Agreement between Sharon and Palestinian Authority over Gaza confirmed

Yesterday (27.5.2004), the "Haaretz" informed us of what our readers knew weeks ago. Namely that Dahlan [The former head of the Palestinian Preventive Security forces in the Gaza Strip] is working with Sharon to establish an Israeli governed council once Israel withdraws from Gaza, that the PA and Hamas leadership accept it and the rulers of the Arab ruling class have given it its blessings. When we wrote shortly after Rantisi's assassination that this was the plan I assume that some of our readers may have been sceptical. Yet this is exactly what the Israeli bourgeoisie's mouthpiece is confirming:

Under the title, "Dahlan warns of 'deep rift' between Palestinian Authority and Hamas, Jihad" we read the following:

"The former head of the Palestinian Preventive Security forces in the Gaza Strip, Mohammed Dahlan, warned Tuesday that a continuation of violence by Hamas and Islamic Jihad once Israel withdraws from the Gaza Strip, will lead to a deep rift between the two organizations and the Palestinian Authority.

"Speaking in an interview to the Al-Arabiya satellite channel, Dahlan said that understandings had been reached between the PA and Hamas officials on the management of the Strip after an Israeli withdrawal.

"The plan to withdraw from the Strip as part of a unilateral Israeli disengagement from the Palestinians was the initiative of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon." (Haaretz, May 27, 2004)

Thus we see how Sharon is working. First he wants to smash any kind of resistance, then he will "withdraw", but only on the basis of an "understanding" with the PA authorities that they will police Gaza. And the PA then reaches an "understanding" with Hamas.

Cairo has a part to play in this plan. The Egyptian government has made proposals for new security measures. Some sources have suggested that it is ready to become "significantly" involved in the setting up of security measures in Gaza and also along the Philadelphi Route, on the Gaza-Israel border, once Israeli withdrawal is confirmed.

"Palestinian sources, also speaking after Suleiman met with Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat yesterday, said Egypt is proposing a four-member committee, consisting of Israel, Egypt, the Palestinian Authority and the United States, to coordinate a handover from Israel to PA security forces when Israel withdraws." (Haaretz, May 25, 2004)

The committee would also hold contacts with Hamas and Islamic Jihad on reaching a cease-fire. The same sources also said that the plan would include a gradual reduction in the terms of Arafat's confinement to his Ramallah compound, where he has been holed up for more than two years. These measures would become operative if the Palestinian security forces are fused into one centrally controlled unit. These would be trained by Egyptian and Jordanian security officials. Again, we see Egypt playing the role of guarantor.

Now we have to see how many of the leaders of the so-called opposition in Israel will endorse this plan. As we wrote in earlier articles, we expect the leaders of the Zionist left not only to endorse this plan, but also to join the new "national unity government". However, they are posing a very hard and serious condition before this can happen, i.e. that first Sharon must be cleared of the charges of corruption that he and his sons are deeply involved in.

It brings to mind a known movie "The night of the Generals". The story is about one of the Nazi generals responsible for the killing of the Jews in Poland. For this he received a medal, however he had also murdered a German prostitute and for this reason the police went after him.

Thus it did not come as a big surprise to us that the judiciary seems to be coming to the aid of the Zionist Left. Attorney General Menachem Mazuz seems now to be inclined to close the file on the so-called "Greek island" affair, rather than go ahead with prosecuting Prime Minister Ariel Sharon for bribery. Sources close to the legal team that Mazuz had appointed to examine the evidence reported this last night, May 25. The same sources underlined the fact that Mazuz has neither made a decision, "nor is he close to a decision," which is now expected to be made by mid-June. So we know that the next elections are not likely to be held before July.

Meanwhile, for a third time Petach Tikva Magistrate Court Judge Lia Lev-On has postponed a decision on whether the prime minister's son Gilad has complied fully with a court order to hand over all documents concerning the Greek island affair, or if he is in contempt of court for failing to do so. Law enforcement sources that were upset by the decision said it was not clear whether Lev-On was waiting for Mazuz's decision - or whether Mazuz was waiting for her decision.

So now the door is open and very inviting for Peres and Peretz (the head of the Histadrut trade union federation) to join Sharon's next government. Peretz had founded his own little party, but had met with very little success. He recently joined the Labor Party. This was done by fusing his small party with the Labor Party. The idea is that maybe the presence of the leader of the Histadrut may give some renewed life to the Labor Party which has suffered serious decline in the past period. Such a government of "national unity" will present Sharon's plan, probably under a "new" name, as the solution to the conflict. But its destiny will be the same as so many other imperialist plans (Oslo, Madrid, Road Map, and so on) we have heard of for so many years.

What is unclear for now, is whether the leadership of the CPI (Communist Party of Israel) will support this new plan, presenting it as one step towards the two-states solution that they have supported ever since 1947, when under Stalin's orders they supported the partition. Thus the two-state solution will be once more "on the horizon." However, as the old Soviet joke used to say: anyone who bothers to look up the definition of the term 'Horizon' will discover that it is an imaginary line that the closer you come to it, the more it moves further away. The CPI may give it its blessing with some reservations to such a coalition government. Whether it does or not will depend on different factors. An intensification of the class struggle in Israel would be one factor, which could push the CPI to the left. The other factor is to what extent the rank and file of the party will put pressure on the leadership not to accept this new betrayal of the aspirations of the Palestinian people.

May 28, 2004

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