Interview with Vladimir Isaev

Vladimir Isaev, Deputy Director of the Institute of Oriental Studies, shared his view on the current situation in the Middle East.

Mr Isaev says despite Hamas’ success it’s too early to say Fatah has lost its cause.

“Currently there are more chances that Hamas will win the battle against Fatah. From history we know that of any two or three ruling forces, one would win eventually. It is clear that in Palestine the situation with two ruling parties couldn’t last long. Now, one should take control of the country, and rule according to its views and principles. Of course Hamas is predominating. But still we should not rule out the possibility that Fatah will regroup. Everything is very shaky at present. The situation is developing mainly in Gaza, where all the administration is located, but we still don’t know what the West Bank may say, whom the population will support. Also President Mahmoud Abbas has not yet ordered his troops or his personal guard to start an armed stand-off – they are just shooting back to avoid mass casualties. If that happens, a civil war will start in Palestine and it would take everyone’s efforts to bring it down,” he believes.

The expert claims the rival factions failed to come to any peaceful solution because they are not used to taking important decisions on their own.

“The problem is that during the long history of conflicts in the region Palestinians have got used to receiving ready solutions: the U.S., the former Soviet Union, Egypt of Saudi Arabia would come up with a solution, and they chose whether to follow it of not. The world has changed, and the Palestinian fighting factions have to understand that it’s time to decide for themselves. Once they understand that it’s going too far, and that the conflict threatens not only the existence of the Palestinian National Authority, but the Palestinian nation, I think, the fighting will cease,” Mr Isaev says.

RT’s guest thinks international forces will not resolve the situation in Gaza.

“To be honest, I don’t count on the deployment of international peacekeeping forces. It’s a long process. First of all, it has to be settled with the countries that are ready to risk the lives of their soldiers. Secondly, it’s expensive. Who is going to pay for the deployment and stationing of the UN troops? The wages of the UN soldiers are high. Also, what are the UN forces going to do there? Under the present Statement on International Forces, including the UN, their main mission is to turn away from bullets. They don’t even have the right to shoot unless their life is under threat. And even then they need a commander’s permission to open fire. So by the time the process starts, the situation in Palestine may change completely,” Mr Isaev suggests.