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Briefing Note - Essay Example

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To: Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State From: (Your Name) Date: October 29, 2011. Purpose: Current International Legal Issues on the Palestine-Israel relationship. This is an analysis of the legality of the question of self determination that has sparked several long lasting conflict between Israel and Palestine…
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Briefing Note
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Download file to see previous pages The international legal tenets of self-determination loom large over the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. One of the questions that have long been without a clear answer is whether Palestine is entitled to independence and self determination in an area it deems to be its ancestral homeland. International law does not allow nations to disregard peremptory norms, which are the international embodiment of the principles of justice and fairness (Caplan 12). The democratic principle of self-determination is one of the peremptory norms guarded under international law. In 1918 the British occupied the Palestinian territory and the following year, Palestine came under Class A Mandate. Until that mandate was terminated, it was agreed that the country’s independence would be provisionally recognized. A White Paper was issued in 1939 which formally stated the British Government approval of the formation of an independent Palestinian State in which both Arabs and Jews would “share in government in such a way as to ensure that the essential interests of each community were safeguarded” (Scobbie, Hibbin and Siegman 4). In 1948, Palestine’s population was made up of 74% Arabs and 26% Jews. It was therefore expected that Palestine would have become an independent state at the end of the Mandate, but this expectation did not materialize. Rather, the State of Israel was proclaimed in 1948. Arab states rejected the formation of Israel and the partition of Palestine, but the rest of the world welcomed the newest nation into the world (Tessler 33). The establishment of an independent Israel nation saw the beginning of an Israeli-Palestinian conflict that has never been resolved to this day. In 1993, the Oslo Peace Accord was signed between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) (Antonius 10). The Peace Accord grated Palestinians an interim period of five years of self rule. The main issues covered in the signing of the accord included transfer of power to Palestinians. This transfer of power and responsibilities from Israel to Palestine included control over the West Bank and Gaza (Lubell 3). This was meant to enable Palestinians to control their own affairs. The Accord granted Israel full control of its borders and Jerusalem, which had been one of the areas under contention in the conflicts between the two countries. In the same accord, the PLO formally recognized the right of Israel as a state to exist in peace (Caplan 20). Both countries formally agreed to conduct peace talks so as to end many years of conflict between them. Since 2000, Israeli occupation of the west Bank and Gaza flamed several armed conflicts between the two countries (Antonius 17). In 2008, Israeli troops carried out an offensive against Hamas on the Gaza strip. The offensive finally came to an end after three weeks on January 17, 2009 after Israel and Hamas both announced a ceasefire. During the 3 week offensive 1,300 Palestinians, mostly civilians lost their lives. 400 of these were children. Another 5000 received injuries. Of these 1800 were children and 800 were women. The Israelis lost 13 people, 3 of whom were civilians. Human lives were not the only ones destroyed in this offensive. Much of the Gaza strip was left in ruins. Thousands were left homeless and without food and water (Scobbie, Hibbin and Siegman 14). The west, and in particular were in full support of Israel’ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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