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'Beyond the Gaza earthquake': Rival Palestinian factions debate future as uncertainty hangs over reconciliation

Here are extracts from two articles written by Palestinians with very different perspectives on how to create the 'independent and viable' Palestinian state which US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has promised to work towards.

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Beyond the Gaza Earthquake, in Al Majd 2 February 2009

By Ibrahim Ghosheh.  Translated by Deena for Meedan.  Read the Arabic original here.

On the Palestinian level, there is no turning back to the Oslo Accord and there is no national unity for those who do not hang on to the Palestinian established facts and those who do not believe in the armed resistance. Those gloomy faces must disappear for good for any encounters with them would count as a gaping stab wound to the heroic acts of Gaza. The strugglers need to forget about the ‘Prisoners’ Document (Akram Haniyeh). This document drops the Jihad in 78% of the Palestinian lands and gives the Oslo authorities the right for submissive negotiations over Palestine’s sanctities!

On the Arabic level, focus should be on ending the aggression and liberating the land from the Strip to the West Bank as well as all the sacred land of Palestine with Jerusalem in the heart of it. The blockade should be ended and crossings should be opened, especially that of Rafah which is the only Arabic one functioning as the lung with which Gaza can breathe. This requires more people pressure on the Camp David system in Egypt, especially by the Islamic, and national powers from within the Land of Egypt. As for the reconstruction, the determination of the patriotic Egyptians can lead to opening the Salaheddin axis between Egypt and Palestine, 14Kms, through which iron, cement, and other construction materials can be transferred. This way, all what has been destructed by the Nazi Zionists during 22 days will be restored in no time, with Arabic, Muslim, Saudi, Qatari, Iranian, etc, funds. The Palestinian resistance cannot accept to yield to the American, European and Zionist plots to put the pressure of reconstruction on the resistance and relate it to politics and economy after the aggression failed to get them to submit with fire and arms.

On the international echelon, with Obama taking over as the new president of the US, we have not so far seen any changes in the US policies in what relates to the Palestinian cause. Throughout the barbaric Zionist war on the Gaza Strip, Obama did not utter a word about the war crimes perpetrated against the civilians. The one time he talked, he broke the news about securing the Zionist entity, condemned Al-Qassam’s rockets and called on the terrorist Hamas to abide by the provisions of the Quartet of which acknowledging Israel’s right to exists tops the list.

In five consecutive years, only 20 Zionists were killed by the al-Qassam rockets versus 1400 martyrs and about 6000 injured by the American arms in only 22 days. So, there is no hope in new American or European stances. Yet, there are noticeable signs of changes in the stances of the European peoples, and somewhat the American as well.

The National Partnership in the face of the occupation and against the coup, in Palestine Media Center, 2 February 2009

Hamada Fara'nah. Translated by Deena for Meedan.  Read the Arabic original here.

In an article published in "Al-Majd" of Jordan, February 2, 2009, titled ‘Zilzal Gaza Lahoh Ma ba’doh’, "Beyond Gaza’s Earthquake”, Ibrahim Ghosheh, member of the Political Bureau of Hamas movement, summed up the facts and the outcome of the battle of the Israeli occupation forces incursion into the Gaza Strip "Operation Cast Lead" as "the first time for this heroic nation to face a battle of resistance and confrontation on the land of Palestine against the savage Zionist murderers."

Please note the lack of accuracy in the narration of the facts, and the slandering of history and even twisting it with the spirit and mindset of a fundamentalist party that denies the continuing sacrifices and perseverance of the Palestinian offerings which did not, and will not stop at the boundaries of the sacrifices of the Gazans and their courage. It is rather a deliberate selection of words suggesting that the perseverance of the people of Gaza in the Cast Lead Battle is owed to those who caused the coup and took control over the Gaza Strip by force, conspiracy and weapons, and by deceiving the Hamas movement as well as its military settlement.

Ibrahim Ghosheh is deliberately and selectively ignoring and the steadfastness of Jenin and its camp, Ramallah and the province, Nablus, Hebron, Tulkarm and all the cities, villages and camps that were subject to the massacres and attacks by occupation army, and also ignoring the destruction and deaths which reigned over the Palestinian people throughout "Defensive Shield Operation" at the times of the late President Yasser Arafat and the prime minister of the enemy, Sharon, in the period that extended from March 2002, towards the end of 2005. All of this does not count and has no value in the eyes of leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood group and its faction, the Hamas movement. Despite the fact that the Hamas movement had participated in those battles and confrontations and in making sacrifices too. The best of its leaders died martyrs starting from Ahmed Yassin to Abdel Aziz Al-Rantisi, Salah Shehada and others in dozens. However, those heroic acts and management of political and field battles were not under the leadership of "Hamas", thus they were dropped by Ibrahim ghoshe, because the Palestinian history was not penned down except after the Muslim Brotherhood Movement decided to establish its militant faction in Palestine with the beginning of the first intifada in 1987, twenty years after the second occupation of Palestine in 1967.

The struggles and the sacrifices against the Israeli Defensive Shield Battle did not take place decades ago, they happened no more than five years ago. The heroes in that battle were "Fatah", "popularity", "democracy", the Communists, the Nationalists and people of all political hues. It did not happen decades ago so we could say it was confined to oblivion and erased from exhausted memories. We say this, not for blaming or out of misunderstanding, but to pause before a political approach that denies the other and does not admit its role or respects its sacrifices, and us, the ones who lived in Jordan and paid the price for being expatriates and for struggling for the acknowledgement of the position and the role of the Palestine Liberation Organization.