Palestinians in Gaza: Are they in Catch 22 situation?

Palestinians in Gaza: Are they in Catch 22 situation?

The Gaza Strip, one of the world’s most densely packed places and one of the world’s oldest and largest refugee populations is to day a firmly sealed human pressure cooker. The 1.5 million people of Gaza — more than half of whom are under the age of 18 — are struggling under severe movement restrictions further tightened by Israel. The Gaza has blockaded by Israel in land,sea and air. Even the Gazan cannot catch fish in the sea. Their desperation coupled with Israel’s oppression has led them to make a living through digging tunnels under Gaza.

US famous writer Noam Chomsky wrote in 2012 after visiting Gaza : “it hardly takes more than a day in Gaza to appreciate what it must be like to try to survive in the world’s largest open-air prison, where some 1.5 million people on a roughly 140-square-mile strip of land are subject to random terror and arbitrary punishment, with no purpose other than to humiliate and degrade”.

Punishment of Gazans became still more severe in January 2006, when they committed a major crime: They voted the “wrong way” in the first free election in the Arab world, electing Hamas. Israel has maintained land, sea and air blockade since 2007.

The Israeli political leadership has dramatically illustrated this commitment in the past few days by launching a ground invasion of Gaza on 17th July night with a high priority on destroying a network of cross-border tunnels that militants use to infiltrate Israel.

Israeli ground forces waded into Gaza’s most densely populated city for the first time in nearly two weeks of fighting, destroying tunnels and drawing heavy fire from Hamas militants in the deadliest day of fighting for both sides since the conflict began. As of 21st July 500 Palestinians including women and children were killed. Even Israel attacked a no-go area “hospital” killing five people inside the hospital.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Israel’s military offensive in the Gaza Strip dwarfs the atrocities Hitler committed during World War II. “They curse Hitler morning and night, However, now their barbarism has surpassed even Hitler’s” Erdogan tells thousands of supporters in the Black Sea city of Ordu.

The leaders of the US and European countries at the moment are unable to stop Israel when such killing machine is going on in Gaza because their political base is dependent on Jewish media and support. They simply pass non-binding Security Council resolution. The Secretary General is in the Middle East and his words fall on deaf ears of Israeli leaders.

Clinton proposal in 2000:

On the other hand, critics say that the Palestinian leader late Yasser Arafat made a political mistake in not accepting the Clinton-brokered deal on Palestine issue in 2000.

On July 24, 2000, after fourteen straight days of negotiations at the Camp David II presidential retreat, President Bill Clinton, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, and Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Yasir Arafat returned to their respective countries unable to reach a deal. Despite the summit’s failure to produce a final settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in accordance with the 1993 Oslo Agreements, Arafat requested another meeting.

Nearly five months later, the parties reconvened at the White House on December 19, 2000, and following separate meetings with both parties, Clinton offered his last proposal. Barak, who had wagered his political career on the potential deal, endorsed it. Arafat made no counteroffer and gave no explanation.

It is critical to note that Clinton’s offer was never written down. Nonetheless, Ambassador Dennis Ross, the chief US negotiator, detailed the proposal in his book, THE MiSSING PEACE According to his account, Clinton offered a plan that would primarily have given the Palestinians: 1) over 90% of the West Bank, and complete control over the Gaza Strip with a land link connecting the two, 2) Palestinian control over the Muslim holy sites on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, and 3) significant financial compensation to Palestinian refugees. Variations to this skeletal offer were also on the table. For example, Clinton allegedly offered Arafat 96% of the West Bank and 1% of Israel proper, or 94% of the West Bank and 3% of Israel proper.

Politicians and diplomats believe that the right to return of displaced Palestinians to Israel was more important to Yasser Arafat, than the Clinton’s deal. And the deal was rejected.

Israel’s most fundamental interest was to preserve its Jewish character. If Arafat were to have reached an agreement at Camp David II, he would have recognized the establishment and continuing existence of the Jewish state. No Palestinian leader can accept it because once it is recognized Arab Israeli citizens will gradually be a minority in Israel.

Given that Arab citizens of Israel have the right to vote and currently 14 of 120 members of the Israeli parliament are Arab citizens, it is eminently reasonable to think that the Palestinians will control the electoral system in Israel with the passage of time because of demographic factors.

Currently, Israel is home to 42.5% of world Jewry. The US Jews constitute with 39.3%.because unprecedented numbers of American Jews decided to migrate and establish citizenship and a home in Israel.

Today, roughly 20% of Israel’s population (1.57 million) consists of Palestinians who have Israeli citizenship. On average, compared to their Arab counterparts, Israelis demonstrate a low procreation rate. The annual rate of Israelis’ natural increase is 2.5% while Palestinians’ is 3.5%. Palestinians think that Arab Israelis will in future become majority population in Israel. That is why Israeli leaders want Palestinians to recognize Israel a Jewish state and Palestinian leaders consistently reject it.


The bottom line is whether the deal should have been accepted by the Palestinian leader. Many believe that the Palestine leader should have accepted the deal made by Clinton and the present catastrophic situation on Palestinians would not have developed. The Arab world with 22 states because of lack of unity among them has been a helpless and powerless spectator to the massacre of Palestinians.

Place your ads here!

No comments

Write a comment
No Comments Yet! You can be first to comment this post!

Write a Comment