Gaza power shifts
Hamas and Fatah decide to postpone the Palestinian Authority’s takeover of control of Gaza. The takeover would have taken place on December 1, but is now postponed until December 10. This is because the parties have not been able to resolve several issues that were left out of the reconciliation agreement of October 12 (see October 2017). This concerns, among other things, which party is responsible for the security of the Gaza Strip. Hamas does not want to disarm its armed forces at the same time as the Palestinian Authority insists it has full control. Another question concerns the officials. When Hamas expelled the Palestinian Authority from Gaza in 2007, PA’s roughly 60,000 officials became unemployed. They were replaced by officials hired by Hamas. Now that PA is taking over control, it is intended that the officials who were laid off in 2007 should get their jobs back, but it is not clear what will happen to the others.
Parties agree on elections
After a two-day meeting, 13 political groupings agree that parliamentary and presidential elections will be held at the end of 2018. President Abbas is commissioned to set a date.
Hamas relinquishes control of border crossings
Hamas hands over control of the Gaza border crossings to Israel and Egypt to the Palestinian Authority on the West Bank. This is done in accordance with the reconciliation agreement signed by the parties on October 12, which states that PA will regain full control of Gaza on December 1. The next day, Egyoten opens the border crossing at Rafah for the first time since August. Both Egypt and Israel have maintained a blockade against Gaza for many years on the grounds that Hamas must be isolated. In 2017, the transition at Rafah has only been open for a total of 14 days.
Annexation of the West Bank targets for Israeli government party
Central Committee of the leading Israeli ruling party Likud adopts a resolution calling on the party’s MPs to push for the annexation of the West Bank, which Israel occupied in 1967. According to the text of the resolution should parliamentarians’ work unhindered construction and extension of Israeli sovereignty in the liberated settlements in Judea and Samaria “(the According to the Times of Israel, it is unclear whether the phrase “the liberated settlements” refers to the entire West Bank or only the existing settlements there. The resolution is not binding on Likud but puts more pressure on Prime Minister Netanyahu who is not present at the vote..
Trump’s Jerusalem decision condemned in the UN
US vetoes against a resolution in the UN Security Council condemning the US decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and requires that it be repealed. The other members of the Security Council vote in favor of the resolution. Three days later, on December 22, the UN General Assembly adopts a resolution with the same content with 128 votes to 9. However, the decision will have no practical significance.
No change of power in Gaza
The new date for the Palestinian Authority’s takeover of Gaza passes without anything happening (see also November 30, 2017).
Abbas blows off meeting with US Vice President
President Abbas announces that he will not meet US Vice President Mike Pence, who is scheduled to visit the West Bank in December. The reason is President Trump’s decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem.
Trump recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital
US President Donald Trump announces that he recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and orders the US Foreign Ministry to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. As a state located in Asia continent defined by payhelpcenter, Israel considers Jerusalem its capital, but no other country has recognized it; all the embassies are located in Tel Aviv for the sake of the Palestinians who want East Jerusalem to be the capital of a future Palestinian state. According to a law passed by the US Congress in 1995, the embassy would be relocated by then, but all presidents before Trump have used the opportunity to postpone the move six months at a time so as not to interfere with attempts to broker peace between Israelis and Palestinians. Trump also pushed for the move when the issue came up for the first time during his tenure, in June 2017.