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Published on May 11, 2011
One week after rival Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas signed a reconciliation agreement, five Elders -- Kofi Annan, Desmond Tutu, Jimmy Carter, Mary Robinson and Lakhdar Brahimi -- discuss what this development could mean for a lasting peace in the region.
They agree that Palestinian unity is an important prerequisite to peace with Israel, and stress that the international community has a key role to play in supporting the parties going forward. At the same time, the Elders acknowledge that many Israelis do not trust Hamas as a real partner for peace. They say that they hope to be able to reassure Israeli citizens that this reconciliation is, in fact, in Israel's interests.
Kofi Annan and Mary Robinson discuss how ordinary citizens and civil society groups in both Israel and the occupied Palestinian Territories can influence their leaders and push them to bring about peace.