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From the «imperfect state» to the «administrative diminished ruling»
By: Moatasem Hamadeh
February 25, 2017

Settlement expansion and annexation policies transformed the Palestinian state to an «incomplete state» and the procedures of military governor in the West Bank turned the PA to «a diminished administrative ruling».

The accelerating developments in the Palestinian occupied territories, in light of a political vitality that is practiced by the Israeli extreme right and right-wing government, headed by Netanyahu, at the other side, there is a waiting policy, practiced by the Palestinian Authority, and the Executive Committee and its chairman, who are only satisfied with making verbal denunciation and condemnation, and appeals to the international community, and who are uncorroborated with any practical actions, that predict about the readiness of the Palestinian side to fight the battle in defense of the land, the people and the country with the required tools of struggle, whether in the field, through the comprehensive popular resistance, or in the international diplomatic and legal forums, including the international Criminal Court, and the United Nations Security Council and General Assembly.

The Israeli measures and policies are no longer standing at the limits of «minimum» of depredation of land, or the destruction of the Palestinian national project, and entering it into the tunnel of impossible, but these policies moved in the recent period, and with an unprecedented acceleration toward what some people were considering it as a red line, as if the occupation authorities, and the government of Netanyahu are in a feverish race against time.

After Israel gained from Donald Trump and his new administration a recognition that Jerusalem is the «capital of the state» (even if the transfer of the US embassy to it will not be done, the mere disclosure of intention, is in itself, a recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and it paves the way for a move that will come later, what dispels the illusions of those who have received what they called assurances to cancel or postpone the move).

After Netanyahu revealed his conditions for the resumption of negotiations with the Palestinian side, which are represented in the recognition of Ramallah with Israel as a national homeland for the Jews (Jewish state) and that Israeli secure borders, extends from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.

After Netanyahu revealed his rejection of «two-state solution» (the alternative to the Palestinian national project) in favor of what he called the «imperfect state», and stressed that in his meeting with the Prime Minister of Britain, when he officially informed her that his government against the establishment of a «viable» Palestinian state in accordance with the terms of the road map plan.

Having given his approval to the Israeli Knesset to ratify the legalization of the settlements law, and to provide the legal justifications for his government to seize the land and homes of Palestinians in the whole West Bank, and in occupied Jerusalem, in exchange for financial compensations, determined by the Israeli side alone and so that every inch of Palestinian land, and all Palestinian homes, are able to be confiscated according to the «state administration» as drawn by the Knesset recent law, and so that the project of annexing region C to the «Israeli state» becomes a feasible project, under the roof of the Israeli alleged law.

After this, all, Israel has moved practically from the settlement stage, to the annexation stage, even Trump himself, recently admitted that the new construction outside the settlements [not all the settlement construction] would reduce the amount of land which will be the Palestinian state.

Trump admits that, without hesitation, that the future of the settlement, and that the act of settlement, in its reality is the annexation to Israel.

After this strategic and even historical step, which constitutes a serious turning point in the march of the conflict, in which the threat of demolition of the Palestinian national project reaches to an unprecedented point, the occupation authority moved to another step, that, this time, could not only close the way before the possibility of the establishment of the Palestinian independent state, but also it will destroy the rest of the powers of the Palestinian Authority with its limited self-administration.

The Israeli civil administration officer, in Beit El, adjacent to Ramallah, and which supervising on the work of the Palestinian Authority, and constitutes, in practice, its upper reference (an alternative to the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization), has issued a decision to redraft the relationship between the civil administration and its services, on the one hand, and between Palestinian citizens on the other, so that the two parties exceed, the Minister of civil administration in the Palestinian Authority , Hussein Al-Sheikh, a member of the Fatah Central Committee, so , the Palestinian citizen has the right to submit his demands to the Israeli civil administration directly.

Note that the Israeli civil administration authority can grant traders, industrialists, businessmen and the general Palestinian citizens licenses to import and export through the Jordanian border, and permits to travel to Gaza through the «safe passage» and permits for the transition to inside Israel, to work or hospitalization, or for any other purposes, and the Israeli civil administration is the one who supervises on the record of population in the West Bank, including granting the so-called «national number» and the issuance of Palestinian identity cards and permits to travel across the Jordanian border, as well as entry permits to the West Bank for those who do not have the «national number».

If we look at the size of the powers of the Israeli civil administration, we realize the fact that the powers of the Palestinian Authority and the limits and nature of its responsibilities, in which the security tasks, in cooperation with the occupation authorities, reach to more than 50% of the total of its tasks and powers.

When the Israeli civil administration decision by the military governor of the West Bank seizes on the large part of powers and tasks of the Palestinian Authority, in this step, there is a bright political content that cannot be covered, though the PA had received these procedures with heavy silence.

Israeli press sources considered these measures as a precaution taken by the occupation authorities for the possible collapse of the Palestinian Authority. These sources do not separate between the Israeli annexation policies, and the disruption of the negotiating process, and the closure of the horizon to reach a «settlement» in the near period (with the terms of Netanyahu only) and between the possibility of the erosion of the Palestinian Authority, and the erosion of its prestige in the eyes of its citizens, and the arrival of the Palestinian street to a political conviction leading to «bombing conditions », so that the clash this time will be with PA, if it tried to counter the popular movement, as it did with the youth uprising, in the context of its security obligations with the occupation authorities under the Oslo accords.

It is no secret to say that the Palestinian Authority is still keen to emphasize to the Israeli side, and the United States its commitment to Oslo.

The recent visit of Majid Faraj, the head of Palestinian intelligence service to Washington, falls in this context, and it was done, as PA's sources confirmed, to discuss the trilateral security cooperation issues: the Israeli-Palestinian American.

It is no secret, (also) that the Palestinian Authority is still betting on the possibility of resuming the negotiating process with Israel. This was confirmed by the president of the PA in his visit to Paris and his meeting with president Hollande, and in his visit to Brussels and his meeting with the officials in Belgium, and this is confirmed by his political speeches and the speeches of his aides.
And that all threats to the possibility of resorting to the international forums, are only mere words that did not reach to the minimum level of action.

The land is being eroded, and the official side in PA and PLO are standing idly, waiting for what will be resulted from the «reflections» of president Trump, which at their best will not go beyond the limits of what John Kerry did, which arrived to failure.

The powers of PA are being eroded, and the official side is exercising the policy of silence and turning a blind eye and living at the same time, a state of denial.

If Netanyahu has transferred the Palestinian project, from the independent Palestinian state with full sovereignty to the «Imperfect State», the Israeli civil administration officer procedures have transformed the Palestinian Authority into a mere «incomplete administrative ruling».

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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