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The Occupation Policy through the American Way
By: Mohammad Al-Sahli
March 18, 2018

The Trump administration refers the Palestinian rights to the "dictionary" of humanitarian issues and refuses to recognize the liberal aspect of the Palestinian issue with its main titles. According to this perspective, it deals with the issue of the Palestinian refugees and their right of return to their homes and properties, which they have been expelled from since the Nakba, and thus it has joined the Israeli vision that separates between the implementation of the Zionist project in Palestine and the emergence of this issue.

According to this perspective too, it deals with the crises in the Gaza Strip this period, and ignores the fact that the recent Trump decisions about UNRWA have aggravated the living conditions of Gaza Strip's residents. In addition, it present itself as supervisor for the process of "saving" Gaza through contracting, financed by a number of Arab countries, related to the implementation of the American "Deal of the Century".

With the exclusion of the political reason for the emergence of Palestinian crises, i.e. the "occupation", resolving these crises does not require a return to the relevant international legitimacy resolutions for the Trump administration, but it is enough that a number of donor countries to be ready to end the Palestinian issue without ending the occupation.

The approach of Trump's administration regarding the Palestinian issue has begun by the removal of the basis of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict (land and identity) and considered the proposal of a regional solution as a key factor in dealing with the Palestinian issue as a problem of a population that is geographically limited (some of the West Bank and Gaza Strip). Thus, this approach has converged with Netanyahu's vision of a solution through his plan the ''economic peace''. Within this context, and its coincidence with the "Deal of the Century", the American and Israeli visions have converged on moving away from talking about any independent Palestinian entity, and leaving the nature of this entity and its function to the regional political framework in which Israel plays a leading and pivotal role.

As the implementation mechanism of this plan is based on the imposition of roles on the relevant parties, the pressure and threat factor is the basis of Trump's administration relations with those who are targeted in the American plan, by exploiting the raising of “regional danger", confined to Iran, to keep a number of Arab countries, captive to its fabricated concerns, thus they obey the US orders regarding the implementation of the Trump administration's plan in the region.

Remarkably, Trump's developed approach is contrary to the earlier phase of US official policy during a number of previous administrations. As Washington was raising the banner of progress in the process of settlement of the Palestinian-Arab-Israeli conflict, in accordance with initiatives do not ignore the decisions of the relevant Arab summits, and provide “attracting” titles to the Palestinian negotiator to help him to spread the illusion of settlement and the possibility of reaching to an “agreed solution”, all this in return, for mobilizing the positions of most of the Arab countries behind the US policies in the region, once under the banner of fighting Soviet influence, and other in the face of the so-called "Iranian threat".

But as for Trump's administration, it depends on putting all the elements of the official and popular Palestinian situation under pressure and targeting, and this has been clear since the start of official US contacts with the Palestinian Authority, and the US envoy Greenblatt expressed this when he proposed the nine Israeli-American conditions in order to correct the Palestinian situation according to them and thus having the permission to be a marginal party in the implementation of the American plan. Then, the Trump administration has overstepped the previous administrations' fundamental considerations regarding Jerusalem and its status for the Palestinian people, and he announced impudently his recognition of the city as the capital of the Israeli occupation.

While the US administrations were seeking to produce projects to resettle Palestinian refugees and maneuvering to pass these projects through encouragement or intimidation in the past decades, the Trump administration has resorted to direct attacks on the refugees issue, beginning with the convergence with the Israeli vision in re-defining the Palestinian refugee and revoking its legal and political status that has been guaranteed by international resolution 194, then the Trump administration has targeted UNRWA through pressure, to disengage its association with the aforementioned resolution and to turn the Palestinian refugees' issue into a humanitarian issue, that can be provided with the necessary funds to resolve it away from the right of return to homes and properties.

Trump's administration does not hide its hostility to the efforts of a number of international community leaders to get additional resources to fund UNRWA in order to compensate for the US financial freezing on its budget, especially at the gates of the “Rome Conference”. What raises the anger of this administration is the participation of some 80 countries, organizations and international bodies in the work of the conference, which reflects the international community's rejection to the policy of extortion practiced by the United States towards the international organizations. Observers have stressed that the United States should not be excluded from taking its responsibilities, in the context of discussing the financial crisis of UNRWA during the conference as one of the main parties, contributed to occurrence of the Nakba and prevented the solution of the Palestinian refugees' issue in connection with the implementation of UN Resolution 194.

Recently, within the "new" US approach, the Trump administration has paid attention to the issues of Gaza Strip, claimed its keenness to resolve its crises through its own diagnosis of these crises and referred them to "local mismanagement" without considering that the occupation and Washington are responsible for the accumulation and aggravation of these crises, and from this angle, it held the so-called "White House Conference" on Gaza. In the same context, Trump's administration is active in creating "new" references for each title of the Palestinian issue's titles, with the aim of excluding the United Nations permanently from any legal or political role in finding a balanced and comprehensive solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, that will ensure the achievement of Palestinian rights in accordance with the relevant resolutions of international legitimacy.

The main problem, is the reluctance of the Palestinian official leadership and its disregard of the decisions of the national consensus and in particular, the decisions of the Central Council in its last two sessions, which emphasized the necessity of: disengagement from the Oslo Accords and liberating from their political and economic constraints, stopping the security coordination with the occupation, launching the popular resistance and protecting it politically and working to provide all means to develop it. These decisions also affirmed the need to activate the membership of Palestine in the United Nations institutions, especially in the International Criminal Court, and to submit complaints on the crimes of the occupation against the Palestinian people, land and properties.

It is normal with the continuation of this waiting policy, that the Israeli expansionist policies to expand, and the Trump administration to continue to implement its plans and projects, at the expense of the Palestinian cause and rights.

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

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