The Hamas strike on Israel on October 7, 2023, serves as a reminder to the international community that the Palestinian resistance group still exists. As their eyes and attention shift to other wars and crises, Hamas appears to want to reassess the international community’s support for Palestine. Since the commencement of the armed war between Russia and Ukraine, The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has become a secondary and forgotten topic.

From Hamas’ point of view, the attack on Israel has a valid motivation: to respond to the misery, military occupation, blockade and violence endured by Palestinians in East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza for decades. This armed struggle carried out by Hamas may be justified under UN General Assembly Resolution 37/43, which emphasized the legality of armed struggle for independence, territorial integrity, national unity, and liberation from colonial authority, apartheid, and foreign occupation. 

Objective Criteria

The unexpected strike by Hamas appears to have elicited Israel’s overreaction, with sporadic and huge attacks on Gaza, home to more than 2.2 million Palestinians. Human Rights Watch has referred to the area as a “open prison,” and Israeli attacks are directed towards it because, despite Israeli control and blockades, the area remains crucial as the hub of the Palestinian people’s resistance to Israeli colonial dominance. 

According to a November 6th, 2023 official release from the Palestinian Ministry of Health, Israel’s attack on Gaza killed over 9,000 Palestinian civilians, including women, children, journalists, and medical workers. Israel’s systematic attacks on Palestine have also destroyed many vital infrastructures, including public buildings, religious sites, schools, and hospitals that are obviously not military targets.

The attack is not only a fundamental violation of human values, but it is also a serious violation of international law, international human rights law, and international humanitarian law, and it satisfies the objective criteria of crimes against humanity and war crimes.

It should be noted that international humanitarian law, specifically Geneva Convention IV of 1949, regulates civilian protection and prohibits all types of attacks that pose a high risk to civilians and civilian objects. This is also reaffirmed in Protocol I to 1977, Article 51, paragraph 5 (b).

In the current Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Israel has also violated a number of international humanitarian law principles. For example, the principles of military necessity, proportionality, distinction, and humanity require Israel to ensure that the attack does not result in casualties, excessive damage, or unnecessary suffering, as well as to differentiate between combatants and civilians.

A fist”

The long-running armed conflict between Israel and Palestine is the greatest threat to global peace and security, particularly in the Middle East.

The accumulated ceasefires that have been established between Israel and Palestine are not permanent and do not genuinely permit a “normalization” of relations between the two parties. In the end, the ceasefire merely restored the status quo, and during this period of status quo, Israel can impose any “ambitious policy” on Palestine without obstacles.

The international community’s inability and limitation to take concrete steps to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has pushed Israel to the fore. Throughout the period of “deadlock” in achieving an ideal and permanent solution to this conflict, Israel’s illegal settlement construction and expansion in the Palestinian territories, particularly in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, has continued unabated, creating no prospects for a resolution to the Israeli- Palestinian conflict. Over 600,000 illegal settlements have been constructed by Israel in Palestinian territories, including the West Bank and East Jerusalem, to date.

In fact, a number of UN Security Council resolutions, including Resolutions 242, 252, 267, 298, 476, 478, 2334, and Resolution 3236 of the United Nations General Assembly, explicitly called on Israel to end its occupation and settlement expansion, which were unlawful, illegal, and incompatible with international law. These resolutions also call for the recognition of the Palestinian territories’ sovereignty, territorial integrity, and political independence.

However, with the strong political backing of powerful countries such as the United States, Israel appears to be uninterested in addresing this issue and is instead preferring to pursue its strategy of combining Israel, the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza into “a fist.”

the annihilation

Considering the current state of affairs, wherein countries and regional organizations are reacting to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in highly divided and polarized approaches. A number of countries around the world believe that the “two-state solution” is the best course of action to be taken right now in order to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

But in light of the current circumstances, the idea of a two-state solution appears implausible, particularly when it comes to one of the most fundamental aspects of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict—the “division of territory” between Israel and Palestine.

In any potential and possible negotiations, Palestine would undoubtedly be in an asymmetric position, unable to demand the return of all territories controlled and illegally occupied by Israel. This is why breaking the “conflict line” between Israel and Palestine is difficult. 

In the current Israeli-Palestinian conflict, all countries must exert political and determined effort to demand a cease-fire and urge Israel to comply with international law, International humanitarian law, and international human rights law. Because Israel’s ongoing aggression (attacks) may result in even more devastation, possibly even the annihilation of the Palestinian people. 

Simultaneously, countries around the world must be able and willing to use their energy, influence, and diplomatic powers to collectively encourage the United Nations (the United Nations Security Council) to take decisive, constructive, and effective measures to implement all United Nations Security Council resolutions, sanction Israeli violations, and ensure that rights of the Palestinian people are vital and important to protect.

Finally, as a long-term solution, the international community must keep pressuring Israel to recognize Palestine as an independent sovereign country based on 1967 borders and UN Security Council Resolution 242, as well as to immediately put an end to the violence, blockade, unauthorized construction, and military occupation of Palestinian territory that it began in 1967. Otherwise, achieving peace appears to be challenging.



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