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Opposition to Israel’s annexation plans must be followed by an end to its favoured status

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09.07.2020

The Israeli occupation authorities’ plan to annex most of the West Bank is but another form of the oppression that the Palestinians have been suffering for decades. It is reminiscent of the way that international law is used and abused, and ignored by Israel on a daily basis, to ensure that the rights which the Palestinians undoubtedly have are never evident on the ground, so that justice is never served in their favour.

Few reasonable people can argue against the legitimate rights of the Palestinians to their land, resources and self-determination; international laws and conventions are very clear on this. However, they are deprived of their rights even though the self-same laws and conventions govern and guide the rest of the world without, it seems, much argument. If we are all governed by the same international legal system, why is this missing in occupied Palestine?

Perhaps, as some argue, there is a problem of interpretation of the law, leading to the inability to take legal action in Israeli or other courts to seek redress. Others, meanwhile, suggest that it is better to have a clear political programme which uses the law to best advantage for Palestinians to be granted their rights, rather than the other way round.

This applies not only to the issue of the land, and the planned annexation of the occupied West Bank, but also to human rights and the concept of the right to self-determination. Ultimately, we cannot do anything but adhere to the law and its positive role in establishing political and human rights, even if justice is not achieved in the first instance; and even if the political and legal powers that be are not pleased with the efforts being made. Human rights are for all human beings, surely, and not just the rich and powerful.

US: Opportunity to implement annexation this month

The Palestinian experience, however, proves that we cannot pin all of our hopes on the legal path as long as the political balance is tipped against the Palestinian people and their cause. We have seen first-hand that the law has a degree of flexibility and can be both used and abused, depending on the skill of the advocates. In the field of international law and human rights law, the political factor gives value to the application of the law, which confirms the need for the Palestinians to possess an effective political framework which avoids the trap of endless........

© Middle East Monitor