“Keep the covenant” was a phrase written by the Palestinian resistance fighters, Amir Thuqan and Alam Kaabi, on one of the walls of the house in which they were holed up in the city of Nablus 17 years ago, when special Israeli forces attacked them, wounding them nearly as martyrs and took them to their prisons.
Side by side, the “twins” of the Palestinian struggle, Kaabi and Thuqan, fought fierce battles against the Israeli occupation, and their star shone during the Al-Aqsa Intifada in 2000, where they were deported for more than 3 years, were wounded and arrested together, and faced the same charges and the same ruling, and together they were released as part of the Wafa Al-Ahrar deal (the Shalit deal) ) In 2011 and deported to Gaza.
The Al-Aqsa Intifada erupted on September 28, 2000, due to the visit of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque, with the protection of hundreds of Israeli soldiers. Confrontations took place that resulted in the deaths of 7 Palestinians and the wounding of hundreds and wounding Israeli soldiers as well.
Kaabi, a member of the Palestinian Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and Thuqan, an activist in the Fatah movement at the time, were struggling together with the expansion of the confrontation in the West Bank, Jerusalem and Gaza. They are the sons of Balata camp east of Nablus, and they fought the Al-Hijrah uprising (the first intifada) in the late eighties and were arrested together.
Kaabi and Thuqan now recall, after 20 years, the state of national unity that prevailed at that time and the popular incubator and mass rally, which formed the basis of support for the Palestinian resistance, and made one of the leaders of the occupation army, according to Kaabi, say, “If the West Bank was the fierce lion of the Al-Aqsa Intifada, then Nablus is the heart of this lion.” .
Burntly, he tells Al-Jazeera Net a struggle and a unitary reality that they lived through during the Al-Aqsa Intifada and the pursuit of the occupation, and says, “We shared everything, food, drink, clothes, overnight stays and even weapons,” which made Nablus a haven and shelter for resistance from the rest of the West Bank cities.
The popular hug
The fighter Kaabi recalls that popular incubator for the resistance that made the Palestinians possess the courage and will, which confirms that they are able to repel the Israeli military machine every time and time, even if peace treaties or agreements failed them, and he sees that the people, even if weakened at a stage, does not mean that he has surrendered.
Nevertheless, he acknowledges that the “unity” that characterized the Al-Aqsa Intifada is now absent due to the “occupation and its accomplices” who worked to weaken it and sow the seeds of discord in Palestinian society.
Kaabi is aware of the escalation of violence and Israeli settlement, which was “slowed” by the Al-Aqsa Intifada, and proposes the option of “armed resistance” to curb Israel and its colonial project, to preserve the Palestinian national identity and to challenge the state of “subjugation and defeat”, which some parties seek to implant in the younger generation, in reference to ” Arab countries are scrambling to normalize and follow Israel and implement its agendas.
Kaabi and Thuqan realize that the right of return and the Palestinian constants will not be subject to the statute of limitations despite the Arab disappointment of normalization. He says, “What annoys the typographers the most is their harm to their masters in America and Israel, and that this must be poured into the unity of the Palestinians to spark their resistance.”
Tragedy breeds frustration
Nevertheless, the suffering of Balata camp cannot be hidden, like the rest of the Palestinian cities in the West Bank, after these years, where the siege, incursions, arrests and Israeli military checkpoints prevail.
From the perspective of the observer, Ahmed Shamikh, a member of the services committee in Balata camp, says to Al-Jazeera Net, that the obvious change after the Al-Aqsa Intifada is the state of humiliation and frustration that the refugees experience and their loss of confidence in the Palestinian leadership as a whole and the Arabs as a pressure force to achieve their dream of freedom and return to their homelands.
In terms of numbers, Balata camp, the most numerous among the West Bank camps (30,000 refugees), suffers from poverty exceeding 50% and unemployment estimated at 30%, but the reality is more “miserable” as Shamekh describes it in light of the presence of more than 1500 wounded during the Al-Aqsa Intifada, and more than 220 Martyrs and hundreds of prisoners.
To make matters worse, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) reduced its humanitarian aid, financially and in kind. America has cut $ 365 million in commitments to UNRWA, threatening the education and health sectors to stop its work and halting emergency aid projects.
The in-kind parcels were transferred to financial shares estimated at $ 10 per person, and are disbursed every 3 months to about 700 poor families in the camp from about 8,000 families.
This “catastrophic” reality, according to Lamekh, falls on the one million refugees living in the West Bank, including 270,000 in the camps, in addition to the efforts to end the “political” marginalization of the American and Israeli camp and end it as a symbol of asylum, adding, “Arab normalization comes to blow up all the sacrifices and blood that shed for the sake of the Palestinians.” And their just cause. “
To date, Israel has not lost any of the scenes of the siege that Palestinians lived during the Al-Aqsa Intifada, as checkpoints and military gates encircle the West Bank, and incursions and arrests have not stopped, in addition to the acceleration of settlements and the increase in the number of settlers to about one million settlers in more than 250 settlements and outposts.
Israel yields to resistance
Hani Al-Masry, director of the Palestinian Center for Policy Research and Strategic Studies (Masarat), says that the escalation of Israeli arrogance and the Arabs’ scrambling towards normalization requires the Palestinians to rally and unite behind a single struggle program, despite the “loss of confidence” rampant among them due to division, corruption and others.
He adds that Israel today does not want peace or negotiations on the terms of this peace. Rather, it wants the Palestinians to agree to the final solution that it proposes alone and accept it, which is a one-party solution. It rejects the idea that the land is Palestinian and disputed, but rather considers it part of “Greater Israel.”
It is not looking for a management of the conflict, but rather pressures to accept what it is imposing on the Palestinian and Arab land, and that is why it calls on Arabs to agree to “Trump’s vision for peace,” and this is the first fruit of normalization.
Despite the fragmentation and division of the Palestinians, and their adherence to the theory of “staying and waiting” or standing idly by in managing the conflict with Israel, Al-Masry keeps betting on the popular Palestinian will and the comprehensive and new strategic vision and uniting the leadership as a way to victory.
Al-Masry and the speakers are unanimously agreed that without strengthening the Palestinian internal front, Israel will not come to negotiate, and that what is required is to get out of the tactic to strategic action by exploiting the state of national consensus between the factions now, and the Palestinian leadership’s rejection of America’s vision for peace despite all the pressures to form the core of resistance to the occupation and support it, whatever it is The shape of this resistance.