By Paula Martinez
Violence between Israelis and Palestinians has steadily been increasing over the past months. Frustration and resentment between the two ethnicities has escalated to brutality and both sides are losing lives. While tension has always existed between the two sides, a major breaking point was alleged changes Israel was to implement, such as increased Jewish visits to a plaza outside Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa mosque where only Muslim prayer is allowed. This rise in tension has caused numerous stabbings of Israelis, at least eight have been killed in the past month, and a revenge stabbing of a Palestinian committed by an Israeli. On the other side of this feud, Israeli officers have also killed around forty Palestinians, twenty of them being accused of attacking first. Car ramming has also increased as there have been at least two reports of Palestinians purposely running over Israelis in the last month.
Conflict between Palestine and Israel dates back to the creation of Israel after the Holocaust and the Arab-Israeli War of 1948, which forced thousands of Palestinians out of their home. A fight over Gaza, a Palestinian territory with Israel influence, is the biggest issue between the two ethnicities. Multiple peace negotiations have been attempted but have thus far failed.
This escalation in hatred and violence has prompted a response from the United Nation’s Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon. In order to put a stop to this rise in violence, Ban has visited Jerusalem in Israel to promote non-violent peace efforts, declaring that the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis has gone on for too long. Ban stated that it was not too late to end the brutality but if nothing was done, it would only lead to a “dangerous abyss”. He spoke with Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and plans to speak with Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas and the Security Council about solutions to this continuing violence.