Israel’s Costly Neglect

The Political Perils of Ignoring Gaza and East Jerusalem

Palestinians take part in a protest demanding the right to return to their homeland, at the Israel-Gaza border in the southern Gaza Strip, May 3, 2018. Ibraheem Abu Mustafa / Reuters

Last Friday marked the fifth consecutive week that thousands of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip gathered near the border fence as part of what organizers have dubbed the Great March of Return. The weekly protests are designed to draw international attention to the disastrous impact of the Israeli-led blockade on Gaza and to the plight of Palestinian refugees and have been strategically scheduled to end on May 15. This date will mark the 70th anniversary of what Palestinians refer to as the Nakba, or “catastrophe,” during which most of Palestine’s Arab population fled or were driven from their homes during Israel’s creation in 1948. Approximately 70 percent of Gaza’s two million Palestinians are refugees who came from lands in what is now Israel. Since the protests began on March 30, at least 45 Palestinians have been killed and several thousand have been wounded by Israeli forces. Although there have been instances of

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