When I walked up with my dad, we got into a taxi. We drove the road up to the mosque. Suddenly, two Israeli army jeeps blocked the taxi. Two Israeli soldiers stepped out and shouted: ‘Don’t you know it’s forbidden to be outside? ‘Mamnou tajowal!’. We stepped out of the taxi, wondering why we didn’t hear their announcement and walked home. People were running in the streets. I heard more sound bombs, not tear gas because I couldn’t see white smoke.
Nothing on the news. Only stories about the last remaining building in what’s left of Arafat’s compound. It seems that the virtual leadership - those Palestinian representatives, who appear only on Al-Jazeera, Abu Dhabi and CNN, but who do not lead the Palestinian people to liberation, only to complete surrender and deterioration - are negotiating another deal to resolve their impasse with the occupier. Saeb Erekat, the ex-officio Minister of Local Government, who has not been willing to organise local elections ever since the creation of the Palestinian Authority, has been talking to his counterpart Brigadier-General Eval Giladi, of the planning branch of the Israeli occupation army. Erekat also met with other representatives of the occupier, including Shin Bet officers at the illegal colony of Beit El.
Should Palestinians believe Erekat when he said that Arafat refused to give Israel a list of those that Israel claim are with him inside in the leftovers of the compound?
Why should they? The officers with which Erekat had spoken, Giladi and the Shin Bet officer, were also involved in the deportation of fifteen Palestinians from the Nativity Church in Bethlehem.
Will this be just another deal? Remember the previous Israeli siege of Arafat’s compound? Remember Bethlehem and the deportation? Remember the hostage taking of Ahmad Sa’adat by British and American agents in Jericho? What about the old city of Nablus and Jenin refugee camp? Seems that people have a very short memory.
History repeats itself, or is it the virtual leadership who keeps repeating its same mistakes?