Britain needs to recognize Palestine as an independent state

Israeli airstrikes in Gaza. (photo: UPI / Barcroft Images)
It’s time for British recognition of the state of Palestine.

By Ian Black | The Guardian | May 7, 2019

No one doubts that Gazans need urgent relief, but the latest eruption is a bleak and timely illustration of the fact that economic development alone will not resolve the Palestinian question as long as an overwhelmingly powerful Israel, backed uncritically by the US, retains overall control and prioritizes its own settlement. project and security needs.

Over the Bank Holiday weekend, coinciding with the start of the Ramadan fast for Muslims and the run-up to Israel’s Independence Day, it was touch and go whether the latest outbreak of violence – fatalities on the border, rockets fired into Israel, airstrikes against the Gaza Strip – would escalate into all-out war. Twenty-five Palestinians and four Israelis was a modest death toll compared with summer 2014, when 2,250 Palestinians and 67 Israelis were killed in Operation Protective Edge.

The ceasefire negotiated by Egypt and the UN should ease the punishing blockade imposed by Israel since the Islamists of Hamas took over Gaza in 2007. Millions of dollars donated by the Gulf state of Qatar will continue to pay official salaries and help needy families. Palestinian fishermen will be able to operate farther out to sea. Electricity and fuel supplies should be boosted.

Amid speculation about what happens next, one thing is certain: it could all happen again, any time – before or after 2020, when Gaza reaches the point, long predicted by the UN, of being “uninhabitable” for its 2 million population. “The war hasn’t been averted, only postponed,” as one Israeli minister commented on Twitter. Cynics suggest that Israel may launch military action after the Eurovision song contest is held in Tel Aviv next week.

The immediate trigger for this round of violence was the now routine shooting of Palestinians on the border with Israel, where the year-long “marches of return” have highlighted hopelessness and sustained the culture of resistance generated by Israel’s siege and the mutual hostility between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank town of Ramallah.

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