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Exchanging Accusations and Gaza Suffering
By: Moatasem Hamadeh
June 17, 2018

The split between Fatah and Hamas has returned to zero. As the decisions of the Palestinian Central Council on January 15, 2018, the decisions of the National Council on April 30, 2018 and the calls and appeals of the Palestinian people and its political forces, have failed to “convince” the official leadership, and the Palestinian Authority government to lift the collective sanctions on the Gaza Strip and its population, which has further complicated the conditions of humanitarian life. If this stubbornness, in the official leadership, carries some significance, it is a clear indication of the contempt of this leadership for the decisions of the national institutions, the principles of the National Coalition, and its willingness to turn people's hunger and suffering into tools in the conflict with Hamas, on power and interests. Even the leadership of the Fatah movement seemed or wanted to appear, incapable of doing any role in this, despite the assertions of some of its spokesmen that it's the backbone of the national movement and the Palestinian national decision-maker. Although it has made itself as a supreme power, its decision and political directions have been less important than the Executive Committee's decisions and directions, unless the leadership of Fatah is really a partner in the game of sanctions on the Strip in the hope of exploding it in the face of Hamas. This game has proved its failure, and the explosion has turned out, clearly, against the Israeli occupation, in the marches of return and breaking the siege, and therefore, the bettors on blowing up the Strip from the inside have to reconsider their bet; and realize well that the incomplete policies necessarily will collide with reality. The reality of the Strip says that the solution to its tragedy, and the lifting of the siege on it, will be only a Palestinian issue, through ending the division, achieving reconciliation and restoring internal unity.

The serious repercussions of the deterioration of the situation in the Strip, including projects that have begun to appear to intervene on the line of the Palestinian issue through the gate of human compassion in the Strip, so that the occupation state is trying to engage in this game, in a legal framework of a project, trying to use humanity to hide its true political purposes. It is not a secret that the Israeli-American solutions to the Palestinian issue do not hide their intentions to separate the Gaza Strip from the Palestinian Bank within the framework of a permanent solution, in which the Strip forms the core and place of establishing the Palestinian state, while the Palestinian Bank remains under certain procedures and mechanisms, as a region of state regions, under self-management within the framework of an integrated Israeli security and economic system. Therefore, this interest in the Gaza Strip is only in the context of an attempt to rehabilitate it politically, structurally and economically, to receive the entitlement to the permanent solution with its broad Israeli and American titles.

The danger of this is not in the Israeli or US proposal. This is an old, new proposition that does not constitute a political secret that has already been presented by research and planning centers in Israel, at the level of universities and higher institutes and at the level of the political planning department of the occupation army and the relevant security services. We can go back to the archive, to get dozens of similar projects, which revolved around the fate of the Strip, and its central role in the permanent solution, and the final settlement.

The danger of this, then, is not in its proposals, but in that it tries to exploit the state of division on the one hand, and the deterioration of the situation in the Strip, on the other, to achieve its goals.

There is no doubt that this has led to dissimilar reactions in the Palestinian situation.

• As some rushed to reject the humanitarian projects totally, stressing that the issue of the Strip, is not just a humanitarian issue, but is primarily political calling for the lifting of the siege.

• Others called for a distinction between the right of the Strip to benefit from humanitarian projects, reject their political objectives and frustrate them through the adherence to national rights.

• Some of them warned that Hamas would slip into accepting the role that the Western parties are trying to draw for it in the context of the proposed solutions, considering that this role will enable it to maintain its control on the Strip and to reintroduce it in a new equation as an active part in the solution, after the siege has been imposed on it when Ismail Haniyeh was elected as a prime minister in 2006.

Here we must not ignore and forget that Hamas' gateway to a partnership in such a solution, is to agree to the three conditions of the international Quartet. Recognition of Israel, stopping "terrorism", commitment to agreements signed with it (Oslo, the Paris Protocol and others).

In order to close the way before these projects, and the attempts to stir up the political strife among Palestinian people (by building on the existing division), it is necessary to end this division and close the gate from which scenarios and plans are being leaked. And to return to the national consensus (May 4, 2011, October 12, 2017 and November 22, 2017) and to re-launch reconciliation, in accordance with the six points agreed upon, after lifting sanctions , empowering the government, resolving the social issues, reuniting of the institution in the PA and its security services and rebuilding the national unity, through comprehensive elections for the municipalities, the Legislative Council and the National Council, culminating in the convention of the new Council, in its new form (350 members, including 150 at inside and 200 abroad) in a place that is agreed upon by everyone, and everyone can access it.

What should be emphasized here is that the lifting of collective sanctions is the necessary entry and crossing point for the return of life to the process of national understandings to end the division.

Before we conclude, it is useful to remember that, hours after the signing of the understandings of the Fatah and Hamas, in Cairo, on October 12, 2017, the Israeli military editor in the Yediot Aharonot, Alex Fishman on October 13, 2017) wrote calling the Prime Minister of Israeli state to not interfere with the agreement, because such an agreement, according to Fishman's opinion, will not last long, as the extent of the contradictions between President Abbas and Hamas is much greater than the agreement signed in Cairo. So, Fishman expected that the agreement will not live for more than four months at the latest, then the differences between the two sides will explode and they will sabotage the agreement and end it. Therefore, the West Bank will remain isolated from the Gaza Strip, and that such a reality, Fishman said, “would be a sufficient reason to refuse to enter into negotiations with Mahmoud Abbas, since he does not represent all the Palestinians”.

It is strange that Israeli analysts know us well and read our policy more accurately and much better than we Palestinians do.

Do we benefit from that?

Moatasem Hamadeh is a member of the Political Bureau of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine
Translated by Rasha Abo Allan
Revised by Ibrahim Motlaq

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