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Palestine is an occupied land, a fact recognised by international law

November 3, 2021 at 8:44 am

Palestinian, Israeli, and foreign activists lift banners and placards during a demonstration against Israeli occupation and settlement activity in the Palestinian Territories and east Jerusalem, in Jerusalem’s Palestinian Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood, on March 19, 2021 [AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP via Getty Images]

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said recently that his government opposes the establishment of a Palestinian state He went on to say: “I don’t think there’s a significant leader in the region who currently thinks there’s somewhere to go right now in the diplomatic process [with the Palestinians]. We learned the hard way that transferring territory and creating state-like entities doesn’t work.”

His statement reaffirms, without any doubt, that the occupation government lacks credibility. Its approaches reflect the fact that it represents settlers and Israeli extremism, and wants only to impose its own agenda on the political future of the region. Its hostility based on discrimination can be seen in its settlement programmes, including the Judaisation of Jerusalem. Moreover, the Israeli government tortures the Palestinian people in the worst ways as it governs by force of arms in Jerusalem and the other occupied Arab territories. The statements made by Bennett are unacceptable and a blatant violation of international laws and international legitimacy.

Israel’s military occupation also violates the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, making a mockery of international consensus as it works on the disintegration of the two-state solution on the pre-1967 nominal borders. This is what Bennett’s racist coalition government embodies through its absolute support for illegal settlement activity and de facto annexation, which breach UN resolutions, including Security Council Resolution 2334 and all that preceded it. These resolutions affirm the illegality of Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories, including Jerusalem.

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Palestinians stage a demonstration in front of the British Consulate as part of the 104th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, in East Jerusalem on 2 November 2021. [Mostafa Alkharouf - Anadolu Agency]

Palestinians stage a demonstration in front of the British Consulate as part of the 104th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, in East Jerusalem on 2 November 2021. [Mostafa Alkharouf – Anadolu Agency]

As such, it is necessary to accelerate and strengthen the international movement to implement relevant UN resolutions on the Arab-Israeli conflict. Efforts must be made to end the occupation and achieve a comprehensive, just and lasting peace on the basis of the resolutions. Such action is being seriously undermined every day as a result of the destructive policies and measures pursued by the Bennett government in occupied Palestine, including Jerusalem. It is also undermined through the support provided to this occupation, which allows it to continue to establish and expand settlements, as well as the blatant Judaisation of Palestine and the theft of Palestinian land. As longs as Israel is allowed to act with impunity, international justice in support of Palestinian rights will remain elusive.

In light of this, the international community, especially the UN Security Council and General Assembly, must act quickly and work to fulfil their legal obligations to put an end to this historical injustice against the Palestinian people. Moreover, the Security Council must take practical steps and fulfil its obligations stipulated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Part of this will be to support the efforts to convene an international conference for peace and justice for the Palestinian people.

Palestine is an occupied land; this fact is recognised by international laws and conventions. This is the essence of security and stability in the whole region. Legitimate national rights can never be compromised, nor can the great sacrifices which serve as a beacon for future generations in order to preserve the historical and religious status and symbolism of Palestine, which has witnessed some of the most important religious and historical events. At its heart is Jerusalem, the eternal capital of the Palestinian state and its heroic people. It provides the momentum for the struggle and is central to the spirituality of the heavenly religions. This is Palestine’s historical message, with its churches, mosques and other holy places.

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