What Lies Ahead for the Palestinian Issue in 2013 - Opportunities and Challenges

TÜR, Özlem
January 2013
Middle Eastern Analysis / Ortadogu Analiz;Jan2013, Vol. 5 Issue 49, p21
Academic Journal
This article deals with recent developments in Palestinian politics and argues that the longforgotten issue has come back onto the agenda through a series of developments over the past three months: the sailing of the Gaza-bound vessel Estelle, the visit of the Emir of Qatar to Gaza, Israel's 'Operation Pillar of Defense' in Gaza, and the Palestinian bid for non-member state status in the UN. These developments will provide both opportunities and additional challenges for the leaders of both parties. While what is needed on the Palestinian side is reconciliation, on the Israeli side a comprehensive strategy to resolve the Palestinian issue is necessary. Yet, none of these developments seems feasible in the year ahead, as what is dividing Palestinian groups seems greater than what is uniting them today. In addition, the resilience of the security discourse in Israel and short-term strategies being deployed on the issue preclude long-term efforts and, insofar as they strengthen Hamas, they are counterproductive to the goal of dialogue.


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