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Fatah spurns Egypt's hand

By assassinating Hamas’ top men in Kalkilya, Fatah crossed the Rubicon. The reconciliation talks in Cairo are dead, and Egypt has been greatly humiliated by its failure to reestablish a Palestinian unity government.

Egypt needs the unity government to enthrone Fatah in Gaza and prevent the Strip from becoming a base for the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood.

The Americans want Hamas delegitimized in order to conduct Fatah-only elections and claim democracy in Palestine. Israel benefits from the Fatah-Hamas clashes because they stave off the peace process.

Abbas’ attacks on hugely popular Hamas frame him as an Israeli puppet, which dooms him in the next elections. Even if Hamas independents aren’t allowed to run, Fatah’s militant young leaders will make up the core of the Palestinian parliament.

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