“The Lord caused the men throughout the camp to turn on each other with their swords.” (Judges 7:22)
Continued infighting in Gaza is working to extinguish the hope for an independent Palestinian state.
Khaled Abu Toameh, a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Gatestone Institute and an Arab Muslim whose articles have been published in The Wall Street Journal and U.S. News & World Report, wrote Monday that “the Palestinian dream of establishing an independent state is being destroyed by none other than the Palestinians themselves.” (Gatestone Institute)
The Hamas-Fatah power struggle in Gaza, as well as a growing insurgence from Al-Qaeda and Islamic State jihadis would place an independent Gaza state on “the list of Arab countries that are currently witnessing civil wars and bloodbaths,” he wrote.
Though all jihadis apparently want to destroy Israel, certain jihadis also want to destroy other jihadis.
A spokesman for the Islamic State declared its goals in Gaza, “By Allah’s will, we will uproot the state of the Jews and you [Hamas] and others will vanish as the Gaza Strip will be ruled by sharia, whether you like it or not.”
Instead of taking responsibility for the problems, however, Hamas leaders like Ismail al-Ashqar seek to make Israel the scapegoat by blaming Israel, “the occupier,” for the violence. Of course, Israel by no means occupies Gaza, having abandoned all settlements in 2005.
Meanwhile, a poll by the Harry Truman Research Institute with the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research has found a large decline in support for the so-called two-state solution—and the assumption on both sides of an existential threat at the hand of the other.
The joint poll showed two-state support dropped from 62% in 2014 to 51% among Israelis and from 54% to 51% among PA Arabs. (Albawaba)
Of Israelis polled, 43% think the aim of the Palestinian Authority is to destroy or subdue Israel’s Jewish population, while 56% of PA Arabs polled believe that Israel wants to claim all land from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea as its own and expel all Palestinians in the process.
The Harry Truman joint poll notes that only half of Israelis and PA Arabs support two states side by side—a peace-plan hypothesis brokered most recently by US Secretary of State John Kerry.
This plan has largely encouraged pre-1967 borders—indefensible for Israel—and would require surrendering Israel’s God-given land inheritance, which is an invitation for divine judgment:
“I will gather all nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. There I will put them on trial for what they did to My inheritance, My people Israel, because they scattered My people among the nations and divided up My land.” (Joel 3:2)
Meanwhile, the Palestinian Center for Public Opinion also took a poll July 11–24, 2015 and found that 37.7% of PA Arabs polled support the two-state plan, with another 19.6% supporting one state for both peoples. (PNN)
According to a Washington Institute poll, whose results were published on July 23, 2015, establishing a Palestinian state is top priority for only 23.9% of Gazans and 13.6% of Arabs in Judea-Samaria (“West Bank”). It is second-highest priority for 21.2% of Gazans and 17.3% of Judea-Samaria residents.
The poll reveals that “making enough money to live comfortably” is the top priority for 43.5% of Arabs in Judea-Samaria, with another 33.9% saying that a good family life is most important. The top-priority categories were switched for Gazans, with 33.7% prioritizing a good family life and 30.8% prioritizing a comfortable income. (Maan)
The Washington Institute poll provides a picture of integration, showing that two-thirds of Arab permanent residents in Judea-Samaria want Israel to open up opportunities for working in Israel, and 55% want to see Israeli companies provide more jobs in Judea-Samaria. (Christian Century)
Nevertheless, integration seems to be on the rise, with some Palestinian Arabs choosing to move “into predominantly Jewish neighborhoods and even settlements.” (Reuters)
The Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies also reported that Palestinian Arab applications for Israeli citizenship number between 800 and 1,000 per year—up from 114 in 2003. (Ynet)