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Israeli-palestinian conflict - Essay Example

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Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Humanitarian Intervention The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been ongoing for over 60 years. Besides the fight over control of territory, the conflict also symbolizes the longstanding disagreements between the Israelis and Palestinians over a number of issues like water, borders, security and Jerusalem…
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Download file to see previous pages In this context, authors like Thompson contend that some form of humanitarian intervention could be an alternate solution to this impasse (138). This paper describes some of the factors that have prevented such an intervention and also discusses whether such a solution is viable in the modern context. Obstacles to Humanitarian Intervention Consider the recent military operation by the Israeli Defense forces in 2009. The military claimed that it was pursuing Palestinian militants hiding in the Gaza Strip, whom it accused of firing rockets into Israeli towns and cities. The resulting campaign led to the deaths of over 1000 residents, many of whom were children (Brown 82). Israel had also enforced a blockade on the Gaza Strip, forcing over 100,000 residents to flee. While such military campaigns have been extremely violent, Israel claims that it is acting in self-defense. The Israeli government has also demolished several government buildings, schools and mosques in the region as it alleges that these are being used to store missiles and serve as hideouts for militants. For over 3 months, residents had no access to food or water as they could not venture out and had no supplies due to the blockade. Gallagher notes that Israel has breached international humanitarian conventions by not providing help to the starving and wounded (72). The Human Rights Watch has made far serious allegations of humanitarian violations by claiming that the Israeli military used phosphorus-based munitions during street combat. The United Nations has maintained that Israel has consistently violated UN norms on human rights and the Geneva Convention. Murphy has compared the treatment meted out to Palestinians with the atrocities faced by Jews under the Nazis during World War II (95). Despite allegations from several quarters, little has changed in the aggressive posture of Israel. Brown argues that despite requiring help and protection against ethnic cleansing and war crimes from the international community, Palestinians have had to fend for themselves (78). Unlike the role played by the United States and its allies during the Gulf War or the Yugoslavian War, international politics have prevented any such intervention in the Gaza Strip. According to Mertus, while regions like Myanmar, Darfur or Zimbabwe enjoyed quick worldwide attention due to genocide and famine, Palestinian regions like the West Bank and the Gaza Strip are yet to witness any notable forms of humanitarian intervention despite facing similar problems for several decades (153). Arend notes that any demand for humanitarian intervention in ravaged places like Darfur and Zimbabwe should first be aware of previous interventions in places like Iraq and Yugoslavia (65). In the case of Iraq, humanitarian intervention has worsened the volatile situation, giving rise to an insurgency and a corrupt government system. It appears in most of these cases that the intervening parties have manipulated the post-conflict environment in their favor without any consideration for the welfare of the domestic populations. Hanlon says that Israel has constantly opposed any intervention in its internal issues (186). He further alleges that Israel does not allow any third party to decide over the question of a separate statehood for Israel. Need for Humanitarian Intervention On the question of whether humanitarian intervention is justified in the Israeli-Palestinian scenario, one needs to ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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