The Secretary of State does not have enough reasons to keep the PLO office in Washington open. This is the brief message, sent by the US diplomacy to the Palestinian Authority, which in its turn announced its intention to stop the communication with the United States if the office is closed.
In twenty-four hours later Washington jumped over the deadline which has been given to the PA to "convince" the US administration with the reasons for keeping the office open, and it decided to close it; while the PA "broke" its talk about the pausing the communications with USA and sent General Majid Faraj, the director of the PA intelligence to Washington, in a try to understand the reasons for the closing.
It was clear that Washington is blackmailing the PA to implement a set of conditions on the settlement and the Palestinian role required in the arrangements of the "Deal of the Century" in the region, when USA gave the PA a deadline to give reasons for keeping the P.L.O office open, but when Washington decided to jump over the deadline , this assured that it has decided to impose these conditions without discussion!
The first call between president Trump and President Abbas created an atmosphere of satisfaction among the PA and eased its concerns about the new administration's ignorance towards the PA and its president, but this satisfaction did not last long when the envoy of the US President ,Greenblatt, launched the relationship with the PA by proposing a set of conditions to be implemented as a confidence guarantee to Trump's administration about the validity of the Palestinian situation to participate in the settlement.
After that, a Palestinian-American teamwork was formed to study the ideas that would pave the way for the settlement and to resume the negotiations with Israel, then it was obivious that the American side in the group was seeking for the implementation of the conditions and the timeframe for doing that . President Trump's representatives did not hide his disquiet with the lack of full commitment of the PA to these conditions, and expressed his intention to abandon his efforts towards settlement if these conditions are not met.
It is well known that the nine American conditions , proposed by Greenblatt, focus on rehabilitating the Palestinian situation culturally, politically and in security with the Israeli vision, and they start with the renouncing of incitement against occupation and rehabilitating the security services of the PA to carry out its duty to suppress the "instigators", and continue with the brainwashing of Palestinian national history which was recorded by the Palestinians sacrifices through stopping the salaries of martyrs and prisoners' families ,then they reach to the continuation of the Israeli siege on Gaza by stopping paying money to the strip and its people.
It was normal to suspect and mistrust the PA's procedures towards its employees in Gaza and toward reducing their salaries and the imposition of early retirement on many of them, as well as the cessation of fuel financing for the power plant in the Strip. If the issue of the salaries of martyrs and prisoners' families with its social and symbolic sense has been prevented until now to be touched, however, this did not convince the American administration, which added with Israel more conditions on the PA after signing the new reconciliation agreement in Cairo.
It is clear that the US administration is seeking, through pressuring on the PA and the PLO, to adjust the results of the reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas, and the outcome of the comprehensive national dialogue in Cairo, with the unified American-Israeli conditions. So, it is no coincidence that the PLO office in Washington was closed on the eve of the meeting of the Palestinian forces and factions in Cairo to discuss the mechanisms of success of the reconciliation agreement and consensus on solutions to issues and files that pave the way for the restoration of unity and the rebuilding of the Palestinian political system on democratic bases.
Therefore, Washington and Tel Aviv are trying to distort the Palestinian reconciliation from the direction that most Palestinian forces and factions want in terms of adherence to the national liberation program, which its main topic is the right of the Palestinian people to resist the occupation by all available means including the military resistance, in accordance with the resolutions of international legitimacy and the right of the Palestinian people in self-determination, return and independence.
The recent US action toward the PLO office illustrates the fact that Washington sought to open a dialogue with PLO in the late 1980s , after it placed it at the top of the list of terrorist organizations. At that time, the US administration wanted the relationship with PLO to control the first Palestinian intifada which was broke out in late 1987, to encroach on its goals of freedom and independence and to put it down and to restore the Palestinian state to silence. This was confirmed by the start of the Madrid Conference in the autumn of 1991,and the subsequent negotiations , as after Tel Aviv and Washington failed to adapt the Palestinian negotiating delegation, they encouraged the PLO leadership to open a secret negotiating track that later produced the Oslo Accord, whose catastrophic consequences continue to exist.
The change in the American approach to the Palestinian Authority, is linked to a number of factors, including the turbulent developments in the Arab region and their reflection on the supposed Arab role in supporting Palestinian rights, but the most significant self-factor relates to the Palestinian situation during the past decade, and what it has suffered due to division, and the bet on the US role in reaching to a balanced political solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
Therefore, it is clear that the response to what Washington has done to the PLO office should be more than media positions about stopping contacts with the US administration, and paying attention to the core issues that are supposed to be achieved, starting with the success of the reconciliation agreement and progressing towards restoring unity and forming a government of national unity that prepare for elections to ensure the rebuilding of the Palestinian political system.
As for the political process, the Palestinian Central Council decided at its twenty-seventh session (2015) that this process should be based on the relevant resolutions of international legitimacy and called for: mobilizing the Palestinian popular resistance and its protection , stopping the security coordination with the occupation and its economic boycott and activating Palestine's membership in international institutions especially the "international criminal court" and to submit lawsuits on the crimes of the occupation against the Palestinian people and its land and properties.
By this only, the Israeli-American pressures can be faced, which seek to eliminate the Palestinian cause and to dispel the national rights of the Palestinian people.
Mohamad Alsahli: Editor in Chief of Alhourriah newspaper, the official speaker of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine.