Last month marked 10 years since the last Palestinian parliamentary elections, in which Hamas overwhelmingly secured the majority of seats. Almost immediately, the international community, which claimed to support Palestinian democracy, decided it would no longer support a Palestinian government with Hamas at its helm, unless and until Hamas agreed to abide by a number of conditions.
No such conditions have ever been placed on any Israeli government, no matter how racist or whether the ministers are illegal colonists who advocate the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians. Funds to the donor-dependent Palestinian National Authority (PNA) — dependent only because Israel refuses to allow the Palestinian economy to flourish — were immediately cut and so began the long and still ongoing battle between Hamas and Fatah over who should “rule” over the Palestinians. That divide remains today despite the fact that national unity is consistently mentioned by Palestinians as their foremost concern.