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Opinion

Will Palestinians seek peace with Israel ?

Jagdish N Singh

Jagdish N SinghOct 18, 2021, 02:17 PM IST

Will Palestinians seek peace with Israel ?

Human  relations are not static. They have their own dynamics—evolving around specific times and circumstance. Relations between states follow this basic pattern only . Middle East observers say the growing bonhomie between Arabs and Jews today offers yet another manifestation of this truth in international relations .

Last  year, burying their past animosities with Israel, the United Arab Emirates , Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco  formalised their relations with the Jewish state. Saudi Arabia de facto acknowledged its ties with the Jewish state . Following this, then Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu visited Riyadh .

The  Arab states are increasingly being aware of the economic and security dividends they can reap from better ties with Israel . They know this would help to it contain fundamentalist Shia Iran and militias in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Yemen . According to an estimate, the UAE is expected to boost its trade with Israel to $ one trillion over the next decade.

No wonder, now Iraq is also seeking greater relationship with Israel. In a gathering in the Iraqi Kurdish city of Erbil last week, over 300 Iraqi tribal and religious leaders, activists and former military officers called for diplomatic relations with Israel.  They called to join the Abraham Accords and establish full diplomatic relations with Israel.  

The observers say the Palestinian leadership could take cue from the Arab states , establish peace with Israel and derive economic and technological benefits from the Jewish state. Unfortunately, the Palestinian leadership has never been inclined to let peace with Israel flourish.  History bears out then firebrand Palestine Liberation Organization chairman Yasser Arafat once said, “We accept two states, the Palestine state and the Jewish state of Israel.”

The Palestinian leadership recognised Israel also in the Oslo accords signed between the Government of Israel in Washington and Taba in 1993 and 1995 respectively. But it has never  honoured the accords in practice. Both the West Bank-based Fatah party of the Palestinian Authority and the Gaza Strip-based Hamas , from time to time, incite violence, on one or the other pretext, against the Jews in Israel with a view to creating an Islamic state in the entire region .  

Addressing  the United Nations General Assembly in September this year, PA President Mahmoud Abbas warned his regime  would withdraw its recognition to Israel and sue it in the International Criminal Court if it did not withdraw from the West Bank and East Jerusalem and lift the 14-year-long blockade of the Gaza Strip.

Palestinian groups, such as Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, are aligned with Iran, which seeks to annihilate the Jewish State. Reports are that Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps have even cells in the Palestinian Authority (PA)-controlled territories.  

The observers suggest it is high time the Palestinian leadership really adhered to its recognition of the Jewish State. It should rein in the on-going terror activities, including those of the Islamist group Hamas which governs the  Gaza Strip, against the Jewish State . It should also respect the rights of the Jews living in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. 

( The author is a Delhi-based journalist) 

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