Israel’s War on Gaza and The Two State Solution for Palestine

South Africa lodges a case against Israel at the International Court of Justice for Gaza Genocide

South Africa suffered from Apartheid – or apartness, a system of legislation that upheld segregation against its non-white citizens instituted by the National Party when it came into power in 1948.

Its all-white government immediately began enforcing existing policies of racial segregation. Under apartheid, non-white South Africans, the majority of population, were forced to live in separate areas from whites and use separate public facilities and contact between them was limited.

Despite strong opposition to apartheid from within and outside, its laws remained in effect for 50 years. In 1991 after F.W. de Klerk came into power he began to repeal most of the apartheid legislation. Nelson Mandela, the leader of African National Congress released from prison in February 1990, and along with de Klerk drew up a new constitution for South Africa.

With its apartheid past behind it, on January 8, 2024 South Africa lodged a case at the International Court of Justice against Israel that it has committed, and is committing Genocide in the Gaza Strip in violations of the Genocide Convention in the context of Israel’s 75-year Apartheid and 56 year of colonial occupation. The Palestinians thanked South Africa.

In contemporary international law the crime of genocide is part of the broader category of “crimes against humanity”, defined are by the Charter of the International Military Tribunal at Nurnberg to indict and try the leaders of Nazi regime for inhumane acts committed against civilians, as well as for acts of persecution on political, racial or religious grounds.

The genocide convention was invoked before an international tribunal in 1993, when the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina argued before the International Court of Justice that the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was in breach of its obligations under the convention. In 2019 The Gambia filed a lawsuit in the ICJ against Myanmar for its systematic persecution of Rohingya Muslim minority.

South Africa requested that the ICJ render immediate provisional measures of protection by issuing an order to Israel to immediately suspend its military operations in and against Gaza. Israel characterized South Africa’s charges as “baseless” and argued that it is conducting a war of self–defense in accordance with international law following the Hamas-led attacks on its territory on 7 October 2023.

Approximately 1,200 people, most of them civilians were killed in the attacks. Israel pointed out ongoing firing of missiles at civilian population centers, the kidnapping and holding of Israeli hostages in Gaza. It contended that its war cabinet and directives by military authorities show no genocidal intent. As a sign of how seriously they regard the case, Israeli leaders engaged with the court to defend their international reputation.

The International Court issued provisional order for protection Palestinians in Gaza

The International Court of Justice at the Hague heard South Africa’s public presentation on 11 and 12 January 2024 and its request for issuing provisional measures of protection in Gaza..

Israel was represented by several lawyers including Malcolm Shaw and Tal Becker, and South Africa legal team included John Dugard, Adila Hassim, Tembeka Ngcukaitobi and Vaughan Lowe. Israel and South African appointed Aharon Barak and Dikgang Moseneke respectively as ad hoc judges.

The Court recalled the attack of 7 October 2023 on Israel and confirmed it does have jurisdiction to hear the case submitted by South Africa and issued an order in relation to the provisional measures request on 26 January 2024 as follows:

  1. Israel must, in accordance with its obligations under the Genocide convention and in relation to Palestinians in ‘take all measures within its power’ to prevent the commission of acts prohibited in the Convention, in particular killing, causing serious physical or mental harm, the deliberate infliction of conditions of life calculated to bring about the physical destruction of the population in whole or in part, and the imposition of measures intended to prevent births; destruction of the population in whole or in part, and the imposition of measures intended to prevent births.
  2. Israel must ensure that its military forces do not commit any acts mentioned in point 1.
  3. Israel must take all measures within its power to prevent and punish direct and public incitement to commit genocide.
  4. Israel must take immediate and effective measures to enable the provisions of humitarian relief to Gaza.
  5. Israel must take effective measures to prevent destruction of of evidence relating to allegations of acts contrary to the Geneva conviction.
  6. Israel must submit a report to the Court within one month regarding the measures it has taken to give effect to the Order.

Orders 1, 2, and 6 were made by a vote among the judges of 15-2, the two in opposition being judge Sebutinde (of Uganda) and judge ad hoc Barak (of Israel). Orders 3 and 4 were decided upon by all the judges except judge Sebutinde.

The Court also noted that all parties are bound by international humanitarian law; it stated that it was gravely concerned by the fate of hostages and called for their immediate release. The Court has not taken a decision on whether or not genocide has been committed.

As members of the United Nations, both South African and Israel are bound by the Court’s ruling and cannot appeal a decision. However, the ICJ itself does not have any mechanism to enforce its orders.

South Africa or other nations could go to the UN Security Council to ask for a vote to require Israel to abide by the emergency measures ordered by the Court. The US as a permanent member of Security Council has used is veto against resolutions on Israel.

The U.S. vetoed three UN Security Council resolutions that called for a ceasefire in Gaza. A fourth resolution drafted by the U.S. was vetoed by Russia and China. The proposal tied ceasefire to the release of captives by Hamas and other groups in Gaza, and did not call for an immediate ceasefire.

Russia accused the US of deliberately misleading the international community and China said it dodged the central issue of ceasefire through its ambiguous language.

Algeria's UN ambassador said more than 32,000 Palestinians - mostly women and children - have been killed since the Israel war on Gaza and the US resolutions made no mention of Israel's responsibility for their death. White House national security said there was nothing new in the resolution, and stressed Washington's position of backing a temporary ceasefire as part of a hostage deal.

What is next at the ICJ?

Israel is required to submit its report on actions taken to fulfil the emergency orders by February 26, one month after the ruling. South Africa will then be given time to respond. The court will then access the report and additional information on Gaza’s ground realities. It could then conclude that Israel is not abiding by the first provisions and impose new ones.

The court will then also move with additional hearings and deliberations on the evidence presented by South Africa supporting its accusations against Israel and of Israel’s defense.

The judges will individually evaluate South Africa’s key claims in relation to genocide in Gaza, and the court’s eventual ruling will be determined by a majority. Experts say it could take three or four years before a judgement is passed.

Gaza ruled by Hamas

Gaza Strip is a narrow piece of land wedged between Israel and Egypt about 140 square miles on the Mediterranean. It is “one of the world’s most densely populated territories. It was part of Egypt and Israel occupied it during the 1967 war with Arabs.

Hamas, a Palestinian resistance organization took control of Gaza after winning elections against Fatah in 2006. Since 2007 Israel has maintained land, air and sea blockade on it, despite pleas from the United Nations and human rights groups.

Since 2006 Hamas has fought five wars with Israel. In 2021, Israeli authorities evicted six Palestinian families from Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in East Jerusalem and there was a gradual increase of Jews permitted to pray at the Noble Sanctuary. Palestinian protested and threw stones at Israeli police.

Hamas gave an ultimatum to withdraw from both places. For 12 days in May, 2021 Israel and Hamas exchanged heavy fire. As a result of attacks, 10 Israelis, 3 foreign workers and approximately 260 Palestinians were killed and many more injured.

The absence of a deliberate response by Palestinian Authority motivated Hamas to assert itself as guardian of Palestinian and Arab rights in Jerusalem.

Israel declared war on the Gaza Strip after 7 October 2023

Hamas launched a surprise attack on southern Israel on October 7, 2023 that killed 1,200 people and took about 200 hostages. In retaliation, Israel officially declared war on the Gaza strip, vowing to turn it into a living hell, while mobilizing American and European support to eliminate Hamas.

The West is complicit in Israeli genocide of Gaza. It provides weapons to Israel for killing Palestinians and at the same time it discusses delivery of aid to Gaza.

Palestinians in Gaza have been subjected to thousands of airstrikes since then. Then on the evening of 27 October 2023 Israeli forces launched a large scale ground invasion on Gaza with the expressed goal of destroying Hamas, freeing hostages and controlling the Gaza strip.

The Time reported on 6 November 2023 that Israel imposed a total siege cutting off electricity, water, food and medicine on top of a 16-year blockade that already left most Gazans reliant on aid. The Palestinian Health Minister said child casualties made up a quarter of the total.

The Time article said, “Israel on October 13 ordered the evacuation of more 1 million Palestinians from northern to southern Gaza, ahead of an expected ground offensive. Israel says the order – which the U.N. has said is “impossible” to carry out – is meant to protect civilian lives. But the U.N. and others have warned would cause a “humanitarian disaster.”

Israel’s directive charged Hamas fighters were hiding in tunnels under Gaza city and warned “in the following days” the Israeli army “will continue to operate significantly in Gaza city and make extensive efforts to avoid harming civilians.” However, more than 1,500 people – about half of them children and women were killed in relentless Israeli bombardment on Gaza city.

The broad order applied to all UN staff and hundreds of thousands of people who took shelter in UN schools and other facilities.

Israeli Forces order Gaza Palestinians to move south and inflicted devastation on Khan Younis CNN reported that early in the war, Israeli military designated Khan Younis as a safer zone and told residents from northern Gaza to seek shelter there. But as the IDF pushed to the south, the city became the next focus.

The IDF said Khan Younis was a Hamas stronghold, adding that the tunnel network underneath the civilian buildings in the city was likely where Hamas planned the October 7 attacks, and the city was the hometown to Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar. Hamas denied hiding in hospitals and other civilian structures and CNN could not independently verify either claim.

The devastation witnessed by CNN at Khan Younis was beyond imagination. Many buildings were completely destroyed, and the rubble bulldozed away. The ones left standing were damaged beyond any chance of repair. Scattered around a huge crater were remnants of a life gone. CNN was among a small group of reporters granted military escort to see the tunnels. It reported a huge crater left by bomb, like the one used in Vietnam war.

Al Jazeera reporter described the condition of Al-Amal Hospital, Al-Khair Hospital and Al-Aqsa University bombarded by Israeli offensive, without a safe corridor for people to escape. The Palestine Red Crescent Society reported its ambulances had been attacked, and first responders prevented from reaching the wounded. Gaza Ministry of Health reported that many of the dead and wounded were trapped in areas targeted by Israeli troops.

Israel attack Palestinians at Rafah crossing into Sinai, Egypt causing tensions with US
Rafah is at the crossing between Gaza Strip and Egypt. It is the name of city at the southernmost governorate of Gaza and crosses into Sinai governorate of Egypt. Approximately 1.4 million Palestinians have been pushed into it by Israeli forces.

Israel claims Hamas brigades are present within Rafah, and attacked by air and plans its land assault. It is feared that Israel wants to push Palestinians from Gaza into Sinai. Egypt has reportedly moved tanks and armored personnel-carriers to the Gaza border to halt any spell over into Sinai. It warned Israel that it would threaten Camp David peace accord.

Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s Prime Minister on February 11, 2024 reiterated his intention to extend the military operations into Rafah crossing. Panic set in as he rejected Hamas’s truce plan and rebuffed the efforts of the U.S. administration to reach a deal. Palestinians in Rafah feared “there will be massacres” if Israeli army moved into Rafah.

World leaders including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Spain, and Ireland warned Israel against ‘catastrophic’ ground attack on Rafah and said “there is nowhere else for civilians to go.”

Israel has carried out airstrikes in Rafah killing dozens, according to health officials, as Palestinians brace for a major offensive on the densely crowded urban area. The Israeli airstrikes have hit building structures and mosques in Rafah, according to Palestinian officials.

An official statement from Israel on March 15, 2024 said that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had approved plans for attack on Rafah, while planning to send a team to further truce talks in Qatar after mocking an earlier proposal by Hamas as “ridiculous”.

Israel allies and critics warned Netanyahu against Rafah invasion fearing mass civilian casualties, but the Israeli government claimed the area is a stronghold of Hamas which it pledged to eliminate.

NBC highlighted a report by Monica Alba et al. under the title “Amid deepening tensions, White House weighs how to respond if Israel defies Biden with Rafah invasion.”

It said that the White House is considering options for how to respond if Israel defied President Joe Biden’s repeated warnings against launching a military invasion of Rafah without a credible plan to protect Palestinian civilians, according to one former and three current U.S. officials.

The discussions are taking place amid the growing concern in the administration and frustration among congressional Democrats that the president’s pleas will simply be ignored.

The Biden administration set a March 24 deadline for Israel to provide written assurance, followed by U.S. government review that its use of American weapons is in accordance with international law. Failing to comply could force the issue of military support and potentially push the longtime alliance into new territory.

President Biden praised Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s speech that criticized Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, calling it “a good speech,” though he declined to elaborate.

Mr Biden said the White House was given advanced notice of Schumer’s speech, in which he called Netanyahu a “major obstacle to peace” and said he “lost his way by allowing his political survival to take precedence over the best interests of Israel.”

“He has been too willing to tolerate the civilian toll in Gaza, which is pushing support for Israel worldwide to historic lows,” Schumer said in a speech on the Senate floor.

“Israel cannot survive if it becomes a pariah.” He called on its government to hold new election, saying many Israelis have lost confidence in their government and it was the “the only way to allow for a healthy and open decision making process about the future of Israel.”

The Gaza Strip suffers from adverse economic conditions

Gaza strip is one of the most densely populated places in the world with more than two million people confined into 141 square miles (equal to 365 sq. kilometers) and is in dire economic conditions. Two-thirds of its population lives below the poverty level, and 80% relies on international aid provided by UNWRA.

The unemployment before the war stood at 45%, and its people lacked adequate access to clean water, electricity, and a proper sewage system. Much of the damage from previous wars with Israel remained unrepaired.

The UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) report on January 31, 2024 said the Israel’s ongoing military operations since 7 October 2023 have displaced 85% of Gaza population and will take decades to restore and require substantial foreign aid for recovery.

The war deepened the poverty and unemployment, and destroyed about 37, 378 buildings, equivalent to 18% of the total structures.

The UNCTAD report said, “Gaza’s economy is rooted in 56 years of occupation and 17 years of blockade, and necessitated its thorough understanding with realistic strategies to unlock its growth potential through measures that included restoring its international airport, building a seaport and enabling the government to develop natural gas fields discovered in the 1990s in the Mediterranean sea off the shore of Gaza to help finance the reconstruction of infrastructure.”

It required the resolution of crises, ending all military operations and lifting of blockade as pivotal steps towards realizing a two-State solution.

Recovery of the Gaza economy could take decades, according to the UN

The war in Gaza has resulted in an unprecedented level of destruction to its economy which will take tens of billions of dollars and decades to recover. A primary assessment of the social and economic impacts of conflict examined Gross Domestic Product (GDP) loss, recovery timelines and the enduring effects on poverty and household expenditure. It is estimated the annual GDP of Gaza declined by $655 million in 2023, equivalent to 24 per cent.

“If Gaza is to remerge with a viable economy, the military confrontation should end immediately, and reconstruction should begin in earnest and without delay. the international community needs to act now before it is too late,” the report by the UN Conference on Trade and Development recommended.

Gaza has been under blockade since 2007 after Hamas seized power, and had an average growth rate of 0.4 percent through 2022. The UNCTAD estimated that the economy had already contracted by 4.5 percent in the first three quarters of 2023. “However, the military operation has greatly accelerated the decline and precipitated a 24 percent GDP contraction and a 26.1 percent drop in GDP per capita for the entire 2023”, the report said.

The UNCTAD report said that if fighting were to stop immediately with reconstruction starting right away, and with the 2007-2022 growth trend persisting, it would take until 2092 just to restore the GDP levels of 2022, without GDP per capita and socioeconomic conditions declining.

“However, even with the most optimistic scenario that GDP could grow at 10 percent annually, it would still take Gaza’s GDP per capita until 2035 to pre-blockade level of 2006.”

Suspension of funding for the UN Relief and Works Agency following Israeli allegations

On January 18, 2024 Israel alleged that 12 of UNRWA employees were involved in the Hamas-led October 7, 2023 attacks in southern Israel. Philippe Lazzarini, head of UNRWA announced that he “immediately terminated” the contracts of employees identified and opened an investigation “to establish the truth without delay.”

The UN Secretary General confirmed the independence of inquiry into the allegations. Following the allegations Australia, Austria, Canada, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, New Zealand, Romania, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States announced they were indefinitely pausing payments to UNRWA in response to these allegations.

By contrast, governments of Belgium, Ireland, Luxembourg, Slovenia, Spain, and Norway issued statements confirming their continued financial support to UNRWA while also underlying the importance of investigation into the allegations. Instead of holding the critical funds, the European Union, and France issued statements clarifying that they intend to review the matter in light of UN investigations and actions they will take to decide when the time comes.

The UNRWA was established by the UN General Assembly in 1949 after the creation of Israel and was born from the ashes of what Palestinians refer to as Nakba, the catastrophe, and operates not only in Israel-occupied territories, but also in Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria where Palestinian refugees are. It has 30,000 employees and provides direct humanitarian assistance, human development and protection programming for more than 5.9 million Palestinian refugees registered with the agency.

The contributions of US, Germany and the EU to UNRWA in 2022 were worth $343.9m, $202.1m, and $114.2 million respectively. The donor suspension will leave it with a $440m shortfall.

The aid groups have highlighted the vital need for UNRWA operations in Gaza. 21 organizations put out a joint statement saying they were shocked by the decision to cut off a lifeline for an entire population by some of the same countries that called for aid in Gaza and protection of humanitarians while they were doing their job.

The director-general of World Health Organization and Doctors Without Borders echoed the calls to donors not to suspend their UNRWA funding. The Integrated Food Security Phase Classification, a multi-partner initiative issued a report concluding that the entire population of Gaza was at a crisis level of acute food security or worse.

Save the Children organization CEO called it “magical thinking” for governments that other aid groups can replace UNRWA in Gaza. The head of the Norwegian Refugee said other humanitarian groups combined are not being close to what UNRWA is for the people of Gaza.
Some Israeli officials and members of US Congress have carried out a campaign against UNRWA that it perpetuates “the refugee issue” and called for halting UNRWA in Gaza. The fact is no other entity has the capacity to deliver the scale and breadth of assistance that 2.2 million people in Gaza urgently need.

As an occupying power, Israel is obliged to ensure that the humanitarian needs of the population of Gaza are met. On January 26, the International Court of Justice ordered as provisional measures as part of South Africa’s case against Israel alleging violations of Genocide Convention.

The Court adopted binding measures that include requiring Israel to take immediate and effective measures to provide urgently needed basic services and humanitarian assistance to address the adverse conditions of faced by Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. The Court ordered Israel to report on its compliance in one month.

Israel exhiting “chilling disregard” for Palestinians in the West Bank - The Amnesty International. The Amnesty International organization published a report on February 5, 2024 that said, “Israel has unleashed unlawful lethal force against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, carrying out unlawful killings and displaying “a chilling disregard for Palestinian lives.”

“Under the cover of the relentless bombardment and atrocity crimes in Gaza, Israeli forces have unleashed unlawful lethal force against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, carrying out unlawful killings and displaying a chilling disregard for Palestinian lives,” said Erika Guevara- Rosas, Amnesty International’s director of global research, advocacy and policy.

“These unlawful killings are in blatant violation of international human rights law and are committed with impunity in the context of maintaining Israel’s institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination over Palestinians,” she said.

Palestinians in the West Bank were already experiencing deadly Israeli raids on a regular basis even before the war, but there has been an explosive increase in the number of Israeli attacks since October.

According to figures by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Israel killed at least 507 Palestinians in the occupied West Bank in 2023, including at least 81 children, making it the deadliest year since the organization started recording casualties in 2005.

The Amnesty also documented instances when Israeli forces directly opened fire on ambulances and medical staff. The obstruction of medical assistance to Palestinians by Israeli forces was now routinely done.

Human Rights Watch urged Israel’s key allies, the United States, The United Kingdom, Canada and Germany to suspend military assistance and arms sales to Israel so long as its forces commit, with impunity widespread and serious abuses amounting to war crimes against Palestinian civilians.

In contrast to swift suspension of funding to UNRWA, allegations of likely war crimes have been brought to their attention, the US, UK, Canada and Germany continue to provide arms and military assistance to Israel amid mounting evidence of grave abuses, Human Rights Watch said.

Israeli settlers in occupied West Bank increase attacks on Palestinians

Israel citizens who started living on private Palestinian land after the 1967 war are a great problem for Palestinians now and for any future Palestinian state. They constitute more than 700,000 settlers living in 150 settlements and 128 outposts dotting the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.

The Etzion Bloc was the first settlement built in occupied West Bank in 1967 and has a current population of 40,000 people. Successive Israeli governments have pursued this policy, and about 40% of occupied West Bank is now controlled by settlements.

These settlements along with a vast network of checkpoints effectively separate the Palestinian parts of West Bank from each other making the prospect of a future contiguous state almost impossible. Tel Aviv, Israel capital was built as a settlement of of the Arab city of Jaffa in 1909.

Israel has declared about 26% of West Bank as “state land”, and has legally expropriated Palestinian land for public needs such as roads, and parks, officially stopping building new settlements but continuing the existing settlements to grow.

All settlements and outposts are considered illegal under the international law as they violate the Fourth Geneva Convention, which forbids an occupying power from transferring its population into the area it occupies. They are condemned by the United Nations through multiple resolutions and votes.

The Israeli settlers have carried out 241 attacks in West Bank since October 7, 2023. Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian Authority told Al Jazeera, “Settlers have been committing crimes in in the occupied West Bank well before October 7, 2023.”

On October 28, 2023 a Palestinian farmer harvesting olives was shot dead by settlers in the occupied West Bank city of Nablus. The current violence comes as last year saw record settler violence, rising from an average of three to seven incidents a day, according to the United Nations.

Settlers have increasingly trying to pray at the Al-Aqsa compound raising Palestinian concerns that they want to encroach upon Islam’s third holiest site ( Jewish prayers are not allowed per ‘status quo” governing the Al-Aqsa) . Three days before Hamas deadly attack on Israel, settlers stormed the mosque compound.

Israeli Settler violence has displaced more than 1,100 Palestinians in the occupied West Bank since 2022, according to a UN report released in September 2023.

US sanctions Israeli settlers in West Bank

The United States has imposed sanctions on several Israeli settlers for attacking Palestinian communities in the occupied West Bank, accusing them of undermining stability and security in Israel and Palestinian territories. On February I, 2024 the US sanctions targeted individuals accused of assaulting and intimidating Palestinians and Israeli activists and froze their assets in the US and restricted financial dealings with them.

The White House also announced a new decree to penalize perpetrators of “extremist settler violence” in the West Bank. US national Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said that settler violence “poses a grave threat to peace, security and stability in the West Bank, Israel and the Middle East” and “threatens the national security, and foreign policy interests of the United States.”

Raids by Israeli settlers and soldiers against West Bank towns and villages increased since the war on Gaza on October 7, 2023 killing hundreds of Palestinians.

The United States is strong supporter of Israel

The United was the first country to recognize Israel as an independent state. President Harry Truman issued a statement recognizing Israel a day after its proclamation of independence.

Israel is the largest recipient of the U.S. foreign aid. The United States gave Israel US $150 billion in bilateral assistance until February 2022. In 1999 the U.S. government signed a memorandum of understanding which committed to provide Israel with at least US$2.67 billion in military aid annually for the following ten years; in 2009 the annual amount was raised to US$3 billion; and in 2019 the annual amount was raised again, now standing at a minimum of US$3.8 billion that the US is committed to providing Israel each year.

Since 1972, the United States has also extended loan guarantees to Israel to enable it to borrow from commercial US banks at a lower rates to assist with housing shortages, absorption of new Jewish immigrants and its economic recovery following the 2000-2003 recession . Moreover, the United States is Israel’s largest trading partner, and two-way trade totaled some $36 billion in 2013. Bilateral trade increased to nearly $50 billion by 2023.

In addition to financial and military aid, the United States provides Israel with large-scale political support, and used its veto at the UN Security Council 42 times against resolutions condemning Israel. Between 1991 and 2011, the US used 15 out of 24 vetoes to protect Israel.

The United States readiness to stand on behalf of Israel has been linked, among other factors, to the influence of Zionist lobbies in U.S. politics, most notably American Israel Political Action Committee (AIPAC).

And since the 1960s, the U.S. has played a key role in promoting good relations with its neighboring Arab states. After the 1967 Arab-Israel war, on September 17, 1978 Anwar Sadat of Egypt signed a peace treaty with Menachem Begin of Israel brokered by US President Jimmy Carter at Camp David – called Camp David Accords.

The 1990s were a decade of intense negotiations between Israel and Palestinian Liberation Organization at Oslo. And Jordan and Israel signed a peace treaty on October 26, 1994. On May 17, 1983 Israel signed a treaty with Lebanon for establishing normal bilateral relations.

The U. S. initiated under President Donald Trump a series of treaties for normalizing diplomatic relations with Israel called Abrahamic Accords in honor of Abraham – the patriarch of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Within a span of five months, starting with the United Arab Emirates in August 2020 followed by Bahrain in September, Sudan in October and Morocco in December of the same year announced normalization agreements with Israel.

Despite differences with the Trump administration, President Joe Biden hailed the Abrahamic Accords as an important effort to expand in the Middle East. The United States is working to expand the Abrahamic Accords, Anthony Blinken, the US Secretary of State told ministers on June 7, 2023 from Gulf Cooperation Council meeting in Saudi Arabia’s capital at Riyadh.

“We are collaborating with countries in the region to widen and deepen the normalization of relations with Israel” Blinken said during the opening of the US-GCC ministerial meeting on strategic partnership. The GCC meeting followed the talks with Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan and the Kingdom’s de-facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and Blinken raised the possibility of Saudi Arabia normalizing ties with Israel.

The Abrahamic Accord agreements are strongly condemned by Palestinian leaders. The Palestinian Authority called the UAE-Israel agreement a total betrayal, Hamas said the agreement “served the Zionist narrative” and a poll by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey showed 80 percent of Palestinians “describe their feelings towards (the Abrahamic Accords) as treason, abandonment and insult.”

The surprise attack on Israel by Hamas on October 7, 2023 changed all political and military considerations among leaders worldwide. An article on October 8, 2023 in Time by Carl Vick compared it to the 1973 October War, when the devastating invasion Arab armies launched precisely 50 years earlier, plus a day. “It was the last that Israelis awoke to a life-changing assault that its intelligence apparatus had not seen coming, and also the last time they found themselves, officially, in a “war.”

The Hamas raid and its “fallout forced reconsideration worldwide” as political and military leaders from Washington to Beijing weigh the possible outcomes of the war. “The attack stalls, and perhaps kills, a hoped for peace deal between Israel and Saudi Arabia that depended on the presumed acquiescence of occupied Palestinians to the status quo.”

Another article dated December 4, 2023 in Time by Sarah Leah Whitson, the Executive Director of Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN) and former head of the Middle East and North Africa division, Human Rights Watch under the title “It is Time to Scrap the Abrahamic Accords” said, “The real premise of the accords was proving that the Palestinians issue was no longer an obstacle for Israel’s relationship in the region, as Arab states dropped their demand for a Palestinian state as a condition to normalizing ties with Israel. The pact promised regional security despite allowing Israel to bypass the right of 6 million Palestinians living under daily brutality, military occupation, and apartheid rule to establish alliances with authoritarian regional regimes, ” she said.

She said, “Rather than curbing Israeli abuses, the Accords emboldened successive Israeli governments to further ignore Palestinian rights. And detailed dramatic increase settler violence and election of most right-wing government allowing massive settlement expansions, Israeli forces killing Palestinians in the West Bank, along with raining destruction in Gaza, and displacing Gazans into Egypt.

“Let us be clear: Continued Arab adherence to the Accords signals continued support for Israel, rewarding it with the military, economic, and trade development that were always the prime goal. That is why we at the Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN), a rights group set up by Jamal Khashoggi, have publicly called on the UAE, Bahrain, Morocco, and Sudan to immediately withdraw from the Accords and, alongside peace treaty signatories Egypt and Jordan, end all military coordination with Israel.

Bahrain has already inched in that direction, with its parliament proclaiming it was ending all economic ties to Israel after sending the Israeli ambassador home. Arab states hosting U.S. military bases, including Jordan, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, and Qatar, also should publicly declare that they will not permit the U.S. to use these bases to supply weapons to or provide protection for Israeli forces during its ongoing war in Gaza, or risk being seen as complicit.”

She detailed what is currently happening between the United States and Arab states as a result of Accords and Israel’s dramatic expansion of trade and diplomatic relations with the signatory Arab states, and said, “All this needs to end. The Israel- Hamas truce last month brought a much-needed reprieve to Gaza’s 2 million people who have been subject to intense bombardment and massive displacement. The temporary ceasefire came to a halt ... with the return of deadly Israeli airstrikes. But if Israel is faced with the prospect of losing its regional security architecture, perhaps it will listen to growing calls on what is needed most – a permanent ceasefire.”

Worldwide condemnation of Israel and US on veto of UNSC Gaza ceasefire resolutions NBC reported on February 20. 2024 that the US vetoed the fourth UN Security Council resolution calling for a cease-fire in Gaza that drew criticism and condemnation from officials across a swath of countries, chief among the Palestinian ambassador to the UN.

“The veto of this draft resolution is not only regrettable...but also absolutely reckless and dangerous, again shielding Israel even it commits the most shocking crimes, while exposing millions of innocent Palestinians to more untold horrors,” Riad Mansour said. U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas Greenfield defended the veto saying the resolution would have put hostage negotiations at risk. An alternative U.S. proposal tied a temporary pause to hostage release.

The World Health Organization accused Israel of impeding rescue missions around the Nasser Hospital complex in Southern Gaza. The hospital had no electricity or water, and medical waste and garbage were creating a breeding ground for the disease.

The U.N. World Food Program was pausing food deliveries to northern Gaza until conditions allowed for safe distributions. The Gaza government urged the program to reverse its decision, calling it “a death sentence for three quarters of a million people.”

Israeli forces opened fire on desperate civilians waiting for food supplies in Gaza

A Common dreams article on February 29, 2024 by Jake Johnson under the heading, Gaza Death Toll Passes 30,000 as IDF Massacres Crowd of Starving Civilians reported, “Israel deliberately targeting civilians after starving them is a gross violation of international humanitarian laws and our humanity”, said Oxfam, “The risk of genocide is real.”

It said Israeli forces opened fire on a crowd of desperate and starving Gazans waiting for food aid in the enclave’s north, which Israel’s military has cut off from humanitarian assistance almost entirely for months. The attack reportedly killed more than 100 Palestinians and wounded over 700, further straining Gaza city hospitals that are barely functioning after Israel’s month-long bombing campaign and blockade, which has restricted the flow of fuel, medicine and other necessities.

B’tselem, the Israeli human rights group responded “whether they were shot or trampled to death, intentionally opening fire at civilians is a severe violation of international law and constitutes a war crime. This is especially grave given a crowd of thousands begging for aid.” Oxfam International said, ”It was “appalled” by Israeli attacks on people waiting for aid, which has become almost impossible to deliver across much of the Gaza Strip amid relentless Israeli bombing and targeting of aid workers.”

Oxfam, the famous NGO accused Israel of 'deliberately' blocking aid to famine-stalked Gaza. Its aid trucks have been waiting an average of 20 days since Israel was not allowing entry of help for the famine stricken population of the enclave.

On March 2, 2024 the United States cargo planes together with Jordan’s air force air-dropped food into Gaza in move criticized by aid groups. The US President Joe Biden announced a day earlier that the US would airdrop aid after more than 100 Palestinians were killed in northern Gaza while queuing for aid.

The C-130 planes “dropped over 38,000 meals along the coastline of Gaza allowing for civilian access for critical aid.” The US move has been criticized as inefficient and simply a public relations move by members of international aid organizations. Dave Harden, former USAID director to the World Bank told Al Jazeera, “The airdrops are symbolic and designed to appease the domestic base.

Really what needs to happen is more crossings [opening] and more trucks going every day. I think the United is weak and that’s really disappointing to me. The US has the ability to compel Israel to open up more aid and by not doing that we’re putting our assets and our people at risks and potentially creating more chaos in Gaza.”

UK-based Medical Aid for Palestinians echoed Harden’s statement, and told Al Jazeera the US, the UK, and others should instead work to “ensure that Israel immediately opens all crossings into Gaza for aid.”

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry also criticized the US for acting as a “Weak, marginal state” unable to secure aid to Palestinians. US Senator Bernie Sanders, however, welcomed the US’s move, saying on X, “I applaud President Biden for understanding that there is a dire humanitarian crisis in Gaza.”

President Joe Biden in his state of union address on March 7, 2024 said the United States will set up a temporary pier off Gaza to deliver humanitarian supplies to the besieged enclave as Palestinians begin to starve during Israel’s blockade of the strip. A U.S. military ship carrying the equipment required for initial construction work departed for Gaza according to the U.S. military Central Command. The move came as the US has been airdropping aid amid looming famine in Gaza devastated by more than five months of Israeli bombardment, ground operations and siege. Aid agencies said the airdrops are not sufficient due to the scale of crisis.

The pier seems a complicated workaround for a problem that has a simpler solution – for Israel to open up land crossings to Gaza. Juliette Touma of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine told Al Jazeera correspondent, “Any effort to bring in more humanitarian aid into Gaza to help the desperate people is absolutely welcome. However, there is a more efficient, a cheaper, a quicker way to get aid into Gaza, and that is by road.”

Touma told Al Jazeera that a minimum of 500 aid trucks daily are required to meet the needs of Palestinian civilians in Gaza. That was the average number of trucks that entered Gaza before the war.

But that changed after Octobe7. A daily average of 90 trucks entered the enclave in February, and the number of trucks was as low as seven on some days. Touma also pointed out that for the first two weeks after the war started, no aid trucks entered Gaza, and this created a backlog of 5,000 trucks that are yet to be replenished, which has exacerbated the aid deficit.

With markets in Gaza closed, the entire population of the enclave is dependent on aid. “There needs to be much more coming in, not less,” she said, and Israel has to take steps to ensure a larger number of trucks are able to enter smoothly.

Arab and Muslim Americans protest “abandon Biden” in calling for immediate Gaza ceasefire
Rami G. Khouri, The distinguished fellow at the American University of Beirut has been writing a series of articles under the heading “Watching the Watchdogs” on the biased writings of Western media since the start of war in Gaza. In a February 25, 2024 article he referred to such articles in the Wall Street Journal and New York Times and said, “Arab and Muslim Americans and some 60 percent of all Americans have wanted for months for US President Joe Biden to pressure Israel into accepting an immediate ceasefire in the war on Gaza.

The White House has all but ignored them. S Arab and Muslim-Americans decided to flex their political muscle by using their electoral power in critical swing states in this year’s presidential election. In December, community leaders from nine potential swing states met in Dearborn, Michigan under the slogan “Abandon Biden, Ceasefire now.”

They vowed not to vote for Biden in November presidential polls unless he changes his policies that enable Israel’s genocidal attacks on Gaza, rob Palestinians of decent life conditions, and largely ignore the views of significant minority communities in the United States. The campaign quickly attracted support in Michigan and other states with large Arab-American communities, along with criticism from Biden supporters who feared that the campaign to pressure the president might inadvertently guarantee a Donald Trump victory.”

The article described the Michigan community efforts to reach out to mobilize nationally with other marginalized communities that are often ignored – notably African-Americans, Hispanics, progressive Jews, laborers, women, university students and others. They joined hands about foreign policy and the self-serving engagement by the administration.

The Al Jazeera devoted its staff to engage with the activists during the primary elections in Michigan and write about their work on February 27, 2024.

Another Conference of International Court on Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories
In an another landmark case, 52 UN member countries jointly asked for a conference of International Court of Justice at The Hague (Netherland) on the consequences of Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories, barely a month after South Africa called on it on Gaza Genocide.

The case stemmed from a request at the United Nations General Assembly held on December 30, 2022.

Israel since 1967 illegally occupied the West bank and East Jerusalem, which were part of Palestine when the United Nations divided historic Palestine in 1948. Israeli authorities since then have restricted the citizenship rights of Palestinians and restricted their free movement across the land. Israel also occupied Gaza between 1967 and 2005, and since 2007 imposed a land, sea and air blockade on it, and restricted food, water, medicines, fuel, construction material and other commodities.

A panel of 15 judges will take about six months for a non-binding advisory opinion.

Representatives of the 52 countries, with about 10 a day will present their arguments to the ICJ judges through the week from February 19 to February 26, 2024. Arab countries, Russia and China voted in favor of the move, while Israel, United States, United Kingdom, and 24 other countries voted against referring the case to ICJ, and Brazil, Spain and Switzerland abstained.

The ICJ has ruled against Israel in the past, such as over the West Bank Wall in 2004 and the recent provisional measures in January that many experts say Israel can only adhere by effectively ending its war on Gaza. The Judges will listen to the extensive oral presentations and present a written opinion afterwards. The court’s opinion will not be binding, but experts say an opinion from the ICJ carries heavy weight and could add more pressure on Israel and its staunch ally, the United States, to conform to international law.

Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister rejected the legitimacy of the ongoing proceedings of the court and issued a statement by his office stating Israel that Israel will maintain full “security control” over the areas that are west of the Jordan River. “Of course, this includes Judea and Samaria, and the Gaza Strip,” the statement added (Judea and Samaria refer to the West Bank).

Riad Mansur, the Palestinian representative to the United Nations presented its case at the ICJ. In an emotional speech, he said, “We call on you to confirm that the presence of Israel in occupied Palestinian territory is illegal.” “A finding from this distinguished court... would contribute to bringing [the occupation] to an immediate end, paving a way for a just and lasting peace. A future in which no Palestinians and no Israelis are killed. A future in which two states live side by side in peace and security,” he said

Paul Reichler, International law expert, representing Palestine at the hearings, told the court that the policies of Israel’s government “are aligned to an unprecedented extent with the goals of the Israeli settler movement to expand long-term control over the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and in practice to further integrate those areas within the territory” of Israel. He called the occupation “gravely unlawful.”

The day after, other countries including South Africa, Saudi Arabia, and Belgium presented arguments, and condemned Israel’s occupation, and called it violent and illegal.

On the third day, several other nations including the US, Russia, Egypt and Hungary participated in the hearing at ICJ.

The United States said the UN top court should not issue an advisory opinion that says Israel should “Immediately and unconditionally withdraw “from territories sought for a Palestinian state. Richard Visek, acting State Department legal advisor said, “The court should not find that Israel is legally obliged to immediately and unconditionally withdraw from occupied territory.

Any movement towards Israel’s withdrawal from the West Bank and Gaza requires consideration of Israel’s very real security needs. We were all reminded of those security needs on October 7, and they persist. Regrettably, those needs have been ignored by many of the participants”. “It is important that the court keeps in mind the balance the {UN] Security Council and General Assembly have determined is necessary to provide the best chance of durable peace.”Visek said. He referred to the established framework based on the land for peace principle and within the parameters of established principle of occupation law and added that the Court opinion “Will have consequences for the parties to the conflict and for ongoing efforts for all of those working to achieve a durable peace.”

Russia told the International Court Israel must stop all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory. It gave arguments at the hearing into legal consequences of Israel’s occupation of Palestine, and told the court Israel has duty to put an end to its current violations.
China told the court that Palestinians “must not be denied” justice on the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories. “Justice has been long delayed, but it must not be denied, “ China’s Foreign Ministry’s legal advisor Ma Xinmin told the court. “Fifty-seven years have passed since Israel began its occupation of the OPT (Occupied Palestinian Territories). The unlawful nature of the occupation and sovereignty over the occupied territories remain unchanged, “he said.

China used its time at the ICJ to counter the arguments of the United States that Israel should not be ordered to unconditionally withdraw from the occupied territories without security guarantees. “ Al-Jazeera ‘ s Step Vaessen reporting from the Hague said, China used it time to counter the arguments of the United States."

The US said the United Nations and the ICJ should stay out of a bilateral issue between Israel and Palestine. It was definitely a matter for the UN to talk about the self-determination of the Palestinian people.” The Chinese representative said Israel is a foreign nation occupying Palestine, so the right to self-defense lies more with the Palestinians than with the Israelis.

The representatives from the Republic of Ireland, Japan and Jordan also presented their arguments at the ICJ. Ireland said it concluded that “Israel has committed serious breaches of a number of preemptory norms of general international law. The Irish representative added that Israel has also breached the basic rules of international humanitarian law.

Tomohiro Mikanagi, the legal advisor for Japan’s Foreign Ministry told the IJC that his country believes a “two-state solution where Israel and the future independent Palestinian state live side by side in peace and dignity remain the only viable path for both people.

Michael Wood representing Jordan said that “The only way for the [Palestinian] right to self- determination to be exercised is for the [Israeli] occupation to come to an end.” Jordan holds a “Key position” at the ICJ hearing as it is one of the most prominent critics of the occupation and is also the custodian of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem,” said Hamdah Salhut reporting from occupied east Jerusalem.

“While they have been not only critics of the occupation, they’ve been critics of Israel’s war on Gaza, so their role within the region is quite crucial for aiding the Palestinians in any sort of conversations, “ she added.

Pakistan was represented by Ahmed Irfan Aslam, federal minister for law and justice who spoke on February 23, 2024. He said that Israeli occupation continued to severely impede the exercise of the right of self-determination by the Palestinians. Through its illegal settlement policy, Israel is trying to create “irreversible facts on the ground”, perpetuate its illegal occupation, and deny access to the holy places in Jerusalem.

Israeli policies and practices amount to systematic racial discrimination and apartheid against the Palestinians. The ICJ would fail to discharge its judicial functions if it did not stop Israel from profiting “from its own continued grave wrongs,” he said.

Aslam said that these hearing come at a time when the Palestinians are facing a brutal onslaught from Israeli occupation forces. And in backdrop the government and the people of Pakistan continue to express their unwavering solidarity with their Palestinian brothers and sisters at all international forums, including the ICJ.

Pakistan has been calling for an immediate and unconditional ceasefire, provision of sufficient, sustained and unimpeded humanitarian assistance to the besieged people of Gaza, and the need for a just, comprehensive and durable solution through the establishment of a secure, viable, contiguous and sovereign State of Palestine on the basis of the pre-June 1967 borders, with Al Quds Al-Sharif as its capital.

Arab League nations group of 22 countries were represented by Ralph Wilde. He reiterated their views on the issue, and told the court that the group condemns violations of international law arising out of Israel’s “racial discrimination and apartheid perpetrated against the Palestinian people. “Palestinian people have been denied the exercise of their legal right of self-determination through more than the century-long, violent, colonial racist effort to establish a nation-state exclusively for the Jewish people in the land of Mandatory Palestine“, he said.
Several other countries and organizations also spoke on the last day of hearing, including the African Union, the Organization of Islamic Conference, and Spain.

The AU representative, Hajer Gueldich told the , “Nothing can justify the unspeakable suffering and horrors inflicted on the population of Gaza”. She added that Israel’s “ruthless war machine” led to widespread destruction of Palestinian properties, hospitals, and places of worship and this case was a chance for the court to end Israel’s “impunity”.

Hissen Brahim Taha, the Secretary-general of the OIC condemned Israel’s aggression in Gaza and the occupied West Bank. Taha said the OIC called for a “just lasting and comprehensive peace based on two-state solution.

The Spanish representative also said Palestinians in the occupied West Bank were experiencing “difficulties” with adequate healthcare, education and water. “All these difficulties and restrictions infringe a number of rights of Palestinians residing in the territory occupied by Israel, which cannot be justified neither by military exigencies nor by the requirements of national security or public order, he said.

Turkey joined a large number of countries that condemned the Israeli decades-long occupation of Palestinian territories at the ICJ. Ahmet Yildiz, Turkey’s Deputy Foreign Minister was the first to speak on the last day of the hearing, and said the long running conflict could have been settled by now if international and human rights laws were upheld by Israel and its Western allies, and emphasized how the United Nations Security Council has failed to protect the unalienable rights of the Palestinians.

He said the “deepening occupation by Israel of the Palestinian territories “ and the failure of its allies to commit to implementation a two-state solution were the underlying issues. He said, “Palestinians were subjected to practices from the Middle Ages under occupation. Palestinians only need emancipation with dignity.” Here was particular from the Turks on the Haram al-Sharif, supposedly administered by Jordan in a long standing principle dating before the creation of the state of Israel. Turkey accuse the Israelis of frequently abusing the independence of Haram al-Sharif.

The future of Palestine and the general agreed two-state solution Saudi Arabia hosted a joint Arab –Islamic summit on November 11, 2023 at its Capital in Riyadh just after Israel started the war on Gaza. The summit called for an end to the war in Gaza, and rejected justifying Israel’s actions against Palestinians as self-defense.

It condemned “Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip, war crimes and barbaric and inhumane massacres by the occupation government”, a final communique said. It also called for an end to the siege on Gaza, allowing humanitarian aid into the enclave and halting arms exports to Israel, following the meeting in Riyadh. The leaders demanded that the UN Security Council adopt “a decisive and binding resolution” to halt Israel’s “aggression” in Gaza.

Prince Mohammed Bin Salman addressed the summit at its opening and called for an immediate cessation of military operations in Gaza and release of all captives. “This is a humanitarian catastrophe that has proved the failure of the international community and the UN Security Council to put an end to Israel’s gross violations of international humanitarian, and the dual standards adopted by the world,” he said.

“We are certain the only cause for peace is the end of the Israeli occupation and illegal settlements, and restoration of the established rights of the Palestinian people and the establishment of the state on 1967, with East Jerusalem as its capital.”

The Reuters reported from Riyadh that Saudi Arabia told the United States it will not open diplomatic relations with Israel unless an independent Palestinian state is recognized on 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, its foreign ministry said on February 7, 2024. Riyadh reiterated its call to permanent members of the U.N. Security Council that have not recognized a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, a ministry state said.

It was referring to a state the Palestinians have long sought to establish alongside Israel in territories Israel occupied in a 1967 war: the West Bank including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip. The Statement added that “Israeli aggression” against the Gaza Strip must also stop and Israeli forces must withdraw from the territory.

The United States led months of diplomacy to get Saudi Arabia to normalize ties with Israel and recognize the country until the Gaza war began in October 2023, leading Riyadh to shelve the matter in the face Arab anger over Israel’s offensive.

Anthony Blinken, U.S. Secretary of State met Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman who showed strong interest in pursuing normalization. “But he made clear what he had said before, which is that in order to do that two things are required: an end to the conflict in Gaza and a clear, credible, time-bound path to the establishment of a Palestinian state,” Blinken said.

An article appeared on NBC on February 6, 2024 under the title What the U.S. recognizing a Palestinian state would mean. The article discussed that “The Biden administration is drawing up internal policy options on officially recognizing a Palestinian state after Israel’s war in Gaza,” a senior administration told NBC News. The major points of the article are discussed in the following.

For decades the U.S. has pushed a two-state solution to the conflict in the Middle East... The Biden administration is drawing up options to enact the policy.

Mustafa Barghouti, a member of the Palestinian parliament who leads the Palestinian National Initiative said, “We have been calling for recognition of a Palestinian state for a longtime. But the American declaration does not mean anything unless it is associated three things. He listed an end to Israeli occupation, removal of settlements in the occupied West Bank, and an agreement of what the Palestinian state’s borders would look like.”

Ahmad Tibi, a Palestinian politician in Israel’s parliament and onetime advisor to Yasser Arafat agreed. “President Biden can ans should stop the war, prevent the war, but nevertheless he’s doing something else – he is supplying Israel with ammunition in order to continue the war.” He cast doubt on whether the White House was looking at a Palestinian state at all.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu himself has rejected the idea saying a neighboring Palestinian state with Israel needs security. “The state of Israel must have security control over the entire territory,” he said last month. And one of his security cabinet members, Likud lawmaker, Gideon Sa’ar wrote on X that “recognizing a Palestinian State would undoubtedly continue the arm struggle against Israel.”

But those Israelis who favor a two-state solution have been buoyed by Biden’s rekindling of the concept. And the J street advocacy group called for bold action. And Thomas Friedman wrote recognition at the start rather than end of a peace process could promote it on terms consistent with Israeli security and shore up Biden’s support with key voting demographics ahead of his reelection campaign.

The lack Palestinian statehood has left it unresolved for decades/ It leaves Palestinians on an unequal footing to much of the world, and in global psyche where the Palestinian territories are often not afforded the right and respect of established nations. The extent to which Palestinians fulfil this criteria is debated. But most countries, 139 of the 193 of the UN member states already recognize it- including most of Asia, Africa, and South America. But the political powerhouses of the U.S ., Canada and most of Europe do not, and Washington has blocked resolutions that would recognize a Palestinian state at the security council.

However, in 2012 the state of Palestine was given nonmember observer status at the U.N. and given a right to debate the UN General Assembly. Later it was admitted into UNESCO, and the International Criminal Court.

In 1979 President Jimmy Carter hosted the Camp David peace talks between Israel and Egypt, part of which called on discussion of Palestinian self-rule in Gaza. In 1993, President Bill Clinton hosted the signing of Oslo Accords, a series of agreements that sketched out a road map to peace that ultimately crashed in mutual mistrust, blame and renewed violence.

Biden says there has been no change in U.S policy, but its willingness to explore options signals a clear shift in emphasis. The administration has tasked the senior staff to look at the U.S. recognizing a Palestinian State before reaching a final comprehensive deal with Israel.

David Cameron, Britain Foreign Minister who is a former Prime Minister has said his country is considering doing the same. Biden has stated that Palestine should be governed by a “revitalized” new Palestinian Authority, which currently holds loose control over the West Bank, something opposed by Netanyahu. Both he and the U.S. have said that Hamas must have no role in Gaza after the war.

“Yes, we support the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, and we do a lot of work inside the government to think about how to bring that about, “ State Department spokesman Mathew Miller said at a news briefing when asked about the reports.

Ending the article said, “Although recognition and equality are prized by Palestinians, what really motivates their desire for statehood is that it would formalize and highlight their status as a country – rather than just a territory – under occupation, said Barghouti, the Palestinian politician. “What we need is an end to occupation,” he said. “We need a democratic state because we want to be free.”

It was expected that Israel will ceasefire in Gaza during the holy month of Ramadan and would give a period respite to the sufferings of peoples in the famine stricken enclave. For those who survived more than five months of siege, there is no food for iftar. Israel is still blocking aid from reaching the most desperate, under constant bombardment by the Israeli army. People are cooking grass to have something to break their fast. Those taking refuge in Rafah are still being threatened with an invasion that will kill and main thousands more innocents.

Alongside this, the illegal settlers in the occupied West Bank have increased violence on the Palestinian population. They have targeted the resisters in Jenin and Nablus areas with the help from Israeli forces.Ramadan in occupied territories always involved navigating through illegal checkpoints, enduring harassment from occupation soldiers and resisting provocations.

But it is much worse now. Palestinians in the West Bank are not only agonising over their relatives and friends in Gaza. but also trying to survive the relentless attacks from settlers, Israeli police and soldiers.

Related Suggestions

The opinions expressed herein, through this post or comments, contain positions and viewpoints that are not necessarily those of IslamiCity. These are offered as a means for IslamiCity to stimulate dialogue and discussion in our continuing mission of being an educational organization. The IslamiCity site may occasionally contain copyrighted material the use of which may not always have been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. IslamiCity is making such material available in its effort to advance understanding of humanitarian, education, democracy, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law.

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, and such (and all) material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.