What did Israel do with the areas captured in the 1967 war?
Israel captured Golan Heights, Jerusalem, West Bank and the Gaza Strip from the Arabs after the Six-Day War of 1967 and formed settlements. Most of the world community consider these settlements as areas annexed by Israel and do not recognize them. These settlements do not have support from any foreign government, and are considered illegal according to the International Court of Justice.
In the past, United Nations has insisted that the construction of Israeli settlements in these areas is a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention. In response, Israeli legal experts resisted the label on these territories as “occupied” or falling under the international treaties regarding it as a military occupation. Israeli government reject these claims stating that the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention does not put forward any de jure applicability regarding the case of West Bank and Gaza, as the Convention “is based on the assumption that there had been a sovereign who was ousted and that he had been a legitimate sovereign.”
After the war, Israel took over 96 percent of the population which previously comprised of Muslims and Christians and prohibited them from returning to their homes in a state which is now self-described as Jewish. The ones who continue to live there are subjected to continuous discrimination and poor living conditions.
Israel unleashed military occupation on West Bank and Gaza, confiscated their privately owned land. Because of the extreme oppression, Palestinians have minimal control over their lives. Over 10,000 men, women and children are held in Israeli prisons and are subjected to trials, physical abuse and torture. Israel also took control of all the Palestinian borders including the internal ones where men, women and children were strip searched. Israeli soldiers beat people; stopped women in labor to reach hospital on time which caused many deaths, and the entrance of food and medicine in Gaza was restrained which resulted in escalating humanitarian crisis. Injuring, kidnapping and killing of Palestinian inhabitants were carried out almost daily by the Israeli forces. The situation continues to the present day.
Since the Oslo Accords in 1993, Israel has refrained from establishing new settlements in the occupied territories; however, the expansion of the existing settlements continues which is frequently termed as an obstacle to the peace process by the United Nations. The European Union, the United Kingdom and the United States and many other countries hold the same view. Remarking on the ongoing situation, president of the Palestinian Medical Relief Committees Mustafa Barghouti asserted that “the root of the problem is Israeli occupation.” According to Oslo Accords of 1993, these territories were to become a part of the Palestinian state, yet the issue remained unresolved and steadily worsened. This resulted in the Palestinian population rebellion and the uprising called “the intifada” began in September 2000.
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