Zionism And British Mandate
Since the existence of the earliest , many Jews have aspired to to “Zion” and the “Land of Israel”, though the amount of effort that should be spent towards such an aim was a matter of dispute. The hopes and yearnings of Jews living in exile are an important theme of the Jewish belief system. After the Jews were in 1492, some communities settled in Palestine. During the 16th century, Jewish communities struck roots in the , , , and and in 1697, Rabbi Yehuda Hachasid led a group of 1,500 Jews to Jerusalem. In the second half of the 18th century, Eastern European of , known as the , settled in Palestine.
“Therefore I believe that a wonderous generation of Jews will spring into existence. The Maccabaeans will rise again. Let me repeat once more my opening words: The Jews wish to have a State, and they shall have one. We shall live at last as free men on our own soil, and die peacefully in our own home. The world will be freed by our liberty, enriched by our wealth, magnified by our greatness. And whatever we attempt there to accomplish for our own welfare will react with beneficent force for the good of humanity.”
Settlements And International Law
Israeli settlements on the West Bank beyond the Green Line border are considered by some legal scholars to be illegal under international law. Other legal scholars , have argued that the settlements are legal under international law, on a number of different grounds. The Independent reported in March 2006 that immediately after the 1967 war Theodor Meron, legal counsel of Israel’s Foreign Ministry advised Israeli ministers in a “top secret” memo that any policy of building settlements across occupied territories violated international law and would “contravene the explicit provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention”. A contrasting opinion was held by Eugene Rostow, a former Dean of the Yale Law School and undersecretary of state for political affairs in the administration of U.S. President Lyndon Johnson, who wrote in 1991 that Israel has a right to have settlements in the West Bank under 1967’s UN Security Council Resolution 242. It is the policy of both Israel and the United States that the settlements do not violate international law, although the United States considers ongoing settlement activity to be “unhelpful” to the peace process. Israel also recognizes that some small settlements are “illegal” in the sense of being in violation of Israeli law.
Where To Visit In The West Bank
The major attractions of the West Bank are:-
- Bethlehem, the birth town of Jesus Christ
- Jericho, the worlds oldest city
- Qasr-el-Yahud, a Baptism site on the Jordan River
- Hebron, home to the Tomb of the Patriachs
- Ramallah, the modern capital of the West Bank
- Nablus, a city with a rich history and interesting Old City
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What Is The West Bank
It is a chunk of land located – as the name suggests – on the west bank of the River Jordan and bounded by Israel to the north, west and south. To its east lies Jordan.
The West Bank has been occupied by Israel since the 1967 Middle East war, but decades of difficult on-off talks between Israel and the Palestinians – both of whom assert rights there – have left its final status unresolved.
Between 2.1 million and 3 million Palestinian Arabs live in the West Bank under both limited self-rule and Israeli military rule.
The West Bank is also home to some 430,000 Israeli Jews who live in 132 settlements built under Israel’s occupation.
The vast majority of the international community considers the settlements illegal under international law, though Israel and the US under the Trump administration dispute this interpretation.
Israeli Military Governorate And Civil Administration
In June 1967, the West Bank and East Jerusalem were captured by Israel as a result of the Six-Day War. With the exception of East Jerusalem and the former Israeli-Jordanian no man’s land, the West Bank was not annexed by Israel it remained under Israeli military control until 1982.
Although the 1974 Arab League summit resolution at Rabat designated the Palestinian Liberation Organization as the “sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people”, Jordan did not officially relinquish its claim to the area until 1988, when it severed all administrative and legal ties with the West Bank and eventually stripped West Bank Palestinians of Jordanian citizenship.
In 1982, as a result of the IsraeliEgyptian peace treaty, the direct military rule was transformed into a semi-civil authority, operating directly under the Israeli Ministry of Defense, thus taking control of civil matters of Palestinians from the IDF to civil servants in the Ministry of Defense. The Israeli settlements were, on the other hand, administered subsequently as Judea and Samaria Area directly by Israel.
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Raising The Flag At The Un
In August 2015, Palestine’s representatives at the UN presented a draft resolution that would allow the non-member observer states Palestine and the to raise their flags at the United Nations headquarters. Initially, the Palestinians presented their initiative as a joint effort with the Holy See, which the Holy See denied.
In a letter to the Secretary General and the President of the General Assembly, Israel’s Ambassador at the UN called the step “another cynical misuse of the UN … in order to score political points”.
After the vote, which was passed by 119 votes to 8 with 45 countries abstaining, the US Ambassador Samantha Power said that “raising the Palestinian flag will not bring Israelis and Palestinians any closer together”. US Department of State spokesman Mark Toner called it a “counterproductive” attempt to pursue statehood claims outside of a negotiated settlement.
At the ceremony itself, U.N. Secretary-General said the occasion was a “day of pride for the Palestinian people around the world, a day of hope”, and declared “Now is the time to restore confidence by both Israelis and Palestinians for a peaceful settlement and, at last, the realization of two states for two peoples.”
What’s The Difference Between The West Bank And The Gaza Strip
When Israel invaded the Gaza Strip Thursday, no military operation was happening in the other part of the Palestinian territories, the West Bank. The two territories have had drastically different relationships with Israel and the rest of the world.
In the Gaza Strip, the government is led by the radical Islamist movement Hamas. In the West Bank, Fatah, a political party formerly known as the Palestinian National Liberation Movement, is in power. Both Hamas and Fatah are predominantly Sunni Muslim groups. Israel considers the leadership of the West Bank to be its legitimate negotiating partner for the Palestinian territories.
While both groups were created with the goal of reclaiming land from Israel, Fatah has accepted the existence of Israel, but Hamas hasnt. Hamas, headed by Khaled Mashal, is considered a terrorist organization by Israel, the U.S., Canada, Egypt and Jordan, as well as the European Union. Israel refuses to consider Hamas a legitimate government, and Hamas refuses to acknowledge the State of Israel.
A map of the Palestinian territories published by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs December 2011.
The map of the Palestinian territories came to look the way it does today because of a series of wars, accords, uprisings and violent clashes. Below is a timeline of major events.
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What Is Annexation And Why Does It Matter Here
Annexation is the term applied when a state unilaterally proclaims its sovereignty over other territory. It is forbidden by international law. A recent example was Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula in 2014.
Mr Netanyahu has said the plan is “not annexation”, although it involves applying Israeli sovereignty to the parts of the West Bank which contain Jewish settlements, as well as most of a swathe of land along the West Bank’s boundary with Jordan, known as the Jordan Valley.
The move could result in some 4.5% of Palestinians in the West Bank living in enclaves within annexed territory. Mr Netanyahu has said Israeli sovereignty will not be applied to Palestinians in the Jordan Valley, and reports say the same exclusion will extend to Palestinians in other annexed parts of the West Bank.
The areas earmarked for annexation may comprise about 30% of the West Bank, according to reports. Mr Netanyahu may initially act to annex just the settlements, which could amount to only 3% of the West Bank. The remaining 27% may have to wait until the boundaries are agreed with Washington.
However, the Palestinians seek the whole of the West Bank – to which they claim an historical right – for a future independent state, along with the Gaza Strip. Any annexation by Israel, they argue, would leave Palestinian areas fragmented and the Palestinian people with considerably less land for a country of their own.
What Would Change With Annexation
Assuming it happens , the settlements and surrounding areas will become permanent parts of Israel . Reversal would require the support of a large majority of Israeli MPs, something which is very unlikely.
In practice, Israeli laws already apply to settlers, though not to Palestinians, who are subject only to Israeli military orders and Palestinian laws, so there would be little noticeable change in that respect.
One of the most significant differences annexation would likely make is in settlement construction – long one of the thorniest issues between Israel and the Palestinians.
Currently, building and zoning in the West Bank requires the approval of Israel’s defence minister and prime minister, and can take months or years. Following annexation, it would become a local matter and consequently easier for Israel to build there.
Beyond the annexed areas, the Israeli military will continue to exercise overall authority – something Palestinians say has deprived generations of their basic civil rights.
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How Safe Is It To Visit The West Bank
The political situation between the Israelis and the Palestinians has, for the past few years, been relatively quiet. This means that similar to being safe to travel in Israel, it is safe to travel in the West Bank. Whilst there are often increases in tension, these are mostly focused on the area of Gaza, not connected to the West Bank physically.
As a result, the Israeli authorities have handed the control of large areas of the West Bank to the Palestinian authorities. Like anywhere, you should remain vigilant at all times, however, from a political perspective, the West Bank is now safe to visit.
Personal safety for tourists in major locations in the West Bank where tourists might wish to visit is high . There is a shared interest for all authorities to keep these locations safe and comfortable for tourists. However, it is important to follow news reports and follow instructions, as there are from time to time increased tension. Often this tension is focused around crossings/check-points which can be avoided when traveling with tourists on a tour.
The situation between Israel and Jordan has been peaceful now for over 20 years and as a result tours to Petra from Israel are very popular and accessible.
What Is West Bank
- West Bank is a landlocked territory in West Asia. It also contains a significant section of the western Dead Sea.
- It was captured by Jordan after the Arab-Israeli War but Israel snatched it back during the Six-Day War of 1967 and has occupied it ever since.
- The West Bank is sandwiched between Israel and Jordan.
- One of its major cities is Ramallah, the de facto administrative capital of Palestine.
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Israeli Forces Kill Palestinian Teenager In Occupied West Bank
Mohammad Abdallah Hamed, 16, died in Israeli custody after being shot near the town of Silwad, Palestinian sources have said.
A 16-year-old Palestinian teenager has died after being shot by Israeli soldiers in the occupied West Bank, according to Palestinian officials.
Mohammad Abdallah Hamed was shot and wounded by Israeli gunfire on Friday evening near the town of Silwad, northeast of Ramallah, and was taken away by Israeli forces, the official Palestinian news agency Wafa reported.
It said the teen died in Israeli custody, and that the army was expected to release the body later on Saturday.
The Palestinian foreign ministry described his killing as an execution.
The mayor of Silwad said residents had announced a general strike in the village denouncing this crime.
The Israeli military said soldiers had fired at a group of Palestinians who were throwing stones along a main highway. It confirmed shooting one person, but gave no further details on their condition or whereabouts.
Soldiers at the scene operated to stop the suspects in accordance with standard operating procedures, using live fire as a last resort, it said.
More than 60 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces this year, many of them in raids, according to the Palestinian health ministry.
Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was killed by Israeli forces on May 11 while she was covering a raid of Jenin, in the occupied West Bank.
Systemic Racial Or Ethnic Violence Or Discrimination
There were numerous reports of discrimination against Mizrachi Jewish citizens , Ethiopian Jewish citizens, Arab and Druze Israeli citizens, as well as temporary workers from East, Southeast, and South Asia, and African migrants. Persons presenting as Asian reported experiencing harassment based on false beliefs they were responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic, presumptions that they were low-wage workers or even commercial sex workers, and other indignities. Some immigrant laborers experienced poor and sometimes life-threatening working and living conditions .
According to the Abraham Initiatives, the number of killings in Arab society reached unprecedented levels with 126 victims, 107 Arab citizens and 19 Palestinian residents of Jerusalem, compared with 96 in the year 2020, and 89 in 2019.
Israeli authorities investigated reported attacks against Palestinians and Arab/Palestinian citizens of Israel, primarily in Jerusalem, by members of organizations that made anti-Christian and anti-Muslim statements and objected to social relationships between Jews and non-Jews.
There were multiple instances of security services or other citizens racially profiling Arab/Palestinian citizens. Some Arab/Palestinian civil society leaders described the governments attitude toward the Arab/Palestinian minority as ambivalent others cited examples in which Israeli political leaders incited racism against the Arab/Palestinian community or portrayed it as an enemy.
What Was The Six
- The Six-Day War was a brief, but bloody conflict fought in June 1967 between Israel and the Arab states of Egypt, Syria and Jordan.
- Israel seized the Sinai Peninsula and the Gaza Strip from Egypt, the West Bank and East Jerusalem from Jordan, and the Golan Heights from Syria.
- Since 1967, the lands Israel seized in the Six-Day War have been at the center of efforts to end the Arab-Israeli conflict.
- Even though Israel returned the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt in 1982 and withdrew from Gaza in 2005, the status of the Golan Heights and the West Bank continues to be a stumbling block in Arab-Israeli peace negotiations.
What Does Annexation Mean
Its a term that can summon up images of a seemingly bygone colonial era, where states fought for the spoils of war. Yet annexation had continued into the modern era. Indonesia annexed East Timor in 1975, Iraq briefly annexed Kuwait in 1990, Russia annexed Crimea in 2014. Israel, too, has joined the club. In 1980, it annexed majority Palestinian East Jerusalem, and a year later, it annexed the Golan Heights, captured from Syria.
In short, annexation is when a country declares that a piece of land outside its borders is part of the state. Often this is done after military occupation and whether the people living there want it or not. International law is fairly clear about annexation it is illegal.
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Hiv And Aids Social Stigma
While the PA Ministry of Health provided treatment and privacy protections for patients with HIV or AIDS, societal discrimination against affected individuals in the West Bank was common. Anecdotal evidence suggested societal discrimination against HIV and AIDS patients was also very common in Gaza.
Travel To And From Jordan
Entry visas are available at the Arava crossing near Eilat in the south and at the Jordan River crossing near Beit Shean in the north.
Canadian passport holders may also cross at the Allenby Bridge crossing near Jericho. Visas must be obtained before the date of crossing as they cannot be obtained at the crossing point.
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What Precisely Does Israel Want To Annex
Netanyahu has made repeated promises during the past year to annex, or apply sovereignty, to different areas of the West Bank, a chunk of land Israel captured from Jordan in 1967.
In April last year, Netanyahu said he planned to annex Jewish settlements, outposts in the West Bank where hundreds of thousands of Israelis live, to global condemnation. In September, the Israeli leader added he would also annex the Jordan Valley, which makes up to one-third of the West Bank and borders Jordan.