Reacting to Reconciliation, Palestinians on Twitter Voice Hope for a Brighter Future

Palestinians across the political spectrum share celebratory words of hope, skepticism and plenty of kissy emojis

A girl is carried as Palestinians celebrate after Hamas said it reached a deal with Palestinian rival Fatah, in Gaza City, Gaza, October 12, 2017.
A girl is carried as Palestinians celebrate after Hamas said it reached a deal with Palestinian rival Fatah, in Gaza City, Gaza, October 12, 2017. SUHAIB SALEM/REUTERS

After Hamas and Fatah announced they reached a reconciliation agreement in Cairo Thursday afternoon, Palestinians from across the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem took to Twitter, expressing excitement and optimism in Arabic for the future along with skepticism of the deal. 

Palestinian reconciliation means reintegration of Hamas into the Palestinian Authority, thus reopening the possibility of an improved quality of life for Gazans.

Palestinian social media circles were abuzz with thank yous, emojis with heart eyes, and #united_Palestine hashtags. Tweets from across the political spectrum praised the reconciliation deal’s success in bringing together Palestinians living across borders, many featuring photos of Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and discussing continued Palestinian liberation.

Some Twitter users expressed their gratitude for Egypt’s leadership in uniting the two rival political factions, who have been at odds for 11 years. “All the love for #Egypt. The #Reconciliation of the Palestinian people and the end of the division that had continued for 11 solid years. Sending thanks and love to our brothers in Egypt #Palestines_Relatives.”

Read more: Palestinian unity: Abbas to rule the land, Hamas the underground (Jack Khoury) ■ With Trump and al-Sissi watching, Netanyahu can only hope the Palestinians will thwart the reconciliation deal (Barak Ravid) ■ Palestinian deal shows: Hamas sees something Israel doesn't (Amos Harel)

Tweets from Gaza referenced the Strip's rapidly deteriorating humanitarian situation while also celebrating the good news. “May God bless and congratulate the two of them and all of us with good! May we be blessed with harmony, children, electricity, crossings, and a carefree life! Hamas <3 Fatah Love for ever #Reconciliation.

Others took the opportunity to continue advocating for armed resistance against Israel. “Division is dead, long live the Qassam [rocket] #Reconciliation #Gaza.” 

Emotional political cartoons were shared across the board, but often with deeper political questions regarding the feasibility of the reconciliation deal’s implementation: “#Palestine_Family The Palestinian #Reconciliation is not the primary problem, but rather how can #Fatah be the friend of the Occupation and work alongside its security while at the same time fulfilling its commitment to the reconciliation deal?” 

This emotional slideshow with a love song in the background shows pictures of leaders from the two sides, and a political cartoon featuring an arm labeled “Palestinian unity” sewing together a torn Palestinian flag. 

Other political cartoons and tweets acknowledged the patience and time needed to reach this momentous occasion for the Palestinian people. An illustration featuring a man with a Keffiyah and a map that clearly denotes the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, and Israel’s pre-1967 borders reads: “The reconciliation: We’ve been tired out just from waiting for this historic moment.”

Still, other tweets poked holes in the overwhelmingly celebratory twitter-mood. “Gaza + West Bank does not = Palestine,” posted one cartoonist from Doha.