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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

The war is against Palestine not Hamas

The new Palestinian government should strive to restore national unity and end the division and should not be a sham government with a mission to fill the vacuum
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Among the paradoxes that could even be agonising is that, at a time when we see global popular attitudes and some official ones supportive of Gaza and its resistance in most world countries including the US, the Zionist entity has succeeded to portray its war on Gaza as a war against a rebellious faction rather than a war against all the Palestinians, thus we have more than one Palestine.


It seems that some Palestinians were deceived by the Israeli stratagem when the whole world saw heated argument and media accusations on the Palestinian side to the extent of criminalising the resistance which is confronting the Nato in its entirety and at a time when Arab and Islamic countries backed Israel in its war against Gaza by supplying it with all its needs and are fuelling its war machine.


Delegating Mohammad Mustafa to appoint a new Palestinian government sparked a debate between Fatah and Hamas movements with Hamas believing that appointing a government without a national consensus is a step devoid of content and further deepens the Palestinian strife.


This opinion was also shared by the Palestine Islamic Jihad (PIJ), the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), the Palestinian National Initiative Movement (Al Mubadara).


These factions are of the opinion that the top national priority for the time being is confronting the barbaric Zionist aggression and its war of extermination and starvation rather than forming a new government. Forming a government without national consensus reinforces the policy of exclusivity and worsens division at this historic juncture.


The Fatah movement voiced its disapproval stating, according to the Palestine News and Information Agency (WAFA): “Whoever caused Israel’s reoccupation of the Gaza Strip and caused the disaster that the Palestinian people are experiencing does not have the right to dictate national priorities.”


That wasn’t sufficient for Fatah movement, it went on wondering “Why do most of Hamas’ leaders live abroad?” Why did Hamas’ leaders and their families flee leaving the Palestinian people facing a brutal war of extermination without any protection?”


Nevertheless, the truth known by Fatah and the whole world is that this is a fallacy belied by reality.


It is apparent that Gaza alone bore the brunt of the Israeli war and the Fatah movement was totally out of the scene. It’s because the Israeli entity’s plan is to follow a gradual plan to take the Palestinian factions one by one meaning that the turn is coming for all factions. That is not a secret.


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hinted to that in statements reported by the Israeli Broadcasting Corporation at the end of last year when he didn’t rule out the outbreak of a parallel war in the West Bank against the Palestinian Authority forces and that a scenario of war breaking out between Palestinian security in the West Bank and the Israeli army is on the table of the government and security services.


He went on further to say: “The government and the security services are prepping for this scenario, so that if it happened there would be helicopters in the air within a few minutes.”


The problem between the Fatah and Hamas movements is old, it is attributed to the growing influence of Hamas and its rejection of the humiliating Oslo Accords which constituted a major issue for President Yasser Arafat, chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and leader of the Fatah movement who signed the agreements and recognised Israel in exchange for Israel’s recognition of the PLO as the representative of the Palestinian people.


The Oslo Accords stipulated that the Palestine Liberation Organization abandons the armed struggle approach against Israel and amend some clauses of the Palestinian National Charter related to the armed struggle approach adopted by the Palestinian factions affiliated with the PLO.


However, the Hamas movement and other Palestinian factions announced their rejection of any peace agreement that abolishes the right to claim historic Palestine, insisting to continue military action against Israel which led it to direct clashes with the Fatah movement.


Hence, there were two different approaches which led to a clash between the two parties. Even so, Fatah and Hamas avoided clashes in the first months of the war on Gaza, the decision to form a new government triggered verbal confrontation between the two factions again and brought the strife to the public.


It is by no means that Hamas and Islamic Jihad movements can be ignored nor removed from the political equation. That’s because they represent an authentic component of the Palestinian people and there is no point in forming a government in which the opinion of Hamas or any other Palestinian faction is not taken into account. Otherwise, it will seem as a formation outside the national will of all Palestinians in light of the ongoing fierce war on Gaza.


It seems that the decision to form the new government was taken in the context of ‘understandings with Arab and Western countries involved in the arrangements for the next day in Gaza’, a source within the Palestinian Authority told Asharq Al Awsat newspaper adding that president Mahmoud Abbas’s decision to form the government came in the context that ‘there is no need to wait for someone and that the priorities that Hamas talks about such as providing relief to the people and rebuilding the Gaza Strip, entail the formation of a government capable of doing that.’


Before everyone’s turn comes, it seems that it is coming inevitably, the Palestinians need to reinforce their internal front and leave behind the divisions and conflict between the Palestinian factions.


Division is normal owing to the differences in views of those who believe in armed struggle and those who believe in a false peace that has not been achieved despite the passage of many years since the Oslo Accords.


The new Palestinian government should strive to restore national unity and end the Palestinian division. It should not be a sham government with a mission to fill the vacuum and handle day-to-day duties. I believe that it is time to take radical and fateful steps to restore the former glory of the Palestinian struggle.


The dreams of peace cannot continue without embracing the ideology of resistance.


Perhaps the dispute between the Hamas and Fatah movements, which has come out to the public forcefully, will open the way for new generations to should Palestinian responsibility under a united banner and one goal. In the end, this war is against Palestine and not only against Hamas or Gaza.


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