Collective Israeli Tyranny and Peace Disruption in the Occupied Territories

TRANSCEND MEMBERS, 4 Mar 2024

Prof Hoosen Vawda – TRANSCEND Media Service

Please note that this publication contains graphic images which may be disturbing to some readers.  Reader discretion is advised. Parental guidance is recommended for minors, who may use this publication as a project, resource material.

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 “The Israeli government and the Israeli settlers are one collective organsation in the brutal atrocities committed against the deprived Palestinians in all its occupied territories, not only in Gaza.  The fallacy of the international community in accepting that the Palestinians in the occupied territories are safe is denial of the truth because the tentacles of operation of the oppressive apparatus of Israel are being deployed through the services of the Israeli settlers in the ongoing harassment, oppression, violent attacks, stealing and expropriation of their property, eventually leading to the eradication of the Palestinians as the Final Solution of Benjamin Netanyahu and his oppressive parliament to the approval, support and complicity of US and the Western Bloc.” [1]

Israeli Settler Violence increasing in intensity and impunity, with support from IDF and Israeli police: Burin village, in the occupied West Bank. in February, 2023, after settlers set Palestinian cars on fire. Note the hand gesture of the Israeli settler, wearing the traditional Yarmulke or Koppel. Kippah (lit. dome) is the Hebrew word for skullcap, to a defenceless, Palestinian, while the attacks are in progress.  Photo Credit Getty Images

This paper examines the nefarious contributions of the Israeli Settlers in the Occupied Territories[2], in furtherance of the ongoing ethnic cleansing and genocide conducted by Israel as a Final Solution” in the total annihilation and removal of Palestinians from their enclave along the beautiful eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea.  In reality, as of January 2023, there are 144 Israeli settlements in the West Bank, including 12 in East Jerusalem. In addition, there are over 100 Israeli illegal outposts (not sanctioned by the Israeli government) in the West Bank.[3] The important point to note is that Prime Minister Netanyahu has given the Israeli Settlers full authority to engage with the helpless Palestinians by equipping them with guns and heavy-duty arms to attack the Palestinians at will in their ultimate goal to remove them totally from their ancestral lands.  This is the fact of the long-term strategy of the Israeli Settlers as orchestrated by the Netanyahu’s Zionist government[4]. Regrettably, the campaign is conveniently overlooked by “The Master”[5] as well as the EU and the Western Bloc as a matter of denial of the actual oppression at grass roots level in the occupied territories since 1967, but fiercely propagated with renewed vigour and aggression by the collective Zionist forces of oppression. Ironically, noting can be done about the emergent spectre by the symbolic Palestinian Authority as well as the rest of the Global North [6]and the hypocritic Western Bloc, about the unfolding humanitarian tragedy.

On 26th February 2024, an estimated 500 Israeli settlers stormed the occupied West Bank villages of Huwara[7], Zaatara[8],(from plant Zaatar)  and Burin[9], Nablus, among others, in what many are calling a pogrom. Protected by Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF), armed settlers set fire to hundreds of Palestinian homes, 9 of which were confirmed to have families trapped inside, hundreds of cars, shops, ambulances, trees, and livestock. One Palestinian father, Sheikh Sameh Hamdallah Mahmoud Aqtash [10]who had just returned from a rescue mission in Turkey, was martyred in Zaatara. Just a few days ago Zionist settlers and IOF soldiers invaded occupied Nablus again, broke into shops, and terrorised Palestinians. In February, thus far, this year at least a total of 80 Palestinians has been martyred, 15 were children, in these attacks.[11] Predictably, in the wake of such violence from settlers who are not IOF soldiers, narratives about “extremist,” “right-wing” Zionists and Zionist governments emerged. Ironically, thousands of settlers in the territories occupied in 1948, known as “Israel”, denounced such aggression in the occupied West Bank, blaming it on the newly elected right-wing Zionist government led by Netanyahu, as opposed to so-called “progressive” Zionist parties. Through this liberal, sugar-coated narrative and apparent outrage towards the recent escalation of Zionist violence this year, the reality of Zionist settler-colonialism and how the Zionist state was established, is obfuscated, diluted, and deliberately ignored. Settler-led rampages are not a rarity, nor an extreme version of Zionist occupation; they are its very foundation.[12]   The Israeli Settlers are even blocking the transfer of humanitarian aid, of medicines, food, and other supplies, coming into Gaza from surrounding countries and UN agencies.[13]  According to the Palestinian Health Ministry, at least 417 Palestinians, including more than 108 children, have been killed by the Israeli Settlers and Israeli Occupation Forces in the Occupied Territories with 4600 injured and 7270 Palestinians detained in Israeli prisons, since 07th October 2023.[14] The statistics are increasing daily, especially following IOF night raids, in these areas. Since that fateful day, Israeli forces have perpetrated war crimes and crimes against humanity in Gaza and the Occupied West Bank. Palestinians face intense risks of ethnic cleansing and genocide.[15]

 

The Occupied Territories in Palestine by Israel since 1967[16]

The author has written about this, extensively, in previous publications.[17],[18],[19], however, it is relevant to summarise the Israeli Occupation of Palestinian territories since 1967 as well as the oppression of the indigenous Palestinians prior to the 6-day war.[20]

The term “Occupied Territories” generally refers to the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip. These areas have been at the centre of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for decades.

West Bank:

  • The West Bank is a landlocked territory located to the east of Israel. It was captured by Israel during the Six-Day War in 1967.
  • Israel has established settlements in the West Bank, which are considered illegal under international law. These settlements are a major point of contention between Israelis and Palestinians.
  • The West Bank is also home to various Palestinian cities and communities. The Palestinian Authority (PA) governs some areas, while others remain under direct Israeli control.

East Jerusalem:

  • East Jerusalem was also captured by Israel in 1967. Israel later annexed East Jerusalem, a move not recognized by the international community.
  • The city is considered by both Israelis and Palestinians as a crucial part of their national identity, with both claiming it as their capital. The status of Jerusalem is one of the most contentious issues in the conflict.

Gaza Strip:

  • The Gaza Strip is a coastal enclave bordered by Israel and Egypt. It has been under an Israeli blockade since 2007, when Hamas took control of the territory.
  • The blockade has significantly restricted the movement of people and goods in and out of Gaza, leading to humanitarian concerns.
  • Periodic conflicts between Israel and militant groups in Gaza have resulted in significant civilian casualties and damage to infrastructure.

Israeli-Palestinian Conflict:

  • The broader Israeli-Palestinian conflict is rooted in historical, religious, and territorial disputes. It involves competing national narratives, claims to the same land, and disagreements over borders and the right of return for Palestinian refugees.

International Response:

  • The international community, including the United Nations, has been actively involved in seeking a peaceful resolution to the conflict. Numerous resolutions have been passed, calling for a two-state solution and an end to settlement activities.

Efforts to resolve the conflict have faced numerous challenges, and a lasting resolution remains elusive. The situation is characterised by complex geopolitical, historical, and cultural factors, making it a deeply entrenched and multifaceted issue. It’s important to consider various perspectives when exploring this topic.  However, the basic issue is that Israel has continually expanded its territory, at the expense of the land of the indigenous Palestinians causing the ongoing wars, with the ultimate aim being total eradication of the Palestinians from the areas, replacing them with Israeli settlers.

Historical Background of the Palestinian Occupied Territories[21],[22]

The historical background of the areas now known as the Occupied Territories in Palestine is sad and complex, spanning thousands of years. A brief overview from antiquity to the 21st century is summarised:

Antiquity:

  • The region has a long history dating back to ancient times. It was inhabited by various peoples, including Canaanites, Philistines, Israelites, and others.
  • Jerusalem, located in the region, holds significance in several religious traditions, including Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, the three main Abrahamic religions of the world.
  • The area witnessed the rise and fall of various large empires, including the Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, and Romans.

Roman and Byzantine Periods:

  • In 63 BCE, the Roman Empire under Pompey conquered the region, marking the end of Hasmonean rule.
  • Jerusalem became a Roman province, and the Jews revolted against Roman rule in 66 CE, leading to the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE.
  • The region later became part of the Byzantine Empire.

Islamic Conquests:

  • In 638 CE, the region was conquered by Arab Muslims under Caliph Umar, marking the beginning of Islamic rule.
  • Jerusalem gained religious significance in Islam, and the Dome of the Rock was built on the Temple Mount in the late 7th century.

Crusader Period:

  • The region saw a series of Crusader invasions and occupations from the 11th  to the 13th  centuries, with Jerusalem changing hands between Muslim and Christian forces.

Ottoman Empire:

  • The Ottoman Empire conquered the region in 1517 and ruled for centuries. During this time, the demographics and religious makeup of the area evolved.

British Mandate:

  • After World War I, the League of Nations granted Britain the mandate to administer Palestine. During this period, Jewish immigration increased, leading to tensions between Jewish and Arab communities.

1948 Arab-Israeli War and Establishment of Israel:

  • The United Nations proposed a partition plan in 1947, recommending the creation of Jewish and Arab states with an international administration for Jerusalem.
  • In 1948, Israel declared independence, leading to the Arab-Israeli War. The war resulted in the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians.

Six-Day War (1967):

  • In 1967, Israel captured the West Bank, East Jerusalem, Gaza Strip, Golan Heights, and the Sinai Peninsula in the Six-Day War.

Post-1967:

  • Israel began establishing settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, leading to increased tensions with the Palestinian population.
  • Peace processes, including the Oslo Accords in the 1990s, aimed to address the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but a comprehensive resolution has yet to be achieved.

Understanding the historical context is crucial for comprehending the complexities of the modern Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the challenges in finding a sustainable and just resolution.

The Conquest of Jerusalem by Salahuddin Ayyubi[23]

Salahuddin Ayyubi, also known as Saladin, played a crucial role in the conquest of Jerusalem during the medieval period. His efforts are particularly associated with the recapture of Jerusalem from Christian Crusaders in the 12th century. Here’s an overview:

Background:

Crusader Control:

  • In 1099, during the First Crusade, European Christian forces captured Jerusalem and established the Kingdom of Jerusalem. The city remained under Crusader control for nearly 88 years.

Zengid Dynasty:[24]

  • Salahuddin Ayyubi, a Kurdish military leader and statesman, rose to prominence within the Zengid dynasty, which controlled various territories in the Middle East.

Role in the Conquest of Jerusalem:

Battle of Hattin (1187):[25]

  • Salahuddin’s most significant military achievement was the Battle of Hattin in 1187. This battle, fought against the forces of the Kingdom of Jerusalem led by King Guy of Lusignan, resulted in a decisive victory for Salahuddin.

Siege of Jerusalem (1187):

  • Following the Battle of Hattin, Salahuddin moved to besiege Jerusalem. The city was a key target, both strategically and symbolically.

Surrender of Jerusalem:

  • After a prolonged siege, Jerusalem surrendered to Salahuddin’s forces on October 2, 1187. The terms of surrender were negotiated, and Salahuddin demonstrated a degree of tolerance, allowing safe passage for Christian civilians who wished to leave the city.

Reputation for Chivalry:

  • Salahuddin earned a reputation for chivalry and magnanimity during the conquest. His treatment of prisoners and the defeated was in contrast to the atrocities committed during the initial Crusader capture of Jerusalem in 1099.

Impact and Legacy:

End of Crusader Rule:

  • The capture of Jerusalem by Salahuddin marked the end of Crusader rule in the city. The successful military campaign significantly weakened the Crusader presence in the Holy Land.

Symbol of Tolerance:

  • Salahuddin’s approach to the conquest of Jerusalem and his treatment of religious minorities, including Christians and Jews, has been lauded as an example of tolerance during a tumultuous period in history.

Historical Legacy:

  • Salahuddin Ayyubi’s legacy as a military leader and statesman who successfully confronted the Crusaders has endured over the centuries. His reputation extends beyond military prowess to encompass qualities such as honour, chivalry, and religious tolerance.

Salahuddin’s recapture of Jerusalem is considered a pivotal event in the history of the Crusades and the broader medieval history of the Middle East. His legacy as a leader who reclaimed Jerusalem and demonstrated a sense of justice and tolerance has left a lasting impact on historical narratives and cultural perceptions.

International Law and the Status of the Occupied Territories by Israel[26]

The status of the Occupied Territories, particularly the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip, is a matter of significant international legal concern. Several key principles of international law are relevant to the situation:

The Fourth Geneva Convention (1949):[27]

  • The Fourth Geneva Convention is a set of international humanitarian laws designed to protect civilians during times of armed conflict.
  • The territories captured by Israel in 1967, including the West Bank and East Jerusalem, are considered occupied territories under the Fourth Geneva Convention.
  • The convention prohibits the transfer of an occupying power’s civilian population into the territories it occupies. This means that the establishment of Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem is considered a violation of international law.

United Nations Security Council Resolutions:[28]

Numerous United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions address the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the status of the Occupied Territories.

  • UNSC Resolution 242 (1967) calls for the withdrawal of Israeli forces from territories occupied during the Six-Day War and the establishment of secure and recognized boundaries.
  • UNSC Resolution 338 (1973) reaffirms Resolution 242 and calls for a ceasefire in the Yom Kippur War.

International Court of Justice (ICJ):[29]

  • The International Court of Justice, in its advisory opinion on the construction of a wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (2004), concluded that the construction of the separation barrier in the West Bank by Israel is illegal under international law.
  • The ICJ stated that the construction of the barrier and the associated settlements are inconsistent with Israel’s obligations under international humanitarian law.

Status of East Jerusalem:

  • The international community, including the United Nations, does not recognize Israel’s annexation of East Jerusalem after the 1967 war.
  • UN Security Council Resolution 478 (1980) called upon member states to withdraw their diplomatic missions from Jerusalem, and it stated that the Israeli law declaring Jerusalem as the united capital of Israel is null and void.

Peace Process and Two-State Solution:[30]

  • The international consensus, as reflected in various resolutions and statements, supports a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with Israel and a future Palestinian state living side by side in peace and security.

While international law and resolutions exist, the practical implementation and enforcement of these principles face challenges, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict remains a deeply entrenched and complex issue. Different parties often interpret legal principles differently, and political considerations also play a significant role in the ongoing situation.

 

The administration of the areas mentioned—West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip—varies, and each area has a distinct administrative status.

West Bank:

The West Bank is subject to a complex administrative structure. Following the Oslo Accords in the 1990s, the West Bank was divided into three administrative divisions:

  • Area A: Under full control of the Palestinian Authority (PA) in terms of civil and security matters.
  • Area B: Under Palestinian civil control but with joint Israeli-Palestinian security coordination.
  • Area C: Under full Israeli control, both in civil and security matters. This area constitutes a significant portion of the West Bank and includes Israeli settlements.

East Jerusalem:

  • Israel annexed East Jerusalem after the 1967 Six-Day War, a move not recognised by the international community. As a result, Israel claims sovereignty over the entire city.
  • The Palestinian Authority seeks East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state.
  • The day-to-day administration of East Jerusalem involves both Israeli and Palestinian elements. While Israel manages security and provides municipal services, there are Palestinian institutions and residents in East Jerusalem.

Gaza Strip:

  • The Gaza Strip has a distinct administrative and political situation. In 2005, Israel unilaterally withdrew its settlers and military forces from the Gaza Strip.
  • Since 2007, the Gaza Strip has been under the control of Hamas, an Islamist political and militant group. This followed the expulsion of the Palestinian Authority, which was dominated by Fatah, from Gaza after a brief but intense factional conflict.

In summary, the administrative control is divided between Israel and the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, with different degrees of control in various areas. East Jerusalem is administered by Israel but remains a focal point of contention in Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. The Gaza Strip is under the control of Hamas. The overall situation is complex, with various political, security, and humanitarian implications, contributing to the ongoing challenges in the region.

The Palestinian Authority[31]

The Palestinian Authority (PA) is an interim self-government body established as a result of the Oslo Accords, a series of agreements between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) signed in the 1990s. The PA was created with the goal of transitioning toward Palestinian self-rule and eventual statehood.

History of Creation:

  1. Oslo Accords (1993): The Oslo Accords were a set of agreements signed in the early 1990s between Israel and the PLO. The negotiations were facilitated by the United States and other international actors. The first agreement, the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements (commonly known as Oslo I), was signed on September 13, 1993, on the White House lawn in Washington, D.C.
  2. Interim Agreement (1995): The Oslo II agreement, signed in 1995, further outlined the administrative divisions of the West Bank into Areas A, B, and C, specifying the degree of control exercised by the Palestinian Authority and Israel in different regions.

Structure and Functions:

  • The Palestinian Authority is structured with an executive branch, led by a president, and a legislative branch, the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC). The presidency and the PLC were established as part of the Oslo Accords.
  • The PA was tasked with governing parts of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, with the goal of fostering Palestinian self-rule until a final status agreement could be reached.

Post-Oslo Period and Challenges:

  • Despite the establishment of the PA, the path to a final resolution has been marked by numerous challenges. Issues such as Israeli settlements, the status of Jerusalem, refugees, and borders have remained contentious.
  • Internal Palestinian divisions, including tensions between Fatah (which dominates the PA) and Hamas, have complicated efforts to present a united front in negotiations with Israel.

Current Status:

  • The Palestinian Authority continues to exist, and its leadership is based in the West Bank. The situation is dynamic, and developments may have occurred since then.
  • The question of Palestinian statehood and a final resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict remains unresolved. Efforts by the international community to mediate and restart peace negotiations have faced challenges.

It is important to note that the political landscape in the region is complex, and events and developments can influence the status and role of the Palestinian Authority.  The list of consecutive leaders of the Palestinian Authority (PA) from its inception:

  1. Yasser Arafat [32](1994-2004): Arafat was a key figure in the Palestinian national movement and the Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). After the establishment of the PA, he became its first president.
  2. Mahmoud Abbas[33] (2005-present): Also known as Abu Mazen, Abbas succeeded Yasser Arafat as the leader of the Palestinian Authority. He served as the Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization since 2004 and has been re-elected as President of the PA in subsequent elections.

The situation is dynamic and subject to changes in leadership or caused by developments in the Palestinian political landscape, as well as the current War On Gaza, waged by Israel. Yasser Arafat was the Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), an organization that, for much of its history, was classified as a terrorist organization by the United States and some other countries. The PLO was founded in 1964 with the goal of representing the Palestinian people and achieving their national aspirations, including the establishment of a Palestinian state.  Yasser Arafat played a prominent role in the Palestinian national movement and led the PLO from the late 1960s until his death in 2004. During his leadership, the PLO was involved in various armed conflicts with Israel. The United States designated the PLO as a terrorist organization in the 1980s.  However, following the Oslo Accords signed in the 1990s between the PLO and Israel, there was a shift in the status of the PLO. As part of the peace process, the PLO officially recognized the state of Israel, renounced terrorism, and committed to resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through negotiations. It is important to note that the classification of the PLO as a terrorist organization has evolved over time, with the peace process and subsequent developments, the PLO underwent transformations in its political status. The situation is complex and has involved shifts in international perceptions and diplomatic relations

he Palestinian Authority (PA), led by President Mahmoud Abbas, receives financial support from various sources, including international donors and organizations. The primary contributors to the PA’s budget include:

International Donors:

  • Arab States: Some Arab countries, such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates, have historically provided financial assistance to the PA.
  • European Union: The EU and individual European countries have been significant donors to the PA, providing both financial aid and developmental assistance.
  • United States: Despite occasional fluctuations in U.S. assistance due to political considerations, the United States has historically been a major contributor to the Palestinian Authority.

International Organizations:

  • United Nations (UN): The UN, through various agencies, provides financial support for humanitarian and development projects in the Palestinian territories.
  • World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF): These institutions may contribute funds or provide financial advice to support the PA’s economic and institutional development.

Arab League:

  • The Arab League, a regional organization of Arab countries, has played a role in coordinating financial support for the Palestinian Authority.

Other International Partners:

  • Various countries, such as Japan and Norway as well as international organisations may contribute funds to the PA for specific projects or general budgetary support.

It is important to note that the financial situation of the Palestinian Authority is often influenced by geopolitical dynamics, diplomatic relations, and the broader context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Contributions from donors can vary, and the PA has faced financial challenges at times. Additionally, Israel collects taxes on behalf of the Palestinian Authority, and the transfer of these tax revenues to the PA is a significant component of its budget. This arrangement is outlined in the Paris Protocol, an economic agreement signed as part of the Oslo Accords. However, political tensions between Israel and the PA have led to periods where Israel withheld or delayed the transfer of tax revenues.  However, with the current War On Gaza, the transfer of al funds has ceased since the 07th October 2023, leaving the PA and Palestinians absolutely “penniless” as well as, totally broke.

A Historical Overview of Jerusalem from Antiquity to the 21st Century[34]

The history of Jerusalem is rich and complex, and it holds great significance in religious, historical, and cultural contexts. Here’s an overview of Jerusalem from antiquity to the 21st  century:

Antiquity:

  • Early Settlements: The area around Jerusalem has been inhabited since prehistoric times. Early settlements date back to the Chalcolithic period (4500-3300 BCE).
  • Canaanites and Jebusites: In the Bronze Age, the city was inhabited by Canaanites. The Jebusites, a Canaanite tribe, established the city and called it Jebus. The city is often mentioned in ancient texts, including the Bible.

Biblical Period:

  • Davidic Kingdom: King David captured Jerusalem from the Jebusites around 1000 BCE, making it the capital of the united Kingdom of Israel.
  • Solomon’s Temple: Solomon, David’s son, built the First Temple (Solomon’s Temple) in the city, becoming a central religious site for the Israelites.

Assyrian and Babylonian Periods:

  • Destruction of the First Temple: In 586 BCE, the Babylonians, led by Nebuchadnezzar II, conquered Jerusalem and destroyed the First Temple. The Israelites were subsequently exiled to Babylon.

Persian, Hellenistic, and Roman Periods:

  • Return from Exile: After the Persian conquest, some Jews returned to Jerusalem and rebuilt the Second Temple (515 BCE).
  • Hellenistic Rule: Jerusalem came under Hellenistic influence after the conquests of Alexander the Great.
  • Maccabean Revolt: The successful Maccabean Revolt (167-160 BCE) against the Seleucid Empire led to the rededication of the Second Temple, celebrated as Hanukkah.
  • Roman Rule: In 63 BCE, the Roman general Pompey captured Jerusalem, bringing it under Roman rule.

Roman and Byzantine Periods:

  • Life of Jesus: Jerusalem is central to the life of Jesus Christ. His crucifixion and resurrection are key events in Christianity.
  • Destruction of the Second Temple: In 70 CE, the Romans, under Titus, destroyed the Second Temple during the First Jewish-Roman War.

Islamic Period:

  • Muslim Conquest: In 638 CE, Arab Muslims, led by Caliph Umar, captured Jerusalem. The Dome of the Rock was built on the Temple Mount in 691 CE.
  • Crusades: Jerusalem changed hands multiple times during the Crusades, with Christians and Muslims each controlling the city at various points.

Ottoman Period:

  • Ottoman Empire: From 1517 to 1917, Jerusalem was part of the Ottoman Empire.

British Mandate:

  • World War I: Jerusalem was captured by British forces in 1917, and the League of Nations granted Britain the mandate to administer Palestine.

Modern Period:

  • Israeli Independence (1948): In 1948, Israel declared independence, and Jerusalem became a divided city. The western part was controlled by Israel, while the eastern part, including the Old City, was controlled by Jordan.
  • Six-Day War (1967): Israel captured East Jerusalem, including the Old City, during the Six-Day War. Israel later annexed East Jerusalem, a move not recognized by much of the international community.
  • Contemporary Issues: The status of Jerusalem remains a critical issue in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Israel considers Jerusalem its capital, while the Palestinians seek East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state. The international community generally does not recognize Israel’s sovereignty over East Jerusalem, and the situation remains a major point of contention.

This historical overview provides a glimpse into the complexities of Jerusalem’s past, reflecting its importance to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, as well as its central role in the geopolitical dynamics of the region.  Jerusalem was divided in the recent era during the period following the Arab-Israeli War of 1948, also known as the War of Independence or the Nakba (“catastrophe” in Arabic). The division occurred as a result of the armistice agreements signed between Israel and its neighbouring Arab states.

After the war concluded in 1949, the city of Jerusalem was divided into two parts:

  1. West Jerusalem (Israel): Israel controlled the western part of the city, including the modern areas and neighbourhoods, following the armistice agreement with Jordan.
  2. East Jerusalem (Jordan): Jordan controlled the eastern part of the city, including the Old City and its historic sites, following the armistice agreement with Israel.

This division of Jerusalem lasted until the Six-Day War in 1967.

Six-Day War (1967): During the Six-Day War, which took place from June 5 to June 10, 1967, Israel captured East Jerusalem, along with the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Sinai Peninsula, and Golan Heights. This war resulted in a significant shift in the status of Jerusalem.

Post-1967 Division: After the Six-Day War, Israel annexed East Jerusalem, effectively unifying the city under Israeli control. The international community, however, did not recognize this annexation, and the United Nations Security Council passed resolutions calling for the withdrawal of Israeli forces from the territories occupied during the war.

The status of Jerusalem remains a contentious and unresolved issue in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The international community generally does not recognize Israel’s sovereignty over East Jerusalem, considering it part of the occupied territories. Palestinians seek East Jerusalem as the capital of a future independent Palestinian state, while Israel regards Jerusalem as its undivided capital. The status of Jerusalem continues to be a significant point of contention in peace negotiations and international diplomacy.  the United States Embassy in Israel is located in Jerusalem. In May 2018, the U.S. officially moved its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, following the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel by the United States. This decision was met with various international reactions and considerations, given the historical and political sensitivities surrounding Jerusalem in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  The U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem is situated in the Arnona neighborhood. The specific address is 14 David Flusser Street, Jerusalem 9378322, Israel.   The decision to relocate the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem was a significant and controversial move that had political, diplomatic, and symbolic implications. The rationale behind this decision, as stated by the Trump administration at the time, included the following key points:

  1. Recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital: The United States officially recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. This recognition was in line with a 1995 U.S. law known as the Jerusalem Embassy Act, which called for the relocation of the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. However, successive U.S. administrations had consistently waived the implementation of this law, citing national security concerns and the need for a comprehensive peace agreement.
  2. Affirmation of Israeli Sovereignty: Moving the embassy to Jerusalem was seen as a way to affirm Israeli sovereignty over the city, especially West Jerusalem, which Israel has controlled since its establishment in 1948.
  3. Fulfilment of Campaign Promise: The relocation was part of a campaign promise made by then-presidential candidate Donald Trump during the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Following his election, President Trump expressed the intention to move the embassy, and the decision to do so was announced in December 2017.
  4. Shift in U.S. Policy: The move signalled a departure from the longstanding U.S. policy, shared by much of the international community, of not recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital due to its contested status. The status of Jerusalem is a central issue in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and its final determination is considered a key element of any future peace agreement.

It’s worth noting that the decision was met with various reactions globally. Many countries, including close U.S. allies, expressed concern, as they traditionally maintained embassies in Tel Aviv to avoid taking a position on the disputed status of Jerusalem. Critics argued that the move could have implications for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, as the Palestinians also seek East Jerusalem as the capital of a future independent state. The status of Jerusalem remains a complex and sensitive issue in the broader context of the Middle East.  In view of these tensions, most foreign embassies are located in Tel Aviv rather than Jerusalem. The international community, in general, did not follow the United States in relocating its embassy to Jerusalem. The status of Jerusalem is considered a sensitive and disputed issue in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and many countries have maintained their embassies in Tel Aviv as a result.

The Al-Aqsa Mosque complex [35]is located in the Old City of Jerusalem, which is in East Jerusalem. The Old City is a historic and culturally significant part of Jerusalem, and it is situated to the east of the modern city centre. Al-Aqsa Mosque is one of the holiest sites in Islam, in fact it was the first focal point of all Islamic prayers before Mecca was given that status in history and is part of the larger compound known as the Noble Sanctuary or Al-Haram Al-Sharif in Arabic.

The status of Jerusalem, including the Old City and its religious sites, is a central and sensitive issue in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Old City is home to several religious sites sacred to Judaism The status of East Jerusalem is one of the key and contentious issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Different parties have competing claims, and the question of to whom East Jerusalem belongs remains a central point of disagreement, between Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.  It has been a focal point of historical and geopolitical tensions.   The key perspectives are:

Israeli Perspective:

  • Israel claims sovereignty over the entirety of Jerusalem, including East Jerusalem. In 1980, Israel passed the “Jerusalem Law,” declaring Jerusalem as its undivided capital. This move was not internationally recognised, and most countries, including the United States, do not recognise Israel’s sovereignty over East Jerusalem.

Palestinian Perspective:

  • The Palestinians seek East Jerusalem as the capital of a future independent Palestinian state. This position is based on historical claims, demographic considerations, and the cultural and religious significance of East Jerusalem to the Palestinian people.

International Community:

  • The international community, as reflected in various United Nations resolutions and the general approach of most countries, does not recognize Israel’s sovereignty over East Jerusalem. The UN considers East Jerusalem to be part of the occupied Palestinian territories.
  • Many countries maintain their embassies in Tel Aviv, as opposed to Jerusalem, to avoid taking a position on the disputed status of the city.

Peace Process:

  • The final status of Jerusalem, including East Jerusalem, is considered one of the “final status issues” that should be resolved through negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. This approach is outlined in various peace initiatives and proposals, such as the Oslo Accords.

The conflicting claims to East Jerusalem contribute to the complexity of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Negotiations and peace processes, which have faced numerous challenges over the years, aim to find a mutually acceptable resolution to issues like the status of Jerusalem.  It is accurate to say that East Jerusalem is considered by the international community, including the United Nations, as part of the occupied Palestinian territories. Israel captured East Jerusalem, along with the West Bank, in the Six-Day War in 1967. The international community, for the most part, does not recognize Israel’s sovereignty over East Jerusalem and views it as part of the territories occupied by Israel.

 

This stance is in line with United Nations Security Council Resolution 242, which calls for the withdrawal of Israeli forces from territories occupied during the Six-Day War, including East Jerusalem. Additionally, United Nations Security Council Resolution 478, passed in 1980, declared Israel’s annexation of East Jerusalem as null and void and called upon member states to withdraw their diplomatic missions from the city.  The issue of East Jerusalem’s status is a key point of contention in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and it is one of the “final status” issues to be addressed in any potential peace agreement. The Palestinians seek East Jerusalem as the capital of a future independent Palestinian state, while Israel maintains control over the entire city. The situation remains complex and is subject to ongoing diplomatic and political developments.  The status of East Jerusalem is considered by the international community, including the United Nations, as occupied territory under international law. The legal basis for this designation includes:

United Nations Security Council Resolutions:

  • United Nations Security Council Resolution 242, passed in the aftermath of the Six-Day War in 1967, emphasizes the “inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war” and calls for the withdrawal of Israeli forces from territories occupied during the conflict, including East Jerusalem.
  • United Nations Security Council Resolution 338, passed in 1973, reaffirms the call for negotiations and the implementation of Resolution 242.

United Nations General Assembly Resolutions:

  • United Nations General Assembly Resolution 298 (1971) reaffirms that the continued occupation of Palestinian and Arab territories, including East Jerusalem, is illegal.

International Court of Justice (ICJ) Advisory Opinion:

  • The International Court of Justice, in its Advisory Opinion on the Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (2004), affirmed the illegality of Israel’s construction of the separation barrier in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. The ICJ concluded that the construction of the barrier and the associated settlements violated international law.

Geneva Conventions:

  • East Jerusalem is considered part of the West Bank, and both areas are subject to the Fourth Geneva Convention, which outlines protections for civilians in times of war and occupation. The construction of settlements by the occupying power in occupied territories is generally considered a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

While these legal perspectives are widely accepted in the international community, it’s essential to note that the Israeli government disputes these interpretations and argues that Jerusalem, including East Jerusalem, is its sovereign and undivided capital. The Israeli position is not widely recognized internationally. The legal status of East Jerusalem is a complex and sensitive issue, and efforts to address it typically form part of broader peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.  East Jerusalem holds immense religious importance to Judaism due to its association with historical and sacred sites. The significance is deeply rooted in biblical history and traditions. Here are key aspects contributing to the religious importance of East Jerusalem to Judaism:

Temple Mount (Har HaBayit):[36]

  • Temple Mount, known as Har HaBayit in Hebrew, is one of the holiest sites in Judaism. It is believed to be the location where both the First and Second Temples stood. The First Temple, built by King Solomon, housed the Ark of the Covenant and was a central place of worship. The Second Temple, reconstructed after the Babylonian exile, was later destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE.

Western Wall (Kotel):[37]

  • The Western Wall, or Kotel, is a retaining wall of the Temple Mount and is the closest accessible point to the Holy of Holies from the Second Temple. It is a revered site for Jewish prayer and pilgrimage. Many Jews consider the Western Wall to be a symbol of their connection to the historical and spiritual roots of Judaism.

City of David:[38]

  • The City of David, an archaeological site located just south of the Temple Mount, is associated with King David’s conquest of Jerusalem and his establishment of the city as the capital of the united Kingdom of Israel.

Mount of Olives:[39]

  • The Mount of Olives holds religious significance as a burial site and is mentioned in biblical accounts. According to Jewish tradition, the Mount of Olives will play a role in the arrival of the Messiah.

Historical Capital of Israel:

  • Jerusalem served as the capital of the ancient kingdoms of Israel and Judah. King David established Jerusalem as the capital, and his son Solomon built the First Temple there. The city holds a central place in Jewish history, religious practice, and identity.

Importance to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: The religious and historical importance of East Jerusalem is a key factor in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The city is claimed as the capital by both Israel and the Palestinians. The contested status of Jerusalem, particularly East Jerusalem, has led to tensions and conflicts. The Arab-Israeli wars and the Six-Day War in 1967 resulted in Israel gaining control of East Jerusalem.

Present-Day Conflicts: The ongoing conflicts over Jerusalem involve disputes over sovereignty, control of religious sites, and the broader question of the city’s status in any potential peace settlement. The complexity of religious, historical, and political factors contributes to the challenges in finding a resolution that satisfies the aspirations of both Israelis and Palestinians. The status of Jerusalem remains a central and sensitive issue in the Middle East peace process.  The additional factor in this complex history is the expropriation of Palestinian land by Israeli Settlers, who are extremely antagonistic and looks upon the Palestinians as Enemies of Israel, in the land of the Palestinians, as confirmed in the placards exhibited at the border demonstrations, preventing aid to be transferred to the starving Palestinians since 07th October 2024.

The Consensus Conformity Terrorism with Israeli Occupation Forces, demonstrated by Israeli Settlers against Palestinians in the Occupied Territories.
 Photo Top: ‘Not a teaspoon of sugar’: As Gaza starves, Israeli protesters are blocking vital aid.  In-depth: For two months, Israelis have gathered at border crossings with Gaza to prevent supplies like food, fuel, water, and medicine from entering. With the smell of caramel corn in the air and cotton candy in their hands, around 500 Israelis gathered at the Israeli Nitzana border crossing with Egypt on Tuesday to protest against sending aid into Gaza. “You cannot expect the country to fight its enemy and feed it at the same time,” Rachel Touitou of Tzav 9, an Israeli movement formed in December to block aid to Gaza, told The New Arab. Tzav 8 refers to the alert code sent to Israeli army reservists when a draft is initiated. “There is some fraction of family members of hostages involved in these protests, but the majority of the people there are coming from the settler movement”
 Photo Bottom:  A man walks past cars destroyed by Israeli settlers in Huwara.
Photo Credit: Jaafar Ashtiyeh/AFP for Al Jazeera Media Network

 The Western Wall, also known as the Wailing Wall or Kotel in Hebrew, is one of the most significant religious sites in Judaism. Here’s an overview of its historical aspects and its connection to biblical narratives:

Historical Aspects:

Construction of the Second Temple:

  • The Western Wall is a remnant of the retaining wall that supported the Second Temple, which was initially built by King Herod the Great in the 1st century BCE. The Second Temple was a reconstruction of the original Temple built by King Solomon and was the central place of worship for the Jewish people.

Destruction of the Second Temple:

  • In 70 CE, the Romans under Titus destroyed the Second Temple during the Siege of Jerusalem. The Western Wall survived the destruction and became a focal point for Jewish prayer and mourning.

Centuries of Jewish Pilgrimage:

  • Throughout the centuries, Jews continued to visit the Western Wall, which became a site for prayer, reflection, and communal gatherings. Despite the challenges faced by Jewish communities over the years, the Western Wall retained its significance as a symbol of Jewish connection to Jerusalem and the historical Temple.

Biblical Narratives:

Connection to Mount Moriah[40]:

  • The Western Wall is part of the retaining wall surrounding the Temple Mount, also known as Mount Moriah. In the Bible, Mount Moriah is associated with significant events in Jewish history. It is where Abraham prepared to sacrifice his son Isaac (Genesis 22:1-19), and it later became the site of the First and Second Temples.

King Solomon’s Dedication:

  • In the biblical account, when King Solomon completed the construction of the First Temple, he gathered the people for the dedication ceremony. Solomon stood before the altar, facing the courtyard, and offered a prayer of dedication. The Western Wall is believed to be a section of the outer wall of this courtyard.

Destruction and Exile:

  • The destruction of the First Temple by the Babylonians in 586 BCE and the subsequent exile of the Jewish people to Babylon are significant events in biblical history. The Book of Lamentations, traditionally attributed to the prophet Jeremiah, expresses the sorrow and mourning of the people over the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple.

Return from Exile and Rebuilding:

  • The return from exile and the rebuilding of the Temple are themes found in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah. The Western Wall stands as a physical reminder of the historical and spiritual connection of the Jewish people to the Temple.

The Western Wall holds profound spiritual and emotional significance for Jews worldwide. It is a place of prayer, reflection, and communal gatherings. The tradition of placing written prayers in the crevices of the wall is a symbolic way for individuals to communicate with God and connect with the historical and religious roots of Judaism. The Western Wall, known as the “Wailing Wall” in popular parlance, holds religious and historical significance for Judaism, not Islam. However, the Al-Buraq Wall, located on the same structure, has significance in Islamic tradition. It’s essential to distinguish between the religious significance attributed to the Western Wall in Judaism and the Al-Buraq Wall in Islam.

Al-Buraq Wall in Islam:[41]

  • In Islamic tradition, Al-Buraq Wall is believed to be the place where the Prophet Muhammad tethered his miraculous steed, Buraq, during the Night Journey (Isra and Mi’raj). According to Islamic tradition, the Night Journey involved the Prophet Muhammad’s ascent through the heavens and a journey from Mecca to Jerusalem and then to the heavens.
  • The Al-Buraq Wall is considered a part of the broader compound known as the Noble Sanctuary or Al-Haram Al-Sharif, which encompasses the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Western Wall (Wailing Wall) in Judaism:

  • The Western Wall is the western retaining wall of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, a site associated with the historical Jewish Temples. It is a place of deep religious significance for Jews and a site for prayer, reflection, and pilgrimage.
  • The term “Wailing Wall” is a historical term that originated in the 19th century and reflects the practice of Jews lamenting the destruction of the Temple while praying at the wall. The name is somewhat outdated and is not commonly used today.

It is important to note that while the Western Wall has significance in Judaism, it is not a focus of religious practice or veneration in Islam. The Al-Buraq Wall is recognized in Islamic tradition but is part of the broader religious complex of the Noble Sanctuary.  The term “Wailing Wall” is considered by many to be pejorative, as it historically conveyed a sense of mourning and sadness associated with Jewish prayers at the site. In contemporary usage, it is more appropriate to refer to it as the Western Wall or Kotel in recognition of its significance to Jewish faith and history.  The significance of praying at the Western Wall for Jews is multifaceted and deeply rooted in religious, historical, and cultural dimensions. People come to the Western Wall for various reasons, and the prayers offered there may encompass a wide range of personal and communal intentions. Here are some aspects of the significance of praying at the Western Wall:

Connection to the Temple:

  • The Western Wall is the last remnant of the retaining wall of the Second Temple, which was the central place of worship in ancient Judaism. Praying at the Western Wall allows Jews to connect with the historical and spiritual heritage associated with the Temple.

Symbol of Jewish Presence:

  • The Western Wall is not just a historical site; it is a symbol of Jewish continuity and resilience. Despite the destruction of the Temples and the dispersion of the Jewish people, the Western Wall remained standing, becoming a powerful symbol of the enduring Jewish connection to Jerusalem.

Place of Mourning and Hope:

  • The Western Wall has been a site of Jewish mourning for the destruction of the Temples. The term “Wailing Wall” historically reflected the lamentation associated with the prayers. However, contemporary usage prefers terms like the Western Wall or Kotel.
  • At the same time, the Wall is a place of hope and anticipation for the rebuilding of the Temple and the coming of the Messiah in Jewish eschatology.

Individual and Collective Prayers:

  • Individuals visit the Western Wall to offer personal prayers, seek guidance, express gratitude, and seek forgiveness. It is a place where people bring their most intimate and heartfelt supplications.
  • The Wall also serves as a space for collective prayer, where Jews come together for special occasions, ceremonies, and communal prayer services.

Tradition of Placing Notes in the Wall:

  • Many visitors write prayers, wishes, or personal messages on small pieces of paper and insert them into the crevices of the Wall. This tradition symbolizes a direct connection with God and a way to convey individual concerns or hopes.

Pilgrimage and Spiritual Journey:

  • For Jews around the world, visiting the Western Wall can be a pilgrimage and a significant spiritual journey. It is a way to express devotion to God, strengthen one’s faith, and participate in the shared narrative of Jewish history.

The Western Wall, with its rich history and spiritual resonance, holds a unique place in the hearts of Jews. The prayers offered at the Wall reflect a diverse array of personal intentions, seeking both individual and collective connection with the divine.

Prophet Solomon (Sulaiman in Arabic) is highly respected in Islam, just as he is in Judaism. Both religions share common narratives about many prophets, and Solomon is recognized as a prophet, a king, and a wise ruler in both traditions. Here are some aspects of the shared veneration of Prophet Solomon in Islam and Judaism:

Prophet Solomon in the Quran:[42]

  • The Quran, the holy book of Islam, contains multiple chapters that mention Prophet Solomon and his wisdom, leadership, and relationship with God. Surah Sad (38), for example, provides an account of Solomon’s life, his justice, and his ability to communicate with animals.

Writings and Wisdom:

  • In Islamic tradition, Solomon is often associated with great wisdom and knowledge. He is mentioned as having the ability to understand the language of animals and birds, and the Quran emphasizes his just rule and leadership.

Construction of the Temple:

  • The Quran mentions Prophet Solomon’s role in constructing the Temple (Bayt al-Maqdis) in Jerusalem. While the Quran does not provide extensive details about the construction, it acknowledges Solomon’s role as a righteous and favoured servant of God.

Common Narratives:

  • Many stories about Prophet Solomon found in the Quran share similarities with those in the Hebrew Bible and other Jewish scriptures. These common narratives include his judgment in the case of two women claiming to be the mother of the same child and his encounters with jinn (supernatural beings).

Respect for Solomon in Judaism:

  • In Judaism, Solomon is celebrated as one of the great kings of Israel. He is traditionally attributed to the construction of the First Temple in Jerusalem, a significant event in Jewish history.

Shared Legacy of Prophets:[43]

  • Islam recognizes a line of prophets that includes figures like Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, and Solomon, among others. The Quran often emphasizes the continuity of the prophetic message across time and the common mission of the prophets to guide humanity toward righteousness.

The shared respect for Prophet Solomon is reflective of the broader commonalities between Islam and Judaism. While there are theological differences, the recognition of common prophets and shared narratives contributes to a sense of shared heritage and understanding between the two Abrahamic religions. Prophet Solomon is considered a figure of wisdom, righteousness, and leadership in both traditions.

Judaism, Christianity, and Islam share a number of prophets and figures who are recognized across these Abrahamic religions. Here are some of the prophets commonly acknowledged in all three traditions:

Adam (Adam in Arabic):

  • Acknowledged as the first human being and prophet, Adam holds a significant place in all three Abrahamic religions. His story is found in the book of Genesis in the Hebrew Bible and the Quran.

Noah (Nuh in Arabic):

  • Noah is recognized as a prophet and the builder of the Ark to save humanity and animals from the flood. His story is shared in the Hebrew Bible, the Christian Old Testament, and the Quran.

Abraham (Ibrahim in Arabic):

  • Abraham is a central figure in all three religions. He is considered the father of monotheism and is known for his unwavering faith. His story is found in the book of Genesis, and he is mentioned in the Quran multiple times.

Moses (Musa in Arabic):

  • Moses is a key prophet in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. He played a central role in leading the Israelites out of Egypt and receiving the divine law (Torah). His story is found in the Hebrew Bible and the Quran.

David (Dawud in Arabic):

  • David is recognized as a prophet, king, and psalmist in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. In addition to his role as a king in Israel, he is traditionally attributed to the authorship of many Psalms.

Solomon (Sulaiman in Arabic):

  • Solomon, known for his wisdom and role as a king, is recognized as a prophet in all three traditions. His story is found in the Hebrew Bible, the Christian Old Testament, and the Quran.

John the Baptist (Yahya in Arabic):

  • John the Baptist is acknowledged as a prophet in Christianity and Islam. He is known for baptizing Jesus in Christian tradition and is mentioned in the Quran.

Jesus (Isa in Arabic):

  • While Christianity considers Jesus as the central figure and the Son of God, Islam recognizes Jesus as a prophet. His story is found in the New Testament of the Christian Bible and in the Quran.

These prophets form a shared foundation of religious history and are considered righteous and important figures in the narratives of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. While there are theological differences in the understanding of certain prophets, the commonality of these figures contributes to a sense of shared heritage across the Abrahamic faiths.

The situation in the occupied territories, particularly in the West Bank, is complex and has a long history marked by demographic changes, geopolitical events, and conflicts. The presence of Israeli settlers in the West Bank has been a contentious issue, as it involves the establishment of Israeli civilian communities in areas that are considered by much of the international community to be occupied Palestinian territories.

Photo Top:  An aerial view of a yard where cars were torched overnight, in the Palestinian town of Huwara near Nablus in the occupied West Bank. Credit: Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP
 Photo Bottom: Pie Chart representation of Israeli Settlers’ Attacks in the Occupied Territories on Palestinians during the Period of November 2012 and May 2013. The attacks by the Israeli Settlers have increased in frequency and ferocity after 07th October 2023, with “Rock Solid” Support from the Israeli Defence Force, with recent statistics being unavailable due to restricted access during the War On Gaza.
Source: Israeli Settlers’ Violations in the occupied Palestinian territory: Applied Research Institute Jerusalem 2013 / Page 3

 Historical Background regarding Israeli Settlers:[44]

  • Pre-1948: Before the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, the West Bank was part of the British Mandate of Palestine.
  • 1948 War and Jordanian Control: After the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, Jordan controlled the West Bank until the Six-Day War in 1967.
  • 1967 and Israeli Control: Israel gained control of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip in the Six-Day War.

Israeli Settlements:

  • Post-1967: Israeli settlements began to be established in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, considered by many as a violation of international law. Settlements are communities built by Israeli citizens in territories captured during the Six-Day War.
  • Demographic Changes: Over the years, the settler population has grown, leading to demographic changes in certain areas of the West Bank.

Demographic Data and Challenges:

  • Population Growth: The settler population has increased over the years, with Israeli governments supporting the construction and expansion of settlements.
  • Indigenous Palestinian Population: The indigenous Palestinian population in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, continues to reside alongside Israeli settlers. There are complex issues related to land, resources, and control.

Controversy and International Views:

  • International Community: The United Nations and much of the international community consider Israeli settlements in the occupied territories to be illegal under international law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention.
  • Peace Process: The presence of settlements has been a major point of contention in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and peace negotiations.

Specific percentages and detailed demographic breakdowns can be challenging due to the sensitive nature of the topic and varying sources of information.

The term “occupied territories” typically refers to the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It’s important to note that the situation is complex, and perspectives on occupation, rights, and vocation differ depending on one’s viewpoint. Here is a general overview:

Indigenous Palestinian Population:[45]

  • Agriculture: Many indigenous Palestinians in the West Bank historically engaged in agriculture, cultivating olive trees, fruits, and other crops. Agriculture has been a key source of livelihood for Palestinian communities.
  • Trade and Commerce: Before and after the establishment of the State of Israel, Palestinians engaged in various forms of trade and commerce. Markets and businesses were part of the economic life in the region.
  • Professional Occupations: Like any society, Palestinians had professionals in various fields, including medicine, law, education, and other vocations.

Challenges Faced by Palestinians:

  • Occupation Challenges: The occupation has presented challenges for the indigenous Palestinian population, including restrictions on movement, access to resources, and economic opportunities.
  • Settlement Expansion: The growth of Israeli settlements in the West Bank has led to tensions and disputes over land and resources, affecting Palestinian communities.

Israeli Settlers:

  • Agriculture: Israeli settlers in the West Bank have engaged in agriculture, including the cultivation of crops and the establishment of vineyards. Some settlements are known for their agricultural activities.
  • Industry and Technology: In some settlements, there are industrial zones and technology parks where businesses and industries operate. These ventures can contribute to economic activities.
  • Housing and Infrastructure Development: Israeli settlers are involved in building and developing infrastructure, including residential areas, roads, and amenities within the settlements.

Challenges and Controversies:

  • Controversies over Land: The establishment and expansion of Israeli settlements in the occupied territories have been a source of contention, as they are often built on land that Palestinians consider part of their future state.
  • Economic Disparities: The economic disparities between Israeli settlers and the Palestinian population in the West Bank have been a point of criticism. Palestinians argue that settlements contribute to resource inequities and hinder economic development.

It is important to approach this topic with sensitivity, recognising the diversity of perspectives and experiences on both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The situation is complex, and various historical, political, and economic factors contribute to the challenges faced by both the indigenous Palestinian population and Israeli settlers in the occupied territories.

The Israeli settlers in the West Bank are a diverse group, and their origins, socio-economic backgrounds, and motivations for settling in the occupied territories can vary. Here is a general overview, but it’s important to note that the settler population is not homogenous, and individuals may have different backgrounds and reasons for choosing to live in settlements.

Origins:

  • Diverse Backgrounds: Israeli settlers come from various backgrounds, and there is no single “type” of settler. They may include religious and secular individuals, those with ideological motivations, and those attracted by economic opportunities.
  • Nationality: Some settlers are Israeli citizens, while others may have immigrated from abroad, including Jewish communities in different parts of the world.

Motivations:

  • Religious Ideology: For some settlers, religious beliefs play a significant role in their decision to live in the West Bank. They may view the territory as part of the historic land of Israel and feel a religious or ideological connection to the area.
  • Economic Opportunities: Some settlers are attracted to the West Bank by economic factors, such as lower housing costs or government incentives for settling in the area.
  • Nationalist and Security Concerns: There are settlers who view their presence in the West Bank as a way to strengthen Israel’s hold on the territory, citing security and nationalist considerations.

Educational and Socio-Economic Status:

  • Diversity: The educational and socio-economic status of Israeli settlers is diverse. Some may have advanced degrees and professional backgrounds, while others may have different levels of education and employment.
  • Communities: Settlements vary widely in terms of their demographics and socio-economic characteristics. Some settlements are predominantly religious, while others are more secular. The socio-economic status of settlers may reflect the diversity of the overall Israeli population.

Financial Incentives and Government Support:

  • Incentives: The Israeli government has, at times, provided financial incentives to encourage settlement in the West Bank. These incentives may include subsidies for housing, infrastructure development, and other benefits.
  • Government Policies: Over the years, different Israeli governments have implemented policies that either encouraged or restricted settlement growth, reflecting shifts in political priorities.

Immigration Policies:

  • Natural Growth and Immigration: Settlements can experience natural growth as families expand, and there may be a flow of new residents moving to settlements. Immigration policies can influence settlement demographics.
  • Government Support: The Israeli government has played a role in supporting settlement activities, and policies regarding the establishment and expansion of settlements have evolved over time.

It is important to approach the topic with nuance, recognizing the complexities and diverse motivations within the settler population. Perspectives on settlements and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can vary widely within Israeli society.

Israel’s economy in the 21st century has been characterized by several key features, reflecting its transition from a predominantly agricultural and manufacturing-based economy to a more advanced and technology-driven one. Keep in mind that economic conditions can change, and it’s advisable to consult more recent sources for the latest information. As of my last update, here are some aspects of Israel’s 21st-century economy:

High-Tech and Innovation:

  • Israel has become known for its thriving high-tech sector and innovation ecosystem. The country has produced numerous successful startups and has gained a reputation as the “Startup Nation.”
  • Industries such as cybersecurity, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, and information technology have been major contributors to Israel’s economic growth.

Research and Development (R&D):

  • Israel places a strong emphasis on research and development. The country allocates a significant portion of its GDP to R&D activities, fostering innovation and technological advancements.

Venture Capital and Startups:

  • Israel has a robust venture capital industry that supports the growth of startups. Tel Aviv, in particular, has become a global hub for startup activity.

Defence Industry:

  • The defence industry is historically significant in Israel, given the country’s security challenges. Israel has developed advanced defence technologies and exports defence-related products to various countries.

Natural Gas Discoveries:

  • Israel’s offshore natural gas discoveries in the Mediterranean Sea have had a substantial impact on its economy. These discoveries have the potential to contribute significantly to energy independence and export revenue.

Exports:

  • Israel relies heavily on exports, including high-tech goods, agricultural products, and diamonds. The country has developed trade relationships with various regions, including Europe, the United States, and Asia.

Entrepreneurship and Business Environment:

  • Israel’s business environment encourages entrepreneurship, and government initiatives support the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange is a key financial market.

Education and Human Capital:

  • Israel places a strong emphasis on education, and its workforce is known for its skilled and educated labour force. The country has universities and research institutions that contribute to technological advancements.

Tourism:

  • Tourism plays a role in Israel’s economy, with visitors attracted to historical and religious sites, as well as the diverse cultural scene.

It is important to note that Israel faces economic challenges and geopolitical complexities, including regional conflicts.

 

The ability of the indigenous Palestinian population in the West Bank to work in various sectors, including those associated with Israeli settlements, can be affected by a range of factors, including economic policies, political considerations, and restrictions on movement. The situation is complex, and it has evolved over time, so it’s important to consider the following points:

Movement and Access Restrictions:

  • Palestinians in the West Bank may face restrictions on movement due to security measures, checkpoints, and the separation barrier. These restrictions can impact their ability to access employment opportunities, including those in settlements.

Work Permits and Employment Policies:

  • Palestinians who wish to work in Israeli settlements typically need to obtain work permits. The issuance of these permits is subject to various factors, including security considerations, government policies, and the nature of the work. Some Palestinians work in sectors such as agriculture, construction, and services within settlements.

Economic Interdependence:

  • The economies of Israeli settlements and nearby Palestinian communities can be interconnected. In some cases, Palestinians may find employment opportunities in settlements, while settlers may hire Palestinian labor for various purposes. This economic interdependence has been a source of debate and controversy.

Political and Legal Context:

  • The issue of employment and economic interaction between Israelis and Palestinians in the West Bank is embedded in the broader political and legal context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Different political perspectives and legal frameworks shape policies related to work, movement, and economic cooperation.

Local Economic Dynamics:

  • Economic dynamics can vary between different regions and communities in the West Bank. In some areas, Palestinians may have limited access to employment opportunities in settlements, while in others, there may be more interaction and economic cooperation.

Security Concerns:

  • Security concerns often play a role in shaping policies related to the movement of people and labour. Israeli authorities may implement measures based on security assessments, which can impact the ability of Palestinians to work in certain sectors.

 

The taxation system in the occupied Palestinian territories is complex and involves both the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the Israeli authorities. Here’s a general overview:

Palestinian Authority Taxation:

  • The Palestinian Authority, established as part of the Oslo Accords in the 1990s, has its own taxation system in the West Bank and Gaza. It collects various taxes, including income tax, corporate tax, and value-added tax (VAT), from individuals and businesses operating in its jurisdiction.

Israeli Role in Tax Collection:

  • Under the Oslo Accords, certain aspects of tax collection were agreed upon between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Israel collects taxes on behalf of the PA, particularly customs and VAT for goods entering the Palestinian territories.

Imported Goods:

  • Taxes and customs duties on goods entering the West Bank and Gaza are collected by Israeli authorities at border crossings. Israel then transfers the revenue to the Palestinian Authority, deducting a fee for the cost of collection.

Income Tax and Local Businesses:

  • The Palestinian Authority is responsible for income tax collection from individuals and businesses operating in the West Bank and Gaza. This includes Palestinian businesses and enterprises.

Settlements and Economic Interdependence:

  • In areas where Israeli settlements exist in the West Bank, there are complex economic interactions. Some Palestinians may work in settlements, and there are economic ties between settlers and local businesses. However, the details can vary based on the specific circumstances.

Use of Revenue:

  • The revenue collected by the Palestinian Authority is intended to fund public services and governmental functions. This includes salaries for public employees, infrastructure projects, and various public services.

It is important to note that the taxation and economic dynamics in the occupied Palestinian territories are part of the broader political and territorial issues related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The economic interdependence between Israel and the Palestinian territories, as well as the political context, can influence the functioning of the taxation system and the utilization of revenue.

The term “Wall of Segregation” is often used to refer to the Israeli West Bank barrier, which is a physical barrier that runs through parts of the West Bank. The barrier consists of a combination of fences, walls, and checkpoints. It is a complex and controversial structure with different names and perceptions depending on one’s viewpoint.

Israeli West Bank Barrier:[46]

Background:

  • The construction of the barrier began in 2002 during the Second Intifada, a period of heightened Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Israeli government stated that the barrier was intended to prevent the infiltration of terrorists and protect Israeli civilians from attacks.

Route:

  • The barrier’s route is not entirely along the internationally recognized Green Line (the armistice line established after the 1948 Arab-Israeli War) but, in some places, extends into the West Bank. This has led to criticism and legal challenges, including from the international community.

Components:

  • The barrier includes various components, such as fences, concrete walls, watchtowers, and checkpoints. In urban areas, it can resemble a wall, while in other areas, it is more of a fence.

Impact on Palestinian Communities:

  • Critics argue that the barrier has had negative humanitarian consequences for Palestinian communities. It has separated families, restricted movement, and affected access to agricultural land and essential services. The International Court of Justice (ICJ) issued an advisory opinion in 2004 stating that the construction of the barrier in the occupied Palestinian territories is illegal under international law.

Jerusalem:

  • In and around Jerusalem, the barrier takes on various forms. It includes sections of high concrete walls, fences, and checkpoints. In some cases, it separates Palestinian neighbourhoods from the rest of the city.

Checkpoint Impact:

  • Checkpoints along the barrier can significantly impact the daily lives of Palestinians, affecting their ability to travel for work, education, and healthcare.

Israeli Perspective:

  • From the Israeli perspective, the barrier is seen as a necessary security measure that has contributed to a reduction in terrorist attacks. Supporters argue that it has saved lives.

The terminology used to describe the barrier reflects the differing viewpoints on its purpose and impact. While some refer to it as a “security fence” or “anti-terrorism barrier,” others use terms like “separation wall” or “apartheid wall” to highlight the perceived negative consequences on Palestinian communities.  The issue remains a focal point of contention in the broader Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with discussions surrounding its legality, impact on daily life, and its role in shaping the geopolitical landscape of the region.

The state of civil infrastructure in the occupied Palestinian territories, including the West Bank and Gaza Strip, is complex and varies due to geopolitical factors, disputes, and the overall political situation. The responsibility for the creation and upkeep of civil infrastructure is divided between different entities, including the Palestinian Authority (PA), the Israeli government, and various international organizations. An overview is:

Water and Electricity:

  • West Bank: Water and electricity infrastructure in the West Bank is managed by the Palestinian Water Authority and the Palestinian Energy Authority, both under the Palestinian Authority. However, access to water resources and the development of infrastructure are influenced by the presence of Israeli settlements and security considerations.
  • Gaza Strip: In Gaza, infrastructure, including water and electricity, faces significant challenges due to the blockade and conflicts. The Coastal Municipalities Water Utility and the Gaza Electricity Distribution Company are responsible for managing water and electricity services, but resource limitations and restrictions impact their operations.

Roads:

  • Road infrastructure in the West Bank is managed by the Palestinian Ministry of Transportation. However, the movement of people and goods can be affected by the Israeli West Bank barrier, checkpoints, and restrictions on road usage.
  • In Gaza, road infrastructure has faced challenges due to conflicts, restrictions on movement, and limitations on construction materials.

Schools and Universities:

  • The Ministry of Education in the West Bank, under the Palestinian Authority, is responsible for managing schools and educational institutions. However, access to education can be affected by various factors, including checkpoints and movement restrictions.
  • In Gaza, the Ministry of Education of the Palestinian Authority oversees educational institutions, but challenges, including the impact of conflicts, have affected the education system.

Hospitals and Healthcare:

  • The Ministry of Health in the West Bank, under the Palestinian Authority, manages healthcare services. However, access to healthcare can be impacted by restrictions on movement and other factors.
  • In Gaza, healthcare infrastructure is managed by the Ministry of Health, but the blockade and conflicts have placed strains on the healthcare system.

Responsibility and Coordination:

  • The Oslo Accords divided the West Bank into Areas A, B, and C, each with varying degrees of Palestinian and Israeli administrative control. The coordination and management of civil infrastructure are influenced by these arrangements, and the situation is complex due to the presence of Israeli settlements, checkpoints, and security considerations.

International Organizations:

  • Various international organizations, including the United Nations and non-governmental organizations, play a role in supporting and providing assistance in the development and maintenance of civil infrastructure in the occupied territories.

The overall situation is highly sensitive and subject to geopolitical dynamics, including the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and ongoing peace negotiations. The division of responsibilities and challenges faced in infrastructure development and maintenance are deeply intertwined with the broader political context.

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a deeply rooted and complex issue with historical, political, and humanitarian dimensions. Assessing who benefits and who loses from the conflict can be challenging due to the diversity of perspectives and the multifaceted nature of the situation. However, here are some general considerations:

Potential Beneficiaries:

Security and Stability:

  • For Israel, maintaining security and stability is a paramount concern. Some argue that stringent security measures and control over territories contribute to Israel’s ability to prevent terrorist attacks and protect its citizens.

Settlement Expansion:

  • Israeli settlements in the West Bank have expanded over the years. Some argue that episodes of conflict or unrest may divert attention from settlement expansion, making it easier for construction to proceed.

Political Influence:

  • In times of heightened tension, political leaders on both sides may see increased domestic support. Strong responses to security threats can bolster the popularity of leaders, especially during times of crisis.

Military and Defence Industries:

  • Periods of conflict may lead to increased demand for military and defense-related technologies. Some argue that the Israeli defense industry may benefit from this situation.

Potential Losers:

Civilian Populations:

  • The primary losers in the conflict are often the civilian populations on both sides. Episodes of violence and conflict lead to loss of life, displacement, and suffering among ordinary people.

Economic Development:

  • The ongoing conflict can hinder economic development in the region. The uncertainty and instability make it challenging to attract investments, promote trade, and create sustainable economic growth.

International Relations:

  • The conflict has ramifications on the international standing of both Israel and the Palestinian territories. Episodes of violence can strain diplomatic relations and lead to international criticism.

Humanitarian Consequences:

  • Humanitarian organizations often face challenges in providing assistance and services to those affected by the conflict. Restrictions on movement, access to resources, and the impact of violence contribute to humanitarian crises.

Peace Efforts:

  • Episodes of violence can undermine peace efforts and negotiations. Trust-building measures become more difficult, and achieving a sustainable resolution to the conflict becomes more challenging.

It is crucial to note that these considerations are general and that the situation is complex, with many actors and factors at play. The conflict deeply affects the lives of individuals on both sides, and the pursuit of a just and lasting peace remains a significant goal for many people and organizations involved in the region. A comprehensive resolution would ideally address the underlying issues and grievances of both Israelis and Palestinians.

 

both Israelis and Palestinians receive varying degrees of foreign support during periods of conflict. Foreign support comes in the form of diplomatic, military, financial, and humanitarian assistance. Here’s an overview of foreign support for both sides:

Foreign Support for Israel:[47]

  • Military Assistance:
  • The United States has been a key ally of Israel and provides substantial military assistance, including funding for defense and the supply of advanced military technology. This assistance has been a consistent element of U.S.-Israeli relations.

Diplomatic Backing:

  • Israel receives diplomatic support from various countries, particularly from the United States, which often aligns with Israel in international forums. Other countries, including European nations, also maintain diplomatic ties with Israel.

Financial Assistance:

  • Israel receives financial aid from various sources, including the United States. This aid is directed towards economic development, security, and other areas.

Technological Cooperation:

  • Israel has developed close technological and research cooperation with several countries, contributing to its technological advancements in areas such as defense, cybersecurity, and innovation.

Foreign Support for Palestinians:[48]

Humanitarian Assistance:

  • Various countries and international organizations provide humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian territories, particularly in times of crisis. This includes aid for healthcare, education, and other essential services.

Development Aid:

  • The Palestinian Authority receives financial aid and development assistance from multiple countries and international organizations to support economic and social development.

Political and Diplomatic Support:

  • Many countries in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and Latin America maintain diplomatic ties with the Palestinian Authority and support the Palestinian cause. International forums often see expressions of solidarity with the Palestinian people.

UNRWA Assistance:

  • The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) provides humanitarian aid, education, healthcare, and social services to Palestinian refugees.

Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs):

  • Various NGOs and advocacy groups around the world support Palestinian causes, ranging from human rights and humanitarian issues to campaigns against Israeli settlements.

It is important to note that the level and nature of support can vary among different countries and organizations. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is highly politicized, and foreign support often aligns with the geopolitical interests and perspectives of the supporting entities. The dynamics of foreign support play a role in shaping the balance of power and influence in the regions.

Sustained Terrorism demonstrated by Israeli Settlers in the Occupied Territories against the Palestinians
Photo Top: Palestinians inspect damaged buildings following a 14th November 2023, Israeli army night raid in the city of Tulkarm in the occupied West Bank. While a Fire Rages in Gaza, the West Bank Smoulders. Surge in Israeli Killings, Administrative Detention and Settler Violence, with wanton destruction of Palestinian properties. Omar Shakir, Human Rights Watch, Israel and Palestine Director, Middle East and North Africa Division. Photo Credit: 2023 Sipa via AP
 Photo Bottom: Israeli settlers, protected by Israeli forces, set fire to dozens of vehicles and homes belonging to Palestinians. More than 90 Palestinians were being treated for tear gas inhalation. Photo Credit: Hisham K. K. Abu Shaqra/Anadolu, for Al Jazeera Media Network

 The Bottom Line is that while the global community focuses its attention on Gaza and the atrocities committed by Israel therein, the Israeli human rights group, Yesh Din[49], found, that impunity fuels settler violence, which, as the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem[50] has reported, “serves as a major informal tool at the hands of the state to take over more and more West Bank land.”  These abuses are a part of Israeli authorities’ crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution, as documented by Human Rights Watch and other Israeli, Palestinian, and international human rights organisations. The roots of the violence in Israel-Palestine are multiple and run deep; ending the violence requires dismantling the systems of oppression that feed it, including in the West Bank[51], as well as the other occupied territories.  ”To a people enduring and resisting occupation, dispossession, and ethnic cleansing, armed ‘civilian’ settlers are naturally indistinguishable from the IOF, especially when looting, invading, and squatting in Palestinian homes and property. Neither are Zionist settlers in the territories occupied in 1948 distinguishable from IOF soldiers when their lynch mobs are live-streamed on TV.”[52]  In fact, the settler mobs who invaded the occupied villages did so only two days after the 29th anniversary of the Ibrahimi Mosque Massacre[53], on Friday, 25th February 1994, the 15th day of the holy Muslim fast month of Ramadan, the Jewish terrorist settler, Baruch Goldstein[54], broke into the Ibrahimi Mosque, also known as Cave of the Patriarchs[55] because it includes shrines and tombs of prophets, located in the southern West Bank city of Hebron, as Muslims were performing the dawn prayers on a Ramadan[56] day and opened fire on the worshipers killing 29 on the spot before he was neutralized by the worshippers. During which Benjamin Goldstein, an ultranationalist American Zionist[57] settler, killed 29 Palestinians, 6 of whom were children, during prayer in Ramadan. He injured 125 others before being killed by Palestinian survivors of the massacre.[58]  In the UK as Islamophobic rhetoric among its political elites reaches new heights.  According to former home secretary Suella Braverman[59] and Conservative MP Lee Anderson[60], Islamists are apparently running the country, the capital and its mayor, and by Islamists, they mean those protesting Israel’s war on Gaza.  “The Islamists, the extremists and the anti-Semites are in charge now,” wrote Braverman in an op-ed for the Telegraph titled, “Islamists are bullying Britain into submission”[61].  This ‘threat’ that these protests pose was used as justification for the chaotic scenes in Westminster preceding the Scottish National Party’s proposed vote on a Gaza ceasefire[62].  Adding to the pile on, William Shawcross[63], appointed as the Independent Reviewer of Prevent[64], the government’s controversial counter-terrorism policy, weighed in after the government reported on the progress it had made on his recommendations, saying there was not enough being done about “Hamas people” in the UK[65].[66]  Right now, it’s important to know that the government, through its statement on Prevent and the education secretary’s letters to schools and universities, are asking for more attention to institutions’ duties under Prevent, nodding to people’s sentiments following the latest Gaza war. The Prevent Duty [67]is mandated under the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015, obligating teachers, social workers, health professionals and many others in positions of trust to report individuals they believe are vulnerable to radicalisation. The idea is that identifying such individuals would reduce the threat of terrorism.  Frivolous referrals are well-documented, and when referred to the police, lead to “no further action.” However, while teachers, social workers, and health workers are urged to err on the side of caution when reporting and recording concerns, a Prevent referral is no casual action – it could have a lasting impact on the person being referred.[68]

Concurrent to the Israeli army’s ongoing genocide in Gaza, Israeli settlers have increasingly rampaged across the West Bank. Widespread calls for revenge and collective punishment have fueled campaigns of terror against Palestinian communities, resulting in the forced displacement of nearly 1,000 residents from 13 villages in the first four weeks alone following October 7th, 2023. Between October 7th  and December 14th , 2023, West Bank settlers likewise killed 11 Palestinians, including 3 children, and injured an additional 83. Whenever Israeli settlers reign terror in the West Bank, mainstream media insists on drawing a false distinction between the violent groups and the Israeli army, suggesting the latter has simply lost control or is powerless to stop the attacks.[69]  In such a context, it is farcical to suggest a distinction between settler and state violence: They are part of the same settler-colonial structure, and not only complement each other but depend on one another.

The Fatah-ruled Palestinian Authority has maintained a consistent strategy of indifference toward the fate of Palestinians in Gaza, as well as those it governs in the West Bank[70]. Rather than forcefully challenge the ongoing genocide, PA representatives have offered only empty rhetoric that absolves them from their responsibility to respond with action. In doing so, the PA’s intent to maintain its existing approach toward the Israeli regime is clear, namely, that it will continue to center security collaboration and containment of collective political action in the West Bank as a means to guarantee that the interests of the political elite remain unimpacted by the genocide unfolding kilometers away.  “The PA hopes that its stasis will enable it to reap the benefits of the war without immersing itself in the battle.”[71]  “The violence and torture practiced inside Israeli prisons mirror the measures put in place to confine and control the Palestinian population across all of colonised Palestine.”  Thus, the collective forces of Israeli Settlers, together with the Occupation Forces, ensure that all Palestinians are not only physically removed from the land which is rightfully theirs, but they are totally annihilated and become literally extinct. Notwithstanding that in the process, women, children, aged, disabled all innocent civilians are ruthlessly killed by aerial strikes, drones, ground forces heavily armed by US and UK, together with the crusade launched by the Israeli settlers against the Palestinians using multiple strategies, having one common goal. This is the Final Solution for Palestinians, adopted by the neo-imperialistic colonialists of the genocidal Israeli Zionists in the 21st century.

Peace Disruptions caused by Israel’s War On Gaza, in the United Kingdom and Occupied Territories by Israeli Settlers.
Photo Top: London, United Kingdom:   The Pro Palestinian Protests and rise of Islamophobia amongst the Tories in UK. Since the start of Israel’s War on Gaza, there has been an increase in the number of “British Government Prevent” referrals. Photo Credit: Getty Images
Photo Bottom:  Smoke and flames rise after Israeli settlers went on a rampage in the West Bank town of Huwara. Photo Credit:  Hisham K. K. Abu Shaqra/Anadolu, Al Jazeera Media Network

References:

[1] Personal quote by author, March 2024

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israeli_settlement#:~:text=of%20Israeli%20settlements-,As%20of%20January%202023%2C%20there%20are%20144%20Israeli%20settlements%20in,government)%20in%20the%20West%20Bank.

[3] https://www.google.com/search?q=israeli+settlements+in+the+occupied+palestinian+territory&sca_esv=1f5e430b30aa07bd&rlz=1C1YTUH_enZA1040ZA1040&sxsrf=ACQVn0-pxNG-d0NZuJMg2N5yHtUSWzwYiA%3A1709385406392&ei=vibjZbPGF7evhbIPzayo4A4&oq=Israeli+Settlers+in+the+Occupied+Territories&gs_lp=Egxnd3Mtd2l6LXNlcnAiLElzcmFlbGkgU2V0dGxlcnMgaW4gdGhlIE9jY3VwaWVkIFRlcnJpdG9yaWVzKgIIADIGEAAYFhgeMgYQABgWGB4yBhAAGBYYHjILEAAYgAQYigUYhgMyCxAAGIAEGIoFGIYDSIJ8UOkhWOkhcAJ4AJABAJgBhgOgAYYDqgEDMy0xuAEByAEA-AEB-AECmAIDoALUA6gCFMICBxAjGOoCGCfCAhMQABiABBiKBRhDGOoCGLQC2AEBmAM9ugYGCAEQARgBkgcFMi4zLTE&sclient=gws-wiz-serp#:~:text=As%20of%20January%202023%2C%20there%20are%20144%20Israeli%20settlements%20in%20the%20West%20Bank%2C%20including%2012%20in%20East%20Jerusalem.%20In%20addition%2C%20there%20are%20over%20100%20Israeli%20illegal%20outposts%20(not%20sanctioned%20by%20the%20Israeli%20government)%20in%20the%20West%20Bank.

[4] https://www.vox.com/world/2023/1/20/23561464/israel-new-right-wing-government-extreme-protests-netanyahu-biden-ben-gvir

[5] https://www.transcend.org/tms/2021/09/his-masters-voice-his-masters-eyes-and-his-masters-ears/

[6] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_North_and_Global_South

[7] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huwara

[8] https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/2017-05-07/ty-article-magazine/.premium/how-zaatar-became-a-victim-of-the-israeli-palestinian-conflict/0000017f-e9bc-df2c-a1ff-fffd14a80000

[9] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burin,_Nablus

[10] https://www.cnn.com/2023/02/26/middleeast/west-bank-violence-intl/index.html

[11] https://www.newarab.com/opinion/israeli-settler-pogroms-foundation-zionist-state

[12] https://www.newarab.com/opinion/israeli-settler-pogroms-foundation-zionist-state#:~:text=Predictably%2C%20in%20the,its%20very%20foundation.

[13] https://www.newarab.com/analysis/gaza-starves-israeli-protesters-are-blocking-vital-aid

[14] https://www.aljazeera.com/news/longform/2023/10/9/israel-hamas-war-in-maps-and-charts-live-tracker

[15] https://www.globalr2p.org/countries/israel-and-the-occupied-palestinian-territory/

[16] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israeli-occupied_territories

[17] https://www.transcend.org/tms/2023/08/palestinophobia-and-africanophobia-apartheid-parallels-in-contemporary-history/

[18] https://www.transcend.org/tms/2024/01/agony-of-the-past-and-ecstasy-of-the-future-war-or-peace-welcome-2024/

[19] https://www.transcend.org/tms/2023/06/peace-disruption-part-2-palestines-killing-fields-the-end-must-go-on/

[20] https://www.britannica.com/event/Six-Day-War

[21] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Palestine

[22] https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2023/11/27/palestine-and-israel-brief-history-maps-and-charts

[23] htps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saladin

[24] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zengid_dynasty

[25] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Hattin

[26] https://reliefweb.int/report/occupied-palestinian-territory/study-legality-israeli-occupation-occupied-palestinian-territory-including-east-jerusalem

[27] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourth_Geneva_Convention#:~:text=While%20the%20first%20three%20conventions,and%20the%20other%20three%20treaties.

[28] https://www.un.org/unispal/data-collection/security-council/

[29] https://www.transcend.org/tms/2023/06/international-criminal-court-advancing-global-injustice-unaccountability-and-criminal-agenda-against-guardians-of-peace/

[30] https://www.britannica.com/topic/two-state-solution

[31] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palestinian_National_Authority

[32] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yasser_Arafat

[33] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahmoud_Abbas#:~:text=Since%20then%2C%20Abbas%20has%20remained,a%20Unity%20Government%20with%20Fatah.&text=Abbas%20has%20supported%20the%20blockade,a%20means%20of%20weakening%20Hamas.

[34] https://www.britannica.com/place/Jerusalem/History

[35] https://www.transcend.org/tms/2023/01/peace-disruption-incursion-insurrection-intifada/

[36] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temple_Mount

[37] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_Wall

[38] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/City_of_David_(archaeological_site)

[39] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_of_Olives

[40] https://www.dlftx.org/presidents-blog/how-god-connects-moriah-passover-and-good-friday-to-reveal-his-eternal-plan/#:~:text=Jewish%20tradition%20says%20that%20Mount,ha%2DShetiyah%2C%20is%20there.

[41] https://www.aljazeera.com/features/2017/12/6/al-aqsa-mosque-five-things-you-need-to-know#:~:text=The%20compound’s%20Western%20Wall%2C%20known,sky%20and%20spoke%20to%20God.

[42] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solomon_in_Islam

[43] https://islamonline.net/en/mary-jesus-abraham-and-muhammad-a-shared-legacy/

[44] https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2023/11/6/who-are-israeli-settlers-and-why-do-they-live-on-palestinian-lands

[45] https://www.iwgia.org/en/palestine/5142-iw-2023-palestine.html

[46] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israeli_West_Bank_barrier

[47] https://time.com/6559293/morning-consult-israel-global-opinion/

[48] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_aid_to_Palestinians#:~:text=The%20United%20States%20has%20been,2%20million%20Palestinians%20living%20there.

[49] https://www.yesh-din.org/en/

[50] https://www.btselem.org/

[51] https://www.hrw.org/news/2023/11/22/while-fire-rages-gaza-west-bank-smolders

[52] https://www.newarab.com/opinion/israeli-settler-pogroms-foundation-zionist-state#:~:text=%27%27To%20a%20people,streamed%20on%20TV.%27%27

[53] https://english.wafa.ps/Pages/Details/133561

[54] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baruch_Goldstein

[55] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cave_of_the_Patriarchs_massacre

[56] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ramadan

[57] https://azm.org/azyc/

[58] https://www.newarab.com/opinion/israeli-settler-pogroms-foundation-zionist-state#:~:text=In%20fact%2C%20the,of%20the%20massacre.

[59] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suella_Braverman#:~:text=She%20lives%20in%20Locks%20Heath,MP%20on%20the%20Buddhist%20Dhammapada.

[60] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lee_Anderson_(British_politician)

[61] https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2024/02/22/islamists-are-bullying-britain-into-submission/

[62] https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2024/2/21/uk-parliament-speaker-gives-labour-leadership-gaza-ceasefire-vote-reprieve

[63] https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/independent-review-of-prevent

[64] https://homeofficemedia.blog.gov.uk/2023/09/07/independent-review-of-prevent-factsheet/#:~:text=William%20Shawcross%20was%20appointed%20as,the%20Independent%20Review%20of%20Prevent%3F

[65] https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-and-us-target-hamas-with-new-sanctions-to-isolate-terror-group

[66] https://www.newarab.com/opinion/prevent-tories-go-after-digital-rights-and-palestine

[67] https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/prevent-duty-guidance

[68] https://www.newarab.com/opinion/prevent-tories-go-after-digital-rights-and-palestine#:~:text=Right%20now%2C%20it%E2%80%99s,person%20being%20referred.

[69] https://al-shabaka.org/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Nimer_Omar_Farraj_Botmeh_Roundtable_Eng_Feb2024.pdf

[70] https://al-shabaka.org/roundtables/the-west-bank-settler-colonial-spillover-of-the-gaza-genocide/

[71] https://al-shabaka.org/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Nimer_Omar_Farraj_Botmeh_Roundtable_Eng_Feb2024.pdf

______________________________________________

Professor G. Hoosen M. Vawda (Bsc; MBChB; PhD.Wits) is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace Development Environment.
Director: Glastonbury Medical Research Centre; Community Health and Indigent Programme Services; Body Donor Foundation SA.

Principal Investigator: Multinational Clinical Trials
Consultant: Medical and General Research Ethics; Internal Medicine and Clinical Psychiatry:UKZN, Nelson R. Mandela School of Medicine
Executive Member: Inter Religious Council KZN SA
Public Liaison: Medical Misadventures
Activism: Justice for All
Email: vawda@ukzn.ac.za


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This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 4 Mar 2024.

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