The assessment of the Palestinian security forces is particularly difficult. Compared to the complicated situation that followed the establishment of the Palestinian National Authority, characterized by a multiplicity of militias and commands, today the framework of the security forces seems to have been relatively simplified, thanks to the establishment of a power center in Gaza. and one in Ramallah, in the West Bank. Following the 2006 elections and the victory of Hamas, a brief civil war broke out in 2007 which saw Hamas prevail in the Gaza Strip and the PLO (essentially Fatah and its neighboring groups) in the West Bank. Since then there has been a situation of division of the Palestinian Territories, which has repercussions on the security of the Territories themselves.
According to themotorcyclers, the victory in Egypt of the Muslim Brotherhood in 2012, the organization from which Hamas comes, had led to a progressive strengthening of the latter on the political level, to the detriment of President Abu Mazen ‘s NPC. However, since Mohammed Mursi was deposed by the military in July 2013, there has been an indicative intensification of checks along the border crossing between Egypt and Gaza, also aimed at reducing arms smuggling. Continuous supplies of Iranian-made armaments arrived from these tunnels via Sudan, used by Hamas in recent conflicts to attack the Jewish state. This has therefore shown that it has greater military capabilities than in the past and that it can use rockets able to reach Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.
After the truce with Israel in 2012 and the loss of its precious Egyptian ally in 2013, to avoid being isolated in the region, Hamas has partially revised its alliance scheme within the Middle Eastern framework, passing from the Shiite camp made up of Iran, Hezbollah and from Assad’s Syria, to the ‘Sunni axis’ and tying itself above all to Turkey and Qatar, at the moment the only political and economic sponsors of Hamas. Above all, relations between Gaza and Qatar have seen a marked improvement thanks to both the October 2012 visit of the then Emir Abdullah al-Thani to the Strip, and with political protection – the seat of Hamas’ political office in exile was moved from Damascus to Doha – and economic of the Islamist faction (the al-Thani, among other things, were the largest international donor for post-war reconstruction in Gaza in July-August 2014, offering over one billion dollars). As for the government of the’NPC, attempts at dialogue with the Israeli government, which had been stalled for a long time, resumed in July 2013, thanks also to the intervention of the US Secretary of State John Kerry; but abandoned in a few months due to the Gaza crisis and the increase in the political weight of the right-wing parties opposed to the negotiations following the Israeli political elections in June 2015. At present, it is unlikely that we will reach a solution on the formula ‘two peoples, two states’ which is the basis of the diplomatic process launched in Madrid.
One of the issues to be resolved for the Palestinian state constitution relates to the efficiency of local forces in controlling the territories, since widespread instability also creates problems of internal security, which the NP struggles to cope with. Such difficulties emerged again during the outbreak of violence that began in October 2015 during which some young Palestinians, almost all under the age of twenty, took part in sudden attacks on Israeli civilians.
The Gaza Strip
The territorial separation that divides Gaza from the West Bank has also been reflected over time in their historical and cultural development. Ever closer to Egypt in culture and dialect (while a Levantine-type dialect is traditionally spoken in the West Bank), the Gaza Strip remained under the direct control of Cairo from the 1949 armistice until the 1967 Six Day War. Since that time it has become part of the so-called ‘Territories occupied by the state of Israel’, which has begun to build Jewish settlements which, at the time of their maximum expansion, had about 10,000 residents. According to the Oslo process launched after the end of the Cold War, Gaza should have become part of the future Palestinian state along with the West Bank.np). The Israeli withdrawal ended in 2005 with the unilateral eviction of the settlements, the first of this size by the Israeli authorities. Since that moment the territory of the Gaza Strip has passed under the control of the PNA, even if Israel continues to exercise its authority over fundamental aspects such as the management of the registry office and airspace, territorial waters and borders. The control of the Strip, however, only lasted two years. In 2006, the political elections saw the surprise victory of Hamas, which has its main stronghold in Gaza. The impossibility of reaching an agreement with Fatah on the formation of the government leads to armed clashes between the two formations that culminate in June 2007 with the capture of Gaza by Hamas militants and the killing or expulsion of all supporters of Fatah from the Strip. From that moment Gaza became an independent territory from the PNA under the control of Hamas. The Israeli reaction to the coup was not long in coming. Israel begins the blockade of the borders of the Strip by preventing the entry and exit of people and goods with the collaboration of Egypt on the southern border. At the same time, Hamas’ military operations against Israel begin, especially with the launch of rockets against Israeli territory. This situation has continued without substantial change to date, interspersed only with Israeli military operations against the Strip in 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2014, usually in response to the intensification of rocket firing by Hamas militants against the Israeli population centers. These operations, notably the 2014 ‘Protective Edge’ operation, caused severe damage to the Strip’s infrastructure and homes. Reconstruction has also been significantly slowed by the blockade of construction materials and machinery that Israeli authorities say could be used for the construction of military armaments or tunnels. The lack of raw materials for industries and the dramatic lack of housing have led to a serious economic and humanitarian crisis within the Strip. According to international organizations operating in the area, about 80% of Gazans survive thanks to international aid while the unemployment rate stands at 43% (63% for young people). In September 2014 the United Nations established, in agreement with the Israeli and Palestinian governments, the ‘Gaza Reconstruction Mechanism’, a plan of 5, 4 billion dollars aimed at allowing the reconstruction of homes and production infrastructures lost during military operations in recent years. According to United Nations agencies, its implementation is proceeding slowly. With the current daily amount of materials that Israel currently allows access to, it will take 19 years to repair only the ‘Protective Edge’ operation and 76 to be able to build a home for all Gazans without them.