The emerging Palestinian resistance is a warning for the PA

Ramona Wadi

Middle East Monitor  /  March 7, 2023

For decades, the international community has assumed that it could subjugate Palestinians in the occupied West Bank with financial aid and bogus state-building measures. The Palestinian Authority, which advocates for international impositions over the people of occupied Palestine, notably the two-state compromise, has lost its grip over them, despite having collaborated with Israel over security coordination, which is the most visible violation that the Palestinians in the occupied West Bank have endured.

However, the PA is an oppressive institution with no political legitimacy. Besides Israeli colonialism and apartheid, the PA is another violent obstacle for the Palestinian people. The international community has legitimized both Israel and the PA, and works from within the two-state paradigm to prevent any semblance of a Palestinian state from being established. But the pretenses have been exposed and there is no return to the status quo of two states and “no Plan B”. The UN and the PA may agree on the absence of a Plan B, but Palestinians have enacted it, without the traditional involvement of Palestinian factions,

Following in the footsteps of the Lions’ Den and the Jenin Brigade, the Tulkarm Brigade is the latest to join the Palestinian resistance, even as Palestinian officials distance themselves further from Palestine and its people. While the target is Israel’s colonial and military occupation, the PA is persistently treating Palestinians resistance groups as the enemy, rather than acknowledging resistance as a legitimate result of decades of Israeli colonialism and PA authoritarianism.

For the PA, eliminating the Palestinian resistance is paramount. Hence the eagerness to return to security coordination with Israel, which PA leader Mahmoud Abbas is partial to suspending occasionally, albeit never for long. For Abbas, security coordination is “sacred“.

This month, the Knesset approved a preliminary reading of a bill that stipulates the death penalty for Palestinians involved in resistance. A Palestinian who “intentionally or out of indifference causes the death of an Israeli citizen when the act is carried out from a racist motive or hate to a certain public… and with the purpose of harming the State of Israel and the rebirth of the Jewish people in its homeland” should be sentenced to death. Conveniently, the bill fails to mention that racism is a card Israel uses for its designated supremacy. Racist apartheid policies against Palestinians and extrajudicial killings are Israel’s doing, for example. Indeed, Israel’s apartheid policies fuel the ethnic cleansing which has been ongoing since the 1948 Nakba.

The PA’s tactics complement Israel’s. It has tried all means at its disposal to contain Palestinians with futile promises, even as Palestine is further depleted by Israel with the full blessing of the international community. Abbas and his cronies know that their battle is lost. Not only does the PA lack legitimacy, but it also refuses to create the conditions for Palestinian political legitimacy by holding elections. Even if Israel is currently the primary target, the PA is not immune. Just as Israel created the conditions for resistance, so did the PA through its constant collaboration with Israel and the international community. Palestinians will remember the entire trajectory of their suffering. This is a message that the PA would do well to heed, because this time round, security coordination and the international community will not be enough to suppress a collective awakening.

Ramona Wadi is an independent researcher, freelance journalist, book reviewer and blogger; her writing covers a range of themes in relation to Palestine, Chile and Latin America