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'West after pliable Palestinian govt.'
Fri, 29 Apr 2011 06:49:04 GMT
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Hamas and Fatah have for the first time struck a unity deal, which has triggered a negative reaction from Israel.
Hamas and Fatah have reached a historic agreement on forming an interim government ahead of public elections in Palestine.

Press TV talks with Peter Eyre, a Middle East consultant in London, on the significance of the latest development and the West's reactions. Following is a transcript of the interview supported by other guests.

Press TV: Reflecting on the reaction by the EU demanding that Fatah needs to have the upper hand. Can you explain what the EU means by this if you can? Is the EU setting this as a pre-condition?

Eyre: It's a precedence really from the West sort of dictating to the Palestinian Authority as to who they want to deal with. Hamas took Gaza legally by vote. They do play a significant part also in the West Bank. And I think there is even a possibility that Hamas may play a major role in the new election one year from now.

So the scenario we have again is the West pushing for a user-friendly government that favors the Western way of doing things. Whereas, I'm quite happy with the way things have gone on; for the first time we have two factions that have come together and that's a wonderful achievement, and it's all been organized within the Arab states basically through Cairo and themselves. They don't the West to resolve this issue.

Unfortunately the West will always take the side of Israel so that will always be an obstacle. But believe me there is no dialogue possible at all between Israel and Palestine.

Press TV: Were you surprised at all when you heard about this?

Eyre: Very surprised because I've been saying this for some years now. People have to understand that the Palestinian people have got tremendous wealth at their fingertips.

People don't understand that this conflict is also to do with natural resources because in the offshore Gaza area is bass reserves of natural gas. I said two years ago on your own program that given the opportunity, this small nucleus of two separate entities, if they come together has got enough wealth to become what I call the mini Dubai of the eastern Mediterranean - that is perfectly possible.

Press TV: The advisor to the prime minister of Gaza has explained how he and his party has embraced the different uprisings and of course the influence that that has had in their decision making in coming together with Fatah and how they have embraced the situation in terms of the geo-political effects that this has had.

Israel is sticking to their previous statements and posturing that they have always displayed. Isn't that going to work against Israel? Doesn't this show how this may be consequential for Israel, the fact that it hasn't embraced the landscape as it has changed in the Arab world?

Eyre: We have to congratulate the two parties coming together in a unified way because this is a phenomenal turn around. I do have to say that unfortunately President Abbas (Palestinian Authority) will probably have to step aside because as we all know he's not legal anyway. And there is the issue that he is a little bit of a puppet of the West.

The aggressive feedback from Israel is not good at the moment. They've even accused Hamas of firing; I think they said anti-tank missiles. Perhaps if there are any Israelis listening or any military people, they might like to identify what they refer to as an anti-tank missile because this is not possible - they have no means of launching them for a start. So there is a lot of concern. The other issue is that the PLO some years ago was forced into surrendering the security of the Palestine territory.

Press TV: The US is reviewing a deal that the Palestinian government must accept core principles: they need to renounce violence; they need abide by past agreements, and recognize Israel's right to exist.

When we put that into the context of the new Middle East, what are the chances of this deal resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?

Eyre: The greatest concern at the moment is to get the two parties together and to strengthen them into one body; that's a marvelous move and I think it will work. The election will take place and we could even see a major turnaround that Hamas becomes a predominant party in the next election.

But we've still got the issue of security that Israel keeps putting through to America and the West that they have to control the borders of the new Palestine. I disagree with that. If the UN can accept the unified body of Fatah and Hamas coming together as one then they themselves could if necessary send in observers and lift the embargo on the borders. Let ships come in and let trade commence and more importantly, relax the border with Egypt, which is now under a new regime.

Press TV: Aside from the new political environment, it's a new military environment. How would the new military environment serve the interests that should belong to the people? And this could spread not only between the unity deal of Hamas and Fatah in terms of their objectives, but other countries that would serve better their objectives, that this Middle East peace so desperately needs, if indeed this goes through and results come because of it?

Eyre: A lot of people don't understand the geopolitics of the Middle East. At the moment we have a significant NATO-backed force in the eastern Mediterranean basically patrolling from Syria all the way down the red sea to Aden - that is the predominant force. In the middle of that is the Israeli navy, which is looking up to the coastline of Gaza. There is no possibility I don't think based on what General Clark released to the media some time ago that in his opinion I think there were seven countries to be taken over by the West in a period of five to ten years. There are four countries left behind at the moment including Libya.

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