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A political emergency cabinet

The West embraces the new government. But there is something quite different from the smell of democracy that is now spreading across the Middle East.

[Palestine] After a week of shame in which Palestinians shot at Palestinians in Gaza, Hamas won the streets. President Mahmoud Abbas immediately declared Hamas' armed forces outlawed and appointed a new crisis government in the West Bank, despite the fact that the majority in the Palestinian parliament is still controlled by Hamas. What some media in the West call a "Hamas coup" is, for many Palestinians, a coup carried out by Fatah. One does not have to be particularly drawn to local conspiracy theories to feel that it is something other than the smell of democracy spreading in the hills above Ramallah, where the Palestinian political bodies are located.

Just days after Hamas collapsed into the Palestinian parliament in January 2006, Hamas asked Fatah and other parties organized in the Palestinian Liberation Front PLO to join the regime. Hamas knew they were not welcome in European capitals or around a possible negotiating table with Israel, they needed the PLO and Fatah to deal with Palestinian diplomacy. . .

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