Annexation cruelty

 
July 02, 2020

Since the creation of Israel in 1948, against the will of the Palestinians who already occupied that swathe of territory holy to believers of three religions in the Middle East, the region has...

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Since the creation of Israel in 1948, against the will of the Palestinians who already occupied that swathe of territory holy to believers of three religions in the Middle East, the region has remained a troubled one. It has seen three wars, and various attempts to solve the problem have resulted in impasse. The latest settlement had revolved around an agreement of two nations existing within one stretch of territory, with the Palestinians given limited living space in Gaza and the West Bank. Even the settlement reached in the 1990s, under which the Palestinians were granted limited portions of land, has been violated with Israel creating settlements within these areas which have grown over the years. The encouragement from US President Donald Trump to his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu on allowing these settlements to stay and his open support for Israeli policies when the two leaders met early this year did not help matters.

We now see a situation that verges on disaster. This has been pointed out by UN High Commissioner on Human Rights Michelle Bachelet who has warned that if Israel moves ahead with its plans to annex further portions of the West Bank unilaterally, this would lead to enormous discord not only in the immediate area of Palestine but also across the Middle East and potentially across the world. The Palestinians would be squeezed further into spaces too small for their populations, and it would lead to serious repercussions. Palestinian groups have already begun warning that any such annexation could lead to a return to fighting and unrest. In short, this could mean war. The Hamas government led by Mahmood Abbas has in the past spoken out strongly against Netanyahu’s policies and plans.

Annexation would not only be a gross violation of the human rights of Palestinians living in their own land but also of Palestinians overseas who may not be able to visit their homes and would lead to a further shortage of space for Palestinians who already struggle to find enough land to cultivate fruitfully or to accommodate a rising population. The world needs to act to save the region from yet another conflict and further unrest which would have a terrible impact on humanity. It would also send out the message that a powerful nation is free to forcibly seize the land of another without check. Nations everywhere must join the UN in pressuring Israel to ensure that this does not happen and that a settlement is found which offers justice to the Palestinians who have been wronged decade after decade.



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