Palestine continues to face serious challenges in building functioning democracy, the most obvious being Israeli occupation and expansion of settlements, which prevent Palestinians from building a normal life.
Palestinians continue to struggle for self-determination and a just solution to the conflict with a two-state solution including an independent Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders and having East Jerusalem as its capital. The Palestinian Authority, which governs the West bank, is marred by political stalemate and control over internal Palestinian affairs remains heavily constrained by the Israeli authorities. Especially in the Gaza strip, ruled by Hamas since 2007, the relationship with Israel has been characterized by tension and recurring violence from both sides. Gaza is at present exposed to a siege from Israel as well as Egypt.
Palestinians depend on international aid and in the West Bank and especially in Gaza the economy remains in tatters. Because of this, one of the main challenges faced by the political parties in Palestine is improving the economic situation, which continues to be highly contingent upon Palestine’s relationship to Israel.
In the West Bank, some aspects of the life of Palestinians, such as the educational and healthcare systems, function more or less the way they have done for decades. But political life in Palestine continues to be marred by the stagnation of its political institutions.
Palestine thus continues to face great external and internal challenges in terms of achieving democracy, but various political forces persist in trying to promote democratization through institutional reform as well as the enhancement of democratic culture.