PALESTINIAN president, Mahmud Abbas, and Hamas leader, Khaled Mishaal, yesterday signed the Palestinian Unity Agreement in Cairo, putting an end to the split in the Palestinian movement that has only served Israel and the imperialist powers.
The joint signing was cheered by Palestinians dancing in the streets of Ramallah and Gaza City, but denounced from the rooftops by the Israeli Premier Netanyahu and his Foreign Minister Lieberman.
Netanyahu condemned the end of the Hamas-Fatah split as a ‘tremendous blow to peace’, adding that it was ‘a victory for terrorism’.
Ahead of his London talks, Netanyahu told Britain’s former premier Tony Blair, now a Middle East ‘peace envoy’ for the ‘Quartet’, that Abbas must ‘completely cancel’ the reconciliation deal which he said had dealt a ‘hard blow to the peace process’.
The peace that Netanyahu was looking for, was one that would see a Palestinian ‘Bantustan’ established in the West Bank, together with Gaza – purged of Hamas – while Israel annexed the Jordan Valley, and the big West Bank settlements, plus the whole of Jerusalem for its capital, and ‘in return’ giving the Palestinians as ‘compensation’ a chunk of the Negev Desert.
Part of the arrangement was to be that there could be no right of return for Palestinians. The most that they could expect was to be dumped in Jordan or for a limited number to be allowed entry into Canada and Australia.
This would be the peace of the grave for the Palestinian people.
Deepening the Palestinian split was the decisive policy for this perspective, and now a huge blow has been delivered to it.
The force that must claim the credit for this development is the Palestinian youth.
Their ‘March 15’ movement, inspired by the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions, has been demonstrating and occupying and fighting both in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, insisting that there must be Palestinian unity.
It was this independent revolutionary movement of the Palestinian youth that organised the way forward.
However the work has just begun.
A Palestinian state is to be declared at the United Nations in September.
Yesterday, the jailed Palestinian fighter, Marwan al-Barghouthi, from his prison cell praised the Egyptian revolution and issued a call.
He said: ‘On this occasion, we urge our great people and all the forces, factions, institutions, popular and youth movements, and national figures to organise the largest peaceful march on June 5th to mark the 44th anniversary of the worst, longest, and ugliest occupation in modern history.’
He called for ‘considering this anniversary an occasion to embody national unity and make the voice of the Palestinian people heard around the world under the flag of Palestine and one slogan: “People want to end the occupation. People want the right to return, freedom, and independence”.’
Al-Barghouthi also stressed the importance of turning to the United Nations without hesitation or compromise, because ‘talking about negotiations with the racist government of occupation and settlement activity in Israel is pointless.’
There must be a march of millions to Jerusalem on the 44th anniversary of the occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
The Palestinian state must be declared at the United Nations in September.
There must be no more futile treacherous negotiations with the representatives of the state of Israel.
There must however be a call on the working people of the world to support this great offensive, that has just begun, to establish the Palestinian state, with Jerusalem as its capital and with all refugees having the right to return – with a total boycott of Israel. This is the way forward.