European Union officials in Brussels are alarmed over the political crisis in Ramallah and the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip, especially considering US policy in the region and the move of the US Embassy to Jerusalem in May. A senior EU official close to High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini defined May as “the month of violence.” Speaking on condition of anonymity, the official said, “It seems very difficult to prevent an outburst of Palestinian violence given several factors.”
According to the official, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ punitive economic measures against the Gaza Strip and Hamas have turned the humanitarian crisis in Gaza into a powder keg ready to explode. To that she added the 70-year anniversary of what the Palestinians call Nakba Day on May 15, which commemorates the 1948 Palestinian exodus. The official noted that given the various investigations Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is undergoing, Netanyahu wishes to be perceived in Israel as Mr. Security. This could also trigger provocative actions.