In October 2017, two rival Palestinian factions Fetah from the West Bank and Hamas from the Gaza strip, signed a deal that would end a decade-long conflict between the two. If this deal is actually implemented then it could signal a shift in Israeli/Palestinian relations.
So, what are the differences between these two groups and what would peace between the two of them look like?
Fetah was born in the late 1905s by Yasser Arafat who previously fought against Israel in the 1948 Arab-Israeli war. The group’s original goal was to free Palestine from Israeli occupation, but they softened to Israel over the years. The group signed the Oslo Accords in 1993, which gave a newly formed Palestinian authority power to areas in the West Bank. Now, their objective is a peaceful resistance from Israeli occupation and a two-state solution.
Hamas was formed in 1987, beginning as a Palestinian branch of the Muslim brotherhood. The extremist group has two separate parts: a political wing and an armed militant wing, which has been responsible for multiple suicide bombing incidents within Israel. Many label them as a terrorist organization but they’re actually a pretty popular political facet of the Gaza Strip. The group rejects a two-state system and seeks to destroy Israel altogether.
After Hamas took over the area, Israel restricted access to the strip, which has caused the party’s popularity to fall. This led to stipulations in October, which put power back in Feta’s hands. Though Hamas hasn’t agreed to disarm and recognize a prospective two-state system, doing so could move a peace process forward.