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The Unity of Suffering and Resistance
By: Mohammad Al-Sahli
July 28, 2017

Al-Aqsa operation is a response to the arrogance of occupation and its arbitrary practices against the Palestinians in the Palestinian Bank and Gaza Strip as in the territory of the 48.

Three Palestinian youths from the town of Umm Al-Fahm clashed with the Israeli occupation police in the courtyard of Al-Aqsa Mosque and killed two of them before they were martyred.

This operation differs from many previous operations in several ways, although they are consistent with the fact that the continuation of Israeli occupation and its daily attacks against the Palestinian people are the main reason for the escalation of its resistance by all available means.

The Israeli responses were unprecedented and began by closing the mosque and declaring it a military area in front of the worshipers, a procedure that has ignited the Palestinians' fear of this action, to be a prelude for passing the occupation and its settlers' projects towards the demarcation of spatial and temporal division of Al-Aqsa Mosque and launching the hand of extreme right gangsters in Israel to implement the plans that have been plotted towards the Old City as a whole; especially that the Israeli government is seeking through Knesset to enact a law that would reduce the number of Palestinians in Jerusalem and increase the number of Jews there.

The executors of that Jerusalem operation are from the territories of the 48, includes several indications; most notably the unity of Palestinian suffering and the unity of its essential source. This is a key determinant in the formulation of Palestinian National Public Program, which considers the importance of national role of 48 Palestinians in confronting racial discrimination and the projects of renewing Nakba against them, as a major tributary of the Palestinian struggle to embody the return and independence, on the path of achieving great national goal of eliminating the consequences of Nakba and return of Palestine and its people to the path of normal development in a democratic state on the ruins of Zionism and its aggressive and racist structure.

At many stations, the Zionist attacks on Palestinian people in territories that have been occupied by the aggression of 1967 and others, have made a direct and practical echo among the Palestinians of 1948. Perhaps the "October 2000 events" during the outbreak of the intifada of independence, was an example, where eleven Palestinians were martyred and dozens were wounded, because they had revolted, in solidarity with their brothers, in facing the brutal repression that had been practiced against the youth of intifada. The Zionist right-wing chorus often described our people in the 1948 territories as the "fifth column" and called for uprooting and displacing them from their land and homes.

The occupation authorities did not find this time a convincing reason to accuse the Palestinian Authority, of not doing "its duty", to prevent this type of operations, but the Israeli actions that followed the operation has impinged tens of thousands of Palestinians who used to worship at Al-Aqsa. Also, Israeli authorities consider it an opportunity to carry out the actions that they practiced in October, 2015, which was one of the direct causes of outbreak of Palestinian youth intifada at that time.

However, this does not prevent US to observe that particularly on the day of operation, the Israeli occupation forces carried out several incursions into the areas of PA in Dheisheh and Ramallah, and assassinated a number of Palestinian militants according to prior plan, before the very eyes of the PA security services. As well as, the operation came in the context of an atmosphere of Palestinian popular anger on both sides of "the Green Line" because of the growing hostility and racism against Palestinians of the 48, as well as the aggression and siege in the occupied Palestinian territories in the 1967 aggression.

The operation comes with the continued clinical death of settlement process after the failure of dozens of attempts to revive it, and all the previous negotiating stations failed to make a single breach in the wall of Israeli intransigence.

Unfortunately, there are those who believe that the objective of the operation is to impede the Trump administration's efforts to resume negotiations, although it is known that the American saddlebag is devoid of a clear political initiative with the aim and mechanisms. What has been said about the American effort is only to divide the core issues of the conflict into five separate tracks, while Trump gives the two parties, "the freedom" to reach agreements on both of them without interference or pressure!

What is ambiguous in the American attitudes toward any Israeli commitments toward the supposed settlement process, is so clear to the Palestinian side, as while Washington ignores the settlement issue, it focuses with the Palestinians on the need to cut the salaries of wounded and martyrs' families, so that one of the American team's officials that is responsible for the settlement, said explicitly that "President Trump is stressing on the issue of cutting these salaries and that if they will not be cut, he will not be interested in resuming negotiations; so what is the disturbance can be caused by "Al-Aqsa operation" on a non-existent settlement path?

What is (the second) clear in the US administration's regarding the conflict, is to emphasize on the need for Arab states, to take rapid steps towards normalization with Israel, regardless of any progress in the path of settlement of Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Even Netanyahu, Israeli Prime Minister, was clear in his position on the American proposal on the settlement, when he stressed on the importance of "regional solution", neglecting the possibility of reaching a bilateral solution with the Palestinian side, and instead adopting unilateral solutions like the plan of " economic peace", which he proposed years ago, and he hopes that the American administration to adopt it and impose it on the Palestinian negotiator and put pressure on it, for the mobilization of Arab support for this plan, which would cut the way for any objections that will be presented by the Palestinian negotiator and his political references.

With the continuation of American talk about an international conference to be held soon in Washington on the "regional settlement", it is clear that Washington does not consider the Palestinian track a necessary threshold for access to this conference, which lacks any clear goals towards the Palestinian issue except for the nine conditions that have been proposed by Greenblatt, the US envoy, to the leadership of PA and he has made a joint team with Ramallah to observe the application of these conditions exclusively to guarantee to Washington and Tel Aviv, the rehabilitation of the Palestinian situation and adapting it to accept the security and expansionist conditions of Israel. This is evidenced by what one of the members of American team said when he talked about the five tracks, so he linked the suspension of settlements with the bilateral agreement on the issue of borders. In other words, he simply gave the settlement a power to draw the borders of Palestinian entity in case of its forming without the right of establishing an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, in addition to the pre-cancelling of the right of return of Palestinian refugees to their homes and property.

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

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