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Explained : Israeli Annexation of the West Bank

As Benjamin Netanyahu and the Israeli government gear up to annex parts of the West Bank, the international community prepares itself to witness yet another violation of international law. An annexation is defined as : 'possession taken of a piece of land or a country, usually with force or without permission'. Israel, plans to do just that as it intends to annex the Jordan Valley, around 1236km sq. , which amounts to 30% of the West Bank.The detailed borders are still being drawn up by Washington and Israel as Trump's 'deal of the century' is expected to come into play.

However, this isn't Israel's first Annexation. In 1980, Israel annexed Eastern Jerusalem, and the Knesset and illegally declared it as the eternal capital of Israel over which Israel had exclusive sovereignty. Then, just a year later, in 1981, Israel voted ( 63 to 21 ) to extend its jurisdiction to 'The Golan Heights', which is legally Syrian territory. The international community recognises The Golan heights as occupied Syrian territory as the annexation and occupation of it is against international law.

Israel apart from officially annexing territories from neighbours, has also been illegally 'settling' into them. Over 600,000-750,000 Israeli 'settlers' have illegally moved to the Palestinian Territory, in about 250 different settlements. The 49th article of the 4th Geneva Convention states that 'The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.' However Israel, has again failed to comply with international regulation. In addition to the settlers, Israel has also built a wall around the West Bank, for so called 'security purposes', but the problem is, 85% of this wall is actually inside the West Bank itself and not on the officially recognised 1967 boundary.Furthermore, Israel has built 700 road obstacles and 140 checkpoints, restricting the movement of thousands of Palestinians.

Why is Israel Annexing the West Bank ?

Strategically, Netanyahu , with this annexation will be able to achieve 3 primary tasks, which are :

  1. Encircling Palestinian Territory, causing the chance of statehood close to nil

  2. Restricting Palestinian access to the Jordan river, and hence access to water, agricultural jobs, etc

  3. Allowing the construction of even more settlements in the area, and further displacing even more Palestinians.

Israel also claims historical and religious significance to the Palestinian territory.

How has the international Community Responded ?

The United Nations has urged Israel to back away from their annexation plans and Israel's largest trading partner, the European Union, has severely condemned actions. The UK's shadow foreign secretary, Lisa Nandy even called for sanctions against Israel. More than a 1000 parliamentarians across Europe, signed a letter strongly opposing Israeli actions.

The only outcome from this annexation is negative, with any chance of Israeli statehood all but tarnished, as well as the chance of a peace treaty or negotiations severely spoilt. The amount of Palestinians displaced will be extremely high , adding on to the already large count. Loss of life as well as enmity leading to severe consequences will affect the status of the conflict and could create violence for years to come.

Till next time,

The Alpha Theory

~Nehal Singhal


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