Jehad Abusalem writes in Middle East Eye:
Why has the Gaza Strip been excluded from the conversation on annexation? This question has haunted me for months, and upon the deadline for Israel’s bid to annex parts of the West Bank, it begs more attention.
For Palestinians, the act of annexation itself is not what is shocking; their land has been seized and colonised for decades. This annexation will be added to a history saturated with deadlines that marked further erasure of Palestinian existence.
While it is important to fight annexation legally, politically and diplomatically – for it is a crime and a violation of international law – the conversation around annexation has had its share of problems. A major tendency has been to limit the discussion about annexation and its potential repercussions to the West Bank, excluding other Palestinian communities in the diaspora or in the Gaza Strip.
In recent maps published by the Israeli government, the post-annexation landscape includes Israel proper, the West Bank and the Golan Heights, but not Gaza.
The Israel Policy Forum has said that a binational state will result from annexation, as “Israel reluctantly grants West Bank Palestinians Israeli citizenship”, while a recent academic article explored the “right of West Bank Palestinians to Israeli citizenship”.
This tendency to view Gaza and the West Bank as separate entities is not a new phenomenon. For years, the Gaza Strip has been in political limbo; no one wants to talk about its past, present or future.