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Resisting the Settlements and Judging them
By: Mohammad Al-Sahli
October 19, 2017

Facing the settlements in the ground supports the political and diplomatic action in this regard.

Netanyahu and his government are constructing a new settlement that includes most of the Palestinian Bank and Jerusalem; if it seems to be a continuation of the expansionist Israeli policy, but it also emphasizes that settlement expansion has been coordinated by Washington and Tel Aviv, where the green light that has been given by Trump administration to build in settlements and Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem and Hebron.

As long as the US administration considers that settlement is not an obstacle in the way of "achieving peace", the entire settlement process is now connecting to the pace of settlement expansion and achieving goals that Netanyahu wants, regarding to the future of occupied Palestinian territories.

Therefore, it seems that the negotiations, which the Palestinian negotiator eager to resume, are outside the context that serves the Palestinian national interest.

The "new" settlement campaign, which Netanyahu is preparing to launch, indicates "his tranquility" of that the near future will not bring any disturbing surprises with regard to the settlement, especially since the regional framework is the basis for it, and the Palestinian issue has become according to the American vision, a margin.

Based on the American "understanding" of the need for settlement expansion, the Netanyahu government quickly works to implement a systematic plan that creates an additional reality that draws the map of Palestinian entity by the pen of settlement, regardless of whether it is self-contained or attached to a confederation with Jordan, US and Israeli diplomatic sources have clearly indicated that Washington prefers to start giving the Palestinians the land which is under their feet, in the Palestinian Bank where they live, and in the weary Gaza Strip from the accumulation of burden of its crises. In order to provoke the Palestinian negotiator to react to such a plan, the US administration reiterates that this is only an initial step which will be followed by other steps that extend the PA's rule over more land.

This is a comment that Netanyahu categorically rejected, which was described by the US administration as an "obstacle" in the way of settlement.

But the fact is that Netanyahu wants to begin the settlement with regional files and to postpone talking about the Palestinian issue until the arrangement of Israel's position in the new political map in the region, especially after the clarity of its leaderships' alliance, under the sponsorship of United States.

This does not reflect a serious opposition between Tel Aviv and Washington, because the two sides are moving away from the issue of an independent Palestinian state and the future of East Jerusalem. But it is clear, that the Trump administration wants to provide addresses through which it can stabilize the Palestinian negotiator in its place, and at the same time enable him to continue marketing the illusion of upcoming settlement.

In earlier stages, the expansion of the PA's rule, was at the top of list of "trusting gestures" that was proposed by US administrations that accompanied the settlement process. It is now merely an indication to an action that likely to be taken, after naming areas where are inhabited by Palestinians (except Jerusalem), as their own entity.

However, Netanyahu refuses that, especially since he recently has begun to normalize the project of expelling the Palestinians outside Jerusalem, securing their Judaization and expanding the Jewish existence in the city of Hebron.

A committee has been formed by Netanyahu, has already concluded that the lands of Palestinian Bank are common and that the Jewish state has the right to seize up them and act in accordance with its expansionist and security considerations.

Therefore, the Israeli negotiator has moved away from discussing the issue of borders or declaring a vision of Tel Aviv toward the borders of the promised Palestinian state, for years.

However, several sources believe that Netanyahu will try to benefit from the "new" American vision, with a fundamental amendment that the Palestinian entity that links to the existence of Palestinians in their areas of residence, is a final outcome, and of course, with strict security restrictions by the Israeli military and security establishment exclusively.

What has been said about the Trump's team in this regard, has relatively its old Israeli roots, but with a "miniature" version. A number of officials of the Zionist parties proposed the plan of "interim state" with initial borders, with postponement of many issues for long-term discussion, including the issue of Jerusalem. The first thing that Netanyahu did, after becoming a prime minister in 2009, was cutting with these ideas, although they were proposed at the expense of establishment of an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.

With the advent of Trump administration, it is up to the Netanyahu government to expedite the completion of its colonial project. In this context, there is no scope for a discussion of a Palestinian entity, because this calls for discussion of many issues that Tel Aviv does not want to raise.

In sum, what is proposed in the American coulisse about the settlement, confirms its vision, which was clearly expressed by the American ambassador to Jerusalem, David Friedman, who brought the entire file back to start line. This doesn't mean that the PA would be exempted from the security, economic and political restrictions that have been imposed by Oslo Accords.

Therefore, there is nothing to has been bet on by the Palestinian negotiator and its reference. The best is to seriously continue the path towards ending the division and restoring unity in accordance with national consensus resolutions and to start the rebuilding of Palestinian political system on democratic foundations, starting with the election of institutions in PLO and PA, according to the full proportional representation.

The move towards restoring the unity and rebuilding the Palestinian political system is the cornerstone of the return of Palestinian state to the initiative, away from the inaction and erosion that they have been experienced over the past years.

In this regard, it is necessary to emphasize the exit from the proposed settlement and re-consideration of resolutions of national consensus by opening up to the United Nations and enriching Palestine's membership in its institutions, especially international criminal law, by submitting complaints about Israeli crimes , at the forefront of it, settlement and Judaization, based on the international consensus in the Security Council, which condemned the settlement and expressed that by its Resolution 2334.

To the extent that this approach is important and transform it into an effective policy in the Palestinian official movement, confronting the settlements on the ground, supports the political and diplomatic action in this regard. This means the launching of popular resistance and protecting it, and this basically means, starting to stop the security coordination with the occupation, because it was a source of suppression of youth uprising and hurting its young men and women at a time that the occupation was free to commit the crimes of execution against them.

Depending on this path, a progress can be made at the level of Palestinian national action towards achieving the national targets and stopping before that, the series of retreat and finding solutions to the accumulated Palestinian crises. Without this, the Israeli expansionist policy will continue to loot the Palestinian land without any prosecution.

Notes:Mohammad Al-Sahli is an Editor in Chief of Al-Hourriah newspaper, the official speaker of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
Translated by: Rasha Abo Allan and Hassan Barazi

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