A new report by the Palestine Strategy Group (PSG) has explored the relationships between Palestinian citizens of Israel and Palestinians under military occupation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, urging resistance to Israel’s ‘divide and conquer’ tactics.
In an article for +972 Magazine, PSG Secretariat member Sam Bahour laid out the main findings of the report, ‘Relations Between Palestinians Across the Green Line’, which has been published thus far in Arabic, with an English translation forthcoming.
Over the past two years, “a group of dedicated Palestinian analysts, activists, intellectuals and politicians…have been meeting to explore an angle of the Palestinians reality that is many times ignored” – the relationship between Palestinians living on both sides of the ‘Green Line’.
According to Bahour, “the report identifies Jerusalem as a place where, paradoxically, the boundaries of Israel and Palestine collapse — a site for joint work, cooperation and struggle against Israel’s colonial policies”.
He continued: “Many political leaders (Palestinian members of Knesset, as well as Jerusalemites, Fatah members, Hamas-affiliated academics, etc.) who were part of the group that produced the report testified to the existing, nascent cooperation and possibility and need to further develop it”.
The report also notes “indications of grassroots and bottom-up engagements transcending conventional and formal realms of political engagement elsewhere”, citing as an example “the cross-border mobilization and cooperation to address the Prawer Plan [in 2011]”.
As Bahour summarises, “in light of different political projects, national cohesion among the Palestinian people on both sides of the Green Line is a key tool to create a unified, collective umbrella that allows networking, empowerment and development”.
This “umbrella” would “seek to integrate political projects”, whose components “will support the other with a view to realizing respective demands, including ending the occupation of the 1967 territory, return of the refugees, full citizenship, and individual and collective equality inside the Green Line”.
Given “the lack of institutional networking, PSG discussants proposed several potential options to institutionalize relations between Palestinians on both sides of the Green Line. A major thrust of the report entertains the ‘creating an inclusive, apolitical framework for all Palestinians’”.