Plaestanian Refugees fear Displacement as Israel Sets to Annex the West Bank
Donald Trump’s Peace Plan for Israel-Palestanian conflict faces full support by Israel. On the flip side Palestine is nothing but against it. Now, Israli Prime Minister Benjamin Netayanhahu is not only debating on a reelection but also annexing the West Bank. This puts the Plaestinian refugees living in the area in a tough situation as they fear displacement.
Why does Israel want to Annex West Bank?
The West Bank forms the part of the disputed land on which both Israel and Palestine lay their claims respectively. Bound to Palestine, Israel occupied the land after winning the 1967 middle east war. Currently around 430,000 Israeli settlers and 2 to 3 million Palestanian refugees live in the conflicted piece of land, its final status being unresolved.
Although Netanyahu avoids the term annexations, as it is against the laws of the UN. It does involve applying force and declaring 30% of the Jordan Valley as part of Israeli sovereignty. This comes as no surprise as the state of Israel has been claiming historical and religious rights over the Jordan Valley for a long time. However, the valley also has its military strategic advantage. The initial plan is to annex the 3%, while they discuss the remaining 27% with Washington and wait for their agreement. Netanyahu has led the campaign of Israeli settlement and annexation of the valley to remove any doubt as to their fate, something which receives strong support from his political base. One of the reasons Netanyahu was elected to office was due to his promise of the annexation process to begin from 1 July.
Under normal conditions an annexation would have seen a strong opposition from the international community but now after Trump’s Peace Plan there seems to be a radical shift internationally. Speculations suggest that Netanyahu wants to Annex the valley before the American elections as he fears if Joe Biden is elected it would lead to changes in the US position on the annexation.
What about Palestanian Refugees?
The Palestinian refugees claim the entire west bank along with the Gaza strip as theirs to build a nation upon. If Israelis to annex the west bank, that would leave the Palestinian refugees fragmented areas and considerably less land for a country of their own.
Thousands of Palestinians protest against this move in Jericho city. British, Chinese, Russian, Japanese were amongst the dozen UN envoys who attended the protest on Monday and stood alongside the Palestinians. By doing so the Palestinians want to create international pressure on Israel.
“The UN believes annexation is against international law,” Mladenov, Bulgarian politician and a diplomat said, reiterating the world body’s long-held position. “If it happens, it might kill the very idea that peace and statehood for the Palestinian people can be achieved through negotiations,” he added.
As July 1 fast approaches, a workable plan remains unclear. Although if Netanyahu is able to convince his coalition partner, Benny Gantz, with the United States backing the plan, annexation still remains a huge possibility.While annexation will only lead to more confusion in an already confused situation, Palestinian refugees will once again face the fear of displacement in their own land.