The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Will It Ever End?

Israel and Palestine
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The Independent Commission for Human Rights in Palestine ICHR , a statutory commission charged with monitoring human rights compliance by the Palestinian authorities, received complaints of arbitrary arrest, complaints of torture and ill-treatment, and complaints of administrative detention pursuant to orders from a regional governor by PA security forces as of October In the same period, the body recorded 81 complaints of arbitrary arrest and complaints of torture and ill-treatment against Hamas security forces.

Israel continued to maintain its more than decade-long effective closure of Gaza, exacerbated by Egyptian restrictions on its own border with Gaza, limiting access to water and electricity households in Gaza received power between four and five hours a day on average during most of the year. Israel also restricted access to medical care and educational and economic opportunities. Israeli authorities continued to expand settlements in the occupied West Bank and to discriminate systematically against Palestinians and in favor of settlers, in providing services, allowing freedom of movement, and issuing building permits, among other actions.

During and the first eight months of , Israeli authorities approved plans for 10, housing units in West Bank settlements, excluding East Jerusalem, and issued tenders for 5,, as compared to approving plans for 4, units and issuing tenders for units in all of and , according to the Israeli group Peace Now. Meanwhile, Israeli authorities destroyed Palestinian homes and other property, forcibly displacing people as of November 19, the majority for lacking construction permits that Israel makes nearly impossible for Palestinians to obtain in East Jerusalem or in the 60 percent of the West Bank under its exclusive control Area C.

How much blood is proportionate?

Israel recently absorbed another barrage of rockets from the Gaza Strip launched by Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ). These violent. It will end when Palestinian leaders or citizens start to grasp that being at peace and having a sovereign state on whatever piece of land they Have you ever googled yourself? Keep in mind that Hamas can never win a war against Israel .

In the first eight months of , the army approved only 60 percent of permit applications from Palestinians seeking medical treatment outside Gaza. During the first 10 months of , an average of about Palestinians exited the Erez crossing each day, compared to the daily average of more than 24, in September , according to the Israeli rights group Gisha.

Outgoing goods in the same period, mostly destined for the West Bank and Israel, averaged truckloads per month, less than 20 percent of the average 1, truckloads per month prior to the June tightening of the closure. The limited supply of electricity in Gaza compromised the water supply, sewage treatment, and hospital operations. Shortages of fuel, needed to operate generators during power outages, stemming from various factors including disputes over payment for the power between the PA and Hamas and exacerbated by Israel blocking entry of fuel in July, led to the partial closure of several hospitals. About 17, Palestinians who lost their homes remain displaced.

The Israeli government said that to prevent construction materials from being diverted by Hamas for military purposes, it would allow in only limited quantities under the supervision of international organizations.

The only way to stop fighting is to stop fighting

Search Search. France stands ready to support any effort that adheres to international law, specifically all Council resolutions. Returning to the situation in Gaza, she said the United Nations is working closely with Egypt to mediate and de-escalate tensions. The Palestinian territories would not likely turn into anti-Israeli strongholds for Arab armies, and even in that conflict, Israel is not precluded from attacking an independent Palestine for violating an Israeli-Palestinian demilitarization treaty. The bombing of a migrant reception centre and the targeting of a hospital requires firm condemnation. See updates on this legislation: peacenow.

Egypt also restricts the movement of people and goods at its border with Gaza at Rafah. Egyptian authorities opened Rafah on a more regular basis beginning in May, with an average of 11, crossing monthly in both directions between May and October, but still a fraction of the average of 40, per month in the first half of Many of the injuries were life-changing, including hundreds of cases of severe soft tissue damage, some necessitating amputation of limbs.

Most of the killings took place in the context of protests, where Israeli forces, following orders from senior officials, used live ammunition against people who approached or attempted to cross or damage fences between Gaza and Israel. Israeli officials rejected the international human rights law standard in policing situations that prohibits the intentional use of lethal force except as a last resort to prevent an imminent threat to life. They argued that live ammunition was necessary to stop breaches of the fences, which they claimed was a Hamas strategy to enable militants to kill or capture Israelis, without sufficiently addressing why lesser measures would not have worked.

Attacks by Palestinian armed groups in Gaza, mainly indiscriminate rocket attacks, led to the injuries of more than 40 Israelis as of November Hamas authorities continue to disclose no information about two Israeli civilians with psychosocial disabilities, Avera Mangistu and Hisham al-Sayed, whom they have apparently held for several years, in violation of international law. In addition to regular arbitrary arrests of dissidents and torture of those in its custody, Hamas authorities have carried out 25 executions since they took control in Gaza in June , though none in , following trials that lacked appropriate due process protections.

Courts in Gaza have sentenced people to death in this period, according to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights. The new Palestinian state would be demilitarized, at least for a long period of time, but it would likely receive East Jerusalem as its capital. Palestine would grant the right of return to Palestinian refugees, while Israel might repatriate a demographically insignificant refugee population and accept partial responsibility for the exodus.

Settlements in the West Bank, which are illegal under international law but have proliferated in recent decades, are often regarded as the greatest impediment to a peaceful resolution to the conflict.

Palestine, Israel and the Arab-Israeli Conflict

Israeli settlers should be faced with a fair choice. They can accept the authority of the Palestinian government that must afford the economically productive settler minority the same rights as those that Israel grants its sizable population of Arab Palestinians. Independence for the West Bank would ideally be coupled with a lasting solution for Gaza.

While Hamas deliberately targets Israeli civilians and has been accused of using human shields , Israel continues to accept many civilian deaths as collateral damage in its military operations. Israel, which gets more U. This time, the United States needs to up the ante. Building trust with the Palestinians will be difficult but essential for any negotiations. In the last thirty years, the Labor Party has only managed to build a peace coalition for two brief historical moments.

The first one culminated in the Oslo Accords with the Palestinians but lost its leading personality when Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated by a right-wing extremist. The second occurred at the end of the twentieth century, when Prime Minister Ehud Barak promised to do everything to achieve a peace treaty with the Palestinians. Today we know that he was not at all ready to agree to the establishment of an independent Palestinian state and that his Palestinian counterparts in the negotiations could not possibly accept his offer.

The Labor Party does not base its acceptance of a two-state solution on the wish to achieve peace, but rather on the desire to separate themselves for good from the Palestinians so that Israel will attain greater security.

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Yet, there is a constant undercurrent, namely the idea that Israel is a Western island in the midst of what is perceived as a barbarian environment and should therefore be fortified. Thus, mistrust is stirred up, perhaps understandable in light of the wars, crises and dictatorships in neighboring countries, but it unfortunately plays into the hands of the right-wing parties, who are much more capable of profiting from the politics of fear. Considering the asymmetrical power relations between the parties to the conflict, the PA has made every effort over the past years to comply with the parameters set by the superpowers for the realization of a two-state solution, but its efforts were in vain.

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Moreover, its room for maneuver is highly circumscribed due to its dependence on Israel and the international community. As a result, repression is interwoven with co-optation. As in other rentier systems, patronage becomes a decisive factor in this system, detached from the population that it claims to represent, because the system does not depend financially on the population and can hence ignore their needs with impunity.

While most of the population lives in poverty, a social stratum close to the system thrives and is able to afford expensive restaurants or private schools — a stratum including, among others, the al-Masri family, who have become immensely rich billionaires. Twelve security apparatuses secret police, gendarmerie, military intelligence, special forces, presidential guards, etc.

The budget for these apparatuses is higher than what is spent on health and education combined. Their competences are strictly limited to the Palestinian population, and they are not allowed to touch Israeli citizens, as for example settlers who regularly damage Palestinian property. For Israel, they constitute a cost-saving substitute for its own troops for keeping order and suppressing violence against Israeli settlements and infrastructure.

After more than twenty years since its establishment, it is high time to consider whether the PA is necessary to the process of establishing a Palestinian state or whether it has become an integral part of the occupation.

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The PA faces a severe dilemma: There are voices, even among members of Fatah, the predominant organization in the PA, who advocate dissolving the PA and returning to a direct Israeli occupation regime. Yet, as long as there are so many people, especially those close to the regime, whose livelihood depends on the PA, many seem to cling to the hope that a Palestinian state will be established, eventually. Given the failure of direct negotiations with Israel, the Palestinian leadership lately seeks to foster an internationalization of the conflict, by attempting to take the UN, the International Court of Justice, and the international community to task.

The Israeli settlements should be ostracized; a Palestinian state should be recognized; and the parameters for a conclusive two-state solution should be determined by the international community. The Israeli establishment and its allies fight these efforts vehemently, labeling them as warfare by judicial and diplomatic means, and the Western world responds to those efforts with hesitation or even rejection.

One of them is a rather low-threshold movement, promoting sumud steadfast perseverance and employing passive resistance against the expropriation and expulsion of Palestinians from various parts of the West Bank. For example, demolished buildings are re-built; land is cultivated, even though it has been declared part of a closed military zone; and alternative institutions are established. It is an international campaign, drawing inspiration from the South African example, that aims at increasing the pressure on Israel to end the occupation.

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BDS nevertheless is gaining momentum and even drawing support from some Israeli and Jewish peace activists, including renowned ones. The third movement is called nonviolent or popular intifada, which seeks to bring international pressure on Israel by means of demonstrations, strikes and road blocks, to revive the Israeli peace camp and thus to bring about the end of the occupation.

However, such an endeavor does not seem realistic today given the mechanisms of oppression employed by the PA and by the Israeli military on the one hand, and the current state of Palestinian society, on the other. The only other option discussed today is an armed intifada.

2) Help Prevent an Even Greater Humanitarian Crisis in Gaza

Hamas, who rules the Gaza Strip with a very heavy hand and employs intimidation and at times torture in order to compensate for its dwindling popularity, still calls for an armed intifada. But that seems to be merely a matter of political expediency considering that Hamas is moving closer to Fatah in its positions.

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Israel appears much too powerful; and the fear of war and chaos in light of the TV images from Syria and Yemen, not to mention the exhaustion after two intifadas, are all too acute. Left and liberal groups are increasingly distancing themselves from Israel, while the identification with Israel intensifies within extreme right-wing circles, especially in conjunction with the idea of a common enemy, namely Islam. There is a similar situation in the large Jewish communities in the USA: a growing conservative wing in the traditionally progressive Jewish communities enthusiastically sides with Netanyahu, whereas leftists and liberals, in particular younger people, increasingly support either J-Street — an organization established in as alternative to the powerful conservative American Israel Public Affairs Committee AIPAC that is close to the Israeli left and is critical of the occupation — or the Jewish Voice for Peace, an anti-occupation organization that explicitly endorses the BDS campaign.

The special relations between the USA and Israel are nonetheless based on firm foundations. Yet, even though the US American President has announced that he wants to broker the ultimate peace treaty between Israel and the Palestinians, it is unclear how he intends to achieve that.

How the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Began - History

Especially with regard to the Middle East, Europe leaves the leading role to the USA and is content to serves as second driver. Moreover, European, particularly German, history in itself is a major reason for solidarity with Israel. As a result, Israel is probably the non-European state with the closest relations to the European Union.

Money Can’t Buy Palestinians’ Love

Many among the political elites in the European capitals have realized that the two parties to the conflict are — on their own — hardly able to reach a mutually acceptable solution because the asymmetry in the power relations between the two parties is much too unbalanced. And yet, the European states are still insisting on resolving the conflict only by direct negotiations between the parties, despite the one-state reality materializing on the ground. Whether out of deference to their more powerful governing partner, the US, or out of a cacophony of approaches and interests by dint of their diverse constituents, Europe remains unprepared to embark on any deeper involvement, such as determining the parameters of a solution as outlined above, or taking concrete steps toward the realization of a two-state solution.

Public opinion in Europe — and the opinion of many European politicians and civil servants speaking off the record — differs a bit from the US American one. At the time of the Oslo Accords, public opinion in Europe was marked by a pro-Israeli euphoria. The growing gap between official policy and public opinion would hardly be manageable if there were no other divergent developments as well.

In a process of modernization, the right-wing populists who are on the rise are replacing their traditional anti-Semitic resentments with the idea of an imagined front for the defense of some Jewish-Christian Occident against oriental Islam, and Israel and its hegemonic right-wing are seen as highly important symbolic and strategic allies. At the same time, many opponents of the occupation face accusations of anti-Semitism voiced by pro-Israeli organizations, as happened recently in the British Labour Party, and previously in the parties, The Greens and Die Linke in Germany. Considering the controversial and potentially explosive state of affairs, European actors tend to be undecided and, hence, to act half-heartedly.

For example, the European Union decided that the few products imported from Israeli settlements should no longer be marked as coming from Israel, since the European Union does not recognize the Israeli settlements in the Occupied Territories as part of Israel. Yet, the decision was defended as a technical, procedural matter, rather than as a political message. Moreover, the European Union rejected demands to stop the import of such products altogether given that it considers Israeli settlements a contravention of international law.

The European parliament and other national parliaments have stated their support in principle for the recognition of a Palestinian state, but until now only Sweden has actually done so. According to Irish sources, it is only a matter of time until Ireland will formally recognize a Palestinian state.

In Germany, such recognition is not on the agenda, not even after the general elections. Israel has gained greater economic and military independence from the USA and Europe. In addition, Israel itself produces important technologies, such as drones and network security technology, for which there is a growing demand in Western and non-Western countries since the terror attacks on September 11, Its former enemies, such as Syria and Iraq, are falling apart, while Israel increasingly shares similar interests with Egypt under the authoritarian ruler Abd al-Fattah al-Sisi and the extreme Islamist monarchy in Saudi Arabia, as for example in their positions toward Hamas and Iran.

In general, the conception of a two-state solution is so firmly established in the international arena that any search for alternative solutions is perceived as unrealistic fantasizing. At the same time, the Israeli—Palestinian conflict that used to be seen as urgently requiring a solution has slipped into the background as newer, more acute conflicts in the Middle East have sprung up. In the past the resolution of the Israeli—Palestinian conflict was thought to be the key to peace in the entire Middle East and to a rapprochement between the West and the Arab states.

By contrast it seems today that other hot spots Syria, for example have to be tackled first, before dealing with the Israeli—Palestinian conflict. There is doubt whether this is a suitable time for establishing such a miniature state as the envisaged Palestinian one, which is bound to be unstable and whose chances for development are far from optimal given the circumstances on the ground. For the time being the occupied Palestinian territories will have to join Western Sahara, Kashmir and Northern Cyprus — all long-standing occupations deemed currently unresolvable.

Given the growing doubts whether a two-state solution is realizable, or perhaps due to an explicit rejection of such a solution, alternative conceptions of a peaceable resolution are gaining currency among both Israelis and Palestinians in recent years. These alternatives include one-state models, with either Jewish or Palestinian dominance, or a bi-national state with complete equality, and models of a confederation of two independent states.

In addition, the plan of a unilateral Israeli withdrawal from parts of the West Bank is still in circulation. Others, however, do demand a formalization of the one-state reality. Education Minister Naftali Bennett, head of the extreme right-wing settler party, The Jewish Home, and member of the security cabinet, calls for the annexation of some 60 percent of the West Bank, including all Israeli settlements.

The Palestinians in these areas, tens of thousands, possibly more than , people, should receive Israeli citizenship, whereas the enclaves currently administered by the PA, where the vast majority of the Palestinian population lives, would be granted limited administrative autonomy.

By contrast, some more independently-thinking members of Likud, such as Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, favor the annexation of the entire West Bank while granting individual civil rights, but only limited collective political ones to all Palestinians residing there.

This does not include the almost two million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, otherwise it would be impossible to ensure a Jewish majority. The settler movement, the strongest lobby in Israel, is the driving force behind these deliberations. Extending to the core of the Israeli consensus, the influence of the settler movement is due to two continuities in Israeli discourse. Firstly, the state of Israel was founded by European Jews, who settled in a country that was already inhabited. The indigenous population had to be pushed out in order to create a safe haven for Jews persecuted in Europe.

The settler movement can thus argue that they are finishing the project started by all the venerated founding fathers.