Press release May 15 2012
Gush Shalom: The agreement with the hunger striking prisoners prevented at the last minute a general flare-up in the Occupied Territories – but with no end in sight to occupation and settlement, this is no more than a temporary postponement
The government of Israel had no choice but to reach an agreement at the last minute with the hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners and accept a significant part of their demands. Had the hunger strike continued and led to the death of some of the strikers, it would have caused a general conflagration in the Occupied Territories. The security experts understood this very well, and fortunately the political echelon took their advice.
However, the agreement with the prisoners provides no more than a temporary delay. The real problem remains the same: the occupation which tramples upon Palestinians and which in a few weeks will be forty-five year old – more than two thirds of Israel’s entire history – and the ever-expanding settlements which grab more and more of the Palestinians’ meager remaining land. Prime Minister Netanyahu provided himself with a broad government coalition which could give him backing for whatever policy he chooses – but so far he only utters empty words on being ready to enter negotiations, while refusing to stop settlement expansion or make any commitment on where the borders are supposed to be set. In this situation, the countdown continues; the chances of reaching a peaceful solution are shrinking, and the danger looms of a disaster engulfing Israelis, and Palestinians alike.