The Web

Articles & Analyses

From Division to Apportionment
By: Moatasem Hamadeh
December 13, 2017

The transition from division to apportionment does not establish a reconciliation that leads to a national unity, but creates new crises that are a form of division.

The response of Gaza Strip’s residents to the results of the dialogue in Cairo (November 21 and 22, 2017) is understood, as the Gaza Strip was expecting the dialogue to produce practical results that would make the residents feel that the real transition from division to the reconciliation, especially after Hamas announced that it had handed over the ministries and departments to the PA government, and after Rami al-Hamdallah visited Gaza, met with its people, held a meeting for his government, and announced that his ministers began to receive their ministries.

The minimum expected results of Gaza Strip’s residents are the lifting of the collective punishment measures against them, the return of salaries to their owners without deduction or reduction, the lifting of the siege on the Gaza Strip, the opening of the Rafah crossing, the resumption of paying the fuel bill to make the power station works and the provision of electricity to Gaza Strip, to restore life to the workshops, hospitals and institutions, and save the people from the darkness of night.

The return of deputations to Gaza, without these decisions, received negative reactions from the people, and that is their right, even some of the participants in the dialogue, either directly or through representatives of their factions, stood against the final statement, as if the problem was in the statement, or in the drafting committee and not in the power which has the decision: the decision to impose sanctions or lift them, the decision to impose the siege, or lift it, and the decision to stop paying the electricity bill or to pay it. So, taking the final statement, as a pretext, it is avoid telling the truth to the people. Especially that the statement has carried great political advantages, that we should not ignore them, under the weight of sanctions imposed on the strip, and under the darkness of its nights due to the absence of energy.

The pretext of the Fatah delegation is that lifting the sanctions and siege, and resuming the other responsibilities, would be only after the empowerment of government to assume its duties and carry out its role without obstacles. This is an exaggeration, because the speaker knows that these issues need a long time to be solved, as many issues, on the agenda of reconciliation, need to be "negotiated" between the two parties, with an Egyptian mediation, that all have admitted its validity in such cases.

Thus, if we accept the view that links the "empowerment" with working to improve the conditions of life in the Gaza Strip, it means that residents of Gaza Strip have to wait a long time, until both parties reach an agreement on all issues, which the government, after that, can announce that it has achieved the "empowerment" condition and that it will begin to provide services to the people of Gaza Strip.

Especially as each party sends messages confirming that reaching consensus has many complications and obstacles. This means that division has moved us, to a new stage, which is the apportionment. The two sides have assured that they are in the midst of a fierce battle for apportionment (of power), and that was expressed by many statements of Fatah and Hamas spokesmen, including members of the delegations, to the Cairo dialogue.

The employee’s issue is a matter of apportionment, this what the statements say, the security issue is a matter of apportionment, as the statement also say, as Hamas confirms that it will not allow expelling or giving up of one employee, in the framework of the integration of functional blocks, that support any of both sides, the same for security and police officers.

While the PA government considers that rearranging the structure of job is its responsibility only, and that the priority is for Fatah loyalists, who stopped working on the decision of the Ramallah government following the Hamas coup. The same is for the security services and other service institutions.

In its debate with Hamas, the PA resorts to "law" as it is binding on all. Hamas, in turn, resorts to the agreement it had with Fatah, so, everyone interprets things according to its advantage, and each issue is looked at, through the apportionment of power between both parties, as a result, each one tries to capture the largest share.

The PA interprets its position that it falls within the framework of "empowerment". Hamas considers its position as a part of the implementation of reconciliation agreements. In both cases, we are before a policy of clinging to power and apportionment of power. The loser in both cases is the people in the Strip, who are waiting so long for the arrival of the "reconciliation process" to the safe side.

Going in this direction is creating new crises, straining the political atmosphere, warning about the coming of new events that will harm Gaza Strip, and delaying solutions to the issues of life, which are pressing on it strongly.

Therefore, from the very first day, we take in our consideration the danger of bilateral solutions, and we have said that they proved their failure, and that the national solution is the one that can deal with the intractable issues. We called, among other things, for the reconciliation agreement to be a national agreement, participated in by all Palestinian parties, and not to leave things to two sides which will openly fight on the apportionment of power.

We also said that the formation of national committees to deal with intractable issues is the right way to overcome obstacles. We also called for not keeping Gaza Strip as a victim to the differences and contradictions between the two parties, and excluding it from the area of conflict by hastening in lifting of the collective punishment, lifting the siege and opening the Rafah crossing.

We also called for the involvement of social, trade union, and other social and cultural activities, from specialists, which are described as neutral, to contribute in solving the difficult issues. As the popular pressure is the best way to push the two parties to follow the national will to end the division and move the strip from the stage of suffering and injustice to justice, dignity and deep national sense, through the provision of services.

Therefore, the two parties, as everyone thinks, must stop the statements and counter-statements, and stop the exchange of accusations, and evading from responsibility, because such a policy would harm the general national scene and impede progress towards the implementation of the reconciliation agreement.

The two parties also should return to the Cairo Declaration on July 22, 2017, and draw inspiration from the unified and positive spirit that governed its formulation, and created a major national workshop, that is not only limited to address issues of integration and reconstruction of institutions and departments, but it also moved to the reconstruction of the Palestinian political system, which is very close to failure.

If we were in an advanced political system, based on democracy through the elections and on the principle of national partnership, with the firm conviction that national unity is not a luxury but an urgent need for the Palestinian cause and for the Palestinian national project, if we had that all, we wouldn't have experienced conflict, division or apportionment on power.

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

Share |
copyright © 2004 - dflp-palestine.net