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Europe won’t boycott a Palestinian government that includes Hamas

By Missing Peace
Hamas Fatah unity talksHamas Fatah unity talks

The Arab newspaper Al Hayat, citing a high profile European diplomat, today reported that Europe won’t boycott a Palestinian unity government that includes Hamas.

The same diplomat claimed that products manufactured in Israeli settlements in the West Bank ‘inflict fatal damage on the peace process’.

 On the political issue, the European official said France and the UK are waiting for the next US move which they will back once it happens, but will display their special peace proposal in case it will not happen.

He pointed out that the French-British proposal will be based on re-launching the peace process “on new bases and without preconditions”, adding the features of this proposal have not be finalized yet and dialogue over it is ongoing.

However, the European diplomat said that any kind of proposal necessitates that Palestinians unify their ranks, adding: “there won`t be a peace proposal to one part of the Palestinians without the other”.

He emphasized “the world is moving and Palestinians should form one government in the West Bank and the Gaza strip to be their reference in the next stage”.

Just this week Hamas Prime Minister Haniyeh announced that the forming of a Palestinian unity government is dependant on non recognition of Israel.

According to Al Hayat the EU is also looking forward to play a political role in case the US role fails. Europe`s role will not be limited “only to financing and praying”, the diplomat said. 

The same diplomat revealed that France is moving to hold a donors’ conference for the PA and that the EU will offer the PA an equal financial support to the one offered last year.

The official also said the EU is moving towards boycotting West Bank settlement products due to the fatal damage they inflict on the peace process.

It is hard to understand how products manufactured in settlements inflict fatal damage on a peace process that has been moribund since 2009,  due to the Palestinian refusal to return to negotiations.

Last week, while filming a short documentary, we interviewed Israeli’s and Palestinians about existing economic cooperation in the West Bank. Most of them work for Israeli companies which are operating in the West Bank.

Without exception they declared that peace must be made by the people. They also said that the companies in the West bank where Israeli’s and Palestinians work together contribute more to peace than peace talks by politicians.

The Missing Peace video about the economic cooperation in the West Bank will be released at the beginning of March.

Over forty thousand Palestinians (15 % of the work force) work in the Israeli settlements.  They are making almost double the wage of their peers in the Palestinian Authority.

Watch also this video about Palestinian Israeli  economic cooperation