As Israeli settlers throughout the West Bank launch a construction blitz following a partial freeze, the Palestinian Authority has drafted a resolution to put to the United Nations Security Council calling for all Israeli settlements in the West Bank to be evacuated.The United Nations has passed several resolutions in the past calling Israeli settlement in the West Bank (and Gaza until 2005) a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prohibits the transfer of civilian populations onto land seized by military force. All Palestinian land is currently under Israeli military occupation.
The new resolution would challenge Israel’s 350 settlements in the West Bank and Jerusalem, where nearly 500,000 Israelis have moved since Israel’s occupation of the land began in 1967. The Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu accused the Palestinian Authority of trying to thwart the so-called ‘negotiations’ they forced upon the Palestinians last month, saying, ‘If the Palestinians want to find problems, we won’t be able to advance. If they want to solve problems, I’m thinking of various ways to overcome the gaps and make progress.’
The state of Israel was created on Palestinian land under a United Nations recommendation in 1947. During the subsequent war between Jews and Arabs 750,000 Palestinians were pushed off their land and made refugees in the West Bank, Gaza, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan. In 1967, Israeli forces began their occupation the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, the 23% of historic Palestine that remained outside of the state of Israel.
An unknown source told Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz that the resolution being prepared for the United Nations outlines the same points that were detailed in a letter to the Israeli negotiator, which Palestinian Chief Negotiator Saeb Erekat tried to hand over during peace talks in Washington last month. The Israeli negotiator allegedly refused to take the letter, which included the Palestinian key demands: the creation of a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital, the return of Palestinian refugees, and the release of the over 8,000 political detainees currently being held in Israeli detention camps.