Palestine Calls for International Investigation and Protection

Fahwad Al-Khadoumi (nsnbc) : Palestine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on Sunday, called for a condemnation of what it described as Israeli violations and crimes, an international investigation and international protection. The statement comes against the backdrop of the escalating violence between Israelis and Palestinians in occupied Palestinian territories and the uprising of Palestinian youth. 

30-year-old Palestinian woman killed in air strike_Gaza_2015_palestineClashes between Israeli military, militant Israeli “settlers” and citizens, and Palestinians in Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories have claimed some 45 lives within the recent weeks. The vast majority of them being Palestinians, including more than eleven children, as well as two Israeli citizens.

These figures make the disproportionality of the ongoing violence self-evident. The clashes and the subsequent Israeli crackdown erupted after a protracted dispute over Israeli attempts to infringe on Palestinians’ access to the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem resulted in the occupation of the mosque by Palestinian youth.

On Sunday the Palestinian Foreign Ministry, located in the interim Palestinian capital Ramallah, issued a statement, calling for an international investigation into the violence and for international help to protect Palestinians. The Ministry denounced Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his government’s decision to allow the use of life ammunition against protesters in the occupied Palestinian territories. Although the use of life ammunition is no novelty, it has escalated in recent weeks. Israeli PM Netanyahu, for his part, stated on several occasions that his government would crack down hard on “terrorism”.

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry, for its part, would hold Israeli authorities responsible for the death of dozens of Palestinians and of attempts to portray the killing of scores of Palestinians in occupied Palestinian territories as self-defense.  The Foreign Ministry stated, among other, that:

“The crimes, the lies and the fabrications prove the dangerous level of immorality, extremism and racism among both soldiers and settlers. Such crimes are supported and encouraged by the official Israeli political leadership.”

The Al-Fatah led Palestinian Authority reiterated that it would continue to document Israeli crimes and that it would add the documentation of the latest crimes to the dossier at the International Criminal Court (ICC) and courts in countries which have international jurisdiction. The Palestinian Authority has repeatedly called on the international community to take action to protect Palestine and Palestinians.

Image By Osama Falah - WAFA

Image By Osama Falah – WAFA

In February 2014 PA President Mahmoud Abbas would state in an interview that he even was willing to consider NATO troops to protect Palestine. The statement has provoked much criticism, considering the current involvement of several NATO member States in the war and proxy-war on Syria.

Speaking at the 70th UN General Assembly (UNGA) in 2015, Mahmoud Abbas stressed that the Palestinian Authority and the PLO could no longer continue to adhere to the Oslo Accords while Israel continues to violate them.

Analysts note that a change of leadership in Palestine in 2016 is “likely”. Whether it will end the de-facto two-part dictatorship by respectively Al-Fatah and Hamas is “questionable”.

The uprising of Palestinian youth may, however be a wild-card for progressive Palestinian parties and factions.

Abbas_Al-Sisi_Cairo_Ma'anIn November 2014 Egyptian President Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi stated that Egypt was prepared to deploy troops to help secure a future Palestinian State. Al-Sisi‘s statement soured relations between Egypt and Israel. It is noteworthy that such a deployment could not take place without an invitation of Egyptian troops by the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).

Egypt could, arguably, deploy troops, legally, based on a PLO invitation. Such a deployment would, however, be considered unlikely without an even more unlikely unanimous support from the UN Security Council (UNSC).

Palestine and the Palestinian protesters are, in so many words deprived from international protection and have to count on their own initiatives, as well as on international grassroots support such as the Boycott Sanctions Divestment (BDS) campaign and possible more tangible, robust direct action.

Some single EU member States lip-service e.g. condemnations, limited import sanctions and a recognition of Palestine without protecting Palestinian sovereignty,Palestine’s accession to the Rome Statutes and ICC membership have, thus far, not manifested in any tangible measures that could end the decades-long illegal occupation or the current round of bloodletting.

F/AK – nsnbc 19.10.2015

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