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Vipin asked: When people in Gaza don't recognise the Palestinian national authority, how can there be a two state solution to Israel Palestine question?

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  • S. Samuel C. Rajiv replies: It is important to note that the Hamas which is in power in Gaza does not recognise the PNA, which consists of the Mahmoud Abbas-led Fatah. It can safely be assumed that Fatah also has significant cadres inside Gaza. After Hamas secured a majority in the January 2006 elections, it was not recognised by Israel given that the Hamas’ Charter calls for the destruction of Israel among other issues of contention between the two sides.

    Violence between Hamas and Fatah which erupted in July 2007 led to the loss of over 600 lives. Since then, despite efforts at mediation by Egypt, Jordan, and the Arab League, both factions have not come to a common understanding on the future contours of their movement against Israel. When Jordan hosted peace talks between Israel and the PNA in January 2012, Hamas termed them as a ‘farce’ and ‘a waste of time’. It is pertinent to note that this was the first direct contact between the two parties since September 2010 when they met in Washington.

    Israel has played up the differences between Hamas and Fatah to highlight the fact that the core problem in realising the two-state solution is the lack of an effective negotiating partner on the other side who can deliver on the possible terms of a future agreement while ensuring Israeli security. The Fatah, of course, does not subscribe to this view and holds Israeli policies on issues like the settlements among others as the major stumbling block.