United against the "Deal of the Century"

ISR141112JB005RAMMALAH – Almost 13 years after Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip and Fatah retained power in the West Bank, inaugurating a bitter division in Palestinian politics, President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have managed to unite the two rivals. 

Both Fatah and Hamas bitterly oppose Trump and Netanyahu’s proposed peace deal, saying it does little to nothing for their beleaguered people.

“This is not a deal. It is a deceptive plan ignoring the international laws and accords aiming to expand the Israeli settlements,” said Fatah spokesman Osama Al-Qawasmi. “It is an apartheid policy against the Palestinians.”
Under the plan Israel would assume control of the Jordan Valley along Israel’s eastern border and gain sovereignty over Jewish settlements in the West Bank. But Israel would also cede a large swatch of territory near the Egyptian border to Palestine. A tunnel would link the Gaza Strip and West Bank, which are now separated. Palestine would receive $50 billion in economic development aid but give up its right to have a military.
Fatah was prepared to oppose the deal with any legal and peaceful means necessary, said Al-Qawasmi.
Hamas spokesman Abdul Latif Al-Qanouh agreed that the deal must be oppossed. But he said the peace plan was proof that the Fatah-controlled Palestinian Authority should stop coordinating with the Israeli military, withdraw recognition of Israel and take up arms against the occupying power – demands that Hamas has been making on the authority for years.
“Palestinian armed resistance and Palestinian unity are the main sole ways to confront this dangerous deal,” Al-Qanouh said.
Ordinary Palestinians were similarly unified in their felt dislike of the deal but torn on how to respond.
“Armed resistance is the sole way to stop this deal from being implemented on the ground,” said Sundus Al-Farajah, 20, from Bethlehem. “We have nothing to lose. We do not have any control over our lives as Israel controls everything. Armed resistance cannot make our lives worse than what it is now.” 
Bilal Muhna, a 29-years-old Gaza resident, said the deal would make it impossible for him to ever receive compensation for an Israeli strike that destroyed his house in 2014. “The entire plan aims to give Israel the green light to continue its policy against the Palestinians,” he said.
But he added that “protest, peaceful resistance without any use of weapons or violence is the only way to react against this deal in every areas in Palestine.” 
Many Palestinians felt the deal merely solidified Israeli acquisitions of Palestinian lands over the years, including Jewish settlements. As part of the deal, the US would recognize those settlements, but the international community largely remains otherwise unified in condemning them as illegal seizures of territory.
“This deal gives the rest of the Palestinian lands to the Israelis who occupy and confiscate more Palestinian lands, while giving the Palestinians nothing rather than dehumanization at the Israeli checkpoints,” said Suha Hroub, 32, who lives in Ramallah, referring to security measures between Palestinian and Israeli land.
Layla Ayyad, 26, from Abu Dis, said the deal is less a vision for change than a mechanism for solidifying the status quo. In that sense, she argued, the plan at least a starting point that reflects the truth on the ground. “Trump described the real borders and territories of the Palestinian and Israelis,” she said. “There is nothing surprising in this deal. Everything is reflected on the ground. What Trump does is, he is giving the green light and legal rights to recognize the reality.”
Some felt as if the proposal might at least change the dynamics that have dominated the region.
Mohammad Jaber from Hebron, 43-years old, a real estate broker from Hebron, considered the deal an opportunity. “The Palestinian authority adopts negotiation and peace talks with Israelis, and this deal is a result of this policy,” he said. “This deal cannot be worse than Oslo [peace accords of the 1990s.] Every time we reject something, we lose more; people, houses, lands, and rights.” 
University of Gaza Political Scientist Adnan Abu Amer feared the plan would occur whether or not the Palestinians welcomed it. The plan’s naysayers needed to launch an effective campaign to stop it, he said.
“A miracle should happen to stop this deal, such as Netanyahu loses the election, huge changes among the Arab leaders to support the Palestinians, or a remarkable armed resistance and operations against the Israelis,” he said. “Otherwise, the deal will be implemented on the ground sooner or later.”

Photo: The Temple Mount – Haram al-Sharif to Muslims – in Jerusalem is at the center of an intense debate over messianic religious Zionism in Israeli politics and society, and what it means for the future of the peace process.
Credit: Jabeen Bhatti/ARA Network Inc. (11/12/14)

Story/photo published date: 02/02/20

RAMMALAH – Almost 13 years after Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip and Fatah retained power in the West Bank, inaugurating a bitter division in Palestinian politics, President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have managed to unite the two rivals.

Both Fatah and Hamas bitterly oppose Trump and Netanyahu’s proposed peace deal, saying it does little to nothing for their beleaguered people.

“This is not a deal. It is a deceptive plan ignoring the international laws and accords aiming to expand the Israeli settlements,” said Fatah spokesman Osama Al-Qawasmi. “It is an apartheid policy against the Palestinians.”

Under the plan Israel would assume control of the Jordan Valley along Israel’s eastern border and gain sovereignty over Jewish settlements in the West Bank. But Israel would also cede a large swatch of territory near the Egyptian border to Palestine. A tunnel would link the Gaza Strip and West Bank, which are now separated. Palestine would receive $50 billion in economic development aid but give up its right to have a military.

Fatah was prepared to oppose the deal with any legal and peaceful means necessary, said Al-Qawasmi.

Hamas spokesman Abdul Latif Al-Qanouh agreed that the deal must be oppossed. But he said the peace plan was proof that the Fatah-controlled Palestinian Authority should stop coordinating with the Israeli military, withdraw recognition of Israel and take up arms against the occupying power – demands that Hamas has been making on the authority for years.

“Palestinian armed resistance and Palestinian unity are the main sole ways to confront this dangerous deal,” Al-Qanouh said.

Ordinary Palestinians were similarly unified in their felt dislike of the deal but torn on how to respond.

“Armed resistance is the sole way to stop this deal from being implemented on the ground,” said Sundus Al-Farajah, 20, from Bethlehem. “We have nothing to lose. We do not have any control over our lives as Israel controls everything. Armed resistance cannot make our lives worse than what it is now.”

 

 

Bilal Muhna, a 29-years-old Gaza resident, said the deal would make it impossible for him to ever receive compensation for an Israeli strike that destroyed his house in 2014. “The entire plan aims to give Israel the green light to continue its policy against the Palestinians,” he said.

But he added that “protest, peaceful resistance without any use of weapons or violence is the only way to react against this deal in every areas in Palestine.”

Many Palestinians felt the deal merely solidified Israeli acquisitions of Palestinian lands over the years, including Jewish settlements. As part of the deal, the US would recognize those settlements, but the international community largely remains otherwise unified in condemning them as illegal seizures of territory.

“This deal gives the rest of the Palestinian lands to the Israelis who occupy and confiscate more Palestinian lands, while giving the Palestinians nothing rather than dehumanization at the Israeli checkpoints,” said Suha Hroub, 32, who lives in Ramallah, referring to security measures between Palestinian and Israeli land.

Layla Ayyad, 26, from Abu Dis, said the deal is less a vision for change than a mechanism for solidifying the status quo. In that sense, she argued, the plan at least a starting point that reflects the truth on the ground. “Trump described the real borders and territories of the Palestinian and Israelis,” she said. “There is nothing surprising in this deal. Everything is reflected on the ground. What Trump does is, he is giving the green light and legal rights to recognize the reality.”

Some felt as if the proposal might at least change the dynamics that have dominated the region.

Mohammad Jaber from Hebron, 43-years old, a real estate broker from Hebron, considered the deal an opportunity. “The Palestinian authority adopts negotiation and peace talks with Israelis, and this deal is a result of this policy,” he said. “This deal cannot be worse than Oslo [peace accords of the 1990s.] Every time we reject something, we lose more; people, houses, lands, and rights.”

University of Gaza Political Scientist Adnan Abu Amer feared the plan would occur whether or not the Palestinians welcomed it. The plan’s naysayers needed to launch an effective campaign to stop it, he said.

“A miracle should happen to stop this deal, such as Netanyahu loses the election, huge changes among the Arab leaders to support the Palestinians, or a remarkable armed resistance and operations against the Israelis,” he said. “Otherwise, the deal will be implemented on the ground sooner or later.”

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