By Damir Nazarov

New stage of the Palestine's Resistance

March 18, 2019

WEST SIBERIA/ TYUMEN - The current situation among the Palestinian resistance of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank of the Jordan testifies - a new stage of resistance is needed, namely, a large-scale reconstruction affecting both the military-political aspect and as well as the cultural-ideological direction.

What do occupied Palestine and its indigenous people have as of today? While on the West Bank the arbitrariness of the PA dictatorship and all kinds of pressure on supporters of armed resistance take place, then the Gaza Strip has at its disposal about 12 organizations, groupings and factions with a focus on resisting the invaders. The coordination between the armed wings of local parties and organizations is carried out at a high level, at the same time the dictate of Hamas is still taking place, therefore, taking into account the internal problems of the largest Palestinian movement, it can be said for sure that the collapse of the current collaboration system built by Hamas is a matter of time. (First of all due to the degradation of Hamas itself)

A brief critical analysis of the main actors of the beleaguered enclave is showing why the Gaza Strip does need a new formula of resistance.

Hamas. "Time cannot be deceived".

It is already clear that Hamas is systematically going downhill and it's not about the fact that the ruling movement has played with power. The situation shows that the leadership of Hamas is incapable of political progress, rather, on the contrary, there is a "regress" of the party. For example, the adoption of a new charter, where there is conformism (readiness to accept the borders of 1967, in the case of "certain circumstances") and endless references to nationalism and "democracy", thereby trying in order to please "someone" (guess who) to adjust the many-year charter of the organization. That is to say the foreign policy of the movement finally proved that the intellectual potential of Hamas had been exhausted, and the party had not outgrown the “ikhwanism”, having lost its way in the wilds of the detrimental ikhwani’s way of thinking in matters of a regional approach. Thus, they will have to pay the price for their mistakes in full, and it was due to those very failures on the external frontier a full-scale degradation began inside the movement and everything that is under its control (the internal policy of the Gaza Strip). Yes, and in this section, I note that the mistakes of Hamas shouldn't be shoved only on Syria, and there certainly was a fatal drama, but still the very nature and approach of Hamas as a whole to the external environment played a key role in subsequent mistakes.

And now, after the change in the foreign policy orientation, supervised by Qatar Hamas can start the process of dismantling the remnants of “its pride,” namely the al-Qassam Brigades. I am not saying that it will happen, but I’m absolutely certain that there is such a plan.

The elimination of the military wing by replacing it with a "national army", while the Gaza Strip will have to become a port.

Here is one example of the clash of the influence of Doha and the al-Qassam Brigade, the situation in 2012, when the local police, controlled by Hamas, tried to tear down the billposter where the words of gratitude to Iran for its many years of support for the Palestinian people were imprinted. Apparently, it was clearly that the activists and supporters of the al-Qassam Brigade set the billposter, after all exactly it was the militants of the armed wing of the ruling party who did not let the police to tear down the billposter. There are other moments with the participation of the al-Qassam Brigade when they already tried to demonstrate their “exceptional importance”, for example, by blocking the personal tunnels of the Palestinian Jihad, give as a reason that the new weapons, that fall into the hands of PIJ, should be also in the hands of al-Qassam. Of course, such explanation is just a reason to find fault, in fact, the leaders of the military wing of Hamas are trying to show Tehran that "it is necessary to coordinate their policies on Gaza with the ruling party and not ignore the old ally." Al-Qassam invented such an explanation for itself, since the IRI simply does its work helping ALL of its allies, and such behavior from the commanders of al-Qassam in relation to PIJ should probably be explained by "psychosis." On the one hand, the pro-Qatar ikhwanists from the party put pressure on you, on the other hand, you feel that because of the foreign policy mistakes of the Ikhwanists, the same trust on the part of main ally is no longer exist. Thus, these named excesses can occur.

Therefore, before a step-by-step process led by Qatar, the elimination of the al-Qassam Brigade, only Iran can save the military wing in the short term by providing all kinds of assistance, and in the long term - bold and truly revolutionary ideas (which, by the way, will also successfully be supported by the IRGC). It is in the interests of the Qassamians to bet on the second variant, otherwise the pressure of the Ikhwanists and possible unexpected shifts in the Gaza Strip, that could force Tehran to bet on other groups of resistance, will finally “sentence” the al-Qassam Brigade.

History is a ruthless thing, causing everything to change, but nevertheless it does not set conditions, it sets conditions for itself. Hamas has lived a rather proud history and is fairly coming to an end; perhaps it has already come. Yes, it should be noted about the Iranian missiles at the disposal of Hamas, which can reach the target at long range. In the hands of the current leaders of Hamas and al-Qassam these missiles are turning not into an instrument of “liberation of the country”, but into a subject of bargaining with the Zionists. In other words, Hamas can always remind the Zionists about "their" missiles and other types of modern weapons (thanks to Iran), if the invaders begin to think of various intrigues and provocations. But the use of such type of weapon in the offensive strategy is not provided. For Hamas itself practically abandoned such development of a scenario. For Hamas, the “worldwide acceptance” is more important than military and political successes over Zionism.

Palestinian Islamic Jihad. "Forever second."

It happened so that PIJ spent its entire political career in the shadow of Hamas, and this is not at all what the great Palestinian politician and follower of the ideas of the late Imam Khomeyn, Dr. Fathi Shaqaqi wanted. According to the plan of the deceased revolutionary, there should have been occured “its own little revolution” in the Gaza Strip, which would have triggered similar processes on the West Bank and then in all areas of particularly occupied Palestine, where the number of Palestinians prevails. However, the grand project was not destined to happen, including due to the counteraction of the hostile environment among the political elite of the Palestinians themselves, for example, local Ikhwanians and supporters of secular ideologies - both were enraged by the ideas of Dr. Shaqaqi. The situation for PIJ was complicated by the fast death of their leader; the subversive and terrorist group Mossad killed Fathi Shaqaqi in Malta. Since then, no one has been able to honorable replace the killed leader. PIJ shut down all of Shaqaqi’s revolutionary projects and, moreover, could not stand the competition with Hamas for leadership over Gaza. Thus, having set itself backwards in the development, almost descending to the level of the marginal, against the background of the growing influence of Hamas at that time.

It is quite fair to believe that behind the slogan of the “First off, the military struggle” PIJ simply hides its weaknesses in terms of social and political work with the people of Gaza. These very weaknesses became the main reason for the "defeat" in the covert struggle with Hamas for leadership. What is more, in the beginning (in the period from the beginning of the 1990s to the 2000s), PIJ demonstrated a much effective public and social policy in relation to the population of the Gaza Strip. However, at the turn of the early 2000s, Hamas finally seized the initiative. PIJ should blame only the management of the organization for its weaknesses and failures. With all due respect to the leaders of the Palestinian Jihad, after the death of Fathi Shaqaqi, there was no worthy leader with the appropriate strategic thinking, will and charisma. The leaders like Ramadan Shallah of course put forward different proposals, some initiatives on Palestinian internal and external issues. But this is not enough to be a leader, and it all had a sufficient “common subtext”. Without hope for a real result. It gets worse and worse as it goes on. After PIJ finally withdrew into the shadows against the background of the "Hamas's glory", the organization’s ruling elite began to openly adjust its opinion on this or that question to the official position of Hamas. Yes, it is likely that PIJ lawyers will justify these moments by saying that Palestinian Jihad simply did not want to give rise to possible serious conflicts with Hamas, which would have fatal consequences in the context of the blockade of Gaza. However, a question should be asked to these lawyers, “what does the word ideology mean for you and for your idols?” The ideology of PIJ is revolutionary-Islamic and therefore one should move in this direction, otherwise what's the point to engage in populism?

In fairness, it is worth noting that only in special cases PIJ showed a character, staying determined, for example, after the events in Syria (2011) and Egypt (2013), the above-mentioned situations with the tunnels and on internal issues related to the leadership of Gaza. But such mini-conflicts with Hamas are the result of dissatisfaction with the existing situations inside the FIJ. More precisely, by that part of PIJ, which is not only dissatisfied with the conformism of the leadership towards Hamas, but also with the internal system and the operating principle of the party, which went out of date long time ago.

The Palestinian Jihad having one of the most effective and grand ideologies in the entire history of the Ummah - the Islamic Revolution, could not translate the ideas of its founder and first leader into reality. The PIJ leadership through a piece of stupidity squandered their potential and missed the chance to become continuators of the great idea of the Revolution born in the interior of the Islamic establishment of Iran.

The Popular Resistance Committees. " You can't jump over your own head ".

Compared to the mastodons of the Islamic political scene represented by Hamas and PIJ, the Committees are a young organization that does not question the authority of the "senior comrades", and has no ambitious goals or any political project. Essentially, the PRC (Popular Resistance Committees) is a degraded version of PIJ, with a difference in ideology, the one that the Palestinian Jihad formally has, and in the quality of rhetoric, the leadership at least does refer to it, then for the PRC it all comes down to platitude like "armed resistance to the invaders, coordination with other groups on all issues, striving for inter-Palestinian unity." The organization was originally intended as a purely military structure, although it has political leadership. Well, paradoxically, but they are right in something. What is the point of putting forward an ideology if the main task is to liberate Palestine? On the other hand, the history of Islamic resistance, regardless of the region, teaches that there must still be a certain worldview system.

The deceased Jamal Abu Samhadana, being a former member of the Tanzim, created the militant faction of the PRC in Gaza, as an alternative to the Fatah traitors. According to various data, local supporters of Iran and Hezbollah joined his organization. This fact is not surprising, as well as the fact that according to the words of the Speaker of the PRC "ibn Mujahid" in an interview to Al-Akhbar in 2014: "the support from the brothers from Iran and Hezbollah did not stop." Actually nothing new, just to be noted that IRI is paying attention to the Palestinians not only from Hamas and PIJ.

Al-Sabireen. Hostages of the “cursed time”.

The cursed time, no matter where to emphasize, but this is how the modern trend of propensity for sectarian rhetoric can be characterized. It is because of deliberately aggravated mythical events in theory by the Western political technologists, but in the minds of many illiterate Muslims is the Shiites-Sunnis conflict, many projects, ideas, strategies are falling into an abyss. As for Al-Sabireen, they originated in 2010, as a movement of reformists within the Palestinian Jihad, whose goal was to revive the Fathi Shaqaqi ideology. Also, “reformists” demanded administrative reforms within the organization, but PIJ leadership did not want to listen to reasonable advice and initiatives of supporters of Fathi Shaqaqi's ideas. After that, the activists themselves created their own movement called it Al-Sabireen.

Because of the large contribution to anti-Shiites and anti-Iranian propaganda, Al-Sabireen will have to “suffer” for quite a long time (and those who attack this organization are not at all disturbed by the fact that the organization openly calls itself Sunni). Anti-Shiite in our time implies anti-Iranian. Considering the Qatar’s influence on Hamas and not forgetting that Qatar is a Washington’s puppet, it’s not hard to guess the reasons for the pressure on Al-Sabireen, as for the FIJ, as it was mentioned above, they have “adjusted their position” to Hamas long before. The former "PIJ reformists" themselves have never concealed that they are supporters of the Axis of Resistance. Thus, in addition to internal pressure from Hamas and disagreements with the PIJ, the continuators of the Fathi Shaqaqi's ideas automatically fell under the pressure of anti-Shiite and anti-Iranian phobia, which is actively subsidized by the West.

The great doctor Shaqaqi failed to embody the ideas of the Revolution, everywhere encountering resistance even from the Palestinians themselves and even with Islamic views (the ikhwans of Gaza strongly opposed the deceased leader of the PIJ). It is difficult to imagine that Hisham Salim (the leader of Al-Sabireen) will be successful in something like that.

The Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, Mujahideen Brigade, Ahrar Movement, Nation's Hawks, Abdullah Azam Martyr's Brigade, Saif al-Islam Brigade, Abdul Qadir Hussayni's Brigade, Al-Quds Free Army, Major Prophet's Squadron, and the Brigade of the Palestine's Eagles.

"Born to be insurgents will perish as insurgents."

The various small factions of the Palestinian resistance, which appeared at the turn from 2008 to 2014, never had a “special” ideology at their disposal that could establish them as an organization or party on a par with Hamas and others. While emphasizing their only task - “liberation of Palestine”, the groupings even having a political bureau, are built entirely around the field commanders. Accordingly, they never had a serious weight in Gaza. On the whole, this is starting to feel like they have never had such a desire as “to have control over the Gaza Strip”. The registration in a political project by the specified factions also wasn't noticed. Therefore, we conclude that these groupings are “doomed” to be a supporting force for some larger projects of the Gaza Strip on the ground of resistance.

It is believed that some groupings were created by certain commanders from the Al-Qassam Brigade or the Al-Quds Brigade for their own personal goals.

Conclusion

None of the protagonists of the resistance forces practically hasn’t any chance to reach the cherished goal of «liberating Palestine» (unless a «miracle» happens*). First of all, the leadership of all Palestinian organizations of the besieged enclave is to blame. Yes, you can justify the Palestinian organizations by the fact that the liberation of Palestine is the task of all Muslims, but if you analyze the facts without emotion you’ll see by the example of the two most important Islamic organizations of the Gaza Strip, that even with the colossal support from the powerful regional coalition with reference to the mentioned organizations, it's “not enough” for them both in military and political aspects. Moreover, the ill-considered foreign policy steps of Hamas and PIJ leadership, taking its rise in Syria in 2011, created an atmosphere of indignation among the Axis of Resistance with respect to these two, and sowed the seeds of distrust towards the main Palestinian organizations. Everything is fair, there's a price to pay for "ingratitude".

* - This implies a fantastic scenario in which Egypt will follow the path of Iran of 1979, or Jordan will cease to exist, and the local Palestinians (80 percent of the inhabitants of this monarchy), using the Islamic model of resistance will unleash a series of wars against the invaders of the Holy Land.

From the first part, we found out that the current path of resistance of the Gaza Strip is doomed and is going nowhere. Hamas will either follow in the footsteps of Fatah, or will fall apart into several parts, or will continue to rule on an authoritarian basis up to a certain time. Accordingly, for the Palestinians, fundamentally new approaches are needed, both within the blockade Strip and at the external border.

1 - The need for a new resistance strategy.

2 - Revision of foreign policy realization. 

By way of example, the Palestinians should take into consideration the model of the People’s Militia of Iraq (Hashad al-Shaabi, PMU). Practically all active military and military-political organizations are integrated into this structure, each with its own specificity. Being a part of the Militia there are representatives of different ideological preferences as well as purely military formations. The overall command allows for closer monitoring over the factions, and, moreover, there is a kind of “democracy” in relation to personal projects of PMU-related figures. That is, there is no ban on the creation of personal parties and its activities as part of other blocs (not related to the militia) of the Iraqi parliament, in other words, there is free rein. The obligatory rule is purely military activity, strict coordination of actions and its control within the framework of general command.

The creation of the "National Resistance" bloc should be an alternative to the local parties and organizations of the Gaza Strip. To some extent, it will even be necessary to dissolve the parties so that they would not prevent the creation of a single, common structure, and in order to avoid tug of war in the struggle for influence in the new military-political structure. As is the case with the Kurds, where local organizations are competing for the leadership over the YPG militia. If the parties have to go through self-dissolution, the military wings of all Islamic organizations, factions, groupings, and so on, will finally have to acquire the form of a "single organism." The exceptions are minor outcasts in the form of pseudo-salaphites, as for secular organizations such as the PFLP, DFLP, FATAHs and Baathists, they can create their own version, either join the forming militia, or leave everything how it is. They do not have the authority and influence, so the secular unions of Gaza can abstract from "big changes".

Finally, the main task of the "People's Militia of Palestine" in the ideological direction is to return the principles, goals and objectives of famous leaders - Fathi Shaqaqi and Sheikh Yassin. In the field of foreign policy - finally to adjust to the 'Axis of Resistance' alliance built by the IRGC. And in the domestic policy field - to prepare steps for organizing "cultural and educational work" with the Palestinian refugee camps of Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan. Something like a "public opinion revolution" among the Palestinian Diasporas of the Arab countries. That is, to create branches of the People's Militia of Palestinian in each of the major Palestinian enclaves and carry out the same unification process as previously in Gaza.

What is important to prevent during formation of the Militia. In the first place, of course, polarization of the Palestinians on the basis of “pro-Iranian” and all “others” should be avoided (that is, the various opponents regardless their ideology). From history we know, for example, that PIJ and FATH underwent such a scenario, and as a result, the "pro-Iranian" minded Palestinians, being a minority group, split from the above-noted organizations by creating their own factions (Al-Sabireen and Ansar Allah present in the Mieh-Mieh refugee camp located in the south of Lebanon).

This is important. At this point it is necessary to explain to Hamas that the imitation of statesmanship in the Gaza Strip (this is what the current Hamas is trying to do) is a step into a deadlock and is not a way out for the Palestinians at all. In its attempt to act as a government, Hamas implicitly acknowledges the occupation of the rest of Palestine and lays the groundwork for future "direct negotiations". Therefore, Hamas will just repeat the path of Fatah and disgracefully end up as an "Islamic Resistance" project. The cooperation with Turkey and Qatar is the first step towards conformism.

Thus, it is necessary to reject the ideas of imposing quasi-statesmanship, and to move towards the military-political resistance, which is typical of the strategy of non-state alliances, even if with a notional prefix - insurgence.

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