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Establishing the State is no longer a Palestinian sovereign decision
By: Moatasem Hamadeh
December 29, 2016

The Palestinian delegation went to Washington to renew the official Palestinian leadership's commitment to the Oslo Accords and what they dictate of duties.

We could describe the visit of the Palestinian delegation to Washington (Erekat Faraj), as distinctive, with its context and results.

• In the context, it was preceded by a series of developments, most notably the seventh conference of the Fatah movement, and the program which was approved by the conference, which stressed on the «peaceful solutions» and to reject all forms of violence and which considered that the year 2017 will be the year of the establishment of the Palestinian state and the salvation from the occupation and settlement.

• In the same context, President Abbas announced in his speech before the conference that the current Palestinian entity, is no longer a self-management authority، but it is a state entity that has all the specifications, stressing that «we have become a state and the world must recognize us as a state».

• In the context as well, it was mentioned in Ramallah that the US President Barack Obama intends, before leaving the White House, to leave a «deposit» for the Palestinians, represented in a draft resolution that will be filed to the United Nations Security Council, which will recognize the legitimate national rights of the Palestinian people, including its right to have an independent state.

But as for the right of return for Palestinian refugees, President Abbas has resolve his position on it by confirming on « the approved just solution in accordance with the resolution 194» as was stipulated upon in the Beirut Initiative (2002), which was taken from the suggestions of Shimon Peres for the solution.

Thus, the Palestinian delegation - which has a double aspect, that combines the Palestine Liberation Organization (Erekat) and the Palestinian Authority (Faraj) and Fatah (Erekat and Faraj together) - went and met with the assistant of the first deputy of the US Secretary of State for Middle East Affairs, Stuart Jones, who issued a statement in 12/12/2016, which included two points:

• The first point: consultations on the regional situation about the threat of the terrorism as represented particularly by Daesh, and what is imposed by this duties on the Palestinian Authority, as a part of the regional front against the terrorism.

• The second point : the two-state solution and the negotiations as the only way [with the emphasis on the prescription only] to be agreed upon between the two parties and to resolve the permanent status issues, and the Palestinian commitment «in the long-term» to renounce the violence and to adopt the path of non-violence, a commitment from the power of being part of the regional front against the terrorism, as all the forms of violence that do not serve the US-Israeli interests, fall within the framework of «terrorism».

* * *

From the results of the visit, we can conclude the following:

• Obama will leave the White House without leaving to the Palestinians any «deposit», that the PA was dreaming of it, which can be a gateway to be the year 2017 as a year of the state as Abbas promised and predicted in his speech. Perhaps the true «deposit», is the statement that was issued by the US secretary, which, in our opinion, formed major steps backwards, if compared with the previous positions of the White House.

These steps are in line with the extremist right Israeli policies, whether by the escalation of the repressive measures, including the bloody repression, or the expansion of settlement, or the use of the law, and the decisions of the Knesset, as a start to annex the wider parts of the West Bank to Israel, in the framework of imposing facts unilaterally, and anticipating any results that could be resulted from the promised negotiations.

• The first step back, is that the Palestinian Authority pledged to be a part of the regional front against the terrorism, and within the framework of security cooperation, the PA should enhance its security cooperation with Israel, as well as with the United States, to combat the terrorism, Where? Of course, in the West Bank and in the Gaza Strip. As the Palestinian resistance, according to the Israeli and American customs, is terrorism, and the Intifada is terrorism, and Israel has the right to defend itself (according to the American expression).
The self-defense here, meaning to give the green light to Israel to practice all forms of aggression and bloody repression against the Palestinians.

In this context, the security services have the right to boast in front of the American side, that they are playing their role, which is assigned by the Israelis and Americans, in fighting against the terrorism.

In this context, the Palestinian clear and explicit commitment, was mentioned in the American statement, and «in the long term», to not resort to the violence (terrorism) and to adopt a policy and methods of non-violence, and to adopt the negotiations «as the only way» to reach the solution. Consequently, this undertaking means that the Palestinian Authority is committed, and it renewed its commitment, before the Americans to maintain and promote the security cooperation with the occupation.

So, instead of Obama's offering his deposit to the Palestinian side, we note that the Palestinian side is who actually presented its deposit to Obama, and later to his successor, Donald Trump.

* * *

The other step backwards, was in the emphasis this time clearly and more explicitly than any other time, that the two-state solution is by negotiation. In other words, that the Palestinians' right to establish a state, is subjected to the approval of the Israeli side to set on the negotiation table.

This approval opens many files: the borders of the state, the signs of sovereignty, the border crossings, the security aspects, the economic relations, the «returners», etc. when Israel is given the right to shape the state (that, if it agreed on this state) means that the establishment of the state is no longer a Palestinian sovereign decision Palestinians and it will not be an application of the declaration of independence on 15/11/1988, but it will be, as a result of the Oslo Accords.

The US statement reaffirms on the Oslo Accords, as a political ceiling for the Israeli-Palestinian relations. Which would undermine many issues, the most important is «Abbas' promise» that the year 2017 will be the year of the Palestinian state.

The State will be subjected to the approval of Israel, while John Kerry admitted that Netanyahu and half members of his government reject the two-state solution.

What is the meaning of tying the two-state solution with the agreement, and at the same time, the emphasis on the fighting against the terrorism, and to adopt a policy of non-violence (on the long-term) and the negotiations as the only way for solution?

What is meant by the statement's negligence to the Israeli terrorism and the threat of the Israeli terrorism against the Palestinian people? And what is meant by the statement's negligence to the risk of settlement on the «two-state solution» even with the American conditions?

We consider that the silence about the settlement, forms a green light for further settlement, and an American prelude, to be continued later with the Trump's administration, which does not see the settlement as contrary to the principles of the international law, or to the resolutions of international legitimacy, or to the rights of the Palestinian people, but it is an Israeli interest.

The Palestinian delegation went to Washington to carry to the American side the results of the Fatah conference. It thus, has renewed its commitment, and the commitment of the official Palestinian leadership, to the Oslo Accords and their extensions, without an Israeli similar commitment.

As for: The Central Council decisions (05/03/2015), the National Reconciliation Document (2006), the document of Cairo (2005), the Declaration of Independence (15/11/1988) the «Abbas' promise» that 2017 will be the year of the establishment of the Palestinian state, all of them in their way to the waste basket in the office of Stuart Jones, the assistant of the first deputy of the US secretary of state for Middle East affairs.

Notes:*Moatasem Hamadeh is a member of the Political bureau of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine
Translated by: Ibrahim Motlaq

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