Thursday, July 05, 2012

As PA faces splits, Palestinian Islamists look to unify

Ma'an has an essay in the wake of this week's protests and violence in Ramallah:

Something deep and painful was broken in Ramallah this week: along with the bones broken by violent Palestinian plainclothes and official security officials dealing with a protest, Palestinian trust was permanently wounded.

...The fact that the latest protests came from young people that do not belong to either PLO factions or Hamas seems to have made the security apparatus feel that it can act with impunity against them. This has proved to be a mistake and if it continues, it will bring long-term damage to the Fatah leadership.

It is unlikely that the current protests will produce anything close to the two intifadas that shook the earth of the occupiers. If anything, the current protests and the dynamism created by the security’s crackdown will produce large protests against the Palestinian Authority.

Palestinian resentment at the unending West Bank-Gaza split and the disgust with the negotiation process will most likely lead to a strengthening of this popular anti-PA movement. And if the demands and aspirations of these protesters are not taken seriously, the very foundation and legitimacy of the current Palestinian leadership will be seriously put to test.
Meanwhile, Islamic Jihad is trying to get closer to Hamas:
Palestinian factions will meet Thursday for reconciliation talks in Gaza City, an Islamic Jihad leader told Ma'an.

Khalid al-Batsch told Ma'an that Islamic Jihad invited parties to meet at its offices since the scheduled talks in Cairo were delayed and because of Hamas' decision to suspend voter registration in Gaza.
If things keep going as they are, the Palestinian Spring will look a lot like the Egyptian.