Once the demonstrations were underway in Palestine it seemed both Hamas and Fatah rushed to ‘support’ the demonstrators and called for reconciliation. Except here’s what happened, Hamas’ Ismail Haniyah first declared that he wants to go back to the negotiation tables with Fatah to work towards achieving a solution and end the division, Fatah officials responded by echoing the same concept, pushing for Salam Fayyad’s unity government proposal as a start. Then came the big announcement, President Abbas declared he will visit the Gaza Strip as an effort to end the division, how and when that visit was going to happen I and many are unsure of. The response from Hamas however, has been rather muffled, perhaps Hamas fears that Abbas will stand to gain from his trip to Gaza, especially amongst the demonstrators in Gaza, whom Hamas has violently cracked down on.
We could say that Hamas’ official response was the barrage of rockets that they fired onto Israel three days ago, the highest number of rockets since the Gaza offensive in 2008/2009. Of course Israel responded, and so far the victims are the innocent Gazans and the reconciliation process! After months of relative quiet, why did Hamas choose now to escalate matters with Israel? Their response would probably be ‘to avenge the Hamas member that was killed by Israel last week’, though that wasn’t the rule of conduct in the past. The way I see it, Hamas is willing to escalate matters with Israel, at the expense of innocent women and children, to avoid reconciliation with Fatah.