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The Marches After Their First Year
By: Mohammad Al-Sahli
April 10, 2019

Many asked about the future of the "marches of return and breaking the siege" after the "multitudinous march of return", in term of the size of popular participation, and whether the measures and the steps, that come in the context of the truce, will create a less enthusiastic atmosphere, to activate and develop them as was their case at their beginning.

There are also those who believe that the easing of the siege measures, if Egyptian and international efforts succeed and the occupation commits to what it has agreed upon, will be automatically reflected on the function of the marches, and therefore on the momentum of participation, to gradually turn into a monotonous act, that may gradually dissipate and fade.

These are based on their view that the presence of "marches", as a negotiating file, at the indirect negotiating table with the occupation, means that they are subject to barter, as Tel Aviv sees any administrative and service facilities for the people of the Gaza Strip, as a "gift" that requires strict Palestinian commitments under the surveillance of Israeli security services.

Launching the marches of return and breaking the siege has formed an important step in the national action course in the Strip, where their first major achievements was to direct the Gaza popular and political tension towards its main cause, the occupation. Thus, they have thwarted the Israeli bets over the explosion in the Palestinian home, which already has been exhausted by its accumulated crises.

Their second achievement was in the popular resistance leading of the political and field scene in Gaza, which in their goals have linked between the consequences of the great Palestinian Nakba and the continuation of aggressive and expansionist policies of occupation, under slogans derived from the general national program that unites the struggles of the Palestinian people wherever they are. These marches have found their strong and direct echoes in all Palestinian gatherings and camps, in the occupied Palestinian territories in 1948 and 1967, and in refugee and exile sites.

It can be said that their third achievement, is that they have transferred the inter-relations in the Palestinian situation in Gaza, to a stage in which the collective coordination between most of their components has been manifested, through the formation of the Supreme National Commission for the Marches. The unity in the field of popular confrontation has been reflected on the activation of the collective military confrontation of aggression, as what happen two months ago when the occupation was forced to stop its aggression, under the pressure of the strong and unified response of the military wings of the Palestinian resistance factions in Gaza.

The marches and the international Homicide, committed against them participations in them by the Israeli occupation soldiers, have attracted the attention of the public at different levels. This has prompted many official bodies, human rights and international organizations, to condemn the Israeli crimes. Numerous reports also have been issued exposing these crimes and calling for the accountability of their committers.

Thus the Gaza Strip has been moved due to these marches from a source of tragedies and crises, that Tel Aviv betting on their explosion against the Palestinians themselves, to a source of struggle in the face of the occupation. The marches with their continuation and momentum have formed the most prominent factors of political and security concern for the Netanyahu's government. The Israeli cabinet over the past period has been preoccupied with the question of how to contain these marches, after the failure of the security solution to suppress and extinguish them.

From this point of view, Tel Aviv spoke through intermediaries, about its willingness to facilitate administrative and service measures, that contribute to alleviate the economic, living and humanitarian crises suffered by the residents of the Gaza Strip, in return for Palestinian steps, related to the nature of the events that take place in the marches, such as the burning balloons and the night-confusion actions against the occupation soldiers. Of course, there are Israeli demands beyond that, have to do with the balance of military confrontation on the ground and what Tel Aviv calls the preservation of security in the Strip, so as not to threaten its security.

There are two wills competing for the future of the Gaza Strip, and in the context for the nature of the objectives of providing the living facilities for its inhabitants; the will of the occupation, which seeks to rearrange the situation of the Strip and its political status, in line with the objectives of the American-Israeli project, which depends on deepening the division and perpetuating it in order to draw a special future for the Strip, through abolishing the unity of the occupied Palestinian territories, which even the Oslo Accords recognized it.

On the other hand, there is a Palestinian political and popular vision in the Strip that considers that any future facilities are part of the rights of the Strip and its people that have been confiscated by the Israeli siege. And that the occupation was forced to approve these facilities, under the pressure of the popular resistance, represented by the marches of return and breaking the siege, and therefore, what is being proposed by the Palestinian side on the table of the indirect discussion, is the realization of these rights in not the barter on the existence of these marches and their continuation, or entering in the political framework which the titles of the Trump deal want, and its efforts to separate the Gaza Strip from the rest of the occupied Palestinian territories by the aggression of 1967.

It is natural and even required that the pressure on the occupation should continue by all available means, to compel it to carry out what it announced to the mediators, and to intensify this pressure, to realize many of the rights of the people of the Gaza Strip which have been infringed by the siege, in order to relieve them of the crises and tragedies that they have been experiencing for years, with the deep understanding that resolving the crises of the Gaza Strip, as well as the Palestinian West Bank, is essentially by ending their main cause: which are, the occupation, the siege, the aggression, the settlement, the Judaization, the killing, the arrest and the looting, which have destroyed the lives of the Palestinians, and are working to close the door of their national future and the realization of their right to self-determination.

The threat to the Palestinian people and its national rights is compounded by the Israeli-American project in its gradual steps and procedures to resolve this issue, in light of the Trump's administration denial of the existence of the Palestinian and Arab lands under the Israeli occupation. It works to subdue the region under the Israeli expansionist interests and pressures to legalize "humanitarian" solutions to the existing crises, including the crises of the Gaza Strip, apart from the resolutions of the international legitimacy, that recognized the rights of the Palestinian people to return its refugees to their homes and properties that they have been expelled from since the Nakba in 1948 and to determine its destiny and establish their independent state, with East Jerusalem as its capital, on the fourth of June 1967 lines.

On the way to ending the occupation there are solutions to many Palestinian political and economic crises in the West Bank and Gaza through the ending of the division and the restoration of unity under the banner of the unified national liberation program, and through the formation of a government of national unity that conducts concrete actions to rebuild the Palestinian political system through the election of national institutions according to the law of full proportional representation.

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: Manal Mansour
Revised by: Ibrahim Motlaq

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