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Terrorism displaces Palestinian issue at the forefront of the political scene
Hadeel al-Bas 2015/05/18

In light of the events and rapid changes in the region over the years, the Palestinian issue has slipped behind the scenes, and far away are the days when it was at the forefront of the Arab and international political scene.

 

Director of the Middle East Studies Center, Jawad al-Hamad, said that the Palestinian issue is two-sided, the Israelis and the Arab Palestinians, and that the Israeli side has not gone unnoticed in the political arena. Rather, it stood behind much of the chaos which manifested in some countries.

 

According to al-Hamad, the Arab Palestinian side was noticed through the Palestinian political movement, especially after the Palestinian resistance emerged stunningly triumphant as, he described, from the war in Gaza last year.

 

 

Israeli Satisfaction

 

Al-Hamad said that this triumph was met coldly, without official moves by Arab nations, as a result of their concern for their domestic and regional issues. This resulted in the confusion of the Palestinian people and governments, and the Israelis pushed on with building settlements in the West Bank, Judaization, and repeated encroachments on the Al-Aqsa mosque.

 

Al-Hamad indicated that Israel, throughout its long history, had underestimated the Arab countries. They felt comfortable as a result of those countries being linked to military defense agreements with the United States, Russia and some European countries, and as a result of Israel’s commitment to treaties with Jordan, the Palestinian Authority, and Egypt, and the negotiations held with Lebanon and Syria.

 

The events of the Arab Spring and the democratic atmosphere in the region which sought to achieve the will of the people all contributed to Israel’s recent satisfaction, in the opinion of al-Hamad.

 

Al-Hamad believed that the result of the shift in the region was the expansion of terrorism and extremism. He believed that this has behind it what has been described as something very large and suspicious, and which raises several questions that need to be answered: Who is behind this? What do they want to accomplish? And why occupy the Arab world by their actions?

 

“Iran plays a major role in the region in their attempt to attract some Arab countries through the provision of financial and business aid, and through providing weapons to some extremist organizations as well as to some tempted Arab leaders, and this has not helped to concern those countries with the Palestinian cause,” says Al-Hamad.

 

 

Regional and Global Neglect

 

Director-General of the Department of Palestinian Affairs, Mahmoud Al-Aqrabawi, referred to a significant decline and lack of attention to the Palestinian cause in the form of what it once was, saying that it did not survive on the ladder of priorities for the regional and global community.

 

Al-Aqrabawi considers Jordan to still be interested in the Palestinian cause. Jordan constantly seeks to do justice for the Palestinian people, to create a Palestinian State with Jerusalem as its capital, to restore the rights of the Palestinian refugees and their return, as well as to seek compensation for their suffering as the result of their displacement from their homeland.

 

With the transfer of the Palestinian issue from one generation to another, the Department of Palestinian Affairs is working, according to al-Aqrabawi, to broadcast programs talking about the Nakba, hold seminars and festivals in the refugee camps, as well as to host political figures, who have a long tradition of political work in the Kingdom, to talk about the Palestinian issue.

 

According to al-Aqrabawi, Jordan has given asylum to Palestinians for 67 years and remains a donor country to UNRWA, and will do so until the issue is resolved. He pointed out that the ratio of support for the Palestinian refugees no longer matches with the natural population growth of the refugees.

 

He said that Jordan, since 1948, has accounted for 42% of the total Palestinian refugees being hosted by Arab countries, while the total number of Palestinian refugees worldwide has reached nearly 12 million.

 

*The Arabic version of this article appeared on May 14, 2015

Translated by Julia Norris

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