Comments and Opinions
Publication of the Federation of Jewish Cultural Entities in Argentina
AL JALIL, a city divided against itself (view)
of Ambassador Suhail Hani Daher Akel
Representative – Chief of the Palestine National Authority Mission in Argentina
After around 14 months of slowness which almost became a synonym of impunity, Israeli government fulfilled its commitment of withdrawing its occupation forces from the Holy City of Al Jalil (Hebron), with the previous signing of an extensive protocol almost similar to the Oslo one.
After so many comings and goings spread with the loss of Palestinians and Israelis, the truth is that Al Jalil – faithful to the occupation sword which marked that land for five decades – became divided into H-1 and H-2. The area regarded as H-1 corresponds to the 80% of the historic Palestine city which will house the 130.000 Palestinian who live there; while the area regarded as H-2, a 20% of the city, will house hardly 400 Israeli settlers, who are different from those Jews who historically lived in the city. These ones were illegally settled down due to the colonisation plan of the various Israeli regimes which desired to perpetuate over the Palestinian land.
Besides the “legal” weapons carried by settlers who are favoured for a special permission of the Israeli Knesset, they will be “protected” by 1200 Israeli soldiers. These soldiers – at a glance – continue being soldiers from the occupation, maintaining – in the air - a breeze of frustration in the spirit of all Palestinians who desire to see their city totally free and without a foreign military presence which observes them and limits their lives. Fundamentally, when they go to the H-2 area for their weekly prays on Friday days at the Mosque of Abraham and the avoiding of weapons of Goldsteins and Freidmans becomes a reality.
Obviously, we are not dealing with an easy peace process. In spite of the complex agreement which can bring about future clashes, the new step marks – over the difficulties – premier Netanyahu’ s desires to maintain the peace process alive and, on the other hand, to return the international credibility to his incipient government, as well as, regain the strong economic loss caused by delay, cease of conversations and the lack of fulfilment of the international accords signed with the Palestinian government.
However, the second stage of Oslo has not finished yet and the finalisation will take place when the Israeli forces withdraw from the rest of the villages in Northern Palestine (West Bank) in the first week of March and they set free the nearly 5.000 Palestinian prisoners. This attitude will give place to continue with the last stage of Oslo from March 17 to May 4 of 1999, where it must be accorded the final status of the Palestine State and Jerusalem as Capital City of Palestine and Israeli; the issue of the Palestinian refugees (1948/1967) and the problem of the Israeli settlers’ settlements in the Palestinian territory.
During this process, Israel will have to put an end to the economic and labour block imposed on Palestine, respecting the economic accords signed in Paris in 1995 and 1996, to stop its illegal settlements in East Jerusalem; to permit the construction of an international airport in Palestine and a port in Gaza Strip, which will accelerate the Palestinian advancement in its destroyed economy as a result of occupation.
There is no doubt that there is a strong desire to achieve that peace triumphs over the retrogressive sectors which want us to be involved in violence, death and injustice.
For the moment, premier Netanyahu stopped his falcon flight and broke his relationship with those sectors opposed to agreements. Besides he gave his hand to president Arafat and, as well as his predecessor, he committed to the Peace of the Braves. However, peace and security depend on all of us and they can only be reached by means of the returning of dignity, tolerance and justice to the Palestinian and Israeli people.