Between the first and second decade of the 21st century, hopes for peace in Palestine were dramatically fading: in June 2007, after the military coup of Ḥamās in the streets of Gaza and the expulsion of the exponents of al-Fatāḥ from the territory of the entire Strip, the Palestinian front, already weakened, it appeared more divided than ever inside while the delegitimization of President Abu Māzin, whose sovereignty was limited to the West Bank, was unstoppable. The work of the Annapolis peace conference (Maryland, November 2007) closed a long season of dialogue to no avail. The feeble hopes for peace in the region theoretically clung to the birth of the Palestinian state and the idea of a future peaceful coexistence between two free and sovereign state entities, but the fate of the Palestinian people, without a land and without a state, and that of Israel, surrounded by mortal enemies, seemed more and more to be wrapped in an inextricable knot. Two issues out of all had exacerbated the real possibilities of meeting between the parties over the years: first the construction of the Israeli defensive barrier which began in 2002, then, above all, the renewed zeal of the governments of Benjamin Netanyahu in planning and building new settlements in the West Bank and in Jerusalem. East. Not yet completed in 2015, the barrier, built for over 60% of its route, had been able to fulfill its function by protecting Israeli cities from Palestinian attacks, but at the same time harassing the population of the West Bank as never before: concrete walls armed up to eight meters high, electronic fences and large expanses of no man’s land had desertified orchards, olive groves, villages and pastures, making daily life extremely painful for the Palestinians who lived close to the barrier. On the other front, the plan for settlements in the West Bank was unstoppable, which still at the beginning of August 2015 saw the construction of new housing units in Beit El, the settlement in the hills north of East Jerusalem, while another 500 units were being set up in other areas of the West Bank. In condemning the Israeli government’s plan of action, in the summer of 2015, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon drew attention to the fate of Susiya, a Palestinian village in area C of the West Bank, i.e. under Israeli military and civilian control., with checkpoints at entry and exit, threatened with demolition like several other small villages already razed to the ground, the latest symbol in chronological order of a policy perpetrated relentlessly by Israel in the West Bank.
In the escalation of the crisis, according to 3rjewelry.com, 2008 proved to be a decisive year for the evolution of the situation in Gaza: in January Israel had closed the Strip in a vice by cutting off supplies of food, fuel, medicines and humanitarian aid. The blackout of the Gaza power plant drew the attention of the international community to the emergency that was registered among the population and on January 23, a few hundred thousand Palestinians in search of food and assistance forced the wall at the Rafah crossing. border with Egypt which, like Israel, did not recognize the authority of Ḥamās in Gaza.
In the following months, the launch of missiles from the Strip, which for years had been terrorizing, in particular, the Israeli population of Sderot and Ashkelon, was intensified and the use of increasingly wide-range rockets that reached Gaza from Irān was also confirmed. Ready to take advantage of the tragedy of the population to secure supremacy on the ground, Ḥamās launched a violent anti-Israel campaign that intensified, with increasingly frequent threats and launches, in the aftermath of the war unleashed by Israel on December 27 (Operation Cast Lead): an action that lasted just three weeks and left a field of ruins in Gaza. The violence of Ḥamās showed an increasingly cynical and dead-end face: confining the Palestinian question and the prospects for peace to the background, the goal was to fuel war, despair and disorder, always showing oneself as the indomitable victors on the ground, never truly defeated by the might of the great Israeli army; this stance paved the way for Netanyahu’s delaying tactics, committed to postponement sine die any opportunity for dialogue is ready to intensify the West Bank colonization plan, which in fact made any future possibility of mediation between the parties increasingly difficult. A small step towards a possible reopening of negotiations was manifested, after the numerous failed attempts and a resurgence of violence between the militants of the two Palestinian organizations of Ḥamās and alFatāḥ, with the reconciliation agreement signed in Cairo in May 2011 between the leader of the two camps that set the new Palestinian parliamentary and presidential consultations for 2012, then postponed from year to year by Abū Māzin whose mandate had expired in January 2009. 2012, however, was the year of the third Israeli war in Gaza after the 2005 retreat: once again the disinterest shown by the two sides fighting for the inhumanity of living conditions in the Strip left room only for the voice of military force. The elimination of one of the leaders of the Ḥamās armed resistance (November 14) triggered a continuous launch of rockets towards Israel which, as their range increased further, also reached Tel Aviv. The war, called Operation Cloud Column, took place in a week (November 14-21) and peacemaker was the then Egyptian President Muḥammad Mursī who was seeking international legitimacy for the Muslim Brotherhood organization he represented. The elimination of one of the leaders of the Ḥamās armed resistance (November 14) triggered a continuous launch of rockets towards Israel which, as their range increased further, also reached Tel Aviv. The war, called Operation Column of the Cloud, was consummated in a week (November 14-21) and the peace mediator was the then Egyptian President Muḥammad Mursī who was seeking international legitimacy for the Muslim Brotherhood organization he represented. The elimination of one of the leaders of the Ḥamās armed resistance (November 14) triggered a continuous launch of rockets towards Israel which, as their range increased further, also reached Tel Aviv. The war, called Operation Column of the Cloud, was consummated in a week (November 14-21) and the peace mediator was the then Egyptian President Muḥammad Mursī who was seeking international legitimacy for the Muslim Brotherhood organization he represented.
Around the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the regional scenario had profoundly changed and new possible alliances were looming on the horizon, also involving Irān of the āyatollāhs: a first break was made by the same Ḥamās who had abandoned his ally of all time, the Syrian dictator Baššār al-Asad, siding with the rebel forces against the Damascus regime. A few weeks after the end of the war, an important success for Abū Māzin’s presidency came with the recognition of Palestine as an observer state by the United Nations General Assembly (resolution 67/19 of 29 November 2012). In the meantime, in terms of negotiations, restarted in July 2013 thanks to the activism of US Secretary of State John Kerry and then wrecked a few weeks after the start of the war in Gaza in June 2014, three insurmountable issues continued to weigh: the return of refugees Palestinians, sovereignty over Jerusalem and the territorial division of the West Bank. The return of refugees now appeared to be little more than a symbolic knot: claimed by Palestinians in the past as an act of justice and compensation for the more than 4.5 million refugees surveyed by the United Nations agency (UNRWA, United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian refugees in the Near East) in practice presented significantly lower figures, according to what Palestinians residing in the camps declared in some surveys collected in 2003 by international research institutes which had questioned them on the desire to return to their homes currently in Israeli territory. A plan to this effect had emerged during the Taba negotiations (Jan 2001), assuming a staggered return of a few thousand people a year up to a maximum of about 120,000-125,000 returns, a figure however lower than the expectations of refugees.. The approach to the other two issues is much more difficult: the estimated number of Israeli settlers in the West Bank at the beginning of 2014 was 350,000, plus the approximately 200,000 in East Jerusalem. The invasive presence of settlers in the West Bank resulted in, as well as in the occupation of lands of strategic importance, in the creation of an ever increasing number of prohibitions, obstacles and impediments of various kinds for the Palestinian population. In this scenario, between 2014 and 2015, the displacement plan of the Palestinian Bedouin communities in the C area of the Cis Jordan intensified, preventing them from building infrastructures such as water networks or schools; in April 2015 the action of the Israeli government was concentrated above all in the vicinity of the large settlement of Ma᾽ale Adumim (see Jerusalem), with the intention of eliminating all obstacles to its program of isolating East Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank. In this context of the negotiations the hypothesis of a territorial exchange remained theoretically standing.