International attention briefly returned to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict after 18 Palestinians were killed and at least 750 wounded by Israeli fire during mass protests on the Gaza-Israel border Friday, according to Gaza authorities. It was the worst day of violence in the enclave since the 2014 Gaza war.
The idea for the marches originally came from a local social media activist several months ago but was then promoted by Hamas, which rules Gaza, as part of what the AP calls a “risky strategy” to “draw attention to the difficult conditions in Gaza, without plunging into another war with Israel.” A retired Israeli general told the New York Times that Israel’s heavy-handed response to the protests was a political failure, given that “the Palestinian aim was to raise international consciousness, and to put the Palestinian issue back on the international and Israeli agenda. It succeeded.”
Perhaps—but on the agenda for how long, and with what outcome? [Continue reading…]