Palthink for Strategic Studies organized on Wednesday 15th of December 2010 in Gaza a roundtable discussion entitled “the The Palestinian Israeli peace talks …. What are the options “. This workshop aimed at exploring the possible alternatives for PA after Israel’s refusal to freeze settlements activities and USA’ regression to put pressure on Israel. The session was moderated by director of Palthink, Omar Shaban and was attended by group of political analysts, parliamentarians and community activists .
Dr. Husin Abu shanab, dean of the faculty of media at Palestine University, asserted that solving the Middle East political crisis depends basically on solving the Palestinian- Israeli struggle. He explained that the American style in negotiation depends on these principles ;
A. negotiates what is possible instead of what is required.
b. Formulate new options when the negotiations reached a blocked road
C. Depend on verbal negotiations and even body language
d. Get to know the other side.
He also listed some suggestions to get out from the current crisis some of which are: a. achieving the Palestinian reconciliation.
B. improving the mechanism and concept of negotiation.
In the same context, Yehya Rabah, Palestine former ambassador to Yemen, stated that the American administration is supporting Israel to the extent of preferring Israel’s interests to the American interest in the Middle East and this is not familiar in the new global system lead by the USA. Focusing on the alternatives of recent Palestinian crisis, he said that the Palestinian position need to:
a. empowering the Arab and international relations,
B. avoiding exaggerating the crisis,
C. regaining the self confidence in defending the Palestinian question,
D. consolidating its relations with the Palestinian community to gain their support and understanding.
Tawfiq Abu shomar, politicla analyst, highlighted the importance of the Palestinian unity to resist the occupation asserting that turning the Palestinian question back to the UN Security Council is considered a backward step in the Palestinian part. He also suggested to the Palestinian negotiator to:
A. rearranges the available options in his hand and recruits them carefully.
B. carries out fair elections besides public referendum about having a state within 1967 borders.
C. reform the PLO and the national council
D. allow the Palestinian political factions to participate in the political decision.
Dr. Fesal Abu Shahla, member of Fatah party in PLC, stated that Israel is not serious about accepting the “two state solution” for many self considerations appreciating at the same time the effective role of the Palestinian negotiator who accomplished many achievements and progress in the Palestinian question. Commenting on the alternatives which were offered by PA president Mahmud Abass , he stressed that President Abass is not going to resign nor dismantle the authority. He also said we the Palestinian political system should search to strength its position, getting rid of the regional and international pressure and carrying out presidential and parliamentary elections are the away to solve the crisis and strengthen the Palestinian position.
In conclusion, the participants agreed that the Palestinian position need to:
1. Achieve the Palestinian national reconciliation
2. Strengthen the international relationships in order to put pressure on Israel
3. Carry out presidential and parliamentary elections
4. Improving the mechanism of negotiation.
17th of December 2010