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The first anniversary of the “Great March of Return” and the commemorations of Palestinian Land Day have resulted in three more deaths in the Gaza Strip. Egyptian mediation efforts have prevented Israeli snipers on the other side of the fence from significantly raising their more than 300 cold-blooded victims.

Within days of the Israeli elections, the situation of the Arab-Israeli conflict is at one of its most explosive moments. Netanyahu counts on the invaluable help of the Trump Administration, which has gravely violated international law by transferring its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, recognizing it as the capital of the Hebrew state, and has supported the territorial integration of the Syrian Golan Heights into Israel.

To this must be added the political paralysis of the Palestinian Authority, economically besieged by Israel, and confronted with the leadership of Hamas which governs the Gaza Strip. Without a Palestinian unity government, which Mohammad Shtayyeh’s appointment as PA prime minister seems to exclude in order to prioritise the pulse with Hamas, the erosion of the PLO institutions is accentuated, without the possibility of renewing them electorally on the horizon.

These are dark times for the cause of Palestinian self-determination. The announced “century plan” of the Trump Administration can hardly be in this context a just peace that allows the end of the occupation of the West Bank, the lifting of the siege and blockade of Gaza and the application of the two-state formula. In reality what the Trump Administration is seeking, without success so far, is the complicity of its allies in the corrupt Arab monarchies to justify a status quo that translates on the ground into the annexation of West Bank zones A and B to the Israeli state and the ‘bantustization’ of zone C under the nominal control of the Palestinian Authority.

A new Cold War threatens to irretrievably divide the Middle East into two blocs after the defeat of ISIS in Syria and the consolidation of the Shia coalition in Baghdad and the Bassar al-Assad regime in Damascus. Two blocks of regional powers, one Sunni headed by Saudi Arabia, with the support of the USA, Egypt and the USA, and the other headed by Iran, Syria and Iraq, with the support of Russia, while two other regional powers, Turkey and Qatar, seek to introduce their own territorial, military and economic interests into this bipolarisation. The announced victims of this new regional Cold War will be the different Kurdish factions, the different sides of the war in Yemen and, once again, the Palestinian people.

Far from any stabilisation, the Syrian conflict still hangs on a politico-military solution to the Jihadist stock exchange of Idlib and the Turkish threat against Kurdish autonomy in northern Syria. These conflicts will inevitably extend to Lebanon, where Israel has long been preparing a new intervention on the border against Hizbollah.

For the peoples of the Middle East, imperialist and neocolonial ‘modernisation’ has become a constant drain on their resources, a permanent human sacrifice of their population, a statement of barbarism. More than ever it is necessary our solidarity with all of them and the search for a democratic and just solution that only socialism can open, no matter how utopian it may seem today in the midst of the massacres.

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Writing office

  • Pedro Fuentes
  • Bernardo Corrêa
  • Charles Rosa
  • Clara Baeder