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Minimizing the Repercussions of the Russian-Ukrainian war on the Palestinian Cause

Summary of a Policy Analysis Paper

Minimizing  the Repercussions of the Russian-Ukrainian war on the Palestinian Cause

Prepared by: Ahmad Al-Koumi, Shaima Marzouk, Muhammad Al-Hattab

The Overall Objective

The paper aims to research the repercussions of the Russian-Ukrainian war on the Palestinian cause and present policy alternatives that can contribute to minimizing the war's effects on the Palestinian reality.

The Policy Problem

The Palestinian Authority did not issue any official position on the Ukrainian war, and it maintained a position of neutrality, but in return, it did not announce a vision for dealing with the repercussions of this war on the Palestinian cause. This necessitates the search for emergency policy alternatives to face the repercussions of the crisis.

Conflicting Palestinian Positions

The Palestinian leadership remained neutral towards the Russian-Ukrainian war. The Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki stated, "We are not a country that is obliged to take a certain position."

This position is also adopted by Hamas and the Islamic Jihad, which preferred to remain silent.

On the other hand, the leftist parties expressed their support for Russia through statements by the Secretary-General of the Palestinian People's Party, Bassam Al-Salihi, and the Secretary-General of the Palestinian Popular Struggle Front, Ahmed Majdalani. Additionally, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine also published on its official website on February 24, justifying this invasion as a “preemptive” attempt “to prevent Kyiv from joining the NATO.” and the Democratic Front or the Liberation of Palestine issued a statement, denouncing what it described as aggressive measures against the Russian Federation. 

The marginalization of the Palestinian Cause

Joe Biden's visit to the Palestinian territories reflected the marginalization of the Palestinian cause, as his speech focused on the economic file and the financial support for the Palestinian Authority, his speech did not include any political horizon for resolving the conflict.

The European Union is the largest financial donor to the PA, and the most prominent supporter of the two-state solution. However, the Russian-Ukrainian crisis has led to dropping the Palestinian cause from the list of European priorities and the European position shifting towards the American policy.

The Alternatives
First: a Palestinian national plan to attract political and humanitarian support: The plan will be challenging to implement; it will collide with the accumulations of the Palestinian division, the internal diverse political programs, and visions, in addition to the world's preoccupation with the Russian-Ukrainian crisis.
Second: a multipolar international conference: This alternative is an official demand of the Palestinian leadership; however, the Palestinian leadership will face strong opposition from Israel and the United States. In addition, the intensification of the Russian-Ukrainian crisis and the aggravation of its repercussions may not allow the organization of this conference.
Third: activating the file of the International Criminal Court: The Palestinian Authority will find it difficult to turn to the international court, given the strong opposition shown by Israel and the United States to this option. Most importantly, the Palestinian Authority is not willing to turn to international courts; Because it does not want to open any front of confrontation with Israel.
Fourth: an emergency "austerity budget" for the current year 2022: The budget is based on reducing expenditures to the minimum for the public sector, including the fuel and energy bills, salaries and bonuses, and others. It is also based on the search for alternative sources of financing.

The public, labor unions, and employers may not accept this alternative. Still, it will enhance the government's ability to withstand for a more extended period in the face of the repercussions of the war, especially the decline in external support for the authority.

The comparison between alternatives

All the alternatives presented are essential and considered as required national options that not only manage this crisis and contain its effects but also support the Palestinian cause in light of the international preoccupation with other priorities. 

*** ​The content of this paper does not reflect the official opinion of Masarat Center and Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES)

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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