What is the limit of anger
After Trump's Jerusalem decision : Days of Wrath in the Middle East
The Middle East is not calm. After US President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, the protests, some of which were violent, continued. Above all in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, there were also clashes between angry Palestinians and Israeli security forces on Saturday.
The Israeli army announced that there were clashes in around 20 places. Around 600 Palestinians had thrown gasoline bombs and stones at soldiers in the West Bank. There were fights in Bethlehem and Tulkarem, among others. On the border of the Gaza Strip, around 450 Palestinians had thrown stones at soldiers at eight different points and rolled burning tires on the streets.
Protests seem to be weakening
So far, four Palestinians have been killed in the riot. Hundreds were injured, according to the Red Crescent rescue service. In response to rocket fire from the coastal area, the Israeli air force attacked four Hamas sites.
However, the protests were overall significantly lower than the day before. On Friday, thousands of indignant people responded to the call of the Islamist Hamas, which had proclaimed "days of anger" in response to Trump's announcement.
And how will the situation develop? Is the violence escalating, is the situation getting out of hand? Is there a risk of a new intifada, i.e. a long-lasting uprising against the Israeli occupying power?
What will happen to the reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas?
Shimon Stein does not know how to predict this either. But at the moment, the Middle East expert sees no signs that there could be a wildfire. “In the short term, the Palestinians and Muslims in various Arab countries will certainly express their displeasure. But at least in the past two days, the outrage has been limited. Even in Jerusalem there were no particularly serious riots after the Friday prayers, ”said the former Israeli ambassador in an interview with the Tagesspiegel.
Much now also depends on whether the security forces continue to act prudently in the coming days. "I hope we have drawn the right conclusions from the unrest on the Temple Mount in the summer."
Last but not least, according to Stein, what matters is what interests the Palestinian leadership is pursuing. "At the moment, at the Fatah of President Mahmud Abbas and the radical Islamic Hamas, the sought-after reconciliation has the highest priority." It is therefore questionable whether the two parties are really interested in turning the war of words into action.
Arab states are no longer concerned with the question of Palestine
Many Arab states also have little interest in fueling the conflict. “The Palestine problem has not played a major role for a long time. Rather, the focus is on the confrontation between Saudi Arabia and Iran, the fight against the "Islamic State" and the war in Syria. "
In any case, Stein cannot quite understand why Trump's Jerusalem advance is coming right now. Instead of referring exclusively to the holy city, the head of the White House should have presented a coherent concept for the settlement of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians - embedded in an overall strategy for the Middle East.
Trump lacks a plan
“That would have been a sensible thing. But that did not happen, and so Trump's declaration is basically superfluous. Because in fact (West) Jerusalem has long been recognized as Israel's capital. "Many representatives of foreign governments went to West Jerusalem when they had something to talk about with the Israeli government."
Trump broke with his country's decades-long Middle East policy and officially recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. He also instructed the State Department to begin preparations for the US embassy move immediately. The Palestinians, however, claim the eastern part of Jerusalem as the capital of their future independent state.
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