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Resistance is Legitimacy
By: Moatasem Hamadeh
December 13, 2018

When the Palestinian factions went to Cairo to ratify the 12/10/2017 understandings, to end the division between Fatah and Hamas, some tried to raise the file of the resistance's weapons in the Gaza Strip from two improper entrances:

• The first: is that the PA's security role that applies to the West Bank, to be applied to the Gaza Strip.

• The second: a single gun, which is the PA gun.

It was natural for this issue to raise wide debates, through the interventions of some forces, including the intervention of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine in the following:

• First: there can be no equality between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

In the West Bank, the occupation extends across the territory, and there are security coordination commitments announced by the PA President as "sacred". While in the Strip, there is an armed resistance, not only by weapons, but beyond it. Also, there is an Israeli siege, and there is a danger of daily aggression against the people, resistance and its leadership. In the Gaza Strip, we have made progress on the national track, i.e. the withdrawal of occupation and settlements from the Strip, which has not yet been achieved in the West Bank. Therefore, there must be a formula for the PA, free from all forms of security coordination, to ensure the conditions of the Strip. This is done only by the coordination between the PA and the resistance.

• Second: It is that completes the above. There is no contradiction at all between the gun of PA and the gun of resistance, as the gun of PA, is to ensure the internal security of the population, apply the law and to ensure internal stability. This is its condition in order for the parties of the resistance should not intervene and that the security services of the PA can carry out their duties with regard to internal security, noting that this would exempt the resistance from being worried about the daily lives of the citizens and devote itself to its combat duties against the siege, aggression and occupation. While the weapon of the resistance, is a weapon to defend the people in the Strip against the Israeli threat, which requires the organization of the resistance situation in a way that ensures its protection and unifies its political, military and security decision through a joint operations center with unified national political reference, and the PA is a part of this reference, whose duties shall be to take the decision to fight and to escalate, when necessary, and the decision to calm down as necessary, too. A decision to be agreed upon and binding on the joint military operations center.

The implementation of the understandings of 12/10 and 22/11/2017 has encountered with a number of obstacles. The Egyptian initiatives too, have not succeeded in removing these obstacles, including the ongoing round in Cairo.

What is new is that the PA is escalating in its positions and conditions and formulating slogans that it is aware, before all, that they will not be accepted by Hamas or by the parties of the resistance. For example “one authority, one law and one gun”, and this is the most dangerous: “the PA gun is the only legitimate gun”. All these issues have not been agreed upon, but have been discussed and national solutions have been reached, as we have pointed out, especially the issues of security, the weapons, the coordination with the occupation and the precaution from the plans of siege and aggression.

Perhaps the most dangerous of these slogans, is limiting the "legitimacy" to the weapons of the PA, as if we are in an independent and fully sovereign state that exercises this sovereignty over every inch of its territory and safeguards the sovereignty of its people at homeland, and as if the weapons of the resistance are not "legitimate", but rather an outlaw, carried by a group of bandits, who are against the law and must be stripped of them, to enforce the law on everyone.

It must be recalled here that the resistance gun, wasn't born with the birth of the PA nor in opposition to the PA. It was born with the contemporary Palestinian revolution and became a title of the national dignity of the people of Palestine, which, together with the national program (Return and Self-Determination), created a new place for the Palestinian people, after attempts were made to eradicate it and turn it into gathering of refugees. The gun, along with the national program, introduces the PLO to the United Nations that enshrined it as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. Until the great political coup on the gun (on the resistance and the Intifada) and on the national program, took place through the Oslo Accords. And shouldn't be ignore that after the arrival of the Oslo negotiating team to Camp David (July 2000), it found no way to restore national rights but only by returning to the guns in the second intifada until the departure of the former Palestinian Authority president, Yasser Arafat, and the decision to calm down in the national dialogue in Cairo (2005) at the request of the new president of the PA, Mahmoud Abbas.

The calm did not mean referring the gun to retirement, and abandoning the option of resistance under the national program, although President Abbas, alone, initiated the dismantling of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the military wing of Al-Fatah movement, and stripped them of their weapons. All forms and rounds of the Israeli aggression in Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip have proved that the PA, in its current form and political, security, economic and financial constraints, is incapable of protecting the Palestinian people and land, and even is incapable of protecting the elements and officers of its own security services, when they are harassed and disarmed by occupation patrols.

We know perfectly well, as the advocates for one "legitimate" gun know, that the issue is neither technical nor administrative, nor is it a matter of the duality of weapon between the PA and resistance, but first and foremost is a political choice. The call for the withdrawal of the resistance weapons means returning to the rest of the Oslo Accords as a political option and abandoning the choice of the national program and resistance against the occupation, in all forms of struggle, in the field and in international forums.

Everyone should realize that the perseverance of the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip, in the marches of return and breaking of siege, and its firmness and sacrifices, would not have taken this heroic character but because the people is confident that the resistance stands behind it, defends it in the field and protects its rights. And that all these sacrifices will not be a bargain under Oslo or other projects with futile solutions.

The same rule applies in the West Bank and Jerusalem, as all these heroic individual operations here and there, are an integral part of the option of comprehensive resistance, in its military, political, cultural, and social meanings, and also an integral part of the Oslo Accords overthrow or the rest of them.

As well as the steadfastness of the refugees in their camps and their rejection of alternative projects of the right of return. Their realization that there is a national alternative, the national program, with all its forms of resistance, which they preserve with their sacrifices and suffering, is what guarantee them the right of return.

So let's resolve it, for once and for all:

Resistance gun is legitimate.

Apart from that, it should reconsider its policy to restore its "revolutionary legitimacy" by returning to the national program.

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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