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The latest developments in Palestine and the region in general raise questions about the future of the Palestinian resistance, especially after the latest Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip, and in the light of the decrease in the resistance operations in the West Bank.

From a careful reading of the interaction of factors that suppress the rise of resistance for the time being, on the internal Palestinian level, and on the Israeli, Arab, Islamic, and international levels, the scene suggests that the resistance is facing real challenges, with the potential of receiving some harsh blows. However, it also suggests that “Israel” is suffering from growing crises, both internally and externally.  Moreover, the scene indicates that the Palestinian and Arab resistance is becoming different, through the focal points installed by the resistance on the Palestinian territory in the Gaza war, the experience of Hezbollah in Lebanon, and the expansion of the circle that supports resistance politically and popularly.

There is also the fact that the outgoing Bush administration has failed to create a new Middle East in accordance with its standards.

Thus, the indicators of resistance strength building are moving up generally, and all parties will have to eventually deal with the new reality, where resistance is going to be a player that cannot be overcome. 

Resistance, at home and abroad
Resistance suppression factors
Factors of the Rise of the Resistance
The Interactions amongst the Factors of Resistance’s Suppression and Rise
The Current State of Resistance
Strengthening the Focal Point
Resistance in the West Bank


The latest developments in Palestine and the region in general raise questions about the future of the Palestinian resistance: Will this resistance continue or not? Will it have momentum and sustainability if it is to be continued? Alternatively, will the impeding forces of resistance turn it into unattainable dreams? 

A significant part of the Palestinian people had laid down their arms, and yet, a part of this part actually works against those carrying arms and even arrests them. Several Arab countries are against the resistance saying that it is meaningless, and they participate in the siege imposed on the resistance; while other countries monitor the resistance and fund those who stand in its face. This is apart from the devastating war launched by the Zionist regime in Gaza. The question is: Will such resistance endure and will it have a future?

Resistance, at home and abroad
Palestinian resistance is divided into two parts: the first is at home; the active factions and players such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad, the Popular Resistance Committees; semi-active players such as Jihad Jibreel Saraya (regiments) and the Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades.  The second part is abroad, such as, the Popular Front – General Command and Fatah-Intifada, and the forces of some Palestinian factions in the refugee camps in Lebanon. 

The resistance at home is the one that creates events now.  It is located in the midst of the battle; it forms the basis of stability and continuity at this point.  It is in an ongoing confrontation with the Zionist enemy and the internal enemy. 

The resistance abroad, and in spite of the continued readiness of combat, are still locked in the Arab internal balances, the international considerations directly related to the Lebanese government, and the conflict between Syria and the Zionists. They receive warning strikes from time to time.  In all cases, it should be borne in mind that the resistance abroad is an extension of the resistance at home, and vice versa.

Resistance suppression factors
The Palestinian resistance experiences many concerns, problems, and constraints that operate against it, weakening the resistance and leading to dissatisfaction and frustration at times. The following are among the most important ones: 

First, the continued Zionist encounter: “Israel” has a massive and devastating military machine, characterized by an advanced and complex technical level.  It is capable of blowing severe and continuing strikes to the Palestinian resistance at various levels. This is not a new or novel element, but that has existed since “Israel” was established, or rather, since the days of the Zionist movement under the British Mandate. Depending on the confrontation, the Palestinian resistance has been moving up and down.  However, tracking the curve of the Palestinian resistance, one will find that the resistance has improved their performance over time, and developed their ability to resist. 

Second, the Palestinian internal challenge: In 1985, Yasser Arafat, the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) Chairman then, declared renouncing terrorism in Cairo. This declaration was a Palestinian turning point, of which impact has increased after the resolutions of the Palestinian National Council held in Algiers in 1988, and has aggravated after the Oslo Agreement and subsequent agreements.  The agreements provided for the Palestinians commitment to Israel’s security.  It is incumbent on the Palestinian to arrest the Palestinian in defense of the Israeli entity’s security. To make sure that the Palestinians will continue to do this, the salaries of the Palestinian Authority staff were linked to their dedication of the implementation of the conventions with “Israel”, to the extent that the Palestinian people has become bounded by this situation. 

     This is a very grave challenge, because it operates from the inside, representing a multitude of Palestinians in charge of gathering information and running after whoever was being suspected of resisting the occupation authorities. This highly weakens the resistance, and sets forth very big regulatory, funding, armament, and security challenges that impede the resistance’s efficiency of operating and development of methods for confrontation. 

Third, the Arab regimes’ opposition and siege: There are a number of Arab regimes that work in accordance with the requirements of the Oslo agreement and its consequences. They prefer recognizing “Israel”, normalizing relations with it, and continuing to crush resistance to the degree of participating in the siege.  Some of these regimes stood against the Palestinian resistance in the Israeli attack on the Gaza Strip (GS) 2008/2009, and actively participate in controlling and preventing smuggling arms to the GS.
Many of these regimes cooperate with the Western countries in the financial blockade imposed on GS and on the supporters of the resistance factions.  About 53% of the donor countries’ money, allocated to the payment of salaries of the Authority staff, comes from the Arab countries. It is clear that these countries are pressuring the Palestinians to recognize “Israel” and commit to the agreements signed by the PLO with “Israel”.

Fourth, the International Factor: It is represented in the opposition of world major powers such as the USA and Europe, to the Palestinian resistance. These powers are strongly mobilized in defense of the Israeli entity and suppressing resistance along with imposing political, media, military and security pressures on it. This makes clear for any observer that the resistance, small-scaled as it is, is going through difficult and tough challenges. 

Fifth, the culture of some Palestinian elites: The general atmosphere associated with the settlement agreements has influenced a large population among the Palestinian elites, particularly in the West Bank and Gaza Strip; so that they call for recognition of “Israel” and putting an end to resistance in order to give opportunity for the establishment of a Palestinian state via peaceful means.
Among some of those in the Palestinian territories, ِa culture emerged that is characterized by the hatred of the Palestinian other and the tolerance of the Zionist other. For them, this justifies cooperation with the enemy, and interprets the attack on the resistance as a national service.

Factors of the Rise of the Resistance

While there are suppression factors, there are also many factors that help the resistance to rise and go up and continue, most notably: 

First, the willingness and determination: on the Palestinian arena, there are those who define politics as the insistence on the possible.  A high percentage of Palestinians reject the agreements signed with the Zionist enemy, insisting on the continuation of the resistance, no matter the required sacrifices. This group has established faith and firm belief in what they do, and they have the willingness to continue. If we look at wars in history, we will find that the soldier who believes in his cause is the one who is eventually decisive in battles.

     Second, the Arab and Muslim depth: the Palestinian resistance has wide public support in the Arab and Muslim world. This support constitutes a strong motivation for the continuation of the resistance.  It provides humanitarian, substantial, and economic support and can put some pressure on the regimes, to establish gradually a well-rooted and deep mature backbone. This was somehow manifested in the latest war on Gaza through demonstrations, protests, media campaigns, fund-raising, and sometimes confrontations with the security services. 

Third, the growth of Iranian power and its continuing defiance of the West: it is difficult to separate the resistance victory in Gaza from Iran’s military and material support. Iran has achieved scientific and technical huge leaps, especially in the military field. Iran is still determined to make its way towards independence from the West, and developing political and security will for the region.
The possibility that Iran had loosed free from dependence on the West increases; the way is open for further development, which would have positive effects on the resistance. It should be noted that very careful attention is needed in order to avoid falling into the trap of sectarianism and Communal conflicts that could harm the resistance and Iran, if they were fueled and employment negatively. In this case, Iran should differentiate between supporting the resistance and promoting Shiite-ization in the Sunni environment, that is highly sensitive towards this matter.

Fourth, the above will strengthen the Palestinian resistance position abroad.  The resistance factions there may be given more financial support, training and armament. Thus possibly, if a war breaks abroad, these factions would probably participate actively in encountering “Israel”.

Fifth, the Arab Axe of support for the resistance might expand. For quite a period of time, Syria was the country described by some as the odd Arab country that do not adhere to “the Arab consensus”. Now Syria is not alone. That was evident in the Doha Conference, which was held after the war on Gaza ended at the beginning of 2009. The conference was attended by about two-thirds of the Arab countries. There are now some Arab regimes that tend to somehow support the resistance, or at least “Stopping the regimes’ evil” from it. The more the resistance manages to prove itself, the more likely the number of such countries would increase.

Sixth, the collapse of the settlement track, and negotiations ending into a deadlock, while there is not any sign looming on the horizon that the Israelis might offer a compromise up to the Palestinian expectations, not even the “moderate” Palestinian expectations. This failure reinforces the tendency for the choice of resistance as an effective tool that forces the Israelis to respond to the Palestinian demands.

The Interactions amongst the Factors of Resistance’s Suppression and Rise
There is contradiction between the factors resistance suppression and rise.  It is not expected that a factor would completely abolish its opposite, at the current stage.  The mutual influence will remain. Ultimately, it is expected that the outcome would be for the benefit of the resistance. This result is foreseen through the following indicators: 

First, “Israel” is no longer capable in terms of military and intelligence to do what it used to do in the past.  It was hit by the failure of the July 2006 war against Hezbollah; and it fought a blind war against a small area in the GS, where it did not have adequate information on the enemy, and failed to achieve any real objectives putting itself in a real military dilemma, that it chose to stop making allegations of victories. This is in addition to the flabbiness of the Israeli “community”, the poor quality of the Zionist fighter, and the growing breaches in the structure of the army. 

Second, America failed in creating a new Middle East in accordance with its own standards, while Bush and his administration failed in the so-called war on “terrorism”, in addition to the US involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan. At the end, the U.S. administration finds itself drowning in the midst of global financial and economic crisis, while being unable to make any decisive action against Iran, or to force changes in the region. 

Third, the Palestinian resistance has stood in the face of massive Israeli campaign and the Arab and internal Palestinian complicity.  So, is it possible for the resistance to retreat under the same pressure in the future?
     If the resistance was steadfast under the pressure of a certain amount, this pressure would weaken relatively if the resistance strength increased of the resistance, consequently, the resistance would be stronger in spite of the continuing siege.  

Fourth, the popularity of the PA in Ramallah was negatively affected by its weak performance during the war on Gaza.  Meanwhile, the resistance has gained increasing respect at the Palestinian, Arab, and the international level. 

Fifth, the Arab Islamic consciousness and movement is on the rise; it is a movement that agrees with the History and not against it. This movement is fueled by the unconsciousness, or the diminishing of the will that has led to the agreements with “Israel”.

The Current State of Resistance
In general, we cannot talk about active Palestinian Resistance in the past four years, where operations had fallen sharply. Operations in the WB and from the GS decreased. We no longer see the self-immolation operations that have previously confused the occupation. This is due to several reasons, most notably the construction of the separation wall, activation of the assassinations policy, arrests carried out by the occupation, and the participation of the PA in pursuit of resistance members.

Strengthening the Focal Point

In the recent war on Gaza, the resistance made a major achievement in establishing a focal point on the Palestinian land. The resistance is expected to make great efforts to strengthen this point in preparation for future acts of war by “Israel”. The resistance certainly is going to develop methods and means to smuggle weaponry.

This focal point is facing now a yet more tightened siege by “Israel”, US and some Arab regimes. These countries want to break the backbone of the resistance through stripping it of its strength elements, including the bread, and turning the people in GS against them. If the resistance has sustained to stand the siege before the war on Gaza, it is likely to survive it after the failure of the Israeli attack.

Resistance in the West Bank
The situation of resistance in the WB is very critical, while the PA security services are exerting continuing efforts, under the command of Dayton, to hunt down resistance members. However, the resistance is working silently, and it seems to have learned important lessons about the silent active action, bypassing the former factional heritage of the showy actions and exposed organization. This makes the resistance more likely to apply new method in the WB, to be more organized, efficient and effective. 

This also explains the increased intensity of the Israeli chase given through several measures, such as raising the number of barriers, increasing the pace of administrative detention. It is clear that “Israel” does not act in accordance with the pace of the daily acts of resistance, but rather according to its assessment of the resistance methods in preparation, readiness and potential future risk. 

     With its outcomes, the recent war in Gaza has instigated many in the WB. Thus, it is likely to come out with new reactions, at the public level, as well as, at the level of resistance actions.


The Arab resistance situation is different now; a situation that is deeply disturbing to all its opponents. Palestinian resistance has unleashed, as well as the Iranian power. Resistance may have setbacks, but the indicators of building strength tend to go up generally. “Israel” is more vulnerable both on the internal and external levels, which negatively affects the efficiency of its military capability. Arab and Islamic region has entered a new phase of self-revenge.  Thus, the future will be in favor of the resistance, and the Western countries will have to eventually deal with the new reality.