Wadi’ Awawdah: Nazareth.
The Former PA minister of Al-Quds (Jerusalem) affairs and current PLO/Fatah representative on Al-Quds Hatim Abdul-Qadir has stated that the PA ‘is not a god and when it fails to achieve its targets, it turns into a burden’, explaining that the moment of truth has come and highlighting the possibility of another intifada outbreak.
In a lecture he delivered in Yafa Al-Nasirah, Abdul-Qadir explored the Israeli Occupation methods of dismantling the Arab ‘demographic bomb’ in Al-Quds in both parts of which Arabs constitute 30% of the population, and is more likely to reach 51% in 2025.
He confirmed that these methods include the Apartheid walls, land confiscations, house demolitions, the confiscation of identity cards and targeting of Palestinian national institutions. He pointed out that the number of Arab Jerusalemites has owing to the natural /demographic growth risen from 75,000 in 1967 to 300,000 today.
He praised the role of the Palestinians of the lands occupied in 1948 played in up-keeping the city and financially and morally supporting its people through constant communication and endeavor to protect it.
Abdul-Qadir said that the PA and the Arab states failed to do what ought to be done toward Al-Quds.
He repeated what he had previously revealed that his resignation last July from his post as PA minister of Al-Quds (Jerusalem) affairs [having spent only 40 days in the ministry] was a protest against Al-Quds not being on the PA’s political agenda and the insufficiency of resources as well as the government’s lack of interest in this issue.
He added: ‘I refused to be a false witness on the loss of Al-Quds’, pointing out that ‘the effort the PA is dedicating to Al-Quds has not been commensurate to the level of the challenges whilst the Arab world is doing practically nothing. On its part Al Quds committee headed by Morocco has become mere ink on paper.
Abdul-Qadir said that Al-Quds which is undergoing aggravated social problems is getting $50 million a year from Arab countries in aid for Arab Jerusalemites whereas influential settlement-related organizations in the city continue to get $500 million from the world’s Jews every year in addition to a $1million from the Israeli government in aid for the Judaization of the city.
He attributed the Jerusalemites’ resistance to the ordinary Palestinian citizens who are holding on to their land … as is manifested in the tragedy of Om Kamil’s case whose tent was set up on the ruins of her demolished house which was destroyed 12 times. He continued: ‘We have adopted a strategy of rebuilding each single house that has been demolished and helping Arab Jerusalemites with all possible means to provide university students and the needy with educational and health services.
He affirmed that the political process ended in deadlock and that Israel is not a real partner and has not changed its traditional attitude toward the Palestinians as a security issue and continues to steal Palestinian land and impose facts on the ground. He highlighted the urgent need to regain Palestinian unity.
In response to questions by the audience Abul-Qadir said that the two-state settlement has become an option beyond reach in view of the Occupation’s violations of the Palestinian rights and warned that the one-state solution is a not a better option either due to its rejection by Israel.
He laid the emphasis on the idea that depending on the US and the international community is doomed to failure considering the Oslo Accords as a catastrophe upon the Palestinian people as they contributed to the judaization of Al-Quds and the increase of Zionist settlements by 1700% since 1993.
He added: ‘Although the Oslo Agreements led to the return of the revolutions’ cadres to the homeland, they have not achieved their targets and when the national authority fails to achieve its targets it must be dissolved. It is not a god. It is a burden.’
Future of the Palestinian Authority
In his answer to a question by Al-Jazeera on the future of the PA Abdul-Qadir said that it failed in achieving the Palestinian national aspirations and emphasized that the moment of truth has come and that Palestinians should make up their minds.
He said: ‘when we officially announce that we have come to a dead end, the intifada becomes our only option but this however requires a leadership that believes in the ability of the people to resist the occupation. And in view of the political stagnation, I expect the outbreak of a third intifada.’
He criticized the absence of a unified political vision on the part of the PA and said that it is more like someone who has had cerebral palsy (brain paralysis) and continued: ‘ but this doesn’t mean however that we have lost direction or that we have run out of options and this will show soon.’
The right of return
Abdul-Qadir revealed that the PA reached a settlement with the Olmert government to settle a lot of issues including Al-Quds dossier. Nonetheless, Israel refused to recognize the right of return despite the PA’s readiness to actually abandon the right of Palestinian refugees to return to the 1948-occupied lands.
He explained that the Fatah revolutionary council is meeting next month to take decisive decisions, adding that: ‘It is not possible to lay bets on the intifada option under the PA. The second intifada failed because of an authority imprisoned within all kinds of restraints and we have to learn lessons from that experience.
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.