Speaking at the United Nations General Assembly, Palestinian Authority President, Mahmoud Abbas, gave Israel a one year ultimatum for creating a Palestinian State. President Abbas, however, rather than actually threatening Israel, was instead clearly trying to pander to Palestinians who are fed up with his dictatorial rule.
The Palestinian Authority (PA), which currently manages the domestic security situation inside the largest Palestinian cities in the Israeli occupied West Bank is attempting to bolster its image, amidst rising fears from inside the authority of its inevitable collapse. According to the latest polls, the PA President Mahmoud Abbas is considered as illegitimate by at least 80% of Palestinians living inside the occupied territories, who believe he should step down.
Earlier this year Mahmoud Abbas had scheduled the first Palestinian legislative and Presidential elections to take place in roughly 15 years, however, the elections were cancelled. Abbas claimed that the elections could not take place due to Israel’s refusal to allow voters in East Jerusalem to cast their ballots inside the city. In reality, there were ways around the Israeli restrictions and many felt that due to the popularity of the Hamas Party they were slated for another landslide victory, which would have ousted the ruling Fatah Party of President Abbas.
In May, towards the end of the Islamic Holy month of Ramadan, Israeli occupation forces began attacking worshippers at Islam’s third holiest site the al-Aqsa Mosque. Thousands of Palestinians were ultimately injured during protests and inside the mosque’s compound in East Jerusalem, and in reaction to this the PA did nothing, whilst all other Parties took immediate action. The attacks on Jerusalemite Palestinians and on worshippers at al-Aqsa Mosque escalated into a war against the Gaza Strip, during which the people of the PA/Israeli occupied West Bank began to rise up into mass non-violent protests, as well as launch armed attacks against occupation forces.
It is well known that the best spying and intelligence gathering inside the West Bank is done by the PA Preventative Security Forces, who then hand their intel on to the Israelis. Most of those Palestinians responsible for attacks on Israeli occupation forces and settlers, who manage to flee, are most often found due to PA intel handed to the Israelis. This fact has generated a tremendous amount of animosity towards the Palestinian Authority, as it acts as a collaborator against those it claims to represent.
The Palestinian Authority is also comprised of a clique of families and ruling elitists who have essentially made themselves rich off of the Palestinian cause, whilst simultaneously selling it down the river and giving cover for Israel to usurp Palestinian land. These ruling elitists educate their children in the best of private schools, often sending them abroad. They live in lavished surroundings inside Ramallah city, many of them even using their privilege to dupe themselves into ignoring that they are under Israeli occupation. They live lives completely unconnected from the suffering felt by those in the villages, neighboring towns, cities, and refugee camps, and employ spies to rat out anyone messing with their power structure.
A dictatorship like the Israeli occupation – claiming to strive for democracy – will put down anyone that stands in its way, even if that means torturing and killing their own in order to achieve this task. They are almost exclusively funded by the EU and US, doing their bidding to keep the situation in relative calm. However, the situation in the West Bank is no longer stable and their power is now hanging in the balance.
On September 26, 5 Palestinians, 3 from Biddu village (North Jerusalem) and 2 from Burqin village (Jenin), were killed in fire fights with Israeli special forces units. Two Israeli special forces soldiers were also injured, one seriously. Later that same night, armed gunmen from Nablus (West Bank) joined Palestinian protesters in attacking Israeli settlers and soldiers, injuring two Israeli troops, reportedly leaving one seriously injured.
Since the escape of the 6 Palestinian prisoners from Gilboa Jail, in Northern Israel, the people of the West Bank have continued to escalate tensions with the Israeli military, both violently and through non-violent demonstrations. Hundreds of Palestinians have been injured and 7 have been killed in the past week alone.
The speech of President Abbas at the UN seemed to have been a strong man approach towards reaching a two-state settlement of the conflict, threatening to withdraw recognition of Israel in a year if no Palestinian State is formed. In reality, it was more likely a performance, designed to try and dupe some Palestinians into believing he is fighting for them. This is not the first time Abbas has threatened to tear up the Oslo Accords or to revoke recognition of past agreements, including security cooperation with Israel. But if the PA manages to last another year and does not follow through with its threats, it will only further de-legitimize itself through its newest spectacle.
Whilst the PA works, with Israel, to have its political prisoners re-arrested, to kill, jail, torture and silence those who seek to dismantle Israel’s occupation violently, its political rival Hamas wages a powerful armed struggle and executes those who cooperate with Israel. The difference couldn’t be more stark, Hamas is a resistance movement with popular support for its armed struggle, the PA is a US-Israeli puppet dictatorship and the Palestinian people know it well.
Nizar Binat, a popular critic of the Palestinian Authority, who was executed by the PA earlier this year, sparked mass demonstrations against Mahmoud Abbas and this truly scared the Ramallah based PA elitists. Unluckily for the PA, however, the uprising did not end with the protests witnessed earlier this year, and no Israeli or US funding, or weapons, can save them when the Palestinian people finally say enough is enough.