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The Return Marches and Occupation’s Nightmares
By: Mohammad Al-Sahli
April 18, 2018

There are many reasons behind Israel's misgivings about the Palestinian activities that have begun since the Land Day and are going to continue until the Day of Nakba, according to the program set up by the Supreme National Committee for the March of the Return Day.

All these reasons have united in reproducing the true narrative of the Palestinian Nakba and putting the international community again before the issue of Palestinian refugees, and reminding it with its responsibility for the Nakba and its forgetting of it since 1948 until today, at the time when this cause is being exposed to an American-Israeli attack aims at liquidating it through practical steps on the ground, this attack has been started by Washington through the siege of UNRWA financially and changing its mission, and the joint seek with Tel Aviv to impose a “new” definition of the Palestinian refugee, that would deprive it of the right to return to its home and property from which it has been expelled. For these reasons, the occupation state seeks to eradicate these activities by targeting participants with live bullets, to stop the momentum that has started with it, and prevent it from development that converts its misgivings into nightmares.

Many analysts, including Israelis have reported on achievements made by Palestinians in the relatively short time since the return marches beginning. And all agreed that the Palestinian popular movement is strongly expected to develop and harvest more achievements with its continuation; and more importantly, the escalation of talk and questions about what after the anniversary of the Nakba Day mid-next month.

Observers have noted that the formation of the Supreme National Committee for the March of Return of various forces and factions and the participation of national figures and events in it, have obstructed the attempts of the occupation state to give a partisan aspect to the Palestinian popular movement, in the Gaza Strip in particular. Observers summarize Palestinian achievements by several indicators:

* The return of the issue of Palestinian refugees and their right of return to their homes and properties to an advanced level of international attention. The continuation of the Palestinian movement and its development will bring this issue back to the forefront of this concern. It has been clear that the state of Israel has been irritated by the growing talk about the need for an investigation into the deliberate killing of those involved in the march. The most prominent of these calls, was the words of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, who has considered that the declaration of the occupation leaders to face the participants in the March of Return, using firearm, represents an incitement to murder; this means, in a way, a message to the Palestinian official leadership, that the opportunity exists for them to move in this direction. Unfortunately it has not moved.

* The return of the issue of Palestinian refugees to international attention means at the same time the opening of the Nakba file, which its essence represents the Zionist colonization of Palestine, and the expulsion of its people outside its land; the plundering of its land and properties and the bringing of Jewish immigrants from all parts of the world. The recent international interest in the refugee issue implies the endorsement of international resolutions, which have been adopted in this regard, in forefront resolution 194, which guarantees the right of return for Palestinian refugees to their homes and properties from which they have been expelled.

* The national events that have taken place since Land Day have highlighted the unified fieldwork against the occupation and the dangers facing the refugee issue, and in confronting the threats to the refugee issue. At the same time, the repercussions of the division have been reduced in the Palestinian scene, and they were likely to be exacerbated before the launching of these events, due to the threat of the Palestinian official leadership to take further punitive measures against the Strip, on the background of the bombing of the convoy of Prime Minister Rami al-Hamdallah.

* In parallel with the endorsement of the issue of Palestinian refugees, the marches and events organized by the 1948 Palestinians on the anniversary of Land Day highlight again the plans, implemented by the Israeli occupation forces in the Negev, which aim at displacing Palestinians from their villages and replacing them by Jewish settlers, so these events have continued at highlighting the policy of discrimination against the 48 Palestinians.

The occupation state is aware from the past experiences, that Palestinian popular resistance is a real threat to its expansionist policies and to the continuation of the occupation, and it relies on using the maximum possible lethal force to face this “danger”. This was clear with the outbreak of the Palestinian youth uprising in October 2015, when the Israeli army deliberately practiced the field execution of the youth of the Intifada and killed according to "suspicion" in order to intimidate the youth of the Intifada and put down their resistance, however, the occupation leaders today recognize that the Intifada has not ended.

In the context, the occupation, in the face of the Intifada and its young people, depends on security coordination with the Palestinian Authority and pressures on it, to suppress the protesters and surveil their activities.

Therefore, when the Palestinian Central Council took its decisions in its previous two sessions, stressing the need to support and protect the Palestinian popular resistance, it stressed at the same time, on stopping the security coordination with the occupation, considering it as a contradiction with the encouragement and protection of popular resistance.

In addition, the current popular Palestinian movement, in order to be developed, needs a political support, that is not limited in resort to the International Criminal Court, with the utmost importance of this matter, but this movement needs an immediate start to correct the Palestinian situation. In the political issue, the Palestinian official leadership is supposed to abide by the decisions of the Central Council by disengaging from the Oslo Accords and the policies that led to it, and to link any political process on the settlement to the relevant resolutions of international legitimacy, at the forefront resolution194, under the supervision of the United Nations and the five permanent members of the Security Council, through an international conference, in a way to guarantee the Palestinian people's rights to return, independence and self-determination, support the popular movement and open the way for the development of it towards a comprehensive uprising and the development of a national strategy, based on the right of the Palestinian people to resist occupation in all available forms within the framework of a unified national program.

It also can be supported by beginning of rebuilding the Palestinian political system on democratic bases through electing according to the law of proportional representation. In this regard and on the eve of holding the National Council, it is supposed to emphasize the need to take measures to ensure that the convention of such a meeting, is an opening for the unification of the Palestinian situation, that requires first, the meeting of the Preparatory Committee of the Council with the participation of members of the Executive Committee of the PLO, and the secretaries general of the factions or their representatives and a number of independent personalities, headed by the President of the Palestinian National Council.

Through these steps, it is possible to support the Palestinian popular movement and provide factors for its development and continuation towards a comprehensive popular uprising.

Notes: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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