Photo: AP
Closing the gates to Gaza - Kissufim checkpoint
Photo: AP

This isn’t the way to peace

Despite disengagement, Gaza Strip still serves as large prison

This is not the way to make peace. I feel no joy in my heart, and there is nothing to celebrate.


The disengagement made the prison’s limits larger, but did not free us from our prison or the Israeli warden. How can we be merry if we are imprisoned in the Gaza Strip and many of our brothers are jailed in Israel?


The disengagement is an Israeli move meant to make the children happy for a few days, but no more. The Israeli occupation surrounds us on all directions, from the sea, the air, the land, and at the crossings. It surrounds and chokes us.


A million and a half Palestinians are imprisoned, and the disengagement does not make us a free people in our country.


It is good to no longer have the settlements before our eyes. It is good to no longer see tanks. Yet the new reality cannot be described as a victory and the unilateral pullout cannot be described as peace.


Those who want peace have to talk peace and strive for peace and a final-status solution between the two peoples. The disengagement and Gaza’s new reality will not be “delivering the goods” for the Palestinian people.

I understand there are issues that are important to Israel like security and arms smuggling. No problem, undertake the necessary steps to facilitate security control, but do not strangle an entire nation. I realize Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is not interested in a permanent agreement – he wants a long-term temporary solution.


Yet with the disengagement you only fan the flames of hatred and fail to advance peace. To my regret, that hatred which played a role in the conflict in the past, is playing a role now and will continue to play a role in the future.


Don’t you understand we cannot subsist on our own? Everyone knows that the Gaza Strip, even before 1948, could not subsist independently. Just like it could not do so in the past, it certainly cannot do so now.


If this was a genuine disengagement, we would accept it as is, but in the current situation you are not providing us with lungs to breathe with. Reality is difficult as it is, and with the disengagement you only made it more complex. This is not how peace is made.


Hisham Abdul Razek is the Palestinian Minister for Prisoner Affairs

פרסום ראשון: 09.12.05, 09:36
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