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Hamas vs PLO Struggle Reaches Yemen

By: Meir Javedanfar


The Hamas vs PLO conflict has now spilled over into other parts of the Middle East.

In a surprise move, the PLO office in the Yemeni Capital, which was also known as the embassy of Palestine in Yemen, has decided to shut its doors.

This was done as protest against what the PLO representative called “dual Palestinian representation in Yemen”. By this, he was referring to a representative office recently opened by Hamas in the same city.

In reality, despite their support for terrorism, Hamas has more right than the PLO to represent Palestinians abroad. This is because Hamas won the Palestinian parliamentary elections fair and square, by a large majority, in January 2006.

But for now, Hamas’s strategy of confrontation, turning a blind eye towards Gaza initiated terrorism, and being part of it, will keep the organization isolated at home, and abroad. It seems that Hamas is not learning from Hezbollah. The former seems quite good at building local alliances. Hamas seems to be much better at doing the opposite, as shown through its bloody coup against the PLO in 2007.

Should Hamas change its extremist stance towards Israel, and also work with the PLO, it could turn itself into a serious, legitimate political force, with credibility far beyond its borders. This would keep many right wingers who don’t want peace between Israelis and Palestinians up at night. For now, they sleep easy.

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Posted on : Aug 25 2008
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