Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Gaza and the Major Challenge | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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The Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza strip is the most important event in the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict since the Israeli occupation in 1967.

It means that the Zionist project to extend Israel”s borders and to bring more Jewish immigrants to Israel has clashed with reality and has become a concept of history. This has been highlighted by the third withdrawal that Israel is forced to carry out, after retreating from south Lebanon and the major withdrawal from Egyptian territories before that. The implications of this step is that Israel as a country must perform according to the criterion of the other Middle Eastern countries, and that all the calls of Zionist leaders since the previous century to establish a bigger home for the Jews are gone with the wind.

Such continuous collapse of the Zionist project requires a Palestinian revival headed by rational administration by the Gaza strip that will take up the challenge of construction and development, more challenging than that of a violent struggle.

Palestinians have an irredeemable opportunity to prove that as a nation, they are worthy of state and sovereign, and have the ability to establish a state that will be respected worldwide.

The most dangerous scenario that could occur in Gaza is that of an outburst of internal struggle, or that Hamas and Jihad seek to take control of the area instead of Palestinian Authority. Some may even believe that they can set the foundations for another Taliban republic at the expense of Palestinian society.

The Palestinian authority must take the initiative and formulate a comprehensive conception of the area”s reconstruction. The authority should contact international friends to contribute to its construction, and set the framework for protecting and promoting foreign investment in the sector to improve the Palestinian economy.

The Israeli right wing awaits the failure of the Palestinians. Should Palestinians fail to manage Gaza and should armed struggle take place or fundamentalist groups take control of national decisions, then this would truly mean that the Road Map has failed, causing the situation to return to square one. Such a scenario would be hazardous for the future of Palestinians.