Israel & Palestine: The prospect of normalization

To begin with, the Israel-Palestinian issue has an abundance of ways in which it can be assessed. It involves a large amount of sectarianism which resulted in a holy war for the past few decades.  It can be evaluated in terms of territorial disputes, political conflicts, and interests of other countries and of course the failure of practices to obtain normalized relations which have resulted in poor decisions by both parties that have descended the situation further into turmoil.

Firstly,  in the perception of territorial disputes, the Green line interpretations under the 1949 Armistice Lines where Israeli borders with Lebanon in the North, the Golan Heights and Syria in the north east, west bank and Jordan in the east and finally the Gaza Strip and Egypt in the South west region. As seen in Operation Protective Edge in June 2014, the funding of United States towards Israel’s military of the annual $1.5 billion has essentially fueled the disparity between the two.  Considering the Six day war in 1967, Israel’s borders change with its military, diplomatic and political status.  Looking at the Tripartite Declaration of 1950 which states that the United States, Britain and France would do its utmost to ensure that armistice lines won’t be violated, the funding provided the United States would certainly violate this agreement. This gives rise to another paramount question: Why hasn’t any action been taken to address the violation?

Yet, one may argue with the idea of the funding used for Israel’s defense forces such as the comprehensive Iron dome-shield or the IDF (Israel Defense Forces). Nonetheless, there is numerous footage of the IDF harming unarmed Palestinian citizens as they were unable to differentiate an innocent civilian from a Hamas extremist. What’s more, the use of funds creates a greater rift between the two rather than giving Israel an entrenchment.

Speaking of extremism and looking at the Palestinian flaws evoked over the decades, one is bound to notice Hamas charter.  The Hamas itself can be seen under many different spectrums. It can be viewed as a terrorist organization or a military wing of Palestine. Under Article 13 of the charter, it states that “There is no negotiated settlement possible. Jihad is the only answer”.  This article clearly contradicts the principle of Self Determination where civilians have the right of choosing their own political and sovereignty without external influence, but this article touts on Palestinian civilians having the burden of engaging in a holy war. There are further articles in the charter which induce further extremism such as Article 16 which advocates the eradication of future generations. Regardless on the debacle of the Hamas charter, top Palestinian officials have declared it old and a fragment of history but have vaguely stated that it cannot be destroyed due to “internal reasons”.  Unfortunately the clandestine manner of these internal reasons are more paramount than the safety and security of the nation’s citizens.

What’s even more surprising is that in the aftermath of the dreadful Operation Protective Edge, a few top Israeli-officers came out to the public and admitted that the three Israeli civilians were killed by a “lone cell” rather than the Hamas terrorists. The death of the three Israeli civilians ultimately led to one of the most catastrophic events at the Middle East in 2014 with the death of 2,200 people and more injured. An impartial, international investigation as to whether it was the lone cell or the Hamas terrorists should be carried out. After all, it was the main reason why tensions escalated into a full scale conflict.

Despite the fact that Israel and Palestine have joined Trust and Confidence Building Measures such as the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures (CICA) in order to bring Peace, stability and security in the Middle East, tensions still remain high.

Lastly and most importantly, the repercussion of politics. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu being the spearhead of Operation Protective Edge has made countless statements about a complete Zionist state and going to the extent of saying he won’t rest until the Palestinians are completely eradicated shortly after being re-elected as a Prime Minister for the third consecutive term. It goes without saying that such statements make normalization less possible between the two. What deteriorates the issue even further is that Palestinians themselves claim to be run by a corrupt government. The two major political parties, Hamas and Fatah continue to have dissimilar interests to the point of violence being used to prove the parties ’point.

In conclusion, it’s very unpredictable in terms of the course of actions which will follow between these two nations and the fact remains that irrespective of the governments’ decisions, it will always be the civilians who face its consequences and implications. To put it into simple terms, it is a conflict between two ethnic groups over territory sacred to their own beliefs in which their own patriotism drives them to the grave.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of International Cauldron as an organisation. 

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