Palestinian factions are currently engaged in talks for the formation of a National Unity Government . This is, on the surface, a good thing, since unity is power and strength. But at the same time, on the ground, there are several activities going on which put into jeopardy the whole Palestinian struggle and aspiration for national liberation.
Chaos is one of the most dangerous issues that could jeopardize the long and ongoing Palestinian struggle for liberation, freedom, and a democratic Palestinian State.
Recent attacks carried out by armed groups against public and private facilities, attacks and killings of political figures and civilians, attacks against reporters and press agencies and other sorts of illegal activities are indeed leading the Palestinian people down the wrong path.
Freedom of press and opinion is one of the foundations of any democratic society, and the Palestinian people are working hard in order to preserve these rights and protect them. But when an armed group, whether it carries a name or not, attacks a press agency or reporter in the name of any cause, and this group remains in hiding, then we are facing a serious obstacle that endangers our dreams of freedom and liberation.
When our struggle against the occupation, the ever expanding settlements and the illegal Annexation Wall becomes an internal conflict, then where is our cause heading?!
The Israeli policies are systematic. Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip and made a huge public show of the Jewish soldiers evacuating Jewish residents. In fact, Israel was evacuating settlements from the Gaza Strip only to be expanding settlements and annexing more land in the occupied West Bank.
Now, the Palestinians are engaged in unity talks in an attempt to form a national unity government. This is good news indeed, but these talks have been going on for several months to no avail.
The two biggest factions, Fateh and Hamas, are engaged in a power struggle, taking into consideration that the Fateh movement, which ruled the P.A since 1996, became the second biggest party ofter the Hamas movement achieved an overwhelming victory in the legislative elections in 2006.
The victory of Hamas was not a surprise to most Palestinians, especially since the movement won most of the posts in the municipal elections that took place in 2005.
But, is Hamas the problem? Is Fateh the problem? Why are several armed groups engaging in violent armed clashes that have claimed the lives of many civilians?
After Hamas won the legislative elections last year the United States and Israel led an international campaign to isolate the movement. They imposed sanctions on the Palestinian government blocking international aid, an issue which rendered the Hamas-led government ineffective after it was unable to pay salaries or provide the residents of Palestine with any services.
One of the main questions that unity talks are facing is, will the United States and Israel accept this government? Will international aid be resumed?
But the question is, in fact, will the United States and Israel recognize any Palestinian government that includes even one member of Hamas??
The U.S says that Hamas must recognize Israel, denounce violence, and accept the previous agreements between Israel and the Palestinian Liberation organization.
Hamas says that its fighters are resistance fighters, and that it cannot recognize a country (Israel) that is still occupying the Palestinian people, building settlements and Walls on their lands, and attacking the residents on a daily basis.
Several senior Hamas leaders, including the Palestinian Prime Minister, Ismail Haniyya, offered an extended truce, not a recognition of Israel.
The truce includes stopping all kinds of attacks, either in Israel or in the occupied territories, but in return Israel must withdraw from the lands it illegally captured in 1967, including the East of Jerusalem, and should evacuate its settlements and dismantle the illegal Wall.
Looking at the general atmosphere in Palestine gives one a dim feeling, there seems no hope for any upcoming peace solution. The Palestinian people are still living under occupation, surrounded by settlements and the Wall, stopped and harassed at Israeli military checkpoints and yet are also suffering from internal clashes by gunmen of different groups.
But this chaos was not created overnight, it is a systematic procedure, a master plan. It is meant to create violence and internal clashes between brothers, while Israel continues its plans of settlement expansion, and the construction of the Wall.
All factions are willing to create a unity government, but will this government satisfy the United States, Israel and the European Union? What kind of government does the “international community” want, or is it really that the international community, or the ordinary Americans and Europeans, are the ones who are imposing sanctions on the Palestinian people?!
Recently, several Israeli leaders have been talking about a Palestinian State. The US government is also talking about this state, but what kind of state? A state that has huge prison walls for borders? A State that does not have geographical continuity? A State whose farmers cannot reach their orchards and farmlands, isolated behind the Wall, unless they receive a permit from Israel??
What hope do the Palestinians have right now? In Gaza they are living in the biggest prison on earth, surrounded by electronic fences and doors that only Israel controls. And in the West Bank, the homeland is quickly becoming another huge prison. Israel continues to construct the Wall that swallows the land and isolates the people from each other and from their orchards, and places them under an indefinite and ongoing sentence of detention.