Hundreds of martyrs and prisoners in 2021… An escalating Palestinian resistance in exchange for nothing politically
Nablus- “Burqa is a free, independent republic, governed by national forces, and the Israeli occupation army prevents it from entering.” The first was in 1988.
It was an enthusiastic and revolutionary statement, but it gave hope to the masses of the village who rose up against the occupation soldiers and freed the detainees from them and drove them out. The news spread to the foreign and Arab media, and some of its newspapers headed their front page with that statement of victory, and Palestinian President Yasser Arafat sent them greetings at that time.
Days before the end of 2021, the same scene returned to Cyrenaica, and Douglas shouted again: “On the ground, stationed, a thorn in the throat of the occupiers,” and the comrades of the struggle echoed behind him, after the village turned into a front of resistance to the attacks of the settlers, days after one of them was killed and wounded. Others are near the settlement of Homesh, perched on the lands of the citizens there.
As the people of Burqa confronted the settlers’ attacks and their plans to rebuild the evacuated settlement “Homash,” the most prominent points of the ongoing popular resistance in the West Bank joined them: Kafr Qaddoum, Beita, Beit Dajan and others.
Violence and settlements.. Continuous killing and captivity
With their attacks that escalated at the end of the year, settler violence doubled to more than 120% in 2021 from its predecessor, and settlements doubled about 3 times after new Israeli tenders to build 3,984 settlement units in the past year, compared to 1,367 units in 2020, thus confiscating thousands of dunams (dunam = a thousand). square meters) of Palestinian land.
On the other hand, Israel demolished more than 900 Palestinian facilities, including more than 320 homes in 2021, and notified more than 700 other facilities of demolition under the pretext of building without a permit in Area C (which is controlled by the occupation according to the Oslo Agreement).
During the past year, the Israeli occupation killed 357 Palestinians, according to the data of the National Assembly of the Families of the Martyrs, of whom 257 were martyred in the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip last May, and 100 martyrs were distributed among the rest of the Palestinian areas. The last of them is the martyr Amir Rayan, who was killed on the last day of 2021, under the pretext of trying to carry out a stabbing attack near the village of Haris in the northern West Bank.
Repression stalks the freedom of prisoners
The occupation’s suppression of Palestinian prisoners in its prisons increased, especially after 6 of them succeeded in escaping from the most fortified Gilboa prison at the beginning of last September, in addition to the escalation of the individual hunger strike in rejection of administrative detention. The prisoner, Hisham Abu Hawash, spent 141 days on a hunger strike, until The occupation acquiesced and announced that it would release him on February 26, and Abu Hawash achieved a resounding victory over his jailer.
The prisoners – especially the “prisoners of the “Freedom Tunnel” who were re-arrested – did not lose their hope of being released, and they responded to the Israeli judge during their trial that the resistance would not forget them, especially after the spokesman for the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the military arm of Hamas, pledged, Not to pass any exchange deal that does not include their release.
Human rights organizations recorded more than 8,000 arrests of Palestinians in 2021 from the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Jerusalem, including 1,300 minors, and 184 women, and these were subjected to systematic repression by the prison authorities, represented by isolating them, breaking into their cells, beating them, and depriving a large number of them from visiting their families for long periods.
The policy of medical negligence in the occupation’s prisons led to an increase in the number of sick prisoners to 700, and the death of 3 of them, the last of whom was the captive Sami al-Amour from the Gaza Strip, after he was deprived of visiting his family for 13 years.
The general occupation was concluded with the adoption of a new racist law that increases its units inside prisons under the pretext of controlling security.
Election failure and opposition suppression
Internally, the Palestinian issue was no better, as the Palestinians woke up to the Palestinian president’s postponement of the legislative elections that were scheduled for May 22nd until further notice, “because of Israel’s obstruction of holding them in Jerusalem.” This applied to the presidential and National Council elections that were scheduled in the summer months, while local elections were partially organized in some areas of the West Bank.
This exacerbated the state of popular and factional rejection of the PA leadership’s uniqueness in the decision, and led to the outbreak of a political crisis, one of whose manifestations was the assassination of the opposition leader, “Nizar Banat” in the city of Hebron, and the rise in the phenomenon of political arrests.
The political crisis was accompanied by the persistence of manifestations of corruption and nepotism in the public sectors, and the deterioration of economic conditions, with unemployment exceeding the 30% barrier.
Politically, the Palestinians have not achieved much. The talk about land, borders, and refugees has been devoid of anything but Israeli begging to revive the peace process and return to negotiations that have been stalled for 10 years, which the Israelis publicly reject.
The last meeting – the second this year – between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz at the latter’s house, came to confirm the Palestinian retreat, as described by analysts.
While PA officials considered the meeting a political breakthrough, Israel confirmed – through its media – that there is no peace and no state for the Palestinians, and that the meeting was for a security and economic purpose only.
The Palestinians saw that the return to the political path with the occupation was blown up by the popular upheaval in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, Jerusalem and the areas of the West Bank, Gaza and the interior, in what was known as the “May gift”, where all Palestinians revolted against the occupation and rejected forced displacement, and this culminated in the “Sword of Jerusalem” battle between the resistance Gaza and the occupation.
That is why 2021 was marked by “the Palestinian people’s violence and their will to resist,” says the Secretary-General of the Palestinian initiative, Mustafa Barghouti, even though he began implementing the deal of the century with all its dangers, especially normalization, settlement expansion and the fourth war on Gaza.
Barghouti adds to Al Jazeera Net that with Israel’s rejection of any peace process and any solution with the Palestinians, and its quest to annex all the occupied territories, 2021 will be “the most prominent year in which the failure of the Oslo Agreement and the betting on negotiation with the occupation emerged.”
He described it as “the year of the fall of the two-state solution”, and the increasing conviction among the Palestinians, not only of fighting Israel as a racist regime, but of bringing down the occupation in all of historic Palestine.
Barghouti expected the popular resistance to escalate during 2022, but rather to enter into a form of “total war.” For this reason, he called for a way out of the internal Palestinian crisis through three conditions: the first of which is the declaration of the failure of Oslo, the dissolution of agreements with Israel, and the cessation of security coordination.
In addition to accepting the principle of “democratic partnership” and the lack of any faction’s uniqueness in the Palestinian decision, and thirdly, restoring the right of the Palestinian people to elect their leaders, because canceling the legislative elections is a “mistake,” according to Barghouti.
Applying the deal of the century without advertising
On the political track as well, Khalil Al-Tafkaji, director of the Map Department at the Arab Studies Association in Jerusalem, says, “There is no state for the Palestinians with the Israeli vision and no Israeli concern for them at all, and the extremist occupation government implements the deal of the century without announcing it.”
Al-Tafkaji indicates to Al-Jazeera Net that the escalation of settler violence and the increase in their numbers to about 500,000 in the West Bank only, the diversity of settlement between agricultural and industrial, the extension of road, railway and tunnel networks, and the occupation’s control of 83% of the Palestinian water.
And the state of the Palestinians is not seen by the occupation – according to Al-Tafkaji – except as a “municipal administration” from the Palestinian government, which collects money only.