Saturday, June 3, 2023

Israel-Palestine conflict: why tensions are rising

Israel has seen the deadliest attacks in years. There have been regular clashes in the al-Aqsa mosque complex and rockets have been fired from Gaza.

Jerusalem: Everyone was worried that this might happen.

In the weeks before the rare confluence of major Jewish, Christian and Muslim holidays, with thousands of visitors expected in Jerusalem for the first time since the pandemic, Israeli, Palestinian and Arab leaders discussed how to defuse tensions.

Israel took steps to ease the terms of its nearly 55-year military rule on millions of Palestinians, lifted some movement restrictions and issued thousands of work permits. Israeli police said they would work to make sure everyone could pray in peace.

The goal was to avoid a repeat of last year when weeks of protests and conflict in Jerusalem ultimately helped start an 11-day war between Israel and Gaza’s militant Hamas rulers.

It hasn’t worked as planned.

Israel has seen the deadliest attacks in years. Its troops have launched deep arrest raids inside the occupied West Bank, triggering a gunfight. Clashes have erupted at a key site in the holy Jerusalem of Jews and Muslims and rockets have been fired from Gaza.

Here’s a look at how we got here:

a wave of attacks

On 22 March, a Palestinian citizen of Israel killed four people in the city of Beersheba after he ran over and stabbed a car. Another 10 people were killed in firing by Palestinians over the next three weeks, including in Tel Aviv.

Israeli officials said the attackers acted mostly alone, and while Hamas and other terrorist groups hailed the attacks, no one claimed them. Some of the attackers supported the Islamic State group, but there is no evidence that they carried out the attacks.

Israel raids occupied West Bank, arrests dozens. The Palestinians threw stones and fire bombs, and there was a hail of gunfire in Jenin, long a stronghold of the militants.

According to a report, at least 26 Palestinians have been killed The Associated Press Counts, including the attackers and many more who took part in the conflict. But the dead included a lawyer and an 18-year-old woman who are seen standing in front, as well as an unarmed woman who was shot dead at the checkpoint.

Israel occupied the West Bank along with East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip in the 1967 Middle East war. Palestinians want all three regions to build their future state.

Israel has complete control of more than 60 percent of the West Bank, where it has built more than 130 settlements with approximately 500,000 Jewish settlers. The increasingly unpopular Palestinian Authority manages major population centers and cooperates with Israel on security.

Why israel-palestine conflict is increasing tension

Palestinians clash with Israeli security forces at the al-Aqsa mosque complex in Jerusalem’s Old City. Associated Press

conflict in jerusalem

On 15 April, clashes broke out at dawn between Palestinians and Israeli police at the al-Aqsa mosque complex in Jerusalem’s Old City. Police say Palestinians threw stones at them and in the direction of a nearby Jewish holy site, forcing them to go inside. Palestinians say they used excessive force.

More than 150 Palestinians and three Israeli policemen were injured. Police fired rubber-covered bullets and stun grenades, and Palestinians pelted stones and fireworks. At one point, the police stormed the mosque itself to arrest the suspected stone throwers.

There have been minor clashes since then, and on Sunday Palestinians pelted stones at buses outside the Old City.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said this week that “a Hamas-led campaign has been launched against Israel.”
“Israel is doing everything so that all people, as always, can celebrate the holiday safely – Jews, Muslims and Christians.”

The vast esplanade where the mosque is located is the third holiest site in Islam and the holiest for Jews, who refer to it as Temple Mount because two Jewish temples stood there in ancient times. It is rooted in the emotional core of centuries-old conflict and has been ground zero for many outbreaks of violence.

The Palestinians saw frequent visits by nationalist and religious Jews under police escort as provoking and a possible proposal for Israel to either occupy the site or split it. Israeli officials say they are committed to maintaining the status quo.

The Old City is part of East Jerusalem, which Israel added in a move not recognized internationally and considers part of its capital. Palestinians want East Jerusalem to be the capital of their future state.

Discriminatory policies in East Jerusalem favor the expansion of Jewish settlements. Palestinians are systematically denied construction permits, many are forced to build without permission, risking house demolition.

Dozens of Palestinian families are at risk of being forced out of their homes due to a decades-long campaign by settlers to expand Jewish presence in East Jerusalem.

Jews born in Jerusalem are Israeli citizens. Most Palestinians are denied Israeli citizenship, but those who seek it must go through a long and uncertain bureaucratic process. Palestinians who spend too much time outside East Jerusalem for work, study or family reasons may lose their residency and be banned from returning. This policy does not apply to Jews.

Why israel-palestine conflict is increasing tension

More than 150 Palestinians and three Israeli policemen have been injured in recent clashes in Jerusalem. Associated Press

rocket from gaza

A rocket was fired at southern Israel from the Gaza Strip on Monday night. The army stopped it and launched air strikes. No one was hurt, and no one claimed the rocket – the first fired at Israel in months. Two more rockets were fired overnight, the military said on Thursday, and Israel launched more airstrikes.

Israel and Egypt have imposed a crippling blockade on Gaza since Hamas seized power from rival Palestinian forces 15 years ago. Unemployment is around 50 percent, power outages occur about 12 hours a day, tap water is not potable, and Hamas remains firmly in power.

Israel and Hamas have fought four wars since 2008, easing the misery of the two million Palestinians living in the narrow coastal strip. According to the United Nations, Gaza has barely begun to rebuild recently, in which more than 250 Palestinians, including 129 civilians, were killed. Fourteen people were killed in Israel.

Gaza’s crisis long predates Hamas, which burst onto the scene during the first of two Palestinian uprisings against Israeli rule in the late 1980s. The terrorist group – branded terrorists by Israel and Western countries – does not recognize Israel and has carried out several deadly attacks on Israeli civilians over the years.

Of the two million Palestinians living in Gaza, more than half are descendants of refugees from what is now Israel who fled or were driven out during its construction during the 1948 war.

Nearly 60 percent of Palestinians in the three regions are under the age of 30, with little or no memory of the Middle East peace process, which broke down more than a decade ago.

“We have a very radical generation,” said Makhaimer Abusada, a professor of political science at Gaza’s Al-Azhar University. “They don’t really care whether we go to another war with Israel, whether it’s over al-Aqsa or something.”

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World Nation News Desk
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