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Two, Three, Many Palestinian States


From today’s Post:

More than ever before, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank represent opposite poles of a future state of Palestine, each increasingly distinct, adding fresh obstacles to the quest for a two-state solution that envisions Israel and Palestine existing side by side. Gaza has become imbued with a narrow Islamist culture that considers Israel’s elimination the ultimate goal; the West Bank, in contrast, has become relatively open and secular, with its government trying to resolve disputes with Israel through politics and diplomacy.

In the process, the two Palestinian territories have grown increasingly antagonistic toward each other.

The notion of a single “Palestine” seems to be receding, for the Barakat brothers and all Palestinians, a process accelerated by Israeli policies that restrict travel into and out of the Gaza Strip and limit its economic growth in a bid to undercut support for the area’s ruling Islamist Hamas movement. Gaza and the West Bank are not only run by competing governments but also differ in indicators such as birthrates, population growth, cultural and religious attitudes, and prosperity. What is a two-hour car trip seems like a world away, with travel and other restrictions making it difficult for friends to visit and family members to gather.


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