The new unity agreement between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas looks, at long last, to be going ahead. And lots of Palestinians, on both sides of the divide, are delighted that the divisions have finally been resolved, or at least, negotiated.
Many Palestinians are celebrating, whatever the fears of the US, the EU and others about Hamas. Not least because it could lead to a lot of family re-unions across the borders, after decades of separation.
That could mean, too, real links between Gaza and the rich fertile fields of the Jordan Valley in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. Although many of these areas are currently off limits, being in Area C and under total Israeli control, the city of Jericho, the oldest inhabited city in the world, is free for tourists to visit. While East Jerusalem and the West Bank attract some 1.5 million tourists each year, mainly from Europe and the US, as well as Israel and the neighbouring countries, the new unity agreement could also mean that many more Arabs, including members of the Palestinian diaspora living in the Arab Gulf states and Egypt, seek to visit Palestine … something that the Palestinian authorities are eager to encourage. For this, Bethlehem’s historic, landmark Jacir Palace Intercontinental is in a luxury class of its own.
More later on some of the thorny political issues, and surprisingly positive prospects, for investment and trade in Palestine in the near future.
Much depends, of course, on whether Netanyahu will side with the hawks, or liberals, in his Cabinet.
But, to get the flavour of the moment, here’s a bit about music and food.
As always, thanks for reading, and viewing.
© Pamela Ann Smith
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