The unity agreement between Hamas and Fatah under which they will set up a joint administration that will, among other things, control Gaza is going to be regarded with scepticism in the region. The accord signed in the main intelligence headquarters in Cairo has come about because both the Palestinian sides are weak and have not discussed many divisive issues, but they do not want to be seen as blocking a deal.
The Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank have very little freedom of action these days, far less than 40 years ago when they were an insurgent movement based successively in Amman, Beirut and Tunis. Driven from capital to capital, they tried to avoid becoming the permanent proxy of any single power. But the war in Iraq since 2003, and conflicts in Arabs states which once backed different Palestinian factions since the so-called Arab Spring of 2011, have pushed the Palestinian issue well down the international agenda.