As Palestinians commemorate the 68th anniversary of the Nakba -- literally "catastrophe" in Arabic, when the indigenous people of Palestine were driven out of Palestine into exile -- there is a new Nakba taking place: the political division between Hamas and Fatah.
Putting aside all these displays of faux anger and misplaced regret, the Palestinians are right to celebrate. Reconciliation and national unity are not only good, in and of themselves, they are necessary if there is to be a lasting Israeli-Palestinian peace.
It is time for Hamas to realize that it holds the key to the future of its own people. Israelis will not move towards peace as long as Hamas, a central player and crucial part of Palestinian society will not endorse peace explicitly.
How can so many reasonable minds welcome the reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas as good news, a good sign, like the far too long delayed reunion of a too long divided people, when it is, in reality, a catastrophe?
One path for the Palestinians leads to a serious opportunity to create a successful state for the Palestinian people. The other path leads to destroying any present hope for a viable Palestinian state. The choice lies in their hands.
Hamas members disapprove of parties and stay away from festivities. But they are often the first at your funeral, setting up a tent and making posters of condolences and mentioning the deeds of the deceased.
The Occupied Palestinian territories remain a toxic political environment. And unfortunately the few non-party affiliated Palestinians leaders who seem to be popular with activists and academics are weak and largely absent in every day news.
Israel's policies towards Gaza may actually be empowering Hamas as the governing party. Lifting the siege of Gaza during Ramadan would be a powerful symbolic gesture and shift the pressure on Hamas to reciprocate.