Buenos Aires, Monday, August 15 of 2005
not the end of conflict
By: Suhail Hani Daher Akel *
For The Nation
¿Is it enough? No. When Ariel Sharon talks about his sacrificed Disconnection Plan in Gaza, his painful decisions and his internal conflicts, he is just continuing with his colonial politics. The Israeli President Moshe Katsav should not apologise to his settlers for taking them out of there. On the contrary, he should apologise to his settler for having taking them to a foreign territory in orther to strangle its geography. When means of communication show us the anger of the settlers forced to leave that place which they illegally occupied 30 years ago, maybe the grief of the Palestine people is better understood since they were thrown out to sea after living thousands of year in that land.
The Israeli initiative is unilateral and the term “disconnection” is not a legal term guaranteed in the Ginebra Convention in 1949 because it is about an Occupant Power. Therefore, ONU resolutions demand the total military withdrawal and not the partial withdrawal from the territories occupied in 1967, including Eastern Jerusalem. Those who disconnect then connect again, Israel disconnected from Gaza in 1994 and it reconnected with its destructive occupation in 2000. The same happened with the other Palestine cities liberated between 1994 and 1998, all of them are reoccupied nowadays. As long as Israel does not accept the responsibility of being the Occupant Power, it is difficult to reach a total, honest and sincere withdrawal.
If Israel, built on Palestine territory in 1948, still believes that all that land belongs to it and that the Israeli people can make use of it, Israel moves away from reality, involving both countries in violence. As for Gaza, ¿is it going to be a totally free territory? ¿Or is it going to be a large prison in which a million and a half of Palestine people will stay fenced in and distant from the people in West Bank since the life of each of them, the sea and all its ways out will be control by Israel?
The disconnection matter has been used as an escape from reality, everybody is paying attention to Gaza and the Israeli internal conflict. In the meantime, Sharon accelerates the construction of the wall, which soon will reach 720km long, when in 1967 the frontiers are 356km long. The Israeli Parliament decided not to compensate the Palestine families and it passed the construction of the final part of the wall. This breaks the resolution 478 adopted in 1980 – which demands that Israel leaves Jerusalem and not to turn it into its capital city. This contradicts the International Penal Court which in 2004 stated that the wall and the settlements were illegal.
Gaza is not the end of the conflict. Israel has to withdraw from all Palestine, which has been occupied from a military point of view since 38 years. In West Bank, there are 400,000 settlers in 200 illegal settlements, some of them were turn into cities, which the Israeli authority does not want to withdraw.
In the middle of these difficulties, the President Mahmoud Abbas ( Abu Mazen ) stated he was prepared to take the responsibility of Gaza and its development, sowing the way of peace towards Jerusalem. The international community must assume its compromise and force Israel to move away from illegality. The International community must allow the decent cohabitation between Palestina and Israel as two free, neighbouring and friendly countries without walls that separate them.
* The author
is the Palestine Ambassador in Argentina