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Middle East

How Israeli and Hamas leaders are making peace difficult in Gaza

PUBLISHED : Monday, 16 April, 2018, 3:59pm
UPDATED : Monday, 16 April, 2018, 3:59pm

The ongoing Palestinian demonstration along the Israel-Gaza border has turned out to be, not surprisingly, violent. More than 30 Palestinians have been killed and hundreds injured.

If these demonstrations continue through to May 15 (Israel’s 70th anniversary), as planned by Hamas, scores more Palestinians are likely to be killed, while increasing the probability of Israel invading Gaza for the fourth time, in an effort to end the crisis.

Regardless of how this conflagration ends, the biggest losers will be the Israeli and Palestinian people.

The mutual psychological and emotional scars, resentment, and hatred will continue to consume both sides from within. It will be only a question of time before the deadly violence resumes.

The blame rests entirely on the corrupt and misguided Israeli and Hamas leaders who have been dangerously misleading their people, fearing for their own political survival rather than the welfare and security of their respective communities.

What is needed is a process of reconciliation, which must begin with the cessation of all hostilities.

No innocent people in Gaza’: Israeli defence minister defends soldiers after clashes left 30 Palestinians dead

Israel and Hamas have negotiated directly and indirectly on many occasions; sadly, though, Gaza and Israel are led by hardline leaders wedded to the past. They fear any change in direction that risks their position of power, which is to the detriment of their people.

Dr Alon Ben-Meir, professor, Centre for Global Affairs, NYU