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A change in Palestinian political strategies is long overdue

Dr. Naser al-Tamimi

Published: Updated:

The political atmosphere now prevailing in the Middle East gives Israelis the perception they have the upper hand. There is no longer an existential threat and no one could force them to concede to the demands of the Palestinians.

As for the Palestinians, the peace process has become a word that is not only associated with pain and suffering, but with the cancerous Jewish settlement expansion that will eventually destroy their last hope of establishing their own independent state.

In this context, if the Palestinian Authority insists on adopting the same political approach, it may be forced to confront two difficult choices.

First, continue the negotiations within the equation that the Americans have proposed, which in my opinion will lead nowhere. Second, declaring the failure of the peace process and the possibility of dissolving the Palestinian Authority itself.

To be sure, it has become clear that the peace process has reached a dead-end and the Palestinian leadership must take decisive steps.

Hamas' religious ideology requires the sustainability of “jihad” against Israel and which rallies all Muslims to defend the Holy Land. Nonetheless, the current reality make the slogan that says "everything or nothing" synonymous with political suicide, particularly in the aftermath of the so-called Arab Spring.

Dr. Naser al-Tamimi

Hamas is also facing its own real dilemma and that is simply the contradiction between its religious ideology and the political and economic trends in Palestine and the Middle East which are not working (at least for now) in Hamas’s favor.

Its religious ideology requires the sustainability of “jihad” against Israel and which rallies all Muslims to defend the Holy Land. Nonetheless, the current reality make the slogan that says "everything or nothing" synonymous with political suicide, particularly in the aftermath of the so-called Arab Spring.

Palestine's options

Perhaps this reveals to large extent the existing conflict and anxiety between the Palestinian political factions. In front of this dilemma, the situation begs the following logical question: what are the options available to the Palestinians?

Here we have to acknowledge that the facts on the ground are not as easy or as simple as they look. However let us make it very clear: the strategies adopted by the Palestinians, Fatah and Hamas in particular, have failed miserably and should be reconsidered.

The sad irony here is that it seems both Fatah and Hamas are waiting for the fall of each other’s authority, a policy that without doubt will lead to catastrophic results and the fall of everyone.

Without a real review of the entire Palestinian political strategies, the continuation of the current situation or the status quo may eventually lead to the disintegration of Palestinian society as a whole. The conditions inside and outside Palestine compels everyone to adapt to a new reality.

New leadership

The time has come for the resignation of the Palestinian leadership from Fatah, Hamas and other factions who have contributed to the current political impasse and only further deepen the Palestinian division.

Indeed, it is the time to carry out a peaceful transition of power and elect new leadership that will work quickly and seriously to accomplish the Palestinian reconciliation and to develop a new political strategy which should be supported by the majority of the Palestinian people.

It is time for real change and to launch a serious dialogue among all Palestinians at home and abroad to search for new solutions.

It is true that the picture is still bleak, but we should always emphasize that improving the Palestinian political situation is still possible and may become a reality if the Palestinian factions begin to adopt realistic strategies. Without this, we are heading towards a new disaster.

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Dr. Naser al-Tamimi is a UK-based Middle East analyst and author of the book “China-Saudi Arabia Relations, 1990-2012: Marriage of Convenience or Strategic Alliance?” He is an Al Arabiya regular contributor, with a particular interest in energy politics, the political economy of the Gulf, and Middle East-Asia relations. The writer can be reached at: Twitter: @ nasertamimi and email: nasertamimi@hotmail.co.uk

Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.