My Lecture nine on Arab-Israel Crisis
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My Lecture nine on Arab-Israel Crisis

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This lecturer is purely compiled from the web sources just for the use of nluo students. This work is not mine and it shall not be cited.

This lecturer is purely compiled from the web sources just for the use of nluo students. This work is not mine and it shall not be cited.

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My Lecture nine on Arab-Israel Crisis My Lecture nine on Arab-Israel Crisis Document Transcript

  • MY LECTURE NINE ON “ARAB-ISRAEL CONFLICTS” 2010 NATIONAL LAW UNIVERSITY, ORISSA B.A. LL.B SEMESTER-III (2010): “GLOBAL POLITICS AND GOVERNANCE” MY LECTURES ON “ARAB-ISRAEL CONFLICTS” (PART-II) LECTURE NINE By DR. AFROZ ALAM ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF POLITICS NATIONAL LAW UNIVERSITY, ORISSA MOBILE: +919438303041 E-MAIL: afrozalam2@gmail.com afroz@nluo.ac.in DR. AFROZ ALAM, NATIONAL LAW UNIVERSITY, ORISSA Page 1
  • MY LECTURE NINE ON “ARAB-ISRAEL CONFLICTS” 2010 ARAB-ISRAEL WARS: 1948 The 1948 Arab-Israeli War, known as the "Israeli War of Independence" by Israelis or "al-Nakba" (The Disaster) by Arabs, 1948-1949, began after the November 1947 UN Partition Plan, which proposed the establishment of Arab and Jewish states in Palestine. The Arabs had rejected the plan while the Jews had accepted it. By March 1948 however, the US was actively seeking a temporary UN approved trusteeship rather than immediate partition. The Jewish leadership rejected this. By now, both Jewish and Arab militias had begun campaigns to control territory inside and outside the designated borders, and an open war between the two populations emerged. Jordanian, Egyptian, Syrian, Lebanese, Iraqi and Saudi troops invaded Palestine subsequent to the British withdrawal and the declaration of the State of Israel on May 14, 1948. Israel, the US, the Soviet Union, and UN Secretary-General Trygve Lie called this illegal aggression, while China broadly backed the Arab claims. The Arab states proclaimed their aim of a "United State of Palestine" in place of Israel and an Arab state. They considered the UN Plan to be invalid because it was opposed by Palestine's Arab majority, and claimed that the British withdrawal led to an absence of legal authority, making it necessary for them to protect Arab lives and property. About two thirds of Palestinian Arabs fled or were expelled from the territories which came under Jewish control; the rest became Arab citizens of Israel. Practically all of the much smaller number of Jews in the territories captured by the Arabs, for example the Old City of Jerusalem, also fled or were expelled. The official United Nations estimate was that 711,000 Arabs became refugees during the fighting. Despite initial setbacks, better organization and intelligence successes, as well as timely clandestine arms shipments, enabled the Jews to gain a decisive victory. The Arabs and Palestinians lost their initial advantage when they failed to organize and unite. When the fighting ended in 1949, Israel held territories beyond the boundaries set by the UN plan - a total of 78% of the area west of the Jordan River. The UN made no serious attempt to enforce the internationalization of Jerusalem, which was now divided between Jordan and Israel, and separated by barbed wire fences and no man's land areas. The Arab countries refused to sign a permanent peace treaty with Israel. Consequently, the borders of Israel established by the armistice commission never received de jure (legal) international recognition. Arabs call the defeat and exile of the Palestinian Arabs in 1948 the Nakba (disaster). The UN arranged a series of cease-fires between the Arabs and the Jews in 1948 and 1949. UN GA Resolution 194 called for cessation of hostilities and return of refugees who wish to live in peace. Security Council Resolution 62 called for implementation of armistice agreements that would lead to a permanent peace. The borders of Israel were established along the "green line" of the armistice agreements of 1949. Thus, the fighting ended with signing of the several Armistice Agreements in 1949 between Israel and its warring neighbours (Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, and Syria), which formalized Israeli control of the area allotted to the Jewish state plus just over half of the area allotted to the Arab state. The Gaza Strip was occupied by Egypt and the West Bank by Jordan until June 1967 when they were seized by Israel during the Six-Day War. AFTERMATH OF THE 1948 WAR The 630,000-700,000 Palestinians who fled or were expelled from the areas that became Israel were not allowed to return to their homes, and took up residence in refugee camps in surrounding countries, including Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, and the area that was later to be known as the Gaza Strip; they were usually not allowed to leave refugee camps and mix with the local Arab society either, leaving the Palestinian refugee problem unsolved even today. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East was established to alleviate their condition. After the war, "[t]he Arab states insisted on two main demands", neither of which were accepted by Israel: 1. Israel should withdraw to the borders of the UN Partition Plan — Israel argued "that the new borders—which could be changed, under consent only—had been established as a result of war, and because the UN blueprint took no account of defense needs and was militarily untenable, there was no going back to that blueprint." 2. The Palestinian refugees deserved a full right of return back into Israel — Israel argued that this was "out of the DR. AFROZ ALAM, NATIONAL LAW UNIVERSITY, ORISSA Page 1
  • MY LECTURE NINE ON “ARAB-ISRAEL CONFLICTS” 2010 question, not only because they were hostile to the Jewish state, but they would also fundamentally alter the Jewish character of the state." Over the next two decades after the 1948 war ended, between 700,000 and 900,000 Jews fled the Arab countries they were living in, in many cases owing to anti-Jewish sentiment, expulsion (in the case of Egypt), or, in the case of Iraq, legal oppression; of this number, two-thirds ended up in refugee camps in Israel, while the remainder migrated to France, the United States and other Western or Latin American countries. The Jewish refugee camps in Israel were evacuated with time and the refugees were eventually integrated in the Jewish Israeli society (which in fact consisted almost entirely of refugees from Arab and European states). Israel argued that this and the Palestinian exodus represented a population exchange between Arab nations and the Jewish nation. For the nineteen years from the end of the Mandate until the Six-Day War, Jordan controlled the West Bank and Egypt controlled the Gaza Strip In 1950, Jordan annexed the West Bank, but this annexation was recognized only by the United Kingdom. Both territories were conquered (but not annexed) from Jordan and Egypt by Israel in the Six-Day War. Neither Jordan nor Egypt allowed the creation of a Palestinian state in these territories. The effect this had on Israel during this period "were frequent border clashes ... terror and sabotage acts by individuals and small groups of Palestinian Arabs." WAR OF 1956 The 1956 Suez War was a joint Israeli-British-French operation, in which Israel invaded the Sinai Peninsula and British and French forces landed at the port of Suez, ostensibly to separate the warring parties, though the real motivation of the United Kingdom and France was to protect the interests of investors in those countries who were affected by Egyptian President Nasser's decision to nationalize the Suez Canal. Israel justified its invasion of Egypt as an attempt to stop attacks upon Israeli civilians, and to restore Israeli shipping rights through the Straits of Tiran which Egypt claimed was within its territorial waters. The invading forces agreed to withdraw under U.S. and international pressure, and Israel withdrew from the Sinai as well, in return for the installation of U.N. separation forces and guarantees of Israeli freedom of shipment. The canal was left in Egyptian (rather than British and French) hands. WAR OF 1967 The background from which erupted the Six-Day War was caused by erroneous information given to Gamal Nasser from the Soviet intelligence services that Israel was amassing troops near the Israeli-Syrian border. The state of conflict was also very tense after increased conflicts between Israel and Syria and Israel and Jordan. The fighting in the Six-Day War of 1967 began with a strike by Israel, which many consider pre-emptive, against Egypt and Syria following the breakdown of international diplomatic efforts to solve the crisis begun by the Egyptian closure of the Straits of Tiran on May 21-22, 1967 (thus "blocking all shipping to and from Eilat ... a casus belli" according to a possible interpretation of international law), expulsion of U.N. peacekeepers from the Sinai, and stationing of some 100,000 Egyptian troops at the peninsula. The Israeli army had a potential strength, including the not fully mobilized reserves, of 264,000 troops. Surprise Israeli air strikes destroyed the entire Egyptian air force while it was still on the ground. A subsequent ground invasion into Egyptian territory led to Israel's conquest of the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula. In spite of Israel's request to Jordan to desist from attacking it, Jordan along with Syria began to shell Israeli targets. In addition, Hussein, reluctant at first, sent ineffective bomber strikes because of Nasser's requests and affirmation of a sound Egyptian victory. With the rapid and rather unexpected success on the Egyptian front, Israel decided to attack and successfully captured the West Bank from Jordan on June 7, and the Golan Heights from Syria on June 9. UN Resolution 242 and peace proposals Following the Six-Day War, the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 242 which proposed a peaceful solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict. The resolution was accepted by Israel, Jordan, and Egypt, but rejected by Syria until 1972-1973 and the Yom Kippur War. To this day, Resolution 242 remains controversial due to conflicting interpretations over how much territory Israel would be required to withdraw from in order conform with the resolution. Also, after the Israeli occupation of the West Bank following the war, Palestinian DR. AFROZ ALAM, NATIONAL LAW UNIVERSITY, ORISSA Page 1
  • MY LECTURE NINE ON “ARAB-ISRAEL CONFLICTS” 2010 nationalism substantially increased. Armed resistance was encouraged from within the newly occupied territories and from the Arab nations that lost in the war. US Secretary of State William P. Rogers proposed the Rogers Plan, which called for a 90-day cease-fire, a military standstill zone on each side of the Suez Canal, and an effort to reach agreement in the framework of UN Resolution 242. The Egyptian government accepted the Rogers Plan even before Anwar Sadat became president. The Rogers peace plan finally failed due to the initiation of the war of attrition from Egypt followed by a heavy response by Israel. No breakthrough occurred even after President Sadat in 1972 surprised everyone by suddenly expelling Soviet advisers from Egypt and again signalled to the United States government his willingness to negotiate. WAR OF 1967-1970 The War of Attrition was a limited war fought between Egypt and Israel from 1967 to 1970. It was initiated by Egypt to damage Israel's morale and economy after its victory in the Six-Day War. The war ended with a cease- fire signed between the countries in 1970 with frontiers at the same place as when the war started. WAR OF 1973 The 1973 Yom Kippur War began when Egypt and Syria launched a surprise joint attack, on the Jewish day of fasting, in the Sinai Peninsula and Golan Heights. The Egyptians and Syrians advanced during the first 24–48 hours, after which momentum began to swing in Israel's favour. By the second week of the war, the Syrians had been pushed entirely out of the Golan Heights. In the Sinai to the south, the Israelis had struck at the "hinge" between two invading Egyptian armies, crossed the Suez Canal (where the old cease-fire line had been), and cut off an entire Egyptian army just as a United Nations cease-fire came into effect. During this time, the United States airlifted military supplies to Israel while the Soviet Union airlifted military supplies to Egypt. Israeli troops eventually withdrew from the west of the Canal and the Egyptians kept their positions on a narrow strip on the east allowing them to re-open the Suez Canal and claim victory. Israel clearly had the military victory over both Syria and Egypt, but it suffered a large blow to morale as well as substantial human casualties. The outcome of the Yom Kippur War set the stage for "a new phase in Israeli-Egyptian relations" ending ultimately in the signing of the Camp David Accords. OPERATION LITANI OF 1978 Operation Litani was the official name of Israel's 1978 invasion of Lebanon up to the Litani river. The invasion was a military success, as PLO forces were pushed north of the river. However, international outcry led to the creation of the UNIFIL peacekeeping force and a partial Israeli retreat. WAR OF 1982 AND SUBSEQUENT OCCUPATION The 1982 Lebanon War began when Israel attacked Lebanon, justified by Israel as an attempt to remove the Fatah militants led by Yasser Arafat from Southern Lebanon (where they had established, during the country's civil war, a semi-independent enclave used to launch attacks on Israel. The invasion was widely criticized both in and outside Israel, especially after the Israeli-backed Phalangist Christian militia's Sabra and Shatila massacre, and ultimately led to the death of roughly 1,000 Palestinians. Although through the war, Israel succeeded in exiling the PLO military personnel, including Arafat to Tunisia, it became entangled with various local Muslim militias (particularly Hezbollah), which fought to end the Israeli occupation. By 1985, Israel retreated from all but a narrow stretch of Lebanese territory designated by Israel as the Israeli Security Zone. UN Security Council Resolution 425 (calling on Israel to completely withdraw from Lebanon) was not completely fulfilled until 16 June 2000. Despite UN Security Council resolutions 1559 and 1583, Hezbollah continues to have a military wing. INTIFADA OF 1987-1993 The First Intifada, 1987-1993, began as an uprising of Palestinians, particularly the young, against the Israeli military occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip after the failure of the PLO to achieve any kind of meaningful diplomatic solution to the Palestinian issue. The exiled PLO leadership in Tunisia quickly assumed a role in the intifada, but the uprising also brought a rise in the importance of Palestinian national and Islamic DR. AFROZ ALAM, NATIONAL LAW UNIVERSITY, ORISSA Page 1
  • MY LECTURE NINE ON “ARAB-ISRAEL CONFLICTS” 2010 movements, and helped lead to the Palestinian Declaration of Independence in 1988. The intifada was started by a group of young Palestinians who began throwing rocks at the Israeli occupying forces in Jabalia (Gaza Strip) in December 1987. In May 1989, the government of Yitzhak Shamir, the prime minister of Israel at the time, "suggested that violence cease, and that elections should be held in the West Bank and Gaza for a political delegation with whom Israel would come to terms regarding the implementation of Palestinian interim self- governing authority in these areas." These elections never materialized. The Intifada ended with the Madrid Conference of 1991 and the signing of the Oslo Accords by Israel and the PLO in 1993. OSLO PEACE PROCESS (1993-2000) In September 1993, then Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat signed the Declaration of Principles (DOP) which "shaped the principles for a prospective process of the establishment of a five-year interim self-governing authority" in the Palestinian territories. In May 1994, the first stage of the DOP was implemented, Arafat arrived in the Gaza Strip, and financial aid started pouring in from the parts of the Western world and Japan. Unfortunately, "the new trend in Israeli-Palestinian relations also entailed a wave of violence by religious fanatics." In September 1996, after the opening of some ancient tunnels near the Temple Mount, a small wave of violence occurred. In October 1998, Arafat and then Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu signed the Wye Memorandum which "called for the implementation of Israel's first and second redeployments according to the DOP in three phases." Shortly after, Netanyahu's government fell and the Labor Party (under Ehud Barak) won control of the Knesset. Barak's election campaign was mostly geared toward a lasting peace in the Middle East by further implementation of the Wye Memorandum and the Oslo Accord. INTIFADA OF 2000 The al-Aqsa Intifada began in late September 2000, around the time Israeli opposition leader Ariel Sharon and a large contingent of armed bodyguards visited the Temple Mount/Al-Haram As-Sharif complex in Jerusalem and declared the area eternal Israeli territory. Widespread riots and attacks broke out among Palestinians and Arab citizens of Israel in Jerusalem and many major Israeli cities, and spread throughout the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The Palestinian Authority (PA) involvement in the Intifada was handled by the Tanzim ("Organization), which was the secret armed branch of Arafat's Fatah party within the PLO. In March 2002, just prior to the Arab Peace Initiative, suicide bombings committed by Palestinians against Israeli civilians "intensified ... in buses restaurants, coffee shops, and other public places in Israel." An Israeli human rights group, B'Tselem, estimated the death toll to be 3,396 Palestinians and 994 Israelis, although this number is criticized for not showing the whole picture, and not differentiating between combatants and civilians (suicide bombers, for example, are counted in that death toll). The Intifada also created "heavy economic losses to both sides" of the conflict. ARAB PEACE INITIATIVE OF 2002 In 2002, Saudi Arabia offered a peace plan in The New York Times and at a summit meeting of the Arab League in Beirut. The plan is based on, but goes beyond UN Security Council Resolution 242 and Resolution 338. It essentially calls for full withdrawal, solution of the refugee problem through the Palestinian "right of return", a Palestinian state with its capital in East Jerusalem in return for fully normalized relations with the whole Arab world. This proposal was the first to receive the unanimous backing of the Arab League. In response, Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres said: "... the details of every peace plan must be discussed directly between Israel and the Palestinians, and to make this possible, the Palestinian Authority must put an end to terror, the horrifying expression of which we witnessed just last night in Netanya", referring to the Netanya suicide attack. In November 2005, the George W. Bush administration acknowledged that Saudi Arabia has renewed funding to Hamas and other Palestinian insurgency groups. ISRAEL'S DISENGAGEMENT OF 2005 In 2005 Israel unilaterally evacuated settlements and military outposts from the Gaza Strip and the northern West Bank. The Disengagement Plan was a proposal by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, adopted by the government and enacted in August 2005, to remove a permanent Israeli presence from the Gaza Strip and from DR. AFROZ ALAM, NATIONAL LAW UNIVERSITY, ORISSA Page 1
  • MY LECTURE NINE ON “ARAB-ISRAEL CONFLICTS” 2010 four Israeli settlements in the northern West Bank. The civilians were evacuated (many forcibly) and the residential buildings demolished after August 15, and the disengagement from the Gaza Strip was completed on 12 September 2005, when the last Israeli soldier left. The military disengagement from the northern West Bank was completed ten days later. ISRAEL-LEBANON CONFLICT OF 2006 The 2006 Israel-Lebanon crisis began on 12 July 2006, with an attack by Hezbollah on Israel. Three Israeli soldiers were killed, and two were kidnapped and taken prisoner into Lebanon. In a search and rescue operation to return the captured soldiers, a further five Israeli Defense Forces troops were killed. It marked the beginning of a new wave of clashes between Israel and Hezbollah which saw the Lebanese capital, the sole Lebanese international airport, and much of southern Lebanon attacked by the Israelis, while Lebanese militias, presumably Hezbollah, bombarded northern Israeli cities, striking as far south as the city of Haifa. The conflict killed more than a thousand people, most of whom were Lebanese civilians and Hezbollah fighters; and displaced 974,184 Lebanese and 300,000-500,000 Israelis. Fears were growing that the situation could deteriorate further, with the possibility of either Syria or Iran becoming involved. But a ceasefire was signed, and went into effect 14 August. 2007–PRESENT On September 6, 2007, in Operation Orchard, Israel bombed an eastern Syrian complex which was allegedly a nuclear reactor being built with assistance from North Korea. Israel had also bombed Syria in 2003. In April 2008, Syrian President Bashar Al Assad told a Qatari newspaper that Syria and Israel had been discussing a peace treaty for a year, with Turkey as a go-between. This was confirmed in May 2008 by a spokesman for Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. As well as a peace treaty, the future of the Golan Heights is being discussed. Speaking in Jerusalem on August 26, 2008, then United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice criticized Israel's increased settlement construction in the West Bank as detrimental to the peace process. Rice's comments came amid reports that Israeli construction in the disputed territory had increased by a factor of 1.8 over 2007 levels. A fragile six-month truce between Hamas and Israel expired on December 19, 2008; attempts at extending the truce failed amid accusations of breaches from both sides. Following the expiration, Israel launched a raid on a tunnel suspected of being used to kidnap Israeli soldiers which killed several Hamas fighters. Following this, Hamas resumed rocket and mortar attacks on Israeli cities, most notably firing over 60 rockets on December 24. On December 27, 2008, Israel launched Operation Cast Lead — a massive aerial assault and subsequent land invasion — against Hamas, beginning a major battle in Gaza. The Israeli Operation began with an intense bombardment of the Gaza strip, targeting Hamas bases, police training camps, police headquarters and offices. Civilian infrastructure, including mosques, houses and schools were also attacked with allegations being made by Israel that Hamas fighters were operating out of them. Throughout the conflict, Hamas and other organizations fired hundreds of rockets and mortar shells on Israeli cities. Human Rights groups and aid organizations have accused Israel and Hamas of War Crimes and called for independent investigations and review of arms sales to Israel. The conflict came to an end on January 18, 2009 after first Israel and then Hamas announced unilateral ceasefires. In the days following the ceasefire, the BBC reported that, "more than 40,000 Gazans were left without running water and 4,000 homes had been ruined, leaving tens of thousands of people homeless. In December 2009, Israel signalled that it was intending to build a further 700 apartments in East Jerusalem, a move criticized by the international community which views such settlements as illegal. The move was criticized by the United States as a "blow" to peaceful negotiations with the Palestinians. The Palestinian Authority has postponed future negotiations with Israel until Israel halts the construction of additional settlements on what the PA considers Palestinian territory. The newly rebuilt Hurva Synagogue in Jerusalem was dedicated on March 15, 2010. Several Palestinian leaders claimed that the rededication signalled Israel’s intent to destroy the Muslim holy places on the Temple Mount and replace it with the Third Temple. Fatah official, Khatem Abd el-Khader, called the renovation of the Hurva a "provocation", warned Israel that it was "playing with fire" and called on Palestinians to "converge on Al-Aksa to DR. AFROZ ALAM, NATIONAL LAW UNIVERSITY, ORISSA Page 1
  • MY LECTURE NINE ON “ARAB-ISRAEL CONFLICTS” 2010 save it." Fearing riots by Arab protestors, over 3,000 policemen were deployed ahead of the dedication ceremony. The Organisation of the Islamic Conference said that the reopening risked "dragging the region into a religious war" and claimed the building was historically on a waqf (Islamic trust) land. The Jordanian government also condemned the move stating that it "categorically rejects the rededication of Hurva synagogue and all other unilateral Israeli measures in occupied East Jerusalem because they run counter to international legitimacy." Iran urged the international community to respond to the reopening and a Foreign Ministry spokesman called the move a "catastrophe that has distressed the Islamic world." Israeli officials countered that Arab fears of a takeover of the Temple Mount were based on rumours and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu extended a message of coexistence. The day after, Arabs clashed with Israeli police in East Jerusalem after Palestinian groups called for a "day of rage" over the reopening. A raid was carried out by Israeli naval forces on six ships of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla in May 2010. The flotilla, organized by the Free Gaza Movement and The Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief (IHH), a Turkish NGO, attempted to break the blockade of Gaza and deliver aid to the Gaza strip. The six ships rendezvoused near Cyprus and departed on 30 May 2010 carrying 663 people from 37 countries. Israeli forces boarded and captured in the ships in international waters of the Mediterranean Sea after the flotilla refused calls to change its course toward Gaza. On one of the ships, the MV Mavi Marmara, activists clashed with the Israeli boarding party. According to videos filmed both by the IDF and the activists, activists fought the soldiers with metal bars, knives, and other weapons as the latter rappelled one by one onto the deck of the ship. Nine activists were killed by Israeli soldiers, some shot repeatedly and at close range. Several dozen other passengers and seven Israeli soldiers were injured, with some of the commandos suffering from gunshot wounds. The raid prompted international reactions, including widespread outrage, from national authorities, supranational bodies and NGOs, as well as civilian demonstrations around the world. The United Nations Security Council condemned "those acts resulting in civilian deaths," demanded an impartial investigation of the raid, and called for the immediate release of civilians held by Israel. Israel responded that it would release 620 of the 682 arrested people and deport them back to their countries. The UN Human Rights Council condemned Israel and decided to dispatch an independent international fact finding mission to investigate violations of international law. On 7 June 2010 An Israeli naval patrol killed four Palestinian commando divers off the Gaza coast. In a message sent to reporters in Gaza Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades said the four men killed were members of its marine unit who were training in Gaza's waters. DR. AFROZ ALAM, NATIONAL LAW UNIVERSITY, ORISSA Page 1