The UN is now adamant that the Palestinian Authority should return to govern the Gaza Strip. In the aftermath of Israel’s 2014 Operation Protective Edge, this hypothesis was raised by the US and has seldom been questioned, ostensibly due to other pressing factors such as delivering the necessary humanitarian aid to displaced and injured Palestinians in the besieged enclave.
Since the Palestinian cause has become fragmented into separate issues to prevent national unity, the PA — through decisions taken by its leader Mahmoud Abbas — has slowly imposed its own sanctions on Gaza, bizarrely in the name of unity. Ths facade was dropped swiftly, though, to reveal the real reason for the sanctions; the Fatah-led PA wants to force Hamas to relinquish its political power in the enclave. Hamas, remember, won the last Palestinian elections in 2006, but has never been allowed to govern both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip as it was entitled to.
Protests in the occupied West Bank expressing solidarity with Gaza have been met with excessive violence from the PA’s security forces, which basically exist to protect Israel, not the people of Palestine. Criticising Abbas’s collaboration with Israel and the international community is a dangerous endeavour for ordinary Palestinians.
None of this is of any concern to the UN. In the past months, the organisation’s officials have specifically expressed a preference for the PA under Abbas to return to Gaza. It was UN Special Coordinator Nickolay Mladenov who reiterated this demand in his briefing to the UN Security Council: “Ultimately, reuniting Gaza and the West Bank under a single, legitimate and democratic Palestinian Authority and putting an end to the occupation will ensure long-term peace.” Abbas’s own term of office as President was supposed to end in 2009, by the way; he has refused to hold a presidential election that he knows he will lose.
Mladenov also attempted to conflate resistance in Gaza and the occupied West Bank. “It is critical that events in the West Bank do not lead to reigniting the Gaza fuse,” he insisted. “The people in Gaza have suffered enough and must not be made to pay the price for violence elsewhere.”
Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank are suffering varying degrees of oppression, yet there is one consistent omission from the narrative: both civilian populations are victims of collaboration between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. If the people of Gaza have “suffered enough”, to quote Mladenov, why is the UN insisting that the instigator of a large part of their oppression return to the enclave as part of a solution that is nowhere in sight?
How long will it take, I wonder, for the UN to move from expressing opinions about its preferred Palestinian government, to imposing yet another demand upon the Palestinians in Gaza which will also be detrimental to those in the occupied West Bank?
If the UN really wishes the PA to return to Gaza, and there is no reason to doubt its officials’ statements, it is advocating the elimination of Gaza’s elected political representation — albeit with an expired term in office — in favour of a hierarchy that was created and backed to implement the international plan for Palestine’s destruction.
The UN is implementing a new degree of impunity allocated exclusively to the PA. There will be no voices at an international level clamouring against this human rights violation, though. On the contrary, a future collective chorus seeking PA rule in Gaza will do so from within the loose interpretation of human rights advocated by the UN. There is no logic in seeking the return of an entity that has itself contributed to crippling Gaza as a step towards peace. If this is what the UN wants, then it must be clear that the international community’s vision of peace excludes ordinary Palestinians, which is tantamount to supporting Israel’s plans for a complete colonial takeover of historic Palestine.
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.