Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council

What Time is it? Certainly not time for Palestinian Unity…

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It has s become increasingly clear in recent months that the Palestinian Unity deal signed by Hamas and Fatah in May is not leading to a lot of unity. Disagreements over the composition of a new technocratic government called for in the agreement appear to have effectively made it a dead letter. Indeed, the whole agreement is increasingly looking like a cynical effort to appear to offer a unified Palestinian government for the UN recognition vote later this month.

The extent of the ongoing differences between Fatah and Hamas was starkly highlighted in a recent dispatch from Reuters. Apparently, Fatah and Hamas cannot even agree on the time of day - literally. That's right, since August 30, the West Bank, under Fatah/Palestnian Authority control, has been operating on a different time to Gaza, ruled by Hamas, creating problems for banks and universities in Gaza that are still run from the West Bank or via the Palestinian Authority.

Here is the key part of the Reuters report:

"What time is it?" is a tricky question these days in the Palestinian Territories.

In a case of rare agreement, the Palestinian Authority that governs in the West Bank and its rival, the Islamist Hamas movement that rules the Gaza Strip, went off summer time on August 1, falling back an hour to ease the daily fast, ending at sunset, of Muslims during the holy month of Ramadan.

The West Bank returned to summer time on August 30, when the holiday ended. Gaza, which is separated from the West Bank by Israeli territory, did not.

Compounding the confusion, banks and universities in Gaza affiliated with the Palestinian Authority are keeping West Bank hours.

(Hat Tip - The Propagandist)

Tzvi Fleischer