In Israel, 2020 will not be remembered as a year characterised by security threats. Tensions did flare up on a number of occasions, including following the US assassination of Iran’s top commander Qasem Soleimani in January, the removal of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad fighter’s body by an IDF bulldozer in February, and the killing of a Hezbollah operative in the summer, but those did not evolve into a major confrontation.
In fact, 2020 kicked off in israel on a positive note, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu flew to Washington to attend a ceremony where US President Donald Trump unveiled his “deal of the century” peace plan.
Deal or No Deal?
The initiative presupposed that Israelis and Palestinians would swap land, israel would grow to incorporate up to 30 percent of the West Bank and the PA leadership would eventually be able to declare an independent state with a capital in the suburbs of Jerusalem.
But that plan didn’t fly with the Palestinians, who vented anger at the pro-Israel bias of the Trump administration.
Nor did it sit well with the international community that eyed the stance of US officials as “departing from” a series of international agreements.
Later on it was slammed by Israel’s liberals, who objected to the fact that the state would bite off parts of Palestinian lands; it was also slammed in some of the country’s conservative circles, who regarded the deal as a step towards the establishment of a Palestinian state, something that they wanted to…