Top 10 headlines of 2018: The Palestinians

A year of highlights and lowlights in Israel: The Palestinians

PALESTINIAN PRESIDENT Mahmoud Abbas – not saying anything about the elections, but working behind the scenes? (photo credit: MOHAMAD TOROKMAN/REUTERS)
PALESTINIAN PRESIDENT Mahmoud Abbas – not saying anything about the elections, but working behind the scenes?

Five Highs (for the Palestinians but not for Israel)

1 - The weekly protests along the Gaza-Israel border, which are called the "March of Return" 

The Palestinians, specifically Hamas, see the protests as a huge achievement because they have put the crisis in the Gaza Strip at the center of the world's attention. 
2 - The failure of the UN General Assembly to vote in favor of a US resolution condemning Hamas for repeatedly firing rockets at Israel and inciting violence
Both the PA and Hamas see the result of the vote as a severe blow to the Trump administration and Israel, and a huge achievement for Palestinian diplomacy. The Palestinians feared that if passed, the resolution would have "criminalized" the Palestinian "resistance" against Israel.
3 - Paraguay's decision to move its embassy back from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv

The Palestinians see this move as a success for their diplomacy. PA President Mahmoud Abbas had called on all Latin American countries not to move their embassies to Jerusalem. PA Foreign Minister Riad Malki praised the decision to move the embassy back to Tel Aviv as "a new Palestinian diplomatic achievement."

4 - The failure of Israel to demolish the Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar, near Ma'aleh Adumim
The Palestinians see the failure to demolish the village and evict its residents as an achievement for their diplomatic efforts and the Palestinian "popular resistance." 
5 - Colombia's decision to recognize the Palestinian state
The Palestinians see the decision as another diplomatic victory and a blow to the US administration and Israel. Colombia is the 137th member of the UN to recognize the state. 

Five Lows

1 - The relocation of the US Embassy from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv
The Palestinians consider the move as one of the most "dangerous" decisions taken by a US administration. They say that the decision is aimed at removing the issue of Jerusalem from future negotiations with Israel.
2 - The closure of the US Consulate in east Jerusalem 
This consulate was actually serving as a US embassy to the Palestinians. For them, the closure is part of an American plan to deny the Palestinians the chance of having east Jerusalem as their capital.
3 - The US administration's decision to close the PLO diplomatic mission to Washington 
The Palestinians see this move as part of the administration's "war" on the Palestinians and their leaders. 
4 - The US administration's decision to cut funds to the Palestinian Authority and UNRWA
The Palestinians see these decisions as part of US President Donald Trump's attempt to pressure them to accept his upcoming plan for peace in the Middle East, also known as the "deal of the century."
5 - The ongoing power struggle between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas 
Despite Egyptian efforts to end the rift between the two parties, the PA and Hamas are still engaged in a dispute that has resulted in the creation of two separate Palestinian entities – one in the West Bank and the other in the Gaza Strip. For the PA, Qatar's decision to provide financial aid to the Gaza Strip is a major blow that solidifies the split between the two areas.
Edited by Natan Rothstein
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