Israel unlawfully exploits the current political situation

Israel unlawfully exploits the current political situation


“I wish to separate from as many Palestinians as possible, as quickly as possible” … “They over there and we over here; we’ll erect a big wall between us. That is the kind of co-existence that’s possible now. You exist there and we exist here”. Opposition leader MK Isaac Herzog (Zionist Union) speaking at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv, Haaretz Jan 2016

As the current Palestinian uprising continues to reach levels of despair and frustration unseen since the second Palestinian Intifada which erupted in late September 2000, Israel is racing to make gains for its own political purposes and bash out the Palestinian dream of a future independent and viable Palestinian State and geographically contiguous.

On the 10th of March 2016, Israel national news website (ARUTZ 7) reported that the Israeli security cabinet held a meeting on what it cited as "the Arab terror wave" in the presence of the Israeli prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli defense minister, Moshe Ya’alon, the public security minister, Gilad Menashe Erdan, police chief Roni Alsheich and the “IDF” and “Shin Bet” officials[1] and decided to resume the construction of the Segregation Wall in the occupied West Bank (oWB), mainly to close the wall gaps around Jerusalem city, and to construct an additional wall near Tarqumiyah town[2] in Hebron Governorate, in order to prevent Palestinians from entering Israel illegally without the proper permits. 

In fact, Israel is trying to look like “acting with responsibility” in response to what it calls the “PalestinianTerror” in the oWB and comfort the irritated Israeli community, by resuming wall constructions in the Palestinian territory, not taking into account the effect that such a decision would have on the Palestinian community itself. 

Earlier in January 2016, opposition leader and member of Knesset Isaac Herzog, of the Zionist Union presented a plan which calls on Netanyahu to “separate from as many Palestinians as possible, and as quickly as possible” by closing the gaps in the wall around Jerusalem and completing the construction of the wall elsewhere in the occupied West Bank. Herzog’s plan, which was officially adopted by the Israeli Labor Party on the 7th of February 2016[3] includes the following:

  • Under current conditions a two-state solution is impossible. Nevertheless, Israel will maintain the principle of not taking steps that would vitiate a two-state solution geographically or diplomatically.

Israel at no time did cede its colonial activities[4] in the occupied West Bank, even when it was engaging in constructing the Segregation Wall that cuts deep inside the West Bank territory, grabbing the most fertile agricultural land, open spaces and water resources. On the contrary, settlement expansions thrived throughout the occupied West Bank land, violating numerous international laws and agreements; right from the Fourth Geneva convention of 1949, to the various UNSC resolutions, the Palestinian-Israeli OSLO 'Peace' Agreements  signed in 1993 & 1995, the Mitchell report recommendations of 2001[5] and the Road Map of 2003[6]. Such colonial activities create irreversible facts on the ground and jeopardize the two state solution, “geographically or diplomatically”.

  • Security activity against Hamas:

After Hamas won the Palestinian elections in 2006 and took control of Gaza in 2007, Israel has imposed severe restrictions on the population in the form of a blockade, acting to neutralize Hamas, putting it out of the widely debatable peace equation. Herzog’s plan to take more security measures on Hamas, further deepens the conflict to the point of no return. Israel’s imposed blockade on Gaza[7] since 2006 doesn’t end the complexity of Gaza’s situation on land, but jeopardizes the overall situation in the occupied Palestinian territory. 

  • Completion of the security barrier around settlement blocs in the West Bank… The blocs under Israeli sovereignty will be part of the permanent solution.

The Israeli segregation wall-route plan which was published on the so-called Israeli “ministry of defense” website site[8] showed that Israel has consistently sought to retain control of settlements blocs in the oPt. The various published maps of the wall[9] indicated that the wall has never been planned to maintain security in the occupied Palestinian territory but to grab as much land as possible for the Israeli settlement enterprise. The wall penetrates deep into the lands of the oWB territory and upon completion, it will isolate 13% (733 km²) of the total West Bank Area (5661 km²) including the five major settlement blocs: the Ariel and Kedumim settlement bloc in Salfit Governorate, the Modi’in Illit Settlement bloc in Ramallah Governorate, the Gush Etzion Settlement bloc in Bethlehem Governorate, the Ma’ale Adumim settlement bloc and the Giv’at Ze’ev settlement bloc in Jerusalem Governorate. By doing so, Israel ensures that it remains a predominantly Jewish state, irrespective of the cost to the Palestinian population.

Additionally, on the 26th of May 2015, the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, told the European Union’s top foreign policy official, Federica Mogherini, that he wants to resume talks with the Palestinians, with “the goal being to reach understandings on the borders of settlement blocs that Israel would annex under any peace agreement”.[10]

Netanyahu  proposed to “jump” to  negotiations concerning the status of the settlement blocs instead of resuming peace talks to resolve all final status issues.

It seems that Israel is unilaterally heading toward resolving the conflict with the Palestinians in the same direction adopted in the Gaza disengagement plan of 2005, and that is to draw the borders of the State of Israel based on facts it forced on the ground; a self-serving approach that falls within Israel’s strategic plan to include the large settlements blocs in the oWB, in addition to the Jordan valley and occupied East Jerusalem; with absolute disregard to the sequences of such an approach on the Palestinians;

  • Separation of Palestinian villages from Jerusalem.

Israeli has adopted a clear approach with regard to occupied East Jerusalem.  It  focused mostly on Israeli settlements located within what it calls the "Greater Jerusalem", a comprehensive Israeli plan to annex an enormous area of the West Bank territory by annexing a belt of settlements that geographically separates the Israeli declared Jerusalem municipality boundary from the rest of the West Bank Governorates. This is actually exemplified in  the construction of the Israeli Segregation Wall around the city of Jerusalem which will annex three major settlement blocs surrounding the city’s proper, including the "Ma’aleh Adumim" settlement bloc east of Jerusalem, and the "Giv’at Ze’ev" settlement bloc northwest of Jerusalem and the "Gush Etzion" settlement bloc southwest of Jerusalem city; while excluding 12 Palestinian communities with a total population of 130 thousand Palestinians, outside the borders of Jerusalem municipality. The number of settlements comprising the afore-mentioned settlement blocs constitutes 22.4% of the total number of settlements in the WB (196 Israeli settlements) and are inhabited by 56% of the total number of Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank, (758,000 Israeli settlers).

  • Confidence building measures vis-à-vis the Palestinians.

Israel should realize that confidence-building measures with the Palestinians is an equally shared responsibility between the two sides; however, this hasn’t been the case ever since Israel signed the OSLO agreements with the Palestinians and has always fell back on its commitments with the Palestinians with regard to land, borders and settlement activities.

  • Convening a regional security conference with the participation of moderate Arab countries. [11]


Map 1: Stages of Israel's construction of the wall in the ocucpied West Bank

To conclude,

Israel is profiting from the ongoing political instability and insecurity in the occupied West Bank and is going on with its plans to further separate from Palestinians, serving additional purpose of its segregation and isolation policy in the area.

Israel’s overwhelming use of force and the significant rise in violence against Palestinians and the continuous settlement activity simply does not work to solve the conflict, but further emphasizes that Israel hardly seem a willing “partner for peace”.

All Israeli colonial activities carried out by Israel in the occupied Palestinian territory are absolutely Illegal according to the International Law rules and conventions, and clearly contradict with the International legitimacy and consensus which call for the Israel to withdraw from all the Palestinian lands it occupied in 1967.

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) called in its landmark ruling of July 9, 2004 upon Israel to dismantle the segregation wall and for reparation of all damages occurred to Palestinian land. The ICJ went even further to consider all Israeli activities, building settlements, bypass roads, houses demolishing, uprooting trees, etc are all illegal and in violation of international law. 

In addition, the construction of Israel’s segregation wall clearly violates other international laws and Human conventions, including the following:-

  • Hague Convention IV (18 October 1907): Convention Respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land: Article (23):'To destroy or seize the enemy's property, unless such destruction or seizure be imperatively demanded by the necessities of war”.
  • Convention (IV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War. Geneva, 12 August 1949, Article 53: “Any destruction by the Occupying Power of real or personal property belonging individually or collectively to private persons, or to the State, or to other public authorities, or to social or cooperative organizations, is prohibited, except where such destruction is rendered necessary by military operations.'
  • Article 147 of the same convention indicated that: “Extensive destruction and appropriation of property not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly, is a grave breach of the Convention.”
  • Art. 23 of the Hague Convention of 1907 also provide: In addition to the prohibitions provided by special Conventions, “it is especially forbidden to destroy or seize the enemy's property, unless such destruction or seizure be imperatively demanded by the necessities of war.”


[1] After Terror Attacks, Israel to Complete Separation Barrier Construction Around Jerusalem, Southern West Bank

[2] Cabinet's solution to terror: Patch up the fences


[3] Labor Adopts Herzog’s Plan for Separation From Palestinians as Party Platform
read more:

[4] The building and expansion of settlement and outposts, the construction of bypass roads, the confiscation of lands and the creation of military camps and firing zones.

[5] The Sharm el-Sheikh Fact-Finding Committee Report created by an international fact-finding committee, and led by former US Senator George Mitchell

[6] The Road map was proposed by the Quartet on the Middle East: the United States, the European Union, Russia and the United Nations.

[7] where Hamas still retains control

[8] Since Israel started the construction of the wall in the occupied West Bank, the route of the wall has been subjected to many changes. These changes were made to avoid geographic obstacles in the area that hindered the construction of the Wall, however, had their negative impacts upon the Palestinian community and its citizens.

[9] The first map of the wall route plan was published in 2002 followed by maps in 2004-2005-2006 and the latest was in April 2007.

[10] Netanyahu Proposes Talks on Borders of Settlement Blocs
read more:

[11] Herzog Presents New Diplomatic Plan: Separation From Jerusalem's Palestinian Villages
read more:


Prepared by:  
The Applied Research Institute – Jerusalem

Categories: Segregation