Q) With the tensions between Israel and Palestine again escalating, the world at large needs to come together for a peaceful solution which is in mutual interest of both the parties. Comment.
Why this Question?
Issue of current importance
Key demand of the Question
Explain the approach that needs to be adopted to settle the Israel Palestine issue that benefits both the conflicting parties as well as the world at large.
Comment- here we have to express our knowledge and understanding of the issue and form an overall opinion thereupon.
Start with giving an overall view of the Israel- Palestine conflict.
In the first part, explain the current scenario and the demands of the conflicting parties.
In the next part, highlight the approach that needs to be adopted by the world at large to deal with the issue.
Conclude with a balanced view of the issues and the role that India can play in this process.
Palestine is linked to the age-old tussle over identity and land starting with Jerusalem with Israel expanding, capturing western half of the city after the first Arab Israel war of 1948. Israel sees the whole city as its “unified, eternal capital”, whereas the Palestinian leadership denies for any compromise unless East Jerusalem is recognised as the capital of future Palestinian state. Off late some militant organisations like the Hamas have also become a past of the conflict.
- Israel and Hamas exchanged heavy fire on 11th May 2021. The conflict has resulted in the death of several Palestinians in Gaza and few in Israel. The escalation was sparked by unrest at Jerusalem’s flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.
- The country has been embroiled in conflict over the threat of eviction of dozens of Palestinians from East Jerusalem’s neighbourhood.
- Over 70 Palestinians in total are set to be evicted from Sheikh Jarrah in the coming weeks to be replaced by right-wing Jewish Israelis.
- It is the heaviest fighting between the two bitter enemies since 2014 and isn’t showing any signs of slowing.
- An emergency meeting of the UNSC was conducted for drawing out an immediate plan of de-escalation and restoration of peace in the region.
What can be done?
There are mainly two approaches to solve the problem –
- Two-state solution- It would create sovereign Israel and Palestine with Palestine as an independent state in Gaza and most of the West Bank, leaving the rest of the land to Israel. It has also been the goal of the international community for decades, dating back to the 1947 UN Partition Plan. Also, it would identify a 1967 demarcation line known as the Green Line to partition Palestinian and Israeli land. It would also divide Jerusalem between the two states.
- One-state solution- It would merge Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip into one big country. It has two versions. One, favoured by some leftists and Palestinians to create a single democratic country. Arab Muslims would outnumber Jews, thus ending Israel’s status as a Jewish state. The other version, favoured by some rightists and Israelis, would involve Israel annexing the West Bank and forcing out Palestinians or denying them the right to vote.
On humanitarian grounds, all stakeholders must come together and restrain themselves from further deadly activities. There is concern that a third intifada could break out and that renewed tensions will escalate into large-scale violence. India should leverage its growing influence in the world to counsel Israel to exercise restraint and move towards a two-state solution. It should continue to use its voice in the UN and work with major States without directly participating in the peace process.