The new status of Palestine

The new status of Palestine

From occupied areas to the occupied state
Marina Sapronova
Actions «Arab Spring» and its quite diverse effects overshadowed the situation developing in the Palestinian state autonomy (PNA), usually considered as a constant threat to the stability of the entire Arab region. Meanwhile, in the near future there is enough important actions took place in November 2012 there was a real threat to the Israeli invasion of the Gaza Strip (eventually implement operation «Cloud Pillar»), which was preceded by the elimination of the control of the military wing of Hamas, Ahmed Jabari. Immediately took first quite successful performance of the new Egyptian President Mohammed Mursi as an international mediator. A November 29 — a day of international solidarity with the Palestinian people, the General Assembly adopted the decision on granting Palestine new status: observer state.

Important to note that the November Palestinian-Israeli confrontation showed some significant changes in the situation in the Middle East, which have become a reflection of the «Arab Spring.» In 1-x, significantly increased military capabilities of Hamas (Islamic Resistance Movement), used in this conflict long-range missiles and has demonstrated its ability such makarom strike at the central regions of Israel. In-2-x, Hamas had acquired a new status and international influence, received political support from countries such as Turkey, Tunisia and Egypt, where authorities are Islamic parties, also by the Qatari Emir is in the process of his own visit to the Gaza Strip pledged 400 million dollars to restore the infrastructure. With all this Israel itself one way or another had to enter into a dialogue with Hamas, and not with Mahmoud Abbas. In the end — was tottering power of Hamas in Gaza seriously strengthened, and the «Palestinian question» again a day or returned to the agenda of the world community.

B-3, Israel is not found in the face of U.S. support for its military solutions, on the contrary, both the West and the Arab countries (represented by Egyptian President) immediately condemned the military campaign and contributed Hassle-ceasefire and the ceasefire. As a mediator by Egypt, demonstrating its intrigued in containing the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Egyptian mission was quite successful and has identified the possibility of «Muslim Brotherhood» to negotiate with Hamas, which has first Syrian Revolution was considered an ally of Syria and Iran, but then made a drift toward the Sunni monarchies of the Persian Gulf.

What has changed?

Israeli-Palestinian affairs are the main determinant of the political dynamics in the Middle East. Now the main problem of these relations is the virtual absence of the negotiation process. Middle of the main causes of this can be called first continuing split in the Palestinian leadership (although in May 2011 signed an agreement on inter-Palestinian reconciliation and new elections), Israel’s unwillingness to go to the harsh concessions to the Palestinians, repeated attacks on Israeli areas by Hamas, the inability of the parties agree on the main nuances prepyadstviya (on the status of East Jerusalem and the West Bank, on refugees and others)

» Israeli government unanimously rejected the UN resolution, answering her adoption of a new development plan in the area of ​​so-called E-1 «
Yet the increase in the status of Palestine to the UN can be seen as an important diplomatic victory that was made possible at the background of growing international sympathy for the Palestinian Authority.

Obtaining the status of observer state facilitated by the fact that, unlike the full membership (application for which Palestine has made in 2011), it can be assigned to the UN General Assembly and not the Security Council.

Of the 193 countries represented in the General Assembly, the Palestinian application supported 138 countries — members of the United Nations, 19 opposed (including Israel, USA, Canada), others did not.

New status now gives Palestine opportunity to appeal to all cash, humanitarian, educational structures of the UN, it may enter into an international company work, the World Health company, etc., but most importantly — it is an opportunity to appeal to the judiciary, namely International Criminal Tribunal (ICC) in The Hague. Israel does not recognize the jurisdiction of the court, but the legal consequences of Palestinian claims may complicate Israelis stay in countries where the ICC recognizes yurispundenuiya.

Now the PNA is not just captured territory, but occupied the government and, as follows, are protected by all international norms and conventions, namely the Geneva Convention (1949) on the protection of the civilian population during the war, etc.

Status of the occupied country, in addition, will determine the boundaries of Palestine: they will be recorded on the strip distinction preceding the 1967 war, with East Jerusalem and without Jewish settlements in the West Bank.

As for the political settlement of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the new status of the PNA is unlikely to contribute to this, because the main mechanism for the settlement founded in the negotiation process, which is in the deepest deadlock, as in many respects regional and extra-regional players. Israel rejects the Palestinian demand to end settlement construction in the West Bank, saying that the population of these territories (accessory which, according to the views of Israel, remains controversial) can not be an obstacle to the negotiation process, which should begin with preparatory test. Palestinians see as an extension of the ongoing construction of colonization and do not wish to enter into negotiations before the time, until the end similar practices.

In addition, the UN can not contribute to the creation of municipal structures and the formation of political institutions. Government should ripen inside and be the result of political development and identity of the Palestinian people. In the meantime, there are significant inconsistencies in the approaches to the prospects of future development of Palestine by the Fatah (Movement for National Liberation of Palestine), which controls the West to keep, and by Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip. And all efforts to hold parliamentary elections in accordance with the new electoral law have not yet been success. Moreover, even eagerness Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah supporters make a request to the UN to increase the status of Palestine at first did not meet the support and endorsement of the more constructive political forces have called this request lopsided initiative Abbas.

Competitiveness 2-leading political forces of autonomy, of course, does not promote the formation of a stable and effective state institutions imperative that clearly showed the parliamentary elections in 2006, which divided ideologically and geographically PNA and almost put her on the brink of civilian war.

There are other reasons that prevent the creation of a full-fledged Palestinian country, and at first the lack of an independent economy, and it is entirely dependent on subsidies and zabugornyh as follows, on the political situation, regional transformations and economic situation in the adjacent Arab countries, which is added to the current time is not the best manner.

More complicated situation is observed in the Gaza Strip, many of whose inhabitants before the second Intifada worked in Israel. After 2005, such ability was no longer, as a result of the blockade ended fishing and ruined large number of small companies. About 38 percent of the inhabitants live in poverty. And all this against the background of rather frisky PNA population growth, more than half of whom are minors, that promotes the growth of unemployment (about 30 percent) and forcing young Palestinians to leave for work in other countries, including Israel. According to a report by UN agencies dilemmas Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) for the year 2011 the number of poor living on just one dollar a day, for the last 5 years has grown three times, and the blockade was over 300 thousand.

Reaction Jerusalem

Israel’s own lips Prime Minister described the appeal of the PNA in the UN as a flagrant violation of the agreements previously signed with the Israelis.

Israeli government unanimously rejected the UN resolution, answering her adoption of a new development plan in the area of ​​so-called E-1 — part between Palestinian areas of East Jerusalem and the West Bank.

With all this, Netanyahu stressed that the Israel built and continue to build settlements in the areas falling within the zone of strategic interests of the country. In total, meant to build about 3,000 housing units in East Jerusalem, Samaria and Judea, who eventually cut off one hundred percent of each other Palestinian East Jerusalem and the West saves the Jordan River.

December 25, 2012 Israel’s Interior Ministry has approved the construction of 1,200 homes in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Gilo in the armistice line that existed before the 1967 war.

In addition, the Minister of Finance said that Israel freeze Palestine transfer tax revenues (about 100 million dollars) collected for her in the framework of the Paris agreements governing economic relations between the parties, signed in 1994, in addition to the «Oslo agreement», and these funds will be used to repay debt PNA Israeli electronics company. This solution, of course, will be a very painful blow to the economic situation in Palestine, which would entail a deterioration of the social situation and as a consequence of the forthcoming political gain impermanence.

Israel’s response to a new status of Palestine can be considered, on the one hand, as domestic political demarche other day elections to the Knesset, the right in order to gain strong support of voters, because in the near future in Israel is increasing the number of people adamantly opposed to the creation of a Palestinian self-contained country (according to some reports, they constitute 35-40 percent of the population). In this regard, the operation «Cloud Pillar», which began in 68 days before the election to the Knesset, was associated with another operation, the IDF — «Cast Lead», which began 45 days before the elections to the Knesset in 2009.

On the other hand — as a method of pressure on the government of Mahmoud Abbas and his fellow European partners, namely on the more active participation of the Palestinian country in the fight against extremist Islamic groups, with a view to strengthening the «deterrent» because preliminary results of the «Arab Spring «a bad impact on the position of Israel in the region, significantly strengthening and expanding the base position on Hamas as was the erosion of civil and military regimes and the strengthening of Islamic parties in the adjacent Arab countries. It should be emphasized that even the Syrian-Israeli border in throughout the period of the reign of Bashar Assad has been measured, despite the fact that Syria supports Hamas and contributed to the development of relations between the Islamists and Iran. Currently, pressure on Israel by Islamist forces has increased dramatically and is «Muslim Brotherhood» in Jordan require reconsider peace treaty with Israel.

The main effects

If a military point of view, nothing substantial has happened, but in political terms at all shows growing support for Palestinians all over the world, also the fact that Israel’s situation after another round of Israeli-Palestinian tensions and increase the status of Palestine to the UN noticeably worse.

Despite the fact that the vote on the Palestinian issue in the UN General Assembly showed a sharp demarcation of the European countries and the lack of political unity (France voted in favor, Germany and Britain — abstained, Czech Republic — Against), yet Israel’s response to the new status of Palestine and the declaration of the new settlements caused a sharp condemnation of the entire public.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon referred to the decision of the Israeli government to implement the idea blow creation of 2-2-yi peoples. In its statement, the construction of new settlements is contrary to international law and leaves no chance for a peaceful settlement of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

EU commissioner for international affairs Catherine Ashton also strongly criticized Israel’s decision to continue the construction of new housing units and contributed in its own statement that the reaction of the international community will depend on the extent to which the Israeli decision undermines the prospects for the creation of a viable Palestinian holistic and country.

Meanwhile, after the main European countries — Britain, France, Germany and the Netherlands turned to the Israeli government for an explanation and claimed to abandon construction. And Britain and France summoned to foreign ministries of their own states accredited in London and Paris, Israeli ambassadors demanding explanations and even announced a review of its own examination of the ability of ambassadors from Israel, if plans to build new settlements will not be revised. U.S. caught in a difficult situation, were obliged to say that the veto on at least some anti-Israel UN Security Council resolution. Yet 14 members of this body issued a joint statement condemning Israel’s settlement policy.

Fascinating in this regard is the fact that in the U.S. among South American pro-Israel lobby is increasingly sounds harsh criticism in the address actions of the Israeli Government. So recognizable Jewish activist Leon Wieseltier U.S. accused Israeli Prime Minister egregious actions in the construction of new settlements.

All this says that a similar practice undermines Israel Jewish state in those countries that have supported him vigorously. In a very volatile environment, emerging throughout the Middle East region, Israel can count on international guarantees of their own security solely in exchange for giving the construction of settlements, and the output of Palestine into a new level of international legal recognition is another factor changing environment and the system of international relations in the Middle East.

At the moment, this intensely enjoys Mahmoud Abbas, gaining points for themselves in the political confrontation with Hamas. So, at the end of December, the head of the PNA authorities threatened to dissolve the Palestinian self-rule and return to Israel responsible for the management of the West Bank, if after the elections in January 2013 and the formation of the new Israeli government to continue the stagnation in the peaceful settlement of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

But international recognition and growing sympathy for the Palestinians by the international community, are actually only the formal attributes of independence, does not help to solve the Palestine problem and its internal make dialogue with Israel, as well as it should, it did not build up their state and political and social and economic readiness for real independence.

Marina Sapronova,
Doctor of Historical Sciences, Dr. Department of Oriental Studies (University Institute) Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation

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