The country of Palestine has been ruled by two political parties (faction groups) and arch rivals – the Hamas and the Fatah. The Mecca agreement is a solution to the longest civil war that has been going on for almost 6 years now in Palestine between the two groups of Hamas and Fatah and which has crippled the nation in every possible way.
Being rival political parties has its own share of bitter moments in any nation’s history and Hamas and Fatah parties were no exception to this from their inception. However things changed from bad to worse when the longest standing Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat died in 2004 thus ending in a free-for-all situation. The two groups pounded each other and when it was known that the Hamas group won the elections in the year 2006, it gave birth to the Palestinian Civil war. This war has seen hundreds of casualties and a completely broken nation. Thus this conflict is rightly called Wakseh meaning ruin.
The Hamas group won the nation’s elections in 2006 and this angered the Fatah group who had been ruling until then. This also brought enough resent to the other big nations like US, European union and Arab states who were afraid that the violence and war that had plagued Palestine and Israel would never end and the Hamas group would take full advantage of the hostility and give way to smuggling and terror. Sanctions were initially imposed on Palestine since the nation has no economy literally to support itself and depended on external investments and imports. However the influence and planning done by Hamas managed to make the nation self sufficient and prove to the world that nothing would stop them from further war. The egos between the military command of Hamas and that of Fatah group made it acidic and a series of attacks were planned by Fatah on Hamas leaders which then made it a tit-for-tat situation. The president Mahmoud Abbas then called for another election which was largely debated by Hamas group and after a lot of mud-slinging ended in a war that was far from over.
The West Bank and the Gaza strip are today remembered for the violent battles between Hamas and Fatah and the mounting casualties. Right from December 2006 both the West Bank and Gaza strip had marked violence on the streets and planned attacks and despite several ceasefire calls in the holy city of Mecca, the fighting simply never seemed to end. The Battle of Gaza in 2007 saw intense fighting and the President Mahmoud Abbas had to declare an emergency and a new Prime minister was appointed but war (of words) and violence could not stop so easily. People took to streets enraged in emotions and fighting. Vulnerable people were made suicide bombers and it just made matters worse. All this happened until the year 2011 and these 5 years saw thousands of deaths, terrorist activities and an insecure future for Palestinians.
The Mecca agreement is an initiative of the Saudi King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz and this was signed on May 4, 2011 in the Egyptian capital city of Cairo. The name of the agreement however contains the mention of Mecca because the first agreement between Hamas and Fatah was discussed in the holy city of Mecca though it was not a success. However when the time finally came to conclude the war, the agreement was dedicated to God and called the Mecca agreement rightfully so.
The Hamas and Fatah groups have signed the Mecca agreement which signifies them reaching a mutual consent on many national issues. They are:
1. The Palestine Civil war that was going on since 5 years should end immediately and the parties should acknowledge the value of human life and show brotherhood towards every citizen of Palestine. No more should false ego or power battles take the lives of innocent people.
2. The Hamas and Fatah will help come together and set up a united government and aid Palestine to revive itself from the political instability that had torn the nation apart.
3. To act upon and reform the Palestine Liberation Organisation and help the preparatory committee to come out with its draft based on the Cairo and Damascus Understandings.
4. To represent unity in diversity and show political responsibility and respect for the people’s verdict in the elections and give each other a share in the Governments’ decisions and projects.
5. To end violence in Gaza strip and West Bank and concentrate on rescue and social service for refugees, prisoners etc.
The President Mahmoud Abbas had also sent a letter ordering the Prime Minister Ismail Haniya to form a new government subsequently.
The Mecca agreement has been a milestone in Palestine’s history and is definitely a happy moment too. But the super powers of the world are concerned if Hamas will really recognize Israel, stop its violence on Gaza strip and make Israel too a better place to live. Though the Mecca agreement was signed and appreciated all over the world, Israel still feels that this is just an eye wash since Hamas will never stop vowing against Israel nor will it give up terror. The Palestinians however rejoiced on this day and nothing could stop them from dreaming about a safe and happy future ahead.