Fri 23 Feb 2024 9:40 am - Jerusalem Time

The Palestinian Authority And The PLO

Regardless of the polls showing a decline in popular support, and despite ongoing excavation efforts to dig up a body to run things after this war, particularly in Gaza, bets are on the Palestinian Authority and the Palestine Liberation Organization once again. Both are organs of a single body that enjoys Palestinian, regional, and international legitimacy.

The President of the PA has met this development by expressing his readiness - on behalf of both the PA and the PLO - to take on the responsibility of governing Gaza, provided that this responsibility encompasses the Palestinian entity in its entirety: the West Bank, Gaza, and Jerusalem, i.e., all of the territory that it is presumed will (as it indeed should) become Palestine. Plans for a Palestinian state are currently being discussed by the entire world, including the United States and half of Israel, and this is not idle talk but a serious project. Implementation on the ground, as well as official recognition by those who have so far refused to recognize this state, are now subject matter of this dialogue, not just slogans or principles.

On what is commonly referred to as "the day after," the wisdom of betting on the Palestinian Authority and the PLO will be determined by the Palestinians themselves. They must lift themselves up without directives from anyone and prepare the domestic scene for the negotiation process. That means ensuring the necessary popular and partisan support, with the integration of every faction into the Palestine Liberation Organization a priority in its political program and the negotiation process.

This does not preclude opposition within parliament (the Palestinian National Council), and Hamas should have seats in this parliament, whether Council members are appointed through an agreement between the factions or elected. Either way, elections must eventually be held after the war, to reinforce the representatives of the Palestinian people's legitimacy, which has seriously eroded over the past few years.

The PA cannot go back to governing Gaza, which it considers to have never left despite the coup against it, so long as a single Israeli soldier remains in the strip. National unity through the emergence of a state is another requisite for its return. Indeed, the PA's experience in the West Bank and the unhealthy relationship with the Israelis that developed during, before, and after the collapse of Oslo, should be a lesson, and the same mistakes should not be repeated.

The framework according to which the PA was responsible for running Area A and partially responsible for Area B, while it was absent from Area C, gave Israel everything it wanted for nothing in return. Settlement building continued and expanded, and the wonton, cost-free occupation persisted, with and without security coordination. The arrangements of the Oslo Accords turned the PA into a policing arm of the occupation in the eyes of Palestinians, which is a crucial factor in explaining its loss of support and prestige.

As Mahmoud Abbas is very well aware, the PA, along with the Fatah movement and the Palestine Liberation Organization, needs to be reformed in a whole host of ways, whether the negotiation process begins tomorrow or the day after tomorrow. Such reforms are not only needed to bolster their influence over these talks and turn them into serious actors, but also because these bodies manage the lives of millions of Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza, and Jerusalem. This administration must, with or without a settlement, improve in a manner that makes Palestinians' lives easier and provides them with the means to remain resilient and stay on their land, as well as to remain committed to their national movement, which will not abandon its responsibilities in leading the Palestinian people towards their objectives and granting them their rights, which have been recognized by the entire world.

After the war on Gaza, with everything it can be credited and blamed for, with all the challenges it has created, foremost among them are rebuilding an area that has been totally destroyed, reconstituting a political system that has eroded and collapsed due to a lack of renewal, and reunifying a nation whose division left it split...

After the war, Palestinians will be on the frontlines leading the efforts to achieve these goals. The better and more convincing the performance, the less hesitant the world be to support Palestinians and strive in earnest work for the establishment of a Palestinian state, whose emergence alone could mitigate all the repercussions of a conflict. Only through this state could fragments of this nation exhausted by wars and calamities be brought together and finally achieve its aspirations. We should not ignore the fact that this is now what the whole world wants.


Share your opinion

The Palestinian Authority And The PLO


War on Gaza: A cruel month of massacres for Palestinians as the US mask is ripped off

Middle East Eye

War on Gaza: Why Israel's savagery is a sign of its impending defeat

Middle East Eye

How America Can Prevent War Between Iran and Israel

Foreign Affairs

Arab Countries Have Israel’s Back—for Their Own Sake

Foreign Policy

Iran and Israel’s Dangerous Gambit

Carnegie Endowment

Hawks' calls to strike Iran now are wrong

Mark Champion

Can Israel Harness Its Rare Moment of Regional Support?

Foreign Policy

The West now wants 'restraint'- after months of fuelling a genocide in Gaza

Middle East Eye

Israel-Palestine: The End Game

Gershon Baskin

Israel made mistakes on Gaza. It has more to lose on Iran


Israel decides to attack Iran and the Middle East is in a state of boiling

op-ed "AlQuds" dot com

Amid the Israel-Iran escalation, it’s time for a region-wide ceasefire


How Iran attacks exposed Israel's weakness

Middle East Eye

Netanyahu is leading America to the edge

Nabil Amr

Biden should not follow Netanyahu into war with Iran


‘Disastrous’: Israel-Iran tensions test limits of US policy amid Gaza war


War on Gaza: Western powers never believed in a rules-based order

Middle East Eye

The Only Way for Israel to Truly Defeat Hamas

Foreign Affairs

What will the future bring between Hezbollah and Israel?


A victory for anti-Zionists in the UK