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Compromising on the resistance

August 15, 2018 at 2:43 pm

Oil trucks enter the Gaza Strip from the Rafah border crossing as part of the agreement between Egypt, and Hamas, in Rafah, Gaza on 21 June 2017 [Ali Jadallah/Anadolu Agency]

It remains difficult to understand that the Hamas resistance seems satisfied and responsive to the so-called Egyptian role in the proposed scenarios for a settlement in Gaza.

The issue becomes even more difficult in light of the disclosure of yet another secret meeting, held in Egypt, between Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel, and Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, the resident of the presidential palace in Egypt, who is completely in sync with the Israeli visions, projects, and dreams for resolving the Palestinian issue.

Palestinians along the Gaza-Israel border reaffirm the ‘Right of Return’ and get shot by IOF - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

Palestinians along the Gaza-Israel border reaffirm the ‘Right of Return’ and get shot by IOF – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

According to the Israeli media, Netanyahu secretly visited Cairo on 22 May and discussed with Al-Sisi a deal regarding Gaza, in which the latter acts as a broker who compromises with the resistance using a package of incentives and facilities. The most that this package will achieve is the improvement of the conditions of remaining under occupation in exchange for abandoning many of the factors governing the conflict.

According to the archives of the Hamas leadership’s many visits to Egypt, the head of the movement’s political bureau, Ismail Haniyeh, was in Cairo 10 days before Netanyahu’s visit, and at the height of the Great Return Marches, when warning sirens sounded in the Arab capitals that were rushing towards a deal with the occupation. These capitals sought to find an escape for Israel, and themselves, from the possible development of the marches into a new Palestinian intifada that would recharge the resistance and disturb all the equations and plans developed by the American administration to write a final and miserable chapter for the Palestinian issue.

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The dramatic development of the ongoing negotiations on Gaza suggests that Hamas is being offered a deal, that is, at best, similar to a new Oslo Accords, according to which it carries out the roles performed by Fatah in the 1990’s. It also stipulates its departure from the resistance project and that it is instead moving towards the illusions of economic development and better living standards on the condition of integrating into the official Arab endeavour to establish normalised relations with the occupation. This aims for a new Middle East that creates new enemies as an alternative to the main historical enemy.

There is no objection to the words of Hamas leaders about the historical and pivotal role of Egypt in the Palestinian cause, but which Egypt? Is it Arab Egypt, whose features were drawn by the flames of the conflict, or Egypt, which is now governed by those sponsored, adopted and supported by Israel given the fact that their position in power is an ultimate Israeli interest? Egypt, which provided the martyrs in defence of the Arab presence, or Egypt, which profits from the suffocation of Palestinians with closed crossings that only open on Israel’s orders, and Egypt that benefits from intensifying the siege on Gaza?

Al-Sisi’s Egypt has fallen below the level of the mediator, and instead plays the role of the seeker of the interests of the occupier, before any other interest. This is not only to repay the bill for being placed in the authority and continuing to govern the country, but is also in line with a doctrine that dwells the mind and heart of those who now rule Egypt with oppression and begging.

It is beneficial for Hamas to read and analyse what has happened in the years the Oslo Accords and see what the Palestinian people have taken, and what the Israelis have reaped, not only on the economic and political levels, but also on the level of values that define the cause and the essence of the conflict.

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The result, after these 20 years, is that the idea of the resistance itself has been humiliated and abused, and has become known in the distorted international system as an accusation and even a crime. It has now become classified as an act of terrorism and violence, without obtaining the promised development. In addition to this, the occupation has not stopped its expansion and the uprooting of Palestinians from their deep roots entrenched in the ground and in the depths of the conflict’s historical narrative.

This is evidenced by the fact that no one other than the Israelis themselves and the Arab brokers promoting the deals have benefitted from the Israeli deals proposed to the Arabs since the start of the settlement process with Camp David. The Arab and Palestinian people have only experienced more and more pain and misery. They have not experienced prosperity, as promised by Anwar Sadat, nor have they experienced peace. Meanwhile, the occupation continues its brutality and expansion.

It is also clear that Hamas gained its place and status in the sound Arab hearts, as the remaining Arab resistance project against annihilation and elimination, while all those who went on the path to calm and warm settlements cooking on Israeli stoves have fallen from these hearts.

This article first appeared in Arabic in Al Araby Al Jadid on 15 August 2018

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