It is nice to know that Fatah and Hamas have reached a tentative agreement to end years of acrimony and mistrust and that the decision would be announced in a joint news conference to be held in Cairo by the two delegations led by Azzam al-Ahmed of Fatah and Moussa Abu Marzouk of Hamas. Mr. Ahmed said that the sides planned to form a technocratic government, representing all colours of the Palestinian spectrum, and that it would prepare for presidential and parliamentary elections. The Hamas government spokesman in Gaza further confirmed that all points of differences have been overcome. Egyptians and all others who made it possible deserve thorough congratulations. The news would no doubt delight all peace-loving people on earth because with the two factions joined, there are now better chances for a comprehensive peace in the Middle East. However, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is very upset over the development and has issued a stern warning to the Palestinian Authority president and Fatah chief Mahmoud Abas, The Palestinian Authority has to choose between peace with Israel and peace with Hamas adding Peace with both of them is impossible, because Hamas aspires to destroy the state of Israel and says so openly One can well imagine Netanyahus frustration over the move because he was quite happy and satisfied with a wedge drawn between the two main Palestinian factions. Israels worries have also increased manifold because of the departure from the scene of a near-permanent landmark, a trusted ally of Israel and the US, Hosni Mubarak, and a fresh breeze of awakening in the Middle East. Israel makes a big fuss about Hamas having vowed to destroy Israel. But can Hamas really destroy Israel now or in the foreseeable future? All encounters that Israel had with Hamas prove the contrary. Then there are powerful European countries like Germany, France and others who have pledged unflinching support to Israel. Most of all there is the United States which holds Israels security even above that of its own because of which it does not mind angering over a billion Muslims world over just to please a few million Israelis. With all this, plus Israels own stockpile of nuclear arms and much more, how can there be any threat to Israeli security except through its own imprudence of postponing the inevitable and endangering the future of coming Israeli generations.Naturally enough, US leaders, who are perhaps more committed to the Israeli 'cause than Israelis themselves because of having come to power mostly through blessings of pro-Israel lobbies and their campaign donations, are also up in arms against reconciliation between two Palestinian factions and have even threatened to cut down or stop the aid they give to PLA if it reconciles with Hamas which they have branded a terrorist organization. Just fancy the biggest terrorist state on earth, the United States, calling others terrorists. We hear that Netanyahu has recently been considering making some kind of offer to the Palestinian Authority, mainly with a view to trying to pre-empt unilateral declaration of a Palestinian State. This is just another typical Netanyahu ploy to postpone the inevitable. Netanyahu has played little games like that far too long. It is about time that the world powers, especially the friends of Israel, played their due role, if not for the suffering Palestinians, then at least for Israels sake, and did their bit to achieve a fair and equitable solution to this long overdue problem. It is quite clear that the present crop of short-sighted, timid Israeli leaders who just play to the gallery and whose top priority is the continuation of their positions and their government are unable to make bold decisions that are needed to bring about peace. S.R.H. HASHMI, Karachi, April 28.