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After all, hope in Gaza

Reconciliation in the local community is the path to a final Palestinian reconciliation.


After ten years of internal Palestinian tragedy – which included fights between Fatah and Hamas with 700 killed – the people of Gaza are now looking forward to healing their wounds. They are trying to find ways to rebuild their lives through a process of reconciliation in the local communities in the positive atmosphere created by the unification of the two factions.

Accepts reconciliation. Imad Zanoun (58) lost his son Alaa during the tragic period. He worked in Fatah's security forces. Imad looks sadly at the picture of his son. "I have accepted the reconciliation of the local environment and have forgiven him who killed my son for the sake of our homeland. Sacrifice is a duty for every Palestinian, so that we can live in peace and harmony in a civilized atmosphere of rebirth, "he explains. Imad Zanoun has been working for this local reconciliation since 2011, when he started a campaign for forgiveness aimed at the victims' families.

Zanoun states that his son's blood is not cheap: “My acceptance of the Atonement does not mean that I am a weak person. Sacrifice is the source of my strength. ”Zanoub urged all parties to accelerate the reconciliation process for the benefit of all Palestinians. He asked that they overcome all obstacles, and he had something to say to the families of those who were victims of the split: “You must think with your head. Our country wants us to forget what happened and open a new chapter without hate and anger. ”

Talal Basal also lost his son Ahmad during the bloody events. His son had joined the Hamas Executive Force paramilitary police force. "I am happy for the Atonement, and did not hesitate to accept it. We are one people, and we have to stick together and forget what sets us apart, ”says Talal. When he talks about his son, he breaks down in tears. "My son fell down because of quarrels and quarrels, and from the moment I got the message I never thought of revenge."

Imad Zanoun and Talal Basal publicly announced their decision to accept the reconciliation – with the financial compensation provided – during a festival held in Gaza with national political leaders and tribal leaders present.

Not everyone forgives. However, the thirty-year-old "Abu Iyad" – who does not want his name published – declined the municipal reconciliation offer after his brother was killed by Fatah: "There are many who do not like the idea of ​​forgiving the murder of his brother, especially because this was a deliberate murder. My brother had nothing to do with Hamas, and they killed him just because he wanted a beard. I do not intend to accept this reconciliation, and I do not accept money. All I want is for justice to be done to the fullest and for the one who killed my brother to receive his punishment. ”He says that there are constant attempts to make him change his mind, but he rejects them. "I still remember my brother's last words to the killers: 'Please don't kill me – I'll get married in two weeks.' I stand by my decision that the murderer must be punished, and I send a message to the rulers that the blood of my martyr brother must be a reminder that they secure law and justice and punish the murderer. "

According to the Fatah representative, close to 70 percent of the victims' families have accepted the process. 

Compensation for families. Ahmad Yosef, a political adviser to the Hamas government, says the local reconciliation is an important issue that was agreed in Cairo. "It's relatively easy to implement if money to compensate families is available," he says. Yosef believes that the local reconciliation will strengthen the victims' families emotionally and mitigate the suffering that stings so deeply in Palestinian society. He further believes that the reconciliation process will also protect against revenge. There have been set up special committees that have succeeded in getting many to pledge not to take revenge.

Yosef also says the violence and killing was a major mistake that caused hundreds of people to be killed and injured. "It has also caused a huge scare in Palestinian society that has weakened the struggle for Palestine." Yosef urged Hamas and Fatah to put an end to the divide, admit the wrongdoing and work to build trust in the population, especially among the families of the victims.

Nimeh Sheikh Khalil is a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council where she represents Fatah. She supports the work on local reconciliation: “We in Fatah support the local reconciliation, and look at it as a pillar of the more general Palestinian reconciliation. We must work to reunite all Palestinians. ”Nimeh believes it is important that these efforts succeed, so that the Palestinians can get out of the problem of internal struggle and revenge. She has called for a bill to be signed by all the victims' families. She has also said that whatever comes in law, it should not contain anything that forces anyone to accept this process. The representative of Fatah says that close to 70 percent of all victims' families have accepted the process, and they hope that as many of the remaining 30 percent will be convinced to accept it. She commends political leaders and tribal leaders as well as Palestinian parties and factions for their support in making this effort work.

Mohammad Abu Shamaleh, another member of Fatah's legislative council from the Dahlan faction, says Fatah is working hard to ensure that all families receive compensation. He says: "Fifty million dollars has been secured to pay compensation to over 700 families who have lost one of their loved ones during these bloody events between Fatah and Hamas."

Forgiveness and transitional rights. Abdel Aziz Kahek, the head of the Higher Council for Reconciliation, says that the community reconciliation is one of the pillars of Islamic society and that it is a religious and moral duty to help unite and strengthen the nation. . “The local environmental reconciliation is steadily moving forward with the political reconciliation in Cairo. In many cases, families take the initiative to put an end to the fighting and divide them between them. "Kahek asks all the factions to get up to speed at the local reconciliation" because almost all those killed belong to one or the other faction. " the people united through forgiveness. "As Palestinians, we have suffered a lot during the occupation, and now we must be strong," he concludes.

Jamil Sirhan heads the Independent Commission on Human Rights in Gaza. He says the local reconciliation is part of the transitional settlement. "It is linked to the need for compensation for the victims' families for the losses they suffered as a result of the split. This compensation is an element of building a civil society that is stable and secure. The local environmental reconciliation should be implemented as soon as a complaint is made by one of the victims' families, and should include their requirements. Local environmental reconciliation must take place in an institutionalized way based on transitional law, so that the rights of families are guaranteed. This would also contribute to law and order so people don't think about revenge. "

Hamada Hamada Fajer
Hamada is a freelancer for New Time from Gaza.

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