The final nail in the coffin of the Israeli-Palestinian peace was the speech given about the internal Palestinian reconciliation by the Palestinian delegate, Azzam al-Ahmed, at the home of Hamas head Ismail Haniyeh in the Shati refugee camp in Gaza.
At the end of April, the internal Palestinian reconciliation was announced, with Fatah leaders posing for the camera with Hamas leaders Ismail Haniyeh and Musa Abu Marzouk -- all wreathed in smiles. Until the catastrophic pictures were published there were many Palestinians and Israelis who honestly believed there was a chance for a peace agreement that would lead to the establishment of a Palestinian state coexisting with Israel, but the speeches given by both sides made it clear that the dream of a Palestinian state would finally have to be shelved for the foreseeable future.
Ismail Haniyeh (center) speaks at the signing ceremony for the Hamas-Fatah unity agreement. (Image source: Screenshot of AlJazeera video)
It was no surprise when the Hamas' Ismail Haniyeh reassured Palestinians that their future Palestinian state would stretch from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea, and that the Palestinians would return to their lands in "all Palestine."
Hamas, a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood and an extremist terrorist organization, has always held that unrealistic position and has never expressed any desire whatsoever for a peace agreement with the Jews. Its aspiration is, and has always been, to destroy Israel by force, slaughter its Jewish inhabitants and establish a Sharia-based Palestine on the ruins.
The real disappointment, however, was the speech given by Azzam al-Ahmed, who said the Palestinians would never recognize the State of Israel as the Jewish national homeland and would never waive the Palestinian "right of return" to Palestine.
Those speeches summed up the joint position agreed on by both Fatah and Hamas; it means there will not be peace. The Israelis will not agree to sign any agreement that will destroy their state through the influx of the millions of descendants of the 1948 refugees.
A few days later Mahmoud Abbas met with Hamas political bureau head, Khaled Mashaal, in Qatar. Apparently the internal Palestinian reconciliation is a done deal.
The events made it clear to one and all that this time it is not just more empty rhetoric, and that, as Palestinians, we will have to start recognizing that our lives will change, now and in the future.
The first signs came when Mahmoud Abbas and his associates threatened to dismantle the Palestinian Authority and lodged a unilateral appeal with the United Nations to have the "state of Palestine" recognized -- totally in violation of the framework for the peace process set out by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.
The Palestinians bluntly told Kerry they would not recognize Israel as the national homeland of the Jewish people. They based their refusal on the dreamy claim that doing so would damage the historical rights of the Palestinians and the rights of Israeli Arabs.
The truth is that Mahmoud Abbas does not have either the support of the Palestinian people or a consensus to lead, and his term of office ended six years ago. He knows that no decision he makes commits either the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip or the Palestinians around the world. Many people claim that because he has no legal governmental status, his decisions are not accepted as valid even in the West Bank.
For that reason, Fatah leader Mustafa Barghouti, a member of the Fatah delegation, made a speech in which he claimed that the objective of the reconciliation had been to provide Mahmoud Abbas with a consensual status in the Gaza Strip as well as the West Bank, until the upcoming elections are held (if, in fact, they ever are held). Barghouti's claim was made in response to Israel's claims that Mahmoud Abbas did not actually represent anybody.
However, every West Bank child knows that Mahmoud Abbas's regime exists only by the grace of Israeli security services and that if elections were held tomorrow, or in six months as noted in the reconciliation agreement, Hamas would win in a landslide and take over the West Bank.
Mahmoud Abbas is currently at a dead end -- and why he chose to join Hamas, through the "reconciliation," of his own free will. He can control how he hands over the keys to the West Bank to Hamas and can step into the wings without fear of a Hamas putsch or a humiliating defeat in the elections.
More importantly for him, he and his associates can ward off, at least for the time being, attempts to assassinate them and appropriate the assets they have amassed over the years, and avoid the bitter fates of their Fatah compatriots in the Gaza Strip, who were divested of their assets, often kneecapped and hurled off the roofs of high-rise buildings.
The Palestinian leadership understands that it will not be able to agree to the conditions for peace set out by John Kerry. These conditions do not provide a solution for the millions of grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the original 1948 refugees, who wish to "return" to Palestine.
They will come covertly accompanied by jihad fighters who gained their experience in the killing fields of Syria, Iraq and Lebanon, who will accuse Mahmoud Abbas of treason, and, sooner rather than later, assassinate him and his associates and hang their bodies in the main square in Ramallah.
The new mujahideen who enter "Palestine" from Jordan will immediately join Hamas, demand a redistribution of lands and resources, wage a new terrorist campaign against Israel and turn the West Bank into a Gaza-like Islamic emirate ruled according to the Shariah.
Clearly, Mahmoud Abbas and his associates cannot recognize Israel as a Jewish state because they understand it would mean the end of their demand to flood Israel with the refugees' descendants and upset the Jewish majority. Once the political process is completed, the Palestinians would no longer have a basis for more demands and that would end the conflict once and for all.
Ever since the Palestinian leaders understood that accepting Israel's conditions would mean their own destruction at either the hands of Hamas extremists or at the hands of the "rejection front," they have manufactured marginal, if creative, excuses to extricate themselves from the negotiations. They have claimed that Israel refused to implement the fourth phase of a prisoner release (a promise made on condition that there was progress in the peace talks). Apparently the Palestinian leaders have come to the inevitable conclusion that their regime will be toppled one way or the other, with peace with Israel or without it.
Mahmoud Abbas's attempt to gain time and extort Israel into unilateral concessions by enlisting the United States and the EU, while giving nothing in return, has failed. His attempt to convince Israel that he personally would waive the "right of return" to Safed, the city of his birth, has also failed. He waffled, saying that the right of return was an individual right of every refugee, so that he could not waive everyone's "right" for them.
The Israelis immediately countered by saying that the role of a leader was to represent the collective will of all his people. They said that Mahmoud Abbas was evading taking a stand on a critical core issue, and in fact leaving the issue of the demand for the right of return without a solution.
Azzam al-Ahmed's declarations only confirmed Israel's evidently justified suspicions that the Palestinians did in fact want to flood their country with millions of refugee descendants and destroy their country's demographics. This accurate conclusion was why Netanyahu insisted that the Palestinians recognize Israel as the national homeland of the Jewish people.
Another conspicuous manifestation of the upcoming change in the balance of power in the West Bank was the funeral held for the Awadallah brothers, two senior Hamas terrorists, killed by Israel, who engineered terrorist attacks that killed enormous numbers of Israeli civilians. The funeral was held near Mahmoud Abbas's office in Ramallah after the internal Palestinian reconciliation was signed. The funeral, authorized by the Palestinian Authority, was attended by masses of Palestinians waving green Hamas-affiliated flags -- not yellow Fatah flags. The crowd chanted the familiar "Khaybar, Khaybar, Jew, the army of Muhammad will return," the call for the slaughter of the Jews, just as the army of Muhammad had expelled and slaughtered the Jews of Saudi Arabia in the seventh century.
Fatah expressed its satisfaction over the union with the Hamas terrorist organization on its official Facebook page. Fatah called the "reconciliation" a union of two "military organizations." At the end of April Fatah's page featured two masked terrorists holding assault rifles. One wears a yellow headband of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, Fatah's military-terrorist wing, and the other a green headband of the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas' military-terrorist wing. The page also features the slogan, "Yes to unity and the end of the [internal Palestinian] rift," and the caption reads, "The shoulders of men were created only to bear rifles." The site is full of encouragement for attacks on Israeli soldiers and praise for the new union of the Palestinians fighting the Israeli enemy. That includes Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the other terrorist fronts that have spent years in a terrorist campaign trying to destroy Israel. The page also included a list of shaheeds [martyrs], role models for the future struggle.
The Israelis are also aware of declarations made by Jibril Rajoub, formerly head of the Palestinian Authority intelligence service and today a government minister, who said that if he had a nuclear weapon he would drop it on Israel.
That sort of declaration gives the Israelis an indication into what the real intentions of the Palestinian Authority for them are.
Declarations made by Tawfiq al-Tirawi in an interview with the television channel Al-Manar, Hezbollah's mouthpiece, recently clarified the intentions of Fatah as well. Tirawi, who was a senior figure in the Palestinian preventive security force and today is a high-ranking Fatah member, said that "the homeland is all of Palestine, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, Haifa, Jaffa, Acre, from the sea to the Jordan River, according to the principles of Fatah adopted in 1968" [the armed campaign].
All that is left is to sit back and watch the establishment of Hamas's new Islamic emirate in the West Bank, an enclave of lepers against whom the whole world will unite. The Israelis and Jordanians will choke off Hamas, enabling Israel to take control of the West Bank for the next million years -- without interference.