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Palestine remains the compass

The Dome of the Rock Mosque part of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied Jerusalem. [Mahfouz Abu Turk/Apa Images]
The Dome of the Rock Mosque part of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied Jerusalem. [Mahfouz Abu Turk/Apa Images]

When the actions occur on the Palestinian arena, the other arenas take a back seat, albeit temporarily. As much as the Israelis and others try to push the Palestinian cause away from the Arab consciousness, the events and facts have confirmed that every time the Palestinian-Israeli conflict moves on to another round, it has a direct impact on the rest of the Arab issues, regardless of their severity or importance. Palestine remains the compass of this nation, no matter how long the road is and how much the paths have branched out.

When the storm cloud of the Arab Spring appeared in the Tunisian skies, before moving on to other Arab countries, we, along with many Palestinians, believed that the consequent change in the balance of power would eventually lead to the support of Palestine, given the fact that it is the central issue.

However, these hopes soon disappeared, as it is not permissible to change the regional equations in a fundamental way that would affect Israel's national security. For this reason, over the last period, more than one country and more than one issue was lit in order to keep the various tracks under control. Instead of leading to counterbalancing the imbalances of power, the opposite has happened, as the region's countries fell one by one, like dominos.

Read: Arab League: Israel 'playing with fire' over Jerusalem

The transitional path in Egypt stopped abruptly and violently. Libya fell into a deep well after all the ghosts came out of their bottle. Syria has become a laboratory for the most dangerous and most brutal tests. Yemen was lost in a labyrinth and only God knows when it will come out of it and at what cost. As for Iraq, its turbulence has increased; it's been ruined by corruption, and paralyzed by regional manoeuvers and sectarian ambitions.

Ismail Haniyeh, Head of Hamas Political Bureau [Mustafa Hassona/ Anadolu Agency]

Ismail Haniyeh, Head of Hamas Political Bureau [Mustafa Hassona/ Anadolu Agency]

The four-party siege on Qatar was the last stone thrown at what remains of the Arab tattered tent that has long been threatened with collapse.

These regional changes did not push the specter of threat away from the Israelis. Instead, it provided a very suitable atmosphere to take a new step towards eliminating the remaining illusion of the political settlement that the Palestinian leadership has relied on since the beginning of Oslo.

The last obstacle to this step was Hamas and the rest of the resistance factions. Therefore, we have heard much about Hamas from Israel, the Arabs and the international community. They have portrayed the resistance as being a threat to Israel's idea of peace.

Despite Hamas' review of its charter, which it thought may change the international and regional opinion of it and consider it a movement that does not threaten the existence of Israel, but rather a movement demanding the return to the 1967 borders. This did not change anything and the Israeli leadership considered it a new indicator to demonstrate that the iron has begun to soften and that there is room to further soften the movement in order to ultimately put it in the desired mould.

Read more: 'Israel seeks to divert attention from Jerusalem to Gaza'

In this flawed context, and in light of the continued Palestinian division, the young men and women from the heart of Palestine decided to rely on themselves and to assume their responsibilities individually. They decided to do so after becoming despaired from the game of factions, the calculations of the leaders, and the futile and fruitless maneuvers. They have also become convinced that the Arab countries will not be able to provide any serious assistance to the Palestinians in this particular situation after the major Arab capitals were excluded from the regional equation.

These young people did not despair, but decided to sacrifice themselves in order to bewilder the Israelis and bring fear to their ranks. They succeeded in drawing the attention of the world to the most important and heated issues: the settlements and the Judaisation of Jerusalem. They are two sides of the same plan that aims to completely liquidate the cause and totally change its nature and core.

We can say that these young men and women have started to achieve some of their goals. Palestine has returned to the forefront of world events, despite everything that is happening. The world is once again standing in the face of the Israeli brutality.

They have also repeatedly disturbed the Arab regimes that are overwhelmed by their local problems, and they may destroy their buried desire to completely eliminate the Palestinian headache.

Normalisation with Israel is expanding and passing barriers at the speed of light. What is happening nowadays will not be without results and consequences.

This article first appeared in Arabic in the New Khaleej on 26 July 2017.

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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