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Monday, January 30, 2023
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EditorialNo respite for Palestinians

No respite for Palestinians

The most significant events in Israel and Palestine in the year 2022 include: violence, incursions, and the murder of one of Palestine’s most respected journalists. Palestinians have applauded the UN General Assembly’s decision to ask the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for an assessment of the legal implications of Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian lands. The year 2022 was the deadliest for Palestinians in the occupied West Bank since 2006, according to the UN, showing increased use of force by Israel. In August, less than 15 months after Israel bombarded Gaza, the blockaded region was assaulted by Israeli aeroplanes for three days, killing 49 Palestinians, including 17 children. The arrest of a Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader in the West Bank by Israeli troops fueled worries of an escalation, prompting Israel to beef up its military presence on Israel’s border with Gaza. Israel launched a round of air attacks on Gaza on August 5. While there was serious concern that the commencement of combat would lead to a protracted battle; the crisis ended within three days when an Egyptian-mediated truce went into force. The expansion of tiny armed resistance organisations based in the northern cities of Jenin and Nablus was one of the major trends in the West Bank in 2022. When the Jenin Brigades were founded in the city’s refugee camp in September 2021 as a result of Israel killing fighter Jamil al-Amouri in June, the phenomena had just begun. The Lions’ Den, the Balata Brigades, the Tubas Brigades, and the Yabad Brigades were established in 2022 as a result of this. Although the groupings are made up of members of a number of established Palestinian parties, they reject affiliation with any one party or movement.

The highest UN tribunal handling disputes between states is the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Although the ICJ lacks the authority to do so, its decisions are enforceable. Despite this, the vote on Friday poses a problem for Israel’s new prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, who assumed office on Thursday at the helm of a hard-right coalition that includes organisations that support annexing the occupied West Bank.  Israel conducted a military operation called “Break the Wave” in the West Bank, with a focus on the cities of Jenin and Nablus, in response to a series of individual attacks that started in Israel in March. In addition to Palestinian combatants slain in targeted killings and armed encounters, civilians who confronted the Israeli army during raids and bystanders also died. According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, Israeli soldiers killed at least 170 Palestinians in the West Bank and the occupied East Jerusalem in 2022, including more than 30 children. There have also been at least 9,000 injuries. Many of the murders have particularly outraged Palestinians. Israelis must realise that they seized Palestinian territory and that they must leave it as soon as possible. It is now necessary for Israel to accede to all UN resolutions calling for the liberation of Palestine and a two-state solution to the problems.

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