After 11 days of conflict, and more than 250 deaths, a ceasefire was implemented between Israel and Hamas on May 21. The violence that took place within this timeframe makes the confrontation the most tragic and critical in almost a decade. We asked three questions to Alaa Tartir, researcher and academic coordinator at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, in an attempt to understand the lessons of recent events, for Palestinians, for the region, and for the international community.
Following the recent escalation across Palestine-Israel, are there any prospects of positive development for the Palestinians to build on?
It is a difficult task to explore avenues for hope amid the escalation. Yet, the latest round of confrontations in Palestine-Israel highlighted that a new Palestinian generation is leading collective actions that aim to reset the parameters and the framing of the so-called Palestinian-Israeli conflict. This new generation wants to address the power imbalances between the colonized and the colonizer. They are doing so by anchoring their actions in a collective, inclusive, democratic, participatory leadership model that is lacking in Palestine’s current political regime. They are also building and solidifying their vision, strategies and program for the future. Although these processes are still unfolding and in-the-making, they offer an evolving new dynamic that could be transformed into a political opportunity if sustained, endorsed, and adopted by large segments of the Palestinian people.
More concretely, and as I argued in a recent article I wrote for PRIO, there are multiple prospects for hope. To begin with, the upcoming Palestine Economic Week following the May 18 general strike across Palestine is called and led by non-conventional political actors (new emerging youth-led groups). There has been a high level of commitment toward this call, accompanied by the launch of The Dignity and Hope Manifesto - a founding declaration of the new Palestinian generation attempting to build its internal powerbase and shake the fundamental pillars of the status quo.