The Palestinian Authority Faces Two Options; Fight Israel or Fight Palestinians

23 Sep 23:47

Source: Al Mayadeen English

Robert Inlakesh 

The recent arrests came as a shock to Nablus locals, who took to the streets in order to protest the decision of the PA to target the Palestinian resistance.

    Violent clashes between Palestinian demonstrators and the Palestinian Authority (PA)’s security forces, this Monday, resulted in the death of a 53-year-old and represented a turning point in the relationship between the PA and the newly formed resistance factions inside the occupied West Bank.

    On Monday evening the PA’s Preventative Security Service arrested two Palestinian resistance fighters wanted by “Israel”, Musab Shtayyeh and Ameed Tabila, in the city of Nablus. Musab Shtayyeh, the most prominent of the two, had evaded multiple Israeli arrest campaigns since June of last year. Shtayyeh also managed to escape an Israeli assassination attempt on July 24, which left three other Palestinian resistance fighters dead, after “Israel” had stormed the city of Nablus with hundreds of military personnel, including special forces units.

    The arrests came as a shock to Nablus locals, who took to the streets in order to protest the decision of the PA to target the Palestinian resistance. In both Nablus and Jenin, the two locations where Palestinian armed groups have been the most active, armed fighters took to the streets to make announcements condemning the PA’s actions. Although the resistance forces in Nablus clearly stated that their guns were not aimed at anyone but the occupation, they stressed that their patience should not be tested. 

    It didn’t take long before young people took to the streets to burn tires in central Nablus and chanted in support of Shtayyeh and Tabila, to which the PA security forces responded with gunfire and tear gas. Palestinian resistance fighters also fired back towards the PA forces and it was later declared that a 53-year-old civilian had been shot and killed, the incident was blamed on the Palestinian Authority.

    The images coming out of the West Bank have been striking; young men hurling stones at militarized vehicles, as Western-trained forces fire tear gas and bullets back, except this time the militarised force is not Israeli, it calls itself the Palestinian. To add insult to injury, it has emerged that the PA took the decision to carry out its arrest campaign based upon a request given by the Israeli occupation regime. Hussein al-Sheikh, the Secretary General of the PA’s executive committee, seems to be the source of the order given to carry out the arrests.

    Right now, the PA has been put into its usual defensive mode, where it attempts to justify its actions and bids to convince Palestinians that its ‘Security coordination’ efforts are in the best interest of the Palestinian people, something that Palestinians see through. All of the explanations and excuses in the world will fail to cover up what took place this Monday. Just as was the case last year, when the PA’s security forces brutally beat the beloved activist, Nizar Banat, to death, after pulling him out of his home in front of his family. According to Amnesty International, it’s clear at this time that the PA failed to ensure accountability for the assassination of Nizar Banat and so it should come as no surprise that PA forces are sliding down a slippery slope into chaos.

    Just as the United States and its NATO allies have failed to adjust their mindsets to the current era, so too has the leadership of the Palestinian Authority. We must recognise that we are now witnessing the era in which the expression of a new Palestinian generation is being felt; armed resistance factions are rising, an armed resistance populated – primarily – by young people between the ages of 18-25. When we break down what this means; it suggests that today’s resistance fighters in the West Bank were only small children when the Second Intifada was happening. The fighters in Jenin and Nablus today, fit into a trend that began emerging in the early to mid 80’s, when Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) cadres would organise themselves with modest means to fight the occupation. 

    The Palestinian resistance in the West Bank do not remember what it felt like to see the resistance crushed, during “Israel’s” brutal ‘operation defensive shield’ of 2002, they are not afraid and believe in victory. The biggest problem they now face however, began in 2002, following ‘operation defensive shield’; that is the CIA’s dismantling and reformation of the Palestinian Authority’s security forces. Nobody likes to talk about this, but it is true and cannot be disputed, at the behest of Israeli, EU and US interests, the PA’s security forces were transformed into a Western-Jordanian trained and equipped “anti-terrorism” task force, designed to do the heavy lifting for the Israeli occupation army.

    Since the end of the Second Intifada, in 2007, we haven’t seen the energized armed struggle that we see today in the West Bank and so the PA’s forces have been capable of performing their duties, with little to no pushback. However, it has been way too long since the Oslo Agreements and the rhetoric of the Zionist entity has transitioned back to that which it maintained during the 1970’s, regarding Palestinian self governance. Palestinians don’t see any hope for change and the PA is not making any progress whatsoever towards achieving any form of Palestinian statehood. The Palestinian bourgeoisie of Ramallah are happy living in their imaginary fantasy world and the PA has now absorbed the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO). There has been no national elections since 2006 and the non-economy of the West Bank, which is completely controlled by the Zionist entity and Jordanian regime, is getting worse for the poorest in society.

    The PA is now beginning to face its worst nightmare, the ultimatum that we all knew was coming at some point; they can turn their guns on the Zionist entity, or they can turn their guns on the Palestinian resistance and face the end of their power as we know it. There is no more standing in the middle, attempting to please the West by collaborating with the Israeli occupation forces on “security coordination” and playing the game of condemning Zionist atrocities, whilst begging on their knees for peace. The next chapter is going to be violent, now it is on those within that Fatah Party leadership to decide where the PA is heading and what side of the violence they are going to be on, because asking for peace talks is not going to solve today’s issues. 

    The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

    ‘The Palestinian View’ – with Ramzy Baroud: Will the UN Deliver Justice for Palestine? (VIDEO)

    September 21, 2022

    Baroud comments on the Palestinian Authority’s quest to obtain full UN membership and whether such status is merely symbolic. (Photo: Palestine Chronicle)

    By Palestine Chronicle Staff

    In the latest Palestine Chronicle episode of the “Palestinian View’, Ramzy Baroud raises the question “Will the United Nations Finally Deliver Justice for Palestine?”

    Baroud comments on the Palestinian Authority’s quest to obtain full UN membership and whether such status is merely symbolic. 

    To understand the historical context of this issue and to offer your own opinion, make sure to watch and share the Palestine Chronicle’s latest production. 

    (The Palestine Chronicle)

    Donate NOW  Learn More  Watch Video(The Palestine Chronicle is a registered 501(c)3 organization, thus, all donations are tax deductible.)

    Palestinians in Gaza Rise against PA ‘Security Coordination’ with Israel (PHOTOS)

    September 21, 2022

    Tepresentatives of major Palestinian clans and tribes demand the immediate release of Shtayyeh. (Photo: Mahmoud Ajjour, The Palestine Chronicle)

    By Palestine Chronicle Staff

    ‘The National Committee of Palestinian Tribes, Clans and Families in the Gaza Strip’ urged in a statement the Palestinian people to rise up against the latest measures by the Palestinian Authority (PA) to arrest a leading fighter in the West Bank city of Nablus. 

    On Tuesday, PA security forces arrested Musab Shtayyeh, a decision that led to widespread protests in Nablus and across the occupied Palestinian territories. 

    In their statement, representatives of major Palestinian clans and tribes demanded the immediate release of Shtayyeh, and an end to all ‘security coordination’ between the PA and the Israeli occupation. 

    The Palestine Chronicle attended the large assembly held in Gaza City on Tuesday. 

    (All Photos: Mahmoud Ajjour, The Palestine Chronicle)

    In the West Bank, Resistance Rises as the PA Crumbles

    Posted by INTERNATIONALIST 360°

    The Palestinian resistance factions of the West Bank are no longer fractured and in disarray, and the results speak for themselves

    The Israeli army’s recent incursions into the cities and refugee camps of the northern occupied-West Bank are not going as smoothly as before.

    The occupation army’s incursions into the city of Jenin and Jenin refugee camp in early September required the mobilization of large forces, including special units and armored vehicles – in scale, unprecedented since 2014.

    On the night of 6 September, a force of about 100 vehicles carried out a raid in Jenin, supported by air with drones, and on land, by hundreds of soldiers from Israel’s elite military units.

    Their task? To demolish the house of Ra’ad Hazem, who carried out the Dizengoff attack in Tel Aviv on 7 April, 2022. More than anything, this excessive military build-up over a single home demolition illustrates that the Israeli military can no longer operate in the West Bank as they did before the May 2021 ‘Sayf Al Quds’ conflagration – and its subsequent developments.

    After the 6 September operation – which resulted in the death of three Israelis and wounded 14 – the occupation army launched Operation ‘Break the Waves’ in response to the rapid expansion of Palestinian resistance factions and fervor in the West Bank.

    The re-emergence of resistance in the West Bank

    Break the Waves’ objective, according to then-Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, was to “attack without borders in order to stop the [resistance] operations” – four of which were carried out in cities in occupied territories – and to destroy the infrastructure of the resistance factions in Jenin and Nablus.

    Five months after the Tel Aviv attack, the situation in the West Bank remains tense and is heading toward further escalation. In the interim, three new resistance battalions have been announced in Nablus, Tulkarm and Tubas.

    Between 2007 and 2021, the resistance factions, particularly Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), remained stuck in a vicious cycle. The enemy’s surgical strikes were hindering their proactive initiatives, and until 2020, their activities were limited to the formation of fighting cells that were able to carry out one or two attacks before being incapacitated.

    Since Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip in 2007, Palestinian Authority (PA) security services have fully collaborated with the occupation authorities to pursue these resistance factions, for fear of having the Gaza model repeated in the West Bank.

    The genesis lies in Jenin

    The rejuvenation of resistance in the occupied West Bank can be attributed to the martyr Jamil al-Amouri. A prominent figure in the Jenin camp, Amouri was considered the most “wanted” by the occupation state for carrying out several shooting attacks against Israeli positions around Jenin, during the 2021 battle of Sayf al-Quds.

    He effectively contributed to the formation of active military cells inside the camp, which later went on to form the nucleus of the Jenin Brigade.

    In early June 2021, Amouri was assassinated, along with Lieutenant Adham Yasser Tawfiq Alawi from Nablus, and Captain Tayseer Mahmoud Othman Eissa from Jenin. The deaths of a PIJ commander along with two officers from the PA’s Military Intelligence effectively broke the ice between the PIJ on the one hand, and the Fatah movement and members of the security services in Jenin and Nablus, on the other.

    This also led to a subtle change in the popular resistance factions’ perception of the PA security services, who for years have been accused of being agents of the occupation.

    As political researcher Muhammad Dargham told The Cradle: “The martyrdom of Amouri with two officers from the security services removed the veil from the eyes of many supporters of the [Palestinian] Authority and the Fatah who woke up after thirteen years and found themselves guards of security coordination with Israel.”

    PIJ and Fatah: setting aside differences

    According to Dargham, the killing of Amouri, Alawi, and Eissa created harmony – at least in the Jenin camp – between the Al-Quds Brigades and the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades – the respective armed wings of the PIJ and Fatah.

    Three months after Amouri’s murder, five Palestinian prisoners belonging to the PIJ movement, along with the leader of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, Zakaria Al-Zubaidi, managed to escape from Gilboa Prison, the most fortified of all Israeli prisons. Two of the six, Ayham Kamamji and Monadel Nafeat, managed to reach Jenin refugee camp.

    By 19 September, 2021, all escapees were re-captured. However the date is also notable for the establishment of the Jenin Brigade – the first semi-organized resistance formation in the West Bank in 17 years. Importantly, while the Brigade was founded by PIJ operatives, it also consists of members of the armed wings of political rivals Hamas and Fatah.

    Resistance spreads like wild fire

    For many years, Israel ruled out the success of any semi-organized resistance action in the West Bank cities and refugee camps. This is due to the occupation’s adoption of a “maximum integration” policy that linked all aspects of the daily lives of Palestinians in the West Bank to Israel.

    The occupation also adopted its “mowing the lawn” policy, which sought to target all resistances cells by arresting or killing its members.

    These strategies were designed to send the message that any attempt to resist is doomed to failure, and the fate of those who undertake it will be life imprisonment or assassination.

    However, what transpired in September 2021 was different from all Israeli estimates. The Jenin Brigade maintained its military continuity, and the attempts to storm the Jenin refugee camp became much more costly for the Israelis.

    Previously, any Israeli force that invaded the camp was met with stone-throwing and firecrackers. But over the course of a year and three months, the alliance of Al-Quds Brigades and Al-Aqsa Brigades raised the bar considerably, and stands as testament to the benefits of a united armed front for the resistance.

    This was noticeable about a year after the launch of the Jenin Brigade. On 24 May, 2022, clashes erupted in the area of the Prophet Joseph’s tomb, near Balata and Askar refugee camps, east of Nablus. Israeli settlers used to enter this area without any confrontation except for stone throwing.

    On that day, though, the confrontations developed into an armed clash that seemed organized and with purpose. A few days later, Al-Quds Brigades issued a statement announcing the launch of the Nablus Brigade.

    One month earlier, three resistance fighters from the Al-Quds Brigades were killed in a clash with the Israeli army. One of the three, Saif Abu Libdeh, from the Ain Shams camp in Tulkarem, had worked for months to establish the infrastructure for a group that would be announced six weeks after his death, under the name Tulkarem Brigade. This was followed by the formation of another battalion – the Tubas Brigade in June.

    The occupation state: feeling the heat

    According to the Israeli army’s Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi, the occupation forces have foiled “hundreds of operations” since the beginning of the Operation Break the Wave, and carried out more than 1,500 precautionary arrests.

    Indeed, the first half of this year witnessed more than 3,700 Palestinian attacks in the West Bank, during which 21 settlers were killed and 316 wounded, including 2,692 attacks with stones, 577 with Molotov cocktails, 542 with burning tires, 33 with explosive devices, 30 with fireworks, 25 with paint bottles, 14 shootings, 1 case of hit and run, 4 cases of stabbing (with 7 foiled).

    However, these numbers maybe underrepresented. For instance, in one week alone (28 August to 3 September 2022), 12 soldiers and settlers were injured, and about 90 points of confrontation were observed, including one stabbing attack, 22 shooting attacks, and 15 throwing explosive devices and Molotov cocktails.

    Point of no return

    There is consensus among the Israeli security establishment, think-tanks, and military analysts that the situation on the ground in the West Bank has reached a point of no return. The question that worries Israel is: Is it possible to eliminate the new resistance developments – or at least keep them confined to the northern West Bank and prevent their expansion to southern cities such as Hebron and Bethlehem, or central cities such as Jerusalem and Ramallah?

    This Israeli concern is justified considering that the beginning of September bore serious consequences for the Israelis. On 4 September, three Palestinians from Jenin (a father and his two sons) shot at a bus carrying Kfir unit recruits in the Jordan Valley, injuring more than seven Israeli soldiers.

    Until now, the results of the investigations have not been announced, but it seems that the attack was carefully planned in terms of timing, and choice of location, where there were fewer surveillance cameras at work.

    A few days later, the Israeli army aborted an attempt by a Palestinian youth from Nablus from carrying out an operation in central Tel Aviv. The police suggested that the young man “infiltrated through a hole in the wall in the Tulkarem area,” where the army deployed three infantry battalions to thwart further attempts.

    There is yet another event that suggests the resistance action in the West Bank is growing. At dawn, on Thursday 8 September, members of the Jenin Brigade detonated a locally manufactured explosive device targeting a military jeep during a raid of one of the neighboring camps.

    It turned out that the device was controlled remotely, which represented a major technical development for the resistance factions, whose infrastructure was destroyed at the end of the Second Intifada.

    Israelis are fanning the flames

    The Israeli Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv believes that the PIJ has succeeded in transforming the northern West Bank into a hotbed of resistance, as well as in smuggling weapons and money to Palestinian cities and camps.

    These concerns coincide with expressed doubts over the efficacy of Israel’s “mowing the lawn” policy, which has fueled the “vicious cycle of blood,” according to Amos Harel, a military analyst writing for Haaretz newspaper.

    In an article he wrote earlier this month, Harel asked whether the Israeli army is quelling the West Bank’s flames, or actually fanning them.

    Avi Iskharov, an analyst in Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper, opined that Israel is facing a “new situation” that is not similar to the two previous intifadas of 1987 and 2000, pointing out that “there are pockets of Palestinian gunmen in Nablus and Jenin (in the northern West Bank), who clash almost every night with the army and shoot at Israeli targets.”

    Sources close to the resistance brigades in the West Bank told The Cradle that “Israel’s concerns are exaggerated for use in the upcoming election campaign.”

    “What we are seeing today is the result of years of [resistance] efforts. As the train has set off, returning to the starting point means acceptance of our mass killing, and this is out of the question,” says one Palestinian source.

    Israel: The PA is not collaborating enough

    The Israelis have sought to place the blame for their inability to eliminate the resistance brigades and to abort operations in the occupied territories squarely on the PA in Ramallah, who they feel are failing to fulfill their obligations.

    Israel’s Kan channel quoted an Israeli official as saying that “the Palestinian security services should increase their activity in the cities of the West Bank to prevent further escalation.”

    As for the Palestinians, the corruption-ridden PA is too weak to play a pivotal role in curbing the resistance which enjoys broad Palestinian popular support. Any further association made between the PA with the Israeli security campaigns will make it lose what is left of its flagging legitimacy.

    The Hebrew Walla website quoted Minister of Civil Affairs Hussein al-Sheikh, the PA’s channel of communication with the Israelis, as saying: “It is Israel that has weakened the [Palestinian] Authority through daily incursions into the Palestinian areas.”

    “The authority cannot accept a reality in which the army storms the occupied territories every night, then we are asked to work during the day against the militants,” added Sheikh.

    A dawn of a new era in the West Bank

    Meanwhile, the US has been keen to help prop up the PA and help it “restore stability,” by taking measures such as “increasing the number of work permits for Palestinians” in the occupied territories, “pumping economic aid to the Authority from various sources,” and facilitating the movement of Palestinians.

    US Assistant Secretary of State for Middle Eastern Affairs Barbara Leaf, who recently visited Israel and met with senior security officials, warned that “the situation in the West Bank is worse than it appears and the future of the entire PA is under threat.”

    In the early hours of 20 September, PA security forces in Nablus arrested Musab Shtayyeh, a Hamas commander wanted by Israel. Later that day, clashes broke out between the PA and hundreds of Palestinians who hit the streets in protest.

    Resistance factions are demanding Shtayyeh’s immediate release and are threatening to bar the PA from Nablus until this is done.

    In a video addressing the Palestinian Authority, the Palestinian resistance in Jenin cautioned: “we do not want to fight with you, but stay away from us. If you deal in kidnapping, we will also deal in kidnapping.”

    The Authority’s unelected President Mahmoud Abbas is in a bind: he fears mutiny from within for collaborating with Israeli security, and fears punishment from Israel for not doing so.

    By not adopting a conclusive direction, on a daily basis Abbas drains the PA of further legitimacy and authority, as demonstrated in Nablus today.

    In terms of the prospects for Palestinian national liberation, this at least will be a welcome development, as the decline or demise of the western and Israeli-backed PA will open a wide door to revitalized armed resistance in the occupied West Bank.

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    Palestinian Authority security arrests Palestinian wanted by IOF

    19 Sep 20223

    Source: Agencies + Al Mayadeen Net

    By Al Mayadeen English 

    Local Palestinian sources say Palestinian Authority security services arrested Musab Shtayyeh, a Palestinian who is wanted by the IOF in Nablus.

    Local Palestinian sources say Palestinian Authority security services arrested Musab Shtayyeh, a Palestinian who is wanted by the IOF in Nablus.

    Musab Shtayyeh and martyr Ibrahim Al-Nabulsi

    Al Mayadeen correspondent in occupied Palestine reported Monday that the Palestinian Authority security services arrested Musab Shtayyeh, a Palestinian who is wanted by the Israeli occupation forces (IOF), in the city of Nablus, in the occupied West bank.

    Local sources said that a Preventive Security force arrested Shtayyeh, along with two others, from downtown Nablus.

    Our correspondent said that young men from Nablus are burning rubber tires in protest of the arrest of Shtayyeh by the Palestinian Authority, adding that a number of camps in Nablus are witnessing demonstrations calling for Shatyyeh’s release.

    In response, Hamas movement spokesperson Abdel Latif Al-Qanou considered Shtayyeh’s arrest by the Palestinian Authority security services to be a free service to the Israeli occupation.

    It is noteworthy that Shtayyeh is a freed prisoner, and Israeli occupation forces have repeatedly threatened his father to assassinate him.

    كتائب المقاومة في الضفة: عندما يستفيق “الأسد النائم” (3/4)

     الإثنين 17 أيلول 2022

    عبد الرحمن نصار 

    يمكن لطوباس أن تجري عمليات مشاغلة، وأن تساهم في توسع رقعة الاشتباك. أما المحافظة على ديمومة العمل لوقت طويل، فهي تحدٍّ حقيقي، لكن يمكن لهذه المدينة أن تمثل مستقبلاً مصدر قلق حقيقياً لـ”إسرائيل”.

    إنَّ انطلاق كتيبة في مثل هذه الظروف (طوباس) يعني أنَّ هناك حالة تأثر كبيرة بتمدد حالات المقاومة في الضفة

    في الحلقة الثالثة، نستعرض تجربة آخر كتيبة معلنة حتى الآن: “طوباس”، واضعين في الإطار “العملية النوعية” الأخيرة في الأغوار الشمالية، مع قراءة سريعة لعمليات إطلاق النار في رام الله، فيما نتحرى وراء إعلان كتيبة في الخليل التي نستشرف واقع العمل فيها، لنكون بذلك قد كشفنا جزءاً كبيراً من المساحة الفعلية لـ”بقعة الزيت” التي تمددت في الضفة في عام واحد فقط، من دون أن تغفل العيون عن محافظات ومدن أخرى.

    لا تزال طوباس، الواقعة شمال شرقي الضفة المحتلة، بمحاذاة نهر الأردن، تجهد لتجد لنفسها متسعاً بين كتائب المقاومة المتصاعدة في الضفة، وخصوصاً أن السلطة الفلسطينية استطاعت خلال الشهر الماضي ومطلع هذا الشهر أن تشنّ حملات اعتقال وتنكيل بحقّ عدد من الكوادر الفعالين، وخصوصاً في “الجهاد الإسلامي”. وكانت كتيبة هذه المدينة قد خرجت إلى النور منتصف تموز/يوليو الماضي، عندما صدر البيان الأول الذي أعلن التصدي لاجتياح إسرائيلي.

    الفعل الأبرز لـ”كتيبة طوباس” كان رمزياً أكثر منه في التأثير العسكري، لكنه شكّل بادرة مهمة، حين أعلنت الكتيبة فجر الأحد 24 تموز/يوليو 2022 أنها أطلقت النار على حاجز “تياسير” في المحافظة “نصرة لنابلس” خلال حصار حي الياسمينة في البلدة القديمة فيها (محاولة اغتيال الشهيد إبراهيم النابلسي). 

    لكن المحافظة تعاني مشكلات من أكثر من ناحية، أولها أن سكانها لا يتجاوزون 70 ألفاً موزعين على مناطق شاسعة وبنايات قصيرة، فيما تشكل الأغوار الشمالية ما نسبته 70% من مساحة المحافظة، وهي مناطق منخفضة ومكشوفة، ويتحكَّم فيها عدد من الحواجز الثابتة والطيّارة التي تنغّص حياة السكان، وخصوصاً المزارعين.

    المشكلة الكبرى أن معظم أراضي طوباس تُصنف ضمن فئة “ج” في اتفاق أوسلو، بمعنى أن السلطة الفلسطينية هي المسؤولة عن تقديم الخدمات الطبية والتعليمية للسكان، فيما تسيطر “إسرائيل” على الجوانب الأمنية والإدارية والقانونية. 

    ولأن الأغوار الشمالية هي سلة غذاء الضفة من الخضراوات والفاكهة، وهي من أغنى مناطق الضفة بالمياه، فقد وقعت في طليعة الاستهداف الاستيطاني الإسرائيلي. لذلك، تتمحور سياسة الاحتلال حول عزل طوباس عن باقي محافظات الضفة بزيادة المواقع العسكرية فيها، إذ تحوي المحافظة 7 قواعد عسكرية تتربع على مساحة تزيد على 14 ألف دونم.

    كتيبة طوباس

    ما هو ممكن لطوباس

    مع ذلك، إنَّ انطلاق كتيبة في مثل هذه الظروف يعني أنَّ هناك حالة تأثر كبيرة بتمدد حالات المقاومة في الضفة، وخصوصاً في جنين ونابلس وطولكرم، في وقت لم يعد الاستقطاب يقوم على الطرق التقليدية القديمة، بل من الممكن أن تسهم أنشودة أو حكاية شهيد أو مقطع مصور أو خطبة مؤثرة تنتقل عبر مواقع التواصل في صناعة القرار لدى أي شخص للانخراط في المقاومة.

    وفي المدينة، عاصمة المحافظة، ثمة حضور متوازٍ للحركات الثلاث الكبرى: “حماس” و”الجهاد الإسلامي” و”فتح”، مع أفضلية محدودة للأولى أهّلتها للفوز في الانتخابات التشريعية عام 2006. الأهم أنَّ تأثير السلطة والأجهزة الأمنية السلبي في السكان محدود، إذ يحافظون على نقائهم القروي بعيداً من حالة التغريب المدني المادي التي تعيشها المدن الكبيرة.

    في النتيجة، يمكن لطوباس أن تجري عمليات مشاغلة، وأن تساهم في توسع رقعة الاشتباك. أما إمكانية المحافظة على ديمومة العمل لوقت طويل، فهي تحدٍّ حقيقي، لكن يمكن لهذه المدينة أن تمثل مستقبلاً مصدر قلق حقيقياً لـ”إسرائيل” بسبب التلاحم العشائري بين قاطنيها وأقربائهم في الجانب الأردني، وهذا ما يفسر كثرة الأخبار الإسرائيلية عن حالات إدخال السلاح من الأغوار بصورة أسبوعية تقريباً.

    اقرأ أيضاً: كتائب المقاومة في الضفة: عندما يستفيق “الأسد النائم” (1/4)

    عملية الأغوار في الميزان

    جاءت عملية الأحد 4 أيلول/سبتمبر 2022 التي وُصفت بالنوعية لجهة طبيعة المنفذين وطريقة التنفيذ والمكان، رغم بعض الإخفاقات الميدانية، لتزيد من حضور الأغوار الشمالية في مساحة المواجهة. وقد شرعت وسائل الإعلام العبرية في تقديم معطيات حول الحادثة لتبرير الإخفاقات، وخصوصاً أن الحافلة المستهدفة كانت تحمل جنوداً من لواء “كفير” الذين قيل إنهم التحقوا بالخدمة قبل نحو أسبوعين فقط. زِد على ذلك أنَّ الحافلة لم تكن مصفّحة، وقد تجاوزها المنفذون الثلاثة مستقلين مركبة “تندر”، ثم توقفوا إلى جانب الطريق، وأطلقوا عليها 25 رصاصة حتى توقفت نتيجة إصابة السائق، قبل أن يحاولوا إحراقها بزجاجات حارقة.

    تعقيباً على ذلك، رأى “معهد دراسات الأمن القومي” التابع لجامعة “تل أبيب” أن العملية “لم تكن مفاجئة حتى إن تضمنت تكتيكات غير عادية”، واضعاً إياها “علامةً أخرى” في ساحة المقاومة الآخذة بالاتساع. أما ما أراد المعهد التركيز عليه، فهو أن عملية الأغوار جزء من اتجاه ظهر في آذار/مارس الماضي، وبدأ بعمليات في المدن المحتلة عام 1948، “انطلاقاً من جنين التي استطاعت الجهاد الإسلامي أن تحولها إلى أهم بؤرة مقاومة في الضفة”، ثم “أقامت شبكات تعاون مع حماس وعناصر من فتح، وهي تقود جهوداً منهجية لتجنيد الشباب. وقد مولت مجموعات لا تتبع لها تنظيمياً”، أي إمكانية عمل خلايا ظل.

    النقطة اللافتة هي إقرار المعهد بأنَّه لا يمكن تفسير ظاهرة تنامي المقاومة من منطلق الصعوبات الاقتصادية، بل يجب الإقرار بأن هناك وعياً متزايداً بضرورة النضال ضد الاحتلال “جراء الفراغ الذي تركته السلطة… ثمن المقاومة ليس باهظاً، فالأبطال الفلسطينيون يولدون كل يوم، والشعور بالقدرة والدافعية للنضال المسلح يستقر في الوعي الجمعي لجيل الشباب، وهذا بحد ذاته سبب كافٍ لتوسع دائرة المواجهة في الضفة”.

    ماذا عن رام الله؟

    تتتابع على نحو شبه يومي، وأحياناً أسبوعي، الأنباء عن عمليات إطلاق نار في رام الله تستهدف حافلات للمستوطنين وحواجز لـ”الجيش” الإسرائيلي ومداخل مستوطنات، ما دفع كثيرين إلى تقديرِ إعلانِ كتيبةٍ في رام الله والبيرة، وهو الحدث الذي لم يقع بعد.

    لكن توالي العمل وحوادث إطلاق النار، وخصوصاً قرب بلدة سلواد شرقي رام الله، أو انطلاقاً منها، يثير علامات استفهام عن كتيبة فعلية يرجح أنها تؤجل إعلان نفسها لأسباب لها علاقة بالسلطة التي ترى أن مثل هذا الواقع في عاصمتها السياسية سيكون ضاغطاً عليها بشدة.

    وبينما تمتلك “حماس” قواعد عمل قوية في عدد من قرى رام الله قياساً بـ”الجهاد الإسلامي” التي لم تصرح أو تلمح إلى أي تفاصيل في هذا الشأن بعد، فإن الحضور الأقوى يبقى لمجموعات من “كتائب الأقصى” (فتح) أو عناصر من السلطة قد يتخذون هذا المنحى.

     وكانت أشهر عمليتين وقعتا في رام الله خلال السنوات القليلة الماضية هما “جفعات آساف” (أسفرت عن مقتل 3 جنود إسرائيليين وجرح 2 آخرين) و”عوفرا” (أسفرت عن إصابة 11 مستوطناً أحدهم كانت حالته خطرة)، اللتين نُفذتا (كانون الأول/ديسمبر 2018) بطريقة الكر والفر قرب بلدتي سلواد ويبرود شمال شرقي رام الله والبيرة.

    خاتمة: هل يستفيق “الأسد النائم”؟

    لا بدّ من عودة إلى بدء، أي الخليل، التي أطلقت شرارة “هبة القدس” (2015-2018) قبل أن تنطفئ، والسبب الأساسي أن المحافظة الملأى بالسلاح كان سلاحها مضبوطاً إلى حد ما بأمر كبار العشائر، وفي أيدي وازنين فيها، لكن سيل السلاح الذي سمحت كل من السلطة و”إسرائيل” بدخوله إلى المحافظة ووصوله إلى أيدٍ غير حريصة خلق فوضى وفلتاناً خلط أولويات سكانها، ولا يزال قائماً حتى اليوم، إضافة إلى مصالح شبكة التجار المعقدة، الأمر الذي نال دراسات وافية حوله، ولا يزال يستحق المتابعة على حدة.

    لكن الجمعة 17 حزيران/يونيو 2022 شهد حدثاً لافتاً؛ ففي هذا اليوم الذي استشهد فيه 3 مقاومين من “كتيبة جنين”  هم: يوسف صلاح (23 عاماً، شقيق الشهيد سعد)، وبراء لحلوح (24 عاماً)، وليث أبو سرور (24 عاماً، شقيق الشهيد علاء)، صدر بيان باسم “كتيبة الخليل” أعلن تنفيذ عمليتين استهدفت الأولى مرصداً أمنياً قرب مستوطنة “كريات أربع”، والأخرى حاجز “أبو الريش” جنوباً، ثم اختفت وأخبارها.

    مهما كانت الحقيقة وراء ما جرى، فإنه وجّه الأعين مجدداً إلى أقصى جنوبي الضفة، حيث المحافظة التي وصفها الرئيس الفلسطيني الراحل، ياسر عرفات، بأنها “الأسد النائم”، وخصوصاً أن الخليل من أكبر المدن في الضفة، إذ تبلغ مساحتها 997 كلم2، ويقدّر عدد سكانها بأكثر من 800 ألف نسمة، فيما تتغلغل عشرات المستوطنات الإسرائيلية داخلها وتطوّقها كتل أخرى، كما أنها تحمل مركزاً دينياً مهماً هو الحرم الإبراهيمي الذي يمثل شرارة اشتعال، لكنها مطفأة منذ عقدين على الأقل. وربما ما جرى قبل فترة من إشادة فصائل المقاومة بإحراق برج عسكري في الخليل يشي بالتعطش إلى مثل هذا الاشتعال.

    بينما تشتهر الخليل بصناعاتها التاريخية وأسواقها القوية، تحكمها تكتلات عشائرية تؤثر كثيراً في اتخاذ القرار. ويتوزع انتماء السكان فيها بين “فتح” أولاً، و”حماس” ثانياً، ثم باقي الفصائل، فيما لا يوجد حضور شعبي لافت لـ”الجهاد الإسلامي”، إذ تتشكل بنية الحركة في المدينة من بعض النخب والشخصيات ذات الكاريزما الاجتماعية أو العلمية العالية، لكن “الجهاد” تمتلك حضوراً جيداً في القرى هناك قياساً بالمدينة، مع أنه ليس حضوراً فعالاً كما شماليّ الضفة، والمشكلة التي تواجه الحركة أن غالبية الفتحاويين في الخليل هم ممن يتبنون خيارات السلطة حالياً.

    مع أنّ الخليل تعطي الأفضلية لـ”حماس” في الاستحقاقات الانتخابية، فإن تلك الأفضلية تنعكس في النقابات واستطلاعات الرأي فقط في أحسن الحالات، ولا تعطيها أي هوامش للعمل التنظيمي، إذ تحاصر الأجهزة الأمنية أنصار الراية الخضراء، فيما يشارك الاحتلال في القضاء على أي ظاهرة، مثل العمل الخيري والجماهيري وحملات المساجد. في النتيجة، لم تمتلك “حماس” و”الجهاد” أي غطاء فتحاوي لتتمددا عبره، وخصوصاً أن إجراءات السلطة والاحتلال ضربت أساسات العمل وفكرة بعثه من جديد.

    وإلى جانب تلك الضربات الأمنية القوية، وسياسة “الباب الدوار” التي تعتمدها السلطة والاحتلال في اعتقال الكوادر ومنعهم من الراحة، تركت كثرة التجارب السيئة وعياً سلبياً لدى الشباب الذين يمتلكون إرادة الفعل، مفادها بأن نهاية كل محاولة الاعتقالُ عامين إدارياً إذا اشتبه الاحتلال في فعل مقاوم، أو بمحكومية كبيرة إذا ثبت. رغم ما سبق، إذا قُدّر للخليل أن تعود إلى دورها التاريخي والفعال، كما في الانتفاضة الثانية، شرط أن يكون ذلك في الوقت المناسب، فإن هذا سيقلب الموازين بصورة كبيرة في الضفة، وهو أمر رهن السؤال المفتوح.

    اقرأ أيضاً: 

    Battle of Naalan mountain: one town’s fight against the full might of the Israeli settler project

    SEPTEMBER 16, 2022 

    The small town of Mazraa Qabaliya in the northern West Bank is fighting the Israeli military and armed settlers to protect a resource that is both revered and essential to their community — Naalan mountain.
    JAAFAR LADADWEH, 55 AND YOUSEF ALI LOOKING AT THE SETTLEMENTS ACROSS FROM NAALAN, SEPTEMBER 2022. (PHOTO: MARIAM BARGHOUTI/MONDOWEISS)

    Source

    By Mariam Barghouti

    On October 26, 2018, the small town of Mazraa Qabaliya just 11 km northwest of Ramallah witnessed a brutal assault by Israeli settlers and their military vanguard. 

    As Palestinian men gathered for Friday prayers under a cluster of brown and green leadtrees, they were met with teargas from the Israeli military in tandem with an organized attack by armed Israeli settlers. Youth responded by hurling stones back at the settlers and soldiers.

    “It was a bloodbath that day,” Jaafar Ladadweh, 55, recalled to Mondoweiss almost four years later on the same Naalan mountaintop where two men were fatally shot.

    Two Palestinians from the village were shot — Othman Ahmad Ladadweh, 33, was hit in the thigh and died that Friday evening, while Mohammad Ibrahim Shreiteh, 28, was shot in the head, succumbing to his wounds almost two weeks later, on November 10, 2018. More than a dozen were injured with live bullets while dozens more were injured with teargas and rubber bullets.

    The view from Naalan mountain overlooking Israeli settlements in the north of the West Bank. (Photo: Mariam Barghouti/Mondoweiss)
    The view from Naalan mountain overlooking Israeli settlements in the north of the West Bank. (Photo: Mariam Barghouti/Mondoweiss)THE VIEW FROM NAALAN MOUNTAIN OVERLOOKING ISRAELI SETTLEMENTS IN THE NORTH OF THE WEST BANK. (PHOTO: MARIAM BARGHOUTI/MONDOWEISS)

    Guardians of the mountain: ‘we must keep the light on’

    The confrontations in Naalan would intensify in 2018. Protests were being held in tandem with the Great March of Return in Gaza, where Palestinians marched every Friday in the thousands to protest the Gaza siege and its population of 2 million people. 

    Like the Israeli military response to Palestinian unarmed protest in Gaza, the youth and residents of Mazraa were met with lethal force — mostly live ammunition. 

    Four years later, the sunset from the top of Naalan mountain is calm and the air is crisp, with a breeze reminiscent of Ramallah’s windy evenings. The contrast of the dying colors of orange, red, yellow, and purple blue with a darker sky and almost yellow full moon commands appreciation. 

    Under September’s full harvest moon, a group of 11 men gather on plastic chairs and wooden benches they have set up over the years, to revive the mountain and maintain it.

    “We all take turns making sure there is electricity extended and that the lights on this mountain are on at all times, to make sure there is a sign of life here” Ahmad Obeid, 62, says with a smile. 

    Eager and passionate about sharing their story of successfully holding on to their homes, Obeid points at one of the flickering lights hanging from a treehouse they had built months ago to encourage visitors to come and help protect the mountain from settler takeover.

    “We must keep the light on,” Obeid said, his tone passionate. “We must keep the light on here on the mountain at all times. Once it’s off, know that something is wrong, that there has been an attack,” he said to Mondoweiss. 

    Image of two martyrs hanging in the community office on Naalan Mountain (Photo: Mariam Barghouti/Mondoweiss)
    POSTER WITH THE IMAGES OF TWO MARTYRS KILLED DURING MILITARY AND SETTLER ATTACKS ON OCTOBER 26, 2018, HANGING IN THE COMMUNITY OFFICE AT THE TOP OF NAALAN MOUNTAIN. MOHAMMAD SHREITEH, 28, ON THE LEFT, AND OTHMAN LADADWEH, 33, ON THE RIGHT. (PHOTO: MARIAM BARGHOUTI/MONDOWEISS)

    Abandoned by parties and actors that are supposedly responsible, including the Palestinian Authority (PA), the mountain was nurtured and developed through the power of community initiatives and youth volunteers. 

    Through collective conversations, the village of Mazraa Qabaliya organized itself into committees to renovate, preserve, and document the archeological artifacts that sprawl across and inside the mountain. 

    “When we pray here, you would find settlers coming to also pray,” Ali Shreiteh, 54, told Mondoweiss. Shreiteh had been documenting the historical significance and archeological richness that is hidden across the mountain top, from Roman wells to centuries-old antiques. 

    Over the past four years, organized settler visits and attacks on the site in coordination with Israeli army have intensified. These visits seek to establish a presence on the land, which in turn would create a justification for the annexation and forcible takeover of Palestinian lands by judicial decree. 

    Yet, these sinister practices do not occur in isolation. They are embedded in, and enforced through, broader Israeli policies denying Palestinians ability to use their resources and lands for growth and building of healthy and unified communities.

    Israeli forces arrest an unarmed Palestinian during confrontations in 2018. (Photo: Mohammad Shreiteh)
    Israeli forces arrest an unarmed Palestinian during confrontations in 2018. (Photo: Mohammad Shreiteh)ISRAELI FORCES ARREST AN UNARMED PALESTINIAN DURING CONFRONTATIONS IN 2018. (PHOTO: MOHAMMAD SHREITEH)

    Greenlighting ethnic cleansing in Area B

    Naalan mountain is located in Mazraa Qabaliya, a town known for its agricultural produce and capacity for sustainable water infrastructure. 

    Mazraa Qabaliya and its Naalan mountain are also categorized as “Area B” under the Oslo Accords, which places them under the civic and administrative control of the PA and military control of Israeli army. This power vacuum, combined with the lack of foreign support, has meant that the town residents have had to take it upon themselves to counter the continuous impunity for armed Israeli aggressions and organized settler crimes.

    Since the growth of settlement expansion to Areas B in 2017, added to the peak in settler violence in 2018, the townspeople have directed their efforts to ensure that Naalan mountain remains vibrant and accessible to Palestinians. This has largely only been possible through constant confrontation whereby Palestinians must face armed settlers and soldiers with either their voice, their bodies, or the hurling of stones — a crime punishable by up to 10 years under Israeli military regulations.

    “They want to take this mountain by any means, even if it is fabricating a historical association with it,” Yousef Ali, 45, told Mondoweiss. 

    Naalan mountain, 2018 (Photo: Mohammad Shreiteh)
    Naalan mountain, 2018 (Photo: Mohammad Shreiteh)NAALAN MOUNTAIN, 2018 (PHOTO: MOHAMMAD SHREITEH)

    ccording to the Oslo Accords, settlers expanding to Area B are not only in violation of international law, but also Israeli law. The clandestine manner in which Israel takes over lands has been well-documented, but with little repercussions. In 2018, former US president Barack Obama was reportedly “shocked” at the systemic nature of Israeli settlements and their fragmentation of Palestinians from one another. 

    This settler expansion has been devastating to Palestinian farmers. Already economically deprived of more than 63% of the most fertile and grazing land as well as agricultural resources in Area C, farmers in Mazraa Qabaliya and the rest of Area B are restricted by Israeli veto power over building and constructing water wells and drilling into reservoirs or springs.  

    The wells around the Naalan mountain top could provide the community with the resources that would allow for sustainability and income generation in the face of the economic depression plaguing Palestinian communities.  In fact, the families and communities near Naalan have renovated some old wells, but the energies of the townspeople continue to be occupied mainly with surviving and confronting Israeli efforts to takeover their lands for the purpose of expanding illegal settlements.

    In this way, not only are settlements furthering Israeli theft and abuse of natural resources, but are also impeding Palestinian capacities to develop what resources they have.

    Israeli settlers marching with military protection on Naalan mountain. (Photo: Mohammad Shreiteh)
    ISRAELI SETTLERS MARCHING WITH MILITARY PROTECTION ON NAALAN MOUNTAIN. (PHOTO: SHREITEHPHOTO)

    In contrast, illegal Israeli settlers are not only provided with Israeli court-ordered military force as protection, but also governmental financial support from the “Settlement Division” of the World Zionist Organization (WZO) to help link agricultural and natural resource networks with a growing physical settler infrastructure..

    In June and July of this year, the WZO declared plans to invest additional $ 8.5 million USD in connecting and legitimizing illegal outposts in the West Bank, a policy pushed forward by former Prime Minister, Naftali Bennet. And not only are settlements expanding but they are even creeping towards Area B of the West Bank also in violation of the Oslo Accords.

    What this adds up to is that Palestinian communities lack nearly any form of financial, legal, emotional, or logistical support in their efforts to defend their land while Israeli settlers are provided with international impunity, constant and growing economic funding, as well as protection from its military, one of the most advanced in the world. 

    Call for solidarity

    With what little remains, Palestinian towns and villages are constantly attempting to salvage what they have been able to hold onto in the face of a increasingly emboldened settler population, which maintains a strong hold on military power and international public opinion.

    As Palestinian communities attempt to safeguard their communities from settler attacks, they are calling on supporters to join them in ensuring that Palestinian lands remain alive with Palestinian lives. “Just come be with us, build with us, bring nothing but will and joy,” Ladadweh says as the evening fades into darkness, as an LED lightbulb flickers behind him. 

    In that moment, words from earlier in the evening seemed to hang in the air and resonate with the 11 men firmly planted at the top of Naalan mountain: “the light must stay on.”

    Palestinian Resistance Movements Call for Quitting Oslo and Ending ‘Security Coordination’

    September 15, 2022

    Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, US President Bill Clinton, and PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat at the signing of the Oslo Accord. (Photo: Vince Musi, via Wikimedia Commons)

    Palestinian resistance movements called on Wednesday for a total withdrawal from the Oslo Accords and an end to ‘security coordination’ between the Palestinian Authority and the Israeli occupation security services, Quds Press reported.

    Speaking on behalf of the movements, senior Islamic Jihad official Nafeth Azzam said that Oslo gave “legitimacy” to the Israeli occupation and illegal Jewish settlements.

    Azzam made his comments during a conference in Gaza to mark the anniversary of the Oslo Accords. He also issued a warning about the normalization of Arab states with Israel.

    “This path is doomed to fail. The Palestinians have surprised the world with their rejection of Oslo and their rejection of the normalization of ties between the occupation and Arab nations.”

    The Palestinian resistance, he pointed out, broke the security equation of the Israeli occupation and forced it to leave the Gaza Strip seventeen years ago.

    (MEMO, PC, SOCIAL)

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    Palestinian factions to PA: Abort Oslo, recant ‘Israel’ recognition

    September 13, 2022 14:28 

    Source: Al-Mayadeen

    By Al-Mayadeen English 

    Palestinian factions reaffirm position to liberate all of Palestine.

    29 years after Oslo Accords, Palestinians have not given up on liberation.

    Hamas movement urged on Tuesday the Palestinian Authority to take the initiative and announce the end of the Oslo Accords and recanting the recognition of the usurping Zionist entity.

    Hamas said in a statement on the 29th anniversary of the signing of the Oslo Accords that “the Lapid government’s quest to co-opt the Palestinian Authority and its members is suspicious, and we warn the authority not to go along with it.”

    The statement added that “the security coordination policy with the Zionist enemy and the prosecution of our people and activists defending their land and holy sites in the face of settlement and Judaization projects is a crime and a code of conduct that violates all national customs and values and must stop,” stressing that the “masses revolting to defend themselves, their land and holy sites by all available means must not be restricted.”

    The statement renewed its “categorical rejection of all agreements, no matter their source, that do not recognize the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, foremost of which is their struggle and Resistance to defend themselves, their land and holy sites, and their right to liberate the land and return to their cities and villages from which they were forcefully displaced, not to mention establishing their independent, fully sovereign state with Al-Quds as its capital.”

    Resistance Committees in Palestine: The Oslo agreement led to the loss of many achievements

    Director of the media office of the Resistance Committees in Palestine, Mohammed Al-Barim “Abu Mujahid”, stressed that “all agreements and conspiracies will not take away or cancel any of our rights or our constant principles and will not give any legitimacy to the existence of the Zionist entity occupying our land.”

    “The Oslo agreement brought disasters and misfortunes to our people and represented a dangerous decline for which the Palestinian cause paid heavy prices and was exploited by the Zionist enemy as a cover for Judaization, settlement, and normalization, whether secret or public,” Al-Barim said.

    He also pointed out that “the Oslo accords led to the loss of many achievements reached by the Palestinian people during the course of their struggle and restricted the march to liberation in light of numerous attempts to end the Resistance, which throughout history has been the conscience of the people and the nation and its legitimate force in the face of the occupation and Zionist aggression.”

    “What is required now is to end the current approach of settlement with the enemy, end all forms of relationship with it, cancel the Oslo Accords, and withdraw recognition of the criminal entity,” he said.

    Al-Ahrar: Vast difference between the Resistance Project and the settlement project

    Al-Ahrar movement said in a statement, “We must work nationally to get rid of the Oslo Accords and its annexes, considering that the first and last beneficiary from them is the Zionist occupation through the abominable security coordination.”

    “The Palestinian negotiator who went alone to conclude this disastrous agreement contrary to the will of our people committed a great sin during which he made more concessions than the occupation expected, so we call for its dissolution and siding with the will of our people to build a national strategy for comprehensive Resistance,” it added.

    “After 29 years of signing this ill-fated agreement, everyone must move to push for a complete revision of this absurd path to abandon and drop the Oslo accords, which has only brought misery to our people,” the statement said.

    The movement pointed out that “there is a difference between the Resistance Project, which has accomplished achievements and succeeded in forcing the occupation out of Gaza, and the frail settlement project, which opened the door wide for the occupation to implement its settlement and Judaization plans to plunder the capabilities of our people, their land and their rights.”

    The movement stressed that “resistance will remain the only way to achieve the unity of our people, end its crises, defeat the occupation and free the land of Palestine, all of Palestine.”

    Mujahideen movement: Oslo is a national sin

    The Palestinian Mujahideen movement said in a statement that “Oslo is a national sin that must be cleansed and dropped, and the defeat of the occupation in Gaza is proof of the effectiveness of the option of Resistance.”

    The movement added that “the fateful Oslo accords were a phase of betrayal to our national cause and opened the doors to all forms of normalization of some Arab regimes with this criminal occupier.”

    The movement stressed that “liberating our land from the occupation can only be by Resistance, not by surrender and concession, and this requires everyone to adopt an inclusive national strategy that supports the option of Resistance and strengthens the resilience of our people in the face of dangers and challenges.”

    25 Palestinians still in occupation prisons 29 years after Oslo

    The Ministry of Prisoners in Gaza said that “25 Palestinians have been imprisoned in occupation cells since before the Oslo Accords, 29 years ago, some even for longer than 35 years.”

    Overthrowing “Oslo” and the Palestinian state… the strategic choice of resistance

    The Post-Oslo Social Economy: An Analysis

    August 12, 2022

    Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, US President Bill Clinton, and PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat at the signing of the Oslo Accord. (Photo: Vince Musi, via Wikimedia Commons)

    By Omar Zahzah

    “It’s classic Fanon, if you think about it,” Palestinian writer Yara Hawari, Senior Analyst of Al-Shabaka: The Palestinian Policy Network,  remarked in 2018 about the 25th anniversary Oslo Accords.

    “It’s like, Let’s create this class of people that are going to maintain the security of the oppressed or the natives, so that we don’t have to do it.”

    The “class” Hawari refers to here is the Palestinian Authority, that repressive, native informant apparatus whose incarceration and brutalization of its own people and total obedience to the Zionist colonial state was institutionalized through the passage of the Oslo Accords in 1993. Hawari relates the formation of the PA to the underdeveloped national middle-class Fanon describes in “The Pitfalls of National Consciousness,” a class that maintains its material integrity and interests by preserving neo-colonial relations and collaborations with the colonial power.

    Palestinian activist Jamal Juma explains that through the Accords, the PA made it so that Palestinian livelihoods would be controlled by organizations including the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, and that the division of the West Bank into areas A, B, and C is ultimately guided by a larger strategy of total annexation. 

    An expansive exploration of the former subject, Toufic Haddad’s Palestine, Ltd. demonstrates how Western donor states and financial institutions used the Oslo Accords as a test-case in the exploration of national and governmental forms of arrangement that could be most agreeable to neoliberal capitalist ventures—an insight that suggests how Palestine operates as a “lab” in ways other than the more familiar discussion of the Zionist state honing the weaponry, crowd-control and surveillance tactics that it will eventually export to other nations and corporations upon Palestinian bodies and territories.

    Yet as crucial as these insights are, they are tied to the material components of the Oslo Accords’ disastrous impacts.

    I believe it’s also important to discuss other, more abstract components of the Accords’ destructiveness—components that are not even limited to Palestine alone. Such an undertaking is important, as every attempt to diagnose the true colonial character of our condition brings us one step closer to a potentially liberated–and liberatory–consciousness.

    Emotional and Mental Reproduction

    The physical character of colonial projects may reproduce itself emotionally and mentally, both within the collective morale of the colonized as well as in the minds and hearts of individuals among colonized populations. Thus, it takes no great leap of the imagination to consider that the physical and political fragmentation wrought by the Oslo Accords—the arrogant and arbitrary declaration that a future Palestinian state would only concern those Palestinians presently within colonized and militarily occupied Palestinian territory; the abandonment of the liberation struggle; the creation of a corrupt Palestinian bourgeoisie elite that would profit directly off of oppressing and exploiting its own people–have also reinscribed themselves within the individual Palestinian psyche.

    It also stands to reason that such a reinscription would have profound effects not only upon individual Palestinian morale, but the activism (and here I deploy this term intentionally) that followed in the wake of the Oslo Accords.

    My subject of analysis is a particular type of activism (again, used here to describe a mindset and various forms of prioritization) that values the individual reputation, ego, “brand,” politics, over, or at the complete exclusion of, the larger liberation struggle as well as the need for mutual and collective struggle among our people. One person or organization becomes the default representative of the Palestinian cause, and rather than seeing others involved in the same struggle as comrades, all become competitors in a cheap struggle for “authenticity.” 

    Collectivity shifts from a strength to a liability, as the plurality of voices and approaches so integral to the health of any veritable liberation movement becomes crowded out by the cultural lure of being the default Palestinian voice, the Palestinian activist, the Palestinian intellectual, and so on, as opposed to one among many.

    Anti-colonial criticality becomes redirected towards liberal policy analysis and so-called “thought leadership” that takes for granted and even benefits from the perseverance of structures and systems that need to be destroyed rather than sustained. But even a more critical posture is not necessarily indicative of having transcended this status quo, as being the most radical presence can become commodified as its own, cynical show of competition.  

    It is no longer the Palestinian struggle that is engaged, in its entirety and contradictions, but a sanitized version that is repackaged and sold to a target audience. The fragmentation imposed upon our struggle by our colonizers and the so-called leadership among our people that willfully collaborate with them for their own personal gain is restaged in this competition, and fragmentation itself becomes incentivized rather than challenged.

    All oppositional forces, from our colonizers to their imperialist allies, would like nothing more than for us to remain scattered, to remain fragmented, so it is natural that we would find ourselves in systems and situations where attacking one another as a way of building ourselves up is encouraged, however indirectly.

    What is Meant By Social Economy

    An “economy” typically implies a system of relation and exchange. Thus to refer to the phenomenon in question as a “social economy” might seem a strange choice of words. But through this formulation we are considering the ways in which social relations themselves are conditioned by economic processes—the way, for example, personal and professional relationships become distorted by capitalistic notions of profit, productivity, and artificial scarcity, or how neoliberal belief systems encourage a “buffet” style approach to issues of oppression that says holding a marginalized identity in and of itself entails liberatory intentions (Mahmoud Abbas should be a sufficient enough refutation of this regressive political tendency.)

    In our example, political work becomes imperceptibly overtaken by for-profit incentives of competition, false scarcity, and exclusion, and a cause that is at heart a collective struggle for anti-colonial liberation becomes nothing more than a means of self-promotion and advancement. To the extent that rampant NGOization both in Palestine and internationally diverts liberation-focused efforts to reformist ones sharply limited by strings-attached funding and siphons the intellect and creativity of organizers into bureaucratic demands such as fundraising and donor relationship building, we cannot ignore the interplay between compromised institutions, predatory economic subjugation, and political mercurialness.

    Good Faith and the Unconscious

    However, while such engagement may at times be informed by a willful disregard, our experiences suggest that such a state of affairs is more likely to be reinforced unconsciously. Thus, even in the most intense moments of seeming competition and disagreement, the possibility of good faith should always be presumed.

    One imperfect yet nevertheless amelioratory practice given this state of affairs is to insist upon intentional and conscientious distinctions between the grassroots and non-profit spheres. To be sure, there is overlap, but to consciously present non-profits as the grassroots would ultimately water down grassroots work with the demands, limitations, and restrictions of non-profit bureaucracy. 

    In the interim to the complete dissolution to the non-profit system, one important approach is to navigate non-profit spaces with an awareness of these material distinctions and always ask oneself (and one’s organization(s)) how best to utilize the resources and networks of the non-profit milieu to amplify the grassroots without restriction whenever possible. 

    It would be a far simpler task if the Oslo Accords had resulted in a generation of self-interested activists and organizations competitively profiting off of their Palestinian “brands,” for better or worse, but this is not what I’m arguing. The reality is murkier, and more difficult to define, but ultimately what I’m suggesting is that various factors, including the overemphasis on the individual within settler-colonial/capitalist US nationalist ethos, as well as the myriad forms of fragmentation inflicted upon us through the Oslo Accords, are themselves internalized and re-staged within US activist scenes, but often at the level of general instinct and impression. 

    Various social and symbolic norms make it so that certain actions and attitudes are simply felt to come more naturally than others. This is the case with capitalism in general, which presents a complete distortion of social relations and attachments as so-called “reality,” “nature,” “society,” and so on. Our colonial condition, while in some ways more particular, nevertheless operates with similar effect: the horizon of possibility is increasingly depleted by shrinking borders and an abdication of responsibility and dedication to the struggle.

    The Way(s) Forward

    There is no one set “solution” to such a state of affairs, but as individualism and competition are the scourges, approaches that center collaboration and mutual uplift obviously should be prioritized. To that extent, continually engaging in (and presuming) good faith from others—with the exception of crossing red lines about Zionism and normalization—should be standardized. But even when it comes to these red lines, it is crucial to be able to name exhaustive standards for Zionism and normalization, as well as to establish and maintain cultures of principled political commitment.

    At this point, it ought to be far from politically controversial to say that the Zionist entity has no right to exist, should never have existed and in fact, should not exist even now; that Palestinians have the right to all forms of resistance until total return and liberation, and that all of the Zionist entity is, in fact, occupied Palestine, an alien construction upon stolen land and lives that needs to be destroyed in the lead-up to comprehensive Palestinian liberation and reparations.

    Explicitly naming competitions and turf wars as reflective of the Oslo Accords rather than feeding into them can at times aid in refocusing efforts towards the larger struggle and collective betterment, though this is not always a guarantee.

    At the root of the issue is the need to operate with a sense of Movement rather than individualism or activism, and always begin from a position of helping the collective cause rather than advancing individual gains. The struggle is hurt by our fragmentation, though it’s important to resist the cynical cooptation of this principle as a means of encouraging tolerance of any and all political lines within our spaces and wider networks (such as normalization of the Zionist entity, including acceptance of the Palestinian “Authority’s” security coordination).

    For the purpose is to rekindle and preserve a sense of collective identity and resistance that operates within a genuinely anti-colonial frame, rather than accepting our colonization as an inevitability, or even past event.   

    – Omar Zahzah is the Education and Advocacy Coordinator for Eyewitness Palestine as well as a member of the Palestinian Youth Movement (PYM) and the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (USACBI). Omar is also an independent scholar, writer and poet and holds a PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). He contributed this article to The Palestine Chronicle.

    WASHINGTON IS THE PROBLEM, NOT THE SOLUTION: WHY MAHMOUD ABBAS IS SEEKING NEW ‘POWERFUL’ SPONSORS

    JULY 27TH, 2022

    Source

    By Ramzy Baroud

    To judge US President Joe Biden’s recent visit to Israel and Palestine as a ‘failure’ in terms of activating the dormant ‘peace process’ is simply a misnomer. For this statement to be accurate, Washington would have had to indicate even a nominal desire to push for negotiations between the Israeli government and the Palestinian leadership.

    Political and diplomatic platitudes aside, the current American administration has done the exact opposite as indicated in Biden’s words and actions. Alleging that the US commitment to a two-state solution “has not changed”, Biden dismissed his Administration’s interest in trying to achieve such a goal by declaring that the “ground is not ripe” for negotiations.

    Considering that the Palestinian Authority of Mahmoud Abbas has repeatedly announced its readiness to return to negotiations, one can only assume that the process is being stalled due to Israel’s intransigence. Indeed, none of Israel’s top leaders or major parties champion negotiations, or the so-called peace process, as a strategic objective.

    However, Israel is not the only party to blame. The Americans, too, have made it clear that they moved on from that political sham altogether, one which they have invented and sustained for decades. In fact, the final nail in the ‘negotiating solution’ coffin was hammered by the Donald Trump Administration, which has simply backed every Israeli claim, thus shunning all rightful Palestinian demands.

    The Biden Administration has been habitually blamed by Palestinians, Arabs and progressive voices within the Democratic Party for failing to reverse Trump’s prejudiced moves in favor of Israel: for example, moving the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, shutting down the US consulate in East Jerusalem, accepting the unfounded Israeli claims regarding its jurisdiction over illegal Jewish settlements built over occupied Palestinian land, and so on.

    Even if one assumes that the Biden Administration is capable of reversing some or all of Trump’s unlawful actions, what good would that be in the greater scheme of things? Washington was, and remains, Israel’s greatest benefactor, funding its military occupation of Palestine with an annual gift of $4 billion, in addition to many other schemes, including a massive and growing budget allocated for Israel’s Iron Dome alone.

    As horrific as Trump’s years were in terms of undermining a just resolution to the Israeli occupation of Palestine, Biden’s policies are but a continuation of an existing pro-Israel American legacy that surpasses that of Trump by decades.

    As for Israel, the ‘peace process’ has served its purpose, which explains the infamous declaration by the CEO of the Jewish settlement council in the occupied West Bank, known as Yesha, in 2018, “I don’t want to brag that we’ve won. (…) Others would say it appears that we’re winning.”

    However, Israel’s supposed ‘victory’ following three decades of a fraudulent ‘peace process’ cannot be credited to Trump alone. Biden and other top US officials have also been quite useful. While it is widely understood that US politicians support Israel out of sheer interest, for example, the need to appease the influential pro-Israel lobby in Washington DC, Biden’s, support for Israel stems from an ideological foundation. The US President was hardly bashful when he repeated, upon his arrival at Israel’s Ben Gurion airport on July 13, his famous statement, “You need not be a Jew to be Zionist.”

    Consequently, it may appear puzzling to hear Palestinian officials call on the US – and Biden, specifically – to pressure Tel Aviv to end its 55-year occupation of East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza.

    Mohannad al-Aklouk, the Palestinian representative at the Arab League, for example, repeated the same cliched and unrealistic language of expecting the US to “exert practical pressure on Israel”, “set the stage for a fair political process based on international law”, and “meet its role as a fair sponsor of the peace process”. Strangely, Mr. al-Aklouk truly believes that Washington, with its dismal track record of pro-Israeli bias, can possibly be the savior of the Palestinians.

    Another Palestinian official told The New Arab that PA President Abbas was “disappointed with the results of Biden’s visit,” as, apparently, the Palestinian leader “expected that the US President would make progress in the peace process”. The same source continued to say that Abbas’ Authority is holding meetings with representatives from “powerful countries” to replace the US as sponsors of the once US-sponsored negotiations.

    Abbas’ political stance is confusing. The ‘peace process’ is, after all, an American invention. It was a unique, self-serving style of diplomacy that was formulated to ensure Israel’s priorities remain at center stage of US foreign policy in the Middle East. In the Palestinian case, the ‘peace process’ only served to entrench Israeli colonization of Palestine, while degrading, or completely sidelining, legitimate Palestinian demands. This ‘process’ was also constructed with the aim of marginalizing international law as a political and legal frame of reference to the Israeli occupation of Palestine.

    Instead of questioning the entire ‘peace process’ apparatus and apologizing for the strategic plunders of pursuing American mirages at the expense of Palestinian rights, the Palestinian Authority is still desperately clutching on to the same old fantasy, even when the US, along with Israel, have abandoned their own political farce.

    Even if, supposedly, China, Russia or India would agree to be the new sponsors of the ‘peace process’, there is no reason for Tel Aviv to engage in future negotiations, when it is able to achieve its colonial objectives with full American support. Moreover, none of these countries have, for now, much leverage over Israel, therefore are unable to sustain any kind of meaningful pressure on Tel Aviv to respect international law.

    Yet, the PA is still holding on, simply because the ‘peace process’ proved greatly beneficial in terms of funds, power and prestige enjoyed by a small but powerful class of Palestinians that was largely formulated after the Oslo Accords in 1993.

    It is time for Palestinians to stop investing their political capital in the Biden Administration or any other administration. What they need is not a new ‘powerful’ sponsor of the ‘peace process’ but a grassroots-based struggle for freedom and liberation starting at home, one that galvanizes the energies of the Palestinian people themselves. Alas, this new paradigm cannot be achieved when the priorities of the Palestinian leadership remain fixated on the handouts and political validation of Washington and its Western allies.

    Palestinian, Lebanese resistance factions commemorate PRC founder

    1 Jul 2022

    Source: Al Mayadeen

    By Al Mayadeen English 

    The Palestinian and Lebanese resistance factions commemorate the martyrdom of the founder of the Popular Resistance Committees and its military wing, Al-Nasser Saladin Brigades, Jamal Abu Samhadana.

    From the commemoration of Palestinian martyr Jamal Abu Samhadana on July 1, 2022

    The Lebanese and Palestinian resistance factions commemorated Friday the martyrdom of Secretary-General Jamal Abu Samhadana, the founder of the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC), and its military wing, Al-Nasser Saladin Brigades. The commemoration was attended by representatives of various Lebanese and Palestinian resistance factions such as Hezbollah, Hamas, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ).

    Work must continue until ‘Israel’ despairs: Hezbollah

    Settlements and agreements have not brought back one inch of land, while the resistance liberated land in Gaza and Lebanon, Hezbollah Deputy Secretary-General Naim Qassem said during the commemoration.

    “We must continue working until Israel despairs trying to draw up its borders, and those who have resistance have the present and the future. The resistance must develop its capabilities beyond any limits,” he underlined.

    “The war against Israel will not end until it ceases to exist, and the resistance everywhere is unified in confronting [the Israeli occupation],” the Hezbollah official added.

    Samhadana broke partisanship: Hamas

    Martyr Samhadana was one of the heroic leaders of resistance on Palestinian soil, said Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh. “[He was one of the] turning points in the path of the Intifada, jihad, giving, and sacrificing in the sake of God, then the sake of Palestine and the sake of liberating Al-Aqsa and Al-Quds from the occupying invaders.”

    “We are before a Palestinian icon who sacrificed himself, his possession, and his family for the [Palestinian flag] to fly high and to protect the dignity of Palestine and the Palestinian people,” Haniyeh added.

    “The martyr broke the barriers of partisanship and the factions. Through his home, he was able to provide protection and shelter for Hamas and Ezzedine Qassam leaders, such as martyr Yahya Ayyash, brotherly leader Mohammad Deif, and jihadist leader Mohammad Al-Sinwar in the nineties, when they were in the iron sights of those close to them and their enemies,” he stressed, praising Samhadana’s role in the Palestinian struggle.

    Martyrs, resistance fighters are able to stop collapse: PIJ

    “The martyrs and those bearing arms are capable of putting an end to the collapse and bringing back balance to the Ummah,” PIJ leader Ziad Al-Nakhalah said. “They want the future of our region to be an alliance like NATO that extends from North Africa to the Gulf.”

    “The martyrs are reshaping life with greater strength and determination than ever. We would not have a dignified life without the martyrs. The Zionist arrogance and corruption fill up our sky, air, and life, and the martyrs go from our ranks to bring an end to the humiliation and create a new world that is void of treacherous people,” Al-Nakhalah explained.

    “The martyred founder of the Popular Resistance Committees, great leader Jamal Abu Samhadana, came out to tell all of those who were in the enemy’s corner that this was not their way, and the Palestinian people would not give up their rights and the history of Palestine in exchange for false promises, empty illusions, and agreements that gave the enemy our dreams and our children’s futures,” he said.

    The resistance leader praised and thanked the Jenin Battalion and all of the factions that carry out resistance operations against the occupation in the Jenin refugee camp, Nablus, the West Bank, and the occupied territories. He also hailed the martyrs whom the Israeli occupation murdered.

    “These are the days of Palestinian resistance that span Gaza and its heroic resistance fighters and the West Bank and Al-Quds. From leader Abu Samhadana in Gaza to leader Jamil Al-Amouri in Jenin. It is the tree of Jihad. It has firm roots, and its branches are in the sky.

    PA must end security coordination: PRC

    The Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) still adhere to its principles, PRC Secretary-General Ayman Al-Shishniyeh said, explaining that the principles entailed “confronting the occupation and rejecting any regional alliance that includes the Zionist enemy.”

    Al-Shishniyeh then warned the Israeli occupation against its aggressive acts toward Palestinian prisoners and called on the Palestinian authority to “stop [its] security coordination [with ‘Israel’] and stop betting on the failing US administration.”

    At the same time as the commemoration in Lebanon, there was a memorial service in the Gaza Strip that saw several resistance factions and mass crowds participating to commemorate the martyrdom of Samhadana.

    If the media can probe Shireen Abu Akleh’s death, why not the murder of other Palestinians?

    23 June 2022

    Jonathan Cook is an award-winning independent journalist and author [ MORE ]

    An Israeli sniper shot the Al-Jazeera journalist, according to four US news organisations. But the only investigation the Biden administration will heed is an Israeli one

    Middle East Eye – 22 Jun 2022

    The New York Times published this week the conclusion of its investigation into the killing of the Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh.

    It was the fourth major US news organisation to look in detail at what happened to Abu Akleh during an Israeli army raid into the Palestinian city of Jenin last month. 

    The New York Times found a high probability she had been killed by an Israeli sniper, confirming the findings of earlier investigations by the Associated Press, CNN and the Washington Post. Like the other publications, the Times based its findings on video footage, witness testimonies and acoustic analysis. 

    “The bullet that killed Ms Abu Akleh was fired from the approximate location of the Israeli military convoy [in Jenin], most likely by a soldier from an elite unit,” the Times concluded. A total of 16 shots were fired at the group of journalists that included Abu Akleh.

    Last month, CNN said the evidence it unearthed suggested the veteran Al Jazeera journalist had been killed in a “targeted attack by Israeli forces”. Similar conclusions have been reached by human rights groups that have studied the evidence, including Israel’s respected occupation watchdog, B’Tselem. 

    A major blow

    These probes are a major blow to Israel, coming from reputed media organisations that are usually seen as highly sympathetic to Israel rather than the Palestinians. 

    They have kept the killing of the journalist in the headlines when Israel had hoped interest would quickly wane – as is the case with the overwhelming majority of Palestinian deaths.

    The investigations have made it much harder for Israel to obscure both its responsibility for Abu Akleh’s killing and the intention behind it. The bullet that killed her was fired with the apparent goal of executing her, hitting a narrow, exposed area of flesh between her helmet and a flak jacket marked “Press”. 

    And the various probes have highlighted once again how unwilling Israel is to hold its soldiers to account for committing crimes if the victim is Palestinian. 

    Instead, Israel has had to twist and turn in defending its failure to identify the culprit. It initially refused to investigate, claiming a Palestinian gunman, not one of its soldiers, shot Abu Akleh during the military raid.  

    All the media investigations show that to be untrue. 

    Then Israel suggested that she might have been hit by the crossfire from an Israeli soldier being fired on by Palestinian gunmen. But all the investigations have shown that Palestinian fighters were nowhere near Abu Akleh when she was shot. She was, however, clearly visible to a unit of Israeli soldiers. 

    More recently, Israel has tried to shift the blame onto the Palestinian Authority, saying it has not cooperated by handing over the bullet that killed Abu Akleh or by agreeing to hold a joint investigation. As ever, Israel behaves as if the party accused of the crime should be the one to oversee the investigation.

    The Palestinian Authority rightly refuses requests for cooperation, arguing that they are being made in bad faith. Israel would exploit any joint investigation to concoct “a new lie, a new narrative”, the PA observes. 

    A meaningful question

    In reality, Israel already knows exactly which of its snipers pulled the trigger. The only meaningful question at this stage is, why? Was the shooting committed by a hot-headed soldier, or was it an execution carried out on orders from above? Was the intention to target Abu Akleh specifically, or did it not matter which of the group of journalists she was among was hit? 

    Israel, however, isn’t the only party discomfited by the media’s repeated investigations.

    They have also served to embarrass Joe Biden’s administration. Antony Blinken, the US secretary of state, has called for an “independent, credible investigation”, while his department has underscored the need for a “thorough and independent investigation”. 

    The New York Times and the other major media outlets have all proved that just such an investigation can be carried out. And yet the silence from the US administration at their shared findings is deafening. 

    There are two further, possibly less obvious conclusions the rest of us should draw from these efforts to identify who was responsible for killing Abu Akleh. 

    The first relates to the exceptional nature of the investigations conducted by the US media. Concern at the killing of a Palestinian is far from the norm. In this case, it appears to have been prompted by an unusual coincidence of facts: that Abu Akleh was a high-profile, internationally respected journalist and that she had US citizenship. 

    In other words, she was seen not just as any ordinary Palestinian, or even as a Palestinian journalist, but as one of the western media’s own. 

    Total impunity

    In murdering Abu Akleh, Israel reminded journalists at the New York Times, AP, CNN and the Washington Post that the lives of their correspondents covering Israel and Palestine are in more danger than they possibly appreciate. In killing her, Israel crossed a red line for the western media – one premised on self-interest and self-preservation. 

    There are parallels with the media’s special treatment of the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi – and for similar reasons. Khashoggi, who was working for the Washington Post, was murdered and his body dismembered during a visit to the Saudi embassy in Turkey

    As with Israel, Saudi Arabia‘s leadership has an appalling human rights record and is not hesitant to jail and kill its opponents. But Khashoggi’s murder provoked unprecedented outrage from the media – outrage that Saudi Arabia’s many other victims have never warranted.

    The fact is the US media could have conducted similar investigations into any number of Palestinian deaths at the hands of the Israeli security services, not just Abu Akleh’s, and they would have reached similar conclusions. But they have consistently avoided doing so.

    There is a danger inherent in focusing exclusively on Abu Akleh’s killing, just as there was with focusing exclusively on Khashoggi’s. Each has the effect of making it look as though their deaths are exceptional events requiring exceptional investigation – when they are each an example of a longstanding pattern of regime lawlessness and human rights abuses.

    The special focus subtly reinforces too the impression that Palestinian accounts of Israeli abuses, even when the supporting evidence is overwhelming, cannot be trusted. 

    The veteran Israeli journalist Gideon Levy has run a weekly column, the Twilight Zone, in the Haaretz newspaper for years in which he investigates the killing or serious wounding of Palestinians – often people whose names have never appeared in the western media. 

    Invariably he finds that Israel’s military lies – sometimes flagrantly – about the circumstances in which Palestinians have been killed, or it initiates an inconclusive, stone-walling investigation. 

    The lies are needed because the truth would show something consistently ugly about Israel’s decades of military occupation: that Israeli soldiers often kill unarmed Palestinians in cold blood; or that they recklessly shoot Palestinian bystanders; or that they execute armed Palestinian fighters when no one’s life is in danger.

    The common thread in Levy’s reports is the complete impunity of Israeli soldiers, whatever their actions.

    Pilloried in public

    But there is a further conclusion to be drawn. Blinken and the Biden administration keep insisting on a thorough, independent, credible and transparent investigation, and say it is important to “follow the facts, wherever they lead”.

    But who do they expect to carry out such an investigation? 

    The White House, of course, reflexively discounts the findings of the Palestinian Authority’s investigation that Abu Akleh was deliberately shot by Israeli soldiers. It acts as if the investigations conducted by these four large media organisations do not qualify. Meanwhile, the administration itself shows precisely zero interest in conducting an investigation, despite pressure from Congress to involve the FBI. 

    Would Blinken prefer that the United Nations take on the task? Presumably not, given how the US and Israel responded to the last major independent investigation by the UN, one into Israel’s month-long attack on Gaza at the end of 2008. Israel refused to cooperate. 

    Richard Goldstone, a distinguished South African jurist, led a panel of experts who concluded that Israel had committed a series of war crimes during its attack, known as Cast Lead, as had Palestinian militias. 

    The UN panel’s report found that Israel had adopted a policy that intentionally targeted Palestinian civilians, the vast majority of the 1,400 Palestinians killed in Cast Lead. 

    Both the US and Israel worked strenuously to bury the report. Goldstone, who is Jewish, found himself publicly shamed and isolated by Jewish communities in the US and South Africa. He was even barred from attending his grandson’s bar mitzvah. Eventually, he appeared to succumb to the pressure campaign, expressing regret over the report. 

    No one in Washington came to Goldstone’s defence over the UN’s thorough, independent, credible and transparent investigation. Quite the reverse: he was publicly pilloried. The US administration thereby sent a message to other experts that investigating “independently” and “credibly” is certain only to bring ignominy on their heads if it exposes Israel’s war crimes. 

    Israel’s hands ‘tied’

    Or maybe Blinken would prefer that the International Criminal Court at the Hague investigate. 

    And yet the US demonstrated the degree to which it appreciates full, independent, credible and transparent investigations by that body two years ago, when the ICC tried to turn the spotlight on to US war crimes in Afghanistan and Israel’s in the occupied Palestinian territories. 

    In response, Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump, imposed sanctions on the court, denying staff entry to the US and threatening to seize its assets. The threat extended to anyone offering “material support” to the court – language more normally used in the context of terrorism.  

    The reality, as all parties understand, is that only an investigation overseen by Israel could ever count as “thorough, independent, credible and transparent” to the US. 

    The subtext is that an investigation cannot hope to reach the bar of “credible, independent and transparent”, as far as Washington is concerned, until the Palestinian Authority agrees to hold a joint inquiry with Israel.

    But both Israel and the US know full well that the Palestinian leadership will never agree to such “cooperation” – because Israel’s role would not be to arrive at the truth but to engineer a cover-up. 

    The demand for a “credible, independent and transparent” investigation is the US administration’s code for an investigation that will never take place. It is the diplomatic equivalent of the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

    But more importantly, it is the kind of impossible investigation that, conveniently for the US and Israel, they can blame the PA for obstructing. As long as the Palestinians refuse to “cooperate”, Israel’s hands are supposedly tied. 

    Abu Akleh’s murder has not just revealed the fact that Israeli soldiers kill Palestinians, any Palestinian, with impunity. 

    It has revealed too that the Biden administration is not troubled by the killing, or by the impunity of the soldier who executed her. All that bothers the White House is the irritant of having to create the impression it cares about the truth and the impression that Israel is doing its best to investigate. 

    Until the matter can be swept aside, it will be a little harder for each to get on with business as usual: for the US to give Israel full-throated financial, diplomatic and military support; and for Israel to continue its incremental, decades-long work of seizing control of the Palestinians’ entire, historic homeland.

    But at least for each of them, with Abu Akleh gone, there is one less fearless witness to expose quite how hollow their moral posturing is.

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    LONG MARGINALIZED, THE RIGHT OF RETURN IS ONCE AGAIN A PALESTINIAN PRIORITY

    MAY 25TH, 2022

    Source

    By Ramzy Baroud

    The Nakba is back on the Palestinian agenda.

    For nearly three decades, Palestinians were told that the Nakba – or Catastrophe – is a thing of the past. That real peace requires compromises and sacrifices, therefore, the original sin that has led to the destruction of their historic homeland should be entirely removed from any ‘pragmatic’ political discourse. They were urged to move on.

    The consequences of that shift in narrative were dire. Disowning the Nakba, the single most important event that shaped modern Palestinian history, has resulted in more than political division between the so-called radicals and the supposedly peace-loving pragmatists, the likes of Mahmoud Abbas and his Palestinian Authority. It also divided Palestinian communities in Palestine and across the world around political, ideological and class lines.

    Following the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993, it became clear that the Palestinian struggle for freedom was being entirely redefined and reframed. It was no longer a Palestinian fight against Zionism and Israeli settler colonialism that goes back to the start of the 20th century, but a ‘conflict’ between two equal parties, with equally legitimate territorial claims that can only be resolved through ‘painful concessions’.

    The first of such concessions was relegating the core issue of the ‘Right of Return’ for Palestinian refugees who were driven out of their villages and cities in 1947-48. That Palestinian Nakba paved the way for Israel’s ‘independence’, which was declared atop the rubble and smoke of nearly 500 destroyed and burnt Palestinian villages and towns.

    At the start of the ‘peace process’, Israel was asked to honor the Right of Return for Palestinians, although symbolically. Israel refused. Palestinians were then pushed to relegate that fundamental issue to a ‘final status negotiations’, which never took place. This meant that millions of Palestinian refugees – many of whom are still living in refugee camps in Lebanon, Syria and Jordan, as well as the occupied Palestinian territories – were dropped from the political conversation altogether.

    If it were not for the continued social and cultural activities of the refugees themselves, insisting on their rights and teaching their children to do the same, such terms as the Nakba and Right of Return would have been completely dropped out of the Palestinian political lexicon.

    Palestinian refugee
    A Family warms themselves by a fire during cold weather in a slum on the outskirts of a Gaza refugee camp, Jan. 19, 2022. Khalil Hamra | AP

    While some Palestinians rejected the marginalization of the refugees, insisting that the subject is a political not merely a humanitarian one, others were willing to move on as if this right was of no consequence. Various Palestinian officials affiliated with the now-defunct ‘peace process’ have made it clear that the Right of Return was no longer a Palestinian priority. But none came even close to the way that PA President Abbas, himself, framed the Palestinian position in a 2012 interview with Israeli Channel 2.

    “Palestine now for me is the ’67 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital. This is now and forever … This is Palestine for me. I am [a] refugee, but I am living in Ramallah,” he said.

    Abbas had it completely wrong, of course. Whether he wished to exercise his right of return or not, that right, according to United Nations General Assembly Resolution 194, is simply “inalienable”, meaning that neither Israel nor the Palestinians themselves, can deny or forfeit it.

    Let alone the lack of intellectual integrity of separating the tragic reality of the present from its main root cause, Abbas lacked political wisdom as well. With his ‘peace process’ floundering, and with the lack of any tangible political solution, he simply decided to abandon millions of refugees, denying them the very hope of having their homes, land or dignity restored.

    Since then, Israel, along with the United States, has fought Palestinians on two different fronts: one, by denying them any political horizon and, the other, by attempting to dismantle their historically enshrined rights, mainly their Right of Return. Washington’s war on the Palestinian refugees’ agency, UNRWA, falls under the latter category as the aim was – and remains – the destruction of the very legal and humanitarian infrastructures that allow Palestinian refugees to see themselves as a collective of people seeking repatriation, reparations and justice.

    Yet, all such efforts continue to fail. Far more important than Abbas’ personal concessions to Israel, UNRWA’s ever-shrinking budget or the failure of the international community to restore Palestinian rights, is the fact that the Palestinian people are, once again, unifying around the Nakba anniversary, thus insisting on the Right of Return for the seven million refugees in Palestine and the shattat – Diaspora.

    Ironically, it was Israel that has unwittingly re-unified Palestinians around the Nakba. By refusing to concede an inch of Palestine, let alone allow Palestinians to claim any victory, a State of their own – demilitarized or otherwise – or allow a single refugee to go home, Palestinians were forced to abandon Oslo and its numerous illusions. The once-popular argument that the Right of Return was simply ‘impractical’ no longer matters, neither to ordinary Palestinians nor to their intellectual or political elites.

    In political logic, for something to be impossible, an alternative would have to be attainable. However, with Palestinian reality worsening under the deepening system of Israeli settler colonialism and apartheid, Palestinians now understand that they have no possible alternative but their unity, their resistance and the return to the fundamentals of their struggle. The Unity Intifada of last May was a culmination of this new realization. Moreover, the Nakba anniversary commemoration rallies and events throughout historic Palestine and the world on May 15 have further helped crystallize the new discourse that the Nakba is no longer symbolic and the Right of Return is the collective, core demand of most Palestinians.

    Israel is now an apartheid state in the real meaning of the word. Israeli apartheid, like any such system of racial separation, aims at protecting the gains of nearly 74 years of unhinged colonialism, land theft and military dominance. Palestinians, whether in Haifa, Gaza or Jerusalem, now fully understand this, and are increasingly fighting back as one nation.

    And since the Nakba and the subsequent ethnic cleansing of Palestinian refugees are the common denominators behind all Palestinian suffering, the term and its underpinnings are back at the center stage of any meaningful conversation on Palestine, as should have always been the case.

    “معاريف”: فقدنا الردع تماماً.. و”إسرائيل” منحنية على ركبتيها

    ليئور تسوكرمان 

    السبت 21 أيار 2022

    مسؤول سابق في “الشاباك” الإسرائيلي يقول إن”إسرائيل” تُظهر ضعفاً مستمراً أمام حركة “حماس”، في كل ما يتعلق بروتين الحياة في قطاع غزة، ويرى أن جيش الاحتلال الإسرائيلي فقد الردع تماماً.

    متظاهرون فلسطينيون يرشقون قوات الاحتلال بالحجارة في قرية كفر قدوم، الـ20 من أيار/مايو 2022 (أ ف ب)

    نشرت صحيفة “معاريف” الإسرائيلية مقالاً للمسؤول السابق في “الشاباك” الإسرائيلي، يذكّر فيه كيف انحنت “إسرائيل” على ركبتيها، طوال 15 عاماً، أمام حركة “حماس”، التي تسيطر على قطاع غزة بأكمله.

    فيما يلي ترجمة المقال كاملاً:

    حرب “إسرائيل” على قطاع غزة، والعكس صحيح، مستمرة منذ أعوام متعددة. لقد بدأت خلال حكم السلطة الفلسطينية في قطاع غزة، لكنها استمرت فترةً أطول منذ سيطرة “حماس” على غزة في حزيران/يونيو 2007.

    نظراً إلى أن التاريخ له طريقة غريبة في تكرار نفسه، وخصوصاً في المواقف التي لم يتم فيها فعل أي شيء لتغيير الواقع، فقد يكون من المفيد تذكير الجميع كيف وصلنا إلى الوضع الحالي. وضع تنحني فيه “إسرائيل” على ركبتيها، لمدة 15 عاماً، في مواجهة منظمة تعدّ 20 ألف مقاتل.

    في صيف عام 2005، انفصلت “إسرائيل”، من جانب واحد، عن قطاع غزة، بموجب قرار رئيس الحكومة آنذاك، أرييل شارون، ولم يعد من الممكن، عملياً وقانونياً، الحديث عن “الاحتلال” الإسرائيلي المزعوم لقطاع غزة.

    هذه الحقيقة لم تمنع الفلسطينيين من الاستمرار في تنفيذ العمليات، وزيادة وتيرة تهريب الأسلحة من الحدود المصرية، وتكديس مزيد من الأسلحة للقتال في المستقبل ضد “إسرائيل”. بدأت “حماس” تهاجم بقوة سلطة فتح في القطاع، والتي وافقت على الحكم بصورة مشتركة، لكن الاتفاق تمّ خرقه، وسيطرت “حماس” على قطاع غزة بأكمله.

    وحتى اليوم، نفذ الجيش الإسرائيلي 9 عمليات عسكرية ضد قطاع غزة، خمس منها بعد بداية عهد “حماس”: قوس قزح وأيام التوبة عام 2004، وأول المطر عام 2005، وأمطار الصيف عام 2006، وشتاء حار عام 2008، والرصاص المسكوب في عام 2009، وعمود السحاب في عام 2012، والجرف الصلب في عام 2014، وحارس الأسوار في عام 2021. كانت كل العمليات بمنزلة ردود سريعة ومحدودة الشدة، ونتيجة عمليات بادرت إليها “حماس” وسائر المنظمات “الإرهابية” ضدّ “إسرائيل”. كل هذه العمليات اكتفت بضرب جزئي للبنية التحتية وقدرات المنظمات “الإرهابية”. كل هذه العمليات أبقت “حماس” في السلطة من دون الإضرار بقوة المنظمة.

    يركز الإعلام الإسرائيلي على الشخصيات التي تقود “حماس” بدلاً من الأيديولوجيا التي تقودها. يجب على “إسرائيل” أن تفهم أن محمد ضيف ويحيى السنوار ليسا المشكلة الرئيسة. “حماس” هي المشكلة. الأيديولوجيا الكامنة في أساس نشاطها هي المشكلة. القادة والمحاربون ينهضون ويسقطون. الأيديولوجيا، وخصوصاً الدينية، تبقى فترة طويلة. وعندما يتم دعمها بنشاط عسكري شديد لا يتم علاجه بيد قوية، فإنها تتطور وتنتشر مثل السرطان في الجسم. وهنا تكمن المشكلة الرئيسة. لقد فقدنا تماماً الردع.

    قررت “إسرائيل”، على مر السنين، عدم اتّباع أي سياسة استراتيجية، أو تحديد هدف واضح فيما يتعلق بمواقفها تجاه قطاع غزة. وبهذه الطريقة، مكّنت “حماس” وتسمح باستمرار تعاظمها وتسلّحها، والتحريض المستمر لها ضد “إسرائيل” وسياستها في جبل الهيكل (المسجد الأقصى)، وتقوية “حماس” في مناطق يهودا والسامرة أيضاً.

    إذا بحثنا عن أمثلة على العزلة الإسرائيلية، فلن نضطر إلى بذل كثير من الجهد. بينما تسمح الحكومة الإسرائيلية باستمرار حكم “حماس” في قطاع غزة، فإنها تشارك، في الوقت نفسه، في مثل هذه المبادرات وغيرها من المبادرات السياسية، المصمَّمة للتخفيف إنسانياً عن سكان غزة. في غضون ذلك، على سبيل المثال، يتعامل المجتمع الدولي مع إمكان إنشاء ميناء دولي، واحتمال إدخال البضائع والسفن التجارية لقطاع غزة.

    بالإضافة إلى ذلك، تجد الحكومة نفسها تعتذر، من حين لآخر، إلى جهات دولية، لأن الجيش الإسرائيلي أوقف سفينة في المياه القريبة من قطاع غزة، وأجرى عمليات تفتيش فيها. هذه هي الحال مع “كارين آي” في عام 2002، و”أبي حسن” في عام 2003، ومع السفينة “فيكتوريا” في آذار/مارس 2011، و”كلوس سي” في آذار/مارس 2014.

    كما اعتذرت” إسرائيل” عن استيلائها على سفينة “مافي مرمرة” في عام 2010، بل دفعت تعويضات من منطلق رغبتها في إنهاء الحدث وتجنّب النزاعات الدولية، على الرغم من أن لجنة توركل، التي حققت في الحادث، حددت بصورة، لا لبس فيها، أن الجيش الإسرائيلي تصرّف على نحو جيد، ووفقاً للقانون الدولي. لقد تصرفت “إسرائيل”، بصورة قانونية ووفق القانون الدولي، ومع ذلك اضطرت إلى إذلال نفسها والاعتذار ودفع تعويضات إلى الضحايا.

    إن السلوك الانهزامي لــ “إسرائيل”، في مواجهة قطاع غزة، لم ينته عند هذا الحد. فإلى جانب فشل الردع البحري، فضلاً عن فشل الردع البري بسبب فشل مختلف العمليات لتغيير المعادلة، أظهرت “إسرائيل” ضعفاً مستمراً في مواجهة “حماس”، في كل ما يتعلق بروتين الحياة في قطاع غزة. تستمر ملايين الدولارات في التدفق في القطاع، من قطر ودول الاتحاد الأوروبي، بدعوى تأمين الاحتياجات الإنسانية، لكن يتمّ عملياً تحويل هذه الأموال إلى التسلّح وبناء البنية التحتية العسكرية في القطاع.

    تقرأ “حماس” الخريطة جيداً، وتتصرف بعزم ومثابرة، على عكس “إسرائيل”، من أجل تحقيق رؤيتها. تقود الخطاب بشأن جبل الهيكل (المسجد الأقصى) والقدس، وتُمْلي توقيت العمليات والاعتداءات على “إسرائيل” ونطاقَها، وتشجّع الخلايا في يهودا والسامرة (الضفة الغربية) وتموّلها، وتدير، على نحو غير مباشر، حواراً دبلوماسياً مع “إسرائيل”، كما لو أنهما دولتان ذات سيادة، وطبيعيتان، وتواصل الإمساك بمئات آلاف الإسرائيليين في غلاف غزة، رهائنَ منذ أعوام.

    والأهم من ذلك، أن “حماس” تفهم المعادلة المستحيلة التي نشأت بيننا وبينها، بموافقة (ضمنية) من “إسرائيل”. وينص هذا الاتفاق على أمور سخيفة تماماً:

    أولاً، “حماس” متحصّنة في حكم قطاع غزة، وليس هناك نية في إطاحتها.

    ثانياً، تستطيع “حماس” وقادتها العمل والتحرك بحرية من دون التعرض لخطر استهدافهم في الأيام العادية. 

    ثالثاً، يمكن أن تستمر “حماس” في تسليح نفسها وتعاظمها وبناء الأنفاق والاستعداد عسكريّاً لهجوم على “إسرائيل”، من دون مواجهتها أيَّ ازعاج.

    رابعاً، يمكن لـ”حماس” إطلاق صواريخ أو بالونات متفجرة وحارقة نحو غلاف غزة، من دون أن تتعرض لرد إسرائيلي قاسٍ. 

    خامساً، إطلاق الصواريخ على “إسرائيل”، والذي لا يعبر خط أشدود، ترد عليه “إسرائيل” على نحو محدود بقصد “احتواء” المواجهة ومنع التصعيد. 

    سادساً، تستمر “حماس” في العمل وتمويل الخلايا في يهودا والسامرة (الضفة الغربية)، وتكون هي البديل الحكومي عن أبي مازن في كل مناطق السلطة الفلسطينية.

    والنتيجة المؤسفة لكل ما سبق، هي أن منظمة، قوامها نحو 20 ألف مقاتل، تسيطر على قطاع غزة بأكمله، وتحتجز “إسرائيل” بأكملها رهينةً، تجرّها عبر ردود احتوائية بعد مبادراتها وهجماتها. يقولون لنا إنه لا توجد مشكلة في إسقاط “حماس”، لكن الخوف هو ممن سيأتي بعدها، لكن هذه الحجة لا تصمد. “الجهاد الإسلامي” ليست بديلاً واقعياً للسيطرة على قطاع غزة، و”إسرائيل” تفهم ذلك أيضاً. الخشية هي من الحاجة إلى الوقوف مرة أخرى في مقابل اتفاقات سابقة مع السلطة في موضوع إقامة دولة فلسطينية.

    هنا أيضاً، كما في حالة جدار الفصل، تمنع الأسباب السياسية الداخلية “إسرائيل” من خلق الردع والحكم والأمن لمواطنيها. لا تشكل “حماس” تهديداً وجودياً أمنياً لـ “إسرائيل”. يأتي التهديد الوجودي الحقيقي من الداخل، وينبع من الافتقار إلى القيادة والشجاعة القيادية، على مدى أعوام، ومن الافتقار إلى السياسة والاستراتيجية، وإظهار مستمر للضعف والاحتواء، والرغبة في المحافظة على الهدوء. يجب أن يتغير هذا، بسرعة.

    إن الآراء المذكورة في هذه المقالة لا تعبّر بالضرورة عن رأي الميادين وإنما تعبّر عن رأي الصحيفة حصراً

    التطبيع الرسمي فلسطينياً وأردنياً: قراءة في مقدمات الاتفاقات “الإبراهيمية”

    الثلاثاء 17 أيار 2022

    المصدر

    إبراهيم علوش 

    التطبيع لا ينجح إن لم تضمن “إسرائيل” قطع شرايين الحياة عن الدول المطبِّعة، إن هي قررت تغيير رأيها.

    تسلسل الاتفاقات والمعاهدات زمنياً مهمّ جداً، لأنه يدخلنا في الأبعاد الإقليمية للتطبيع مع العدو الصهيوني.

    يتيح مرور عقود على توقيع المعاهدات والاتفاقات مع العدو الصهيوني سجلاً زمنياً طويلاً نسبياً لتقييم أثرها ومسارها وصيرورتها، بدءاً من اتفاقات كامب ديفيد التي وُقِّعت عام 1978، ومعاهدة السلام المصرية – الإسرائيلية التي وُقِّعت عام 1979، ودخلت حيز التنفيذ عام 1980، حتى معاهدة وادي عربة، أو معاهدة السلام الأردنية – الإسرائيلية، التي وُقِّعت عام 1994، والتي سبقها “إعلان واشنطن” بثلاثة أشهر بالضبط، والذي نص على إنهاء حالة العداء والبدء بمفاوضات لتوقيع معاهدة بين الأردن والكيان الصهيوني.

    سبقت معاهدة وادي عربة عام 1994 اتفاقية أوسلو التي وُقعت عام 1993، وتأسست بناءً عليها قانونياً “السلطة الفلسطينية” عام 1994. وتبعت اتفاق أوسلو اتفاقات متعدّدة، مثل اتفاق أوسلو – 2 (يسمى أيضاً اتفاق طابا) عام 1995، والذي قسم الضفة الغربية إلى المناطق “أ”، و”ب”، و”ج”.  

    وكان اتفاق أوسلو – 2 جاء تتويجاً لاتفاق “غزة – أريحا” عام 1994، الذي قضى بانسحاب “إسرائيلي” جزئي من أريحا وغزة لتأسيس السلطة الفلسطينية، وما يسمى برتوكول باريس عام 1994 أيضاً، والذي “نظم” علاقة السلطة الفلسطينية اقتصادياً بالكيان الصهيوني، وكلاهما (اتفاق غزة – أريحا، وبرتوكول باريس) أصبح جزءاً من اتفاق أوسع، هو أوسلو – 2.  

    ثم جاء اتفاق الخليل عام 1997 الذي أعطى الاحتلال الصهيوني 20% من مدينة الخليل H2. ثم جاء اتفاق “واي ريفر” عام 1998 الذي كرس مؤسسة التنسيق الأمني رسمياً مع “إسرائيل” والولايات الولايات المتحدة الأميركية، كما كرس دور “السلطة الفلسطينية” في محاربة “الإرهاب” ضد العدو الصهيوني.  ثم جاء “اتفاق واي ريفر الثاني” عام 1999 ، والذي فسر بعض نقاط اتفاق “واي ريفر” الأول، ويسمى أيضاً اتفاق شرم الشيخ، وكان الاتفاق الأول مع نتنياهو والثاني مع إيهود باراك، وبعده جاء اتفاق تنظيم المعابر (معابر السلطة الفلسطينية) عام 2005.

    يُضاف إلى تلك الحزمة من الاتفاقات المتناسلة البيانات المشتركة (كما في أنابوليس عام 2007)، وسلسلة اللقاءات التفاوضية مثل كامب ديفيد عام 2000، و”خريطة السلام” عام 2002، و36 جلسة تفاوضية بين محمود عباس وإيهود أولمرت بين عامي 2007 و2009، والمفاوضات المباشرة عام 2010 تحت وعد من إدارة أوباما بإيجاد “دويلة فلسطينية” خلال عام واحد، ثم محادثات تسيبي ليفني وصائب عريقات في الفترة 2013-2014… إلخ. 

    ولا يشمل ما سبق عشرات المبادرات الموازية لـ”السلام”، مثل اتفاقية جنيف غير الرسمية بين ياسر عبد ربه ويوسي بيلين عام 2003 لتأسيس “سلام دائم”، وخطة الحاخام بنيامين إيلون للسلام، والتي جرى طرحها وترويجها بين عامي 2002 و2008، والتي تقوم على تجنيس الفلسطينيين في الضفة الغربية بالجنسية الأردنية، والسماح لهم بالبقاء ضيوفاً في الضفة الغربية بعد ضمها إلى “إسرائيل”، وخطة “إسرائيل الثنائية القومية” التي طرحها إدوارد سعيد ابتداءً، وتبناها عزمي بشارة وروّجها بقوة… إلخ.

    كل ما سبق مهمّ لأن كثرة العناوين والمبادرات والجلسات التفاوضية وامتدادها عبر عقود، هو أمر مثير للاهتمام بمقدار ما هو مثير للملل، لأنه يقول كثيراً عن انعدام جدوى تلك الاتفاقات والمفاوضات، ولاسيما في ضوء ما تمخضت عنه على الأرض من تزايدٍ للاستيطان وتغولٍ لمشروع التهويد وتطرفٍ متصاعدٍ في المشهد السياسي الإسرائيلي وضلالة الحالمين بـ”حل سياسي للصراع”.

    معاهدة كامب ديفيد: الخطيئة الأصلية في السياسة العربية

    كذلك، فإن تسلسل الاتفاقات والمعاهدات زمنياً مهمّ جداً، لأنه يدخلنا في الأبعاد الإقليمية للتطبيع مع العدو الصهيوني. فمعاهدة السلام المصرية – الإسرائيلية عام 1979 أخرجت مصر من حلبة الصراع العربي – الصهيوني، ولاسيما أن المادة السادسة من تلك المعاهدة تنص حرفياً على أن الأحكام الواردة فيها تُعَدّ ملزمة ونافذة في حال تعارضها مع أي التزامات أخرى (مثل معاهدة الدفاع العربي المشترك لعام 1950 مثلاً؟!)، وهو ما ساهم في تحجيم دور مصر الإقليمي فعلياً باعتبارها الشقيق العربي الكبير، وأكبر الدول العربية المحيطة بفلسطين، وهو ما يعني موضوعياً فتح الباب للتمدد الإسرائيلي إقليمياً، وكان من عواقب ذلك غزو لبنان واحتلاله عام 1982.

    بعد معاهدة السلام مع مصر وقرار الجامعة العربية مقاطعتها ونقل مقر الجامعة العربية من مصر إلى تونس، راح النظام الرسمي العربي يدخل أكثر فأكثر في صيرورة اختلال التوازن والتفسخ والصراعات الداخلية، وكان ذلك كله نتيجة طبيعية لتحييد مصر سياسياً من جانب العدو الصهيوني، وتوهمها أنها يمكن أن تقتنص السلام والازدهار في مصر بمفردها إذا نأت بنفسها عما يجري في محيطها.

    العبرة هنا أن تقسيم الوطن العربي إلى دولٍ وسياساتٍ قُطريةٍ متنابذة ليس تاريخاً قديماً أو مشكلة عقائدية يتداولها القوميون العرب فحسب، بل تحمل تجزئة الوطن العربي دلالاتٍ جغرافيةً – سياسيةً عميقةً وراهنةً. وبالتالي، فإن إزالة عمود مركزي، مثل مصر، من معادلة الصراع، كان يفترض بها أن تؤدي إلى انهيار الأقطار الأخرى كأحجار الدومينو، لولا المقاومة والرفض في الشارعين العربي والفلسطيني من جهة، وحالة الصمود والتصدي التي نشأت على الصعيد الرسمي العربي في مواجهة مشروع كامب ديفيد من جهة أخرى. وثبت، بعد عقودٍ من التجربة، أن هذا ليس خطاباً ديماغوجياً أو “لغة خشبية”، كما يهذر البعض، بل إنه يشكل قيمة جغرافية – سياسية ملموسة كحائط صد أعاق الانجراف والانهيار في الوضع العربي على مدى عقود، وإن كان العدو انتقل سياسياً إلى حالة الهجوم. 

    بعد التجربة المصرية في السلام مع العدو الصهيوني، برزت عقدة “السلام الشامل” في مقابل “السلام المنفرد”، والتي أعاقت المشروع الأميركي للإسراع قدماً في فرض مسلسل المعاهدات والتطبيع على الصعيد الرسمي العربي، على الرغم من سعي المحور الخليجي لفرض مبادرة الأمير فهد في القمة العربية في فاس في تشرين الثاني/نوفمبر 1981، والتي رفضتها سوريا آنذاك وأفشلتها (عن وجه حق، وإدراك ووعي تامّين لما تعنيه من تجريفٍ للوضع العربي وإلحاقٍ له بصيرورة كامب ديفيد من خلال الاعتراف الرسمي العربي جماعياً بحق الكيان الصهيوني في الوجود، على أساس مبدئي على الأقل). 

    بعد العدوان الصهيوني على لبنان عام 1982 وعقابيله، انعقدت قمة عربية استثنائية في فاس مجدداً في أيلول/سبتمبر 1982، أُقرت فيها مبادرة الأمير فهد رسمياً، والتي أصبحت تعرف بعدها بمقررات قمة فاس 1982، وهي تعادل، بالنسبة إلى الجامعة العربية، برنامج “النقاط العشر” بالنسبة إلى منظمة التحرير الفلسطينية، كما سيأتي.

    المدخل الفلسطيني لتعميم مشروع كامب ديفيد عربياً

    كانت العقدة المركزية في الإصرار على “السلام المنفرد” هي القضية الفلسطينية والمسؤولية العربية إزاءها، مع أن القصة ليست قصة مسؤولية إزاء القضية الفلسطينية، بمقدار ما هي قصة مسؤولية إزاء الذات في مواجهة خطر المشروع الصهيوني على المنطقة برمتها. ولنا عودة إلى تلك النقطة، لكن كان لا بد من “فرط” العقدة المركزية، المتمثّلة بالموقف الرسمي الفلسطيني؛ أي موقف منظمة التحرير الفلسطينية، من أجل تعميم مشروع كامب ديفيد على كل الأقطار العربية، وصولاً إلى الاتفاقيات المسماة “إبراهيمية”.

    كان يوجد داخل منظمة التحرير الفلسطينية، منذ بداية السبعينيات (وبعض الكتّاب والمعاصرين لتلك المرحلة يقول إنه وُجد منذ نهاية الستينيات) تيارٌ يرى ضرورة التفاهم مع “إسرائيل” والإدارة الأميركية لتأسيس “دولة فلسطينية” وفق حدود عام 1967.  أبرز رموز ذلك التيار، في ذلك الوقت، كان ياسر عرفات ومَن حوله في قيادة المنظمة والجبهة الديمقراطية لتحرير فلسطين.  

    جاء الانقلاب الرسمي في موقف منظمة التحرير الفلسطينية في المجلس الوطني الفلسطيني في القاهرة عام 1974، والذي أقر ما يسمى “برنامج النقاط العشر”، والذي مثّل نقطة التحول الجوهرية في برنامج التحرير إلى برنامج تأسيس “سلطة وطنية فلسطينية على أي جزء يتم تحريره من فلسطين”. ومنذ ذلك الوقت، بدأ الانجراف الرسمي الفلسطيني في اتجاه تأسيس الدويلة مع التخلي بالتدريج عن الشروط والضوابط التي وُضعت لها، فالمهم هو تثبيت “المبدأ”، وبعد ذلك تتم زحزحة الشروط والضوابط باللتدريج بفعل عوامل النحت والتعرية السياسيَّين، وكانت تلك هي الرحلة التسووية التي قادت قيادة منظمة التحرير الفلسطينية إلى أوسلو وما تلاها.

    جرت المصادقة فوراً على هذا التوجه التسووي في مقررات القمة العربية المنعقدة في الرباط عام 1974: “إن قادة الدول العربية يؤكدون حق الشعب الفسطيني في إقامة سلطة وطنية مستقلة بقيادة منظمة التحرير الفلسطينية، بصفتها الممثل الشرعي الوحيد للشعب الفلسطيني، على كل أرض يتم تحريرها”، والعبرة تكمن في تمرير خطاب “سلطة وطنية فلسطينية على كل أرض…”.

    للتاريخ، لم يصوّت إلّا ثلاثة أعضاء في المجلس الوطني الفلسطيني عام 1974 ضد برنامج النقاط العشر، أحدهم ناجي علوش (أبو إبراهيم)، والثاني محمد داوود عودة (أبو داوود)، والثالث سعيد حمامي (الذي عدّه متشدداً أكثر من اللزوم لأنه ربطه آنذاك بشروط صعبة!). 

    شكلت مفاوضات جنيف بعد حرب أكتوبر عام 1973، واعتقاد قيادة منظمة التحرير أنها “على وشك” أن تتمخض عن “دويلة فلسطينية” بموافقة أميركية – إسرائيلية، خلفيةَ الانجراف الرسمي الفلسطيني نحو وَهْم المشروع التسووي.   

    لكنّ صيرورة مشروع كامب ديفيد هي الصلح المنفرد، وبالتالي نشأت مشكلة “الصلح المنفرد” في مقابل “السلام الشامل”، فكان لا بد من تذليل تلك العقبة عبر إقامة صلح منفرد مع منظمة التحرير ذاتها من أجل نزع الذريعة من أيدي رافضي “الصلح المنفرد”.

    كان ذلك يتطلب “إعادة تأهيل” منظمة التحرير الفلسطينية ذاتها على نحو يتوافق مع متطلبات الطرف الأميركي – الصهيوني. وأدت حرب لبنان عام 1982، فيما أدت إليه، إلى إخراج منظمة التحرير الفلسطينية من لبنان. وفي الأعوام التي تلت، أشرفت قيادة منظمة التحرير الفلسطينية على ورشة كبرى لإعادة صياغة العقل السياسي الفلسطيني في اتجاه قبول دولة ضمن حدود عام 1967، وصولاً إلى “إعلان استقلال” وهمي في المجلس الوطني الفلسطيني في الجزائر عام 1988، تم الاحتفاء به كثيراً، كان من صاغه الشاعر محمود درويش، ووافقت عليه كل التنظيمات المنضوية في منظمة التحرير وقتها.

    جاء الوصول إلى اتفاقية أوسلو بعدها عام 1993 تحصيلاً حاصلاً لتراكمات النهج التسووي، لأن البحث عن دويلة وعن “السلام” و”الازدهار” بالتفاهم مع “إسرائيل” والإدارة الأميركية، بعيداً عن “الشعارات الفارغة”، وعن العرب “الذين تخلوا عنا”، كما شاع في الخطاب السياسي الفلسطيني آنذاك، هو المعنى الحقيقي لشعار “يا وحدنا” الذي رفعه ياسر عرفات، كما أنه لا يزال المآل الحقيقي لكل من يرفع شعار “يا وحدنا” في أي قُطر عربي: التفاهم مع “إسرائيل”.. فالحس القُطري ليس مشروعاً نهضوياً للقطر، بل هو مشروع تسييد الكيان الصهيوني على المنطقة، وبالتالي تدمير القطر ذاته وتفكيكه.

    لكنّ تيار البحث عن “الذات القُطرية” في الحالة الفلسطينية بالذات، وتحقيقها في “دويلة”، بعد التخلي عن مشروع التحرير، بالتفاهم مع الطرف الأميركي -الصهيوني، هو مكسب كبير لمشروع كامب ديفيد (الصلح المنفرد)، لأنه يجرح صدقية من رفضوه باسم “السلام العادل والشامل”. وما دام أصحاب القضية الرسميين ساروا في ركبه، فإنه لا تبقى لغيرهم ذريعة، باستثناء موقف أصحاب العلاقة وأولياء الدم: الشعب العربي، من مسألة التطبيع. ولا تزال هذه هي أهم جبهة في مقاومة التطبيع اليوم.  

    صيرورة التطبيع على الصعيد الرسمي الأردني

    بعد توقيع اتفاقية أوسلو، بات استكمال كسر حلقة دول الطوق مرهوناً بموقف سوريا ولبنان، لأن العلاقات التطبيعية بين النظام الأردني والعدو الصهيوني أقدم من أوسلو، بل أقدم من كامب ديفيد ومن أي مفاوضات بعد حرب أكتوبر 1973. وبحسب مقالة في صحيفة “واشنطن بوست” الأميركية للصحافيين الإسرائيليين، يوسي ميلمان ودان رفيف، في الـ27 من أيلول/ سبتمبر 1987، فإن الملك حسين بن طلال أرسل رسالة عام 1963 إلى رئيس الوزراء الإسرائيلي آنذاك، ليفي أشكول، فأرسل أشكول مدير مكتبه الخاص من أجل لقاء الملك في لندن في منزل طبيب الملك حسين الشخصي، اليهودي إيمانويل هربرت، في شهر أيلول/سبتمبر 1963. 

    في عام 2014 نشر الكاتب الإسرائيلي يوسي ميلمان بعض المعلومات، وردت في صحيفة “معاريف” الإسرائيلية، تتعلق بعلاقة الملك حسين التاريخية بالساسة الإسرائيليين وجهاز الموساد. وورد ضمن المعلومات أن “إسرائيل” أنقذت حياة الملك حسين عدة مرات، إحداها – يقول ميلمان إنه كان شاهداً عليها – كانت بداية “لمواجهة سوريا حين استجابت “إسرائيل” لمساعدته بتركيز قوات من الجيش مكّنته من مهاجمة سوريا التي كانت تنوي مساعدة الفلسطينيين في أيلول/ سبتمبر 1970″.

    وتحدث الكاتب عن “مئتي ساعة من المكالمات أو المحادثات للملك مع الزعماء الإسرائيليين، وأن رؤساء الموساد أحبّوا لقاء الملك، وهو ما تم في مقر الموساد في إسرائيل، وفي قصر الملك في عمّان، وفي القارب الملكي في ميناء العقبة، وفي منازل خاصة في لندن وباريس”.

    وبحسب الكاتب، فإن “اللقاء الأول تم عام 1963 بين الملك حسين ويعقوب هرتسوغ، الذي كان آنذاك نائب مدير مكتب رئيس الحكومة، في منزل طبيب في لندن، بهدف تنسيق المواقف وفحص إمكان وجود تعاون سري”.

    وفي هذا اللقاء – يزعم الكاتب – “جدد الملك حسين، بتأخير 16 عاماً، العلاقة التي كانت بين جده الملك عبد الله الأول بالصهيونية، بحيث أقام عبد الله الأول هذه العلاقات في الثلاثينيات من القرن العشرين”.

    وليس الأمر في حاجة إلى كثير من التمحيص، إذ إن قصة العلاقات القديمة بين العدو الصهيوني والملك حسين وردت بالتفصيل في كتاب “أسد الأردن: حياة الملك حسين في الحرب والسلام”، بالإنكليزية، للكاتب الإسرائيلي آفي شلايم عام 2009.  واسم الكتاب بالإنكليزية هو Lion of Jordan: The Life of King Hussein in War and Peace.

    باختصار، لا تحتاج قصة الوصول إلى معاهدة وادي عربة إلى تحليل سياسي أو تاريخي مفصّل، مثل الحالتين المصرية والفلسطينية، اللتين مرّ كلٌّ منها في نقطة انقلابٍ ما، من الناصرية إلى الساداتية في حالة مصر، ومن ثقب إبرة “برنامج النقاط العشر” في الحالة الفلسطينية، وإنما هي حالة إخراجِ السر إلى العلن بعد أن أتاحت اتفاقية أوسلو ذاتها ذلك، وكان الأمر “مطبوخاً” أصلاً على الصعيد الرسمي الأردني.  

    العِبْرة هي أن اتفاقية أوسلو ذاتها أتاحت الصلح المنفرد للنظام الأردني، بكسرها محظور “السلام الشامل” الرسمي العربي، على نحو يجعل التطبيع “الإبراهيمي” اليوم تحصيلاً حاصلاً، لولا أن معاهدات دول الطوق لم تكتمل بتوقيع مثيلاتها من جانب سوريا ولبنان. وكان يُفترض، على ما يبدو، أن تكتمل في دول الطوق أولاً، وهذا أحد أهم أسباب الحرب المستمرة على سوريا، وعلى المقاومة في لبنان، وتورط الطرف الأميركي – الصهيوني المباشر فيها.

    التطبيع يمأسس لإلحاق الأردن بالفضاء الصهيوني

    لكن فيما يتعلق بعواقب وادي عربة، لا بمقدماتها الواضحة، يجب أن نذكر أنها كرست قانونياً صيغتين أساسيتين للعلاقة الأردنية – الإسرائيلية:

    –       أولاً: السعي لتحقيق تكامل إقليمي، تبلور في خمس عشرة مادة من أصل ثلاثين تتألف منها المعاهدة، غطت كل أوجه الحياة بين الطرفين، مدنياً واقتصادياً.

    –       ثانياً: السعي لتحقيق تنسيق رفيع المستوى، أمنياً وسياسياً، أصبح الأردن الرسمي عبره ملزماً بالتعاون ضد أي شكل من أشكال العداء لـ”إسرائيل”، حتى لو كان ذلك على مستوى التحريض اللفظي فحسب، كما جاء مثلاً في المادة الحادية عشرة من تلك المعاهدة.

    –       ونضيف أن المادتين الخامسة والعشرين والسادسة والعشرين، من معاهدة وادي عربة، نصّتا على أنها تسمو على كل ما عداها تماماً كما في معاهدة السلام المصرية – الإسرائيلية.

    غير أن ذلك كله لم يُعفِ النظام الأردني من دفع ثمن كبير، بعد أن بات من الواضح أن مشروع ضم الضفة الغربية، في ظل “صفقة القرن”، يعني تصدير “المشكلة الفلسطينية” سياسياً إلى الأردن، وحلها على حساب ذاته القُطرية. وبذلك، فإن الاتفاقيات “الإبراهيمية”، كابنة شرعية للاتفاقيات ما قبل “الإبراهيمية”، انقلبت على أمها، وهذا طبيعي، لأن التفاهم مع العدو الصهيوني يعني تفاقم الصراعات العربية الداخلية. لقد دخلت السلطة في فلسطين والأردن في ترتيبات مع العدو تؤدي إلى تجاوزهما، ولولا أن البلاد تدفع ثمن التطبيع، لقلنا: على نفسها جنت براقش!

    اتخذ التطبيع في الأردن، بحكم كونه دولة طرفية، وامتلاكه أطول حدودٍ مع العدو الصهيوني، وثقل التأثير الغربي فيه، وفقدان نظامه تراثاً استقلالياً وطنياً (في مقابل تراث وطني استقلالي عريق لشعبه)، صيغةً أكثر طغياناً مما اتخذه في مصر كدولة مركزية، تفصلها صحراء سيناء عن “دولة” العدو، وتملك إرثاً ناصرياً، وتملك قبله إرث دولة مركزية عريقة، على الرغم من استخزاء الأنظمة التي حكمت مصر بعد جمال عبد الناصر للطرف الأميركي – الصهيوني.

    فُرِض التطبيع في الأردن بالقوة في كثيرٍ من الحالات، كما قُمِعت الاحتجاجات ضده في كثيرٍ من الحالات الأخرى، مثل اعتصام “جك” السلمي ضد السفارة الصهيونية في عمان، وهو أطول اعتصام في تاريخ الأردن، واستمر أسبوعياً منذ نهاية أيار/مايو 2010 حتى بداية عام 2016، وتم سحقه بالقوة في النهاية. 

    وتكريساً لفكرة التكامل الإقليمي، جرى في عز الحرب على سوريا تحويل مرفأ حيفا إلى بوابة تصدير واستيراد، عبر الأردن، إلى الدول العربية. وكتبت صحيفة “جيروزاليم بوست”، في تقرير لها في الـ21 من شباط/ فبراير 2016، تحت عنوان “ارتفاع ضخم في المنتوجات الأوروبية المارة عبر إسرائيل إلى الدول العربية”، أن المنتوجات التركية والبلغارية بصورة خاصة تأتي على متن عبّارات تحمل شاحنات أو في حاويات إلى ميناء حيفا، ليتم شحنها براً إمّا إلى الأردن، وإمّا عبر الأردن إلى العراق والدول الخليجية، وأن عدد الشاحنات التي نقلت منتوجات تركية وبلغارية عبر الكيان بلغ نحو 13 ألفاً في عام 2015، دفع كلٌّ منها رسوماً إل العدو الصهيوني عند دخوله فلسطين العربية المحتلة وخروجه منها، وأن عدد تلك الشاحنات ارتفع بمقدار 25% عن عام 2014، إذ بلغت آنذاك 10.300 شاحنة. وهو ما يشكل، في رأينا المكتوب والمنشور، أهم عائق في فتح الحدود البرية على مصاريعها مع سوريا من جانب قوى الشد العكسي المستفيدة من مرفأ حيفا، في الأردن وخارجه.    

    وفي شهر تشرين أول/أكتوبر 2016، أعلن الكيان الصهيوني تدشين خط سكة حديد بيسان – حيفا بتكلفة مليار دولار، الذي كان جزءاً من سكة حديد الحجاز قبل ذلك بقرنٍ ونيف. وقال بوعز تسفرير، المدير العام لشركة قطارات “إسرائيل”، بمناسبة التدشين وقتها، “إن خط قطار حيفا – بيسان سوف يربط ميناء حيفا بجسر (الشيخ حسين)، الواقع في منطقة الأغوار الشمالية، ثم سوف يواصل مسيره إلى الأردن، حيث مدينة إربد وصولاً إلى العاصمة عمَّان. وهو سيكون أيضاً قطاراً لشحن البضائع، وسوف يخدم سكان منطقة وادي الأردن، ويعزّز حركة التجارة لميناء حيفا، كما سيتم تعزيز عمل خط القطار الجديد خلال الأعوام المقبلة”. 

    قبل التطبيع “الإبراهيمي” المعلن بأعوام، في 3/2/2017 تحديداً، نشرت وسائل الإعلام تصريحات لوزير المواصلات الصهيوني، يسرائيل كاتس، آنذاك، يقول فيها إنه يدفع في اتجاه تعزيز تبادل المعلومات بين الكيان الصهيوني والدول الخليجية، بسبب ما لذلك من تأثير إيجابي “في خطة التواصل البريّ المزمع إنشاؤها من إسرائيل مع دول الخليج”. كما أشار إلى أنّه، بصفته أيضاً وزيراً للمواصلات، يعمل على الدفع قُدُماً في هذا الاتجاه، وهناك “موافقة من رئيس الحكومة الإسرائيليّة بنيامين نتنياهو، على توسعة خط القطار بين إسرائيل والأردن، ليصل إلى المملكة العربيّة السعوديّة”، مُعتبراً أنّ “الأردن سيكون حلقة الوصل بين إسرائيل ودول الخليج في قضية السكك الحديديّة التي تربط بينهما”.  

    وكان رشح، في صيف عام 2015، أن “الإدارة المدنية” للضفة الغربية، والتابعة للجيش الصهيوني، قرّرت المصادقة على مخطط لمدّ شبكة سكك حديدية في جميع أنحاء الضفة الغربية، وأن المخطط يشمل 473 كيلومتراً من السكك الحديدية، و30 محطة قطار في 11 خط سكة حديدية، “يتجاهل الحدود السياسية القائمة”، بحيث ستربط السكك الحديدية بين المدن الفلسطينية، كما ستربط هذه المدن بالمدن في “إسرائيل”، وبالأردن و”سوريا أيضاً”، “وستخدم جميع سكان المنطقة”. وبسبب الطبيعة الجبلية للضفة، فإن المخطط يشمل عشرات الجسور والأنفاق، بحسب مواقع متعددة عبر الإنترنت.

    ليس الأردن والسلطة الفلسطينية، إذاً، إلّا منطقتين طرفيتين تمثّلان موطئ قدم للوصول إلى العراق وسوريا والدول الخليجية. وبالتالي، فإن مشروع “الكونفدرالية الثلاثية” (بين الأردن والدويلة الفلسطينية والكيان الصهيوني)، والذي يبرز بين الفينة والأخرى، ليس إلّا صيغة سياسية لتسهيل التغلغل الصهيوني في المشرق العربي.  

    أسست معاهدة وادي عربة قاعدة لربط البنية التحتية في الأردن بالكيان الصهيوني من خلال عدد من المشاريع، مثل اتفاقية الغاز مع العدو الصهيوني بقيمة 10 مليارات دولار لمدة 15 عاماً لتوليد الكهرباء عام 2016، والتي أصدرت المحكمة الدستورية قراراً في أيار/مايو 2020 أنها لا يمكن أن تُلغى على الرغم من الاحتجاجات، ولا حاجة إلى عرضها على مجلس النواب… ومن تلك الاتفاقيات أيضاً مشروع قناة البحرين (الميت – الأحمر) لتحلية المياه وإنقاذ البحر الميت، بسبب سرقة “إسرائيل” مياه نهر الأردن، والذي لم يتم إعلان صيغة نهائية له بعد.. وهناك أيضاً المناطق الصناعية المؤهلة Qualified Industrial Zones (QIZ’s) والتي يتم بموجبها التصدير إلى الولايات المتحدة منذ التسعينيات من دون جمرك ما دام يوجد فيها مُدخل “إسرائيلي”، وأغلبية الشركات والعمالة فيها غير أردنية أصلاً.. ناهيك بتقارير كثيرة عن تطوير وادي الأردن ومشاريع مناطق حرة وصناعية ثلاثية مع السلطة الفلسطينية.

    التطبيع لا ينجح إن لم تضمن “إسرائيل” روافع تمكّنها من قطع الكهرباء والماء والحياة الاقتصادية عن الدول المطبّعة إن هي قررت تغيير رأيها.  فلا أمان للكيان الصهيوني مع رأي شعبي عربي يمكن أن يمارس ضغوطاً تدفع في اتجاه وقف التطبيع. لذلك، فإن النموذج الأردني لإنتاج الكهرباء بغاز فلسطيني مسروق يضع كل مواطن أمام خيار صعب: إمّا أن يقبل التكامل الإقليمي مع “إسرائيل”، وإمّا أن يقبل العيش بلا كهرباء وماء واقتصاد… إلخ. ثم يقال له: إن شئت ألّا تطبّع، فلا تطبِّعْ!  

    وستكون لنا عودة إلى البعد الاقتصادي للتطبيع، في مقالات مقبلة، إن شاء الله.

    إن الآراء المذكورة في هذه المقالة لا تعبّر بالضرورة عن رأي الميادين وإنما تعبّر عن رأي صاحبها حصراً

    Seif Al-Quds: The battle which ushered in a new era of Palestinian armed struggle

    12 May 2022

    Source: Al Mayadeen English

    Robert Inlakesh 

    The battle fought between the unified Palestinian resistance factions and “Israel” completely changed the trajectory of the region’s conflict with the Zionist regime.

    Seif Al-Quds: The Battle Which Ushered In A New Era Of Palestinian Armed Struggle

    Although for many, the Seif al-Quds (Sword of Jerusalem) battle, last May, represented significant suffering and loss of Palestinian life, the war fought between the unified Palestinian resistance factions and “Israel”, completely changed the trajectory of the region’s conflict with the Zionist regime.

    Lasting between May 10 and May 21, dubbed the “11-day war”, Palestinian armed factions in the Gaza Strip combined their strength with that of the entire Palestinian population inside occupied territories. After consistent Israeli incursions into al-Aqsa mosque last Ramadan, the spokesperson for the al-Qassam brigades [armed wing of Hamas], Abu Ubaydah, gave Israeli occupation forces a 6 PM deadline to withdraw from Al-Aqsa Mosque and stop a far-Right settler march. On the deadline, a barrage of rockets was fired from Gaza, into Israeli settlements surrounding Jerusalem. It was then that “Israel” officially announced it was going to war with Gaza.

    Around 270 Palestinians were killed across the occupied territories by Israeli occupation forces and settlers, however, the story of human suffering during the war was not the only significant element. Unlike had been the case in 2014, 2008-9, and even in 2012, all years when the Israeli occupation forces launched military operations against the Gaza Strip, no significant win could be taken from the side of the Palestinian resistance. With the exception of the 2012 war, the other battles between Gaza’s armed groups and “Israel” had resulted in the weakening of the position of the Palestinian armed struggle. During Seif Al-Quds, things were quite the opposite, for the first time, it was a real strategic victory on the part of a unified front of armed factions, making up what has become known as the ‘Joint Room’ of resistance factions.

    “Israel” was forced into political and military disarray, as the victory of Seif Al-Quds only further led to the downfall of former Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, ushering in a new Israeli ruling coalition. “Israel”’s military strategy of attempting to draw the resistance forces into the attack tunnel systems, in order to bombard them and kill hundreds, failed tremendously and completely took the Israeli military by surprise. The Gazan forces had somehow figured out, most likely through intelligence gathering methods, what “Israel” had been planning – a fake invasion announcement – preemptively preparing themselves for such an Israeli attack. Hamas even dictated to the Israelis in “Tel Aviv” when they could come out of their bomb shelters, telling them that they would stop their rocket attacks for 2 hours on one given night. The sight of Israelis listening to the guidelines set to them by Hamas and the other armed factions, made “Israel’s” air defense systems and military strategy seem weak, proving the Zionist forces useless at defending their own population.

    Furthermore, the tactics used by the armed groups, such as; slowly revealing new weapons technology, striking everywhere inside the 1948 territories, putting Israeli airports on temporary lockdown and controlling the course of the battle, all showed the entire region the weaknesses of “Tel Aviv”. If little besieged Gaza could foil “Israel’s” military strategies that they had worked on for years, not lose their military capabilities, force “Israel” to accept a non-conditional ceasefire, imagine what a force like Lebanese Hezbollah, or the Syrian Arab Army, would do to them? This was the question in the minds of world leaders at the time. To conclude the battle of Seif Al-Quds, “Israel” did not fire the final shot by midnight when the ceasefire kicked in, it was Hamas that had the last say. 

    Seif al-Quds proved for the Palestinians, as well as regional allies of the camp of resistance to “Israel”, that the armed struggle was the only way forward. The Palestinian Authority (PA), based in Ramallah, chooses the path of “security coordination” and refuses to resist “Israel” with violence and has failed to achieve a so-called “two-State solution”. The PA, of President Mahmoud Abbas, has little legitimacy left in the eyes of Palestinians and has no negotiating chips to bring to the table of any talks with the Israeli side, on top of this, no Israeli ruling coalition will have anything to do with the PA and talks of “two-States”. Now, the answer, following the era of Oslo, which really died with the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, is again the armed struggle and this is clearly what we see, as the rising belief, all throughout occupied Palestine.

    A regional coalition, to fight for al-Aqsa Mosque, is now developing in its coordination and capabilities, included in which will be; Hezbollah, Ansarallah, groups from within the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) and the Palestinian armed factions. The head of the Hamas movement in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, has vowed that the war for Jerusalem will begin after Ramadan and that the armed factions in Gaza will be on high alert to thwart Israeli plots against the Palestinian people and Jerusalem’s Holy Sites. 

    The battle of May 2021 represents the opening of a new chapter in the conflict with “Israel”, forcing the entire region and beyond to pay attention. Having said this, the questions to now be answered are; How will a regional coalition launch a successful military campaign against “Israel”? When will the Israeli ruling coalition collapse and how will the resistance deal with this? When will the PA change hands from its current rulers or collapse? And, when will the international community begin to start approaching Hamas as a representative of the Palestinian movement and people? The answers to these questions will be determining factors to how the Palestinian cause will once again emerge as a top priority on the regional and international stage. 

    The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

    As Ramadan Ends, Israeli Provocations Seem Aimed at a Religious War

    Posted by INTERNATIONALIST 360° 

    Jessica Buxbaum

    “Israel uses this month [of Ramadan] to humiliate Palestinians, as much as they can. Especially at the doors of al-Aqsa Mosque, knowing how much this situation is sensitive for Palestinians.” – Younes Arar, PLO Colonization and Wall Resistance Commission

    OCCUPIED EAST JERUSALEM, PALESTINE — On the last Friday of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, at least 42 Palestinians were injured when Israeli police raided al-Aqsa Mosque Compound in occupied East Jerusalem, the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) said. With nearly 300 Palestininians injured in the last two weeks at al-Aqsa compound, this year’s Ramadan in Palestine has been marked by bloodshed once again.

    Since the start of Ramadan on April 2, human rights organizations have monitored a significant increase in violence against Palestinians. Palestinian human rights organization Al-Haq has documented a worrying trend “in killings, excessive use of force, settler colonial violence, attacks on holy sites and worshippers, and collective punishment measures against Palestinians, including widespread raids, arbitrary arrests, and movement restrictions.”

    According to Al-Haq’s information, the Israeli army has killed 17 Palestinians in the occupied West Bank in April. Since Al-Haq’s publication, Israeli forces fatally shot 18-year-old Ahmad Fathi Masad in the head during a raid on the Jenin refugee camp this week.

    Uptick in religious violations

    Israeli police raids on al-Aqsa compound have become routine this month, with the PRCS noting the majority of injuries were to the upper areas of the body. Israeli forces have used rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas, pepper spray and stun grenades against Palestinian worshippers at al-Aqsa.

    In recent weeks, Israeli forces have also broken the iconic stained-glass windows of al-Qibli Mosque, the main mosque in the compound, and have attacked Palestinian journalists, children, women and the elderly at the holy site.

    Palestinian Authority (PA) Minister for Religious Endowments Sheikh Hatem al-Bakri told MintPress News that Israel’s actions at al-Aqsa compound are in violation of international regulations, UNESCO resolutions and religious traditions.

    In 2016, UNESCO, the UN’s world heritage organization, adopted a resolution decrying Israeli violations at al-Aqsa including restricting access to Muslim worship and storming of the compound by Israeli forces and extremists.

    “Israel is not respecting religious treaties at all, instead using their privilege of power to enact these policies,” al-Bakri said, emphasizing how the Jordanian Ministry of Waqf has full jurisdiction over the holy site. “And because of our weaknesses, we cannot run any military confrontation with Israel. We have to just witness what’s happening.”

    Israeli police are not the only ones violating the sanctity of al-Aqsa. This month, the Jewish festival of Passover coincided with Ramadan. Jewish extremists used the holiday season to storm the compound and pray at the site more frequently. On April 17, Israeli forces shut Ibrahimi Mosque in the West Bank city of Hebron to Muslim worshippers for two days. That following Tuesday, hundreds of Jewish settlers stormed the mosque to perform Talmudic rituals in celebration of Passover. The Israeli army also erected military barricades surrounding the area of the mosque to facilitate the settlers’ movement. The director of the mosque, Ghassan Al-Rajabi, said the closure was a continuation of “Zionist authorities’ attempts to dominate and occupy the mosque.”

    In 1994, Israeli settler Baruch Goldstein killed 29 Muslim worshippers at Ibrahimi Mosque during Ramadan. Following the massacre, Israel divided the holy site into Muslim and Jewish sections, with Muslim access cut to 40%.

    Last year, Israel authorities initiated excavation works at the mosque in order to install an elevator there. A Palestinian petition against the settler project was rejected by Israel’s Supreme Court on the grounds the elevator’s purpose is to ensure greater disability access. However, Palestinans stress the plan isn’t humanitarian in its purpose, instead giving cover for an attempt to confiscate land and further Judaize the mosque.

    Sheikh al-Bakri, who is also a preacher at Ibrahimi Mosque, said Israel’s tightened security measures around the religious site suggest a more sinister intention. “Israel has been trying to control that site through converting it from a place for worshipers to a military zone,” al-Bakri said. “All of the events that have been happening around that site make us believe that Israel is trying to turn the Muslim praying side into a synagogue.”

    April saw an escalation against Palestinian Muslim and Christian worship as well. According to documentation from the Jerusalem Governorate, on April 23 Israeli forces prevented hundreds of Palestinian Christians from reaching the Church of Holy Sepulcher to celebrate the “Holy Fire” ceremony on the eve of Orthodox Easter.

    Minister al-Bakri said Israeli violations against some mosques in Jerusalem have occurred this Ramadan, but emphasized the main offenses against Islam have been at the al-Aqsa and Ibrahimi mosques.

    “If Israel is violating these two big sites, then they can violate every site in the country,” al-Bakri said. “And we keep saying that if Israel is violating al-Aqsa, it’s violating every single Palestinian.”

    Israel seeking a religious war

    As the end of Ramadan nears, Israeli police have banned non-Muslims from entering al-Aqsa compound for the last ten days of Ramadan. According to Jerusalem Governorate statistics, about 3,670 Jewish settlers invaded al-Aqsa Compound during the Passover holiday.

    Amid the spike in Jews praying at the site, Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid asserted Israel is committed to maintaining the status quo at al-Aqsa Compound.

    “Muslims pray on the Temple Mount [what Israel calls al-Aqsa Compound], non-Muslims only visit. There is no change, there will be no change,” Lapid said during a press conference.

    Yet Jordan, which has custodianship over the site, disagreed. The Jordanian Foreign Ministry warned in a statement that Israel is taking “targeted steps to change the historical and legal situation in the blessed al-Aqsa Mosque/Al-Haram Al-Sharif,” specifically condemning Israeli forces for raiding the area and allowing Jews to pray at al-Aqsa Compound.

    Jewish extremists often argue that denying Jewish prayer at al-Aqsa Compound is an obstruction of freedom of worship, given the area is deemed the holiest site in Judaism.

    “Al-Aqsa is only for Muslims,” PA Deputy Governor of Jerusalem Abdullah Siam told MintPress News, in response to accusations of religious discrimination. He suggested the current status quo has pushed Israel to take the site through force.

    Al-Bakri also agreed that al-Aqsa is strictly for Muslim worship.

    But Jewish extremists who spout claims of religious discrimination ignore the stark political element at play, Israeli journalist and activist Haggai Matar said. “[T]here are no equals in Israel-Palestine,” Matar wrote in +972 Magazine. “[I]t is Israel that has created a system of apartheid wherein … Jewish supremacy over Palestinians is guaranteed, maintained, and entrenched by law and by force.”

    Just before the start of Ramadan, Israeli parliament member and leader of the far-right Jewish Power Party Itamar Ben-Gvir toured al-Aqsa Compound, escorted by police. This wasn’t his first incursion, and Minister al-Bakri said such provocative, politically-charged tours are how the Israeli government attempts to stabilize its fragile coalition. “Through these practices, [the government is] trying to get political acquisitions,” al-Bakri said. “The government of [Prime Minister] Naftali Bennett is weak, and in order for them to keep going, they have to encourage settlers to do more raids so as to win from that situation.”

    Yet ultimately, Israel’s ongoing violations against Muslim worship, al-Bakri said, are “leading the area to a religious war between Islam and Judaism.” “We always say that our main problem is not with Judaism as a religion, but with the occupation,” al-Bakri said. “Although Israel has been using Judaism to shape its occupation.”

    Ramadan violence on repeat

    As they were last year, tensions in Palestine have been at a maximum high during Ramadan.

    In May 2021, violence erupted into a war between Israel and Hamas, the Islamic faction governing Gaza. Israel’s 10-day assault on the besieged Gaza Strip left 256 Palestinians dead, including 66 children. Media pundits and experts have feared this Ramadan may reach last year’s deadly levels.

    For Minister al-Bakri, the atmosphere in Palestine is always volatile during Ramadan because Israel encourages a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy. “Three months ago, Israel started talking in the media about a potential escalation, while the Palestinians hoped for a quiet month,” al-Bakri said, highlighting the number of Palestinians killed recently as meeting Israeli predictions. “Israel has been preparing the area for a potential problem by repeating these crisis slogans.”

    Younes Arar, director of international and public relations and media for the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s Colonization and Wall Resistance Commission, suggested the large number of Palestinians flocking to Jerusalem during Ramadan is part of why the holy month is a tense time — emphasizing how the restrictions on freedom of movement add to the provocations. “Israel uses this month to humiliate Palestinians, as much as they can,” Arar said. “Especially at the doors of al-Aqsa Mosque, knowing how much this situation is sensitive for Palestinians.”

    Blatant Display of Hypocrisy

    2 May 2022

    Source: Al Mayadeen

    Samia Nasir-Khoury 

    Despite regularly calling for peace, the Israeli occupation’s actions speak otherwise. From the non-stop aggressions it continues to commit against the Palestinian people to the refusal to make the slightest concession, the occupation seems to understand only the language of force.

    Ever since the partition plan of Palestine on November 29, 1947, and the immediate recognition of “Israel” by the United States of America, “Israel” has had the unwavering support of the USA

    The sight of the Ukrainian refugees evoked very sad memories of our own eviction from Palestine, which ceased to exist in 1948.  Not only because of the eviction but because of the massacres and the razing of hundreds of villages and reducing leading cities into ghost towns, which took place at the time, so as to obliterate the history of our country, some of which were only made public many years later on by the Israeli new historians.  It was a  historical event known as “the Nakba” (Catastrophe), which turned out to be an ongoing Nakba to this day, as Israel, the occupying power,  continues to deprive the Palestinians of their right of return according to the UN GA  resolution 194  on December 11, 1948, and refuses to withdraw from the rest of the Palestinian territory occupied in 1967 according to UN Security Council resolution 242 on November 22, 1967, over and above tits daily violations of Palestinian human rights.

    I am not going to dwell on the political atmosphere, and the role of the USA and NATO in provoking that war, but it had hardly started when the cry for sanctions on Russia was loud and clear.  However,  never did the international community come up with the word “sanctions” regarding “Israel”, despite its brutal measures against the Palestinians as well as its flouting of UN resolutions for the last seven decades. It is high time “Israel” realizes that it will never feel secure while it continues to kill, confiscate, and deprive the Palestinians and the prisoners of their freedom and their basic human rights.  Furthermore, it allows the settlers to terrorize the Palestinians in their towns, in their fields, vineyards, and olive groves, as well as in their holy places, all under the protection of the Israeli police force.  In fact, three renowned organizations monitoring the region, Amnesty International, B’Tselem, and Human Rights Watch came to the conclusion in their reports recently,  that “Israel” is an apartheid state.  Of course, “Israel” refuted their reports and labeled them as anti-Semitic. Ironic indeed when one of them is an Israeli organization.

    It is unreasonable to forget two facts.  One pertaining to the Oslo Accords, and the other pertaining to the Arab Countries  The Oslo Accords signed between the PLO and Israel on September 13, 1993, gave us the impression at the beginning that they were going to bring about a  new dawn of hope for peace and liberation, especially after seeing the Israeli army withdraw from the Palestinian towns occupied in 1967.  However, it did not take long to expose the loopholes in these accords, especially when the basic issues like al-Quds, borders, as well as refugees, and the building of illegal settlements were deferred to the last stage of negotiations, over a period of five years. This turned out to be an open-ended period of five-times-five that stopped abruptly with the incursion of the Israeli prime minister, Ariel Sharon, to Al-Aqsa mosque which led to the Second Intifada. That gave “Israel” the excuse to end all the negotiations. The following years gave “Israel” the opportunity to create a new reality on the ground as its settlements mushroomed all over the occupied Palestinian territories.  Over and above, the issue of security for Israel was to be coordinated with the new Palestinian Authority.  This certainly seemed to be a unique situation when the occupied had to coordinate security matters with the occupiers. The absurdity of these two items alone showed that those accords were never studied thoroughly and scrutinized by the PLO before they signed them and recognized “Israel” as a state in the region, whereas Israel never committed itself to recognizing a Palestinian state as it signed those accords with the PLO.

    The second fact is the stand of the Arab countries who despite their rhetoric were never able to bring about the pressure to end the occupation. However, all the Arab countries endorsed the Saudi initiative  made by Prince Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, crown prince of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabic during the Arab summit meeting in Beirut in 2002 in which the prince presented his initiative calling for “full Israeli withdrawal from all the Arab territories occupied since June 1967, in implementation of Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338, reaffirmed by the Madrid Conference of 1991 and the land-for-peace principle, and ‘Israel’s’ acceptance of an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, in return for the establishment of normal relations in the context of a comprehensive peace with Israel.”

    Had “Israel” been sincere about peace it would have jumped at the Saudi initiative, but it seems that “Israel” cannot survive in times of peace.  However, peace with the Gulf countries was offered to “Israel” on a silver platter. Those countries who signed the “Abrahamic Accords” had no war with “Israel”, nor did they share borders with “Israel”.  Once again a colonial power, the USA, during the Trump presidency, was able to drive a wedge among the Arab countries, and seduce those Gulf countries into a peace agreement with Israel claiming to have common security interests.

    Ever since the partition plan of Palestine on November 29, 1947, and the immediate recognition of “Israel” by the United States of America, “Israel” has had the unwavering support of the USA. This has been a major factor in Israel’s flouting of all UN resolutions regarding Palestine without any sanctions. The most we have heard from the USA and the European countries is “concern” about the  clashes and the demolishing of Palestinian homes, and that “the settlements are not conducive to peace.” 

    Unfortunately, during these times,  the vested interests of the powerful forces, and their hegemony over-rules the principle of the common good and the welfare of all people, whereby they coerce the weaker people by blackmailing them, supposedly to guarantee their survival. And of course whoever dared to defy those powers had no chance to survive.  

    The brutality of the Israeli police while storming the Al-Aqsa mosque and limiting and violently blocking Palestinian Christians in particular from worshiping in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the old city of al-Quds (Jerusalem), the holiest of Christian sites is beyond imagination. “Israel” wants to turn the Palestinian struggle into a religious war whereas it is not, and it has never been so. Nonetheless, with the support of the colonial powers, they have turned the whole region into a fertile ground for religious extremism.

    However desperate the situation is, we cannot afford to lose hope, and we will not lose hope because justice is on our side. Furthermore, we hope our Palestinian struggle will become an example of steadfastness, “Sumud” and a guiding force in the struggle of all oppressed people.

    The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

    Will a regional war over Al-Aqsa Mosque revive The Palestinian cause?

    27 Apr 2022

    Source: Al Mayadeen

    Robert Inlakesh 

    “Israel” has, for long, not had to worry about the Arab and Islamic nations attacking it to liberate their own lands, as well as those of the Palestinians, today we are growing closer to a new equation.

    At this point, a multi-front war with “Israel” will completely change the equation in the struggle for the liberation of Palestine.

    Violent Israeli incursions into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound, during the Holy Month of Ramadan, threaten a renewed round of violence in the Palestinian occupied territories and perhaps beyond. Why is the regional dimension to the Palestinian question being left out of Western analyses and what difference will another ‘Arab-Israeli’ war make?

    Last May, the ‘Joint Room’ of armed resistance factions in the Gaza Strip launched Seif al-Quds (Sword of Jerusalem), a military operation to defend the al-Aqsa Mosque, after it had been repeatedly desecrated and its worshippers attacked, leading to an embarrassing set back to the Israeli regime. The 11-day war, as it is now called, spelled massive death and destruction in the Gaza Strip. Roughly 270 Palestinians were killed and at least 14 Israelis (the number of soldiers killed is still unconfirmed), clearly showing the suffering on the Palestinian side to have been much greater. However, the symbolic victories won during the battle with “Israel”, not only launched from Gaza but everywhere inside occupied Palestine, left the Israeli regime begging for a ceasefire.

    The battle of Seif al-Quds represents an important marker in the history of modern Palestinian armed struggle, emerging as a symbolic driver of the armed struggle much like the battle of Karameh. The battle of Karameh, which took place in 1968, when PLO [Palestine Liberation Organization] aligned forces and the Jordanian military fought the Israeli regime, was not a conventional military victory over “Israel” for the PLO, but instead proved “Israel” to be beatable. Prior to this battle, in which Jordanian and Palestinian forces still suffered heavy losses, the Fidayeen operations did not carry as much symbolic weight and provided a light at the end of the tunnel for Palestinians. The battle of Karameh however, proved that Israeli military vehicles could be destroyed and their military could be fought for over 15 hours and not achieve a decisive military victory over a dedicated Arab fighting force.

    Up until May of 2021, it was generally thought that the armed factions in Gaza could not outwit their Israeli opponents and any war would produce the same results as previous battles. That being, massive death, and destruction in Gaza, combined with the besieged territory’s isolation from all other fronts. The battle of Seif al-Quds flipped this way of thinking on its head and sent a strong message regionally. There then emerged a full unified militarized force inside the Gaza Strip that could unite the Palestinian people, outwit its Israeli opposition and provide an alternative path for the Palestinian movement. 

    What made the victory, led by Hamas, so important, was its ability to transform the way the Arab and Islamic nations view the Palestinian cause and the battle having signified the re-birth of the armed struggle as the principal means through which liberation is to be achieved. The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) had abandoned the armed struggle altogether by the end of the second Intifada, instead of pursuing fruitless dialogue with “Israel”, whilst committing itself to “security coordination”, which benefitted “Tel Aviv” solely. The Palestinian Authority (PA), as of earlier this year, officially absorbed the PLO into itself. This means that instead of the PA being an offshoot of the PLO, the roles are now reversed.

    The Arab Peace Initiative of 2002, was for long the consensus position of the Arab Regimes; that normalization comes only as the result of a withdrawal from the territories occupied in 1967 and the formation of a Palestinian State, with “East Jerusalem” as its Capital. The Trump-era “Abraham Accords”, which saw Sudan, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Morocco, join Jordan and Egypt in normalizing ties with “Israel” and spelled the death of the Arab Peace Initiative. The Palestinian Authority (PA) has no regional powers behind it, meaning no leverage over “Israel” that it can use to force through a so-called two-State solution. The PA does not even possess any symbolic power through mass support from the Arab and Islamic world, on top of this it continues to prevent democratic elections.

    Although the Palestinian cause had for long been the central issue of the Arab and Islamic world, the wars of aggression against Iraq, Libya, Syria, and other countries in the region took much of the attention that had been placed on the Palestinian issue in the past. Now, despite the suffering throughout the region, Palestine is again at the top of the agenda, however, there is still work that must be done in order to push towards the protection of Holy sites, revolution, and eventual liberation. 

    The Palestinian Authority in the West Bank is the primary hindrance to a new Intifada, this PA is slowly weakening and is displaying its inability to control many areas, the most obvious case being in Jenin camp. The Israeli occupation forces receive the bulk of their intelligence on the activities of Palestinians, deriving their control, from the PA. Right now there seems to be an ongoing battle inside the ruling Fatah Party – which runs the PA – for the very soul of the organization and there are two possible conclusions to this phase of PA rule in the West Bank; the complete collapse of the PA, or a new Fatah leadership which will pursue a more hostile stance against “Israel”. In either case, “Israel” will be put in an extremely difficult position in the West Bank.

    A Regional Front Against ‘Israel’

    Following the battle of Sayf al-Quds last year, the Secretary-General of Hezbollah, Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah, announced that he sought to form a multinational force which would transform any battle over al-Quds into a regional war with “Israel”. Later, groups from within the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), Yemen’s Ansarallah, as well as the Palestinian factions, all signed on to this mission. 

    In Western media, the reporting on the repeated attacks on worshippers at the al-Aqsa Mosque compound has not only been littered with lies to protect the image of the Israeli forces but has also left out the possible regional response that such attacks could trigger. It seems that this piece of the puzzle has not yet been factored into the Western analysis, which will only go as far as looking into the possible reaction of Hamas and Islamic Jihad from Gaza. 

    In a multinational ‘Quds Day’ conference, broadcast on Tuesday, we saw the emergence again of the regional axis that pledges to take on “Israel” and defeat its aggression against al-Quds. Key to this conference were leaders of resistance factions from Lebanon, Yemen, Iraq, and Palestine, which all spoke of a regional coalition that will use armed struggle to liberate al-Quds. The Palestinian issue “cannot be resolved at the negotiation table,” said Hamas leader, Ismail Haniyeh, whilst Hezbollah’s Sayed Hassan Nasrallah announced that his patry would be on the front lines of the fight for al-Quds. The issue of Arab normalization was also a central issue addressed during the conference, indicating that the coalition of resistance Parties is seeking to send the region a message through armed struggle.

    At this point, a multi-front war with “Israel” will completely change the equation in the struggle for the liberation of Palestine. If Lebanon, Yemen, and Iraq become involved in a battle, alongside the Palestinians, this will completely transform the issue and force the international community to take the Palestinian struggle seriously. Most importantly, however, the Arab and Islamic leaderships – which operate outside the resistance coalition – will have to reconsider their roles in the conflict if such a war breaks out. The only missing piece in this picture is Syria, if Damascus takes advantage of the situation and launches an offensive in the Golan Heights, this will force countries regionally to re-engage with the Syrian government and will give Syria a central role in seeking a solution for Palestine, tying the fate of its occupied territory to those of the Palestinians. 

    “Israel” has, for long, not had to worry about the Arab and Islamic nations attacking it to liberate their own lands, as well as those of the Palestinians, today we are growing closer to a new equation. The obstacles ahead are; who will be the accepted Palestinian representatives internationally? How to bring the region into a multi-faceted confrontation with “Israel”? And how to strive for the full initiation of a Third Intifada? If these questions can be answered, the Palestinian cause will not only be the central issue regionally, it will possess much greater power for liberating Palestine than ever before.

    The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

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