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Is it a dawn of realism in Israel-Palestine region or just an adjustment to time?
Three Israeli teens, Naftali Fraenkel and Gilad Shaar, both 16, and 19-year-old Eyal Yifrach, were kidnapped and subsequently killed in West Bank few weeks back, apparently by Hamas militants. In an almost definite revengeful reaction a Palestine teen Abu Khieder, aged 16, was killed by Jewish extremists in East Jerusalem.
Israeli police have arrested six Jewish extremists and three of them have reportedly confessed to their crimes of kidnapping and burning alive the Palestine teen. The assailants of three Israeli teens are thought to be absconding and remain unpunished.

In a rather unusual and apparently surprising move, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke by telephone with the youth's father, Hussein Abu Khieder, on Monday 07 July, 2014, saying, as reported by the New York Times (NYT) from the Prime Minister Office sources, "I would like to express my outrage and that of the citizens of Israel over the reprehensible murder of your son."

"We acted immediately to apprehend the murderers," he continued. "We will bring them to trial and they will be dealt with to the fullest extent of the law. We denounce all brutal behavior; the murder of your son is abhorrent and cannot be countenanced by any human being." Mr. Netanyahu had called for calm on Sunday 06 July, 2014, saying, "Experience proves that at such times we must act responsibly and with equanimity, not hastily. We will do whatever is necessary to restore quiet and security to the South." But he also called on the Palestinian Authority, which controls some areas of the West Bank, to go after the killers of three Israeli teens. Israel blames the killings on Hamas, and it arrested hundreds of the group's members during its 18-day search for the teens.

In an interview Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livini said on killing of Palestine teen as reported by the Washington Post, "This a shock for most Israeli Jews, and I think it's a kind of wake-up call." "This is something that will change the way people think, and it will lead to a better understanding that we need to act when we see even the smallest signs of incitement, whether it is on Internet sites or price-tag attacks." 

Mr. Livini continued saying the conflict is "not just between the Israelis and the Palestinians, it is within Israel between different Israeli citizens, and this is what worries me the most."

Earlier Palestine Authority President Mahmoud Abbas also regretted the killings of three Israeli teens. Does the decency shown by the top leadership of both sides represent arrival of a new dawn in Israel-Palestine region (IPR) or does it just represent an adjustment to changing times?

Whatever be the case the decency from both sides is most likely to confine to mere lip service and even that may be short-lived because they cannot control their temper, emotion, anger, and frustration with the peace process and continuing feud. But the fact is that it is becoming increasingly difficult for both sides to celebrate death and other negativities. 

In this sense there is definitely a shift in strategy of Israel and both dominant Palestine factions. To understand things better let's wrap up the Israeli-Palestine relations in the recent times.

Israel didn't like Hamas-Fatah deal and unity government agreed between the two dominant Palestine groups and it has been frank and vocal in its opposition since beginning of signing the deal. The fact is that Hamas has been labeled as a terrorist organization by the US as it seeks annihilation of Jewish state. The recent incidents of kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers and the revenge killing of a Palestine teen have made the relationship between Israel and Palestine even worse.

On Sunday night; on 06 July, 2014, Israeli attacks killed 7 Hamas militants and two others in air strikes over Gaza strip. But after the attacks, Israel declared, rather unusually, that it didn't want any further escalation in Israeli-Palestine relationship. There have been attacks and counterattacks by Israeli forces and Hamas based in Gaza for past few weeks, particularly after kidnapping of three Israeli teens.

I don't know where these attacks would lead to but I know for certain that both Israelis and Palestinians have embarked on a path towards unapproachable and uncompromising political Right despite of some decency exhibited in public spaces by their top leadership, hardening their positions on the possible deal in the peace process. 

It won't help either of the sides. Before the situation deteriorates further and Israeli and Palestine officials take non-negotiable positions, I think the US should intervene.

Or else Palestinian people shall start intifada and Israel is going to respond it very high-handedly. Both the warring sides in the IPR fear and should fear the uprising and both may like to avoid it. But it may seem rather difficult to actualize it as it is difficult to control and contain one's reactions. Israelis reacted towards growing anti-Arab sentiments among the Jewish people by raiding Hamas hideouts. Now it would be difficult for Hamas not to react. In fact Hamas has promised awful revenge.

The actions and reactions are the most dangerous problems in the Middle East dispute. Now if Hamas reacts then so will be Israeli defense forces and the vicious cycle of violence will continue. More kidnappings, more killings, more rocket attacks, more air-raids and more human tragedy and continuing!  Egypt and Jordan are trying to restore Egyptian-brokered cease-fire between Hamas and Israel that went into effect in 2012 but till now such attempts have not been successful.

I think, sincerely and honestly, that President Obama should take lead in efforts to resolve the tensions in the IPR. He should make it clear to Israelis that when they claim themselves to be Western and be proud of that then they should behave like one. I know that there are constant and continuing demographic tensions in the West too, but not to the extent prevailing in IPR. 

Sure, the case of Israel is different and surely, it is no US. To Palestine people and their government President Obama should make it clear that they will have to live peacefully side by side and there is no question of the US tolerating any existential threat to Israel by Arabs of any nationality in any form in any time that can be conceived in the region. But eventually on this matter President Obama may have to work out with the US Congress.

I sincerely believe that Israel should accept a two-state solution as soon as possible. Delaying such an inevitable outcome indefinitely would make them in permanent, irreconcilable, and irresolvable dispute with Arabs of the region. Israel should understand that while it is true that without its consent a viable and independent Palestine state is not possible but peace and stability should be paramount to Israeli people. 

This is not possible while remaining in permanent conflict with Arabs over the latter's land rights and this could undo all the achievements and advancements made by Israeli society. It should remember that Western societies don't like to have territorial disputes with others and rarely with their non-Western neighbors.

On their parts Palestine Authorities, particularly Hamas, should understand that giving threats to Israel is suicidal and self-defeating. Let reason and not passion rule the mind of both Jews and Arabs. Better thing would be that the leaders of two people maintain their decency and agree on some dos and don'ts. 

This must include no kidnappings, no rocket firing by Palestine sides and no disproportionate reaction from Israeli side. Let changing time and consciousness put constraints on the behavior of both sides. Let people of both sides develop zero-tolerance for "nonsense". All should know that humans have been evolving for betterment and longevity of the race provided evolution of choice is allowed to take place. Let Israelis and Palestinian people evolve for a better life and a more symbiotic region.

I think in all honesty that decency will overrule passions and new uprising shall not start leading to unending sufferings and tragedy, mostly of Palestine people. But if Palestinians try so they will also be responsible for their agony. While the revengeful killing of Palestine teen should be condemned in all possible way, the same must be true about killings of three Israeli teens. Neither of the incidents should be forgotten and forgiven.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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