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Sari ‘Orabi: Anticipated Trajectories of the Internal Palestinian Scene in 2024
Hani al-Masri: Anticipated Trajectories of the Peace Process and the Day After the War on Gaza in 2024

Anticipated Trajectories of the Palestinian Internal Situation and Political Solutions in 2024
Better chances for national reconciliation, with the outcome of the war playing a decisive role, while the peace process has not taken serious dimensions

Expert in Palestinian affairs, Sari ‘Orabi, anticipated four scenarios for the Palestinian internal situation. The first involves the continuation of the current situation with the division between Hamas and Fatah as it is, which, despite being weakened by the war, remains plausible. The second scenario involves reaching a national agreement to manage the post-war phase, aiming to end the schism, lift the siege, rebuild and prepare for comprehensive elections. This scenario is largely dependent on how the war concludes. These two scenarios are the most likely according to ‘Orabi.

These insights were shared during a seminar titled “Anticipated Trajectories of the Palestine Issue in 2024 in Light of Operation al-Aqsa Flood,” organized by al-Zaytouna Centre for Studies and Consultations, on 24/1/2024, with the participation of numerous experts in Palestinian affairs.

‘Orabi added two other scenarios, both less likely. The first is that the war ends with a clear victory for the resistance, led by Hamas. This would provide a stronger position for Hamas and a greater opportunity to impose its conditions on all levels, including the Palestinian internal situation. The second scenario is that the occupation manages to control the Gaza Strip (GS), achieving at least some of its goals in weakening or striking the resistance, drastically altering the Palestinian future. Both scenarios are unlikely based on available information.

‘Orabi stated that there are strong opportunities for the resistance and national workforces to enhance their popular, political and institutional presence, preventing attempts to isolate or sideline the resistance. This would also block the influential elite within the Palestinian Authority (PA) from further succumbing to Israeli pressures and demands. He added that this war, in general, provides better opportunities for serious national action.

On the other hand, Palestinian political affairs expert Hani Al-Masri affirmed that the trajectories of the peace process in 2024 are fundamentally linked to the outcomes of the GS war. He proposed three possible scenarios, favoring a scenario of “neither victor nor vanquished,” where each party claims victory, leading to political movement to overcome the stage and outline a new Middle East. Efforts would be made to neutralize and drain the resistance’s achievements by expanding the PA’s powers and influence, making it more compliant with Israeli demands.

The second scenario involves Israel’s control over GS, which is less likely. However, if it happens, the Israeli political path will continue to accelerate in its Judaization, displacement and annexation projects, with the PA leadership aligning more with Israeli dictates. In this case, there may be internal division within the PA and Fatah movement, with some factions of Fatah rejecting these dictates, while a faction of the PA remains obedient to Israel and implements its full demands. In such a scenario, Israel would achieve significant successes.

The best scenario, according to Al-Masri but the least likely, is the unification of Palestinian forces, especially the resistance forces, based on visions and programs aimed at ending the occupation. He said if this does not happen in the near future, someone else will fill this void.

Al-Masri stated that Operation al-Aqsa Flood brought global attention back to the Palestine issue after its decline, and the outcome of the war will reflect on the peace process in the coming stage. He pointed out that the current strong advocacy for the two-state solution reflects a global recognition of the severity of the situation. Neglecting the Palestine issue risks further unrest in the region and underscores the imperative to address the suffering of the Palestinian people. Additionally, the United States sees promoting a two-state solution as a means to reduce tensions and revitalize the peace process. Furthermore, it seeks to entice Saudi Arabia into normalizing relations with Israel under the guise of achieving progress. Nevertheless, Palestinians should refrain from endorsing the two-state solution until they consolidate their national unity and formulate a cohesive political strategy to navigate this phase.

This paper was presented in a seminar, moderated by Prof. Dr. Mohsen Mohammad Saleh, that included eight papers and discussed the anticipated trajectories in 2024 related to Palestinian, Israeli, Arab, Islamic and international affairs.

Read More: Seminar: Anticipated Trajectories of the Palestine Issue in 2024 in Light of Operation al-Aqsa Flood

Al-Zaytouna Centre for Studies and Consultations, 27/1/2024