Palestine’s tryst with West Bank barrier – Siddharth Acharya

It had been sixty four years and still it is unarguably one of the most longest conflict in the entire history of the Middle-east region. The Palestine’s war with “Land-grabbers” doesn’t seem to be over and constant initiatives of diplomacy to resolve the issues are also ending in fiasco.  There has been no room for substantial negotiation since Palestine was not even considered as a “State” in eyes of World Community till November 29, 2012. Past six decades in the region have witnessed huge amount of blood-shed killing millions of people from both the countries. The demographics has been changing with time and Israel-PLO Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements (the DOP, better known as the Oslo-accords), signed in Washington on 13 September 1993, provided for a transitional period not exceeding five years of Palestinian interim self-government in sections of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. Under the DOP, Israel agreed to recognize the West Bank and the Gaza Strip as a “Single Territorial Unit” as well as to transfer certain powers and responsibilities to the Palestinian Authority, which includes the Palestinian Legislative Council elected in January 1996, as part of the interim self-governing arrangements in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Israel due to backing of Allied powers have always gained more benefits. While some individual Palestinians and some small organizations still reject that historic compromise, for the vast majority of Palestinians the goal is for an independent state–a fully realized and truly independent state–in the West Bank and Gaza.
Palestinians also want the right for refugees to return to their homes, from wherever they were expelled. The right of return is part of international law, and Palestinians are specifically guaranteed that right by UN Resolution 194, which states that “refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return.”

Rise and Dominance of Hamas in West Bank and Gaza

The Hamas demonstration, the first in years in the West Bank, is considered a watershed in the ruptured relations between the two biggest Palestinian factions. Relations between the PLO’s Fatah and Hamas broken down when the latter militarily took over the Gaza Strip, ousting supporters of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Warring Palestinian factions are experiencing an unprecedented rapprochement after five years of bitter conflict that has seen the Gaza-based authorities arresting supporters of Fatah and banning them from any public activities while the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority bans activities of Hamas and detains some of their militant members. The most recent Israeli mini-war against Gaza has united Palestinians and has brought on genuine warming between the two groups. Recently, PLO leaders participated in Hamas celebrations in Gaza while both parties released their opponent’s political prisoners. The news of these two organizations becoming ally have given reason to smile to Palestinians who were awaiting both of them to unite and struggle for the desired cause.  Hamas is looking forward to take over West Bank in order to regain its original land. Hamas has been ruling in Gaza since 2007 and showed its uncompromising intent last month in a one week ferocious war. The return of exiled Hamas leader Khaled Mashal is also considered as a new development in the Palestine politics. Mahmoud Abassi, the president of Palestine is also thrilled and excited after being successful in getting the status of “State”. Truly, this seems to be Palestine’s hour and a lot is expected from the upcoming elections happening in

Israel. Benzamin Netanyahu has shown a lot of courage to re-start settlement building in the region. Since he has been elected but due to pre-poll speculations not favoring him as next head, he has an uphill task of molding public opinion in his support.

The international resistance even to acknowledge this issue is the reason why the entire onus is still put on Israel. It is so much easier for the international community to pour all of its ire onto details of Israeli policy rather than to focus – and over time change – the totality of the Palestinian policy.

Nevertheless, while restarting settlement building at this time is understandable it is also not advisable by experts and politicians. Unwise because it is so destructive for Israel’s reputation in the wider international community, but understandable because – just as after the brutal massacring of the Fogel family in Itamar – it is clear why Israel might seek to respond to the latest about of Palestine  misbehaviour by showing that there is a price to pay for circumventing the only path to peace: direct negotiations.

Allegory of  attempt of reconstruction between two nations:

Fresh from his recent praise of the Muslim Brotherhood’s abilities as peacemakers, Ban Ki Moon has declared such a restart to be, ‘An almost fatal blow to remaining chances of securing a two-state solution.’ The situation is tragic for all sides today in the Arab-Israeli theatre. The Israelis are seeing their people murdered on a regular basis. This is the only modern Western country that is forced to assert its own existence through military force on a regular basis. Ironically, it is the Palestinians who are even more harmed by the war underway. A skilled and dignified people are obstructed from modernizing because they are obsessed with destroying their enemy; their own polity, economy, society and culture are neglected. Only when they give that up can they prosper and achieve great things. At this time they suffer from dictatorship, poverty and backwardness. These are the wretched results of their own hideous ambitions. The net result of the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993 was to produce a population of Palestinians that was more vehemently anti-Israel than before. The hope of destroying Israel acquired more traction, seen in words and in actions, in text and in maps. The muted Palestinian mood of 1993 turned into the enraged ambition of 2000. A population not so confident about its prospects – the Iraqis had just lost their war, the Soviet Union had collapsed, the Palestinians were in a precarious situation; they wanted to destroy Israel, but they could see no means of achieving it. By the year 2000, due to the diplomacy, to Israeli concessions, one found a Palestinian population that was truly inspired, that saw within its grasp the destruction of Israel. Palestine remained unapologetic about it, thus again deviating both the nations to reach on a sound conclusion. The volatile political scenario in both the countries have been the major cause of failure all the treaties and both countries witnessed repetitive wars.


A lot is expected and anticipated from the new Government in Israel and a peaceful settlement of dispute as earlier mentioned is the need of the hour. Both the countries have an uphill task to negotiate on the land issues. Only time will tell how long will it take for two nations to resolve the issue of West Bank, Gaza and Jerusalem.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this:
Visit Us On FacebookVisit Us On TwitterVisit Us On YoutubeVisit Us On Google PlusCheck Our Feed