In a further deteriorating situation in Gaza and escalating military tensions, 17 protesters were killed and more than 1,400 were wounded in the Great Return March, a call for the right of return for Palestinian refugees in the besieged enclave. The peaceful sit-in demonstration that sought to voice the fervour of the people to return to Palestine was a right of the people, and was to continue leading up to the commemoration of the Nakba on May 15. As condemned by the international community, the Israeli army’s use of force is indeed a violation of international law, breaching the legal obligation to distinguish between civilians and combatants.

As per usual, the UN Security Council failed to exact a cohesive stance of the issue, a testament to an obfuscation of its role in the region by a determined Trump administration. In the wake of the US government holding aid to UNRWA for Palestinian refugees hostage, a move that could prove catastrophic for millions of people in need, the political dimensions of the US stance on the disputed region may have an inflammatory role in the playing out of the violence on the border. Where withholding aid to UNRWA transgresses and undermines the prerogative of the UN and endangers the most vulnerable segment of the Palestinian people, depriving the refugees of the right to education, health, shelter and a dignified life, it further exacerbates the instability throughout the region, which will only lead to revolts and uprisings.

Over the past five months, Trumps peace plan for region has been intimated as being increasingly discriminatory towards the Palestinian state where it the Palestinians’ right of return would be ignore and the control of the Jordan Valley would be given to Israel. Further intimations allude to the establishment of a Palestinian state with provisional borders on half of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, without Jerusalem, with only humanitarian solutions to the refugee issue and keep Palestinian security and borders in the hands of Israel.

In the face of mounting military conflicts, and Trumps’ weighted and coercive attempts at forcing a reconciliation, the situation is in eminent danger of escalating into a mass resistance with implications for all those with a stake in the conflict; the Palestinians, the neighbouring Arab states, for the UN, for the EU, for Russia, for China, for the BDS movement, for liberal Jewish groups in the US and for all others in the international community.

With John Bolton as national security adviser, who does not ascribe to the two-state solution, the peace plan and US radical position on Palestine hints at feeble chances at the sanctimonious superpower brokering peace in the region. What its dithering deportment seems to have accomplished is to perhaps embolden and further legitimise the Israeli claim to the region, which is portrayed in this instance of undue atrocity.