By Jackson Knight, Der Spiegel
A disagreement with no foreseeable resolution has been brewing in the Middle East for decades. Mutual distrust between the Israelis and Palestinians have prevented any progress from being made in the area. While both Israel and Palestine have signed the Oslo Accords, which is a pledge to respect and protect the rights of any person of religion, neither country has gone far enough to enforce this agreement.
Underneath the surface of constant government disagreements lies a myriad of human rights violations on both sides of the conflict. Multiple categories of international human rights and humanitarian laws have been violated. They include unlawful killings, forced placement, abusive detention, the closure of the Gaza Strip and other unjustified restrictions on movement, and discriminatory policies that disadvantage Palestinian civilians.
Many abusive practices are being used by the Israeli and Palestinian governments. Each side has committed their fair share of crimes. Armed Palestinian groups have carried out lethal attacks on civilians, as well as thousands of rocket attacks on known Israeli civilian areas, which is in violation of national humanitarian law and considered a war crime. More than 800 Israeli citizens were killed in the Second Intifada from 2000 to 2005. On the other side of the conflict, more than 2,000 Palestinian civilians have died in the last three Gaza conflicts. Many of these attacks were caused by a failure to take precautions to spare civilians. Both Israeli and Palestinian authorities have failed to investigate into alleged security force abuses during the Gaza conflicts. The abusers are rarely caught or punished.
Many countries, such as Sierra Leone, condemn these actions.
“Human rights violations like this should not be tolerated and both nations should be held accountable for their actions,” a representative from Sierra Leone said. However, the representative did not offer a definitive plan to address the issue.
While Israel and Palestine have both vetoed many solutions, new plans are being made.
“The U.K. plans on solving the conflict in committee using international relations between Israel and other Middle Eastern countries, which the U.K. hopes will promote peace and economic stability in the area,” a representative from the U.K. said.
Image: Rusty Stewart, Flickr