The tensions between Palestine and Israel are, again, rising as recent diplomatic discussions have threatened to halt progress in avoiding another crisis.

Palestinian officials are, once more, making a push through the United Nations to end Israel’s 47-yearlong occupation over the territory and earn recognition from the council.

This move however has drawn criticism from Israel’s leadership, which has vowed to again vote against the draft bill. As a result US officials have scrambled to handle the delegations, in order to avoid a diplomatic crisis between the two tense states.

Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu has, predictably, come out and said that he will again rebuff Palestine’s push for statehood.

There is also concern that the bill could be vetoed by the US should it reach the 15-member UN Security Council, or at least that is the hope of some prominent government officials in Tel Aviv.

Whether Palestine can achieve recognition within the UN remains to be seen. A handful of Western nations have already recognized the state in recent months, with Britain becoming the 136th state to recognize Palestinian statehood in October.

However the issue of lifting Israel’s near half-century occupation over the territory is a more complex matter in itself.

A bloody conflict in Gaza between Hamas – the de facto leaders of the marooned strip – and the Israeli military left over 2,100 Palestinians dead, mainly civilians.

The seven-week war also saw a spate of terror attacks committed against the Israeli population, which has left tensions heated amidst the decades of conflict between the warring parties.

So this makes it questionable as to whether an end to Israeli occupation is viable anytime soon. It is also likely to push buttons on both sides, and could rekindle tensions that may spiral out of control if not mediated.

Cue the intervention of the European Union and the United States.

It came as little surprise to hear John Kerry would be spearheading a hastily prepared meeting with Palestine’s chief negotiator, Saeb Erekat, and a delegation representing the Arab League, behind closed doors.

The US has now adopted the mantle of handling damage control if progressive talks are to resume. Defusing tensions that could likely spark another bloody conflict is of paramount importance to US and EU interests.

The fact that both Palestine and Israel are refusing to give up ground on the issue will further complicate the delegation process.

The future of Palestine’s proposal to end Israeli occupation and earn statehood rests with how the US and European mediators respond. Yet with the new UN Security Council set to take its seat on the 1st of January, 2015, it may prompt the Palestinian question to be further delayed.

The new Security Council will consist of nations, including Venezuela and Malaysia that will likely have friendlier approaches to Palestine.

As Harriet Salem of Vice News highlights, 20 per cent of the new seats on the Security Council consist of countries that do not have diplomatic relations with Israel.

A veto from the US would, however, likely upset Palestine and its Arab allies, who have been caught up in years of gridlock.

Therefore perhaps it is still the case where only one side can come out on top.

 

Sources:

Palestine pushes again for UN Recognition as Hamas parades in Gaza City – https://news.vice.com/article/palestine-pushes-again-for-un-recognition-as-hamas-parades-in-gaza-city

Can we stop pretending Israel is being attacked – http://thedailybanter.com/2014/07/can-stop-pretending-israel-attacked/

Palestinian president presses for UN vote on Israeli withdrawal –  http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/dec/15/palestinian-president-mahmoud-abbas-un-vote-israel-withdrawal

Netanyahu asks French president to halt UN initiative on Palestinian state – http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.631991