It was a short struggle, but its intensity caused concern and concern across the world.
In May 2021, the Islamic armed movement Hamas and the defense forces Israel They fought an 11-day fight.
During this period, the first launched 4,300 rockets from the Gaza Strip at towns and villages in the center and south IsraelWhile the second carried out about 1,500 air strikes in the densely populated Palestinian territories, according to data from a United Nations report.
Business Israel A fatal toll left at least 230 people dead, including 130 civilians; While rockets fired by Palestinian factions killed 13 people in Israel And – by chance – about 15 Palestinians in Gaza.
Among the causes of the conflict were clashes between the Israeli police and Palestinian demonstrators at a site sacred to Muslims and Jews in Jerusalem.
In this context, Hamas began firing rockets into Israeli territory and Israel Responded to bombing in the Gaza Strip.
The hostilities ended with a ceasefire that has largely been maintained despite small attacks, such as the November assassination of an Israeli tour guide in Jerusalem by a hard-line Palestinian teacher for Hamas.
Check out four changes that have occurred since then.
1. Hamas’ popularity rises (and falls)
The conflict ended in May with extensive structural damage in Gaza.
More than 1,000 homes were destroyed or damaged in these Palestinian territories.
Despite this, Hamas declared itself the victor in the conflict.
This is what has already happened, at least with regard to Palestinian public opinion.
An opinion poll conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy, Research and Research (PCPSR) in June showed that three-quarters of Palestinians believe that the Islamist militant group has won the confrontation with Israel.
Most importantly, the poll found that 53% of Palestinians considered Hamas the organization that “most deserves to represent and lead” the Palestinian people, far ahead of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah, which received only 14% of the vote. .
Hamas and Fatah have been competing for Palestinian leadership for decades.
However, a December PCPSR poll showed that much of Hamas’s popularity after the May conflict had waned significantly.
Now, only 34% say they believe the armed group deserves to lead the Palestinians, while 23% support Fatah.
According to the poll, these results reflect “clear disappointment with the Hamas leadership” compared to what it was six months ago.
2. More work for the Palestinians…in Israel
Unemployment in Gaza is above 40%, and it is not easy for those wishing to escape from this reality.
Several factors make economic conditions in that region very difficult, including the tight border controls it exercises Israel Egypt limits the ability of Gazans to earn a living outside the area.
So when rumors spread in October that Israel It will grant more work permits to Gaza residents, and thousands of them have applied for these permits.
Since the end of the conflict in May, the Israeli authorities have again begun to issue this type of document.
This increase took into account not only security issues, but also the state of relations with the Palestinians.
in September, Israel It announced it would grant up to 7,000 work permits to Gazans, but in October it announced it would release 3,000 more, bringing the total to 10,000, the highest number of permits granted since Hamas took control of the Strip in 2007.
Specialists interpreted this gesture as a sign of the will to maintain the fragile calm prevailing in the region.
But it is not the only one: Israel It also expanded the fishing zone in which Gazans can fish, facilitated the flow of domestic exports, and in November allowed the reactivation of the approximately $30 million monthly transfers the government of Qatar provides to Hamas.
3. A “smart” underground wall
On December 7 Israel It announced that it had finished building the “smart” barrier around its border with Gaza.
Israel has completed the construction of the 65-kilometre “smart barrier” on the Gaza border – Image: Getty Images via BBC
The structure, which includes an underground wall, fences, sensors, radar and even a sea barrier, was designed after the 2014 war by Hamas fighters who managed to surprise Israeli forces by crossing the border through underground tunnels.
The “smart fence” is 65 kilometers long and six meters high. The Israeli authorities did not reveal the depth of the underground wall.
But critics of the wall say its construction only serves to confirm Gaza’s status as “the world’s largest open-air prison”.
Since the end of the conflict, Hamas and Israel The holding of indirect negotiations allowed, with the mediation of Egypt, to keep the ceasefire in effect.
The goal is to achieve a permanent armistice, each side has its own demands.
On the Palestinian side, in addition to easing restrictions on the free movement of goods and people, the main goal is to promote the reconstruction of Gaza, a project that could cost nearly $500 million, according to a report by the World Bank, the United Nations and the European Union.
According to the Israeli press, in addition to security guarantees, the Israeli government is committed to a prisoner exchange, in which Hamas will release Avira Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayed, two civilians with a history of mental problems, and hand over their bodies. Soldiers Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul, who were captured and killed by Palestinian gunmen in 2014.
The negotiations indirectly include several countries, as potential donors for the reconstruction of Gaza, including the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and the United States, among others, and have also set conditions for the handover of resources.
Recently, indirect dialogue between Israel Hamas appears to have been disrupted by differences between the two parties over the eventual prisoner exchange.
In what is interpreted as a sign of dissatisfaction with the pace of negotiations, Palestinian armed groups conducted military exercises on 15 December.
Several media outlets in the region published statements attributed to Hamas spokesmen accusing Egypt of unnecessarily delaying the reconstruction of Gaza in order to obtain greater concessions from the movement.
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