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Failed negotiations are destructive to the Palestinians

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]

A new Palestinian-Palestinian dialogue is under way in Cairo to seek Palestinian reconciliation that could lead to Palestinian national unity.

The Palestinians, and in particular the Fatah and Hamas representatives, have made several reconciliation agreements so far, but the two factions have failed to implement them and the agreements have been lost. This has led to the frustration of the Palestinian people after the media reported news of the agreement and a development in the Palestinian internal arena.

The failure of the two factions to implement what was agreed upon has shaken the pillars of the Palestinian people to the extent that the average person no longer trusts any rounds of dialogue. They also no longer care about or follow them. Word of mouth is that they agree on things and do not implement them, so there is no use in hearing their news.

There has been a disregard for the feelings and pain of the Palestinian people, as well as their aspirations and hopes. All the Palestinian people at home and abroad hoped that the dialogue would succeed, that differences would be overcome in order to address the concerns of the people in general and to develop plans to confront aggressive Israeli measures against the people.

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Hope still exists, but it is no longer as strong as it was, that is, frustration has overcome them and has pushed them away from the important issues. Generally speaking, the media was not careful when reporting news about the reconciliation, and it did not give importance to the major details of arranging the Palestinian house. Every time, it failed to draw the conclusions.

Palestinian morale was rising with every piece of news about reconciliation, but it would disappear into the folds of procrastination and exchanged accusations that arose shortly after the agreement was signed.

Unfortunately the Palestinian factions paralysed the people’s determination, drained much of their morale and national energy, and distracted them from confronting the occupation. Instead of focusing on the occupation, the people focused on their disappointment at factional mismanagement. If those conducting talks had even a little bit of knowledge regarding the impact of frustration on the general mood and affiliation, they would have thought several times before agreeing to the failure of the agreements.

These knowledge-lacking negotiators never referred to sociology, economics, politics and security experts or specialists to guide them. Each one of the negotiators puffed themselves up like a peacock, believing that their participation a source of pride, without focusing on their historical responsibility to unite the people. The rounds of failure have caused the Palestinian people more damage than the division itself, and if the division were left without the failed talks, it would have been better for them.

Will the current dialogue end in an agreement? People who know about the dialogue hope so. However, it is worth noting that the two factions do not form a neutral committee to oversee the implementation, and instead leave the matter to self-evaluation. This is a major flaw, especially since experience has proven that it is important to provide judges to monitor the course of events after signing the agreement and to issue their judgements if failure becomes the ultimate result.

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It is also worth noting that the two factions have not yet discussed the roots of the internal Palestinian conflict. They constantly discuss the symptoms of the problem, but not the reasons behind it. As long as the reasons continue to exist in the unseen world, they will continue to sabotage every agreement. The matter is very similar to the situation of a doctor who cannot treat an illness unless he knows its origin. The reasons for the problem are very clear and do not require any guesswork.

The issue was first identified in 1992 before the signing of the Oslo Accords, and I said that any agreement with the Israelis would result in internal Palestinian fighting. The reason is that any agreement with the Israelis will inevitably affect Palestinian history, culture, and the depth of Palestinian consciousness, and will go beyond Palestinian taboos. This will certainly lead to internal Palestinian quarrels that the Israelis would enjoy.

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

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

The Palestinian leadership, as usual, did not listen to the warnings and moved forward, disregarding all Palestinian positions opposed to the agreement with the Israelis. The result is what we see now.

It is necessary to note that the Palestinian negotiating table is not completely clean and that there are external forces playing under it that can influence the Palestinian decision. Those who believe that the Palestinian decision is independent are mistaken.

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The Israelis and Americans are watching and observing and their main concern is to eliminate the resistance in the Gaza Strip. What will the fate of any Palestinian agreement that does not eliminate the resistance be? If the Palestinians hold onto the resistance, the Israelis and Americans will take action against the PA in Ramallah. Is the PA in Ramallah ready to withstand the measures, renounce the Oslo Accords and stop all forms of coordination with the Zionists? My prediction is no. A Palestinian unity government has already been formed, but the Israelis thwarted and destroyed it.

It is also worth noting that Egypt is sponsoring the current dialogue, and it is a known fact that Egypt is a partner in the siege on Gaza.

#GazaCrisis

The Arab countries, the PA, and Arab, European and American countries are all involved in the siege of Gaza and the goal is to eliminate the resistance. Is there any good in those who besiege the Palestinian people?

We hope that Palestinian national unity will be achieved because it is the primary source of strength for the Palestinian people, but we must overcome the dominance of logical thought over wishes. Since the two factions have already reached seven agreements, what new matter can they agree upon now that would lead to actual implementation? Is there a volunteer who could explain the course of the dialogue to the Palestinian people and publish the meeting minutes?

This article first appeared in Arabic in Arabi21 on 2 August 2018

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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