The Abraham Accords have been signed but if the deaths of over 3,500 Palestinians in Netanyahu’s tenure are anything to go by, peace will not be extended to those under occupation.
When God asked Prophet Abraham not to sacrifice his son and instead show his faith by slaughtering a sheep, it was a sign of God’s mercy. The ironically named ‘Abraham Accords’, signed in Washington, may have found their sheep: the Palestinians.
The controversial Israeli-United Arab Emirates (and Bahrain) normalisation agreement has been pitched as a ‘peace’ treaty between the two countries, even though they have never been at war with each other.
To top it off, the agreement has been framed as the Abraham Accords, to signify peace between the Abrahamic faiths of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
Yet for Palestinians at least, it signifies something altogether different. During the reign of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Abrahamic peace has been elusive for Palestinians living under Israeli occupation.
Since 2009, when Netanyahu became Prime Minister, almost 3,500 Palestinians, including women and children, have been killed as they strive for self-determination.
In 2019, Netanyahu, also known as Bibi, became Israel's longest-serving prime minister - a title previously held by David Ben-Gurion, the country's first PM.
Netanyahu has overseen two out of the three largest assaults on Gaza, an isolated and blockaded territory bordering Egypt. According to investigations by independent Israeli and Palestinian human rights organisations, between 1,385 and 1,419 Palestinians were killed during Operation Cast Lead, a majority of them civilians, including at least 308 minors under the age of 18.
Since taking power in 2009, there have been a further two operations in Gaza, one in 2012 and one in 2014.
In Israel, the policy of attacking Gaza every few years is known as “mowing the grass” - the human doth toll of which has been immense; the 2014 operation resulted in more than 2,100 civilian deaths by some estimates.
According to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, the 2014 operation led to more than 10,000 Palestinians being wounded and maimed.
The 2009 operation by Israel, although less deadly, still killed more than 170 Palestinians and wounded hundreds of others.
While the two conflicts represent the greatest loss of life of Palestinians at the hands of Netanyahu and the Israeli Defence Forces, a significant number have been killed by Israel for simply protesting.
Between 2018-19, Israel killed more than 189 Palestinians in Gaza for simply organising the Great March of Return, a peaceful protest aimed at raising the profile of the blockade imposed by Israel on the 1.3 million inhabitants.
Circa 8,600 civilians saw life-changing injuries with live ammunition used indiscriminately, tear gas canisters aimed directly into the bodies of protestors resulting in loss of sight and other horrific injuries.
In addition to the cost of human life, Palestinians have seen their properties destroyed - whether in the occupied Gaza or the West Bank.
The demolition of property has been a feature of Israeli action in the occupied territories both as a means of collective punishment in Gaza, or in the West Bank, in order to make way for Israeli settlers.
Netanyahu has been emboldened under the Trump administration to formalise the seizing of more Palestinian land. East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, both recognised as occupied territories under international law, have been recognised by the Trump administration.
More recently, Netanyahu proposed annexing vast swathes of the occupied West Bank, a move that was met with international condemnation but support from the Trump administration.
While the move has been temporarily suspended, the Abraham Accords promise to bring only more pain and suffering for the Palestinians.