Carter: Palestinian unity will help bring peace
Former US president Jimmy Carter wrote an article Wednesday telling Washington and the international community to support the Palestninian unity government.
In a Washington Post article, Carter wrote that "if the United States and the international community support this effort, they can help Palestinian democracy and establish the basis for a unified Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza that can make a secure peace with Israel." However, "if they remain aloof or undermine the agreement," it may lead to more violence against Israel.
Carter added that the accord between Hamas and Fatah are "a Palestinian contribution to the 'Arab awakening,'" and that a Palestinian state can not be formed while they are divided. "Instead of exacerbating differences between the two parties," he wrote, "the international community should help them resolve disagreements through electoral and legislative processes."
The former US president explained that support for the Palestinian unity agreement "could lead to a durable cease-fire," and the end of rockets being launched into Israel.
"Many Israelis say that as long as the Palestinians are divided, there is no partner for peace," Carter wrote. "But at the same time, they refuse to accept a unity government."
Carter also claimed that the accord could ultimately lead to a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians because Abbas will represent all Palestinians. He called for such an agreement to include "an exchange of prisoners for the captured Israeli soldier Gilad Schalit and a settlement freeze" and mutual recognition of Israel and Hamas.