Let’s start with the good news. The reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas, between the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Ismail Haniyeh’s government, between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip — which rattled Israel, the United States and the international community — will help all parties to easily skip past the April 29 deadline of the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations while teetering onward toward the next stage.
On that date, the initial nine-month period allotted for the negotiations will have come to an end. As was to be expected, this pregnancy did not produce a healthy, smiling baby, but a probable continuation of the “blame game” between the two intractable parties. The greatest fear was that if they were unable to reach a deal to extend the negotiations, the whole affair would come to an end, at which time the Palestinians would campaign at the United Nations in a manner that would irreversibly kill the process. For now, at least, this concern has been dispelled.