The most depressing news concerns the split between the Palestinians themselves. This split is a disaster for them, and, I believe, also for Israel and the world at large. That’s why I dare to comment on a matter that seemingly does not concern us Israelis. It does.

It is easy to blame Israel. Easy and also justified. In their struggle against the national aspirations of the Palestinians, successive Israeli governments have applied the old Roman maxim divide et impera, divide and rule.

Since the Oslo agreement, the central component of this policy has been the physical separation between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Article IV of the Oslo Agreement of September 1993 says: “The two sides view the West Bank and the Gaza Strip as a single territorial unit, whose integrity will be preserved”.

Article X of Annex 1 of the Interim Agreement of September 1995 says: “There shall be a safe passage connecting the West Bank with the Gaza Strip for movement of persons, vehicles and goods…Israel will ensure safe passage for persons and transportation during daylight hours…in any event not less than 10 hours a day.”

In practice, the safe passage was never opened. Among all the blatant violations of the Oslo agreements, this was the most severe. Its consequences have been disastrous for both sides.

True, there was a lot of talking about the passage. Ehud Barak once fantasized about constructing a giant bridge between the West Bank and the Strip, after seeing such a 40 km long bridge somewhere abroad. Others spoke about a tunnel underneath Israeli territory. Yet others proposed an extraterritorial highway or railway. None of these ideas was ever implemented. On the contrary, while before Oslo there had been free movement for all, including the inhabitants of the occupied territories, after Oslo this freedom was abolished.

THE PRETEXT was – as always – security: convoys of murderers and terrorists would pack the safe passage, trucks loaded with Palestinian rockets would drive to and fro. But the consequences disclose the true aim: what remained of Palestine was cut into two disconnected parts.

One cannot rule a territory without physical contact with it. That was proven in Pakistan, which was founded as a state with two disconnected parts separated by Indian territory. Soon enough, war between the two broke out and the Eastern part became the independent state of Bangladesh.

According to the latest Palestinian statistics, which seem reliable, there are now 2.42 million Palestinians living in the West Bank and 1.46 million in the Gaza Strip (in addition to 379 thousand in East Jerusalem). From Yasser Arafat I once heard that more than half of the Palestinian Authority’s resources were being devoted to the Gaza Strip, in spite of the fact that the Strip amounted to only 6% (one sixteenth) of the Palestinian territories.

Now there exist in practice two Palestinian entities: the West Bank, whose actual capital is now Ramallah, and the Gaza Strip, with its capital Gaza city. From the political, economic and ideological points of view, the distance between them is growing.

And from the point of view of the Israeli occupation policy, that is a great victory.
THE ISRAELI government conducts different strategies against the two Palestinian entities.

Against Gaza, the policy is simple and brutal: to overthrow the Hamas government by turning the life of those 1,460,000 men and woman, old people and children, into hell. They are allowed to bring in only the most basic foodstuffs. There was an international outcry when Senator John Kerry discovered the import of noodles is prohibited, because pasta is apparently a luxury. “We shall not give them chocolate when Gilad Shalit is not getting chocolate,” an army officer declared this week. It would be interesting to know how much chocolate the 11 thousand Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails are getting.

AGAINST THE Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, the occupation authorities employ a different, but no less destructive, strategy. They make every effort to present it as a kind of Palestinian Vichy regime, in order to prevent the healing of the Palestinian rift.

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Sadly I say, Avnery himself is focus blame,

The Issue of the palestinian divide is a social crisis of emerging nation. would one expect the people who lived here for 3,000 years to be more resilient and not fall into such divide that hurt their own interest.

The Palestinians must solve it and not look for ad hock explanation why Israel is all behind this. Palestinian united-ness is key for progress, Israel internal divide is flamed by the Palestinians divide and strengthen the "protective-nationalistic" trend in Israel. we are in a loop of blame and aggression; to end it we need to change from both sides.
Dear Sami,

I can see why you can say that it is for the sake of the occupier, but as I see it, Palestinian unity can enable the process to step forward (assuming the Israelis do remove settlements)

As far as I can see from the outside, while we see Fatah and Hamas dominance there are other Palestinian groups that cannot express themselves as these guys want to keep all the power for themselves. do you recognize such group (non-fatah, non-hamas) ?
I get you point, and I can see from my perspective the complex internal conflict: Hamas has more order in its rank and is able to provide more social needs, where the Fatah is controlled by small group of families who are protecting this asset to themselves.

I do not envy you with the current situation, but I do beileve that some of the palestinians will find that path to gain better influence. as these guys (Hamas and Fatah) are practically collaborating with the Israeli settlers in prisoning the entire palestinian nation.

you can only get a fight with this approach Luc.

for myself I do not care what borders we have, I think we need some. I assume that at the moment 4 1967 borders has the best chance to establish agreement.

You see Luc, I do not care about land or Zionists, I care for ending the Nakba ASAP. while you and mazin talking and repeating words like colonialist oppressor to any one who disagree with you, children die.

so You wish to win the Zionists by force? or maybe you believe to win over them by public opinion? my friend this is not the way. The Zionists are gusts who live from your hate and smear. when we have peace with the palestinians and we create a confederation the borders will be melt down faster then what you can expect.

so please stop this ugly language of yours you bring from Palestinian Mothers, you can speak like that with Iqbal, but don't play that game with me, it is boring and it put you on the ugly side.
Thanks, Sami.
This Dayton's mission is very interesting.

General Dayton Praises P.A. Security Forces as "Founders of a Palestinian State"

The Pulse
Posted April 29, 2009 - 10:34am

Lieutenant General Keith Dayton, U.S. Security Coordinator for the Israel-Palestinian Authority, recently praised P.A. security forces as being "founders of a Palestinian state" Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu wrote in Israel National News:

"As I look at you, I couldn't be more proud of the fact that you stepped up to be the founders of a Palestinian state," U.S. Lt.-Gen. Keith Dayton told a battalion in his speech to the troops Monday in Tulkarm. Dayton is responsible for the military training of the PA special forces. The statement was reported by the Reuters news service.

The American government has spent tens of millions of dollars outfitting the PA troops, which it calls "special forces," possibly in order to avoid contradicting the Oslo Accords that limit military activities of the PA. Dayton has been overseeing their training, which takes place in Jordan and at a base built in Jericho with U.S. funds. Weapons for the "special forces" are provided by Arab countries, with Israeli approval.

The Olmert administration also approved a gift of armored personnel carriers from Russia with the stipulation that they be unarmed. In addition, Russia had wanted to hand over two helicopters to the PA as well.

Dayton told Reuters that the Obama administration plans to expand the training program for 1,500 more PA troops, creating three more battalions, in the next 12 months. Dayton already has supervised the training of 1,600 troops, most of whom are deployed in large PA-controlled Arab cities, including Jenin, Shechem and Hevron.

Despite their presence, the IDF continues to carry out the task of arresting terrorists, particularly at night when the PA forces do not operate.

"If it goes the way the administration has asked for, we will accelerate dramatically what we are doing here in terms of training and equipment, and filling in the gaps in between," Dayton said during his visit in Tulkarm, located almost adjacent to the Judea-Samaria separation barrier and only a few miles east of Netanya.
This will be just as successful as Vietnamization!
You are an optimist.

From the detailed description provided by Dayton, it's clear that the Palestinian forces he's enabling could certainly be accused of carrying out the self-policing of the West Bank for the Israelis. Because the West Bank is, after all, occupied by Israel and riddled with illegal settlements besides -- plus beset by a surrounding wall, 600-plus intrusive checkpoints, and a network of Jews-only highways -- the Palestinian troops are utterly at the mercy of the Israelis. Each recruit is vetted by US security forces (i.e, the CIA), then vetted by Shin Bet, the domestic intelligence arm of Israel, and then by Jordan's super-efficient intelligence service, before they begin their training in Jordan. Dayton made it quite clear that the Palestinian units thus trained are primarily deployed against two targets in the West Bank: against criminal gangs, and against Hamas.

So far, they've received $161 million is US funding.

Dayton described how, during the Israeli assault on Gaza last December and January, the West Bank remained quiet -- even though some analysts were predicting an upsurge of sympathy for Hamas, which controls Gaza, along with violence, even a third intifada. "None of these predictions came true," said the general, who added that the Palestinian battalions allowed peaceful demonstrations of solidarity with Hamas, but kept the lid on violent actions. Israel, he said, "kept a low profile," and not a single Palestinian was killed in the West Bank during the three-week carnage in Gaza.

Bellow you can read whole Dayton's keynote at Instit. for ME Policy:

Hi Sami, I have enjoyed your writing. I agree the Fateh's old generation is corrupt and anti-democratic but I am still hoping that they can be encouraged by the Palestinian population to reform and by outside donors. I still think they are a better hope for a democratic and free Palestine than Hamas. But Hamas has the advantage of being not corrupt and more attuned to basic human needs. But the more liberal Palestinians need to learn this lesson and reform Fateh now. I also acknowledge that Israel's short-sighted policy of deliberately radicalizing the populatin and corrupting it was a great divide and conquer tactic, but that must be not the last word on Palestinian national identity. I am convinced that Jewish survival in Israel depends on a viable Palestinian national identity. Both must flourish together or perish together.
Marc Gopin,



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