PALESTINE: Struggle for Statehood
On April 1, 2015 Palestine officially joined The Hague-based International Criminal Court. This follows the 2012 recognition of Palestine by the United Nations as a non-member observer state, essentially giving it the same diplomatic status as Vatican City. Palestine now has membership in 44 international treaties - a firm assertion of statehood. This however remains a region in conflict with regular clashes between Palestinian youth and Israeli forces in the West Bank, consisting mainly of rocks and teargas. These clashes, though serious are dwarfed by the events of the 2014 Israel-Gaza War that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is expected to address with the International Criminal Court. Another obstacle facing the Palestinians is its fractious politics. The Fatah party controls the West Bank, while the Gaza Strip is controlled by Hamas. Perhaps one of the greatest challenges facing Mr. Abbas is the unification of these two political groups. This could be essential for the global recognition of the nation of Palestine. Yet, the struggle for statehood isn't about, in a daily sense, politics or religion. It is most notably about land and identity. It is about family and the people's desire to have a future for themselves and their children.