Middle East peace unlikely if Donald Trump takes sides
Saturday 12/May/2018 - 01:30 PM
"Sky News" website - By Dominic Waghorn:
The current events in Gaza are not as bloody as in previous weeks but the region remains on edge on several fronts.
Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar says the culmination of regular protests at the Gaza border fence with Israel will be "decisive".
Hamas has urged Palestinians to march on the fence and try to break through to Israel.
Israel has opened fire with live ammunition، killing 44 Palestinians and injuring more than 1،700.
The region remains a tinderbox، roiled with tensions for several reasons.
An exchange of fire between Iranian forces and the Israelis over the border of the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights marked a significant escalation.
In the past، both sides have avoided direct confrontations.
Jerusalem and the West Bank are braced for further unrest ahead of the highly controversial move of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv.
Israel regards Jerusalem as its "eternal undivided capital" but the international community has reserved judgement until the outcome of negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis.
Donald Trump has sided with the Israelis، deciding to move the embassy to Jerusalem and declare it Israel's capital. The Trump administration insists the move does not change the status of the city، which remains subject to final status negotiations.
But this is disingenuous.
Israel claims sovereignty over the entire city and President Trump has done nothing to question that.
It has also failed to criticise ambitious Israeli building plans which would carve up more and more neighbourhoods where traditionally there have only been Palestinians living.
Mr Trump has presented Palestinians with a fait accompli and offered them nothing in return.
His much-vaunted new peace plan has failed to materialise.
It is looking increasingly doubtful that it ever will. America has so long presented itself as a neutral broker in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
It is now seen as taking sides with one of the parties in the most contentious issue at the heart of what is left of the peace process.
That has led to despair among many Palestinians، raising fears of greater instability.