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The Entitlements of Unity and the Upshots of Reconciliation
By: Mohammad Al-Sahli
August 17, 2018

As long as the division continues, the reconciliation file between Fateh and Hamas becomes more complex from two angles. The first is linked to the repercussions of the tensions between them, and the second relates to the transfer of regional attention to the subject from the follow-up area to the field of direct intervention. As we are witnessing today, that the issue has become the cornerstone of many regional and international initiatives and projects that are being followed by the "deal of the century" train.

It is clear that these initiatives seek to find a "non-national" compromise to the dilemma of division, namely, to find a compromise to the problems between the two movements outside the umbrella of the related successive comprehensive national dialogues and their decisions, including the emphasis on the need to restore the unity on programmatic and organizational bases, that reconsider the national liberation program, ensure the national partnership in decision-making as in confrontation, and rebuild the Palestinian political system on democratic foundations.

These initiatives are equipped with a wide package of economic promises and service projects that raise the slogan of solving the humanitarian and living problems of the people of the Gaza Strip, which are accumulated and complex problems that strain their daily lives. While the American-Israeli goal of launching these promises, including the exploitation of the hard reality of the Strip in order to pass the US deal, is realized, finding solutions to these problems is more urgent than ever.

Hence emerges the need for solutions, in the context of a unified national vision that places the international community in front of its responsibilities in lifting the siege on the Strip and its people on the one hand, and pushes towards the implementation of the results of the dialogue of Palestinian forces and factions in Cairo (20/11/2017) on the other. The consensus on this vision is to remove the Israeli- American sword of pressure and blackmail, and the attempt to swap the truce and the cease-fire by Palestinian steps that begin with the stop of the return marches and do not end with the removal of the weapons of the resistance. But reaching this vision and committing to it, requires first an inclusive conviction that the American plan must be rejected and resisted, and the popular resistance must be continued, in the West Bank and Gaza in the face of siege, aggression, settlement and Judaization campaigns.

This vision is one of the important motives of the transition from talking about reconciliation between the Fatah and Hamas movements towards the achievement of the restoration of unity, although solving the problems between them provides the national climate for the direction towards the restoration of unity. The important issue is that solving these problems shouldn't start and end with the dedication of the principle of bilateral deals and factional sharing, because they are the main reasons for exacerbating the consequences of the division and its continuation, as the private calculations and hiding behind the factional interests were the root cause of the division.

The Palestinian situation has been able several times to reach agreements on the restoration of the unity signed by all factions . The agreements draw up a roadmap for the restoration of unity, but the resort of Fatah and Hamas to bilateral deals meant a pragmatic position rejecting what they agreed upon in the comprehensive national dialogues, therefore, they have inflicted the Palestinian situation with additional repercussions for division whenever they disagree on the mechanisms for implementing their agreements.

Thus, the titles of reconciliation between the two movements and their details and the outstanding points between them have been put as an "imposed" alternative to the titles of the restoration of national unity and the mechanisms of achieving it with the participation of all. The regional efforts have focused on trying to find mutually acceptable exits, which has not happened so far.

The problem is now more evident under the US-Israeli plan and the attempts to pass it on to the Palestinians by exploiting the tragedies of Gaza, while the Palestinian Authority is being enticed by an Israeli economic plan in the West Bank which will include Gaza. This may in turn tempt the PA and it may find the offer an opportunity to be a party, concerned with the ongoing moves in the level of economic initiatives, which the declaration of them have been confined to Gaza Strip only and the PA has been excluded from them.

Tel Aviv intervenes here from the lane of continuation of the official Palestinian leadership to adhere to the Oslo Accords and its refrain from implementing the decisions of the National and Central Councils, which stressed the necessity of boycotting Israel, breaking the Oslo restrictions, ending security coordination with the occupation, reopening to the UN and activating the membership of the State of Palestine in its institutions, in particular, which are concerned with the prosecution of the occupation for its continuing crimes against the Palestinian people.

The economic plans, that the PA is excited about today, are an execution of Netanyahu's so-called "economic peace" plan, which the "deal of the century" has come to give it the declared support it lacked before the Trump administration coming. If the PA gives its consent on that, it will be as an agreement to the US deal at the same time, that is, the acceptance of the regional solution at the expense of the national rights of the Palestinian people.

The positions of Trump's administration have put the Palestinian situation in the face of great challenges and greater dangers, as they are not limited to the financial siege only, but to all the Palestinian rights which are exposed to liquidation. The American and Israeli demands for the PA and the PLO are to reshape their institutions, in terms of disconnection with the struggling heritage of the Palestinian people and dealing with its symbols as offenders and outlaws. Therefore, Washington and Tel Aviv and others impose sanctions on the PA and the Organization because of the salaries of the families of martyrs and prisoners.

All of the above makes us warned that any steps taken by the official Palestinian leadership in this direction, means a practical submission to the American conditions, and that each step from it, puts Trump's administration in the waiting position until the conditions are fulfilled. The irony is that Trump's administration makes no promise that anyone can justify as a concession at this dangerous level, at a time when the dangers that threaten the Palestinian people and its cause and its rights, are increasing.

Mohammad Al-Sahli is Editor in Chief of Al-Hourriah newspaper, the official speaker of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine
Translated by Ibrahim Motlaq

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