Fri 13-10-2017 09:59 AM

UAE Press: Palestinian deal offers good opportunity to push forward Middle East peace process

ABU DHABI, 13th October, 2017 (WAM) -- A UAE newspaper has said that the agreement reached between Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah on ending a decade-long split following talks mediated by Egypt is a step in the right direction and offers a fairly good opportunity to push forward the Middle East peace process.

In an editorial on Friday, The Gulf Today said, "The Cairo meetings were largely seen as an ideal chance to achieve national reconciliation that could help serve the interests of the Palestinian people and their just cause.

The paper continued, "There’s nothing that cannot be solved through the noble path of dialogue. The fact that leaders from all sides ignored the failures of the past to give peace a chance is itself a heartening development.

"One of the key issues has been measures taken by President Mahmoud Abbas against Gaza in recent months, including reducing electricity payments that left the territory’s residents with only a few hours of power a day. The agreement has effectively addressed this issue, with a senior Fatah leader in the Gaza Strip, Zakaria Al Agha, quoted as stating that all the measures taken recently would end very shortly.

"Another major issue was the fate of 40,000-50,000 public employees Hamas hired in Gaza since 2007. Under the deal, these employees will receive 50 per cent of what their PA salary would be or equivalent to what they are being paid now by Hamas pending vetting of their professional qualifications.

"Celebrations that broke out in the Gaza Strip after the announcement of the deal saw residents waving flags of Egypt, Palestine, Fatah and Hamas, which is an indication that people favour the agreement.

"A proposed meeting in Cairo on 21st November to be attended by various Palestinian political movements should thrash out many pending issues through sincere negotiations so as to help form a unity government.

"Gazans have long suffered especially owing to a sinking economy, border blockades and shattered infrastructure. Now that could be addressed.

"The world has been waiting for a Palestine state for decades. It was internal Palestinian strife that for long remained an obstacle to peacemaking. Strong Palestinian unity could surely bolster revival of the long-stalled talks on a Palestinian state," concluded the Sharjah-based daily.

WAM/Esraa Ismail