Tensions between Israel and Palestine in the West Bank have escalated coinciding with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's visit to Israel. Using military troops, Israel attacked Palestinian settlements in the eastern part of Ramallah on the West Bank, Tuesday, August 25. This aggressive action was carried out on the grounds that Palestinians built housing without permission. Reports say the attack was carried out before sunrise. 200 Palestinians have indeed built settlements in Wadi Al Siq, the East Ramalah area, which is in area C.
In 1995 Palestine and Israel through an agreement in Oslo, Norway agreed that the West Bank is divided into three areas namely Area A, B, and C. The Palestinian Authority controls Area A which covers 18 percent of the territory of the West Bank, Area B which covers about 21 percent is under the Israeli and Palestinian civil security administrations. The remainder is included in Area C, which represents 61 percent of the territory under Israeli control.
Almost simultaneously with the attacks on Palestinians in area C, the Israeli military also bombed militia groups' positions in the Gaza Strip. The Israeli army argued that the reason was because Palestinians had launched incendiary balloons at southern Israeli farms the day before. The bomb attack, which was intended to retaliate for the incendiary balloon launch, was carried out for two consecutive days.
The actions of Israeli military in both area C and the Gaza strip were carried out in conjunction with the visit of the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo. It should be noted, this visit was carried out not long after an agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates normalizing diplomatic relations was signed.
It seems, that apart from security reasons, the Israeli authorities' aggressive actions by means of their troops may have political aims. To its staunch ally, Israel wants to show its strength and power. Namely by carrying out military attacks, arguing that there were acts of provocation by Palestinians. Israel continues to try to convince the United States, its ally, that its position in the dispute with Palestine is getting stronger. (kbl/art)