While several countries in the Middle East are busy combatting a variety of problems, Israel and Palestine are continuing peace negotiations.
However, the prospect of a concrete outcome does not seem likely as the objectives each country are trying to achieve are starkly different from one another. For instance, while Israel puts forth the definition "Jewish State" as an indispensable condition, Palestine is reiterating its rights with regard to Jerusalem. As both sides possess a deep distrust in each other, it would be wise to keep one's expectations low.
It is most likely that a new chapter will be added to the long and complicated history of these peace negotiations once this round is over.
One party will become angry at the other and suddenly walk out, which will postpone the hopes for peace until the next unending marathon.
The thoughts and hopes for peace are so small, that even the President of the State of Palestine Mahmoud Abbas' son Tareq has expressed the opposite of his father's ideas.
Tareq Abbas, who was interviewed by The New York Times, stated that Jews and Arabs should be able to live together in a unified state stretching from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean. Tariq Abbas' statements are of course quite interesting when considering his father's endeavors in finding a two-state solution. This statement shows that Mahmoud Abbas is striving for a solution that he had not been able to convince his own family of.
For most people, Palestine denotes the West Bank, whereas the essential topic of Gaza is ignored during peace negotiations.
Neither the U.S. nor Israel clearly state what will happen with Gaza. On the other hand, the Mahmoud Abbas administration in Ramallah says that the Hamas and Fatah organizations will unite, but that there are no clear plans as to when and how this will happen.
What is more is that the disputes and clashes between the two main groups are intensifying with each passing day.
The Palestine problem resembles a two-piece puzzle. When one of the pieces is missing there is no point in mentioning the binding force of any political initiative.
Mahmoud Abbas does not hold the legitimacy of representing Palestine by himself. The promises or statements he makes on behalf of Gaza are not taken into consideration by Hamas or other groups in Gaza.
If the U.S., which perceives itself as a leader in world public opinion, truly hopes for peace between Israel and Palestine, it needs to solve the Gaza problem. There are at least 1.5 million people in Gaza trapped by embargos and restraints, and Israel and Egypt are racing each other in trying to suffocate it. Hopes, dreams and thoughts about the future are fading away, and it is only a matter of time before all the accumulated hate and anger will suddenly explode. It is impossible to speak of peace in Palestine without the removal of the inhumane embargo in Gaza.
To solve the problem, one has to first acknowledge its existence. People in Gaza need to be addressed as human beings, and their urgent needs must be fulfilled immediately.
Gaza should not merely be perceived as a "terrorism hotbed."
If Washington succeeds in looking at Gaza from its own perspective rather than Tel Aviv's, significant progress in terms of peace in the region will become a possibility.