2014: Additional misery for Palestinians
It is shameful for any Palestinian to consider last April's reconciliation agreement between Fatah and Hamas an achievement. The agreement failed to bridge the political, social and psychological divisions between Gaza and Ramallah, or to include an assessment by the groups' leaders into why the two groups had been divided for seven wretched years.
In addition, the leaders of the Palestinian Authority (PA) have failed to change their attitude towards Gaza and the Palestinian cause in general after Israel's war of aggression on Gaza last summer (unless we consider visits by PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah to Gaza an important national achievement).
|Everyone is responsible for this further Palestinian descent into misery in 2014.|
It had been hoped that PA President Mahmoud Abbas would have visited Gaza after last summer's fighting to console the wounded and the families of the martyrs, and personally inspect the destruction.
The president should have bolstered the reconciliation process by moving his office to Shejaiya in Gaza, one of the areas worst affected by the latest Israeli aggression. He should have used his good relations with the authorities in Cairo, or put pressure on the Egyptians to end its siege on the strip, which Egypt argues is needed to protect its national security.
The year 2014 is ending with Palestinians waiting for the US to veto a Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) draft resolution submitted to the UN Security Council calling for Palestinian statehood to be recognised.
It is ending with Abbas confirming on an Egyptian TV station often cursed by Palestinians that the only way to end the occupation is through negotiations.
It is also ending with new rounds of the tiresome crises between the PA and Hamas. Hamas is trying to rebuild relations with Tehran, but there has been no serious communication with Ramallah about the forgotten terms of the reconciliation agreement, such as legislative and presidential elections and the renewal of the PLO's structures.
And thorughout this last year, the Palestinian situation has remained abysmal. The Israeli settlement project, Judaisation efforts in Jerusalem and other violations of Palestinian rights continues, emboldened by an apathetic Palestinian leadership, Arab weakness and unlimited US support. The Palestinians, who have endured the heavy burden of resistance in their homeland and the challenge of Israel's audacious violations, need a national lift and Arab support.
Everyone is responsible for this further Palestinian descent into misery in 2014. However, a terrible fate can be avoided by activating dynamic civil forces that can use the hidden power of the Palestinian population to save the Palestinian cause from its slumber.
This article is an edited translation from our Arabic edition.