Middle East peace under threat

(VOVWORLD) -The Middle East, one of the world’s hotbeds, has seen worrying developments. Major countries’ calculations might escalate violence in the region.  
Middle East peace under threat - ảnh 1

US President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

(Photo: NBC News)

In a unexpected move, the US administration last week shifted its decades-old policy on the occupied Palestinian territory, voicing support for Israel’s right to  build settlements in the West Bank. On November 18, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared that “the Trump administration is reversing the Obama administration’s approach towards Israeli settlements.” 41 years ago, the Carter administration categorically said that Israel’s establishment of civilian settlements was inconsistent with international law. 

The US’s latest decision has drawn strong protests from the Arab countries and some US allies. Palestinian ambassador to the United Nations Riyad Mansour said: “The US administration once again makes another illegal announcement on Israeli settlements in order to sabotage any chance to achieve peace, security and stability.” Arab League members, Iran, and Turkey all rebuked the US decision as a dangerous step to damage the “two-state solution” and the world community’s efforts to restore peace in the Middle East.

5 European allies of the US — Britain, France, Germany, Belgium and Poland — reiterated in a joint statement that “all settlement activity is illegal under international law.” They also warned of severe consequences.

Several days after Pompeo’s announcement, the Israeli authorities closed Palestinian communications offices in Jerusalem, a move Palestinian authority and Arab countries consider a new dangerous step which breaks the Israeli commitment to the  Oslo Agreement signed in 1993 in the US and in 1995 in Egypt. Palestinian armed groups promised violent measures to counter the US and Israeli provocations.

The US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in late 2017 and the relocation of the US Embassy to Jerusalem angered the Palestinians, triggering bloody clashes along the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip that killed hundreds of people and injured thousands.

Amid the Middle East’s complexity and instability and regular tit-for-tat attacks between Palestinian militant groups and the Israeli army, fresh tension in the region is predicted to ignite a more severe vicious circle of violence and kill any Middle East peace prospect.

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