Opposition to Trump’s Israel policies unites Fatah, PLO

Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas chairs a meeting of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Executive Committee at the Palestinian Authority headquarters in the West Bank city of Ramallah on February 3. (AFP)
Updated 05 February 2018

Opposition to Trump’s Israel policies unites Fatah, PLO

AMMAN: Palestine’s often-fractious political scene has united behind the proactive policies of President Mahmoud Abbas in his reaction to recent decisions by US President Donald Trump and his administration.
Following a meeting of Fatah’s Central Committee on Sunday, committee member Abbas Zaki told Arab News that Fatah greatly admired Abbas’ recent work for the Palestinian cause.
“We really appreciated the non-stop actions of the president as he stands firm for Palestinian rights and tries to minimize the damage caused by any refusal to cooperate with America’s unilateral policies.”
Fatah’s central committee issued a statement welcoming the decision by the executive committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) to create a higher committee to implement the decisions of the Palestine Central Council.
The statement rejected America’s recent actions and called on the international community “to agree to a new mechanism that is able to establish a basis for any political process that can lead to a political process and peace.”
The PLO issued its own statement on Sunday, in which it said that the new higher committee will look into suspending recognition of Israel until Israel recognizes Palestine in accordance with the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital. The PLO and Israel exchanged letters of recognition on the eve of the signing of the September 13, 1993 Oslo Accords.
Neither the PLO or Fatah made any direct reference in their statements to suspending security coordination with Israel.
Explaining why Fatah met after the PLO executive committee and not before — as is usually the case — Zaki said: “We are not in a revolutionary phase now and we need to be careful during this sensitive period.”
A source close to the PLO claimed Abbas held the meeting of the PLO executive committee first because he has more influence on it.
“Some factions of the PLO receive monthly stipends and therefore the president is able to pass the decisions he wants much more easily within the PLO executive committee than within Fatah,” the source told Arab News.
Omar Kullab, a Jordanian-Palestinian columnist with roots in Gaza, told Arab News that emotions are currently running high in Fatah cadres, particularly in Gaza.
“Rank and file Fatah personnel in Gaza are very upset and want to end the charade called the peace process,” he said. “They want Fatah to make decisions that encourage resistance to the Israeli occupation.”
In its statement on Sunday, Fatah did praise Palestinians who stood up to Israeli settlers. It also called on Palestinians to document cases of land theft so that they can be presented as war crimes at the International Criminal Court.
Both Fatah and the PLO vehemently condemned the Trump administration’s recent actions in their statement, included its unilateral recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, its threat to cut off funding of any country that voted in favor of a draft resolution asking the US to reverse that decision, and its significant reduction in America’s financial contribution to the United Nations.

Protests to escalate with bigger Palestinian participation in Gaza and beyond

Updated 26 April 2018

Protests to escalate with bigger Palestinian participation in Gaza and beyond

LONDON: Hamas movement’s senior political leader Ismael Haniyeh has warned Israel that forthcoming protests at the border with Gaza are to intensify in the next few weeks.

Hanieh, in a speech in Gaza, promised Israel that protests will escalate after May 15 and will draw Palestinians living in Israel as well as Palestinian diaspora in refugee camps and neighboring countries.

In addition, Haniyyeh said that earlier protests achieved their initial goal by reminding the world that the Palestinians are still suffering under Israeli occupation.

The Hamas leader promised larger demonstrations at the start of Ramadan, that will coincide with the 70th anniversary of Nakba, and the date chosen to transfer the US embassy to Jerusalem as well as the anniversary of the creation of the state of Israel.

A senior official in the Supreme National Council governing the ‘March of Return’ revealed that officials held meetings with the Fatah movement in the Gaza Strip, during which they agreed that all parties will arrange similar protests in the coming weeks.

The official also advised Palestinians in neighboring countries to join the protests against Israel as long as this does not expose them to reprisals, danger or violence on the day.

The senior official said that the Israeli authorities are on high alert and fear for the first time since 1967 that matters might escalate dangerously in May, the month Israelis celebrate the creation of the state of Israel.

And he added that Israel is preparing for a potential Israeli-Palestinian exodus toward villages and towns they were kicked out from in 1948 by Zionist gangs.