International Mobilization amidst Ongoing Siege

Since the end of the last escalation, the Israeli occupation government sought to impose new rules and collective punishment on the Palestinian people in general and the people of the Gaza Strip in particular considering the decisions made by the new Israeli government headed by the extreme rightist Naftali Bennett.

The new Israeli decisions included cessating the importation and exportation of most of the goods, restricting the people's movement, closing down the sea for fishermen, banning the entry of Qatari aids allocated for the poor families, and preventing the entry of fuel necessary for operating the power plant. The occupation also linked the reconstruction work with the resistance' release of the soldiers it had captured in the Gaza Strip.

This year has witnessed a critical political condition at an international level since the new Biden-led American Administration of the White House was assigned. The new Administration was busy reforming the American policy which was disturbed during Trump's term. The highlights of the American interests are amending the relations with China and Russia, securing the withdrawal of the Americans from Afghanistan and focusing the efforts on fighting the Coronavirus pandemic. 

In addition, the USA directed its interests towards the Middle East, especially after the last round of escalation between the Israeli occupation and the Palestinian resistance which repositioned the Palestinian issue at the list of international and American priorities. The USA announced holding a meeting between its Secretary of State and his counterpart Yair Lapid; the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs also announced several meetings which Lapid had held with officials from the NATO and the EU after meeting with the Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry.

The USA also announced sending Hady Amr, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Israeli and Palestinian Affairs in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, to the Palestinian lands for a 5-day visit which includes meeting with representatives of the occupation and the PA, and others from civil and popular institutions. Amr's visit started a couple of days ago and is expected to last until the end of this week.

Insight of the Situation

  • The Israeli practices and decisions done and made after the last escalation are tension factors and a ticking bomb that may explode any second especially that the consequences of the closure, delay of reconstruction and abuse of the Palestinians in the West Bank continue.
  • The international community, the USA and the EU are sensitive about the Palestinian situation. Continuing to ignore it will lead to more escalations, which no party desires.
  • The USA seeks to maintain relative calm in the Middle East as it focuses on handling some issues at an international level. It also works on improving the circumstances of its allies in the region.
  • Biden's Administration openly declares its boundless support to the occupation, but also criticizes its government. The most important criticism so far is made against the lack of consideration of the humanitarian issues in the Gaza Strip and the demand for stopping the demolition and Judaization of the occupied West Bank and Al-Quds.
  • The resistance continues to warn the occupation and the mediators of an approaching turbulence if the occupation continues to delay the alleviation of the siege and removal of constraints imposed on the Gaza Strip. Despite the partial alleviation the occupation has recently done, the resistance insists on protecting its achievements and on having the situation return to its pre-escalation status.

 

Possible Scenarios:

  1. The international mobilization the USA is trying to achieve pleases both the occupation and the Palestinian resistance, and the USA finds solutions that meet everyone's aspirations. This scenario is supported by the active western diplomatic endeavors and leakage of the meetings' proceedings between King of Jordan and President Mahmoud Abbas, and PM Naftali Bennett. There have been global concerns over the triggering of a new escalation and deterioration of the situation.
  2. All diplomatic endeavors attempted by the mediators fail and the escalation is triggered again. The fact that the occupation is continuing to commit crimes and imposing a siege on the Palestinian people; and the resistance is clinging to its achievements and rules of engagement support the realization of this scenario.  

Based on the abovementioned, all scenarios are possible, but the first scenario is more likely to happen because of the gradual work the occupation does to reduce the closure restrictions and the space the resistance has given to the mediators to bridge the gaps while maintaining its warning of escalation as a possibility if their efforts fail. This forces serious handling of all unresolved issues.

Source : PALM Strategic Initiatives Centre