It now remains to be seen whether Hamas will forgive Abbas for "collaborating" with Israel, and join forces with him. As of last week, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will think twice before he condemns any rocket or terror attack on Israel.
Alarmed by Hamas's growing popularity among Palestinians, especially in wake of its purported "victory," Abbas appears to have completely changed his attitude toward the Islamist movement and its terror attacks against Israel.
Abbas's new attitude toward Hamas has prompted some Palestinians to wonder, quite sarcastically, whether he was planning to grow a beard and join the Islamist movement.
They pointed out that this was the same Abbas who, on more than one occasion, had accused Hamas of plotting to assassinate him and topple his regime in the West Bank. They also noted that this was the same Abbas whom Hamas had expelled from the Gaza Strip in the summer of 2007.
Abbas was one of the first Arab leaders to congratulate Hamas on its "victory" over Israel during the recent eight-day confrontation.
Hamas announced that Abbas phoned its prime minister, Ismail Haniyeh, one day after the Egyptian-brokered cease-fire went into effect to "congratulate him on Hamas's victory and offer condolences for the martyrs."
Abbas's phone call to the Hamas leader did not come as a surprise.
Since the beginning of the Israeli military offensive in the Gaza Strip, Abbas has been begging Hamas to forget about its differences with his Fatah faction and agree to "national unity." (continue reading...)(...more)