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Activation or Installation?
By: Mohammad Al-Sahli*
October 18, 2016

The manifestation and repercussions of division were as the platform from which each side of division managed its electoral battle.

The atmospheres of local elections did not last long in the Palestinian scene, after the Supreme Court of Justice decided to conduct them in the West Bank without Gaza, and then the government decided to postpone them, following the recommendation of the Central Election Committee.

The delay is assigned for four months, in order to provide the legal environment for conducting them in one day, as the government said. And because the introductions of the Supreme Justice’s decision and its reasons were not away from the conflict that took place between the two sides of division, the hopes that the elections are a gateway to exceed a lot of the problems which experienced by the Palestinian case have been reduced.

So to make the Palestinian case out of the vicious circle waiting for the new date, the forces of the «Democratic Alliance» called on the government to hurry with the consultation and dialogue with the political forces and civil society institutions to remove these obstacles and hold elections simultaneously in the West Bank and Gaza.

With the previous date for the election (8/10) a large number of local councils members resigned and presented their candidacy in the electoral race.

Recently, the PA’s government decided (11/10) to return all the local councils to work as usual as there were before 08/06/2016, including the heads and members of the local associations who submitted their resignations due to standing for elections , considering them as caretaker councils until holding elections. It can be understood that the government is caring about people's interests and follow up their cases.

But the absence of any indication of its supposed effort toward continuing the dialogue and consultation with the forces and civil society institutions created real fears that this decision will be as re-activation for these councils, for an open time.

Mines began to be planted on the road of the hoped-election with the two sides of division trying to put pre-results that agree with their partisan ambitions and take the obsessions' ghost away from each of them from the other side's success in invading its stronghold.

Therefore, the observers noticed the escalation of tension atmospheres between them from the moment they announced their support for the holding of elections and participating in them, and committing with the rules and mechanisms which were announced by the Central Election Committee.

From the beginning, each of them monitored what the other are doing toward the electoral process, Hamas movement complained from restrictions in the West Bank and Fatah also complained from restrictions in the Gaza Strip.

At the time when the Palestinians are hoping that these elections will be a key threshold to go beyond the division, the manifestations and repercussions were as a platform from which each of division side managed its electoral battle.

It was right who called this battle as «the conflict of ambushes », as was reported in a statement for the «DFLP» after the unfortunate decision of the «High Court of Justice» to hold the elections in the West Bank without Gaza.

And in the context of the troubled atmospheres that made by the performance of both sides of division towards the elections.

With the continuation of this performance, rather the policies that produce it, it is normal that the political and societal civil forces to feel worried that what foreran the decision of the «High Court of Justice» and what followed as a connected path its goal to push for retreat from the elections and to keep the Palestinian case in its first place «incubating» its worsening crises.

Also, with the continuation of these policies, we cannot consider the government's decision to activate the existing municipal councils - in isolation from the legitimate concern – that this is the end, and what happened is just a failed « rehearsal» to conduct elections and will not be repeated soon, i.e. after four months.

But the road to exclude these fears and warnings is clear and possible to walk in it at the case that determination is available to proceed the dialogue and to create the conditions and factors for the success of the stalled elections since the division and at all levels, from local councils to the professional and labor unions and student councils, and the civil society organizations, and this is a vital entry to overcome the division and to turn toward general elections for the presidency and the legislative and national councils.

The urgent Palestinian issues accumulate on the Palestinian case agenda, and the matter is not just about elections’ file. The Palestinian relations is experiencing a state of deterioration in light of tensions, which requires a return to the culture of the national dialogue on the basis of giving priority to the higher national interest and to get rid of narrow policies.
The entrance to it is known to all , and its basis the is the commitment to implement the national consensus decisions which the correction of the Palestinian situation will ensure implementing them and restoring the Palestinian case to the initiative position to face the dangers that threaten the rights of Palestinians from being lost .

Needless to say, that these decisions are an important weapon with the Palestinian case, that provide making the road for it again towards imposing the internationalization of the Palestinian cause in connection with the international legitimacy relevant resolutions.

Needless to say also that adhering and betting on the unsuccessful initiatives will only lead to more wasting of the precious Palestinian time, at the time that the Netanyahu’s government continues its expansionist policies and draw with the lines of settlement the limits of a weak Palestinian entity. It was already held a conference at Paris under the banner of the French initiative and it came out with a statement in which it deprived the Palestinians from most of their national rights, and equated the occupier with the occupied.

This assertion comes at a time of escalating brave operations against the occupation and what this requires from re-emphasizing the need for a national consensus on supporting youth uprising, and all the political forces are responsible for the serious work in order to achieve it. This uprising has proven in spite of its lack for the required support, that it formed a major concern to Tel Aviv and the Israeli society.

The facts have proved that this uprising has a lot of factors for its continuation, although it still lacks to factors that will make it a comprehensive popular uprising.

All this is up to the Palestinian situation with all its components to get out of its weakness and confusion.

Notes: *Editor in Chief of Al-Hourriah newspaper, the official speaker of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine

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