Washington seeks to put Jerusalem in the balance of bargaining with its conditions on the Palestinian situation.
Only a year after the formation of Palestinian Authority, and its engagement in marathonic negotiations with the occupation(according to Oslo), the US Congress approved that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, and demanded to transfer the Embassy of Washington to it.
This resolution has been significant enough for the PA to realize since then the outcome of negotiations, which it has been engaged in, and know that the United States has provided the occupation with a political cover to intensify the campaigns of judaizing the city and to remove it from the context of discussions about the future of occupied Palestinian territories.
Congress gave the US president, a power to postpone the implementation of this resolution twice a year. This was like a semiannual examination through which the successive US administrations study the good manner of PA and its commitment to the settlement rules and its determinants; therefore, the President takes the decision to postpone implementation or otherwise.
Since 1995, the PA has been convincing itself that the repeated US presidential signature on postponing the implementation, indicates that the action has become automatic, until it finds itself facing the meeting of Washington and Tel Aviv requirements, which commitment to implement them, results no less dangerous outcomes than the actual transfer of Embassy or it is more dangerous.
The Israeli attempts to impose occupying measures on Jerusalem and its Arab inhabitants that have been witnessed over the past two years, affect the city's status and its national identity. Its seeking to divide Al Aqsa spatially and temporally, was faced by a popular uprising by which the confrontation with the occupation, was expanded from the Palestinian Bank to the territories of 48. This year, Jerusalem witnessed an uprising that was broken out by the Jerusalemites, to reject the occupation measures on the gates of Al-Aqsa and its surroundings, and they were able to force Tel Aviv to back down from these measures.
These strong reactions have renewed the conviction of Washington and Tel Aviv that the defense of Jerusalem, is a Palestinian national top priority, and that the battle of defending it, will gain an attention that Arab and Islamic capitals cannot ignore, regardless of their actual contribution to support this battle.
It is clear that the United States and Israel, want to put this important and sensitive issue at the balance of bargaining with the implementation of their conditions, which were proposed by US envoy, Greenblatt, to the leadership of PA, without affecting the continuation of occupation's projects towards the city and its Arab population. This conclusion is confirmed by the resolution that has been unanimously adopted by Congress since few days, in which the US aid to the Palestinian Authority, is reduced according to the amount paid by the PLO as salaries to the families of martyrs and prisoners, which suspending them is one of Greenblatt's conditions.
Depending on the experience with the occupation and United States, the two sides take their quota of any bargain that they propose to PA; by more political concessions in the settlement process, without proposing their own part in the bargain.
This happened with the launch of the last round of negotiations in 2014, when they promised the PA to release four groups of Palestinian prisoners, including former detainees. But when the Palestinian negotiator could not complete the negotiation process because of deactivating its content by the occupation and the continued expansion of settlements in the Palestinian Bank and Jerusalem, the process of releasing the prisoners has been discontinued. Ten years ago, the easing of the siege on Palestinian gatherings in the Palestinian Bank and the removal of military checkpoints, were a sign of confidence from the occupation towards the Palestinians. This issue has become an "achievements" that the PA must commit itself to implement many conditions in order to obtain them.
The same applies to promises to ease economic pressure and allow of making economic projects that revive the Palestinian economy and improve the conditions of Palestinians. This issue has become the most prominent title of the settlement proposed by Benjamin Netanyahu under the title of «economic peace», and thus the conclusion of this settlement, is without dealing with the issue of the establishment of an independent Palestinian state. Netanyahu's plan was welcomed by the Trump's administration, which is preparing the settlement project in accordance with this vision and disseminating it at the regional level, as confirmed by the intended leaks about the main thoughts and items of the plan of Trump's administration, which is called the "bargain of the Century".
Depending on these American and Israeli determinants, President Trump launched his provocative statements about the city of Jerusalem, its status and its Palestinian identity. He intended to inform the presidents of a number of Arab and regional countries of his intention to transfer the Embassy of his country to Jerusalem, relying on a perspective of maximum benefit from the state of confusion that could be made in their circles by this statement; and the state of panic that will arise if the Palestinian people break out a new uprising, in response to the US resolution. In this situation, the US administration is heading to a bargain with different equation, its title is "dealing with American-Israeli conditions in exchange for postponing the implementation of the resolution to transfer the Embassy or just talking about long-term mechanisms to implement the resolution; in addition to maintain American recognition that (Jerusalem is the capital of the occupation).
What can eliminate this equation, should be necessarily linked, to the strength of Palestinian reaction politically and popularly, at the level of PA and Palestinian factions, not only in defense of the city of Jerusalem and its identity, but basically in facing the entire American-Israeli project, including; the titles of settlement, to the repeated attempts to subjugate the Palestinian political and popular situation, and to pay attention to the urgent tasks that have been accumulated on the agenda of Palestinian situation, foremost of which is ending the division and restoring the unity through aborting the factional and regional policies that led to the division and its continuation and aggravation.
The Oslo Accords have formed a coup against the Palestinian national project, and they are the main reason for enabling the occupation and its American sponsorship, to implement the policy of imposing a fait accompli and restricting the Palestinians to political, security and economic agreements that affect their interests. These Accords became a real threat even for those who signed them in 1993, in terms of the threat of discontinuing the conditional aid, provided by the donor countries, headed by the United States, and the confiscation of PA's revenues by the occupation at every station, where there is not an acceptance to any position of PA.
By this perspective, the decisions of Palestinian Central Council (5/3/2015), have made advanced steps towards correcting the official Palestinian policy when it called for the non-adoption of any settlement if it is not relied on on the relevant resolutions of international legitimacy, including Resolution 194, which guarantees Palestinian refugees the right to return to their homes and properties from which they have been expelled. It also called for: the cessation of security coordination with the occupation, boycotting it economically, the launching of popular resistance and protecting it politically and in the field, and applying for the full membership of Palestine at the United Nations.
The great dangers posed by Washington and Tel Aviv projects, can be dealt with seriously through this responsible national policy. These projects seek to close the door to the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people in return and independence, deal with the Palestinians as a population without national rights, and to put them on the margin of the political map that has been drawn by Washington, to apply it in the region in accordance with its interests that are consistent with the interests of occupation.
Mohamad Alsahli: Editor in Chief of Alhourriah newspaper, the official speaker of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine.