Amid the international condemnation of Israel’s latest assault on the Palestinian people, and the escalating bloodshed in the Gaza Strip, the Israeli government and its backers in the US are trying to move past the crisis by pushing for new peace talks.
As the latest flare-up between Israel and Hamas in the West Bank and Gaza continues, Israel’s government has signaled it wants to focus on a new peace deal with the Palestinian factions it has long accused of harboring terrorist groups.
While the US and its allies have condemned the Israeli military for the attacks on Palestinian villages in the past week, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, have blamed Hamas for the deadly attacks, they have not mentioned the violence in Gaza, where Israeli soldiers and settlers have fired more than 300 rockets at Israel in the last three days.
In recent weeks, the Palestinians have demanded the lifting of the Israeli blockade on the Gaza strip, a move which the US has rejected as a precondition for a two-state solution.
The Israeli government has also been pressing for a cease-fire and a return to the pre-1967 lines, which it considers the only real road to peace.
Netanyahu, who is in the process of drafting a new military strategy for the coming decades, has also signaled a desire to keep the current fighting lines, with the goal of achieving a ceasefire by the end of March.
However, the international community has also condemned the escalation, saying it has turned into an intifada, a reference to the ongoing Palestinian uprising.
“What is happening in the Middle East is an intfada.
It’s a war.
It can’t be stopped.
It will not be stopped,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Monday.
“The world has spoken.
The Palestinian people will not let Israel or the US stop this war.”
The US and Israel have also pushed for a political settlement of the crisis in which both sides want the Palestinians to return to a political and economic relationship with the Israelis, while recognizing the right of the Palestinian population to self-determination.
The Palestinians are not seeking a new intifadah, but instead a new state in the occupied West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem, which they call the “occupied territories.”
They also want the West Wall, which is under Israeli control, and East Gaza, which the Palestinians want for their own territory, to be included in any peace agreement.
On Monday, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman called the escalation “unacceptable.”
He said that Israeli forces had killed more than 100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, and that the Israeli army was targeting Palestinians in their homes and homes of families, in an attempt to create an “instant reaction” that would force the Palestinians into a military confrontation.
“The army is doing what it has to do.
The situation is not the situation.
It has a lot of work to do, but it’s a very important job,” Lieberman said.”
We have to get this situation resolved.
It is unacceptable.”
Netanyahu has also warned that the escalating violence will have “devastating consequences” on the peace process.
“This will have a catastrophic effect on the international peace process,” he said on Tuesday.
“Hamas is a terrorist organization.
Hamas will never accept a settlement based on a one-state settlement.
They will never negotiate with Israel on a two state solution,” he added.
While Israel has repeatedly called for a peaceful settlement, it has repeatedly rejected such calls, arguing that Hamas and other Palestinian factions have ties with terrorist groups in the Arab world.
On Sunday, the prime minister said Israel will continue to use all its military might to defend itself and its citizens from rocket fire from Gaza and other areas, adding that Israel would not allow the region to become a “sea of blood.”
“If we can’t stop it, the Palestinian leadership will have to stop it,” Netanyahu said on Sunday.
“I have no doubt that the Palestinians will respond with a new round of violence.
That’s what we must do.”
The conflict erupted in July when Israel fired a series of short-range missiles at a compound belonging to Hamas, killing three civilians and wounding more than 60.
In retaliation, the militant group fired a barrage of rockets at southern Israel, causing widespread damage.