Unilateral Israeli Action Could Break the Negotiations Deadlock

(Brisbane Times-Australia) Gregory Rose - The Israeli government is considering applying Israeli civil law jurisdiction and administration to parts of the Jordan Valley and/or certain settlement blocs. This possibility was proposed under the U.S. peace plan and agreed in the broad national coalition agreement between most of Israel's political parties. Israel has pursued a pragmatic approach to the area that was Jordan's "West Bank," one that would ultimately enable Palestinian Arab self-determination over most areas populated by them, while ensuring Israeli security, thus hopefully enabling a sustainable peaceful solution between them. The Palestinians have rejected repeated Israeli offers since 1967 - for example, in 2000, 2001 and 2008 - of full self-determination in the majority of this land. There is no comparable international legal situation in the world today where a country that acquired territory in self-defense and offered to surrender it in exchange for peace was refused. The International Law Commission Draft Code of Offences against the Peace and Security of Mankind (1954) has endorsed the legality of acquisition of territory, unless by aggression or in violation of the UN Charter. International practice demonstrates that aggression, such as Jordan's in 1967, consistently leads to forfeiture of territory. Unilateral Israeli action this year is likely to break the negotiations deadlock, pressuring a Palestinian side that has simply been refusing to negotiate since 2014. The writer is a professor of law at the University of Wollongong.

2020-06-26 00:00:00

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