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Palesitine

Palestine: a “ceasefire” that solves nothing, a mobilization that continues

Saturday 29 May 2021, by Julien Salingue

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After negotiations mediated by Egypt and Qatar, a ceasefire was established between Israel and the Gaza Strip on 21 May. While it is obviously welcome that the people of Gaza are no longer under bombardment, nothing is settled, and Palestinians can be expected to continue to mobilise for their national and democratic rights in the coming weeks.

The end of the bombing operation on the Gaza Strip resounds as a failure for the Israeli authorities. If the sequence was particularly violent, with raids of unprecedented intensity and considerable material and human damage, the fact remains that the State of Israel is not the winner of the confrontation of recent weeks. On the contrary, for many Palestinians, the cease-fire is more a reflection of Israeli fear that the situation will degenerate than of a mastery of the agenda.

Community of Fate

If the media attention was particularly focused on Gaza, we should not forget that it is in the whole of Palestine that Israel had to face - and still faces - a Palestinian protest against its apartheid policies: the simultaneous mobilization in Gaza, in the West Bank, in Jerusalem and in Israel itself, if it is obviously not the affirmation of a suddenly recovered political unity, is the expression of the awareness of a community of destiny between the different Palestinian sectors. It is a scathing warning to the colonial power that has not ceased, over the past decades, to fragment the Palestinian population, putting into practice the old adage ”““divide and conquer”.

This is one of the singularities of the uprising of the last few weeks, which also has a particularly young face and which was hardly framed by the traditional political forces, be it Hamas, Fatah or the left. In the first days, we even saw the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah repressing the demonstrators in the West Bank, before changing gear and playing the rhetoric of “national unity”, for fear of losing more ground to a Hamas that appeared to defend all Palestinians, and not only those in Gaza.
What happens now?

It is hard to predict what will happen in the days and weeks to come. One thing is certain, however: Israeli repression continues, with, among other things, the “Law and Order” operation carried out in Israel with the aim of arresting 500 Palestinians who have mobilised in recent weeks, while mobilization continues in Jerusalem, notably around the neighbourhoods of Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan, and in the West Bank. Everywhere in Palestine, there are political discussions, structuring discussions, and discussions about what will happen next, and if we can hardly risk making predictions, there is no doubt that the sequence that has opened up in recent weeks is far from over and that we must continiue to express our solidarity.

As researcher Tareq Baconi explains: “Palestinians need to figure out a way to maintain this popular uprising beyond the leadership structures that exist today. That’s not to say that there shouldn’t be a leadership for the movement. What we’ve learned from the 2011 Arab Uprisings is that if there is no leadership able to make political and strategic decisions, the deep state and the status quo win. That leadership cannot be channeled into the same corrupt institutions that have brought us to where we are today. There needs to be a more inclusive leadership that emerges from this grassroots mobilization. What form that takes is still unclear, but we’re still in the early days.” [1]

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Footnotes

[1972mag.com, 21 May 2021 “Hamas breaks out of its Gaza cage”.