Just 3 days ago, according to News reports (AFP source) Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Hamas leaders entered into a permanent long duration truce to observe ceasefire across the border with Gaza pending talks within a month to be held in Cairo, Egypt ending the 50 day violent blockade on the part of Israel of Gaza in which more than 2300 people majority being Gazans were killed… Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu also said to AFP sources that the blockade of Gaza and it’s borders is lifted during the period of ceasefire to provide access to Gazans, the International Humanitarian Aid, Relief and Reconstruction work at the same permitting Gazan fishermen access to Sea up to 6 nautical miles.
The above news report is a cause for celebration across Gaza and for all peace lovers.
Brief Background: After immigration from Arab and Muslim Countries Jews occupied erstwhile vast Palestinian territory. Homeland of all Palestinian people and in 1948 declared a Jewish State in parts of the Palestine and 1949 US recognized Jewish Statehood and Jews got their statehood and named it as Israel which became member of UN in the same year.
Arabs protested to this in large numbers and since then Arab-Israeli conflict has been occurring. Israel using violence through war with Jordan acquired East Jerusalem, West Jerusalem from Egypt apart from depriving local Palestinians vast tracts of their motherland and steadily eroded Sovereignty and territorial integrity of Palestinians of West Bank, Gaza, West and East Jerusalem through forcible and illegal occupation which is against all cannons of International Law And UN charter, 4th Geneva Convention numerous accords and and Human Rights treaties. a number of UN General Assembly , and security Council resolutions notable among them being resolution 181 and 194 of General Assembly and chapter VI Security council Resolutions 242 , 338 in accordance with 4th Geneva convention are all non binding in nature and state thus:
According to Unanimously passed chapter 6 Security Resolutions of 242 and 338 of UN Charter of non binding nature:
The preamble refers to the “inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war and the need to work for a just and lasting peace in the Middle East in which every State in the area can live in security.”
Operative Paragraph One “Affirms that the fulfillment of Charter principles requires the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East which should include the application of both the following principles:
(i) Withdrawal of Israel armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict;
(ii) No state may acquire territory by force.
(iii) Termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgment of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force.” Israel, Palestine, and the United Nations
(iv) The June 4, 1967 border, also known as green line, is the internationally recognized border between the occupied Palestinian territory (i.e. West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip) and the State of Israel as per armistice agreement between Israel and Palestinian neighbors such as as Egypt, Jordan etc and Palestine in 1948 The occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) represents an area equivalent to 22 percent of historic Palestine The boundaries of the were established through the signing of armistice agreements between Egypt and Jordan , Palestine on the one hand, and Israel, on the other, following the war of 1948, and the subsequent creation of the State of Israel on 78 percent of historic Palestine. United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 242 emphasized the “inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war” and called for the withdrawal of Israeli forces from territories occupied during the June 1967 War. Israel has argued that UNSC Resolution 242 does not require it to withdraw from all the territories it occupied in 1967. However, such an interpretation is inconsistent with principles of customary international law.
(v) ICJ, Hague, in it’s advisory opinion in 2004 also affirmed this stand of UN and Palestinians.
The following points emerge from the above background discussion:
1) But for US and some Western Countries like France, Germany and Russia from Eastern Europe-all UN Members and Non Alignment Movement Member countries of Africa, Asia, Arab and Muslim Countries and Latin America have unanimously condemned Israeli aggression over Palestinian territory and it’s native people and their human right abuses on Palestinians such as denying access to food, drinking water and power, dismantling schools, higher Educational Institutions, Health care Institutions and ethnic cleansing of Palestnians through genocide of men, women and children and Rapes of Palestinian women whether participating in Israeli resistance movements or not within and outside Israeli Jails violating their chastity, honor, dignity and self respect as evidenced as reported by national and International media, Human Right Organizations including the West.
2) Hamas are unfairly branded as Terrorists by US and Israel and some western countries. But, I feel they simply offered resistance to Israeli Aggression and illegal occupation of their original inhabited Territories through violent self defense measures, which right is recognized by International Law.
3) Israeli Sovereignty to some parts of occupied territory and Palestinian sovereignty and territorial integrity to the rest of Palestine consisting of West bank, Gaza with greenline as border between Gaza and Israel was widely accepted.
4) All Palestinian Refugees now seeking shelter and residential status in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon etc has a right to eventually return to Proposed Palestinian state, their home land and rehabilitated including Socially and financially..
5) Israel should dismantle all its Jewish settlements over Gaza and West bank illegally created and they must be rehabilitated in Israel.
6). Status of Jerusalem: It is widely accepted although non formalized that status of Jerusalem is kept in abeyance and is on negotiation table. According to International law Israel has illegally occupied East and West Jerusalem from Jordan and Egypt and prior to that Jerusalem was under the occupation of Palestine, League of Nations Mandate and Subsequently under British Mandate must revert to status quo ante. That means either it must go back to Palestinians or be under the rule of an International Regime of UN on the basis of corpus seperatum principle,. As per International Law both east and west Jerusalem declared by Israel as it’s capital as per true international law interpretation, once an official Palestinian State is formed with all attendant rights such as admission to UN permanent membership status, its status until then in abeyance gets revived and status quo ante gets restored,.. Hence, The administration of this holy city rights vest in UN. Jerusalem city be brought under the rule of an International regime of UN Mandate as Jews, Christians and Muslims have equal rights to this historical holy city.
Recent Developments: in 1994 pursuant to Oslo Accords sponsored by US, PLO was formed and UN recognized it as the authority for Palestine However serious differences and vilent clashes cropped up between PLO represented by Mahamoud Abbas of West Bank and Ismail Haniyeh representing Gaza strip. Who won the 2006 legislative elections to Gaza.
Though the PA claims authority over all Palestinian territories , Hamas’ control of the Gaza Strip means its authority is de facto limited to the West Bank. The Authority’s budget derives mainly from various aid programs and the Arab League, while the Hamas government in Gaza was mostly dependent on Iran until the onset of the Arab Spring.
Since 2007, the Palestinian Authority has continued to oversee the Palestinian territories in the West Bank, while the Hamas government has continued to control the Gaza city However- Israel still illegally occupies Gaza and exercises control over it.
Recently, in 2011 President Barak Obama, the US President in an interview to CNN.com said: Israel must revert to pre 1967 borders with some swaps of land as mutually agreed and secure recognized borders as per the widely accepted greenline international border as per Armistice agreement as discussed above(1948)between Israel and the Proposed Palestinian State within the bounds of International Law. Territorial borders illegally occupied by Israel prior to 1967 include West Bank, Gaza and Jerusalem both east and west.
However, as the case of Israel and it’s internationally recognized right to exist as a Jewish State Palestinians too have a right to establish a separate state with right to self determination,Sovereignty, and territorial integrity and have rights to both East and West Jerusalem or Jerusalem city as their capital which are under illegal occupation of Israel. US too has not so far recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel along with UN.
What prevents Obama from sponsoring a chapter 7 binding security council resolution in terms of resolution 242 of Security council under chapter 6.Failing which the UN Security council can consider isolating Israel including expelling it from UN membership and imposing punitive sanctions such as trade sanctions and travel bans etc to make Israel succumb to mounting International Pressure, see sense and ultimately give into Palestinians just and equitable demands of Palestinian Sovereignty over illegally occupied Palestinian territory and eventual statehood for them including East and probably west Jerusalem as their capital.. Such sanctions would economically cripple Israel and eventually it might veer round to the world view to just and equitable restoration of land stolen from Palestine and stop Genocide and other human rights abuses in Palestine and stop all further bloodshed and cooperate with all UN members including US to establish lasting peace in the Middle East. UN should consider military strike on Israel only as a last resort.
Whatever maybe US strategic interests in its soft corner towards Israel, may be Advanced Israeli defense technology, Oil Politics or Simply its assertion of its Neo imperialistic stances. If really US is a promoter of Middle east peace- it along with other UN Members can pass binding SC resolution under chapter 7, in terms of General Assembly resolutions 181 and 194 and and resolution 242 ,338 of UN Security Council etc which unequivocally declared Israels illegal occupation of Palestine, violations of Sovereignty an territorial integrity of Palestinians Ceasefire , Genocide, Rapes of Palestinian women, Human rights abuses and other international law violations on the part of Israel against Palestine
As far as Jerusalem is concerned under the widely accepted corpus seperatum principle which is still on the negotiation table its administration be kept under the International regime of UN as it is equally holy for Christians, Jews and Muslims
In the alternative Since under International law the status of a disputed place, namely Jerusalem is kept in abeyance if a foreign country by use of aggression and force illegally occupies it and once a full-fledged statehood is granted to Palestine along with UN membership enlarging the current permanent observer status of Palestine to UN to a full-fledged member status -the original status quo ante gets reverted as per the true interpretation of International law,. Originally disputed Palestinian territory was part of Ottoman empire, Jerusalem was part League of Nations Mandate and briefly under British mandate. Hence it would revert to Palestinians after their statehood acquisition or would go to an International regime under UN.
If the above plans don’t work out then a Joint Administrative body consisting of equal number of secular representatives with administrative and impeccable credentials from both Israel And Palestine be directly elected to such body through democratic direct election under UN Supervision every 4 years.
US one of the leading democracies of the world should eschew its undemocratic Pro Israeli stance , Holocaust guilt complex and Israel must come out of its persecution and expansionist mania of illegal acquisition of foreign territories through war and finally settle Israeli Palestinian conflict as mutually agreed upon in the forthcoming negotiations in Cairo, Egypt and amicably resolve this burning issue of 6 decades to the satisfaction of both Israel and Palestine without causing heartburn to anyone of them and thereby establish lasting middle east peace.
Jews were only immigrants to Palestine. It is gross violation of International law, 4 th Geneva Convention /Except US whole world is condemning Israel’s unjustified and illegal stealing of vast tracts of Palestinian territory through war and related violence by practicing apartheid on the basis of Palestinian ethnicity and race.
If security council chapter 7 Mandatory and binding resolution is not passed by US and other UN members in terms of key UN General Assembly and Security council resolutions or in terms of resolution 242 of chapter 6 resolution conferring full statehood and permanent member status to Palestine consisting of all of Gaza, West Bank and East and west Jerusalem as Capital and rehabilitate them financially and permit all the Palestinian refugees to return unconditionally to their mother land, and dismantle all illegal Jewish settlements in occupied Palestine- the entire middle east peace process would be derailed and Palestine would keep burning forever.
I don’t think Hamas idea of Approaching the pro west dominated International criminal court in Hague, Netherlands would result in prosecution and punishment of Israeli perpetrators of War Crimes against Palestinians. Hamas Approaching ICC in all likelihood wouldn’t result in arrests of guilty Israeli Officials and awarding huge compensation to oppressed Palestinians all these years as ICC is only of recent origin and its retroactive Jurisdiction may not extend to beyond 2002.
Instead, in the event of failing to reach a fair solution as above discussed by me, Israelis and Palestinians can consider moving ICJ with all their attendant claims to the disputed Palestinian territory and evidence in support of it and once the court hears and adjudicate on their respective claims after judicial scrutiny for International Law violations and terrorism etc on the part of Israel and Hams etc it may award a fair settlement of the long pending Israeli Palestinian raging debated issue of more than 6 decades to the satisfaction of both and also would award handsome compensation from Israel to Proposed Palestine State for practicing apartheid towards Palestinians based on their race and place of origin and the genocide and other human rights abuses to the knowledge of world over.
Conclusion: In view of the forgoing discussion, I conclude that as discussed above, I support the view of majority world view that Palestinians have right to declare sovereignty and self determination in the Israel’s Illegally occupied Palestinian territories with mutually recognized borders with “green line demarcation , the international border, as existed in 1967 between Israel and Palestine(West Bank Gaza, Egypt, Jordan and East Jerusalem) should be recognized and settled as the border for the proposed Palestinian State, which is only 22% of original Palestinian territory between Israel and and Its neighbors such Jordan, Egypt ,and Palestine. US must demonstrate strong political will and Statesmanship in resolving the long pending much debated Israel and Palestinian conflict to the satisfaction of Palestinians by moving chapter 7 binding resolution of Security Council of UN Charter and ensure that it is unanimously passed without exercising its veto power. I hope, these legitimate and legal aspirations of Palestinian People would be ultimately met by US, UN and Israel in the proposed talks in Cairo, Egypt. I do hope-soon their dream of achieving their right to self determination through formal Statehood with Jerusalem(at least east) as their capital by UN conferment would be a reality rather than an utopia.