The occupation, the Intifada and International Law

War in Gaza as a continuation of the second intifada movement temporarily suspended. ‘Peace process’ is being discussed – which is more appropriate reworded as the delusional actions to cover the intentions of Israel in secret, in order to get the Palestinian territories. As if blaming the other party that does not want to answer the proposed peace, the government of Israel and the United States media insisted that the movement was the continuation of the second intifada as a reason for the disruption of the peace process.


In international law, resistance (intifada) that was given by Palestinians for the occupation (Israeli) is a right that is fully protected by law. For approximately 33 years, Israel has embarked on a military annexation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza consistently and relentlessly regardless of the international community. In fact, it is clearly stated in the decision of the UN General Assembly Resolution no. 242 and 348 stated that Israel is obliged to withdraw from the Palestinian territories occupied during the Six Day War. It was supposed to be one of the solutions put forward in implementing the peace process between Israel and Palestine.


Not only that, the principles of international law which ignored by Israel is the protection of civilians during times of war, as stipulated in the 4th Geneva Convention on the Protection of Civilians during Time of War (1949), especially regarding provisions requiring the involved parties in the battle to keep protecting civilians, the status quo, including their rights, nor the opportunity of self-determination as a resident of the territory annexed illegally. In fact, since 1967 until now, Israel has failed to obey the convention, even no longer slowly, but stated openly, without any concerned of the existence of a binding obligation in international law. The refusal form is looking not only by not withdrawing from the occupied territories, even Israel has built buildings and infrastructure that are clearly illegal such as roads, buildings, army headquarters, also the Israeli settlements. Everything is clear and imminent threat to the basic rights of the Palestinian people.


Therefore, the failure of Israel to obey the international law, for its involvement annexed (belligerent occupant) the Palestinian territories had violated the principles of self-determination right and generally provide the right base for the Palestinian people to defend themselves (right of resistance). As the resistance movement called intifada, which has lasted twice in the long history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, especially after 1967, is a symbol of resistance against the injustice of the illegal treatment. Uprising of the Palestinian people in fact like throwing stones was a form of symbolic resistance was not intended as an ‘action’ but a ‘reaction’. However, Israel made the form of the resistance as a ‘security threat’ to justify their attack, such as the IDF launched (Israel Defense Force). Evidently, the ‘response’ that actually looks like the actions taken excessive, resulting in damage and losses so far (excessive use of lethal force). The things above are indisputable facts, continually violated the 4th Geneva Convention.


As long as Israel still maintains their illegal occupation in the West Bank and Gaza, Israel remains bound to the 4th Geneva Convention on the fundamental rights of the Palestinian people. The Geneva Conventions set an obligation to protect the civilians, particularly regarding fundamental rights are not inviolable, revoked or annulled (Article 47). Similarly, actions that are unjustified expulsion (forced Deportation) against the Palestinian people, including the removal of the population, as was done in the project establishment of illegal settlements by Israel (Article 49). Also under the 4th Geneva Convention, rules regarding the protection of children from war is also becoming an important point that should not be ignored by any country (Article 50).


Legal Basis International Public Support to the Palestinians


Based on the demands that Israel has violated the 4th Geneva Convention, Israel said that they have a claim over the Palestinians territory, so that their actions cannot be said to be a form of occupation. With this logic, Israel escaped from the international law, particularly international humanitarian law which regulated in the 4th Geneva Convention. Obviously, the claim is a form of defiance against the rule of international law. No wonder, why the failure of the peace process that has been initiated many times, due to Israel’s refusal to implement a solution that is obtained from the UN consensus, as a forum for the countries in the international sphere. The attention of countries in the United Nations for persuading both Israelis and Palestinians primarily intended to promote self-determination of the Palestinian people, as originally Palestine as a Mandate region that is handed over control of its administration by the United Kingdom with the aim of establishing an independent states for the people, in this case the people of Palestine. The UN has tried to provide answers to a series of resolutions which are expected to be a landmark law to fight for Palestinian rights and ending the Israeli-Palestinian dispute:


UN General Assembly Resolution 181 (II) of 29 November 1947 Upcoming Palestinian Government formed a separation of the two communities (Arabs and Jews) with each group to establish a state on the territory of mandate Palestine, and the obligations of both countries to respect each other minorities, and the special status of Jerusalem.


UN General Resolution 194 (III) December 11, 1948 which states the right of the Palestinian people to return to their homeland, and receive compensation for any loss or damage arising from, as right to establish settlements on the Palestinian people living in the shelters who did choose to return to their home, and compensation for the harm suffered. United Nations also established Conciliation Commission to fight for the rights of Palestinian refugees.


UN Security Council Resolution 242 (2 November 1967) and 338 (October 22, 1973), which called on Israel to withdraw from occupied territories during the war on 1967 and 1973, and encourage the justice solution for the refugees.


UN General Assembly Resolution 34/70 December 6, 1979 agreed on the need for a solution to the conflict, especially in the case of Israel-Palestine, which emphasizes the right to self-determination, regardless of the negotiations of the involved parties.


UN General Assembly Resolution 43/177 (December 15, 1988) recognizes Palestinian proclamation as a consistent state with General Assembly Resolution 181.


UN Security Council resolutions 476, 478 and 1322 (respectively: June 30, 1980, August 20, 1980, and October 7, 2000) reinforce the basic principles of international law and the United Nations that cannot be accepted / recognized the acquisition of territory by force, conquest as enforcement without requirement of the 4th Geneva convention against civilians from the occupied territories.


Israel insists that no lawsuits from both the UN Resolution and international conventions, such as the 4th Geneva convention, which is able to prove the guilt of Israel. An opposition is shown despite the fact that the general public has witnessed the fact violate the 4th Geneva convention, such as attacks on medical staff (and vehicle units as well as the facilities), killing civilians particularly those who in the worship protected area, the use of original weapons to control the situation against unarmed demonstrators and lightly armed (stones), practices firing orders to kill (shooting to kill) by the Israeli army on civilians.


Thus, there are no solutions of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict if Israel does not show their good manner to seek the way of peace. Opposition to international law has shown arrogance that cannot be tolerated to a legal order of international organizations. Therefore, in the absence of desire and political will of the agencies of international organizations (the UN) that is strictly addressing Israeli occupation in Palestine, all resolutions and conventions mean nothing. In fact to this day, Israel continues its occupation, the Palestinian people keep falling every day. Thus, the intifada is the best choice for Palestinians.


Muhammad Iqbal S. H.

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