The situation is critical in Palestine. Although the neighboring governments and Palestinian leadership do not go beyond the speeches, several spontaneous demonstrations take place in Palestine on a daily basis since Wednesday 6. A great part of them ended in clashes with Israeli forces. The conflicts deepened the instability in the region and worry the international community that had already condemned Trump’s decision.
By Romerito Pontes.
The day the measure was announced, thousands of Palestinians went onto the streets to protest, in Gaza. Political forces in Palestine met and called for 3 “Days of Rage” against the Washington move. They also called for a strike on December 7.
In Bethlehem, West Bank, the stores remained closed and companies were closed by demonstrators. Schools and universities closed too. The Orthodox Greek Church declared Thursday 8 as mourning day and ringed the bells only twice, as a protest.
A new Intifada
Ismail Haniyeh, the Hamas leader, stated the US decision is a “declaration of war,” and called the population to a new Intifada – Palestinian revolt against Israel’s expansion. “Let’s December 8 be the first day of the Intifada against the occupier.” Curiously, on December 8 it was the 30th anniversary of the First Intifada, in 1987.
Hezbollah Secretary, Hassan Nasrallah, called the masses on a TV speech to protest against Trump’s decision through social networks. The call quickly became a joke among the Arab world, as a more radical decision was expected from the organization – but this is probably all they will call for. The Hezbollah militias could not hold a combat front against Israel in the border of Lebanon, as they would have to leave Iraq, Yemen, and Syria, where their troops are supporting Bashar al-Assad.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish president, threatened to end diplomatic relationships with the US if the latest maintains its decision. Erdogan said that Israel is a limit for the Muslims, and called an emergency meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to debate possible diplomatic retaliations against Washington. On Monday, during a speech, Erdogan called Israel a “terrorist State.”
On Sunday, the French president Emmanuel Macron met with the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, in Paris. The French president criticized the US’ decision and said it was urgent for Israel to stop building illegal settlements in Palestine.
Even Pope Francis took a stand on it, requesting “calm and caution.”
Yet, the international community requests seem to have no effect so far.
Israeli repression increases
Meanwhile, Israeli forces try, without success, to repress and hold the anger of the Palestinian. The number of injured surpasses 800 already, most of them by rubber bullets or intoxication by tear gas. But there are reports of injured by fire guns also – four of them in Ramallah and 5 in the Gaza Strip, as well as 4 deaths: 2 demonstrators killed by the Israeli repression, and 2 Hamas soldiers, death during an airstrike by Israel in the North of Gaza.
On Saturday, at least 3 Palestinians were arrested. Among them was Jihad Abu Zneid, member of the Palestinian Legislative Council.
To Mahmoud Abbas, president of Palestine, the US decision violates “all international and bilateral agreements and resolutions,” and it means, in practice, a violation of the international consensus and a resignation as mediator of the peace process. Abbas also canceled the meeting with the US Vice President, Mike Pence, which would take place on Tuesday 12.
To better understand the situation
The UN plan of 1947 was to divide Palestine into two states: an Arab one, and a Jewish one.
Jerusalem, of historic and religious importance, would stay under a special regime, directly administrated by the United Nations. The proposal was rejected by the Arab leadership.
The State of Israel was founded in 1948, and Jerusalem was declared its capital.
Although Zionists claimed that the entire city is a historic capital, the East part was kept under Jordan’s control. Israel only took control of the city after it was annexed during the Six-Day War, in 1967.
Although the conquest of territories is forbidden by international law, the war was used to expand Israeli borders. Besides Jerusalem, the Zionists gained control of the West Bank west border, the Golan Heights, and Mount Sinai.
Trump makes politics at the expense of Palestinian lives
In 1995, the US Congress passed the so-called Jerusalem Embassy Act. The bill determined that the US government should transfer its Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, capital of Israel.
Although the law was mandatory, there is a clause that allows the presidents to postpone the transfer. Since then, at every six months, the US presidents have postponed the decision for considering it diplomatically embarrassing. So did Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama. Trump is the first one to not postpone the decision.
While the world debates trying to measure the consequences of this decision, only a few lines were dedicated to explaining the reasons behind.
Everything indicates that the US president’s reasons are simpler than what they appear to be, and it has nothing to do with a new approach to the peace process, as Trump himself declared.
Actually, before anything else, Trump wants to raise a smoke screen to deviate the public opinion from the recent scandals he has been part of, especially the email exchange between his son and high commands of Moscow. Trump faces major rejection by the population – 56% disapproval, according to a Gallup survey, on December 6.
Trump is also trying to strengthen, internally, by “showing his service,” just like he did with the “mother of all bombs” thrown in Afghanistan against IS.
It is good to remember that a new legislative election will take place in the US in 2018. Jerusalem’s acknowledgment [as the capital of Israel] received the support of great part of the Evangelical community and the conservative voters, segment of the population that Mike Pence has strong base on.
Also, Israel is an important political and military ally close to the biggest oil producer regions in the world. The Zionist state is also a great weapon producer (weapons and military technology) and so an economic partner of imperialism and countries like Brazil, which buys military technology from Israel.
Trump’s decision shows what imperialism is capable of doing: internal politics at the expense of Palestinian lives. Shameless, it throws down all the lies about the peace process and it shows its real interests.
Palestinians interviewed by international press declared that they are not surprised by Trump’s decision. Husam Ghosheh said to Al Jazeera:
“The US has not been a mediator for a while… they are our enemies.”
What the firsts “Days of Rage” show is that, in fact, there is no solution to this crisis. Whether the Palestinian leadership wants it or not, the spontaneous protests continue in Palestine. The number of conflicts and injured, as well as the political tension, continues to grow. A social explosion, or New Intifada, is just a matter of time – if it hasn’t begun already.