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We Won the First Round of Al Aqsa Battle
By: Moatasem Hamadeh
August 4, 2017

Where the PA failed, the Intifada succeeded in winning the first round of Al-Aqsa battle.

The Palestinian Authority no longer needs more tests to ensure its political project's project, which was adopted by the influential leadership of Oslo Accords, is a substitute for the Palestinian national program. As after a quarter of century of political process, and what it has gone through of shocks, obstacles, uprisings and violent transformations, we are still at the starting point, especially after Trump announced, that he has no political initiative and that he supports what the parties agree upon. At the same time, the President of PA oversteps this fact and ignores it, to declare his support for the (so-called) Trump's initiative, and to announce his partnership with Trump's policy in the region, which is the policy that the movements of White House envoy, Jason Greenblatt, revealed that it adopts the entire Israeli project, starting with the conditions of Tel Aviv to resume the negotiations, to reach to the expected results.

After a quarter of century of failed Palestinian negotiations, which at the same time have provided to the Israeli side, the great opportunities, to make essential changes on the ground, in occupied Jerusalem and throughout the West Bank, and in making shifts in the political concepts ,even among the elites of Palestinian Authority.

On the other hand, the PA is still betting on more negotiations, and its only weapon is waiting, while the Israeli side does its work in the political situation, reacts to the regional situation, reaps the positive results for its project and controls the political initiative. All of these are signs that are added to the political failure of PA's project.

The PA presented itself as the nucleus for Palestinian state, which according to the agreements, was supposed to be established, within five years, since the signing of Accords and at the beginning of their implementation (i.e. June 1998 as a deadline). Twenty years later on this date , the PA finds itself in the midst of discussing the conditions of resuming a new round of negotiations, that Tel Aviv puts their conditions this time, and Washington adopts them, and are offered for Ramallah as obligations , and that they are the obligatory path of negotiations, under a single alternative, which is the Palestinian deadly waiting, and the Israeli moving in building daily facts that contribute greatly in making the prior results of any future negotiations.

The failure of existing Palestinian political system, is not limited to the arrival of its political project to the impasse, or to its political bankruptcy and its lack of alternatives, under its commitment to the signed agreements and its dependence on their terms, (while the Israeli side, according to its press, is daily violating these agreements), but it extends to the Palestinian institution, which is also suffering from paralysis, and political situations that produced clear institutional organizational facts. In the light of tendency of exclusivity, and the violation of principles, conditions, mechanisms and program of the Palestinian National Coalition, and under a complete disregard for the principle of national partnership (and replacing it with the principle of subsidiarity, clientelism, purchasing of individual and collective pacts), the PLO institutions have been paralyzed.

The political coup against the organization and its program, and going to the Oslo Accords, with unilateral steps, was the first step towards paralyzing the PLO institutions. Therefore, we note that the National Council, the supreme legislative body, which is supposed to formulate the Palestinian national program, as the title of unity of people and its political forces, and the title of programmatic institutional and organizational national coalition, has been paralyzed since it has been engaged in 1996 in the (political and legal incomplete and dubious) approval on Oslo Accords.

The issue of convening the National council itself, became a political problem of the first order, especially after the goal of influential leadership toward this holding was not to consolidate the foundations of national coalition, or to consecrate the principles of national partnership or to work on the development of joint national action mechanisms, but to renew the so-called "legitimacy of the leadership", i.e. the legitimacy of its failed political project, which reached to a dead end.

Therefore, it was clear why the influential leadership disrupted the results of preparatory committee meeting in Beirut (February 2017), which decided to form a new national council, in which all political forces would participate and it will be held, in a place attended by all, on the path of announcing the fall of Oslo and returning to the work with the national coalition program, the program of return, self-determination and the independent state, the program of combining between the work in the field with the political action, i.e. combining between the resistance in all its forms, with the diplomatic movement, and internationalizing the national cause and rights.

Also on of the signs of the failure of political system, is disrupting the Central Council with its known powers. There is no need to clarify the reasons behind the decision to disrupt it, especially after its well-known decisions on 5/3/2015, which provided an outlet for the salvation from Oslo and their commitments and to return to the national program, including the cessation of security cooperation with the occupation, the boycott of Israeli economy, and resuming and protecting of popular resistance and the internationalization of the national rights and cause.

Without any prolongation, any observer can see the tragic reality of Executive Committee of PLO, which has been emptied from its powers, which have been transferred to the political kitchen at the district headquarter in Ramallah.

This failure, at its various levels, is what led the PA, in the critical moment sensed in the explosion of situation in Jerusalem, to resort to the American mediator, hoping it to intervene to provide a mechanism of cooperation with Tel Aviv, to remove the causes of public anger.

The leadership of PA's moving in its early hours, was not intended to sponsor and support the popular intifada, as it was supposed to be, and as the Central Council decided in its last session, but it was to encircle this Intifada and extinguish its fire, before it spreads everywhere in the Palestinian Bank, and before it creates new political facts that would entangle the PA in a narrow corner, in which it finds itself, in contradiction with its security and political obligations and with the reality imposed by the street with its steadfastness, cohesion and clear and non-negotiable position.

Therefore, it is no exaggeration to say that, the street has moved away from the official leadership and its path, in its struggle path, and set a new course for itself through defending the land and rights of Jerusalem and the holy sites. This path also firmly believes that the resistance is the only way, to confront Israeli aggression and is the only way to compel the Israeli side to retreat from its actions.

It should be said that the popular uprising in Jerusalem and in the West Bank, and its great echo on the Arab street and in the capitals of decision, is what forced the American envoy Greenblatt to come to the region (although he has nothing but to satisfy Israel), and it is it, which forced the public opinion to move, and forced Netanyahu to dismantle his electronic gates and replacing them with hidden cameras.

In the context, we note how President Abbas's speech was dull, because it was without the resolutions of Central Council, and it was, if compared to the resolutions of Executive Committee, a step backwards, and if compared with the public anger, it was too diplomatic, and it grabbed the stick from the middle, in which he pretended that he about to respond to the popular will, but at the same time, he gave a bargaining margin, which was eliminated by the Palestinian street and its insistence on rejecting all Israeli measures that would perpetuate Israeli sovereignty and arrest the Noble Sanctuary of Jerusalem and national dignity of the Palestinians.

We have won the first round of AL Aqsa battle, and we have other rounds!

Moatasem Hamadeh is a member of the Political Bureau of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine
Translated by: Manal Mansour
Revised by: Ibrahim Motlaq

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