The Middle East Was Once Again a Tale of War and Peace in 2021
Both sides celebrated what they called “their own victory.”
The long-running conflict between Israel and the Palestinians hadn’t seen anything like it for years. In May 2021, 11 days of escalating violence sparked by rising tensions in Jerusalem, around holy sites and the east of the city, would eventually leave more than 250 dead, including more than 100 children. Thousands were wounded.
Most of the fatalities would be in Gaza. Israeli airstrikes inflicted huge damage on the Hamas controlled territory, launched in response to the group’s rocket fire. Several high-rise buildings were destroyed.
The tensions were rooted in history, but the 2020 Abraham Accords were also blamed for inflaming the situation significantly. Brokered by Washington, the deal normalised relations between Israel and four Arab countries – the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan – arguably, isolating the Palestinians.
Eventually, a fragile truce was forged with the help of Egypt. The Israeli government unanimously approved it. Hamas and Islamic Jihad agreed to respect it. Both sides celebrated what they called “their own victory”.
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