Palestine – Israel Readies To Extend Its Sovereignty Into West Bank

June 29, 2012 by David Singer
Read on for article
A confluence of events is increasingly pointing to Israel taking action in the very near future to extend its sovereignty over a substantial part – if not all – of the 61% of the West Bank  it has totally controlled since 1967 – unless Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas ends his posturing and submits to considerable loss of face by announcing he is now prepared to resume negotiations with Israel without preconditions of any kind…writes David Singer.
Abbas himself only last week declared the negotiating processes begun under the Oslo Accords in 1993 and the Bush Roadmap in 2003 to be “clinically dead” (whatever that means).  If he is not prepared to at least try to breathe life into those stalled processes by unconditionally returning to the negotiating table –  he will be presiding over the irreversible end of those negotiations. Israel is not going to continue to mark time waiting for Abbas to end his political filibuster.
Abbas’s attempts to procure international pressure to be brought to bear on Israel to freeze building activities in the West Bank as a condition of resuming such  negotiations have failed. He has literally been left to hang out to dry.
His meeting with Russian President Putin – during Putin’s visit to Israel, the West Bank and Jordan this week – clearly indicated his desperation and frustration – as revealed in the following press release:
“We assured the president that the way to peace is through negotiations with Israel, and we continue to call for him to hold an international peace conference in Moscow, as we previously agreed. We asked our friends to help us to release our prisoners who were arrested prior to 1994, who it was agreed with Israel would be released, but have not yet been freed, If it (Israel) frees these prisoners, there could be a meeting with Mr Netanyahu for a session of dialogue but that doesn’t mean negotiations,”
Only one person – President Obama – can possibly resuscitate the negotiations by inducing Israel to impose a building freeze for a limited time in the West Bank or release more prisoners than the thousands it has already done so.
This would require Obama to grant a pardon to Jonathan Pollard who has been rotting away in American prisons for the last 26 years for spying for Israel.  Since Israeli President – Shimon Peres – tried and failed to secure Pollard’s release in the past two weeks – Abbas would need a miracle for Obama to change his mind and save Abbas from the hole which he has dug for himself.

Another indicator of Israel’s readiness to end the logjam in the West Bank for the last 19 years came with Israel’s response to the suggestion this week by the United Nations Human Rights Council President – Laura Dupuy Lasserre  – that a fact-finding mission on West Bank settlements might be despatched as early as July.  This news was met with a curt response from Eviatar Manor, deputy director-general for international organizations at Israel’s Foreign Ministry – who stated:
“It is important for us to remind everyone that we are not going to cooperate with this fact-finding mission. They will not be allowed to enter the country or go to the West Bank,”
Any decision to extend Israeli sovereignty into the West Bank will not be harmed by the finalisation of a Report this week by The Committee to Examine the State of Construction in the West Bank, Chaired by Retired Supreme Court Justice Edmund Levy and including District Court Judge Techiya Shapira and former Ambassador and Foreign Ministry Legal Advisor Allan Baker – this Committee  has reportedly found that the West Bank is not under occupation rule,
The Committee is reported to have :
“analyzed the historic and legal background of Judea and Samaria and concludes that the belligerent occupation approach must be discarded as reflecting Israel’s status in those areas. According to the committee’s approach, Judea and Samaria were in a judicial vacuum before the Six Day War. The reason was that the Kingdom of Jordan, which held those territories, did so against the rule of international law, and its sovereignty over them was recognized solely by Great Britain. Since Jordan was not the legal sovereign, the report argues, the territories cannot be defined as occupied in the legal sense of the word.
In addition, the committee offers a string of arguments showing that Israel itself has a legal connection to those territories, which is another reason why it is not an occupier.”
The Report will be a smack in the eye to the international community and many Non Governmental Organizations in Israel which have long held the view that Israeli settlements in the West Bank are illegal in international law. It will however bolster the resolve of one of the strongest National Unity Government’s in Israel’s history to act to end this game of diplomatic ping pong that has raged over the West Bank for the last 45 years by confirming the right of the Jewish people to live in and reconstitute the Jewish National Home in its biblical and ancient homeland as promulgated in the Mandate for Palestine and the United Nations Charter – and acknowledged in Security Council Resolution 242.

Add to this mix the deteriorating political situation and civil unrest in Israel’s immediate neighbours -Syria, Egypt and Jordan – then the strategic position of the West Bank takes on an increasing significance for Israel’s security and national interests ensuring that the generous offers made by Israel to the Palestinian Authority in 2000 and 2008 to cede Israel’s claim to sovereignty in more than 90% of the West Bank are not going to be repeated.
The inability of the international community to do anything to end the slaughter in Syria that has so far reportedly claimed 16000 lives in the last 15 months indicates that any protests at Israel extending its sovereignty into a large part of the West Bank where very few Arabs presently live – would be rhetoric at best and nothing more.
The racist demand – still repeated mantra fashion by the Palestinian Authority and its spokesmen – that 350000 Jews living in the West Bank be dispossessed and removed from their homes – supported by the silence of – and in some cases the active support of – a majority of a morally corrupt international community – could never and can never be acceded to by Israel.
The decision by UNESCO last October to recognize and admit Palestine as its 195th member State effectively ended the claim that the Palestinian Arabs are homeless and stateless. Whilst this decision was both illegal and unconstitutional – the failure by anyone in the international community to urge UNESCO to have its decision confirmed by the International Court of Justice amounts to de facto acceptance by all member states of the UNESCO decision.
Putting all these ingredients together –  the issue of resolving sovereignty in a substantial part of the West Bank is set to undergo a dramatic change in a very short time.
David Singer is a Sydney Lawyer and Foundation Member of the International Analysts Network

Comments

15 Responses to “Palestine – Israel Readies To Extend Its Sovereignty Into West Bank”
  1. Otto Waldmann says:

    While David comments strictly on actual politcal facts, the only ones with any chance of implementation, Ann persists in brandishing a type of home-coocked ideology drawned in irrational, in fact detrimental, poisonous spices. Oblivious to concrete established instruments of negotiation, so solidly based on Oslo 2, for example, the attempt at the disruption of logic by Ann with palestinian vicious propagandistic spanner-in-the works intrusions, is not going to render these discussions any reason, let alone contribute to a necessary rational outcome.
    The utopian notion of a palestinian element capable of integration in a civilised Israeli society by virtue of immediate access to all “privileges” is contradicted at once by the very tangible behaviour of most palestinians outside Israel proper. The enmity toward Israel propagated by them simply disqualifies the “candidates” for unconditional acceptance by Israel as equal-rights citizens. The mere insulting notion of Israel Palestine says it all. One wonders how on Earth do these people concoct such oxymoronic concepts !!!!
    A future possible palestinian state will have to accept the curent areas A and B and, of course Gaza, with Israel being VERY present everywhere there will be the slighest doubt about security. Same goes for the administration of water etc. This will be an arrangement NOT similar to any other state, as generally accepted by any so called conventional systems. A future Palestine will be on close Israeli supervised “parole”.

  2. David says:

    To Nadia

    Thank you for the invitation but I will be unable to attend.

    Perhaps your conference is another event that presages Israel shortly extending its sovereignty into the West Bank.

    My own opinion – it will be less than 100% of the West Bank and will be limited to no more than the 61% Israel has completely controlled for the last 45 years.

    I am glad to see you have endorsed my view that Israeli citizenship will be offered to the Arab residents – although you are suggesting conditions would be applied that in my view are unnecessary.

    You certainly appear to have an impressive line up of political and legal speakers to address the issue.

    I would like to get copies of their remarks or any media releases if possible since I am interested in
    writing further articles on developments as they unfold in regard to the allocation of sovereignty in the West Bank.

    Best wishes for a successful conference.

  3. Nadia says:

    To David Singer
    you are invited to our conference next Thyursday July 12th discussing exactly that: the application of Israeli sovereignty over Judea and Samaria

    click here for the link to the program:
    http://www.womeningreen.org/2ndConvention.php
    or
    http://www.womeningreen.org

    if i could get David Singers email i’d appreciate it

    and to Ann-
    yes, we are working towrds applying Israeli sovereignty over all of Judea and Samaria

    Arabs who will accept Israel’s sovereignty by pledging loyalty to the State and its rules and will do national service will certainly be candidiates for citizenship

    sincerely
    Nadia Matar

  4. singer says:

    Anne:

    You need to read my article a little more closely and not go off on a tangent of your own.

    This is what I wrote:

    “A confluence of events is increasingly pointing to Israel taking action in the very near future to extend its sovereignty over a substantial part – if not all – of the 61% of the West Bank it has totally controlled since 1967 –”

    It is in any part of this area – 61% of the West Bank – that I believe Israel will shortly be asserting its sovereignty. I believe it will be offering to grant Israeli citizenship to all Arab residents living in such extended area of Israel’s sovereignty – not the remaining 39% of the West Bank that is not fully controlled by Israel,

    Using J Wire to peddle your own twisted and confused view points and somehow represent falsely that I am suggesting the outcome will be one state between the Jordan and the Mediterranean is the type of pathetic response I am used to getting from Israel bashers. I don’t waste my time replying.

  5. Shirlee says:

    Anne,

    I’ll leave David to answer your questions however I will draw you attention to the issue of this very enlightening article on CiF Watch this week.

    **The media lie of “Jews only” roads in Israel**

    http://cifwatch.com/2012/06/28/the-media-lie-of-jews-only-roads-in-israel/

    Here are the facts: the state did, indeed, impose restrictions on certain roads in Judea and Samaria several years ago and did not allow Palestinians to travel on them, especially after the eruption of the second intifada. But most of the restrictions were already removed in 2009. Today, most West Bank roads are open to the majority of the Palestinian population. And even at the time those roads were restricted for Israeli use, they were never restricted to Israeli Jews alone. The roads were open to all Israeli citizens – Muslims, Christians, Druze and Circassians. There was never a religious or ethnic-based separation on the roads of Judea and Samaria.

    Actually this fact is crystal clear to anyone who has ever been to the area. Only someone who has never traveled in territory over the Green Line could possibly believe the claim that there exist roads for only Jews. Today, one can see license plates of Palestinians from Jenin to Hebron, on bypass roads that were allegedly built for Jews only (for example, the Qalqilya bypass, the southern Nablus bypass, and the Ramallah bypass roads), as well as on main roads like Route 505 leading to Ariel – a road that was labeled at least twice in this paper [Ha’aretz] “an apartheid road for Jews only.”

    The Associated Press published a correction in January 2010 stating, “These roads are open to all Israeli citizens, including Arabs, foreigners and tourists.” Similar corrections were published on CNN, The Washington Post, and The Boston Globe. But the journalistic responsibility and professionalism demonstrated by the world’s leading media outlets apparently made no impression on the Israeli media, which even today continues to air this false charge.

    Beyond the error itself, the claim of “Jews-only” roads impairs reasonable discussion about Israeli actions. While it is possible to debate and criticize the (real) restrictions imposed on Palestinians (all Palestinians, not just Muslims) on some West Bank roads during a specific time period, Israel and her supporters are forced to address this bogus claim of ethnic-religious separation on these roads.

    Raising this claim, particularly in the Israeli media, grants it validity. Anti-Israel activists, too ignorant and lazy to substantiate their own charges, wave around “facts” they find in Israeli newspapers that supposedly “prove” the racism of the State of Israel and justify their own attacks on her. It’s hardly surprising this mendacious claim has become a major weapon in the attempt to brand Israel an “apartheid state.” Thus, irresponsible journalists and publicists contribute to the distortion of the domestic and international discussion about Israel.

    Many media outlets in the world have already acknowledged their mistake and corrected it.

    • Ann says:

      My dear Shirlee,

      Last week we were on our way from Tel Aviv to Latrun to attend our grandson’s graduation ceremony.He serves in a tank regiment. Having been rerouted from Highway 1 (connecting Tel Aviv to Jerusalem) last week because of forest fires, onto the 443, a road connecting Modi’in to Jerusalem, we were able to see how very cut off are the Palestinian villages both from each other and from the main highways. Indeed Route 3 which theoretically crosses the 443 and would have been our alternative in reaching Latrun, was either inaccessible or not marked. Probably we would have had to have gone off route into Modiin in order to access it. As it was we had to pass through the massive checkpoint in order to proceed to Jerusalem then cross over to the 1 and return to the 3 in order to reach our destination.

      If you and David Singer are correct, the extension of sovereignty to the West Bank and the granting of equal rights to ALL citizens of this new greater israel Palestine will render such massive detours completely unnecessary. The many roadblocks we see from Route 443 which block access from local villages to one another and to the main routes into Jerusalem will disappear and ALL traffic will enjoy the same access.

      Incidentally traveling the 443, Israeli only road through the Territories, makes one very aware of how dangerous a route it is. Parts of it are blocked by high walls on both sides, a major incident such as a gas petrol tank turning over and igniting a fire would make for a death trap.

      I am very familiar with the road system in Israel and Palestine and have been driving in the area for more than 30 years. I do know how easy it is for Israeli number plates to access any area desired and how difficult it is for Palestinian registered cars to do the same. I look forward to a time when we all can travel the same routes with the same ease.

      • David says:

        Anne

        You incorrectly state:

        “Incidentally traveling the 443, Israeli only road through the Territories, makes one very aware of how dangerous a route it is. ”

        443 is not an Israeli only road. In 2009 Israel’s high court of justice ruled it be opened to all who wanted to travel on it.

        Complaints have been made that the installation of new army checkpoints are preventing the Court’s order being implemented.

        If that is the case the remedy is simple – go back and complain to the Court about the new arrangements and get them either approved or reversed.

        It appears that propagandists would rather use the issue as a whipping post to delegitimise Israel than get the present restrictions varied or removed.

        You further incorrectly state:

        “I am very familiar with the road system in Israel and Palestine and have been driving in the area
        for more than 30 years. I do know how easy it is for Israeli number plates to access any area
        desired and how difficult it is for Palestinian registered cars to do the same.”

        Cars with Israeli number plates cannot access Area A of the West Bank.

        What you also conveniently fail to mention is that 443 was closed to West Bank Arabs in 2002 after six Israelis and one reident of East Jerusalem were murdered whilst travelling on the road.

        The current checkpoints make the road much safer for people like you to travel on when emergency dictated that you take it to get to your grandson’s graduation.

        Before you blast off again – get your facts straight.

        • Ann says:

          Dear David,

          Thank you for confirming my point that AT PRESENT the 443 is only accessible to Israeli registered cars. (Of course there are exceptions for VIPs with special permits although they also can experience significant and arbitrary delays.)

          You are mistaken re access to Area A. East Jerusalem residents who own Israeli registered cars can and do drive in ALL parts of the West Bank!

          What I especially appreciate in your and Nadia’s posting is your undisguised adoption of the goals of the most extremist of the settlers and their colonial enterprise. Cheers Ann

          • David says:

            Ann

            You have the unpleasant habit of suggesting that I agree with you when I clearly don’t.

            Route 443 is open to all following the High Court decision. If restrictions apply that render it difficult for West Bank Arabs to access it – then let the many well funded and well resourced NGO’s such as Btselem, Yesh Din and the New Israel Fund mount a challenge in the High Court.

            The Israeli Courts are open to all to approach at any time.

            I doubt that Area A is open to East Jerusalem residents with Israeli registered car plates. I would appreciate the source to support your claim.

          • Shirlee says:

            Anne

            I had to burst your bubble, but many people now becoming aware and accepting of that fact .

  6. Ann says:

    Dear David,

    Thank you for making my point so explicitly. 1967 was 45 years ago. The generation of that time has been superseded by a new generation of Palestinians who do indeed want to become an equal part of Israeli society. The Jerusalemites of that time held Jordanian passports. Their children are effectively stateless. If they need to travel they must use temporary Israeli issued travel documents. The insecurity,instability and hopes of the late 60’s, as well as the optimism of the Oslo accords (which envisaged a 2 state solution, has given way to the realization, as you have so clearly acknowledged, that the greater State of Israel/Palestine is here to stay. This being the case, and the clear annexation of all Jerusalem being now a fact loudly proclaimed by many members of the coalition, it is surely time to grant equal citizenship to ALL, including those who are permanent residents of the present State of Israel. This means stopping the harassment (by denying their right of re-entry) of Palestinian Jerusalemites who travel abroad to study, work, build businesses etc. Tens of thousands of these residents have been denied this right in recent years. I welcome your assurance that ALL residents of the greater Israel Palestine will enjoy equal civil rights. I welcome the end to military occupation,the separate roads for Jews and and Palestinians, the arbitrary withholding of taxes and revenues, the rationing of water and electricity supplies to Palestinian villages and towns while Jewish settlements consume unlimited amounts of these scarce resources. I welcome the equal application of the law with respect to the granting of building permits to Palestinians and Jews alike in ALL parts of greater Israel Palestine. I welcome the enforcement of the law against the illegal occupants Beit Jonatan (as one example) in Sheikh Jarrah. Above all I welcome the abolition of military law in the presently occupied territories and East Jerusalem which sees children as young as 10 years of age being held in detention in military prisons, without their families being notified.Thank you David for your very optimistic view of the future of the one state solution for Israel Palestine.

  7. singer says:

    Ann

    I have no doubt that ALL the residents of those areas of the West Bank where Israel extends its sovereignty will be given the opportunity to become equal citizens of the state of Israel.

    As to East Jerusalem – you appear to be labouring under a misapprehension.

    I refer you to the following extract from an article that appeared in Haaretz on 7 November 2007:

    “When Israel captured East Jerusalem from Jordan in 1967, the city’s Arabs were given the opportunity to become citizens, yet they rejected it because they refused to acknowledge Israeli control over the city.

    Instead, they were given the status of permanent residents, holding Israeli ID cards and making them eligible for many benefits enjoyed by Israelis. In contrast to West Bank Palestinians, permanent residents also enjoy freedom of movement in Israel.”

    You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink.

    The same article speculated why the numbers of East Jerusalem Arabs applying for Israeli citizenship were increasing:

    “The number of East Jerusalem residents seeking Israeli citizenship has risen sharply in recent months, an Israeli official said Wednesday, as talk of a possible re-division of the city gains momentum.

    The Interior Ministry has received hundreds of applications for citizenship from Arab residents of East Jerusalem over the past few months, instead of the average of several dozen, said ministry spokeswoman Sabine Hadad.

    Hadad was unable to provide specific figures but said there has been an increase of hundreds.

    The trend appears to stem from Palestinian fears that they could lose Israeli social benefits, such as health care or welfare payments, if their neighborhoods are shifted to Palestinian control in the future.”

    You need to be sure of your facts before you make assertions that are incorrect and misrepresent the factual situation.

  8. Lynne Newington says:

    I saw the writing on the wall when the pope was vying for and giving support sometime ago and expressed my views albeit blatanly.
    A huge political move and this is only the beginning.

  9. Ann says:

    Wonderful news, David. Does this mean that ALL residents of the West Bank and East Jerusalem will soon become equal citizens of the greater Israel which you envisage? Will Israeli military law which varies greatly from Israeli civil law and is only applied to the Arab residents of the “not occupied” territories, no longer apply in your promised land? If so, congratulations. I look forward to this new, more equal, just and peaceful, Israeli Palestine.

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