Security, Middle East
A battle like no other.
Protests and riots against America’s embassy move to Jerusalem have been ongoing for weeks, but reached their peak on May 14, the day the U.S. opened the new embassy. However, both the embassy-opening and the protests reflected the fact that May 14 was the day that Ben Gurion declared Israeli independence—a time of celebration on the Israeli side of the wall, or the Nakba (“Catastrophe”) in Palestinian historical memory, the moment in which Palestinians were destined to become a stateless people. The opening of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem, however, rubbed salt into the wound and both sides have made increasing use of new tactics and technologies, such as drones, in their clashes with one another.
For instance, since March 2018, the Israeli Defense Force has used two types of drones to release tear gas on Palestinian protesters—first a design which sprayed the gas from the air, then a reportedly more effective model that dropped canisters of gas, which you can see in this video.
While tense but non-violent Palestinian protests took place throughout in Israel and the West Bank, the situation was different in Gaza. Nearly seventy percent of the nearly two million Palestinians populating the 141-square mile territory (the third most densely populated polity in the planet) are refugees or the descendants of refugees. Many Palestinians were displaced from their homes following wars in 1948 and 1967. Since then, Israel has not accepted their return, instead starting in the 1990s to enclose Gaza with walls, fences and military checkpoints in the name their national security.
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