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The Safe Exit
By: Moatasem Hamadeh
November 14, 2016

All the indications point out that the safe exit from a stage that its justifications fell, in favor of the safe access to the new phase, is only through the responsible national dialogue.

It is difficult for the observer to remember a phase experienced by the Palestinian case -the post Oslo- where there were tensions, internal concerns and political and confusions, instead of confronting the occupation, settlement and its expanding projects, at the hands of Netanyahu's government, including the enactment of a law to bleach settlement’s outposts which the famous document of Mitchell described them as «illegal» and called for the dismantling.

The state of tension and confusion caused by, first, the arrival of the negotiating process to a deadlock, as admitted by the owners themselves , and if they do not express about this «confession» with public words , but they are expressing about it through their daily behavior, and their political reactions on the ongoing events.

Americans are indifferent to the developments of the Palestinian situation, Netanyahu is impulsive in his expansionist actions, and even the French project - which was not welcomed by the Americans - is publicly rejected by the words of Netanyahu and his team. However, the Palestinian leadership insists on adhering to the French initiative, (despite Netanyahu's nose!) Noting that it is based on the principle of combining the Palestinian and Israeli sides back to the negotiating table under an international umbrella that does not have a power to intervene in the work of negotiations and its mechanisms, leaving the two parties to do it, in light of an obvious imbalance in favor of the Israelis.

The move towards the UN Security Council, and to the International Criminal Court, to raise complaints against the settlements, the siege of Gaza, the collective seizure of the Palestinians, is frozen until further notice, once on the pretext of not affecting the French initiative, and other under the pretext of submitting to the Arab and American pressures, as the White House, and with it all the United States, are busy with the presidential elections.

The decisions of the Central Council (03.05.2015) are also disabled, and all the threats and warnings (whether on the rostrum of the United Nations or on the satellite channels to halt the commitment to the Oslo agreement and its extensions, if the Netanyahu government does not adhere to it) are worthless.

Netanyahu and his government hit all the agreements with the wall , but the PA still commits to them, including the development of security cooperation with the occupation authorities, and most recently, as revealed by some sources, the subscription to thwart an operation by a number of young Palestinians in the West Bank.

The status is getting more and more confused because the situation within the Fatah movement, in the context of its preparation for its seventh conference, at the end of this month. Although some of its spokesmen never stop declaring that everything is fine, and that the preparatory committee, headed by Abu Mazen began putting the finishing touches on the preparations, but what is being revealed daily, confirms that things are not so good, and that the road to the conference still risky and difficult, and that the conflicts are still raging between the rows, so that some people do not exclude «surprises» inside the conference.

The first indicator of this, is the resort of Abu Mazen to a weapon of the Constitutional Court to resolve his battle with Dahlan and his brothers, through dismantling him from his parliamentary immunity, this power granted to him by the constitutional court, which still yet the subject of an intense controversy in the Palestinian arena.

The major parties in the Palestinian arena have opposed the constitutional court's decision, including 15 deputies (so far) from Fatah movement itself, as well as independent forces from within and outside the legislative council. If we follow some of the political statements of the members of the Central Committee of Fatah, we will notice that they contradict clearly and explicitly with the PA's policies. This means that the Central Committee of the movement is no longer grouped on an unified political orientation, but stuck between several directions, some of them joining consistently the positions of Abu Mazen, others contradict him, right down to conform with positions that call for the implementation of the Central Council resolutions, and to disable the Oslo agreement, and to restore the national program as a political alternative basis for the next phase.

So varied were the estimates about what political orientations that will be released from the Fatah conference, though these estimates are issued from within Fatah itself, which confirms that there is a political activity within the movement.

Many are wondering if the seventh conference will provide the necessary opportunity to turn this movement into a democratic debate that concludes to alternative policies, or the grip of «PA» and the institution of the presidency will be stronger than all attempts for modernization and development.

In the same context, it is normal to talk about the so-called «the following day after Abbas. » and it is normal to talk about the departure of Abu Mazen, knowing that this did not happen with the late President Yasser Arafat, even after being transported to France for treatment. Everyone was talking about Arafat's return to Ramallah with good health.

We believe that talking about the departure of Abbas in the Palestinian forums, governed by political backgrounds, so that Fatah itself is speaking clearly about choosing deputies for Abbas in Fatah, in PA , and in the PLO, because of the nature of the phase experienced by the Palestinian case. We feel like we are now at the end of a phase, and about to enter a new phase, that needs a new team to afford its burdens.

Politically, the facts confirm that we are now at the end of the stage, Oslo to deadlock, division in Gaza failed to achieve its alternative project to the authority in Ramallah, and began to talk about ending the division and returning to the internal unity, and Hamas started to speak frankly about its intention to enter the PLO. Fatah, which presents itself as the strongest party in the Palestinian arena, is now at a crossroads. The importance of this at the national level, is that Fatah controls many things in the Palestinian institutions, the PA and the Palestine Liberation Organization and therefore, any trends and orientations will be adopted by Fatah, will have their impacts on the Palestinian situation, positively or negatively.

The left-wing factions are still searching and consulting to make the «Democratic Alliance», which they were represented through it, to the municipal elections, as a political project and not just an electoral alliance. The success of this trend means the birth of the third pole to make a balance between the other two, Fatah and Hamas.

Ending a stage ,exiting from it safely , and entering a new stage safely , needs a true national dialogue, away from falsehood, that re-draw the orientations of the national action, and taking advantage of those agreements that have been reached , on many important stations in Ramallah, Gaza, and Cairo.

The danger is not in the confusion and tension in the Palestinian case, the danger is that we do not look to this confusion as a political phenomenon that needs national treatments, and that some people consider it as just a «conspiracy», and here is the disaster!

Moatasem Hamadeh is a member of the Political bureau of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine
Translated by: Ibrahim Motlaq

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