Palestinians lament resolution that time forgot

A view shows the Israeli barrier as buildings are seen in Kfar Aqab on the outskirts of Jerusalem, near the West Bank City of Ramallah, in this November 7, 2017 photo. (REUTERS)
Updated 22 November 2017
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Palestinians lament resolution that time forgot

LONDON: On the fiftieth anniversary of the adoption of the UN Security Council Resolution 242, which called for the “withdrawal” of Israel from Palestinian territories, critics have hit out at the impotency of the mandate.
Resolution 242 was formed as a response to the Six Day War in June 1967, which culminated in Israel’s capture of the Gaza Strip, the Sinai Peninsula, the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights. Apart from the Sinai Peninsula, the territories remain occupied.
Manuel Hassassian, the Palestinian ambassador to the UK, told Arab News: “These resolutions float around for years and people don’t pay heed to them. Since this resolution, we have seen more Israeli acquisitions and more settlements. Israel has continued with its expansionist policy.”
Hassassian hit out at the toothless nature of the resolution and said that the “only way” to stop Israel from building more settlements would be to issue international sanctions for each new illegal Israeli settlement in Palestine.
Pietro Stefanini, a researcher and advocacy coordinator at The Palestinian Return Center (PRC) agreed that the half-century-old resolution has been ineffective and called for international sanctions over Israel’s “illegal” behavior.
He said: “The takeover will only stop with political force. Israel’s aggression and continued occupation is a continuation of the ethnic cleansing that began in 1947. When countries flout international law as Israel has done with its illegal annexation of Palestine, then it is a justified and reasonable response to issue sanctions as was the case when Putin tried to annex Crimea.”
Stefanini said that he deemed the resolution to be “deliberately vague” which promoted inaction and obfuscation.
Palestine Solidarity Campaign Director, Ben Jamal, said in a statement to Arab News: “In a year of milestones for the Palestinian struggle for justice, the fiftieth year since the passing of UN Resolution 242 is a sobering reminder of the failure of the international community to exert the influence required to secure a just peace.”
Jamal added: “The simple reason for Israel being able to deny the will of the international community and defy international law is the unwillingness of international bodies to hold it to account through meaningful sanctions. Only pressure exerted on governments by civil society through the growing movement for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) is likely to change this dynamic.”
Tareq Shrourou, a lawyer and director for Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights, told Arab News that Israel had “actively disregarded” the resolution through “its ongoing and accelerating construction and expansion of illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, the transfer of Israeli settlers into occupied territory, the demolition of Palestinian homes, and the forcible displacement of Palestinian civilians.”
Shrourou said: “Israel’s relentless pursuit of its settlements policy is not only glaringly incompatible with UN Resolution 242 and international humanitarian law, but significantly violates a range of basic human rights of Palestinians, including severely impeding their fundamental right to self-determination.”


Iraq carries out more air strikes against Daesh in Syria

Updated 25 May 2018
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Iraq carries out more air strikes against Daesh in Syria

  • At least 65 senior Daesh leaders live in Hajjin.
  • Hajjin is in Deir Ezzor province in eastern Syria, about 50 kilometers (just over 30 miles) from Iraq’s border.

BAGHDAD: Iraq announced Friday it had carried out air strikes against Daesh in Syria, the third cross border aerial operation inside a month in its war-torn neighbor.
“Iraqi F-16 planes carried out (Thursday) morning raids against the headquarters of Daesh terrorist gang leaders and an explosives depot occupied by terrorists in Syria’s Hajjin region,” a statement by Iraq’s operations command said.
A video released with the text shows a strike on a huge building surrounded by palm trees and a wall.
The images show the wall and the building collapsing simultaneously.
Several strikes have been carried out by Iraq or the international coalition since Thursday against the center of Hajjin, the last major area held by Daesh in Syria, said the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor.
At least 65 senior Daesh leaders live in Hajjin, the Observatory’s director Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP.
Hajjin is in Deir Ezzor province in eastern Syria, about 50 kilometers (just over 30 miles) from Iraq’s border.
It has been surrounded since the end of 2017 by the Syrian Democratic Forces, an alliance of Kurdish and Arab fighters backed by the United States and France, Abdel Rahman said.
Several hundred prisoners are still held by the militants in Hajjin, he added.
Since April, Iraq’s air force has carried out several air strikes on Daesh held Syrian territory close to the border between the two countries.
Daesh seized a third of Iraq in 2014, before the government declared victory in December, but the military has continued regular operations along the porous Syrian border.