The Palestinian Authority is ready to govern a state of its own, according to a report published Tuesday by the office of UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Robert Serry, AFP reported.Curiously, there is no mention of the fact that Hamas refuses to recognize Israel, and that the Fatah/Hamas schism is a geographical and ideological divide so severe as to make any claims that the PA is ready to govern ludicrous. The last time that Fatah and Hamas attempted to share/redistribute power between the two terror groups, a civil war erupted and Hamas threw Fatah out of Gaza.
The report, which will be submitted to Palestinian donor nations at a meeting in Brussels on Wednesday, said that in six areas where the UN is most engaged there are sufficient governmental functions to establish a state.
The report, however stressed that it would be difficult for the Palestinians to make further progress while peace talks remained stalled and Israeli "occupation" continued.
Serry praised Palestinian Authority President Mahmud Abbas and Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad in a statement accompanying the report.
Now, this particular report claims that Israel's ongoing military presence in the West Bank is preventing the PA from operating. That too is a serious misrepresentation of the facts on the ground.
Israel and the PA have divided the West Bank into sectors of operation - the PA has civil administrative control over nearly all the West Bank, and Israelis are limited to move only within certain areas altogether. Israeli security forces operate only within certain areas as well, and the PA is responsible for security in those areas where Israel currently does not operate. These are designated by A, B, and C areas. This was arranged under Oslo, the Gaza-Jericho Accords, Wye, and other interim documents and agreements.
The PA has shown an inability to deal with the terror groups operating from its territories, and the PA has limited ability to operate within Gaza altogether, where Hamas rules with an iron fist.
So, before there can be any talk of statehood, the UN needs to reorient itself with the facts on the ground instead of engaging in wishful thinking about what should happen if Israel stops taking actions defending its citizens against ongoing terror threats arising from both Gaza and the West Bank.
Peace talks have ostensibly been on hold since late last year because Israel decided to go ahead with building housing on areas claimed by both Israel and the Palestinians within the West Bank. Yet, it isn't the housing dispute that causes problems so much as the fact that Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and other Palestinian terror factions have been unrelenting in their terror war against Israel's very existence.
The Gaza disengagement should have exposed the lie of land for peace for the world to see, but it is ignored by the diplomats. Instead of using Gaza to establish an economic and political center for a future Palestinian state, it was turned into a terror camp.
Land does not equate with peace.
Settlements - housing - can be transferred, but when one side (the Palestinians) refuse to accept a Jewish state of Israel alongside a Palestinian state, you get to the heart of the problem. The Palestinians refuse to accept Israel on religious, ideological, and political grounds despite the statements in English made to the diplomats. The rhetoric, propaganda, and indoctrination of refusing to accept Israel's very existence continues to this day despite their prohibition under Oslo.
That is the problem.
Until the Palestinians recognize Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state, there can and will be no peace. Israel will have to continue to defend itself against terror attacks on a daily basis because the Palestinians refuse to accept the facts on the ground and that Israel will not go quietly into the night.
Thus, this report whitewashes the problems with the Palestinians themselves, and instead focuses on what Israel is doing to prevent a Palestinian state. It's an infantilization of the Palestinian people - and shows that no one requires them to carry out their obligations under Oslo.
Hamas has released video confirming Israel's longstanding claims that the terror group purposefully fires rockets and mortars from within heavily populated areas of Gaza (HT: NJDhockeyfan at LGF).