The Forward Thinking Director held roundtable and bilateral meetings with Palestinian political figures, private sector leaders and youth groups in the West Bank and Gaza from 19th – 22nd October 2017. This provided opportunity to explore and share perspectives on the recent agreement reached regarding Palestinian political reconciliation. Although many saw the agreement as a positive step forward and displayed a cautious optimism, challenges nonetheless remain in place.

People, especially youth in Gaza, stated that the agreement must deliver practical results quickly if the agreement is to be perceived as different from previous efforts. At the political level, however, there is a desire to pursue reconciliation steadily and slowly so it may be sustainable. There is, therefore, a need to address this clash of expectations if the agreement is to form part of a meaningful and effective process going forward.