Recently, in the West Bank approximately twenty five Palestinian individuals including lawmakers were arrested by Israel for their connection with Hamas. According to reports, twenty three of the twenty five individuals belonged to the group Hamas. Hamas, which is also known as the Islamic Resistance Movement, is a Palestinian Sunni Islamic Organization that governs the Gaza Strip. Since these elections and the shift in power in 2007, Palestinians have become deeply divided. As a result of the Fatah party being forced out of power by the Hamas, bloody and violence battles has ensued between the two groups. However, Israel, the United States and the European Union consider the Hamas to be a terrorist organization, while Iran, Russia, Turkey, and Arab nations do not.
Security sources have stated that Israel plans to increase the number of arrests of suspected militants in the West Bank. It is stated that this will be done to prevent further conflict between the two groups and avoid the issue from becoming a full uprising in the area. However, Hamas officials do not see this in the same way that Israel sees it. According to Hanan Ashrawi, a senior Palestinian official in the West Bank, condemned the arrests, describing them as “deliberate Israeli plans to destabilize the internal situation, interfere in Palestinian institutions… and deal a blow to national reconciliation.” As a result, it is believed that if there is enough separation between the two groups as well as the ability to weaken the Palestinian state, Israel will continue to gain power over the conflict between themselves and Palestine.
Since the year 1948 and the exile of Palestinian’s from Israel, conflict in the region has erupted both between inside groups within the territories as well as between the two territories themselves. This issue all stems based on the Palestinian demand to have just compensation and a right to return to Israel, while Israel states that this return will not be allowed. In addition, the separation and battle between the Jewish and Arab culture in the region has also played a factor in the dispute. As Edward Said states the only way for the issue to be resolved and peace to occur between the two is for coexistence to take place. However, rather than working things out and creating a joint state between the two sides , both have resorted to attacks and continued struggle for power. Currently, Israel has forced and isolated the Palestinians to the Gaza Strip and West Bank. As Edward Said also states, “understanding one’s self and understanding one’s self in relation to others is important”. In taking this quote and relating it to the current issue, I feel that they must both take the others side into account and realize that they must come together to end the violence and create long overdue peace in the region.