Watching their land shrinking and their freedoms restricted, Palestinians take initiative

Palestinians protest the death of opposition activist Nizar Benat shortly after he was detained by Palestinian security forces in Ramallah, West Bank on June 26, 2021. (photo:  Issam Rimawi / Anadolu Agency)
Young Palestinians firmly believe that the only way out is to take things into their own hands.

By Yousef Aljamal |  Politics Today | July 26, 2021

Many Palestinians today feel that the PA falls short of adopting a discourse that reflects their visions under Israeli military occupation and apartheid.

Most young Palestinians were born after the signing between the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and Israel of the Oslo Accords in the White House in 1993. The agreement was based on the two-state solution paradigm and promised Palestinians peace and a sovereign state; however, the agreement has never materialized. Palestinian intellectuals such as Edward Said, Ibrahim Abu-Lughod, and Walid Khalidi, foresaw that the Oslo Accords were a trap for the PLO, with Said calling it a “second Nakba.”

Long ago young Palestinians lost any hope in the so-called peace process, which served only to marginalize the PLO’s role by creating a Palestinian Authority (PA) that has a limited sovereignty and power, and that would serve as a barrier between them and the Israeli occupation. The Oslo Accords have turned the West Bank and the Gaza Strip from occupied territories to disputed territories. Israel has not stopped building new settlements in the Palestinian territories and the land of the future Palestinian state has shrunk over time, while the number of Israeli settlers in the West Bank has jumped to over half a million.

Young Palestinians have grown up under this reality of Israeli military occupation. Many are stopped at checkpoints, not allowed to travel, detained and tortured, and displaced to make space for new Israeli settlers. They have completely lost hope in the peace process that was meant to lead to the creation of their own state on 22% of British Mandate Palestine.

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