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Keep Gaza away from the Political Adventures
By: Moatasem Hamadeh
April 3, 2018

All sincere attempts by a number of national forces to limit the effects of the assassination attempt on Prime Minister Rami al-Hamdallah and Majid Faraj, director of the General Intelligence, in their recent visit to the Gaza Strip, have not succeeded.

As from the first moment, the accusations began to be spread arbitrarily, without any need to realize the gravity of what happened, the seriousness of its repercussions, the seriousness of the target, and therefore the shift to not being drawn to what the perpetrators of the crime had planned, for which they put the package in the procession of the Prime Minister and his assistants.

If the good intentions were used to deal with the issue, it would have been possible to agree on the formation of joint committees of inquiry from both sides, the PA and Hamas, with a national participation by the factions, so we reach the truth - whatever the truth is - and the cover is revealed from those behind the crime, and to transfer them to judiciary, to receive their just punishment.

Since it is true that the meant by the crime, is directly intended to be the procession of the Prime Minister, but what is meant behind this procession are the understandings of reconciliation and what has been achieved of them, since Fatah and Hamas have signed, on October 12, 2017. What is meant, is also more dangerous, which is the fate of Gaza Strip, which different scenarios are being drawn to it, all aimed at getting it out of the Palestinian political equation in favor of regional and Israeli equations.

So, it was better to say that Hamas is responsible for the incident, because it is still controlling the security administration of the Gaza Strip, but it was a serious mistake, to go immediately, without any justification, to accuse Hamas directly, that it is behind the crime, and that it is working to destroy the reconciliation agreement.

It was also a mistake, by the head of PA to his nerves to get angry, in his speech before the representatives of the forces and institutions in Ramallah (March 19, 2018), and to threaten to punish Hamas and declare, as the president of the Palestinian people, as he said, his threatening to take additional punitive measures against Hamas, and he knows before the others that the repercussions of these measures, will fall on the heads of the Strip's inhabitants , as social disasters, in addition to the disasters that have turned their lives into hell for more than ten years of siege. As expected, President Abbas' words were a green light for many pen-holders, to pound the war drums, either to be close to the presidency or to upset Hamas, ignoring the role that the responsible pens must play in extinguishing the media differences. (Unfortunately, some members of the Executive Committee have attacked those who played the role of reconciling in the Hamas-Fatah war, in an insulting call to deepen the state of strife and go into the Palestinian situation to further division).

In our assessment, Hamas had to carry out a series of steps, the most important of which was not to conduct the investigation exclusively, because we realize that many of those affected by reconciliation, would question the results of the investigation, as many hoped that the perpetrators to be from Hamas and not from any other party. Hamas, therefore, had to form joint investigation committees with the PA. If the PA refuses, then, to involve credible community bodies from the Strip.

Hamas also has been wrong, as it has not published the full results of the investigation yet, so that the public would know who was behind this crime, which wanted to achieve a series of goals at once, all of which harm the national cause. We believe, in the context, that it was wrong to leak some information, and to hide others, such as announcing that some of the perpetrators were from the Palestinian intelligence service in Ramallah, or promising to reveal the "amazing facts" and then silence. Or to say that the perpetrators belong to ISIS, without any clarification, whether there is a presence for ISIS in the Strip, and who are the members of this organization, and who is its leadership, and why silence about the existence of the organization, so far.

If the Hamas information confirms the ISIS's presence in the Strip, it has to explain to the public, how the organization managed to infiltrate into the Gaza Strip, where it got its weapons, and why has not been addressed so far, especially in light of the seriousness of the situations in Gaza Strip, and under the Israeli siege and threat, as the existence of an armed formation, outside the national ceiling and outside the control framework, means a strategic security gap, which can be accessed to drag the Strip into a war with Israel, which neither the people nor the factions want at the moment.

We also believe that it was wrong for Hamas, to be dragged into reactions that would fuel the fire, but rather it had to take into consideration the conditions of Gaza, and make the issue a national matter, to put it in the hands of the political forces in the Strip, not to be politically isolated and to reach with the other side, to the farthest point in the clashes, to the point that says that Abbas's speech fired a shot of mercy on the reconciliation agreement.

On the other hand, in addition to what we reported on the speech of President Abbas on 19/3/2018, we note the following observations:

• The reaction and nervousness in the PA government's statements was clear when it called Hamas for "an immediate handover of the Gaza Strip." At a time, when everyone knows that handing over the Strip, after more than ten years of division, at once, is not possible.

The government was supposed to formulate a plan that would meet a specific timetable and invite Hamas, in cooperation with other national forces, to work on its implementation. Not to forget what some ministerial sources have said that handing over the situation of Hamas to the PA, requires a period of time, and some talk about months, some talk about year and others about five years (!). Therefore, the government's statement was seen as a justification for the decision of the official Palestinian leadership, which refused to invite Hamas to attend the session of the National Council, under the pretext of not handing the Strip, under known mottos “No place for Hamas in the PLO except after the enabling of the government”.

• It was not useful, neither for the resistance nor for the Palestinian national interest, that the PA government has referred to the "resistance weapon" to say that what had happened confirmed its position on one authority, one law and one weapon, as the link between the incident and the presence of resistance in Gaza Strip is a dangerous one, and suggests that the resistance is the source of danger to the security of the Strip, and the security of the Palestinian Authority, and that there is no way to control security except by weakening the resistance. The PA government completely ignores the different circumstances between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. At the same time, the PA ignores that it is tied with the Oslo Accords, through security cooperation with the occupation in the West Bank. And that it is impossible to transfer this experience of cooperation to the Gaza Strip. As in the Strip, there is an armed resistance that has its basis and structure, and it is the ammunition of the Palestinian people to defend itself, the ammunition of the Palestinian national cause everywhere, and a card of strength in the hands of the Palestinian national movement and the Palestinian mass movement. There is no way at all, to put this issue at the negotiating table, except in the context of the search for mechanisms for separating between the internal security weapon and the resistance weapon, and separating between the internal security operations and the resistance operations in the Gaza Strip.

• The Palestinian official leadership must be aware of what has been happening and what is happening, as it is not acceptable, at all, that some Arab, Israeli and Western parties, to be more "compassionate" to the Gaza Strip more than the official leadership, so they asked it to stay away from any procedures that may make the situation more complex. Also, it is not acceptable, to say that the official leadership, has retracted from its escalating decisions, as a respond to these wishes and ignored the calls of the Palestinian national forces. This confirms that the management of public affairs is carried out by an impromptu orientation based on reaction, and it is subjected to individual tendencies and prejudices, and this is more serious.

In this context, it is important to be aware of what is being planned in the US, Israeli and other circles to Gaza Strip. So, there must be a responsible review for this growing interest from the West in general and Israel, in Gaza Strip. It is useless to say here that this is done in collusion with Hamas, and that Hamas plans to separate the Strip from the Palestinian national situation. We believe that this is an escape from responsibility, and from confronting the political reality, which says that the "deal of the century" application has not been stopped on the ground, and that what is being planned, falls within the framework of the "deal of the century". Therefore, all this noise against the "deal of the century" without a single practical step, that regroups the Palestinian situation, is useless. As well as, the return to the Oslo Accords in the "vision" of the official leadership, as stated in the Security Council speech on February 20, 2018, is useless. Moreover, returning to zero point in the reconciliation agreement is the best recipe for bringing a new crisis to the Palestinian people and its national cause.

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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