Strategic observation

News Analysis: Palestinians concern over worsening Gulf crisis, fear consequences

2017-06-19 03:43:28 (Beijing Time)         English.news.cn

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by Osama Radi, Emad Drimly

RAMALLAH, June 18 (Xinhua) -- Following the declaration of Gulf and Arab states to boycott Qatar, which broke out two weeks ago, and the decision to take measures against the emirate, the Palestinians decided to be neutral to avoid more losses of aligning to one side against the other.

However, Palestinian observers expressed deep concern over the consequences of the growing Gulf crisis and its reflection on the Palestinian cause, at a time there is a huge decline and lack of points of support, especially the historic Arab and Islamic one.

On June 5, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, along with Egypt and other Arab and Muslim countries, announced they would boycott Qatar diplomatically and take action against it, accusing Doha for supporting "terrorism" and backing the Muslim Brotherhood movement.

Qatar, which according to the observers, has been known for its controversial regional alliances, rejected the accusations and announced it has been put under a campaign to impose a Gulf guardianship on it, at a time the boycotting countries had insisted on their positions.

The Palestinian National Authority (PNA) has been silent since the start of the crisis, preferring to monitor its developments without giving a position to support one party against another.

In this regard, a member of the Executive Committee of Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), Ahmed Majdalani told Xinhua two days ago that the official Palestinian position on the Gulf crisis is "to resolve it via political means and dialogue."

Majdalani said the parties to the crisis did not ask any position from the PNA on the crisis.

In the same context, the Palestinian factions have committed themselves to a policy of neutrality and have not stated any public position on developments in the Gulf crisis, including the Islamic Hamas movement, whose leaders are now residing outside Doha.

Hamas political bureau, Ismail Haneya said during a telephone conversation with Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir two days ago that the dispute between Arab and Islamic countries is "not in the interest of the nation."

Muhannad Abdul Hamid, a Palestinian political writer and analyst told Xinhua that the important criterion to determine the position of the current Gulf conflict "is the position of these countries to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and the support of the Palestinian people, unity and struggle against Israel."

"The situation in the Arab world is putting the Palestinian issue on the sidelines of the official Arab interests, but dealing with the threat of terrorism and the Iranian threat as a priority, a position that meets with Israeli positions and stances," said Abdul Hamid.

He added that the Arab position in response to the situation is "based on supporting the internal Palestinian division and strengthening the separation of Gaza from the West Bank, which serves Israel, weakens and threatens Palestinian representation and impedes Palestinian democracy."

Therefore, it is considered that "the Palestinians can not accept the previous positions shared by a number of Arab countries, and can not support a party against a party who has always agreed on the position of neutrality of the Israeli occupation and normalization with its government in secret and in public."

Hani al-Masri, head of the Ramallah-based Center for Research and Studies, told Xinhua that "the Palestinian (National) Authority is a pan-Arab issue not to take sides" in the Gulf crisis and in other crises among the Arab countries.

He told Xinhua that Palestine should always "approach each axis as it approaches Palestinian rights and support the Palestinians in the face of escalating attempts these days to implement the Israeli solution through calls for a solution through Arab-Israeli normalization without resolving the Palestinian issue."

For his part, professor of political science in the Gaza Strip Ibrahim Abraash, previewed "re-entering the Palestinians into the Gulf crisis, by focusing on Hamas's relationship with Qatar and the demand to Doha to expel the leaders of the Islamic movement and stop funding it."

"What is going on is the "involvement of Palestine into the chaos of the continuation of the destructive Arab Spring wave by accusing Qatar of supporting Hamas and considering it a terrorist movement in return for Israel moving from the camp of enemies to the allied camp," Ibrach told Xinhua.

He believes that the accusations against Hamas "warn that we are coming to a new equation in which Israel will be an essential part, an equation in which the Palestinians may pay a heavier price that goes beyond Hamas to touch the essence of Palestinian political rights."