July 26, 2021

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict, between political paralysis and new perceptions

What’s new in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? Put in a trivial way, the question may surprise. A war in itself is an event and a new one has taken place recently. Over 4,300 rockets were fired indiscriminately from the Gaza Strip in eleven days into Israeli civilian settlements. The army says it hit 1,500 so-called “military” targets attributed to Palestinian factions. Shots allegedly “Surgical” in the small Palestinian territory tortured, killing more than 200 people, including 66 children. A scenario similar to that of summer 2014, on a different scale and without the presence of troops on the ground.

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And? Nothing. All this fire was wasted. He did not change the security situation, despite the triumphant press releases on both sides on the blows dealt to the opponent, nor the political situation. Egypt obviously stands out as an essential mediator. A ceasefire came into effect until the next disaster. There is again talk – nervous laughter – of a return of the Palestinian Authority to Gaza, which it has neglected for so long.

We can also expect a new donor conference. Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates will be invited to contribute. Gazans will wait for another bite, since they are reduced to beggars deprived of all rights. We will throw on paper ambitious infrastructure projects or free zones that will never see the light of day, eternal mirages.

The reassuring ambiguity of the endless occupation

But behind this depressing observation, it would be wrong to believe that the waters remain stagnant. A distinction must be made between the evolution of public opinion and the balance of power, between the perception of the conflict and its parameters. We have just witnessed several concomitant phenomena.

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First, the end of a traditional separation – psychological and political – between the occupied Palestinian territories and what was happening in Israel itself, inside the Green Line. For a long time, the 19% of Arab Israelis were considered a submissive minority, seeking a more favorable place in the sun, turning their backs on their brothers in the West Bank and Gaza. The recent riots in several cities of the country, acts of aggression between Jews and Arabs, have pierced this bubble, which allowed Israelis to lose interest in the occupation, its daily procession of violence, humiliation, discrimination and of expropriations.

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