The raging conflict between the Israeli government and the Palestinian authority is now claiming many civilian lives. The problem started from a law and order problem when some Israeli youths were kidnapped, which could have been resolved if the Israeli and Palestinian authorities were to cooperate to issue joint appeals and searches for them. This would have been a joint enterprise to address common security concerns.
Unfortunately, the kidnapping awakened narrow nationalist sentiments leading to a heightening of tensions between the Israeli authorities and the ordinary Palestinian people which culminated in revenge attacks against Palestinian civilians. Hamas was accused of the kidnapping and promises of reprisals were made. It is now clear that Hamas took the warnings as a Declaration of war and has decided to unleash its entire arsenal on Israel before the pre-emptive strikes from Israel could start. Now open hostility has started between the Israeli authorities and Hamas.
HOW TO SOLVE THE CONFLICT
The Palestinians want an Independent state with secure borders. Israel already has a state. What it wants is to have internal and external security.
In our view, the main Palestinian political factions have realised that internal cohesion was the first step towards nationhood. Hence HAMAS and Al FATAH decided to settle their differences and form a unity government. This unity government should have been recognised by Israel and the International community to help HAMAS graduate into a political movement by holding the unity government accountable for whatever happens in united Palestine. HAMAS would have had to accept many concessions in the name of national unity.
On the other hand , the Netanyahu Government is quite aware that Israel exists in a different middle East which requires a more accommodating Israel if internal and external peace and security are to be attained. However, it is not ready to inform its population of the reality for fear of being isolated and removed from office.