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My relationship with the Palestinians and their plight began from the day I became aware of this world which almost coincided with the beginning of their setbacks, which I experienced and was affected by. There was no state in Palestine, a clear, solid entity, and a president, but there were Palestinian Arabs and other people from different places, races and religions.
The Palestinians were governed by Muslims for five hundred years and then came the Crusaders in 1095 and stayed there for half a century in peace before the legions of Salah al-Din (1170 AD) came and caused worry to them, but they remained in the region for 350 years before returning to their homes in Europe.
The departure of the Crusaders helped extend the Ottoman Empire and its authority was spread over the entire Arab East, including Palestine. With the collapse of the Ottoman Empire at the beginning of the twentieth century, the disintegration of its property and the failure of the Hussein bin Ali Arab revolution, Britain imposed its hegemony over Palestine through the Sykes-Picot Agreement.
This prompted Britain to issue a Declaration or the so-called Balfour Declaration to help the Jews establish a state in Palestine, a name (Palestine) which is denied by any Jewish politician and this is what many do not know.
The Zionist settlement movements were active and the number of Jewish immigrants to Palestine increased and in turn large properties owned by the Syrians, Lebanese, and other nationalities including the Palestinians were sold and none of them imagined what would come next.
The Zionist movement took advantage of the fragmentation and division of Arabs and Muslims, most of who had little or no sovereignty and sought to implement their plans to establish a Jewish entity in Palestine. The Palestinians fiercely resisted the settlement movement with weapons, demonstrations and sit-ins, but they lacked real strength and unified and enlightened leadership.
The first setback came as a result of the rejection by the Arabs or the Palestinians the decisions of the Peel Commission of England in 1936, which proposed to keep Bethlehem and Nazareth under the British Mandate, establish a Jewish state, and annex part of Palestine to the east of Jordan and form an Arab state.
It was natural for the Arabs to reject Peel’s decisions, then came the United Nations and issued its resolution of 1947 to divide Palestine into two states, Arab and Jewish, and create an international status for Jerusalem.
The Palestinians rejected the resolution and Britain ended its occupation of Palestine on May 14, 1948, and the Jews declared their state on the same night. Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia sent their armies to liberate Palestine, all of them suffered great defeats, despite their success in keeping half of Jerusalem and full West Bank but Israel gained large areas of lands that were not originally included in the division resolution.
The United Nations intervened on June 10, 1948 and imposed a cease-fire and declared a truce, part of which still remains. The stage was called the Nakba, followed by the setback in the 1967 war, in which the armies of Egypt, Jordan and Syria were defeated and then the Oslo Accords (1993) between the Israelis and the Palestinians which further deepened the Arab differences.
A large section of the Arabs and the Palestinians rejected the Oslo’s resolutions, including stopping the armed struggle and postponing the issue of Jerusalem and refugees to negotiations of the final solution.
At last, the final official rejection of the Kushner deal which he wanted perhaps to put the solution of the Palestinian issue on the track. What I would like to conclude with is that the true owners of the issue have been living for over 70 years in their camps and cities with daily sufferings and all the hardships of life since 1936, however no one has tried to listen to them or take their opinion through any referendum, or grant them the right to self-determination.
This is the truth, and it is the cause of all the calamities of the Palestinians and our Arab nation, whose slogan is One Arab Nation with Eternal Message, a message that nobody knows about.
By Ahmad alsarraf