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After Ending the Split: Two Options
By: Moatasem Hamadeh
October 11, 2017

The end of the split put us before two options: either to engage in the "regional solution" project or to restore the Palestinian national program.

Whatever the factors that played a role in reaching the Cairo understandings between Fatah and Hamas, to end the division and restore the internal unity, the political and public pressure exerted by the Palestinian Popular movement and its political forces on both sides, will remain the most important factor. As under this pressure, both sides have admitted the need to end the division, since many years, although the divisive currents in each of them, still strong, and disrupt the reach to the required solution.

In synchronization with Cairo understandings, the pressure have been increased , and this agreement has been welcomed by all, without exception, and everyone expressed its desire to rush in working for healing the rift, in the official institution, in order to respond to the daily and urgent needs of the Palestinian people in Gaza strip, who has suffered a lot, during more than ten years of the unjust siege, which has been extended, through the wrong policies, and practices done here and there, which also have provided pretexts (albeit frail and unconvincing) to turn the siege into a "normal" state.

As for the popular reception that the government of Al-Hamdallah received, it should not regard it as an absolute support for it or an expression of the popularity for this government. The popularity of the government and the authoritarian official leadership has been dropped to its lowest level, on the eve of the understandings, because of the unjustified sanctions against citizens, in the context of the fight, between Fatah and Hamas. Perhaps the march of the fifty-thousand of the people in Gaza Strip, against the oppressive measures constituted a very clear message about the reality of the popular position toward the government and the two sides of division.

Therefore, the government of Al-Hamdallah should consider the popular and political reception for it in Gaza, as a clear call, to launch a workshop to end the division, in which the standard of this, is the interests of the people and solving their problems, not the bilateral conflict on a new quota in the Strip, which will bring us back to the zero point, and keep the situation shaky and vulnerable at any moment to collapse.

From here, there are calls for the formation of a high national committee, from the Palestinian factions and civil society institutions, to follow up the mechanisms of restoring the unity of the PLO, and follow the procedures for launching the necessary projects, in the workshop of reviving the Gaza Strip, easing the burden on its people, and restoring some sense of stability to their daily life.

In the same context, it must not be forgotten, that the end of division and the restoration of internal unity are, first of all, a political issue, and not merely an administrative issues, that affect the daily lives of the Palestinian people in the Strip. Thus, it is natural to ask: What after the steps of the reunification of PLO? Moreover, why the bilateral dialogue between Fatah and Hamas in Cairo? followed by a comprehensive dialogue that involve all Palestinian parties that signed the agreement of May 4, 2011 in Cairo (13 factions). And for what, is the government of the "national unity", and for what, is the election of a new national council to be held in a place to be agreed upon?

In the attempt to find an answer, we believe that ending the division will put the Palestinian situation in front of two options:

The first one, the restoration of the internal unity, is a step in preparing the Palestinian political arena, to engage in the "regional solution", which has been proposed by the United States and Israel, which perhaps will lead to a new confederation with the Jordanian neighbor, at the expense of the Palestinian national project, and under the roof of Israeli "guardianship".

The second option: the end of division to be as one of the stations of the rearrangement of Palestinian house, to face the serious entitlements of American-Israeli project, and the adherence to the Palestinian national project, as the National Accord Document formed its titles (2006), and the decisions of Palestinian Central Council (5/3/2015), in addition to the statement of the preparatory committee of National Council in Beirut (10-11/1/2017) and the statements of Executive Committee, the latest of which is, its statement of 12/8/2017.

All of them (especially the Central Council's on 5/3/2015) recognized and confirmed that the bilateral negotiating process, under the sole tutelage of Washington, has reached to a dead end, and harmed the national cause on the one hand, and formed a political cover for the projects of expanding the settlements, occupying the Palestinian land, and annihilation the Palestinian national project, on the other.

Also, all of them have recognized that the reach to the national solution for the Palestinian national issue, is passing through: the Intifada and the popular resistance, the cessation of security coordination with the occupation, the boycott of Israeli economy, the internationalization of national cause and rights; working to get the active membership for Palestine in the United Nations; asking for an international protection for the people and its land, calling for an international conference, under the auspices of the UN Security Council, the BRICS and others to support the Palestinian people to exercise its right in self-determination and the establishment of an independent and sovereign state, on the borders of June 4th, 1967, as well as the return of refugees to their homes under Resolution 194, and referring the occupation's crimes to the International Criminal Court, and the de-legitimization of occupation, and the isolation of Israeli entity.

For this target, we have been struggling and the calls, movements and struggles have been launched for ending the division and returning to the internal unity, since June 21st, 2007 (the date of launching of the initiative of DFLP).

Which requires the formation of a national unity government that complies with the documents of the National Consensus, implements them and conducts comprehensive elections, including the election of a new National Council, by free, fair and transparent elections, under the full proportional representation law, as endorsed by the Cairo dialogues in February 2013, which were approved by the Executive Committee under the chairmanship of the head of Committee, also they were approved by the Preparatory Committee under the chairmanship of National Council's head, Salim Al-Zanoun, in Amman in May 2013. The agreement provides for the election of 350 members, 150 of them to represent the Palestinian areas (West Bank, Gaza Strip and Jerusalem) and 200 of them to represent the diaspora, in which the Palestinian areas should be one circle, and the diaspora as one circle with a system that is compatible with the specificity of the diaspora and its political conditions in accordance with closed regulations, in which the share of women is 30%, the age of candidature is 21 years, and the percentage of deduction is only 1%. Also the Council to be held in a place to be agreed upon.

Such a Council is concerned with the formulation of the new political action plan, in accordance with the previous national consensus.

Such a solution does not only provide the lifting of siege from the Gaza Strip, but also provides the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and Jerusalem with the opening of horizons for salvation from the occupation and for the establishment of an independent state with full sovereignty and opening the horizons for the right of return, which will be based on the independent state's victory over the occupation and the settlement.

Therefore, we are fighting the battle of ending the division and the restoration of internal unity, as a link in the great battle that has taken place, since the last century, for the legitimate national rights of Palestinian people.

Moatasem Hamadeh is a member of the Political Bureau of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine
Translated by: Manal Mansour and Rash Abo Allan
Revised by: Ibrahim Motlaq

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