Thursday, 20 May 2021 15:46

UNSC should issue fresh resolution

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UNSC should issue fresh resolution - EPA PIC

POST-ARAB Israeli wars, Israeli Zionists have been emboldened to expel Palestinians through evictions and land grab, in defiance of international laws.

One can refer to United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 2334, Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, Article 8(2)(b)(viii) of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the two-state solution. UNSCRs are binding for member states under Article 25 of the United Nations Charter.

The latest Sheikh Jarrah incident is part of the ongoing, systematic and concerted campaign of ethnic cleansing and apartheid in Jerusalem since 1967.

Zionist provocations in response to peaceful protests against illegal and criminal evictions in Sheikh Jarrah by storming and violating the sanctity of Al-Aqsa Mosque on the last Friday night prayers of
Ramadan on May 7 resulted in Hamas, the elected and, hence, legitimate authority in Gaza, to react by firing rockets into Israel.

One doesn't need to be a supporter of Hamas to recognise the fact that this organisation cannot be equated to the Islamic State (Daesh) or Al-Qaeda. It's not a

terrorist outfit, but a resistance movement. Its founder, the late Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, was  assassinated by Israel in 2004.

The firing of rockets, therefore, can't and shouldn't be construed as acts of terror. Rather it's in self-defence and a moral duty against Zionist intrusion and aggression in a territory under its occupation.

The UN Security Council (UNSC) should convene to issue a fresh resolution to compel Israel to allow UN officials and ICC investigators to enter Gaza to probe war crimes, with priority given to the state of Israel in what's an asymmetric and disproportionate conflict.

In fact, ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda has expressed intention to press ahead with an inquiry.

Non-compliance and non-cooperation by Israel would result in the enforcement of sanctions.

This would be reminiscent of UNSCR 687 of 1991 (and by extension, UNSCR 1441 of 2002) with specific reference to the demand that Iraq, under Saddam Hussein then, allow UN inspectors to monitor and verify claims of disarmament of the "weapons of mass destruction" arsenals.

In the resolution on Israel, the UNSC should call for Jerusalem to be placed under an international body and call on countries, including the United States, that have moved their embassies to the city to reverse the decision. At the same time, a UN peacekeeping force should be stationed to preserve and maintain the status quo.

In addition, the UNSC must demand for an end to the land, air and sea blockade of the Gaza Strip by Israel and Egypt. The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and Arab League should take the lead, too, as the blockade, which is stifling life for Gazans, should be part of the agenda of de-escalation and holding Israel to account.

Furthermore, the UNSC has the opportunity to recall UNSCR 497 of 1981 in which the annexation of Golan Heights from Syria in 1973 was declared "null and void and without international legal effect".

With the backing of like-minded countries, Turkey could send its navy to the limits of the exclusive economic zone of Gaza to contain and pressure Israel in the eastern Mediterranean and send a strong signal of its determination to end the blockade, sooner or later.

Now more than ever, Israel is showing the world that it's on the wrong side of history.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu doesn't care as his focus is only on saving his skin from corruption charges.

Netanyahu is also bent on annexing the West Bank — pursuing ethnic cleansing and apartheid to its fullest possible — putting the lie to the two-state solution.

Reactions the world over against Israel's atrocities are rising as he drags the nation down to serve his personal and political interests. This may prove to be the beginning of Netanyahu's undoing.

The writer is head of social, law and human rights at EMIR Research, an independent think tank focused on strategic policy recommendations based on rigorous research

Published in New Straits Times on Wednesday, 19 May 2021.

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