(In collaboration with Termometro Politico)

Clashes under the sky of Jerusalem. Once again the city is theatre of conflicts between Israelis and Palestinians. During the last few weeks a wave of attacks erupted in the area and provoked a large number of victims, excluding positive solutions for an immediate future.

The attack of Tuesday

The attack took place last Tuesday at the synagogue in Har Nof, in West Jerusalem. ​As result of the attack five Israelis died and eight others were injured. The Israeli Police shot at the attackers, two Palestinian men, while they were leaving the synagogue. The authors of the attack are Ghassan and Odai Abu-Jamal, two cousins from East Jerusalem, who belong to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

In the afternoon protests broke out in different parts of the city, during which several people have been wounded. Meanwhile, Israeli Police has demolished an entire building in East Jerusalem, where lived another Palestinian terrorist who killed a young Israeli woman and a child in Silwan, in East Jerusalem, on 22 October. The four Palestinian families who lived there had already evacuated the building when the policy arrived.

The Israeli retaliation

This action was applied as a reprisal attack on the synagogue: in fact, the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has immediately ordered the destruction of the two attackers’ homes. Furthermore he accused the Palestinian organization Hamas of being behind the attack. Netanyahu argues that Hamas aspires to gain control of the sacred area of the Temple Mount.

Reactions

The office of the President of the State of Palestine, Mahmoud Abbas condemned the murder of civilians in a holy place. Also the President of the United States, Barak Obama, expressed his disappointment over the issue.

The settlements

Probably the settlements policy undertaken by Netanyahu over the whole territory, with particular regard to East Jerusalem, undermined the precarious balance of the area and these changes in the distribution of power could be considered the main cause of the several attacks which took place recently. During a previous meeting of the UN Security Council on the situation in the occupied territories in East Jerusalem, the settlement policy has been defined as “a violation of international law” by the UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Jeffrey D. Feltman.

Despite the criticism expressed both by the Permanent Observer of Palestine to the UN Riyad Mansour and by the Alternate Representative of the United States to the UN, David Pressman, Israel shown its commitment to continue the expansion policy. Once again, is the civil society in Palestine and Israel to be the most damaged. Considering the current situation, characterized by a complex mix of religion and international policies, it is impossible to envisage the opening of negotiations for the construction of relations of peaceful coexistence between the parties, at least in the short term.

Lucia Vasta

Master’s Degree in Languages and Economic and Legal Institutions of Asia and North Africa (Ca’ Foscari University of Venice)