The history of US-Palestine having inhospitable relations is years old. Till date, the US does not recognize Palestine as a state, which is a big reason that why the latter does not have any diplomatic exchanges or consular services with other countries.
The Palestinian protests that were first initiated in the Gaza Strip near the Gaza-Israel border, with the demands of refugees and their descendants to be allowed to return to the land they were displaced from i.e. Israel, have once again gained momentum.
The recent protests, which are an extension to the ongoing ones, sparked following the death of Palestinian prisoner Abu Diak, who lost his battle with cancer in Israeli custody. The prisoner, who was linked to the armed wing of Fatah, was arrested in the early 2000s and was serving three life sentences for voluntary manslaughter and kidnapping, along with other charges.
One of the major reasons behind Palestinian protests is to end the blockade on the Gaza Strip. The demonstrators have long protested against the US’ recognition of Jerusalem as capital of Israel and moving of its embassy to Jerusalem. Thousands of Palestinians, who protested against the move in 2018, were killed by Israeli forces.
On Tuesday, thousands of people in groups became a part of Palestinian protests, gathering in the West Bank city of Ramallah by midday. The schools, colleges and offices in the area were shut down.
Some of the groups clashed with Israeli forces to protest against the US announcement, stating that the Israeli settlements in the West Bank are not in violation of the international law. The Palestinians and most of the world have called the settlements illegal as it undermines their quest for statehood.
The protestors in rage put the Israeli and American flags on fire and held signs that read, “Trump to impeachment, (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu to jail, the occupation will go and we will remain on our land.”
At Israeli checkpoints near Ramallah, Bethlehem and Hebron, protesters threw stones at Israeli forces – who responded with tear gas. The Israeli military identified two rockets fired from the Gaza Strip at southern Israel, out of which one was intercepted by an Iron Dome missile battery.
A similar row of more than 300 rockets were fired against Israel by the Islamic Jihad from Gaza in mid-November. The conflict risked the lives of tens of thousands of individuals residing in both the regions.
Over the time, it has been noted that Palestinians have condemned the Israeli security forces of negligence and their failure in early release of the prisoners suffering from cancer on compassionate grounds, leading to death of many prisoners.
In 2013, the death of Maisara Abu Hamdiyeh, a 63-year-old from Hebron who suffered from throat cancer, sparked outrage over Israel’s failure to release him early. The fact indicated Israeli government’s arrogance and intransigence over the prisoners, while Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas said, “We tried to get him released for treatment but the Israeli government refused to let him out, which led to his death.”
Meanwhile, the riot police are trying to calm the burning chaos that has further aggravated Palestinian protests. But, for how long will the Israeli forces with the US’ help be successful in suppressing the Palestinians?