Dry Bones: Islamic Jihad decapitated
Dry Bones: Islamic Jihad decapitatedY. Kirschen

The decapitation of Islamic Jihad’s senior leadership in Gaza should help facilitate negotiations to successfully implement the creation of the Hashemite Kingdom of Palestine and end 100 years of conflict between Jews and Arabs.

The current conflict between Israel and Islamic Jihad was initiated when 100 rockets and mortars were fired into Israel from Gaza by Islamic Jihad following the death of a senior Islamic Jihad figure – Khader Adnan - after an 87 day hunger strike in an Israeli jail.

A targeted counter-response by Israel killed three Islamic Jihad commanders. A further 1000 missiles fired into Israel saw another three Islamic Jihad leaders eliminated by Israel.

A fragile ceasefire now exists.

Hamas stayed out of this current conflict – but threatened to enter the fray if Israelis hold a Flag March through Jerusalem on 19 May to commemorate the reunification of Jerusalem following the 1967 Six Day War. It, however, refrained from any action and the flag march took place.

Israel and Islamic Jihad last clashed in August 2022 – when Hamas also did not become involved.

The Saudi-based Hashemite Kingdom of Palestine solution published on 8 June 2022 – and subsequently amended – provides:

“The proposal for this expanded kingdom includes Jordan with its current borders, the Gaza Strip, and the 'West Bank' (areas inhabited by Palestinians that border Jordan, which means that they are not divided into islands). Hence the Israeli arguments about the need to preserve the Jordan Valley and other areas will become weak since these lands will then be under the control of a Jordanian government that has the credibility of keeping the peace with Israel. And the usual Israeli claim that it has no "peace partner" will also end.

Neither the PLO nor Hamas shall govern the new entity - whose capital will be located in Amman – not Jerusalem, which will become the capital of Israel only.

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has made it very clear that Israel alone will be seeking complete security control over all territory west of the Jordan River in any peace agreement:

“...West of the Jordan River ... Israel and Israel alone controls security. We control the airspace, we control the ground security, underground security in case they want to do tunnels... We’re not going to commit suicide for a favourable op-ed in the New York Times

Islamic Jihad has demonstrated once again how it and other similar terrorist groups can freely exist in Gaza – smuggling in weapons from Iran through Sudan and Sinai and target Israel without any attempt being made by Hamas to stop them.

The Hashemites could hardly be expected to fare any better.

Jordanian Member of Parliament Imad al-Adwan’s arrest on April 22 - while carrying 12 rifles and 194 pistols in his car - at an Israeli-controlled border crossing - will strengthen Netanyahu’s demand for total security control of all territory west of the Jordan River – including the Arab population of the newly-created Hashemite Kingdom of Palestine living there.

The failure of:

  • Jordan’s King Abdullah
  • PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas
  • Hamas Leader Ismael Haniyeh
  • Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman and
  • Benjamin Netanyahu

to reject the Saudi Plan since its publication 11 months ago – could see Israel’s security concerns being agreed to - allowing the Hashemite Kingdom of Palestine to become a reality.

Expediting negotiations to implement the Saudi Plan will reduce increasing tension in Gaza and Judea and Samaria ('West Bank') that could trigger a major humanitarian disaster.

Netanyahu’s decision to delay demolishing an illegal Bedouin encampment – Khan al-Ahmar – indicates Israel’s willingness to end – not perpetuate - conflict.

It would be a tragedy if this game-changing Saudi-based solution was consigned to the garbage bin of history before negotiations to successfully implement it have been fully exhausted.

Please join my Facebook Page: “Hashemite Kingdom of Palestine supporters”

Author’s note: The cartoon — commissioned exclusively for this article — is by Yaakov Kirschen aka “Dry Bones”- one of Israel’s foremost political and social commentators — whose cartoons have graced the columns of Israeli and international media publications for decades