Despite my low expectations, Hamas and Fatah did agree on a unity government. Prime Minister Haniyeh submitted his resignation to President Abbas, and a new unity government is expected soon.
The problem, of course, is that the Palestinians are still worried that Western governments will shun them because of Hamas. If they will then they’ll be worse than the EU is when it comes to accession criteria, considering that the main reason Hamas is forming a unity government with Fatah is international pressure.
There’s a fundamental hypocrisy involved with the treatment of Hamas. The New York Times calls it a radical group, on account of its lack of recognition of Israel. It’s certainly not a pacifist party, nor even a terribly good one, but “radical” is somewhat over the top.
Likud and Israel Beitenu, the latter of which is part of the Israeli government, don’t recognize a Palestinian state. Sharon was compelled to leave Likud for Kadima because the Likud’s core members would not accept his withdrawal from Gaza Strip, which paved the way for an Israeli recognition of Palestine. Israel Beitenu’s leader has gone so far as calling Arabs traitors and pushing for retaliatory attacks on civilian targets.