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The PA and the popular ‘uprising’

March 30, 2016 at 1:41 pm

It has been six months since the popular intifada was ignited in the occupied Palestinian territories, i.e. the popular “uprising” as the Ramallah PA officials like to call it. I do not want to count the number of months and days since the launch of the popular intifada in early October 2015. What is more important is the qualitative counting of time, which we can learn by discovering how much people are moving in time, giving each day meaning, just as they give each hour meaning.

If we measure the length of the third intifada, or “uprising”, compared to the length of Mahmoud Abbas’s authority, we would find that it has its own time period that has surpassed the movement of time within the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah. Today, the third intifada has proven that it is much bigger than the time of President Mahmoud Abbas, whose time passes leisurely and slowly, limited by the spirit of concessions that are on the verge of cancelling the relationship between the Palestinians and time. It seems that the passing of the minutes, hours, days and months is greater than the capabilities of the PA to fill this time. Herein lies the huge different between the time of the PA, which is incapable of movement and action, and the time of the intifada, which is full of action every second, and which positively invests in each moment of time on the holy land. It combines time and place in strong pulses and actions that form the intifada, not only against the Israeli state, but also against the monotony of Palestinian time, and even Arab time, in general, and against this place that remains immobile.

The October intifada (uprising) is facing two forces at the same time. The first force is the PA in Ramallah, which is incapable of facing anything other than the Palestinian citizens. However, its confrontation of the Zionist enemy in defence of the Palestinian citizens and their property is another issue entirely, as the PA has no interests in doing so. Some Palestinian political officials are accused of corruption, illegal earnings, and cooperation and trade with Israeli officials for personal interests that have nothing to do with the state or citizen. It is said that the Palestinian citizens in Ramallah are oppressed by the Israeli occupation and Mahmoud Abbas’s PA, and in this case, there is no difference in my eyes between the return of the occupation to all the cities and villages in the West Bank or the remainder of the fat cats and their spread amongst the West Bank. The only difference in the eyes of the citizens is that their resistance against the occupation cannot be negotiated.

The second force is the Israeli occupation, not only in the West Bank, but also across all of Palestine, from the river to the sea. The occupation exercises its oppression and brutal force in the absence of the PA’s deterrence of the harshest forms of psychological and physical torture against the Palestinians, except those in the PA. The number of home demolitions has increased in the areas occupied in 1967, including buildings that were built with financial support from the EU. Israeli police also arm settlers and train them to kill Palestinians without any moral or human deterrents, as evidenced by the murder of Abdel Fattah Al-Sharif, 21, and his friend Ramzi Aziz Al-Qasrawi, 21, who were wounded and on the ground, unable to resist or fight back, they were killed after being shot in the head, even as they bled on the ground.

The number of martyrs killed since October reached 209, 128 of whom were executed under the pretext of carrying out a stabbing, hit-and-run, or on the mere suspicion of doing so. Sixty were Palestinians who were executed at military checkpoints both inside and outside the West Bank. The murders committed by the settlers, police and border guards in the West Bank, which is under the authority of Mahmoud Abbas and which occurred before the eyes of his army, police and presidential guards, have become systematic crimes supported by the occupation’s official judicial, security and media institutions without any response or reaction from the Ramallah government.

The question being raised by everyone is: What is the purpose or task of the PA under Mahmoud Abbas’s presidency? Isn’t its top task the protection of the country and its citizens? Shouldn’t it achieve social harmony amongst the people and national organisations? Isn’t its duty to defend the country and its sovereignty? We notice that the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah is instead busy with achieving personal interests for all of its officials.

Abbas is going from one financially capable Arab capital to the next demanding contributions to fund the PA’s budget, the majority of which goes to the salaries and wages of the officials’ guards and protection, not to the protection of the Palestinian people. We also notice that the security agencies in the West Bank only serve the purpose of protecting the settlers and the Israeli police and army from the anger and wrath of the Palestinian people.

European civil blocs are boycotting products produced in settlements located in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, while the PA pays over 80,000 Palestinians to build settlements and work in its farms. American and Western universities are boycotting the literary and scientific production of Israeli universities, while the PA cooperates with the Israeli government; what type of authority is this?

Translated from Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, 28 March 2016.

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