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The EU context for increasing financial aid to Palestine

General labourers, fishermen and farmers gather to call for a successful Fatah-Hamas reconciliation, on September 24, 2017 in Gaza [Mohammad Asad / Middle East Monitor]
General labourers, fishermen and farmers gather to call for a successful Fatah-Hamas reconciliation, on September 24, 2017 in Gaza [Mohammad Asad / Middle East Monitor]

We might be excused for assuming that the only party involved in the reconciliation talks is the Palestinian Authority. Since Hamas announced its willingness to commit to political unity, PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah and President Mahmoud Abbas have been hailed by international institutions as beacons of progress and change. There has been no mention of how, since Israel’s massacre of civilians in Gaza in 2014, this state of affairs was a top priority for the US. That Gaza should come under the PA is not a novel proposal; the scramble for Gaza, although ignited in recent years, has been central to Hamas’s external and domestic adversaries since the 2006 elections.

The initial indications are that involving Hamas in reconciliation is simply necessary for show, compounded by the possibility that necessity also shaped Hamas’s decision to relinquish administrative control of Gaza. Once the procedure of reconciliation is established, the options for Palestinians will still remain limited. One possibility is another political rupture between Hamas and Fatah. Another possibility, vestiges of which have already occurred, albeit in different circumstances, is the marginalisation of Hamas. Such an option this time will prove easier for the international community, which only recognises the PA’s leadership legitimacy despite the electoral irregularities keeping it in power.

Wafa news agency reported recently that Palestine’s ambassador to the European Union, Abdel Rahim Al-Farra, spoke about an increase in EU financial aid to the PA following the reconciliation agreement. The report stated that Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, informed the Palestinian ambassador that “it was time to implement development projects in the Gaza Strip.”

Hamas: ‘we will never go back to internal division’

The comments reflect a statement published by the European External Action Service, in which the EU Heads of Mission in Jerusalem and Ramallah praised Hamdallah’s visit to Gaza and the “important and positive signal that the Palestinian Authority is ready to assume its responsibilities in Gaza.” The brief statement also calls for PA control over Gaza, unimpeded humanitarian access, a change in Gaza’s humanitarian and political crisis and the opening of the border crossings, “while addressing Israel’s legitimate security concerns.”

Senior Hamas members prepare for PA delegations to arrive in Gaza on 2 October 2017 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]

It is noteworthy that the EU statement does not once acknowledge Hamas, and that Israel is brought into the equation not because of its colonial presence in Palestine, but rather to reaffirm EU agreement – in accordance with the Middle East Quartet Principles referred to in the EU communication – with Palestinian subjugation to external demands. For many years, Hamas represented an impediment due to its resistance principles which clashed with the image of EU peace-building and prospects for diplomacy even while it condones the continuation of Israel’s human rights violations.

Hence, what matters for the EU is not Hamas’s participation, or the political, social and economic wellbeing of Palestinians. For the international community, the EU included, reconciliation provides the means to justify decades of passive involvement in Palestine, including the near-total disregard for the Palestinians in Gaza. Under the euphemism of unity which marginalises Hamas, Palestinians become visible only in relation to the purpose of bestowing upon Abbas and Hamdallah a semblance of legitimacy, presence and justification for bureaucracy.

It is pertinent, perhaps, to remind the EU, the Quartet and the international community, that reconciliation does not alter the deprivation inflicted upon Palestinians and reference to appropriate timing constitutes a human rights violation in itself, given that not one international institution has prioritised Palestinian rights over Israel’s colonial-settler violence. The only difference in this scenario is an altered political playground, and one that can still adversely affect Palestinians, if it suits the new alliance formed between the PA and the international community.

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  • charliematerne

    UNSCR 1373 (passed under Chapter VII of the UN Charter) forbids any funding to the PA or Hamas

    • Helen4Yemen

      Who are you? Should we not know what part of you is “Israelite” since you claim to be a hybrid of European women and Israelite men? R U:

      a) 50/50 Israelite/European

      b) 75/25 Israelite/European

      c) 25/75 Israelite/European

      d) 99/1 Israelite/European

      e) 1/99 Israelite/European

      What is your answer? Remember the Ashkenazi used the fraud of “coming back” , did he not?
      If the answer is e) 99% European, then what it is that brings the white man to Palestine?

  • As long as world countries and leaders contribute money and support to the Arabs who promote hate and commit terror and violence, the terror hate and violence will continue.
    As long as you treat Mahmmoud Abbas aka Abu Mazen the terrorist as a leader of the Arab Palestinians and not as a terrorist criminal (who has a murder conviction and an escapee from justice) who promotes and incites hate, violence and terror, the violence and terror will continue. Stop deluding yourselves that these Arabs are anything but terrorists who seek to destroy Israel and anyone who is not like them.

    Mahmmoud Abbas and his Arab Palestinian authority are a terrorist entity and anyone who condones them is supporting terror and violence. Mahmmoud Abbas is a convicted murderer who is an escaped convict and belongs in Jail. Stop patronizing Abbas and start applying what he deserves, to be put in jail. He gladly admitted for sponsoring the Munich massacre and other terror acts. Abbas is playing the peace game as long as he can milk the nations of the world for billions of dollars and running a dictatorial terrorist entity.
    The Arab PA is no different than Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon they are terrorist organizations.

    Face it, once and for all with no delusions or illusions. There never was and never will be a second Arab-Palestinian State West of the Jordan River; they have Jordan which is Jewish territory.

    Anyone who thinks about putting another terrorist entity in Judea and Samaria aka West Bank, needs to have his head examined, this type of thinking is an insidious delusion and illusion, any government considering such a proposal must be replaced. Such a move is suicidal to Israel especially in view of the results from Gaza, with thousands of rockets attacking Israel. Judea and Samaria is Jewish territory no concession of this territory is permitted. Israel is a sovereign country and Israel does not need anybody’s consent to apply its sovereignty to Judea and Samaria and to repatriate all the liberated territory from June 1967. Israel must expedite building housing, industry and roads in Judea and Samaria. No country has the right to interfere and or dictate to Israel how to conduct its internal affairs and or its safety and security. All Archaeological in Israel confirm the history of the Jewish people in the land of Israel and there are no such archaeological findings and evidence about the Arab Palestinians, but there are numerous findings about the Jewish history in The Land of Israel. The Arab Palestinians have no coinage, pottery and any history that validates their fictitious and deceptive claims. In 1925 The Arab Wakf in Jerusalem issued a brochure that stated that there were remnants of King Solomon Temple in Temple Mount.
    Let the Arab-Palestinians in Judea and Samaria relocate to Jordan or the homes and territory of over 120,000 sq. km the Arab countries confiscated from the over a million Jewish families they terrorized and expelled from the Arab countries and assets confiscated in the trillions of dollars.
    The Arab-Palestinian Authority with its leader Mahmmoud Abbas aka Abu Mazen the convicted murderer is a terrorist organization, just like Hamas and Hezbollah.
    YJ Draiman