De status van Jeruzalem is een van de meest omstreden onderwerpen in internationale betrekkingen. Verschillende politieke en juridische definities maken uitspraken over de soevereiniteit over Jeruzalem lastig. De beslissing van de Amerikaanse president Donald Trump heeft de situatie volgens veel analisten daarom ook niet verbeterd. De aankondiging dat de Amerikaanse ambassade verhuist van Tel Aviv naar Jeruzalem, waarmee Washington Jeruzalem officieel erkent als de Israëlische hoofdstad, deed veel stof opwaaien. Israël lijkt tevreden, de Palestijnen zijn woedend en de internationale gemeenschap is ontdaan. Maar hoe zwaar weegt deze beslissing? De meeste gebeurtenissen vinden niet plaats in een vacuüm. Ze passen in een historisch proces. Hoe zit dit voor de erkenning van Jeruzalem?
Between the 8th and 11th of October the European Forum for Democracy and Solidarity organized the first training weekend in the framework of the Future Leaders project. The training was attended by young representatives of social democratic and progressive political parties from Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine and Tunisia. It took place in Amman (Jordan) and focused on ideology, communication and campaigning. The Future Leaders training course is supported by the UK Labour Party through the Westminster Foundation. Our partner in Jordan, the Al Sindyan Institute provided great assistance in making the training possible, while the UK Labour Party and the Foundation Max van der Stoel (FMS) provided each one trainer to conduct the training.
Between the 27th and 30th of November the European Forum for Democracy and Solidarity organized a training for representatives of social democratic parties from Jordan, Morocco, Egypt, Lebanon, Palestine and Tunisia. The training took place in Amman and focused on developing and communicating a message that is based on concrete policy issues in the region that are of importance for social democrats. The Future Leaders training course is supported by the UK Labour Party through the Westminster Foundation. Our partner in Jordan, Jordanian Commission for Democratic Culture (JCDC), provided great assistance in making the training possible, while Foundation Max van der Stoel (FMS) and the Labour Party provided two trainers each to conduct the training.
A ceasefire agreement was eventually reached between Israeli and Palestinians on 26 August. Fifty days after the beginning of Israel’s “Protective Edge” military operation, the Cairo-brokered peace deal was welcomed by Gaza’s inhabitants who demonstrated in Gaza’s streets last night. However, it should not bring much improvement in comparison to the previous ceasefire negotiated in 2012.
Twenty-nine days after the beginning of the “Protective Edge” operation launched by the Israeli Army, Tsahal, Israel has started withdrawing its soldiers from the Gaza Strip. After several failed attempts to install a ceasefire, both sides have agreed to indirect negotiations under Egyptian conditions. Israeli and Hamas delegations should start peace talks in Cairo today.
The ground offensive launched by Israel in the Gaza strip on 18 July has led to an escalation of the death toll on both Israeli and Palestinian side. So far, 28 Israeli soldiers were killed while the Palestinian death tolls steadily reaches 600. The United Nations children’s agency, Unicef declared that a third of them were children. The bombardment of the city of Shejaiya in Gaza city on Sunday 20 July led to the death of about 60 Palestinians and 13 Israeli soldiers, making it the bloodiest day since the beginning of Operation Protective Edge. United States Secretary of State John Kerry and UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon met today in Cairo, in order to reactivate the 2012 ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.
On Saturday 12 July, 46 Palestinians were killed in Gaza during raids led by the Israeli army, making it the bloodiest day since the beginning of the Operation Protective Edge on July 8th. Extensive air raids, as well as the deployment of 1,500 Israeli soldiers around Gaza have been answered by the multiplication of rockets launched by Hamas and from Lebanon in the direction of Israel. International reactions have so far failed to consistently condemn any side, while Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared that “no international pressure will prevent [Israel] from using all its power to ensure that Israeli citizens can live in peace”.
A few days only after the three kidnapped Israeli teenagers were found dead near the contentious city of Hebron, the body of a 17-year-old Palestinian was in his turn found on the outskirts of Jerusalem yesterday. This succession of events has increasingly strained relations in the region, leading to the largest clashes in the Occupied side of the city in years.
Tensions between Israel and Palestine rise as Israel deploys around 2,000 troops in southern West Bank on 14 June. Israeli military command has announced its plan to step up its military operations in the region in order to locate three abducted Israeli teens. Troops have sealed of most entrances to the city of Hebron on 15 June and increased its military presence to 2,500 troops. In the city of Ramallah a Palestinian protester was killed as Israeli troops expand their pressure on the Palestinians.
On 2 June a Palestinian unity government, containing Fatah and Hamas, has been sworn in. According to media this event marks a “key step towards ending a major rift between factions in the West Bank and Gaza.”