These five indicators can be outlined as follows:
- As the host of this meeting, Egypt showed that it has neither ceased nor will cease to grasp any existing opportunities to champion the Palestinian cause both domestically and internationally.
- Despite its primary objective being to reorganize the Palestinian house, this meeting has also succeeded in shedding light on the Palestinian cause, refocusing attention on it in a way that it often lacks.
- The participation of Palestinian factions in this meeting, despite the absence of three factions for various reasons, reflects their eagerness to find solutions to the current Palestinian crisis. Even the Islamic Jihad Movement, which did not attend the meeting, has confirmed its commitment to the outcomes in accordance with its principles.
- President Abu Mazen's involvement in the meeting and his previous discussions with some General Secretaries indicate that he is determined, as the head of the Palestinian Authority which represents all Palestinians, to ensure that the outcomes of the meeting will be achieved.
- This crucial meeting took place amid an extremely extremist and unprecedented Israeli policy that rules out the possibility of establishing an independent Palestinian state.
Furthermore, we should note that "The Alamein Meeting" is one of many meetings hosted by Egypt in the past years to reorganize the Palestinian house, but especially to end the division and achieve the long-awaited reconciliation.
Therefore, in assessing this meeting and its results we should see it as a step forward in preparation for the upcoming phase rather than a sole factor capable of changing the current Palestinian situation.
President Abu Mazen's concluding statement at the end of the meeting reflected the consensus the participants arrived at to sustain the momentum generated during The Alamein Meeting.
The statement thus emphasized the following:
- The importance of The Alamein Meeting as a significant initial step towards Palestinian-Palestinian dialogue.
- The call for the formation of a committee comprising Palestinian factions to engage in dialogue, with the aim to end the division and achieve Palestinian national unity.
- The instructions to the mentioned committee to promptly undertake its assigned tasks and present results and recommendations to the General Secretaries of the factions.
- The potential for a new Palestinian meeting in Egypt shortly, with the aim of announcing an end to the division.
In general, The Alamein Meeting has evidently paved the way for new and potentially more effective Palestinian actions, especially through the proposed committee, which should be formed promptly and vested with all the necessary authority to enforce effective results and recommendations upon all organizations, without exception, thus ending the 16-year division.
As the world awaits the translation of The Alamein Meeting's outcomes into action on the ground, particularly when Palestinian leaders shift from prolonged discussions to implementing the results, these positive steps will undoubtedly send a clear message to Israel that the Palestinian people hold the final say in the equation of conflict and resolution.
* Major General Mohamed Ibrahim Eldawiry is the Deputy Director of the Egyptian Center for Strategic Studies (ECSS)