"The Ongoing Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: A Tale of Injustice and Suffering"
"The Ongoing Israeli-Palestinian Conflict:
A Tale of Injustice and Suffering"
On the international front, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a chronic and excruciating wound. It still has a terrible impact on the lives of those who reside in the area and has its roots in past conflicts over the same plot of property. We must recognize Israel's crucial role in sustaining the crisis and the severe injustices imposed against the Palestinian people as we navigate the current environment.
Historical Roots and Current Realities
The origins of the war/conflict may be traced back more than a century, when the region that is now Israel and Palestine was part of the Ottoman Empire. Following the fall of the empire in World War I, the region was taken over by the British Mandate. Tensions between Jewish immigration and the native Arab population became gradually worse, eventually culminating to the United Nations’ proposal to divide Palestine in 1947. The Arab world rejected this idea, opening the path for the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948. This incident signaled the start of a conflict and the wholesale expulsion of Palestinian Arabs, ending in the Nakba, or “catastrophe.”
The Palestinian people’s suffering is an ongoing tragedy. Exile and displacement have put many Palestinians in refugee camps, denying them the basic right to return to their ancestral lands. The Israeli occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip, which started in 1967, continues, with Israeli settlements expanding at the cost of Palestinian homes and lands, a blatant violation of international law. The Gaza Strip, frequently referred to as an open-air jail, is home to over two million Palestinians whose everyday lives are marked by blockades, border restrictions, and insufficient resources. This humanitarian disaster is aggravated by recurring wars, resulting in the suffering of innocent individuals who have no control over their circumstances.
The occupation of essential resources, such as water and arable land, has hindered the growth of the Palestinian population and eliminated the possibility of economic growth. The high rate of unemployment and the deteriorating economy have made the situation even more unbearable. The construction of the separation wall by Israel, commonly referred to as the “West Bank barrier,” divides the Palestinian communities, isolating them from their agricultural land. Checkpoint and security checkpoints further restrict the movement of the Palestinians, depriving them of their dignity and exacerbating their daily hardship.
The Role of Israel
It’s no secret that Israel is to blame for the current mess, and that’s especially true when it comes to the continued growth of settlements on the West Bank and east Jerusalem. These settlements are seen as a violation of international law, and that’s what fuels the injustice that Palestinians face every day as their homes and lands disappear. The military operations in the territories, including the regular attacks on Gaza, have caused a lot of death, displacement, and destruction of infrastructure. The use of excessive force, especially in heavily populated areas, has led to international criticism and accusations of war crimes. Security measures such as checkpoints and the West Bank obstruction, whereas surrounded as fundamental for security, correct a overwhelming toll on the lives of Palestinians, ruining their development and diminishing financial openings. Slowed down peace arrangements have permitted the circumstance to endure, developing a feeling of misery and extending the sense of bad form among Palestinians.
The Current Plight
There have been many deaths and losses in the current Palestinian situation. An alarming statistic has been reported by Al-Jazeera recently: since October 7, Israeli attacks in Gaza have claimed the lives of at least 9,488 Palestinians. Each of these lives is more than just a statistic; it is a narrative, a family, and a community that has been permanently harmed by the unending cycle of violence.
There has been a trail of death and suffering as a result of the recent increase in violence, particularly in Gaza. Schools, hospitals, and homes have become targets of the violence, which has primarily affected Palestinian civilians, including children. The pictures of devastation and sadness serve as a sobering reminder of the injustice the Palestinian people continue to endure.
Violation of International laws
The violations of international law in the occupied territories are extensive and deeply concerning. Here are some of the key violations:
- ISRAELI OCCUPATION IS ILLEGAL: Laws Violated: U.N. Charter, Article 2(4) & 51 (1945); Declaration on Principles of International Law Concerning Friendly Relations…, Principle 1 (1970).
- ILLEGAL ISRAELI SETTLEMENTS ON OCCUPIED LAND: Laws Violated: Geneva Conventions IV, Article 49(6) (1949). It is illegal to colonize occupied land or transfer non-indigenous population to that land.
- ILLEGAL TO TAKE LAND BY FORCE & CLAIM SOVEREIGNTY: Laws Violated: U.N. Charter, Article 2(4)
- ILLEGAL ISRAELI PRACTICE OF ETHNIC CLEANSING: Laws Violated: Forbidding civilian populations the right to return to their homes following the end of armed conflict is in direct violation of international law and UN resolutions. Geneva Convention IV, Articles 45, 46 & 49 (1949), UN resolutions 194 (III) (General Assembly; 1948) & 237 (Security Council; 1967).
- ISRAELI APARTHEID SYSTEM IS ILLEGAL: Laws Violated: International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid (1976). Link to our fact sheets on Israeli Apartheid.
- MASSIVE VIOLATIONS OF HUMAN RIGHTS (HR): Laws Violated: U.N. Charter, Article 1 (1945); Declaration on Principles of International Law Concerning Friendly Relations…, Principle 5 (1970).
- COLLECTIVE PUNISHMENT IS ILLEGAL: Laws Violated: Geneva Conventions IV, Article 33 (1949); Geneva Conventions (Protocol I), Article 75(2d) (1977).
- ILLEGAL MASSIVE TRANSFORMATION OF LOCAL LAWS: Laws Violated: Hague Regulations IV, Article 43 (1907).
- VIOLATIONS OF U.N. SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTIONS: Laws Violated: Israel has violated 28 resolutions of the United Nations Security Council (which are legally binding on member-nations U.N. Charter, Article 25 (1945); a few sample resolutions - 54, 111, 233, 234, 236, 248, 250, 252, 256, 262, 267, 270, 280, 285, 298, 313, 316, 468, 476, etc
The Path Forward
The solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict is difficult but not impossible. Through international mediation, a halt to settlement growth, recognition of the state of Palestine, and economic growth, a brighter future can be achieved. Security for all must be a top priority for both sides, and the path to peace must be taken through diplomacy.
The suffering of the people of the State of Palestine is a painful reminder of the need to find a peaceful solution to this long-term conflict. It is time for justice, not only for the benefit of the two peoples but for the benefit of all of humanity.
Author: Abdul Wahid Narejo
Abdul Wahid Narejo is dedicated law student at the Institute of Law (UOS) with the passion for public speaking and speech training. He has earned recognition as the best speaker at the provincial level and has received numerous awards at the divisional level. Abdul Wahid is not only an accomplished orator but also a community-driven person, serving as member of Lawistis’Den, Togather4Environment, Dynamic law Association (DLA), Young lawyer Association (YLA), and Arz e Pakistan Social Organization.