Palestine’s unity government: Cause for celebration and scepticism

The June 2 announcement of a Palestinian consensus government is both cause for celebration and scepticism. The national unity deal was struck in late April between Hamas and Fatah. It is a significant achievement in its own right, but also because it sets this latest agreement apart from previous, stillborn attempts at reconciliation between the two dominant Palestinian factions. However, the government’s formation was not a foregone conclusion, having been delayed for days due to several disagreements over its make-up. This should have been the relatively easy part, not least because it involved the picking of independent rather than partisan figures, and because Israel could not torpedo…