Thursday, December 20, 2012


Hamas 25th Anniversary logo
If you were entertaining any hopes of a peace settlement next year, between Israel and either of the two rival Palestinian organisations, Hamas and Fatah, for risk management purposes, do not hold your breath. Recent actions and statements, coming from Gaza and the West Bank, indicate the opposite.

First, the titular leader of Hamas, in a major policy speech in Gaza, was as inflexible as ever in his fiery rhetoric, claiming the entire territory of Israel for Palestine, and calling upon Palestinians to employ armed conflict, to reach that goal.  You can disregard comments he recently made to American media, which subtly appeared to accept the two-state solution agreed to by previous Palestinian leaders, or at least a long-term ceasefire.

New Fatah logo
Second, though Fatah, and Mr. Abbas, the PA Premier, officially claim to seek to implement the previous peace accords, the newly-redesigned logo for Fatah boasts a return to terrorism and violence, to individual claims to return to properties that are within what is now Israel, and a claim to all of Israeli territory. This is not the standard of a peacemaker, but one of an organisation that endorses violence. Note the gun barrel, headscarf covering the entire territories of Gaza, the West Bank and Israel, and a key, representing the Palestinians claim to return to their pre-1948 lands, that are now inside Israel. The dove in chains is particularly symbolic, and disturbing.

It is suggested that, should your bank have clients who are engaged in major transactions with Israel, or if you have significant financial exposure, on pending client matters involving Israel, that you regularly monitor the political, as well as military, situation, for Country Risk assessment purposes.

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