The Governing of the Occupied People

The Palestinian people are governed by two police-states and one military state. The military state, led by colonizers migrating from different parts of the world, rules over the majority of Palestine. The two police-states, led by Fateh and Hamas, rule over less than 10% of the total area of Palestine. Tyrants of both states oppress the Palestinians under the umbrella of their “history in the struggle”. It is no different in refugee camps in Syria and Lebanon. Refugees’ voices are hijacked by aged-leaders who have the military power and money.

The story is decades old. The outline of the story was highlighted in Lebanon when in the midst of Palestinian resistance operations against the Zionist occupation, many Palestinian factions entered the War of the Camps in the 80’s. At that point, many Palestinians outside the homeland felt that money had started to corrupt the factions. It was not about the revolution any more. It was about poles of interests trying to sustain their powers in the Palestinian communities. Palestinians in the homeland were marginalized. They responded with an uprising against the occupation in 1987 that forced the Palestinian leaders and factions to put them back into the equation. An honorable uprising was put to bed with the signing of the Oslo Accords; many opposed it, and others agreed to give it a chance. The father of the Oslo-Accords was the current leader of the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank Mahmoud “Abu Mazen” Abbas.

The governing model among the exiled was taken back to the homeland. The refugee camps in exile were governed by leaders of resistance groups. Every leader sustained his power by expanding his militant groups inside camps. When this model was taken back to the homeland, it was under the umbrella of the Oslo Accords. This umbrella meant that the main role of these militant groups, resistance, was not applicable anymore. New roles had to be set for them, and that included maintaining loyalties to certain people. Thus, the West Bank and Gaza were governed by leaders depending on a balance of a complex network of security forces. These forces have still contained former members of the resistance movement. Thus, a dual role remained, maintaining loyalties and resisting the occupation.

Even with all the compromises made in the Oslo agreement, Israeli rulers have failed to make it work. Successive Israeli governments have felt that they can get more compromises, and those Palestinians who agreed to give the negotiations a chance have come to realize that the whole process was just a trap, eventually doomed. Thus, the second uprising erupted in 2000. It was mainly lead by militant groups and security forces. The militant forces contained the corrupt, the collaborators and the good. During the uprising, the occupation forces worked hard to liquidate the good in these security forces. Furthermore, before they assassinated President Yasir Arafat, they pressured him to give their ally Mahmoud Abbas a role in governing. Thus Abu Mazen was appointed as the new Prime Minister in 2003 before he was forced to resign.

A year later Arafat was assassinated and, shockingly, his rival Abu Mazen came to power through the support of Arafat loyalists. Months later in 2005, the US government represented by General Keith Dayton worked on reforming the PA’s security forces based on a new doctrine. To maintain loyalties, Abu Mazen was supported with American and Arab funds, but the fire was under the haystack. In 2006, Hamas, an anti-Oslo faction, came to implicitly agree to some of the Oslo agreement terms. Thus, they participated in the Palestinian Legislative Council’s elections, and they achieved a victory over their Fateh rivals. Soon after, the two factions entered a mini civil war, fighting for power and authority. This war ended in a split of powers, Hamas controlling the Gaza Strip and Fateh controlling the West Bank in 2007. Thus, each faction started building its own police-state in its controlled territories. This mini civil war was followed by internal battle for power within the two factions in different forms.

The years of factional division and status quo built a mountain of frustration sitting on the chests of the Palestinian people. Many non-factional youth groups started to emerge. In light of the Arab uprisings at the end of 2010, these youth groups became more active. They saw a light at the end of tunnel to revolt against the suppression practiced by aged leaders. They saw it necessary to end that system of suppression before we get back on the right path of liberation. On March 15 was the first attempt. In the Gaza strip it was brutally suppressed. Along with the Israeli continuous attacks on Gaza, the Hamas-ruled government in the Gaza stripped managed to put the youth movement to sleep, at least for the time being. The Fateh-controlled PA in the West Bank seemed to be smarter. They did not use the official security forces to suppress the movement. They depended on undercover police and Fateh loyalists. The youth movement that seemed strong at the beginning failed to carry on. The main reasons for this temporal failure were the divisions amongst youth groups and being distant from the general public issues. On the other hand, Fateh and Hamas staged several reconciliation signing and meetings trying to calm the frustration on the streets.

After months of weak movement, the youth groups came to deal with the mistakes. Efforts to reunite the youth movement were in process. The prisoners’ movement helped the efforts this time. Several prisoners’ hunger strikes, starting in October 2011, managed to bring youth groups together for joint efforts. Nonetheless, mobilization efforts remained limited. Sustainability was the key. The faces seen in the regular protests in Ramallah were familiar, same people different day. The PA in the West Bank relaxed and felt that they had the movement under control. With the continuous Israeli attacks and violations, they were cautious of a trigger for an eminent mass Palestinian uprising. Despite the limited movement, taboos were broken. Chanting against the PA along with its security collaboration and negotiations became regular in every protest.

The Israeli government played a role in encouraging the military clashes between Palestinians. The idea was that when Palestinians suffer from it, the new generation will emerge to completely oppose every military presence including that of resistance. They were wrong. The new generation now rebelling against the police-states are mostly supporters of the military resistance. The call is clear. Our weapons should be used against the enemy only. No Palestinian gun should be pointed at Palestinians. The mission of the resistance groups is to resist. It is not to sustain powers and interests of a group of lords.

The USA and EU strongly support military resistance against oppression. They worked with Libyans to overthrow Gaddafi militarily, and they publicly declared support for militarization of opposition in Syria. Logically speaking, if they supported all that, they should certainly support the military resistance against a foreign occupation. After all, United Nations resolution 3070, article two, “reaffirms the legitimacy of the peoples’ struggle for liberation from colonial and foreign domination and alien subjugation by all available means, including armed struggle.” Then again, perhaps the USA and EU do not consider Palestinians to be people. Maybe we are an “invented people.”

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  1. […] The Palestinian people are governed by two police-states and one military state. The military state, led by colonizers migrating from different parts of the world, rules over the majority of Palest…  […]

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