Palestinian Peace: “Mission Impossible or Maybe Mission Implausible”

By Aaron David Miller

Aaron David Miller is Vice President for New Initiatives and a Distinguished Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.  He served at the State Department as an advisor to Republican and Democratic Secretaries of State and helped formulate U.S. policy on the Middle East and the Arab-Israel peace process, most recently as the Senior Advisor for Arab-Israeli Negotiations. He also served as the Deputy Special Middle East Coordinator for Arab-Israeli Negotiations.

In an important display of unity, the two distinct Palestinian governments, the Palestinian Authority, which controls the West Bank, and Hamas, which oversees the Gaza Strip, agreed on October 12 to a number of important principles including the formation of a unity government. Although previous attempts at negotiations between the two Palestinian governments fell through, this time around, conditions were ripe for the two sides to come together. However, the recent agreement’s impact on the prospects for Palestinian statehood appear minimal as the two sides still have many obstacles to overcome. The Cipher Brief’s Bennett Seftel sat down with Aaron David Miller, a former advisor to both Republican and Democratic secretaries of state on Arab-Israeli negotiations, to discuss what to expect from the recent deal and how much of an impact it will have on the Palestinian political establishment moving forward.

The Cipher Brief: What were the parameters of the agreement signed last week between the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Hamas?

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