What have Palestinians achieved after cease-fire with Israel?

By Awad Rajoub

RAMALLAH, Palestine (AA) – Following an Egyptian-brokered cease-fire between Gaza and Israel which took effect at 2 a.m. Friday (2300GMT Thursday) after 11 days of Israeli airstrikes on the blockaded Gaza Strip, jubilant celebrations were reported across Palestinian territories as a victory against the occupation forces.

Apart from the Palestinian factions' success in establishing themselves on the political map and imposing their say in the field, two Palestinian political experts told Anadolu Agency that the most important achievement in the last battle is the unification of the Palestinians across the world.

The two experts believe that with the implementation of the mutual cease-fire, the demands of the resistance factions have shifted from securing basic humanitarian needs to achieving strategic goals. They also argued that the resistance, by initiating the latest round of war, has created a balance of terror by denying the occupation, the monopoly of initiating war, a privilege Israel has enjoyed for a long time.

Another achievement, the experts pointed, is the success of the resistance factions in exposing the fragility of Israel and paralyzing normal daily life in the country.

– Reclaiming Palestinian unity

Political analyst and expert on Israeli affairs Adel Shadeed told Anadolu Agency that the most significant achievement following the ending of the latest round of fighting is the restoration of Palestine as “a national issue” that should not be compromised by “narrow factional considerations.”

The war has asserted that "the conflict is between the Palestinian people and their national movement on the one hand, and Israel on the other hand, after decades of attempts (by Israel) to divide the Palestinian people," Shadeed added.

He considers the feeling of euphoria of victory by Palestinians as a "strategic achievement" that will have an impact in reclaiming their dignity and boost their confidence in their ability to deter Israel and force its residents to hide in protected areas.

Another strategic achievement, he noted, is the resurrection of the Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza, the diaspora, and the historic Palestine “from under the rubble” following vicious attempts to divide them along tribal lines, while also reasserting their definition of Israel as “an enemy and not a neighbor.”

As for Israel, Shadeed said, it has proved its status as “a rogue state that only understands the language of force” demonstrated through its relations with the Palestinians and Arabs for 73 years.

With the blow it incurred in the latest round of war, Shadeed said: “Israel will have to think a thousand times before it decides to attack Gaza or assassinate influential leaders,” adding that the occupation has enjoyed a taste of “the logic of force it has always profoundly used in the region.”

– De-normalizing the normalization project

Hamas for long has been “trapped” by its preoccupation with ensuring the provision of basic needs for the population of Gaza that it rules, Shadeed said, noting that this entrapment has been at the expense of its liberation project.

He underlined that the latest round of conflict with Israel has helped Hamas realize the trap and set a “pivotal stage in the history of the Palestinian-Israeli relationship” by changing the Israeli approach towards Palestinians and sending a message to the normalizing countries that “normalization will not succeed."

Four Arab countries, the UAE, Bahrain, Sudan, and Morocco, signed US-brokered agreements last year to normalize relations with Israel, a move Palestinians saw as a betrayal of their cause.

"Israel is unable to protect itself, its airspace, its citizens, its ports and airports from a Palestinian faction, so how will it protect you from Iran?" Shadeed summed up the message that the war will send to normalizing Arab countries.

As for Israel’s main ally, the US, Shadeed said, will question the importance of the occupation in its ability to protect their interests in the region “when it cannot protect itself” against Hamas.

– No monopoly to start war

For his part, journalist and political analyst Nawaf Al-Amer concurred with Shadeed's argument that the unification of the Palestinian people globally was the most important success from the last round of conflict between Gaza and Israel.

The war proved that, if united, Palestinians “can achieve unexpected goals,” Al-Amer said, adding that the Palestinians are now convinced “the resistance is the only option capable of achievements” while those calling for peace and their supporters have instead proved their failure.

Al-Amer believes that with the decision of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to cancel the May 22 parliamentary elections, the people have voted for the resistance and the people in the Gaza Strip.

Late April this year, Abbas unilaterally postponed the first Palestinian national election in 15 years over Israel’s blocking of elections in East Jerusalem.

Al-Amer argued that the 2014 war will be the last that Israel will ever initiate after suffering the latest blow.

The Palestinian resistance has raised the hopes and ambitions of the people in the liberation project, according to Al-Amer, which is underlined by reclaiming Jerusalem and forcing out the occupation forces.

Recent tensions that started in East Jerusalem during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan spread to Gaza as a result of Israeli assaults on worshippers in the flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood.

Following the cease-fire, the death toll from the Israeli attacks on the besieged Gaza Strip stood at 243, including 66 children and 39 women, the Palestinian Health Ministry said on Friday.

At least 1,910 people have been injured, the ministry said in a statement.

Twelve Israelis have also been killed in Palestinian rocket fire from the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli military has staged airstrikes across the Gaza Strip since May 10, leaving behind a massive trail of destruction across the seaside territory.

* Writing by Ibrahim Mukhtar in Ankara.