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Rejecting resistance, defending acceptance

"In response to the Palestinian violation of their commitments under peace talks…Israeli government ministers have been told to refrain from meeting their Palestinian counterparts," reported the Times of Israel. The retaliation against the belated decision on behalf of the Palestinian Authority (PA) to seek international recognition seems destined to oppress Palestinians further while ensuring that the PA remains tethered to offering its services to Israel.

The issued directive is not an absolute. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu allowed discretionary manoeuvres that would ensure continuity with regards to Israel's perpetual lament of security concerns. Contact between the Defence Ministry and the PA is destined to remain so as not to diminish the constructed web of collaborative oppression.

Meanwhile, further punitive sanctions are being considered by Israel, including significant deductions from the PA's budget which would prevent the PA from allegedly "funding terrorism", in reference to the monetary assistance given to Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, as well as to their families.

According to the Times of Israel, Fatah official Mohammed Al-Madani said: "If true, this decision is mistaken. It's impossible to sever the ties between Israelis and Palestinians. We must continue to have normal relations in order to reach a just and lasting peace."

Despite decades of colonisation, the latest retaliatory developments have elicited nothing but dismay and apprehension in the PA. The officially recognised representation is adhering to the dominant, oppressive narrative while refusing the legitimate option of resistance in order to avoid tainting its subservient record.

Apart from the decision to seek international recognition, the PA has failed to alter its tactics. Instead, it is using the temporary limelight to divert attention away from the lack of Palestinian unity which remains an asset for the PA. Channelling energies into seeking recognition from international institutions mired within the imperialist narrative as a facade for seeking autonomy, while remaining conditioned to Israeli demands with regards to security concerns and the negation of resistance as a legitimate right; renders the decisions farcical.

In particular, the willingness to extend talks, as reported by the Ma'an News Agency, signifies the willingness to grant Israel further time to implement its plans for expansion, extending the seizure of land it has embarked upon for decades.

Hamas spokesperson Fawzi Barhoun said Abbas should cease pursuing security coordination with Israel and allow resistance "to deter the Israeli occupation and defend our people, our land and our holy places." The current compliance should be replaced with "recruiting regional and international opposition" to Israel. Unlike Hamas, the PA is reluctant to perceive Israeli retaliation as one other occurrence added to the multitude of reasons why resistance should be embraced.

Diplomatic engagement has long served to mellow settler-colonialism into a misrepresented conflict. The current negotiations have been deceptively described as recently deteriorated by US Secretary of State John Kerry following the Israeli refusal to release Palestinian prisoners. While the PA absorbs this convenient narrative into its rhetoric, the US and Israel laud their efforts in consolidating their ruthless domination with unconditional impunity bestowed by Abbas.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.

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