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About fighting the settlement
By: Mohammad Al-Sahli
December 30, 2016

Facing the settlement begins by quitting the policies that have helped the occupation to cover its expansionist policies.

The leadership of the Palestinian Authority talked about its Intention to submit a draft resolution against the settlement to the Security Council; and it assigned the end of this year as a time limit, so that the project will be under the deliberation and voting in the Council.

Various sources revealed about the texts of the project, which its long prelude emphasizes the accumulation of the resolution which were issued in this regard, and the repetition the political initiatives that talked about resolving the Palestinian - Israeli conflict and the achievements of the «two state solution».

This was clear through the combination of some texts of these initiatives in the mentioned prelude, in particular the plan of «road map».

But the most important, is the specific points that were included in the project which form the ceiling of the Palestinian attitude that necessarily will be subjected to a reduction process during the deliberations of the members of the Council, even if the American «veto» is ready.

The remarks on the draft text are many and serious as the danger of the settlements on the Palestinian national future and not on the so-called the «two-state solution» only. It seems clear that the project formulation is trying to avoid the American «veto» by more decreasing towards the ceiling of Washington practical attitude about this vital matter.

The text talks in its first clauses about the confirmation of the Security Council that the settlements are illegal, and its demand to halt the Israeli settlement activities. The US administration talked about such an attitude, but it did not affect anything on the ground, because the declaration of the attitude from the settlement is a matter and the serious work on the implementation of this attitude is something else.

The draft text exempts the Security Council of its role and duty in the implementation of its resolution; and it only focuses on one of its clauses which talks about the confirmation of the Council on «discussing the practical means to ensure the full implementation of all its relevant resolutions». This clearly means that the matter is exposed for deliberation no more.

The regrettable in the project is the absence of the Palestinian vision towards the settlement in the perspective of the liberation national program, which emphasizes on removing it from the occupied Palestinian territories by the aggression of 1967, while the draft text exposes on the Security Council the confirmation on its non-recognition any changes on the boundaries of June 4th before the pre-aggression «Except what the two parties are agreed upon». And this sentence in itself undermines all the confirmation before it.

If the draft resolution does not expose the obligatory mechanisms that translate the illegality of the settlements from the need to remove it, so the project will be subjected to a lot of «adjustments» that their supporters consider that there is an inadmissibility to discuss the topic principally of Principle outside the settlement process. However this exists in the draft text that talked in one of its clauses about the determination of the Security Council to «support the both parties during the negotiations».

The draft resolution has limited the United Nations relevant resolutions with references of Madrid, the Arab peace initiative, the roadmap plan, the French initiative and the attitudes of the international Quartet Committee, and all of them don’t concentrate on the implementation of the UN resolutions that are related to the Palestinian cause, starting from the right of return up to the salvation of the occupation in all its forms from the occupied Palestinian territories in 1967.

In fact, the aim of the most of these initiatives if not all is avoiding the United Nations resolutions and its entitlements. Otherwise, Washington wouldn’t stress on its exclusive sponsorship of the settlement process and it kept the presence of the United Nations symbolically through the presence of its Secretary General in the «Quartet» without having any role; and the same thing for the rest of the Committee members.

The Fundamental flaw in dealing with the United Nations bodies over the past period that the Palestinian official heading towards them does not, start from a national plan linked to the liberation national program .If were calling that any draft resolution related to the Palestinian issue should be committed to the liberation program, we call at the same time, that to be the settlement and the other forms of the occupation should be considered as a target for the popular resistance on the ground in an open confrontation under the cover of the Palestinian consensus and supported by the political and diplomatic action.

Within this equation, only the international community can know what is happening in the occupied Palestinian territories and recognize the threat that is represented by the continuation of the occupation on the entire region and on the Israeli situation itself. And then the international community could intervene, to find compromise solutions that will move gradually towards the Palestinian national interest, whenever the confrontation with the occupation grows and the popular and political participations in their respective fields widen.

But sticking to the bet on the settlement with its existing rules and conditions, and behind the back of the international legitimacy resolutions, will put any Palestinian official political activity in the position waving with draft resolutions and the heading towards the United Nations organizations in order to get better negotiating offers, which will not happen because the American-Israeli ceiling does not allow this.

With the continuation of these failed attempts, the Palestinian situation will remain in a continuous decline under the accumulation of crises and their aggravation at all levels, starting from the division to the wrong economic and social policies arriving to the erosion of the Palestinian political system, in the absence of the political will to rebuild it on a democratic basis, that opens the way for the advancement of a democratic political system can that face the Palestinian crises and secure the requirements of the steadfastness of the Palestinian people and strengthen its ability to confront the occupation.

The Settlement has grown and expanded by the systematic Israeli plan. But what helped to pass this plan and its implementation, is the cover that was provided by the settlement process, which began without limitations that are related to the international legitimacy and the relevant resolutions.

And the Palestinian negotiator did not raise the necessity to stop the settlement activity over more than twenty years, at least before the negotiation process.

And what made it worse is that the Palestinian negotiator accepted the principle of land exchange which could undermine the Palestinians' right to establish the full sovereignty independent state over all the Palestinian occupied territories by the aggression of 1967, and this principle opened the door widely to keep the «future» of settlement through it annexation to the state of the occupation, and with it vast territories from the Palestinian West Bank. This «principle» also put the future of East Jerusalem, with the hand of the settlement by devoting the results of Judaization campaigns that were practiced and still and Israel confiscated large tracts of land and neighborhoods of Jerusalem and its environs.

The result was a wide and extended network of settlement that put the international community before the so- called «de facto» so that the successive US administrations, said that it is difficult to return with the situation to what it was in the Palestinian territories before the occupation of 1967.

So, facing the settlements and its current and incoming dangers, begins by the policy leaving that helped the occupation to cover its expansionary policies, and by cutting with the settlement process if it is not based on the relevant international legitimacy resolutions under the supervision of the United Nations and through an international conference that commits to the implementation of these resolutions and to grant the Palestinian people its national rights.

Without it, the settlement's rope will remain a lying on the «tractor» of the policies of waiting.

* Mohammad Al-Sahli is Editor in Chief of Al-Hourriah newspaper, the official speaker of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine
Translated by Rawda Abu Zarqa & Manal Mansour

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