The Terror Journal

A Journal on Terrorism and Genocide

A three-state solution

Israel palestine flagSeparating Gaza from the West Bank makes more historical sense than forming a unified Palestinian nation. The hamas takeover of Gaza and the the recent crisis revealed deep fissures within the Palestinian cause.

The Americans, the Israelis and the Palestinians all might like to think these divisions are temporary, but the reality is not so simple. To a large extent, residents of Gaza and the West Bank are two different peoples, and the idea of a three-state solution — Israel, plus a Hamas-run Gaza and a Fatah-governed West Bank — makes historical sense.

Gaza was, starting in the early 1800s, culturally dominated by neighboring Egypt. Though Gaza was part of the Ottoman Empire, a large number of its residents were Egyptians (and their descendants) who had fled political turmoil. The West Bank, on the other hand, became culturally and economically linked with Jordan after the kingdom’s founding in 1921. Unlike Gaza, the West Bank always has had a prosperous Christian minority, which served as an important moderating influence.

The two regions’ experiences after the establishment of Israel in 1948 also were quite different. In 1950, Jordan annexed the West Bank, granted its residents citizenship and created a bureaucratic and legal infrastructure that helped connect the West Bank with the rest of the Arab world.

The simultaneous Egyptian occupation of Gaza, however, was both careless and brutal. Gazans remained stateless and were forbidden to leave the strip. Egypt never created a Gazan civil service, placing Egyptians in charge of all civil and military posts.

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Source: By Jacob Savage Los Angeles Times


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