition to extend peace talks, and threatened to disband the PA if Israel did not comply.

According to Bley, “the Palestinian public [. . .] isn’t interested in these deals” between Fatah and Hamas. “Residents of Gaza are hungry, they want food. The celebratory demonstrations (over the deal) were staged.”

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