Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (Reuters)
The dilemma of a permanent ceasefire in the Gaza Strip appears to be more of an Israeli and Western political problem than an operational military one. Israel committed itself to an elusive goal under the pressure of the shock of the October 7 attack.
Nearly fifty days after a horrific bombardment and an unprecedented mass killing machine that has killed more than 15,<> Palestinian civilians so far – Hamas stood up to Israel in the interim truce negotiations for prisoner exchanges.
The exchanges during the truce days reflected Qassam control over areas of the Strip, including northern Gaza, which is surrounded by more than 350 armored vehicles and thousands of Israeli troops.
Israel's real nightmare lies in the answer to the difficult question: Who will govern Gaza the morning after the ceasefire? The answer to this question is complex and complex, as it does not only raise the question of governance and authority in Gaza, but mainly in Tel Aviv, where observers agree that Netanyahu's political end is the decisive outcome with which the war began.
As the PA's political and security prestige fades, Abbas's rule also appears to be under threat from the development of social dynamics in the occupied West Bank, which interact with the Gaza scene in a taboo way on October 6.
Over the past years, the PA's political entity has been a target of the Israeli right, which has developed in the last decade a new functional vision for the PA's possible role in the West Bank, based mainly on political depoliticization and the concentration of local services, in an approach to the idea of "Palestinian village ties" in the seventies of the last century under Likud rule.
It is a role supported by Western donor countries, partners intentionally or unwittingly in producing the current form of authority in the West Bank.
The Road to Ramallah
In recent years, the Muqata'a in Ramallah has appeared to be a government building that has lost momentum, isolated from the international and regional agenda. High-level visits by PA officials were recorded only in the wake of the military escalation in Gaza.
In the 20211 war, as in this war, Western officials remembered the road to Ramallah, and that something could be discussed there in light of the escalation, after months and years of untold occupation attacks in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, Al-Aqsa Mosque, and the entire West Bank.
Thus, in the last ten years, the violations of the occupation remain subject to silence or condemnations of raising the threshold, until the Palestinian factions in Gaza decide to break that silence.
The international sponsors send the message that the untold Palestinian is internationally unspoken. It is a logical equation whose verbal expressions have been reproduced by wise men in various ways since time immemorial.
Arguably, the momentum of diplomatic ties in Ramallah is made by military uniforms in Gaza; this is how international actors have drawn an empirical base in Palestinian politics.
Thus, international interaction that sponsors the Palestinian-Israeli political tracks has always been negative with the low-cost victim. The world came together to create the Madrid process only after the first intifada, and it came together to democratize the Palestinians through internationally supported elections after the second intifada. The Middle East becomes the capital of world diplomacy when the occupation only cries out.
With all the international investment in the luxury occupation industry, the results are different this time around. The Palestinian Authority in the West Bank has weakened Israel and the West to the point where it no longer answers the question of Gaza and its post-war.
If Hamas survives and continues to rule the Strip—which seems likely given the current landscape—new political convictions will be formed not only in Palestine, but in the world at large.
This war not only provoked the intransigence of the fighters, but also provoked the ire of allies and pacifists from countries with close ties with the West and peace with Israel. Egypt and Jordan have so far stood firm in the face of the displacement project, which reflected unprecedented international brazenness, as the occupation and its allies demand that the victims pay the cost of getting rid of themselves.
International investment has succeeded in stabilizing Palestinian-Israeli contract dynamics in the West Bank that have produced a high-cost, low-cost occupation, but it fails to provide this contract today as a reliable answer to the question of the day after the Gaza war. This war is a rare moment of truth that reveals the price of imbalances in everything: politically, morally and strategically.
Fifty days of the world's alert and standing on one leg, so that the next day's answer seems absent, and the continuation of war seems the only option to avoid that moment, but it is certainly not the easiest option.
This war is losing momentum, even among its Western backers. This particular issue was the source of Israeli concern and the main reason for the intransigence in signing the current exchange deal, which would not have taken place without Netanyahu's fear of falling before the war ended.
Will the world once again accept a savagery that goes without a horizon? The emergence of Hamas and its fighters in full force and operational capabilities during this truce seemed a sign of defeat for Netanyahu and his army, and may seem to erode his international support.
This apparition tells the world supporting the war, how many more fifty days will it take in order to achieve the stated goal of war? If this truce provides an answer to this, what is the point of continuing the war, in light of the continuation of the global protest movement, which is provoking vertical and horizontal political divisions in major Western democracies?
Gaza put everyone in a tight corner. The great frustration that the Western position has provoked may not spur public opinion in hopes of changing its position. It is so if only the moral factor determines these attitudes.
This truce moved the argument from the moral to the realistic. The war on innocent civilians in Gaza may intensify further, claiming thousands of new child lives in order to achieve the strategy of occupation in creating popular pressure on the fighters.
However, contrary to the hope of Israeli killing in Gaza, something different is taking shape in the West Bank and beyond from the incubators of Palestinian interaction and beyond, where Hamas is rising to levels not seen since its founding.
Thus, the Israeli occupation and Western political radicalism contribute to the largest recruitment process in the history of the Palestinian cause, opening the door to possibilities in which there may be no winner in the future, except for those who believe that the one who lacks everything in the first place, does not fight a losing war, whatever its outcome.