Loory: The Israeli government under Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and the Bush Administration are trying to turn the violence and the split between Fatah and Hamas in the Palestinian territories into another opportunity to bring a settlement between Israel and the Arab state. Egyptian President Hozni Mubarak has called a summit meeting to take place between Olmert and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Sharm el-Sheikh on the Egyptian sea coast. President Bush is trying to convince British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who leaves office next week, to take on a new role as the chief envoy of the so-called Quartet — the United States, the United Nations, the European Union and Russia — in trying to settle the differences in the Middle East. Bush and Olmert have given their support to Abbas, the Fatah leader, in his struggle with Hamas, the militant Arab faction that has taken over Gaza and denies Israel’s right to exist. Bush and Olmert have called Abbas the leader of all Palestinians, but Fatah governs only the West Bank and not Gaza where one and a half million Arabs live. Fatah’s weaknesses brought Hamas a huge election victory two years ago that gave it control of the Palestinian Authority Parliament. Are Bush and Olmert correct in dealing with Abbas to create a West Bank state that would receive massive aid if it reached an agreement with Israel? Abbas does not appear to be a leader who can bring the Palestinian Arabs together and really put Hamas in its place. Will Western and Israeli support be helpful or harmful to Abbas?
Hamas’ power needs recognition
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