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Arab Media Watch: Palestinians ‘still paying the bitter price’

Developments in Palestine and Yemen were the focus of papers in the region this week.

Gulf News

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has said what Israel has long wanted to hear: that he opposes the Palestinian attacks that have killed 28 Israelis since the latest violence erupted in September last year, said the Saudi Gazette.

“Israel had accused Abbas of failing to condemn the wave of attacks — even though in the same period, at least 188 Palestinians have died by Israeli fire. However, Abbas also said that the violence could stop if the defunct peace process, which collapsed in 2014, resumes. Abbas said the violence stems from lack of hope and trust in Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s commitment to a two-state solution to the conflict. A resumption of the talks might give Abbas’ people hope but then again, talks while new Israeli colonies keep cropping up would be the biggest obstacle, as they were the last time, to reaching a final settlement.”

The biggest dilemma for the Palestinian issue is that the entire population will suffer the brunt of a mistake committed by one person, said the UAE’s Al Khaleej.

“This is the current situation that Abbas faces. Abbas’ current stance regarding the current Intifada and his attempt to badly utilise it as a means to resume talks with Israel harkens to the way the first Intifada was utilised to reap the disastrous Oslo Accords, for which the Palestinians are still paying a bitter price. It is clear that the Palestinian [National] Authority is resolute when it comes to its security coordination with Israel, even if the Occupation has committed genocide and war crimes against the Palestinians. The question that must be posed to the Palestinian [National] Authority during the current situation is: Are there any alternatives for burying the current Intifada and compromising the sacrifices of Palestinians just because the authority is weak and squandering the rights of their people?”

Sign of hope

Meanwhile, on Yemen, the presence of a political Al Houthi delegation in Saudi Arabia is a sign of political pragmatism practised between both parties, said the London-based Pan-Arab paper Al Quds Al Arabi.

“This is also an indication on the future course of events in Yemen, one year following a war that was launched by a 10-nation coalition against [Al] Houthis and forces loyal to Ali Abdullah Saleh. The situation seems to be heading towards a political settlement that once again regulates the Arab and regional balance. It also allows all political parties, including [Al] Houthis, to find their place in the Yemeni political arena. This also instils hope that the war and suffering will stop; a grave price paid by the Yemenis to thwart a political oppression and regional turmoil. The question here is: Will Saleh find a place for himself during this political settlement, or will he finally receive the punishment that he truly deserves?”

Those who monitor the regional situation believed that war was the only option to prevent the Revolutionary Guard and Hezbollah from occupying Yemen and turning it into a large regional war front between Saudi Arabia and Iran, said the London-based Pan-Arab paper Asharq Al Awsat.

“The reclamation of most Yemeni provinces during the war this year is a major military achievement in a rugged country where tribal subdivisions exist and the terrain is similar to that of Afghanistan. The reclamation of most Yemeni provinces during the war this year is a major military achievement in a rugged country where tribal subdivisions exist and the terrain is similar to that of Afghanistan. The war is not over and continues at a slower pace as the legitimate government forces advance upon the capital Sana’a. This is the final battle and it is for this reason that Saleh and Al Houthis have agreed to negotiations in Kuwait and sent a delegation representing them to the Saudi capital. Everyone hopes that there will be signs of a political solution to end the war, that everyone will work towards restoring legitimacy and implementing Security Council resolutions.”