Some would say that Fatah is not a significantly different political party from Hamas. If you read their pronouncements you would certainly be led to believe that to be true. Fatah has made some of the same extreme statements about what they demand from Israel. Others would say that neither Hamas nor Fatah are willing to accept Israel, and the difference between them does amount to essentially a hill of beans.
Yet recent statistics from the Israeli government, supported by independent organizations, show a different picture. The West Bank has become a much calmer area and has had resulting economic growth reflecting that newfound peace. With 2,000 new businesses having entered the area, the West Bankers are harnessing themselves to the Israeli economic engine. The economic growth rate of 7% is one of the highest in the world. Instead of fighting they are building shopping malls. The Israeli government credits this success to the Palestinian people and the West Bank government.
Because of the reduced violence there, Israel has responded with reductions of restrictions and soldiers. This is creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. The more the West Bankers succeed, the more freedom they are given and the more success they achieve.
So while the West Bank is flourishing Gaza continues its dismal situation. Led by the ineffective Hamas government, growth is stifled with a resulting 40% unemployment rate. The Gazans may want what the West Bankers are achieving, but they are allowing Hamas to be their rulers and determine their fate.
Because of some bad decisions and the lack of leadership in the Arab world, two separate areas have been lumped together as though it is one country. The people of the region need to come to the realization that Israel is not going anywhere. Once that is done they will realize that Gaza and the West Bank are two separate and distinct entities. The three-state solution will then come to pass. Once this is crystallized then a real path to peace can occur.
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