A 2015 report published by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development on assistance to the Palestinian people warned that the Gaza Strip could become ‘uninhabitable’ by 2020 if current economic trends persist. It seems that the Great March of Return is the beginning of the Gazans’ final scream for assistance before they fall into oblivion.
Results for Category: Palestine
It seems clear that the momentum that has been building will be difficult to stop. However, it remains to be seen what the final impact of the protests will be, and whether organizers will succeed in harnessing the anger into non-violent resistance or whether it will escalate once again into armed conflict.
The balancing act that Hamas and Fatah are now forced to play requires some external pressure, and it appears that the Egyptians are willing to apply this pressure, especially against Hamas. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia is able to exert similar pressure on the PLO, mostly by means of its financial support to the Palestinian government.
The resolution is seen as a victory for Palestinian diplomacy, but was cited by Israel as a fresh example of what it sees as the UN’s anti-Israel bias. Even before the vote, which was fast-tracked on the basis that the site is under threat, Israeli officials blocked a UNESCO delegation from visiting Hebron.
The hunger strike was suspended after 41 days on 27 May 2017. In what was hailed as a rare but significant victory for Palestinians, Israel agreed to meet nearly 80 per cent of the prisoners’ demands. Two demands were not accepted, namely stopping administrative detentions and installing public telephones.