Reni Zhelyazkova

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Houses are pictured in the Maale Adumim settlement in the West Bank east of Jerusalem. The Israeli government has delayed plans to annex Jewish settlements in the West Bank and in the Jordan Valley. Photo: Getty Images

Observers of the Israel-Palestine conflict have been anticipating Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu’s, announcement to annex parts of the West Bank. It has been a tumultuous year for Israeli politics which has seen three inconclusive elections and resulted in a sharing of power between Netanyahu and Benny Gantz of the Blue and White party. However, since the coalition government was sworn in, Netanyahu has appeared to not lose any time in moving forward with his plans.

Annexation has long been Netanyahu’s political aspiration and was part of his recent re-election platform but the anticipated announcement from the Israeli government didn’t come straight away.…  Seguir leyendo »

Palestinians watch the televised press conference of Donald Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu on 28 January 2020 at a barber shop in Gaza City. Photo: Getty Images.

The view from the Gulf

Neil Quilliam

There has been no coordinated response among states of the GCC, but the messages have been universal, and surprisingly each one has welcomed US efforts to restart peace talks and praised this particular US administration for doing so. But in each case, the same set of issues and concerns has been highlighted, namely the status of Jerusalem, the situation of refugees and ultimately a simple absence of a revival contiguous Palestinian state.

While much has been made of younger Gulf generation’s apparent disconnect from the emotive issues around Palestinian statehood, the state of Jerusalem and the larger refugee issue, older leaders in the Gulf continue to pay them heed.…  Seguir leyendo »

Palestinian youth playing football on a beach in Gaza City in February. Photo: Getty Images.

On 10 March, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced the appointment of a new prime minister, Mohammed Shtayyeh, following Rami Al-Hamdallah’s resignation in January. Shtayyeh has been tasked with forming a new government in the midst of a growing financial crisis, deteriorating relations with Hamas and a worsening security situation in the West Bank and Gaza, as well as the complete stalemate in peace talks with Israel and the deep rift with the US following President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

The appointment of the 61-year old Fatah veteran and long-time Abbas supporter also reveals another issue that has become a chronic problem in the Palestinian Territories: the continuous side-lining of young people from decision-making processes.…  Seguir leyendo »