Political Analysis

The Day after the Palestinian President

By: Reham R. Owda, Political Analyst 

16/6/2018

From times to times, Palestinian people receive contradictory news about the health status of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Once there are some news that Palestinian President is in good health but he has been hospitalized for doing some medical checkup and another time there are some news that the Palestinian president is in critical health situation and his life might be under risk.

There are no clear or credible news about the real health situation of Palestinian President, which may reassure Palestinian people about the situation of their President and the future of their country, if the position of Palestinian President becomes suddenly vacant.

So far, Palestinian division between Hamas and Fatah movements continues aimed the failure of national reconciliation and the disagreement between both movements on the rule of the Gaza Strip.

Thus, Palestinians have not clear political vision regarding what next, if one day, they lost their president.

However,   there are five scenarios, if the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas leaves his position for any reasons, without assigning a new successor after him:

The Role of Supreme Constitutional Court

Since 2007 , the Palestinian Legislative Council has not been  active, so legally  it has the similar situation of  “dissolved council” ,  a situation    that  may prevent   the senior member   of Hamas and the head of the Palestinian Legislative Council , Dr. Abedlaziz  Dewik to assume  presidency of the state according to Palestinian basic law , due to legal hindrance.

 In   this case, the President of the Supreme Constitutional Court will be appointed as PA Interim President, according to the article number (120) in the Palestinian Constitution Third Draft (2003), which states:

“Should the Speaker of the House wish to submit his candidacy for presidency, or should a legal hindrance prevent him from assuming presidency, the head of the Constitutional Court shall assume presidency temporarily until election of the president. The head of the court may not be a presidential candidate”

The Role of Palestinian Prime Minister

If the President of the Constitutional Court becomes as the Interim PA President, the current Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Al Hamdallah, may continue managing the affairs of the PA institutions with the declaration of state of emergency.

The Palestinians governmental institutions in West Bank may continue operating as usual with some international support, to prevent the full collapse of Palestinian Authority, which is considered by international community, the nucleus of future Palestinian State.

Regarding Gaza, the Palestinian Authority may maintain a low-level of coordination with some of its branches in the Gaza Strip; this coordination may cover just the urgent humanitarian needs of Gazans, without involving Ramallah authority   in the paying of all Gaza bills.

 Excessive Security Plan in West Bank
Recently, many Israeli media published some concerns of former Israeli security officers, regarding the possibility of collapsing the Palestinian Authority in the day after PA President Abbas.

 But this scenario may not happen ,  as  the Palestinian Authority   in Ramallah has learned a tough  lesson from  its previous experience in the Gaza Strip , and it may not allow the repeating of  the same security mistakes done in  the past, when  Hamas succeeded in  overthrowing  it from Gaza.

It sounds that the PA security system included Palestinian General Intelligence Service, headed by Majid Faraj, have an affirmative security plan to maintain security control over the West Bank, to prevent any internal or external infiltration within the Palestinian security system, and any security chaos in West Bank.

One of  the signs of this security plan, is the previous  security measures taken by  the Palestinian authority regarding the retirement of its military and security employees  in Gaza  whom have been replaced  by  new security officers  from  West Bank.

This step indicates the desire of the Palestinian Authority to increase the number of its security personnel in West Bank to enforce strict security control over the West Bank.

Another sign of full security control of PA over the West Bank, the use of force by PA security members against the peaceful protestors of Ramallah, who demand the lifting of Abbas punishment procedures against Gaza.

The tough procedures that PA security forces applied it, for handling these types of demonstrations in West Bank, indicates that PA security leaders still have big concerns and fears of the possibility of repeating the same scenario of Hamas coup in West Bank.

Thus, they have an affirmative security policy against any political activities that may cause instability in the security and political situation in West Bank.

So far , it is quite difficult to predict that Hamas  could  do another coup against Palestinian authority  , because its military position in West Bank is not strong enough to revolt against  Palestinian Authority,  due to the continues Israeli military campaigns against Hamas members  in West Bank.

Actually, these Israeli military campaigns play a big role in the weakness of Hamas members in West Bank, particularly when Israel insists to disarm Hamas activists and prevent the growth of any new Hamas military cells in West Bank.

Presidential Election in West Bank Only
If the President of the Supreme Constitutional Court, becomes as Interim PA President, then he may start the preparations for presidential election in Gaza and West Bank.

But, it is more likely that Hamas will refuse to hold the presidential election in Gaza due to the exclusion of its member and the head of Palestinian legalization council, Dr Abdel Al Azez Dewik from the presidency.

 Therefore, it is possible that the Interim PA President will make a decision to hold the presidential election in West Bank only, without Gaza, in order to fill the vacuum in governance, and prevent the collapse of Palestinian Authority.

It is likely also; that one leader from Fatah movement or an independent leader loyal to Fatah may nominate himself for the new term of   the presidential election in West Bank, and this person could receive an official recognition    from   some Arabic and Western countries to prevent any security chaos in West Bank.

Hamas Rules Gaza until The Next War
If new Palestinian President heads the Palestinian Authority in West Bank without the agreement of Hamas, Hamas may continue ruling the Gaza Strip, as long as a new war with Israel erupts.

 Since the last war on Gaza 2014, Hamas leaders have promoted for new war witg Israel, and they named it by “The Promise of the Hereafter “, the great battle of the liberation of Jerusalem according to the statements of Dr. Mahmoud Al Zahar , a senior Hamas leader.

Thus, if Hamas involved itself in a new war with Israel, this may determine its fate in Gaza, as if it won the war this may root it more in the Gaza Strip and promote it in West Bank.
However, if Hamas lost the next war, and Israel succeeded in disarming it, a new political era may begin in the Gaza Strip without Hamas.


Analysis: The Real Reasons, behind the Great Return March in Gaza

By: Reham R. Owda

8th May 2018

In the last Friday of March 2018 ,  thousands of Gaza protesters  gathered near Gaza  boarders  with Israel , and they started  clashes with Israeli soldiers with  strong support of some  Palestinian political factions , particularly Hamas movement .

Since 30 March 2018, the young protesters have determined each Friday as a day of rage under the cadre of Great Return March, and they expose their lives for big risks of being killed by Israeli live fire or attacked by tire gas.

According to the Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza, nearly forty Palestinians have been killed and almost 2,200 wounded by live fire during Great Return March .Five of those killed were children and two were journalists.

This big number of casualties among Palestinian protesters   has raised some questions among Palestinian people about the loss and benefits of this type of dangerous demonstration near Israeli borders. In addition, led the Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas to call on Palestinians to keep their children from protests along the border between Israel and Gaza, warning of a “handicapped” generation, as the death toll from  Israeli fire on protesters in the Gaza Strip mounts.

On the other hand, Hamas leaders have declared  also that the protests of  Fridays  are just part of preparation process for the big planned march day expected  to be launched   on 15 May, 2018 , which is  the memorial day of Palestinian catastrophe ( Al Nakba).

Given the real reasons behind the   Great Return March in Gaza, I can assume that these reasons are the following:

Reminding The World by the Rights of Palestinian Refugees

In the light of internal conflict in Syria, and the crisis of Syrians refugees who flow the world. Palestinian refugees became as secondary interests for the international community, as most of the attention now is towards providing humanitarian support for Syrian refugees.  It is seldom, to find international leaders who express in this time, their concerns about the Palestinian refugees of 1948 war.

Just before  the launching of the first activities of the Great Return March by three months ago , the Trump’s  administration declared its restricted  policy  towards  UNRWA , the sole United Nations Relief Agency  targeting more than five millions registered  Palestinian refugees in the occupied Palestinian territories , Jordan , Lebanon and Syria.

Thus,  in January 2018, The US government had cut more than half of its planned funding to UNRWA,  a move that increased big  concerns among Palestinians , particularly Hamas leaders ,  as UNRWA has big programmes  which  alleviate the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

Furthermore, cutting the American funds for  UNRWA  can be considered  as indirect message from  Trump’s  administration to  Palestinian leaders  that Palestinian refugees file  will be out of negotiation table  in any final peace plan  and Palestinian refugees will  be deprived from their rights of return to British Mandated  Palestine before  1948 .

Thus , Hamas and in coordination with other left  and Islamic Palestinian political factions such as  PFLP and Islamic Jihad , support the Great Return March to alarm  the Americans first and other international leaders about the right of return for Palestinian refugees based on UN resolution number 194.

Holding Israel Accountable on Gaza Blockade

Just after the Hamas victory in the last Palestinian legalization elections in 2006 and the start of Hamas rule in Gaza, Israel had imposed siege on the Gaza strip and declared it as an enemy entity, particularly after the capture of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit by Hamas armed forces.

Until now, Israel imposes tight policy towards the Gaza Strip and it controls the main trade crossings of the strip.

Due to both Palestinian political division and the Israeli blockade, Gaza peoples suffer from dire humanitarian and economic crisis, as according to UN report, the Gaza Strip could become “uninhabitable” by 2020, if current economic trends persist.

 So far , Israel doesn’t lose any  opportunity to blame Hamas in each time on the humanitarian and economic  crisis in Gaza ,  trying to incite Gaza people against Hamas leaders through posting inciting  messages and videos against Hamas via  Israeli social media sites.

Theses  Israeli attempts of  deforming Hamas image  before  Palestinians and Arab people  led Hamas to support the Great Return  March , to return the blow  to Israel  and send it direct message  that Gaza people will revolute against Israel not Hamas and soon or later , Gaza will be as an explosive  bomb against Israel itself no longer Hamas.

        Refusing the Opening of American Embassy in Jerusalem

On 6 December , 2018 ,  the American President , Donald Trump declared that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and he will open  the American Embassy in Jerusalem during the Israeli independent day in May 2018 .

This American statement about Jerusalem  following   by  American attempts to develop  new peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians  which doesn’t meet  the expectations of Palestinian leaders ,   have inflamed  big anger among Palestinians  and particularly Hamas leaders.

Therefore, Hamas with the support of other Palestinian political factions decided to launch big march along Gaza- Israeli borders in order to express its strong rejection to the American decision on Jerusalem and any potential peace deal.

So, this Return March might be a Palestinian attempt to delay as soon as possible the process of opening the American embassy in Jerusalem and to sabotage the potential peace deal.

 Although,   the security crisis in Israeli- Gaza borders, it sounds that both Israelis and Americans leaders are insisting to open the American embassy in Jerusalem regardless of the price that they may pay due to this decision.

Launching New Intifada Aimed the Failure of Palestinian Reconciliation

 Over eleven years, Palestinians have struggled in    internal conflict between the main Palestinian political factions,    Fateh and Hamas.

 This Palestinian division spreads   anger and despair among Palestinians, until Egypt has decided to mediate strongly in the reconciliation process between Fatah and Hamas.  A step that raised some hopes among Gazans and lead Palestinian  Prime Minister,   Rami Al Hamadalloh to come in October, 2017  to Gaza with his officers  in historical visit covered by most of Palestinian and Arabic media.

On  12 March  2018 , the Palestinian Prime Minister , Rami Al Hamadallah and  the head of Palestinian security intelligence , Majed  Faraj came for second time to Gaza to open water desalination  project .  A  short visit   that resulted  a death threat  against both Hamadallah and Faraj ,  due to the  explosion of  bomb  planted in the main road  between Erez crossing , Gaza side and Beith Hanoun.

This explosion changed completely the political game between Hamas and Palestinian authority in Ramallah, and increased more the conflict between both, which led to the big failure of Palestinian reconciliation.

So far, the failure of Palestinian reconciliation causes    huge disappointment of   Gaza people from their political leaders, so for Hamas    the Return March could be a great opportunity for it to orient the negative feelings of Gaza people towards Israel, in order to reduce   certain   amount of popular pressure on Hamas.

With this Return March ,  Hams has succeed also in portraying Israeli soldiers before international community as violent soldiers who kill peaceful protestors , and most human rights activists   may blame now Israel not Hamas on the using of excessive force    against  civilian protestors .

Furthermore, the head of Hamas bureau, Isamel Hanieh declared officially that the Great Return March will be the first step of launching Intifada for Jerusalem and against the Israeli occupation, announcing   new phase in Palestinian political arena.

Imposing Pressure on Israel to Make Prisoners’ Deal

After the end of Gaza War 2014 , Hamas declared that it had captured  two Israeli soldiers Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul, but  Israeli army  announced that both soldiers were killed during the war and it asked Hamas to return their bodies  soon.

Later, Israeli government announced the missing of two live, apparently mentally ill Israeli civilians Abera Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayed, who entered Gaza of their own volition in 2014 and 2015, respectively.

The main goal of Hamas in keeping Israeli prisoners in Gaza is to exchange them with hundreds of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons, similar to what happened in previous Shalit deal.

However, Israeli government turned a blind eye on any threat of Hamas related to Israeli prisoners, and it denies that Hamas has live Israeli soldiers.

So the delay of Israeli decision towards the possibility of making prisoners’ exchange deal  with  Hamas,  led  Hamas leaders to use also  the card of Great Return March , as a pressuring tool  to force  Israel to make big prisoners’ deal ,  similar to the previous deal of Shalit in 2011.

Thus, many rumors spread   about the possibility of starting indirect and secret negotiations between Hamas and Israeli government via Egypt, so far, Hamas leaders may want to use the Return March as security pressure on Israel to make it accepts their negotiation conditions.

Sabotaging the Building of Security Barriers along Israeli Borders with Gaza

Through the continues attempts of Israeli military to expose Hamas tunnels near Israeli borders, and the start of building Israeli security barriers under the ground of  Israeli  borders with Gaza.

Hamas may recognize that there is a serious threat on its strategic attack weapon against Israel that can be used in any potential war.

Therefore Hamas might find  the Great Return March  organized near the Israeli borders,  and the clashes between Gaza protestors and Israeli soldiers,  as new political tactic   to  sabotage the Israeli military project against Hamas tunnels  , if not it will certainly delay it  for long period,  until Hamas find practical  solution  for protecting its tunnels.


Short Brief  about Political and Humanitarian Situation in Gaza

March , 2018

By : Reham Owda

The Palestinian political context is one of the most complicated context in the Middle East  due to the nature of   Israeli-Palestinian conflict which last more than 60 years without reaching  any just solution for both Peoples.

Since  OSLO accord , the peace process between  Israelis and Palestinians has faced many challenges and obstacles such as the expansion of Israeli settlements in West Bank , the  long delay of  finding just solution for   Palestinian refugees , the control of Hamas over the Gaza Strip and the unilateral political steps taken by both parties , the Israeli government and Palestinian authority.

All these challenges had been reflected negatively on the political situation in Palestine and delayed the final solution of the Palestinian political conflict.

In addition to the negative impacts of  Israeli Palestinian conflict , the political situation in Palestinian is deteriorating  due to the Israeli wars on Gaza ,  the continues Palestinian division between  Hamas and Fatah movements  and the blockade on the Gaza Strip which have negative implications on the human rights situation in Palestinian community and the economic and social situation in Gaza as most of  Gaza civilians are denied from their basic human right which is the freedom of movement and travel due to the closure  of  Rafah crossing , the main gate of Gaza to the external world.  Due to Blockade and Palestinian division , Gaza population suffer also from humanitarian crisis such as shortage of electricity, lack of water , the  pollution of its main sea and the high percent of unemployment among youth  , all these problems  led United Nations to declare international alert to save Gaza as it will be not  livable  place by 2020.


Four Scenarios, If Gaza Becomes As Rebel Territory

By: Reham. R. Owda, Political Analyst

Written on 25/5/2017

In mid-March 2017, Hamas movement had created an administrative committee to manage the internal affairs of the Gaza Strip.

This committee is considered by the most of Palestinians politicians,  as shadow government that plays a big role in   marginalizing   the Ministers of the Consensus Government, whom appointed by the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas

Following the official announcement of Hamas, about the launch of the first activity of this committee, President Abbas  sent on 18/4/2017 his Fateh delegation, to ask Hamas for dissolving the  committee and handing over  Gaza to the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah

But, Hamas leaders have refused Abbas demands, challenging him by keeping the administrative committee supervising the affairs of the Gaza Strip.

The refusal of Hamas for dissolving the committee, has led Abbas to announce his new intolerant policy towards Hamas members in Gaza.

So, he has threatened  Hamas by  cutting the financial funds for  certain sectors in Gaza, such as stopping the payment for the electricity and the water , that Palestinian Government  buys it from Israeli companies

Abbas also sent instruction to  the Palestinian Ministry of Finance,  to  deduct  30%  from  the salaries of Palestinian Authority employees who are based in Gaza

These serious steps, considered by most of Palestinian people as tough measures that may increase more pressure on Hamas leaders in Gaza and might deteriorate the security and humanitarian conditions in Gaza Therefore, it is difficult to ignore the big signs behinds these new measures taken by Palestinian President Abbas

As, if Hamas continues defying Abbas and sabotaging his  plan  to restore Gaza again,  it is  expected  that President Abbas may sooner or later declare  Gaza as a rebel territory

Given the possibility of announcing Gaza as a rebel territory, this means that Palestinian Authority abandons  its  responsibilities for covering the financial expenses of the Gaza Strip

Furthermore, Palestinian Authority may stop its payment  for  employees salaries and the costs of other vital sectors in Gaza, such as education, health and  energy, in order to impose  a complete separation between Gaza and the West Bank and punish Hamas movement for its refusal to hand over the Gaza Strip

Thus, if Gaza becomes as a rebel territory, the most likely scenarios that might happen could be:

Scenario One:  An Excessive Rule and Economic Austerity

On 22/04/2017, the Hams leader, Musheer Al Massery, stated in one conference conducted in Gaza named ” Enough for The Siege” , that Hamas has a plan to handle any action taken by President Abbas to separate  from Gaza

Therefore, it is expected that Hamas movement will accept the big challenge to rule Gaza alone, through its administrative committee and without any funds from the Palestinian Authority

And, to maintain full security control on Gaza , it is  estimated  also that Hamas will impose more excessive laws and procedures against any youth activists or political opponents, who may harshly criticize Hamas , in order to prevent them from influencing Gazans to revolute against its rule in Gaza

It is also predicted that Hamas will apply a diplomatic policy with civil society organizations operating in Gaza, to encourage them for providing humanitarian assistance to the needy people, a support that could alleviate the pressure on Hamas

Scenario Two: Humanitarian Disaster and International Aids

In this scenario, it is expected that Hamas will cover only the salaries of its employees, and will not take responsibility for covering the salaries of other PA employees, nor the cost of supplying electricity, water, health and education services for Gazans

 In addition, this potential reaction of Hamas may cause a major humanitarian disaster, and lead to the declaration of the state of emergency in Gaza.

These possible humanitarian crises may lead also United Nations organizations, and civil society members, such as Non -Governmental Organizations (NGOs) to launch an urgent appeal and advocacy campaigns to call on international community members to provide humanitarian aids for Gaza people, and lift the siege on Gaza

It is possible also, that Qatar and Turkey interfere in this situation, through providing humanitarian support to the Strip

Further intervention from Palestinian leader, Mohammed Dahlan is also, expected to promote himself as hero savior of Gazans, through intermediating between Hamas and Egypt to reopen Rafah Crossing

Scenario Three: Burning War and Huge Destruction

In this scenario, Israel may exploit the potential decision of Abbas of announcing the Gaza strip as rebel territory, and it may increase its siege on Hamas by closing all Israeli trade crossings on Gaza borders, and halting all financial transactions to Gaza banks

So, if Israel reacts in this way,  this might cause a major  failure of Hamas economic austerity policy,  and will inflame the anger of Hamas political leaders, and their military wings who will ask for a big revenge from Israel ,  and in the meanwhile drawing again the attention of the world towards the humanitarian disaster in Gaza, through launching new limited war against Israel

However, this scenario is less likely to happen , because Israel is not interested in involving itself  in a new war on Gaza , due to the high possibility of  causing big loss to the economic sector in Israel

Therefore, it is expected that Israel will increase the economic facilities for Gaza, whenever Israeli government feels that Gaza is about to explode, applying in this way the policy of “venting the balloon ” ,before pecking it

Thus, if  Hamas lost hope because of the humanitarian crisis , and the Israeli siege on it,  then Hamas may involve itself  in another war against Israel.

 And, in case this war starts between Hamas and Israel ,  it  may turns upside down the political and security situation in Gaza  , as Israel may exploit this new , unplanned and random war to end the rule of Hamas in Gaza, and demilitarize  the Strip from its weapons

 This hypothese is developed based on statements of Israeli Defense Minister Avigdore  Liberman, who declared through  his interview with Walla News on 28/4/2017 : “if will be any new war on Gaza in the future , this war will continue till the end  and will topple the rule of Hamas in Gaza”

Furthermore, it is speculated also, that if Israel succeeds in ending the Hamas rule in Gaza after the new war, it may request from the United Nations to send its peacekeeping forces to manage the affairs of the Gaza Strip for short period

And, according to an article published by Al Monitor website, the possibility of sending international forces to Gaza had been already discussed between the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu and the Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Julie Bishop when they had met in Sydney on 26/02/2017.

Thus,   if the United Nations accepts to send its forces to Gaza, after the expected  new war , it is estimated that the international forces will hand over Gaza  to Palestinian Interim Committee, to lead the transitional   phase in the Gaza Strip,  and prepare for the new presidential and legislative elections ,that may lead to the start of   a new political era in Gaza without  Hamas

Scenario Four: Rebellion and Extremist Armed Groups

This scenario could happen, if Hamas fails in imposing its security control over Gaza, due to poverty, unemployment, power cuts, crossing closures and the inability of Hamas to pay the salaries of its military members

Thus, a partial split in the ranks of the movement, and an internal rebellion by some of its military members could happen, which may lead to the emergence of secret rebel movements

Moreover, those rebels  may make coup against the rule of Hamas, and form extremist armed groups, in order to gradually control Gaza, dumping it into vortex of serious violence and security chaos

However, this scenario is less likely to occur in Gaza, because Hamas is known for the the strength of its internal structure, and the loyalty of its members, who adopt Islamic ideology, that promote the principles of “hearing and obedience” to the commander, the strong faith in Jihadist battles and the patience for the trials and tribulations

 Finally, these four scenarios could happen only, based on how Hamas reaction will be, and the decision of Palestinian president Abbas, if he declares officially Gaza as a rebel territory or not, so this will be clear in the coming period that will determine the future of Gaza and Hamas


Hopes and Fears of two Peoples

By:Reham R. Owda

Written on 10/11/2013

Since the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu had been assigned to form the new Israeli government in February 2013, he immediately announced, that the top priorities of his new government will be preventing Iran to create nuclear weapons and restart peace negotiations with the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah headed by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas

At that time, the U.S Secretary of State, John Kerry announced that President Barack Obama planned to visit Israel and West Bank in order to motivate both Palestinians and Israelis to re-negotiate again. Moreover, Secretary Kerry said he had phoned President Abbas and informed him the Obama Administration is insisting very much to reactivate the peace process between Israeli government and Palestinian Authority, as the administration considers the negotiation as the best solution for creating peace in Middle East and establishing two independent states following the 1967 borders according to the United Nations resolution 242

But now, after more than five months of holding many negotiations among the Palestinians and the Israelis , the Palestinian people begin to feel bored and frustrated particularly when they hear from both Israeli and Palestinian media there’s no progress on the ground, and both negotiating parties are still struggling to convince each other on the rights of their people

Thus it is very clear that there is still a lack of trust and hope between both Israeli and Palestinian negotiating teams as every time an Israeli officer or a Palestinian leader declares through media that the negotiations are leading nowhere and that these negotiations will not succeed in resolving the long held conflict between Palestinians and Israelis

So the question I’m raising here – if both parties don’t believe in negotiating, why are they still negotiating? Do they negotiate because of the pressure from the U.S.? Do they use the negotiations as a tool for pressing each other in order to gain more time to achieve their ultimate goals?

From my observation of the positions of both conflicting sides, I can say that the Palestinians aim to release their prisoners from Israeli prisons, remove the Israeli settlements from Jerusalem and West Bank, find a just solution for the problem of Palestinian refugees, and finally have their independent state on the 1967 borders with a capital in East Jerusalem. The Israelis aim to have the Jewish state recognized by Palestinians, have Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, keep some settlements as a final line of defense, and protect their national security from any potential attack directed by members of a Palestinian military resistance

But if we focus more on the way the negotiation process, we notice that each side continuously wants to exploit as much time as possible to achieve its short term objectives

Concerning the Palestinian side, the Palestinian Authority officers are negotiating now with Israeli government officers because they feel under the pressure of U.S. that promised them support of the economy of the Palestinian Territories, meanwhile these officers also want to gain the support of the international community which funds almost 1/3 of Palestinian Authority’s annual budget; one that implements many humanitarian and development projects in Gaza and West Bank

So far, it’s sad to say that at this stage in peace negotiations no one on the Israeli and Palestinian sides are seriously discussing a final solution for the conflict which is now over 60 years old. Unfortunately, they just keep meeting each other many times over under the pressure of U.S. and without any self motivations, then they comment negatively through media on the results of their meetings

These constant negative comments certainly discourage the Palestinian people in a particular way and makes them think a peace with Israel is ‘Mission Impossible’. Therefore some Palestinian intellectuals believe the Oslo agreements have failed and consider it a dead agreement, which should be deleted from the history of Palestinian policy and replaced with a new political strategy that depends on a popular resistance or even a military one

I believe that peace is not just a promise, a signed agreement or a ceremony; peace is an action that should occur based on good intention, accountability, and mutual confidence between both conflict sides. We can’t demand a solution from politicians who don’t at least trust one another, and that believe the security and future of their countries are always threatened by each other’s people

Actually, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not simply over land with an area of only 27,009 KM2, it’s a conflict about the right for existence two people in a land that has been consecrated by the three major religions in Middle East (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) which is why some extremist religious leaders keep painting this conflict as a holy war between believers and infidels

I suppose the best ways for the success of the peace process in the Middle East could be with steps: evaluate the results of previous peace negotiations and Oslo agreement to learn from its weak and strong points, build a bridge of trust between the two negotiating teams, create common ground between both sides, assign fair/balanced media spokesmen that actually represent the two in order to avoid contradictory comments from the politicians, and certainly keep negotiating with direct involvement and in accordance with international law


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