Dr. Ibrahim Mahmoud Habib
Conflict resolution with Palestinians and Arabs has never been in the mindset of the Zionist leaders, even the most leftist; rather, they have always sought to manage the conflict, reaching the decisive phase. Following the Madrid Peace Conference in 1991, Yitzhak Shamir, the Israeli occupation prime minister, stated, "We'll talk with the Palestinians for ten years without granting them anything."
Yossi Bellin, who served as the chairman of the Meretz Party and the architect of the Oslo Accords, acknowledged this and said, "We have never thought of giving the Palestinians a state, but strengthening the Palestinian Authority's idea of self-government and committing its security role as a foundation for its presence after economically linking it with Israel; prompting it to lose control and the ability to make independent decisions. When asked about the potential of discounting security coordination, Saeb Erakat, the Head of Palestinians negotiators, stated that the Palestinian Authority was primarily created for a security job; once this job is stopped, the occupation entity will replace it the next day.
The Palestinians engaged -or were forced to enter- negotiations with the occupation entity under the guise of "Peace Talks," intending to establish a country along the 1967 borders and reclaim a portion of their stolen rights since Al-Nakba. Whether they were treated with good intentions or were already aware of the Zionist intentions, facts show that Palestinians have never received anything of political significance that would allow them to build an independent country. Instead, the Palestinian Authority's security role served as an entry point for Palestinian internal groups, fracturing their unity.
The Zionist leaders entered the Peace Talks with the intention of imposing new realities and methods on the ground in the West Bank to resolve the issue. They consider it a part of their biblical land, contrary to Gaza which is not a part of this doctrine.
Those realities appear to have been imposed by successive Zionist governments, as evidenced by data and facts. Following the signing of the Oslo Accords, the number of illegal settlers did not exceed 120 thousand, yet this number was doubled during the first five years of the Palestinian Authority's existence which was known for the calm and security stability it provided for the Israeli occupation after targeting the infrastructure of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, both of which reject the Oslo Agreement.
Subsequently, the number of colonial settlers reached 360 thousand in the year 2000. The Israeli occupation however did not offer any genuine facts to end the conflict and provide the Palestinians with the rights they expected to acquire during the Peace talks. Following the failure of the Camp David negotiations (2000), Yasser Arafat acknowledged this. This thus spurred him to engage in a filed confrontation with the Israeli occupation, during which he was successful in igniting the Al-Aqsa Intifada on September 28 of the same year. It ended five years later with his martyrdom.
After its intensive military operation in the occupied West Bank, during which the Israeli occupation regained control over the lands which the Palestinian Authority had withdrawn from between 1994-1996, it effectively ended the Oslo Accords and turned the Palestinian Authority into a security subcontractor. The Palestinian Authority accepted this role under security and economic pressure, in clear collusion with the United States of America which sold the illusion to the Palestinians. It promised them to establish their country in 2005, as envisioned by former U.S. President George Bush, and later presented the "Deal of the Century" by President Donald Trump in 2018 as his Middle East peace plan. Both plans aimed at bypassing a resolution to the Palestinian issue and reaching a political normalization between the occupation entity and Arab countries.
Despite the distorted map that the Deal of the Century offered to the Palestinians, granting them parts of the occupied West Bank and Gaza in isolated enclaves that do not qualify them to establish the Palestinian country, wide Zionist right-wing sectors rejected it. They viewed it as a violation of the Torah-based rights of the Jews in the West Bank, especially as the settlement expansion continues, with the number of settlers reaching 800,000 by the year 2023. The situation is becoming increasingly critical, and the factors shaping the final resolution have grown in significance.
The security and political measures taken by the Israeli occupation against the Palestinian territories leave no room for doubt about its intention to reach a decisive stage in the conflict. The two-state solution is no longer possible. On the contrary, a number of Zionist politicians offer solutions that involve annexing Area C in the West Bank to the Israel-occupied lands, which constitute about 60% of the West Bank lands and are inhabited by 80 thousand Palestinians. In return, large population centres would be isolated in Area A and B with no political rights.
It seems that the Palestinians have come to the realization that the occupation is imposing a decisive stage in the conflict after the falsehood of the so-called peace process has been exposed. Confronting this project requires engaging with the occupation using all possible means and targeting the security and stability of its settlers, which form the basis of the decisive project. Moreover, the accelerating attempts by the occupation to control the sacred Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa may escalate the confrontation and turn it into a religious conflict. Will the Palestinians face this alone, or will it extend to the region? Only time will answer this question in the coming years.