Fatah legislator paints bleak scenario

A Palestinian legislator has warned that a genuine solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict may no longer be possible, due to what he called Israel's wanton settlement expansion in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

    Continued settlement expansion may trigger a violent backlash

    Hatim Abd al-Qadir said in an interview to Aljazeera.net the Israeli settlement policy, along with US reluctance to exert meaningful pressure on the Jewish state to stop grabbing Palestinian land, was making the creation of a viable Palestinian state unrealistic if not outright impossible.

    "I believe we are getting very close to the point where the conflict becomes unsolvable," the Fatah legislator from East Jerusalem said.

    Abd al-Qadir said the proliferation of Jewish-only settlements in the West Bank was seriously changing the demography of the region.

    "Israel is settling as many Jews as possible in the West Bank, and now they are importing people from India in order to give them our land," he said, referring to efforts by the Israeli chief rabbinate to convert an Indian tribe that some rabbis say has Jewish roots.

    Three scenarios

    Abd al-Qadir said there were three possible scenarios regarding the evolution of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

    First, the two-state solution, which he said was becoming increasingly unrealistic or "nearly impossible" because "very little room" had been left for a truly viable Palestinian state.

    Settlement expansion is making
    a two-state solution impossible

    Second, the one-state solution whereby Palestinians and Israelis would live as equal citizens in a unitary state.

    Abd al-Qadir said Israel would vehemently oppose this as the Jewish state would not want to become a bi-national state.

    He said the third and more likely scenario would be the perpetuation of the conflict.

    "This is what seems to be happening, in certain aspects. It would be like the Crusades and the conflict would morph into a religious conflict between Muslims and Jews, not just between Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs."

    Broken pledges

    Abd al-Qadir said the government of Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas would "very likely" collapse if Israel refused to stop settlement expansion.

    "If the Palestinians
    are pushed to the
    corner, then, yes, Hamas, Fatah, everybody, would
    resort once again to armed resistance"

    Hatim Abd al-Qadir,
    Fatah legislator

    "He made certain promises during his election campaigns. If he fails to fulfil them, then he will have to answer to the people who elected him," Abd al-Qadir said.

    The collapse of the Abbas government, or his resignation, would certainly result in a massive eruption of violence against the Israeli occupation, he predicted.

    "If the Palestinians are pushed to the corner, then, yes, Hamas, Fatah, everybody, would resort once again to armed resistance.

    "And in this case the theatre wouldn't be confined to Palestine, but the region as a whole."

    SOURCE: Aljazeera



    How different voting systems work around the world

    How different voting systems work around the world

    Nearly two billion voters in 52 countries around the world will head to the polls this year to elect their leaders.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    The great plunder: Nepal's stolen treasures

    The great plunder: Nepal's stolen treasures

    How the art world's hunger for ancient artefacts is destroying a centuries-old culture. A journey across the Himalayas.