President Mahmoud Abbas, head of the Palestinian Authority has issued an ultimatum to the rival Hamas organization of either agreeing to a unity settlement that was negotiated with the aid of Egypt or he would call a new election for president and the legislature as early as January, 2010. Hamas termed his warning as illegal and argued they were not to blame for the lack of unity, but it was all the fault of Egypt or the Fatah organization led by Abbas. Hamas had won a surprise majority in the last election held for the legislature and presently controls Gaza. Abbas is determined to forge a united Palestinian government in order to achieve peace with Israel. The lack of unity only encourages the Israel government to dither and dally and refuse to move toward a peace settlement.
Israel commits many blunders such as the ill devised Gaza invasion last year, but Palestinians continue arguing with one another and the result is Israel does not feel any pressure to move toward a peace agreement. It is time for Palestinian leaders to put aside differences and find a common unity stance that will finally lead to peace in the Middle East.