The foundation of Israel’s establishment involves a contravention of international law, surpassing legal boundaries endorsed by numerous nations and governments worldwide. Simultaneously, Israelis have transgressed numerous regulations in their acts of aggression and oppression against Palestinian citizens. The focus should be on assessing the human rights implications within the Israel-Palestine context. Furthermore, an examination of the measures implemented thus far to address Israeli crimes against Palestinians is imperative. This includes considerations of settlements, as they are often at the heart of disputes related to human rights violations in the region.
The illegality of the annexation of the Palestinian territories
The Israel-Palestine situation presents numerous human rights implications. In 2022, the United Nations International Commission of Inquiry on the Occupied Palestinian Territory, designated by Israel as East Jerusalem, determined that the ongoing occupation of this region is practically illegal. This conclusion is based on the permanence of the occupation and Israel’s efforts to annex Palestinian territory. The report also highlights a significant development in 2008 when Israel’s Supreme Court upheld a law empowering the interior minister to revoke citizenship for individuals convicted of actions deemed disloyal to the state.
Canceling the residency of Palestinian citizens
Since its adoption, this law has only been applied to Palestinian citizens. On September 20, 2022, Israel’s appeals court revoked the residence or temporary residence permits of 10 Palestinians — four children, three women, and three men — who were living in Jerusalem because they were distant relatives of a Palestinian attacker. On December 18, 2022, Israel expelled French-Palestinian human rights defender Salah Hamouri after cancelling his residency in East Jerusalem. Human rights implications in the Israel-Palestine situation have had harmful effects on the lives of Palestinians so far.
The mass killing of Palestinians
Human rights implications in the Israel-Palestine situation have led to the killing of Palestinians and ignoring their citizenship rights. According to the report of the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS), the number of Arab and Palestinian victims from the tragedy of the occupation of Palestine in 1948 until the recent conflict has reached more than 100,000 victims inside and outside Palestine, and since the beginning of the Al-Aqsa Intifada, 11,358 Palestinians have died. They were killed. Before the recent Israeli crime, the most victims were in 2014, when 2,240 Palestinians were massacred.
Continuation of illegal settlements
After Israel’s victory over the Arabs in the 6-day war in 1967, Israel started to build settlements in the occupied lands, contrary to international law. Israeli settlements are now located in Palestinian lands on the West Bank of the Jordan River (including East Jerusalem) and the Golan Heights (belonging to Syria). These settlements were previously built in the Sinai Peninsula (part of Egypt) and the Palestinian area of the Gaza Strip, but after the Israel-Egypt peace treaty in 1979, Israel demolished 18 settlements in the Sinai Peninsula. Also, in 2005, as part of the withdrawal plan from the Gaza Strip, it destroyed 21 Israeli settlements in the Gaza Strip and 4 Israeli settlements in the West Bank.
Settlement to move Jews to Palestine
Settlement construction was on the agenda of the movement since the establishment of the first Zionist Congress in 1897, following the implementation of the process of transferring Jews to Palestine to Judaize this land. Until 2010, the population of settlers in the West Bank was close to 975 thousand people, of which about 38% lived in Jewish settlements in Quds province, and the total number of settlers is nearly 20% of the Palestinian population of the West Bank.
The average annual growth of the population of settlers
From 1986 to 2010, the average annual growth of the settlement population was more than 4.6 per cent. According to the report of Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics, at the end of 2018, the number of Israeli settlers was 428,000 people, which shows an increase of 15,000 people from the previous year. The international community considers Israel’s settlements to be against international law, and the United Nations has repeatedly raised the issue that Israel’s settlements are a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention. Also, the statute establishing the International Criminal Court 1998 has classified such transfers as war crimes.
Development of settlements contrary to international rules
The construction of settlements by Israel in East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights has commenced. The global community views these regions as under the occupation of the Israeli government, deeming the constructions in these areas as unauthorized settlements. In its 2004 advisory opinion on the West Bank barrier, the International Court of Justice officially declared Israeli settlements as illegal. Despite this, Israel persists in establishing settlements, contravening international law.
Discrimination against Palestinians by Israel
In February of 2022, Amnesty International published a 280-page report that showed how Israel is imposing an institutional government of oppression and domination on the Palestinian people. It has separated the Palestinian citizens in the occupied territories and the Palestinian refugees and deprived the refugees of the right to return. According to Amnesty International, Israeli authorities are responsible for crimes against humanity and apartheid through widespread seizure of land and property, unlawful killings, infliction of serious injuries, forced transfers, arbitrary restrictions on freedom of movement, and denial of citizenship, among other inhumane practices.
Repeated Israeli military attacks on Gaza
Before the current attack, Israel had carried out four protracted military incursions into Gaza in 2008, 2012, 2014 and 2021, which have killed thousands of Palestinians, including many children, and destroyed tens of thousands of homes, schools and administrative buildings. These attacks are also a complete violation of UN laws and against human rights.
Prohibition of freedom of movement for Palestinians
The predominant security approach in Israel revolves around the issuance of permits and the closure of borders. Israel has instituted a border closure system that restricts the unrestricted movement of Palestinians between Gaza and the West Bank, their entry into the 1948 territories, and their overall departure from the historical Palestinian territories. Additionally, a considerable number of checkpoints dot various roads, barring Palestinians from travelling on these routes. Special permits are required for Palestinians to access the Jordan Valley and East Jerusalem, integral parts of the West Bank. This relatively stringent method serves as a primary means to regulate the individuals permitted entry and functions as an operational system for overseeing the development of Gaza and the West Bank.
The social and political effects of banning freedom of movement on Palestinians
Licenses have different examples, and the function of each one is different, including employment, travel and residence permits. These permits are issued with the idea that Israel can make Palestinian operations in Israel impossible by eliminating the possibility of transferring weapons and explosives. This system has been implemented since 1967 with ups and downs, and increasingly, it has increased the problems. According to a media report in the West Bank, 175 permanent checkpoints and other roadblocks, as well as numerous irregular temporary barriers and a strict licensing system supported by a repressive biometric surveillance system, continue to control and fragment Palestinian communities.
Illegal blockade of the Gaza Strip
Israel’s illegal blockade began in 2007 and has been going on for 16 years. This issue has caused many Palestinians, even patients and children, to lose their lives since that year. According to the UN report, the blockade of Gaza is against international human rights laws. As a security policy, this policy covers all the Palestinian society and has affected the mobility of all people and the import and export of goods and labour.
Harmful effects of Gaza blockade on Palestinians
This policy has led to the separation of families, limiting access to religious places, and disrupting the Palestinian national education model. It has become challenging for the people of Gaza and the West Bank to attend other schools and universities. The economic effects of this policy have also been very destructive. In the light of the implementation of this policy, incomes have drastically decreased, the unemployment rate has increased, and poverty in Palestinian families is increasing even though the United Nations Human Rights Commissioner has declared that Israel’s complete blockade of the Gaza Strip is prohibited based on international and humanitarian laws.
The forced expulsion of Palestinians from their land
According to the International Refugee Organization, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict has been going on for more than seven decades, and there are now nearly 7 million Palestinian refugees worldwide. According to the report of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), the number of internally displaced persons across the Gaza Strip is estimated to be around one million people, and more than half of them have taken refuge in UNRWA facilities in these five provinces.
Israel’s extensive human rights role
Following the devastating aftermath of two world wars, all United Nations member countries unanimously endorsed comprehensive rules and regulations outlined in the United Nations Human Rights Convention. These measures were implemented as a response to the immense loss of life and injuries during those conflicts. However, recent occurrences in Gaza underscore the persistence of double standards in the enforcement of these laws by international oversight bodies. This selective application has allowed violators, including Israel, to act with impunity, perpetrating crimes against the oppressed people of Palestine without facing adequate consequences.