Faced with Threat of “Normalization”, Palestinians Respond with Unity | Palestine News

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Gaza City – At the request of the Arab states to normalize their relations with Israel, fractured Palestinian political factions are working diligently in multilateral talks to restore unity and mend the divide between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank in negotiations far more promising than previous efforts.

The foreign ministers of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain will sign a deal with Israel at the White House on Tuesday that establishes full ties in violation of the Arab Peace Initiative. The move is a threat to long-standing Arab demands that Israel end its decades-long occupation and agree on a two-state solution with the Palestinians.

On Saturday, Palestinian groups led by Hamas and Fatah agreed on a “unified leadership on the ground” including all factions that will lead “comprehensive popular resistance” against the Israeli occupation, according to a statement.

He called Tuesday – at the signing ceremony in Washington, DC – a day of “popular rejection.” Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank are planning “day of rage” protests, with more protests expected outside embassies of Israel, the United States, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain around the world.

The formation of the joint leadership group and progress in intra-Palestinian unity talks came after a long-awaited meeting on September 3 between Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Ismail Haniya of Hamas, leader of Islamic Jihad Ziyad al-Nakhala and the leaders of various Palestinians. entities. Gatherings were held in Ramallah in the occupied West Bank and in Beirut, Lebanon.

Hamas and other Palestinian parties have demanded for years that such a meeting take place, but Abbas has consistently rejected the move, calling on Hamas to honor previous unity pacts first.

But with the Palestinian cause facing so many challenges recently – the most important being normalization between Arab countries and Israel – Abbas has agreed to hold talks.

‘Major progress’

Husam Badran, a member of Hamas’s political bureau, told Al Jazeera that several factors are pushing the Palestinians to unite, including US President Donald Trump’s “deal of the century”, plans to annex Palestinian areas by Israel and the Arab states normalizing their relations with “the occupation” and what it represented as a treacherous stab in the back of the Palestinians “.

Badran called the leadership meeting “major progress” which resulted in clear decisions on several pressing issues.

“The rush of a number of Arab countries to normalize their relations with the occupation state has pushed the issue of forming a unified leadership on the ground for popular resistance to the top of the Palestinian agenda. ”Badran said.

He added that the normalization movements “require the Palestinians to cooperate and strengthen their home front, and transcend all their differences to save the Palestinian cause.”

“The Palestinian leadership is turning their rejection of all plans aimed at liquidating the Palestinian cause into realistic measures on the ground,” Badran said.

Three committees were formed during the meeting: the first sure forming a unified field leadership to activate the popular struggle against the Israeli occupation, the second is charged with achieving an agreed vision to end the division between Gaza and the West Bank, and a third charged with reviving the Liberation Organization of Palestine (PLO).

The committees were given five weeks to submit recommendations to the Palestinian president. Abbas promised he would accept any recommendations.

Palestinian shoes are placed in photos of US President Donald Trump, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a protest [Majdi Mohammed/Reuters]

Hamas-Fatah reconciliation

Hamas and Fatah have been divided since 2007 when Hamas deposed Fatah security forces in Gaza after months of tension. Multiple attempts have since been made to bridge the gap between the two, but none have materialized.

Relations between Hamas and Fatah, however, have improved considerably recently.

Over the past two months, the two main Palestinian movements, driven by plans for Israeli annexation, have engaged in positive talks focused on presenting a unified rejection of the Israeli-American plans.

Nasser said his party was optimistic about efforts to repair the fences.

Palestinians protest against Israel’s plan to annex parts of the occupied West Bank near the city of Ramallah in June [Abbas Momani/AFP]

As the successful reconciliation efforts between Hamas and Fatah have proved elusive for more than a decade, the Palestinian people generally face any further attempts with skepticism.

Al-Dajani noted: “The reason for the progress between Hamas and Fatah was that the starting point for talks between the two movements this time around was to confront Israel and protect the Palestinian cause, as opposed to sharing the power and political ambitions.

“If this equation continues and the advancement of the Palestinian cause remains the gateway to unity talks, then Palestinian unity will come naturally and be realized. ”

Dialogue between Hamas and Fatah over the past two months has been focused on setting aside disagreements and finding common ground.

In addition to their unified rejection of Israeli and US measures against the Palestinians, both movements agreed that popular nonviolent resistance was the preferred strategy.

The joint leadership, led by Hamas and Fatah, is expected to activate popular resistance in the West Bank this week, although it did not give details.

Jibril Rajoub, secretary general of the Fatah Central Committee – which was behind the initiative within Fatah to restart talks with Hamas in June – told reporters that Palestinian factions had agreed there would be a change in the rules of engagement with the Israeli occupation forces.

“We will not allow the occupation to uproot an olive tree or injure a Palestinian without paying the price,” Rajoub said.

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