On Monday, the United States moved its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, sparking fierce clashes in the Gaza Strip. However, despite dozens of deaths among the Palestinians, they are unlikely to swell into a large-scale conflict, experts told RBC.
The opening of the US Embassy on the day of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the state of Israel is a fateful reason for the Palestinians to step up their protests, Chief Researcher at the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences Irina Zvyagelskaya told the newspaper. However, despite the symbolic date the Palestinians understand that the US decision on moving the embassy cannot be changed, she noted. Israel believes that the diplomatic mission’s opening did not produce the anticipated effect.
Clashes in the Palestinian territories continue, but without the Palestinian leadership’s political decision they are unlikely to swell into large-scale protests, Elena Suponina, adviser to the Director of the Russian Institute of Strategic Studies, said.
“The Gaza Strip is de facto ruled by Hamas (the Islamic Resistance Movement), while the West Bank is under control of Fatah (the Palestinian National Liberation Movement). Without overcoming the differences between these two movements any mass protests are not in the cards,” the expert said.
According to Suponina, the major hazard from the opening of the American Embassy in Jerusalem is that terrorist attacks may increase in the Middle East and outside the region under the slogan of ‘revenge for Jerusalem.’
Israel should not show weakness under any circumstances, former Israeli Ambassador to Russia Zvi Magen said. “We live in the Middle East, not in Western Europe. Unfortunately, here they understand only the language of force. The better the organizers of protests and provocations understand that our intentions are serious, the calmer our borders will be. It will be easier for everyone when they think twice before starting a conflict,” he emphasized.