Middle East Quartet Joins Israel In Attempts To Freeze Palestinians Into Submission
On Feb. 15, Tony Blair arrived in Gaza with an ultimatum. He traveled not on his own behalf, as a disgraced former head of government potentially facing war crimes charges over his role in the 2003 invasion of Iraq, but as the special envoy of the Middle East Quartet.
The Quartet is a group composed the United States, European Union, United Nations, and Russia. It was established in 2002 to mediate the peace process in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
During his brief visit, which lasted only hours, Blair reportedly found the time to demand that the Hamas movement amend not only its policies within Palestinian governance, but also its own agenda as a political party.
“Blair says that there is no reconstruction unless these five conditions are fulfilled,” Hamas leader Mouza Abu Marzouk wrote on his Facebook page on Feb. 17, before listing Blair’s demands that the group accept a reconciliation agreement with its Fatah counterpart, base its political program on a Palestinian state within the pre-1967 borders, emphasize its nature as a Palestinian movement and renounce any “Islamist” affiliation or regional goals, accept a two-state solution as a final outcome, and coordinate anti-terror efforts in the Sinai with the Egyptian government.