Tel Aviv / Gaza / Washington (dpa) – The ceasefire in the Gaza conflict survived the second night. For the people in Israel and the Gaza Strip, the way back to normal began with the end of the fighting.
This is long and tough, especially in the devastated Gaza Strip. However, the road to lasting peace and thus avoiding the next war in a few years’ time was more unclear than ever. According to US President Joe Biden, the conflict in the Middle East can only be pacified through a two-state solution, ie an independent Palestine alongside Israel. “That’s the only answer, the only answer,” Biden stressed in the White House.
The European Union (EU) again spoke out for two states. “Restoring a political horizon for a two-state solution remains paramount,” said foreign representative Josep Borrell.
Biden stressed that Hamas is a terrorist organization. Nevertheless, for the sake of the civilian population, the US was determined to support reconstruction in the Gaza Strip through the Palestinian Authority with a “major aid package”. At the same time, he stressed that a lasting peace would only be possible once all actors in the region unequivocally “recognize Israel’s right to exist as an independent Jewish state”.
Hamas rejects this, so to speak, it is the trademark of the organization classified by the US and the EU as a terrorist organization to demand the destruction of Israel. And the war that has just ended has strengthened Hamas in its internal Palestinian struggle with Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas, who is ready to negotiate, in the West Bank. He had formally postponed the first parliamentary elections in the Palestinian Territories in 15 years, which were actually scheduled for Saturday, in late April, due to the dispute over voting in Jerusalem. Critics, however, accused him of trying to prevent Hamas from winning.
But Israel’s settlement policies in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, where Abbas believes a Palestinian state will be established, is making a two-state solution sought since the mid-1970s increasingly difficult.
Pope Francis welcomed the truce. “I thank God for the decision to end the armed fighting, and I hope the paths of dialogue and peace will be followed,” said the head of the Catholic Church, Ansa news agency at the Vatican said.
New clashes on the Temple Mount (Al-Haram al-Sharif) in Jerusalem between Palestinians and the Israeli police showed how precarious the situation still is. According to Palestinian rescue workers, 15 people were treated after police used rubber bullets, among other things. According to police, stones and an incendiary device had previously been thrown by a crowd of hundreds of young people.
Hamas used such clashes as an opportunity to fire rockets in the direction of Jerusalem on May 10. As a result, Israel began massive bombing raids on the Gaza Strip. According to official figures, at least 248 people were killed and 1,910 injured in the conflict in the Gaza Strip. In Israel, 12 people died and more than 300 were injured.