Within the new Palestinian government there are some who still have faith in dialogue between Hamas and Israel. Prof. Bernard Sabela, a Catholic member of Fatah elected to parliament is “optimistic” : if Hamas wants to avoid disappointing voters then it will have to continue the peace process, Palestinians want stability. Then he reassures Christians : it’s premature to speak of sharia.
Sabela, who is also a professor at the Pontifical University in Bethlehem, won one of the two seats assigned to Christians in Jerusalem. The politician holds the January 25th poll “ a victory for Hamas and for democracy”. “People decided – he says- and now Hamas must respond to the peoples demands and needs and they must do so quickly”. “If the leaders are sincere in their intent in to help the population, then Hamas must answer the calls of the people who voted them into power”. For this reason Sabela says he “hopeful” that a path to peace is still possible: “The government cannot separate the political plan from the social need and to ensure stability education , employment , to fight the economic crisis, they will have to have an agenda which foresees the end of occupation and progress in the peace process”. “If you lead the political process in your nation and the people are in need of basic services, and stability you must make that political process work”, he adds.
As with Fatah, within Hamas itself there are differing positions, both moderate and extremist: “I hope that within a relatively short time a clearer line will be drawn within the party itself . I am optimistic and I think that reason will prevail”.