President Mahmoud Abbas left the Palestinian territories and presumably waited until meeting with President Donald Trump yesterday. On the one hand, the prisoners’ strike in Israeli prisons has been over for more than two weeks due to Israeli attempts to thwart the will of the strikers. On the other hand, the Palestinian Authority continues its sanctions and measures against the Gaza Strip and Hamas. Meanwhile, Hamas is announcing a new treaty.
Since the recognition of the PLO at the 1974 Rabat summit, during which Arabs recognized the PLO as “the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people,” and Yasser Arafat’s internationally recognized speech at the U.N. that same year, there has been much praise for the “independent Palestinian resolution.” Two decades later, the PLO agreed to the Oslo Accords (1993), in which 78 percent of the Palestinian land and the “independent resolution” were abandoned, ending with “security coordination” with the enemy. The land was split, and “entities” were established that undermined the Palestinian efforts and political will. During these two decades, the Palestinian issue was entrusted to so-called “resolutions of international legitimacy.” The American policy, or the so-called U.S. sponsored and supervised “peace-process in the region,” has bet on successive U.S. administrations, and now, on Donald Trump, to solve the problem, despite their blatant bias toward the enemy.
This coincides with the meeting between Abbas and Trump, in which we saw ostentatious escalation by the Palestinian Authority at a time when a new round of negotiations was supposed to be held between Fatah and Hamas in the Qatari capital. Instead, the Palestinian Authority and Fatah launched threats and punitive measures, including stopping the supply of fuel to power plants and demanding the unconditional handing over of the Gaza Strip to the Palestinian Authority—otherwise creating a Hamas “rebel territory.” All of this happened under the banner of ending division, and raised questions about this sudden “reawakening.” Why did no one think of ending Hamas’ control of the Gaza Strip for 10 years?!
The supposed reasoning behind the new position of the Palestinian Authority regarding Hamas’ control of the Gaza Strip states that Hamas has formed an administrative body for this territory, which the PA considers antithetical to a “unified” Palestinian government. However, in an article in Ha’aretz, Israeli writer Zvi Barel claims that this is intended to be proof that the PA “fights terrorism” and has responded to the Israeli government’s claims that “there is no Palestinian partner with whom we can make peace and that Abbas does not represent all Palestinians.” But the context of the PA’s sanctions and measures against the Gaza Strip and the meeting at the White House weren’t a mistake—especially since Abbas was the first person since Arafat to keep to this course despite its failure. In a statement by the Palestinian presidential spokesman, Nabil Abu Rudeineh, on the eve of the meeting, Rudeineh affirmed that the White House meeting is important and may set the course for years to come.
On the other hand, there was the announcement of the “new Hamas treaty” 48 hours before the meeting between Trump and Abbas at a press conference last Monday evening. The head of the political bureau of Hamas, Khaled Meshal (who may have made his last official announcement) indicated that the absurd rivalry between the two movements led to the loss of an independent Palestinian resolution, just for the sake of proving who is better for the Americans. However, the movement also expressed its readiness to accept “an independent Palestinian state within the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital in accordance with international law.”
It is logical to assume that the results of the Trump-Abbas meeting are part of Trump’s “deal” and “regional solution.” Some more details may emerge when Trump arrives in the occupied Palestinian territories in two weeks to meet with Benjamin Netanyahu and Abbas.