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A tale of two Palestinian worlds

Grant Rumley
19th July 2017 - Quoted by Sean Savage - Jewish News Service

For slightly more than a decade, the two main areas slated for a future Palestinian state—the disputed territories and the Gaza Strip—have been ruled by competing factions, the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the Hamas terror group. While many in the international community continue to endorse the idea of a two-state solution, with Israelis living in peace alongside a contiguous and stable Palestinian state, the reality on the ground seemingly tells a different story.

The United Nations recently released a new report suggesting Gaza may become “unlivable” by 2020. According to the report, Gaza’s population is growing faster than the coastal territory’s infrastructure and economy, which are deteriorating more rapidly than expected. 

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Grant Rumley, a research fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies think tank and an expert on Palestinian politics, told JNS.org the situation in Gaza is “dire” and similarly blamed Hamas. The terror group, Rumley said, has “squandered international aid to fuel their war preparations, using imported concrete to construct tunnels and other raw materials to make rockets. Gazans are well aware of this, but their options are limited.”

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Rumley similarly pointed out the “serious gap” between the disputed territories and Gaza as a result of Hamas’s preoccupation with terrorism.

“Hamas has oriented its governing structure towards fighting Israel while the PA has, at times, tried to set itself on a course for state-building,” Rumley said.

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Israel and the PA recently announced two major economic cooperation agreements, though peace negotiations between the parties have been stalled since 2014.

PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah and Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz both attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony July 10 to inaugurate the first Palestinian-owned power station.

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Rumley believes the recent announcements “are all positive steps.”

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Read more here.

Tags

gaza, hamas, israel, palestinian-authority, palestinian-politics, west-bank