Future of Calm in Bennett's Term

The recent political changes in the Israeli ruling regime created a sense of attraction in the relation between the occupation and the Palestinians. Since the Knesset's approval of Naftali Bennett's government on June 13, the dimensions of the relations between the parties remained unclear and under the influence of fluctuating mood. The new government, led by Bennett, attempted to establish new rules of engagement to seize the resistance' accomplishments and violate the Palestinian people's rights.

The complicated relation with the Gaza Strip was passed down to Bennett's government at all political, security and economic levels; so it found itself at a crossroad: It either follows the footsteps of earlier governments and adheres to Netanyahu's government's rules of engagement and entry of finances and aids to the Palestinian people or presents itself as an extreme government that is more aggressive and racist to please its right-bloc supporters.

After his assignment, Bennett made a few decisions that constituted a problem to the situation in the Gaza Strip. He closed the crossings, banned the exportation and importation of goods, banned the entry of fuel necessary to power up the power plant, reduced the fishing area and linked the construction and funds with the soldiers captured by the resistance.

However, all these conditions and decisions faded away as the Palestinians were determined to cling to their rightful victories achieved by the resistance in several rounds and after lots of sacrifices. The resistance' public threats were a warning to the occupation and the mediators of an approaching field collapse should the occupation stall the alleviation of the siege and restrictions imposed on the Gaza Strip. As a result, the occupation withdrew its conditions.

Al-Quds is still surviving the Judaizational attempts and court orders to demolish and displace the residents of Silwan and Sheikh Jarrah neighborhoods, and the settlers' continuous attacks against the residents which will continue to escalate until May-10 events return the same.

Analysis and Insight of the Situation

  • Netanyahu's government's fall and Bennett's government's rise constituted a turning point in the relation between the resistance and the occupation. Bennett's rise to power in the entity made changes to the Israeli politics that had maintained the same mentality for 12 years (i.e. Netanyahu's term).
  • Bennett is trying to balance his policy pleasing all his coalition's members from the far left to the far right. He is trying to present a pragmatic discourse and behavior that satisfies the left, the center and the extreme right.
  • Through exercising pressure on the Gaza Strip, Bennett is trying to present himself as an oppressive powerful person, and that he would be fiercer than Netanyahu's government.
  • The resistance is determined to maintain the rules of engagement with the occupation and reject all attempts to change the situation and seize the Palestinian people's right which cost lots of lives and assets.
  • The resistance' balanced position and patience resulted in dissolving the occupation's decisions and forcing it to abandon its blackmailing policies. The resistance' messages were conclusive in forcing the occupation and mediators to have the resistance' conditions in effect, mainly resuming the pre-escalation round (Operation Al-Quds Sword) conditions including the entry of the Qatari grant under UN supervision.

Possible Scenarios:

  1. The calm continues as political pressure is exercised by both parties to ensure the implementation of their conditions and policies, especially that the Israeli government is new and is trying to present a different policy from Netanyahu's. The argument supporting this scenario is the new Israeli government's attempts to impose a new reality that exercises pressure on the Gaza Strip in particular and the Palestinians in general; and the Palestinian resistance' determination to enforce its own political and field rules and conditions.
  2. The tension continues between the occupation and the Palestinian resistance leading to the escalation once more. The fact that the Israeli pressure is continuously imposed on the Gaza Strip in basic life issues (such as electricity, fuel, services and crossings) and the tension and attacks in Al-Quds support this scenario. 

Generally, all scenarios are possible, but the first scenario is likely to happen since both the occupation's government and the resistance are exercising balanced pressure, which is described as an escalation without confrontation. The Israeli government's gradual, though slow, approval of the Palestinians' demands could encourage the continuation of calm.

 

Source : PALM Strategic Initiatives Centre