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A state without a state and an authority without authority

People hold placards and banners which read support for Palestine as they march towards the US embassy to celebrate Jerusalem day in London, UK on 18 June 2017 [Tayfun Salcı/Anadolu Agency]
People hold placards and banners which read support for Palestine as they march towards the US embassy on 18 June 2017 [Tayfun Salcı/Anadolu Agency]

Israel's Channel 2 has revealed the features of the American plan to resolve the Palestinian issue. The essence of the solution is based on Netanyahu's economic project, a state without a state.

The Palestinian issue and the rights of the Palestinian people are also being addressed by Netanyahu and the American Zionist team in the US administration who are tasked with formulating this plan (Kushner, Greenblatt, Nikki Haley and David Friedman) who have worked in the US President's office in real estate. Therefore, they look at our cause as a real estate issue that can be resolved with a package of huge economic aid, presented by the Arabs and Gulf sheikhs in order to make the plan a success.

The proposed plan abandons the notion of an independent Palestinian state on the 4 June 1967 borders. Instead, it states that the presence of settlers in the West Bank is legal and any evacuation of these invading settlers who have taken over Palestinian territories is a form of ethnic cleansing, according to Netanyahu. Hence, the plan legitimises the presence of the occupation and permits the confiscation of others' land by force.

At the same time Netanyahu is stating that evacuating settlers from their settlements built on occupied Palestinian territories is considered ethnic cleansing, he is exercising all forms of ethnic cleansing against the Palestinian people. He plans to expel, evacuate and displace Arab Jahalin Bedouins from the Jabal Al-Baba area, near Al-Eizariya, because these Bedouin communities on the outskirts of Jerusalem prevent the Ma'ale Adumim settlements, which include Mishor Adumim, Kedar and Mitzpe Yeriho, from being linked and annexed to the city of Jerusalem.

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Construction in the area known as E1, 12 kilometres northwest of the Ma'ale Adumim settlement, would completely isolate the city of Jerusalem from its Palestinian surroundings and permanently bury the two-state solution. This would separate the northern part of the West Bank from the south and separate its northern and southern parts from its central area. It is a plan to separate and fragment the West Bank.

Netanyahu is well aware of the details and clauses of the American plan expected to be put forward, as the American team preparing the plan is more Zionist than Netanyahu himself. He is the most hostile and denies the rights of the Palestinian people, and therefore, it is not surprising that Netanyahu has described the evacuation of settlers from the occupied territories as a form of ethnic cleansing.

The Zionist American Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, said that Israel has the right to establish settlements anywhere in Jerusalem and the West Bank, on public or private Palestinian land. He even described Israel's occupation of the West Bank as false claims and alleged occupation.

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Therefore, Netanyahu's proposals align with Friedman, Kushner and Greenblatt's vision, as well as his expulsion of the Jahalin Bedouins from the areas surrounding Jerusalem. Furthermore, pushing back the Al-Walaja barrier by 2.5 kilometres in order to control the Ain Haniya area, and creating a connection in order to annex settlements south of Jerusalem, the Gush Etzion settlement blocs, and the settlements located east of it to the city, making them under its sovereignty and authority are all part of the American plan. This would make the area of Jerusalem 10 per cent of the West Bank.

This also means pumping 150,000 settlers into Jerusalem and removing 100,000 Jerusalemites from the city, as well as the villages and towns behind the wall, including Kafr Aqab, Shuafat Camp and parts of the village of Sawahra. This plan is proposed by the so-called minister of Ze'ev Elkin in order to ensure a Jewish majority in the city and shifting its demographic reality in favour of the settlers.

PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat, Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin after the singing of the Oslo Accords in 1993 [Saar Yaacov/Flickr]

Twenty-four years after the signing of the Oslo Accords, we still have not reached a state, as believed by those who signed it. Unfortunately, it has led us to the disastrous situation where the PA is nothing more than a civil administration and local police that has no security or civil control, even in the areas that are supposed to be under complete Palestinian authority, i.e. Area A. The occupation violates and breaches the PA's areas however and whenever it wants, without referring back to the Oslo Accords, and even considers its actions part of the agreement. In short, our situation is exactly how President Abbas put it at the UN General Assembly 72nd session, "an authority without authority".

The new "creative" American plan to resolve the Palestinian issue according to the so-called regional framework preserves and legitimises the presence of setters in the West Bank. The plan also has the support, blessing and participation of Arab backers and funders of this plan.

We are well aware, whether or not President Abbas and the Saudi officials denied this, that the purpose of his summons to Riyadh was not to fill him in on the details of the American plan and what is required of the Palestinians according to the plan, but to present the American plan and reveal its temptations and threats.

Saudi Arabia is part of the financing of this plan, and one of its enthusiasts, as it is strongly seeking to normalise and legitimise Arab relations with Israel and integrate it into the region as a natural component. It sees Israel as a "friendly" state and that Iran and its advanced arm in the region, Lebanon's Hezbollah, which Saudi Arabia has classified as a terrorist organisation, is the real threat to the security and stability of the region.

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Therefore, Abbas' approval of the American plan means pumping millions of dollars, perhaps billions, to the PA treasury. Rejecting the plan would mean a financial blockade and the creation of alternatives, and perhaps even America's failure to renew the permit for the Palestinian representation office in Washington. This is all a part of America and its allies' policy to pressure the PA to accept the plan.

Just as the disastrous Oslo Accords led us to an authority without authority, the so-called deal of the century will lead us to a state without a state. It will lead us to economic peace, which is Netanyahu's project, entailing of the exchange of the Palestinian's legitimate right to freedom and independence for economic projects and bribes that improve the Palestinians' living situation under occupation. This will be achieved through Arab and international funding, with the occupation's support and legitimisation.

Saudi watches as Gaza burns - Cartoon [MiddleEastMonitor]

Saudi watches as Gaza burns – Cartoon [MiddleEastMonitor]

Therefore, what awaits the Palestinian people is far more dangerous than the Oslo Accords. The "deal of the century" carries with it the complete liquidation of the Palestinian cause, unfortunately with Arab participation and blessing. Therefore, our people and leadership are facing true challenges and risks, requiring those meeting in Cairo today to be highly responsible. They arrange the internal home and our internal front in accordance with unified visions and strategies and a national project based on a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders and guaranteeing the refugees' right of return, in accordance with UN resolution 194.

Failure and the continued division is not an option for our factions in Cairo, as it would mean disaster, destruction and loss for everyone. What we need is unity and an end to the division, as we are facing enormous dangers and challenges. Are our leaders aware of this?

This article first appeared in Arabic on 20 November 2017 on Al-Quds News

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

ArticleInternational OrganisationsIsraelMiddle EastOpinionPalestineUN
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