First, three Israeli youths were murdered by Palestinians. Then, a Palestinian youth was murdered by Israelis. To that, add political calculations from both sides, and the result is a new chapter in an old fight.
Some say that in the Middle East, the only possible solution to the conflict will take place when Palestinians no longer distrust Israelis and Israelis no longer fear Palestinians. Gaining that mutual trust, which begins with the recognition of Israel’s right to exist, won’t be easy.
Among the reasons are ongoing plans to expand Israeli settlements in the West Bank, which have held up negotiations. For Palestinians, it is a territorial matter, while the Netanyahu government considers it an excuse not to negotiate.
What is certain is that today, the murders of the four youths have resulted in the renewal of hostilities after a period of calm. Hamas has launched hundreds of missiles from Gaza targeting civilians, and Israel has launched hundreds of air strikes that have also resulted in civilian victims, although that is not its stated intention.
The rockets that for years have terrified Israeli towns neighboring Gaza are now reaching the suburbs of Tel Aviv, which points to a serious escalation with unpredictable results.
On both sides, there are many people who want to live in peace. The problem is that the peace of cemeteries is not desirable. Every death of an Israeli or Palestinian has proven to feed more hatred, revenge and retribution, in a never-ending, deadly vicious circle.
The current reality makes people think that it is impossible to reach that mutual trust between Palestinians and Israelis, one that is able to achieve peace. Unfortunately, every time there has been a glimpse of opportunity, an extremist ended lighting up a fuse and there were no cool heads to prevent the domino effect of death and destruction.