Yesterday Egypt announced that Israel and Hamas had agreed on a long-term ceasefire to end the weeks of conflict that have left over 2000 people dead. While there have been short lived ceasefires before, this one is open ended and seems more likely to last. Apart from both sides ceasing rockets and air strikes, the agreement also means that aid and construction materials will be allowed through the blockade into Gaza. The two parties will meet again in a month to try to work out trickier points such as the disarmament of Hamas. However, this is just an end to this particular war. Without a permanent peace to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Hamas and the IDF will be at each other’s throats again. So why is that peace so hard to achieve? The following are some of the biggest issues blocking the path of peace. Continue reading
This week funerals have been held across both Israel and Palestine, after the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers. After weeks of searching, the bodies of the boys were found buried under a pile of rocks near where they had been kidnapped. They had been shot shortly after their abduction. While Israelis reacted with grief and anger, at least one other Israeli reacted in a different way. Last night a Palestinian boy was forced into a car in East Jerusalem, and his burned body was found this morning, in what the Palestinians are calling a revenge killing. This very personal violence seems certain to lead to escalation between the two enemies. So who killed the Israeli teens? How is Israel planning to react, and what have they already done? And what does this say about the conflict between Israel and Palestine? Continue reading
This week the latest peace talks because Israel and the Palestinian Authority collapsed after the PA announced a surprise deal with Hamas, the Palestinian organisation governing the Gaza Strip. The two have been fighting since 2006 when Hamas won Palestinian elections. A deal between Hamas and Fatah (governing through the PA) would be excellent for Palestinian unity, but Israel has responded by suspending the talks. So what’s the history here? What do all the players want? And where to from here?