An Incomplete March: Landmarks on the Path of Resistance

Abu Alaa Mansour’s An Incomplete March: Landmarks on the Path of Resistance (399 pp.), has recently been published by the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies as part of its Memory of Palestine series. While the book abounds with names, facts, locales and dates, recounting a real-life experience; it is not however a chronological authority. Mansour traces three prominent milestones, in which he is the protagonist of the first two and a witness on the third. The book sets off Mansour’s leading role in outsourcing the occupied land between the mid 1970s and the mid 1990s; and his experience in the occupied territories and his leading role before, during and briefly after the 5-year al-Aqsa Intifada. Lastly, the book outlines the first six months of the Palestinian Habba (popular uprising) that broke out in the fall of 2015; in which Mansour was only an observer and analyst.
Mansour first recalls his eleven-year experience with Fatah in the 77th leading committee, which paid a terrible price for limiting its operations solely to popular explosive charges. He then narrates his role in the volunteering camps in Lebanon after the 1978 Israeli invasion and his undocumented marriage to Zahra al-Qaisi in Jordan. Around that time, the Israeli West Bank-Jordan barrier was built, hampering the cross-border fedayeen activity. Mansour also recounts the withdrawal of the Palestinian forces from Beirut after the 1982 Israeli invasion, his part in the al-Wasat committee and his strained relationship with Yasser Arafat. After the Oslo Agreement in 1996, Mansour returned to Palestine, where he witnessed Fatah’s internal conflicts and the outbreak of the al-Aqsa Intifada following Ariel Sharon’s visit to the al-Aqsa mosque in 2000. He also recalls the horrific execution of 12-year-old al-Durra at the time and the Intifada’s bloodshed which poured into the reality of the occupation and the deception of Oslo.
During the Intifada, Fatah was torn between their past of resistance and a submissive present; leading to the emergence of its armed al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades – which was not created or officially adopted by Fatah; but rather by individuals who insisted on pursuing the path of resistance. When the Israeli Operation Defensive Shield in Ramallah began, Mansour and Marwan Barghouti went into hiding, but were eventually separated. He recalls the vacuum in the Intifada’s leadership created amid Barghouti’s arrest, and his attempts to fill in the vacuum after the 2005 Israeli withdrawal from Gaza.
As the Oslo Agreement failed the Palestinians, Mansour narrates his memories of the 2015 Intifada called the “Knife Intifada”. At the time, Israel was shaken by the grounds of the uprising; the Palestinian Authority continued its security coordination, Hamas was not firing from Gaza, and the Intifada persisted without the official support of either party. Mansour also narrates throughout the book many unwavering stories of heroism and resilience. 

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