Why fights between Israelis and Palestinians in West Bank persists despite US intervention

West Bank

Israeli settlers and Palestinians have been fighting continuously in the West Bank, necessitating intervention from the international community. Senior Israeli and Palestinian security officials met in Jordan, but it seems like little has changed in terms of violence or tension reduction.

Israeli and Palestinian officials agreed to cooperate to stop further outbreaks during a summit on Sunday in the Jordanian resort town of Aqaba.

“The need to commit to de-escalation on the ground and to avert future violence” was reiterated by both sides. But, a new round of fighting seems to have abruptly dashed any faint hope of advancement.

After two Israeli settlers in a West Bank settlement near Nablus were slain on Sunday, retaliatory attacks ensued, resulting in the deaths of a Palestinian man, the torching of dozens of vehicles and structures, and more than 300 injuries.

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Just a few days had passed since Israeli soldiers carried out their worst West Bank raid in over 20 years, which claimed the lives of 11 Palestinians in Nablus when settlers went on the rampage in the Palestinian hamlet of Huwara. In the West Bank city of Jericho on Monday, an Israeli who was also a US citizen was slain.

Several commentators think Brett McGurk, the Middle East and North Africa coordinator for the US National Security Council, has been given an impossible task: to try to stop any further escalation of hostilities and to facilitate greater participation in the negotiations in Aqaba.

The summit, in the opinion of Khalil Jahshan, executive director of the Arab Center in Washington, D.C., had little prospect of success from the start.

Without sufficient planning or groundwork, the US administration rushed it, primarily to save Israel from its own bad policies, he told Arab News.

“Considering recent political and military actions by the Benjamin Netanyahu government, particularly its deadly assaults in Jenin, Nablus, and other occupied Palestinian villages, I actually thought the meeting was both poorly planned and poorly timed,” he added.

A conditional, short-term truce may be feasible, according to Oraib Rantawi, director of the Al-Quds Center for Political Research in Amman, if Israeli authorities consent to halt settlement construction, stop attacks on Palestinian villages, and hold settlers accountable for their acts.

He told Arab News that until there is a meaningful political process that can provide Palestinians with a political horizon, such de-escalation will fail in terms of middle and long-term solutions.



Hashim Sheikh: He is a comprehensive personality whose personality has many social, philosophical and mystical aspects besides scientific and cultural characteristics. He writes many articles and also writes poetry from time to time.

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