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The Never-ending Conflict: Another Loss for Palestine

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On September 10th, the Trump administration announced that they will be closing the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) office in Washington D.C.  This comes at a time where there is increasing pressure on the U.S. to call for more Middle East peace efforts. This action is just one of many that have raised more concerns about America’s government’s one-sidedness regarding the Palestine-Israel conflict.

“The United States will always stand with our friend and ally, Israel,” said John Bolton, the U.S. national security advisor.

Bolton claimed that Palestinians have made no efforts to start direct and meaningful negotiations with Israel.

This decision comes less than five months after at least 60 Palestinian civilians were killed by Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) at the boundary fence which separates Israel from the Gaza Strip. Those Palestinians were peacefully protesting their occupation and the United States’ embassy relocation to Jerusalem.

The PLO office’s closing comes with the State Department cutting millions of dollars in assistance to Palestinians. It also severely cut funding to the UN Palestinian refugee agency. Senior Palestinian officials and those who belong to the PLO political party strongly condemned this decision. The U.S. claims to have a neutral stance on the decades-old issue in the Levant. These pressure tactics make it hard to believe that the U.S. will ever play the role of peacemaker in the Holy Land.

After the IDF launched a series of airstrikes and artillery fire on Hamas in July, the on-going silence from most of the world’s leaders continued, as it has this week.

U.S. ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, who has been one-sided in her condemnation of Palestinians in the past, remained biased in addressing that incident. She has blamed Palestine’s current condition and shortcomings on other Arab nations not caring for these people and not sending aid to the region.

Nickolay Mladenov, the U.N.’s chief Middle East envoy, called both sides to step back from further escalation.

Omar Al-Ghusbi, an intern at The Institute of World Politics’ counterterrorism program in D.C., believes that “the current airstrike strategies are more focused on targeting Hamas compared to past attempts at preventing riots on the border.”

“World leaders have continuously stayed away from taking sides in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict because of prickly issues,” said Al-Ghusbi.

These issues include the involvement of Iran, having listed terror groups being involved such as Hamas, and Israeli human rights violations.

“The current situation is a mess that continues to show signs of digression from improvement and reaching a solution as of late.

Since Israel isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, the future of Palestine and the rest of the Middle East must be one that incorporates Israel into the region’s communities. That would encourage both cooperation and stability.”

Recently, the UN has urged both Israel and Gaza to step back from the brink of war during these tension-filled times. Following these events, the U.S. has warned against other nations cooperating with International Criminal Court (ICC) investigations into America and its allies.

By: Mohamad Hashash

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