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The Aqaba conference will fail to suppress the Palestinians, as others have before it

March 6, 2023 at 9:44 am

Palestinian youths take part during the demonstration against an Israeli-Palestinian summit hosted by Jordan in Aqaba and to support the West Bank in Gaza city, on 26 February 2023 [Ahmed Zakot/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images]

While the Israeli occupation forces were storming the city of Nablus last weekend, killing 12 Palestinians and wounding dozens more, security officials from Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Egypt, Jordan and the US were meeting in Aqaba to save Israel and give it the green light to kill more Palestinians.

The constitution of the delegations confirmed that security was the issue; the conference had nothing to do with politics. They were, according to international law, technical delegations of an executive rather than of a legislative nature, and so what they decided is not binding on anyone.

“They agreed to continue meeting under this formula,” said the closing statement, “maintain positive momentum and expand this agreement towards a wider political process leading to a just and lasting peace.”

However, unless it is adopted by the relevant authorities, especially in Israel, this is not binding. And as everyone knows, creating delays and making empty promises are Israel’s favourite tactics. The occupation state depends on the creation of a status quo and then making opponents negotiate with it from within the framework that it has created. In other words, the occupation state drags its opponents into its own territory and spins them until they get dizzy.

This is how the Zionists operate when dealing with the Arabs. Israel has done everything it wanted to do regarding the so-called final status issues, including Jerusalem, while the Arabs are still talking about them even after Israel has annexed Jerusalem and Syria’s Golan Heights and continues to take more and more Palestinian land on a daily basis. Palestinian refugees and the borders of the “two states” are off the agenda as far as Israel is concerned, but the Arabs are still talking about them.

The conference in Aqaba completely ignored Israel’s aggression against the religious sanctities in occupied Palestine, and affirmed that the battle is between the Lions’ Den and other resistance groups on the one hand, and Palestinian security coordination agents on the other. Those PA officials who met in Aqaba do not represent the Palestinian people; they represent the Zionist enemy of the people, and were appointed to ensure the security of Israel’s illegal Jewish settlers.

READ: False hopes and broken promises litter the ground behind the UN Statement on Palestine

The participants in the Aqaba conference in Jordan on 26 February tried to overcome the obstacles such as Israel’s confrontation with the resistance and its escalation in the occupied West Bank, possible escalation and a war in the month of Ramadan, as well as the obstacle of the PA, whose status amongst the Palestinians has deteriorated. There is also the impasse of the normalisation route, which has lost all justification for its existence with the increase in Israeli oppression and the escalation of resistance action, before which the occupation state is helpless.

Everyone at the conference would have been aware of the security concerns, as Israel is witnessing extreme tension and domestic unrest with mass protests against Benjamin Netanyahu’s proposed judicial reforms, while the escalation of protests in the West Bank makes Jordan anxious that the instability will spread over to the Hashemite Kingdom. Meanwhile, Egypt is also afraid that matters will escalate and the Gaza Strip will join in. As for the US, it fears any international issue that diverts attention from events in Ukraine. Furthermore, the security coordination authority in Ramallah led by Israeli agent Mahmoud Abbas fears the escalation of the youth revolution in the West Bank and being overthrown, so he ran to his Zionist friends to seek help.

The main objective of the conference was to prevent another uprising — intifada — and to help clear the security bottlenecks. This was evident from the closing statement, which mentioned that participants are “committing to de-escalation on the ground to prevent further violence.”

It is clear that the PA is not serious about changing its security function against Palestinians, suppressing the resistance and pursuing resistance fighters. The conference offered it support. What’s more, the leak of what is known as the “Fenzel Plan” to suppress the resistance in the West Bank suggests that this was discussed in Aqaba. The PA is willing to go to great lengths to suppress the resistance efforts of its own people. It is worth noting that Lieutenant General Michael Fenzel is the US Security Coordinator for the Palestinians and Israelis.

The proposed measures refer to strengthening security coordination with the US training Palestinian forces in Jordan, after which they will return to Palestine to suppress the resistance, especially in the northern West Bank, all under American supervision. This is intended to reduce the Israeli military presence by replacing them PA security personnel once the Zionists are reassured that they will play the role required of them and the PA leadership under Abbas changes its allegedly “lenient” approach with the resistance and becomes even more oppressive.

Despite all of this, Aqaba will fail as earlier conferences have failed in terms of subjugating the Palestinian people, and promoting the Israeli occupation and the so-called “peace process”. It is a long battle between the occupation forces and the lions of Palestine, who believe in their legitimate rights to their land and their sanctities, and who defend them with their lives. The Almighty will not let them down and they will emerge victorious: the Palestinian flag will fly again from the river to the sea.

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