WASHINGTON, DC- Tomorrow, a new dynamic in the Middle East peace process will be introduced as Fatah, the Palestinian faction in control of the West Bank, and Hamas, the faction in control of the Gaza Strip, are scheduled to sign a new power sharing agreement that will forge the first Palestinian unity government since elections took place in 2007. In response, National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC) Chair Marc R. Stanley and President and CEO David A. Harris today jointly issued the following statement, calling on Hamas and all Palestinian factions to renounce violence and encouraging all sides to move towards a negotiated two-state solution:
“The power sharing agreement between Hamas and Fatah represents a turning point in the current dynamics of the peace process between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. We know President Barack Obama and his Administration will monitor this situation exceptionally closely and act decisively, helping Israel to mitigate any potential dangers to its future security this apparent new reality could cause.
“That said, we are hopeful that President Obama will show continuing strong leadership; that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will not see this as a reason to be deterred from presenting bold steps towards a lasting peace; and that this reported accord will put pressure on the most extreme elements of Palestinian society to lay down their weapons and end this generation’s old conflict. As part of this, Hamas must renounce violence, abide by past agreements and recognize Israel’s right to exist.
“One thing is clear; the status quo is not sustainable for any party involved. The only path away from the status quo leads towards two states.”