The way forward for Palestine: A call for international protection The Israeli war on Gaza
Following the landmark ruling by the International Court of Justice that Israel was reasonably involved in the genocide of the Palestinian people in Gaza, all states parties to the Genocide Convention now have a legal obligation to take physical steps to end the genocide. Putting an end to Israel’s acts of genocide in the besieged Strip.
In this context, the decision taken by several Western countries to withdraw funding to UNRWA, the main UN humanitarian agency to assist Palestinian refugees, due to the baseless “terrorism” allegations made by Israel, is not only puzzling – it is the opposite of what they were obligated to do. The court legally. What to do – but it is also deeply abhorrent as starving Palestinians face increasing famine and deadly disease outbreaks in blockaded Gaza.
The real goal of Israel’s pressure efforts to undermine UNRWA is to liquidate the Palestinian identity and the right of return for the Palestinian people that the UN agency has come to embody.
If Western countries, especially the United States, continue to acquiesce to Israel’s genocidal demands, they will only add more weight to accusations that it is complicit in the genocide it is committing in Gaza.
What is at stake today is not only the future of millions of Palestinians and the viability of the Israeli state, but the stability of the entire region, and the future of the rules-based global order.
Israel’s relentless assault on Gaza, with unconditional support from the West, threatens to ignite a regional conflagration that will further inflame conflicts from Yemen to Iraq and Syria, and pave the way for an unprecedented surge in terrorism around the world.
Today, there is growing anger towards Western powers, not only in the Arab world, but throughout the global South, because of their complicity in the massacres committed by Israel against Palestinian civilians. Terrorist organizations such as ISIS and Al Qaeda could not have asked for a better environment to regroup and launch new attacks on the West, as the global majority now views the West forcefully as an enabler of the ongoing genocide of occupied and oppressed indigenous people. There is every reason to expect such terrorist groups, or new groups like them, to exploit this moment and launch attacks against Western populations and their allies and supporters around the world.
The future of the entire rules-based global order – and international law itself – is also at great risk. The stark contrast between the West’s response to the war on Ukraine and the war on Gaza convinced many that international law applies to the West’s enemies, such as Russia, alone. With the West clearly demonstrating that it considers itself and its allies, in this case Israel, outside the constraints of the law, there has been a massive loss of confidence in international institutions such as the United Nations. The truth is that the United Nations not only found itself completely unable to stop Israel’s flagrant violations of international law and its attacks on Palestinian civilians, but it was not even able to hold it accountable for its extreme anger against its Secretary-General and the targeting of United Nations employees in Gaza.
Given the strong opposition by the global majority to the continuation of the Israeli war on Gaza, and the stated position in favor of the two-state solution by the vast majority of UN member states, including the five permanent members of the Security Council, there is only one option: it is a way to give life. Another goal of a rules-based global order, stabilizing the Middle East, and preventing the dawn of a new era of terrorism around the world: ending the occupation of Palestine.
This is also the only possible way forward for Israel. After the attack by Hamas on October 7, and as evidenced by the erratic actions taken by its far-right government and the desperate acts of extremist violence it unleashed against the Palestinians, Israel lost all confidence in its deterrence capabilities in the region. Israelis today feel more vulnerable and at risk than ever before. Many of its citizens have lost confidence in the ability of the State of Israel to guarantee their security, and doubt the state’s ability to survive in the region.
Only an end to the illegal occupation, supported by a settlement in which the Arab states assure Israel that they are indeed part of the region, and can live among themselves in peace and prosper, will allow Israel to regain a sense of security and permanence. .
It is clear that the longest continuous occupation in modern history must end – and quickly. However, given the current stalemate and complete devastation in Gaza, the first step towards ending the occupation must be to place the Palestinian people – now identified by the International Court of Justice as a unique “group” – under international protection.
This temporary arrangement would need to be implemented under the auspices of the United Nations – whose participation would restore the legitimacy of the rules-based order, for three to five years, until a fully functioning, independent Palestinian state becomes possible.
During this period of international protection, an independent tsar, appointed by the United Nations with the approval of the international community, must lead the operation and be responsible for day-to-day management, with the guidance and support of a special council of individuals. He represents all Palestinian factions, including Hamas.
It is likely that there will be serious objections to the inclusion of an official Hamas representative in this formation, but it should be possible to include a non-member of the Council who is acceptable to the movement and can represent its interests. The inclusion of Hamas in any peace process is crucial because a sustainable settlement cannot be achieved without acknowledging the fears and expectations of the group that has led the Palestinian armed struggle against the occupation for many years.
Given the West’s undeniable bias in favor of Israel, countries that have shown concern for and respect for the rights and well-being of Palestinians, and respect for international law, throughout this recent conflict, such as South Africa, Turkey, and Brazil, should be part of these efforts. For the International Protection Alliance. This alliance must also ensure the security and territorial integrity of Jordan and Egypt.
It is possible that security in the Palestinian territories during this transitional period under international protection will follow a hybrid model – a local police force supported by an international force.
The responsibility for shepherding such a proposal through the Security Council should fall on the United Kingdom and France given their historical responsibility for establishing the State of Israel and subjugating the Palestinian people.
Rebuilding Gaza, which has been reduced to rubble in the past four months, will inevitably be part of the mandate in the temporary international protection period. The countries directly responsible for the destruction, such as Israel, the United States, Germany and others, must provide the bulk of the required financial resources, bearing in mind that the total cost of rebuilding will be less than 20 percent of what the United States promised Israel in 2015. Conditions of Support Additional military personnel to ensure its security.
In addition to forming a comprehensive interim council, the international community must take a series of immediate steps to help restore Palestinian confidence in the international community and the feasibility of protecting it.
First, the interim decision issued by the International Court of Justice must be supported, and its recommendations fully implemented, by all countries of the world. This means that the killing must stop, prisoners on both sides must be released, the blockade must end, and adequate aid and basic services must reach all Palestinians in Gaza immediately. At the same time, there must be an independent review of the West’s military support for Israel, and they must be held accountable for their complicity in genocide. We must also make it clear to Israel’s far-right government that ethnic cleansing in Gaza or the West Bank is not an option. All hostages on both sides must be released.
Second, the international community must make clear to Israel that it may not violate Gaza’s territorial integrity by occupying any part of the land, creating a so-called “buffer zone” within it or dividing it into smaller settlements.
Third, the international community must unanimously call for an immediate and unconditional cessation of all illegal construction activities and land seizures in the West Bank and demand accountability for acts of violence and aggression committed by Israeli settlers against Palestinians. The countries of the world must insist that Israel dismantle all settlement sites in the West Bank, and avoid any such intentions in the Gaza Strip.
Fourth, Jordanian custodianship over Al-Aqsa Mosque must be preserved and the sanctity of all Christian and Islamic holy sites in Jerusalem must be restored.
Finally, to ensure the ability of the Palestinian people to live in freedom and dignity under the rule of their elected representatives, the international community should formally recognize a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital and commit to ensuring the rapid implementation of UN resolutions. The 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in post-conflict Palestine.
This promise could begin to take shape of the Palestinian social security/social support system – something that will be urgently needed the next day.
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial position of Al Jazeera.
(Marks for translation) Opinions