Both the presidency and the government agreed in two separate statements in condemning the new Israeli aggression on Nablus, the terrorizing of citizens and besieging institutions.
They agreed the goal of this aggression was to sabotage the Palestinian reconciliation reached in Mecca and to abort the formation of a unity government, something which gained Arab and international support.
Moreover, the presidency indicated that this aggression aimed at blocking the efforts being exerted to stabilize the truce, and that it violated the understandings of the tripartite summit in which President Mahmoud ‘Abbas, the Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and the U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice had participated. This summit was supposed to include all the Palestinian territories in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
The question regarding the Palestinian consensus about the Israeli intentions, goals and practices is, what will the presidency and government do to cut the road off for Israel and to successfully implement the Mecca agreement by forming the unity government?
As a matter of fact, the call separately issued by the presidency and the government to the international community to intervene and put an end to the Israeli practices is not sufficient.
Since reaching the Mecca agreement, the international community and the Palestinian people have been waiting for the formation of a national unity government capable of lifting the political and financial sanctions imposed on the Palestinian lands and capable of dealing with the international community, according to the international legitimacy resolutions through which the highest interests of the Palestinian people are served.
If both Fatah and Hamas movements together with the presidency and the government are keen on implementing the Mecca agreement – thus protecting the Palestinian arena from being a hostage to tensions and bloodletting – they should proceed to form a unity government based on a transparent program especially relating to the political aspects. A government that can preserve that international support and lift the blockade and push ahead the efforts directed at solving the Palestinian issue on the platform of establishing the independent Palestinian state on the lands occupied since 1967 and implementing the international legitimacy resolutions regarding all aspects of the Palestinian issue including the refugees issue.
This is the only way for the presidency, the government, Fatah and Hamas bolstered by the national Palestinian consensus with other factions to preempt the Israeli plans, to reveal its positions and practices to the international community and to isolate its positions which reject the just political solution for the Palestinian issue.
Only in this way can the presidency and the government alleviate the suffering of our people and enhance the hope that through this unity, insistence on our legitimate rights and openness on the international community would proceed toward our legitimate goals.
All said, our people are waiting the formation of this government – not merely for an upcoming political movement, however important that movement might be, but also to defuse all the pretexts of internal tensions and treating our domestic complexities which need efforts and serious positions.
Added to this is what the formation of this government might constitute with regard to voiding the pretexts and arguments behind which Israel hides while it continues its plans and practices such as what happened in Nablus, and other areas before that – not to mention settlement activities, Jerusalem provocations, the barrier and other detrimental practices.
Ibrahim Deibes is a veteran Palestinian journalist. This editorial first appeared in Al-Quds.
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