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While pointing out international responsibility, the Fatah-dominated PA conceals its own

June 22, 2023 at 2:57 pm

Students of Birzeit University, supporting Hamas, Fatah and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP), gather for a debate held prior to the Student Council Elections, in Ramallah, West Bank. [Issam Rimawi – Anadolu Agency]

As if further proof was necessary that the Palestinians have been abandoned by Ramallah, Fatah called upon the people yesterday “to stay alert and confront the systematic settler attacks that are carried out with the connivance of the occupation army.” No security coordination to protect Palestinians from Israeli state and settler terrorism was suggested or even contemplated, of course. That is reserved for collaboration with the occupation state.

“The Palestinian people will not stand idle in the face of attacks and terrorism of the settlers,” the Palestinian Authority’s official news agency Wafa stated, paraphrasing an official statement.

Yet despite the escalation in Israeli attacks against Palestinian civilians, all the PA has done so far is to request international protection from the UN. “The United Nations Security Council, the Secretary-General, and responsible state actors have a duty to act immediately to provide protection for the Palestinian people,” the PA Foreign Ministry declared.

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While pointing out international responsibility, the Fatah-dominated PA conceals its own. If the PA was honest, it would stress its concern over the unified Palestinian resistance that is growing in the occupied West Bank, and explain how it is seeking to contain a movement that will undoubtedly influence Palestinian politics and resistance from now on. The PA would also voice its concern that Palestinians identify more with the resistance, in which case Israeli state and settler-terrorism would be doing the PA’s job, without interference from the PA security services which work in line with Israeli and PA demands.

It is hypocritical of Fatah to warn Palestinians to confront Israeli state and settler terrorism. Renouncing armed resistance in favour of diplomacy, while ridiculing and criminalising Palestinian resistance unless it suits its narrative, the PA is once again exploiting Palestinians in a treacherous situation and leaving them to confront settler attacks on their own. Keeping in mind that Israeli settlers have the backing of the military and the colonial enterprise, what sort of rhetorical encouragement does the PA think it is imparting?

Israeli settlers carry out 310 attacks in just 24 hours - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/Middle East Monitor]

Israeli settlers carry out 310 attacks in just 24 hours – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/Middle East Monitor]

The PA is completely mired in the corruption of illusory state building. Palestinians have not only to face Israeli colonial violence alone, but also the PA’s collaborative violence as it does the bidding of Israel’s expansionist demands. The PA’s allegiance to Israel also pays into settler violence as part of the colonial enterprise’s foundations, allowing its continued existence on Palestinian territory. Add security coordination-collaboration to the mix, and Palestinians are truly isolated from any possible political protection for themselves and their rights. If the PA’s security services work against Palestinians at the bidding of the PA itself, then the international community is receiving the clear message that the abandonment of the Palestinian people is ongoing.

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Between Fatah’s statement and that of the PA’s Foreign Ministry calling for international protection, Palestinians have truly been left to face Israel’s terrorism alone. Throughout seven decades and more, Palestinians have been forced into the same cycle of isolation and abandonment, as happened even prior to the establishment of Israel. Fatah’s words lack any semblance of resolve; its statement is an ultimate act of cowardice.

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