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The Division, the Truce and the Maneuvers' Game
By: Moatasem Hamadeh
September 15, 2018

There is no doubt that everyone agrees that the truce should be accompanied with reconciliation and an end to the division. As that would achieve the truce in a national framework and ensure that its results are guaranteed, both in field and politically.

However, this does not eliminate the fear that the requirement to link between the two operations, to be an entry to cancel the truce, in light of the suspension of the end of the division, so, Gaza Strip finds itself in the midst of the siege and its humanitarian tragedies, and under the pressure of the Israeli aggression.

Especially that some national and leftist parties, including the DFLP, stressed the need to completely separate the issues of the truce from the issues of political solution to the conflict with Israel, and stressed in the same context, the need that the truce to be in the context of the understandings of 2014, which were submitted by a unified Palestinian delegation, which included, along with the DFLP, Fatah, PFLP, Jihad and Hamas, to the indirect negotiations to the Israeli side, through the Egyptian mediator, that is, to confirm a previous agreement that was agreed upon it by the Palestinian national situation at that time.

The problem of ending the division, lies in the fact that the two parties, Fatah and Hamas, have engaged in many dialogues in more than one Arab capital, particularly in Cairo, and have reached more than one understanding to end the division, which the Palestinian factions have ratified them and called for their implementation through prioritizing the political will and national interests, over any factional interests, the most recent of which were the understandings of 12/10/2017 in Cairo, which were welcomed nationally in the dialogues of 22/11/2017 in the Egyptian capital as well.

But, each time, it turns out that the understandings were, in large part of them, "verbal" understandings, that aimed at resolving the differences in vague terms. But the failure of these words and methods to solve the major issues soon has been proved. It also turns out that in details lie the reasons behind the disruption.

Therefore, the national situation has the right to fear once again that the talks to end the division to be disrupted, and that the truce to be disrupted, in the national context, and transformed , as it turned out, before the visit of the Egyptian delegation to Ramallah, to a major issue, so as the Palestinian situation to be before two cases, that will pressure on the national situation, in light of increasingly complex circumstances, under the pressure of Trump's policy of implementing the "deal of the century", step by step. The most recent of which is the suspension of UNRWA funding, in light of the official leadership's suspension for the Central and National Councils decisions, and being content with the verbal opposition as well as refraining from taking the necessary steps, on the ground, in the face of Trump and Netanyahu field steps.

Therefore, it is assumed that the Palestinian situation does not need to return to the point of zero, to re-examine the ending of the division, from the first step, and engaging in dialogues, which may not reach more than the understandings on 12/10/2017, under the sponsorship of Egypt. Especially that one of the parties called for a bilateral dialogue again, to reach new understandings, and rejected the comprehensive national dialogues, calling for these comprehensive dialogues, only to ratify the consensus and bilateral understandings. Such a logic, of course, carries the risk of exclusivity, especially since the owners of this logic continue to claim that the division is not between Fatah and Hamas, but between the PLO and Hamas, and any applications for this logic, assume a comprehensive dialogue for all parties, as the most likely guarantee for success, especially after the experience has proved the failure of bilateral dialogues and the failure of the application, when it is limited between the two parties and when the proposals on the formation of national committees that will oversee the application and demine its way, are excluded.

At the same time, we must read the official leadership calendar and its impact on the files of division and the truce. As it is expected that the official leadership to participate in the next session of the United Nations General Assembly this month and make a speech, whose titles are already known, in clarifications to an external source in the PA, confirmed that the official leadership word will emphasize the complex views, contained in the recent Central Council's statement; i.e. an international conference with an international reference (unspecified) according to the Arab peace initiative "and the vision of the president" on February 20, 2018, in which he reaffirmed the commitment to Oslo Accords and called for the resumption of " the negotiations of the permanent solution". After that, it is expected that the Central Council to be called for a new session, which will raise a wide political debate about the mechanisms of preparation for it, its function, and on the previous decisions ratified by the Central and National Councils (15/1/2018 and 30/4/2018 respectively) and the results reached by the committees of the study at the request of the Executive Committee, and their fate.

In other words, the Palestinian situation will be before a debate, which will bring differences to the surface and present different positions on the issue of calling for a new session of the Central Council, between its feasibility and its replacement by applying what has been agreed upon and approved in previous sessions. This may spread tension in the Palestinian climate at the expense of paying attention to the issues of ending the division and reaching a truce in September, or perhaps in October.

Does this mean that the truce will end? Does this mean that the split will not escalate? Does this mean that the war of exchanging accusations will stop? The answer to all this is a big "no", and the most dangerous of all, is that the steps taken by the Netanyahu government to create facts on the ground to implement the "economic peace" plan are an alternative to the national program, and they will not stop. And he will have the chance, to move forward in achieving his goals.

Moreover, the most dangerous of these is that Trump's steps in implementing the "deal of the century "plan will not stop, as the judaization of Jerusalem is continued, the settlements are increasing day after day, and the UNRWA funding crisis will reflect itself on the refugee situation. (Note the Israeli threat to prevent the Agency's work in occupied Jerusalem, as a first step on the road to siege the refugees). Therefore, if the link between ending the division and the truce is aimed at throwing the two issues to the farthest point, this means that the situation in Gaza Strip and the Palestinian national, will deteriorate further, and that the policy of failed bets will dramatically harm the national cause.

Notes: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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