Gaza City – Prompted by Arab states normalising relations with Israel, fractured Palestinian political factions are working diligently in multilateral talks to restore unity and mend the division between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank in negotiations far more promising than previous efforts.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain’s foreign ministers will check in Tuesday an agreement with Israel at the White House establishing full ties in violation of the Arab first step . The move may be a threat to long-standing Arab demands that Israel ends its decades-long occupation and agree on a two-state solution with the Palestinians.
On Saturday, Palestinian groups led by Hamas and Fatah agreed on a “unified field leadership” comprising all factions which will lead “comprehensive popular resistance” against the Israeli occupation, a press release said.
It involved Tuesday – when the signing ceremony takes place in Washington, DC – to be each day of “popular rejection”. Palestinians in Gaza and therefore the West Bank are planning “day of rage” demonstrations, and other protests are expected outside the embassies of Israel, the us , UAE, and Bahrain worldwide.
The formation of the joint leadership group and progress within the intra-Palestinian unity talks came after a long-awaited September 3 meeting among Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Hamas’s Ismail Haniya, Islamic Jihad’s chief Ziyad al-Nakhala, and therefore the leaders of varied Palestinian entities. Gatherings were held in Ramallah within the occupied West Bank and Beirut, Lebanon.
Hamas and other Palestinian parties have for years demanded that such a gathering happen , but Abbas always rejected the move, calling on Hamas to honour previous unity pacts first.
But with the Palestinian cause lately facing numerous challenges – the foremost important being the normalisation between Arab countries and Israel – Abbas agreed to carry discussions.
Husam Badran, a member of Hamas’ political bureau, told Al Jazeera several factors are pushing the Palestinians together, including US President Donald Trump’s “deal of the century”, Israel’s annexation plans of Palestinian areas, and Arab states normalising relations with “the occupation and what it represented as a treacherous stab within the back of the Palestinians”.
Badran called the leadership meeting a “major step of progress” that resulted in clear decisions on several pressing issues.
“The rush of variety of Arab countries to normalise their relations with the occupation state has pushed the file of forming a unified field leadership for popular resistance to the highest of the Palestinian actions’ agenda,” Badran said.
He added the normalisation moves “necessitate that the Palestinians cooperate and strengthen their internal front, and transcend all their differences to save lots of the Palestinian cause”.
“The Palestinian leaders are transforming their rejection of all the plans that aim to liquidate the Palestinian cause into realistic steps on the bottom ,” said Badran.
Three committees were formed at the meeting: the primary focused on forming a unified field leadership to activate popular struggle against the Israeli occupation, the second is liable for reaching an agreed-upon vision to finish the division between Gaza and therefore the West Bank , and a 3rd tasked with reviving the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO).
The committees got a five-week deadline to submit recommendations to the Palestinian president. Abbas pledged he will comply with the recommendations whatever they’ll be.
Hamas and Fatah are divided since 2007 when Hamas deposed Fatah’s security forces from Gaza following months of tension. Multiple attempts were made since then to bridge the divide between the 2, but none came to fruition.
Relations between Hamas and Fatah, however, have seen significant improvement recently.
In the past few months, the 2 main Palestinian movements, driven by Israeli annexation plans, engaged in positive talks that centred on presenting a unified rejection of the Israeli-American plans.
“The Palestinians’ unity efforts come at a really sensitive time, where the Palestinian cause is exposed to serious and strategic threats and challenges, starting with the American administration’s efforts to impose facts on the bottom to legitimise the Israeli occupation, and therefore the Israeli plans to annex the West Bank ,” Palestinian political analyst Husam al-Dajani told Al Jazeera.