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- The Palestine-Israel conflict is one of the major threats to the world peace. Ever since the United Nations Partition Plan of 1947, Palestine has remained a victim of acts of war and terror. Israel, which already holds more than half of the Palestinian land, has continued its settlement expansion in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Apart from that, its continued restrictions on Gaza have exacerbated the situation even further.
In the past two decades, several attempts have been made by the world community to find a peaceful solution of this conflict. The Oslo Accords of 1993 and 1995, the 2003 Road Map for Peace, and Geneva Accord agreement – all were aimed at ending the ongoing tension between Israel and Palestine. However, all these efforts went in vain because of the unjust treatment of Israel towards Palestinians.
In recent years, the Gaza Strip has remained a focal point of this conflict. Israel has not only used heavy weaponry to conduct intensive strikes but has also denied access to vital civil services and supplies in the region. In 2008 and 2009, Gaza witnessed massive bloodshed as the Israeli military targeted Hamas-controlled areas. It also detained thousands of Palestinian men and children of ages between 14 to 48 years. Apart from targeting Palestinian population, Israeli attacks were aimed at the destruction of public places like hospitals, schools, workplaces and key infrastructure facilities such as water and electricity supplies.
The situation in Palestine was further jeopardized because of the ban in movement of Palestinian vehicles throughout the West Bank. Continuing since 2006, the Israeli blockade of Gaza has seen the region facing consistent shortage of electricity, fuel, water and other basic amenities of life. Although many countries and humanitarian agencies have openly condemned these acts of Israel but there seems no stopping to its brutalities as of now.
On the other hand, Palestinians have adopted a rather less violent approach to protest against the oppressive policies of Israel in the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem. Besides pleading their case in international forums, they have conducted repeated demonstrations and a series of hunger strikes in Israeli jails to challenge the legitimacy of its actions. With their non-violent resistance, they have gained massive support from the international community. Perhaps the biggest examples of international support for Palestinians were the Freedom Flotillas. These flotillas carried humanitarian activists from different countries and challenged the Israeli blockade of Gaza by providing them aid and construction materials.
In 2010, Israeli naval commandos attacked one of the flotillas (Turkish ship Mavi Marmara) in international waters of the Mediterranean Sea. This attack resulted in a deterioration of the situation for Israel to some extent. It received widespread condemnation for its assault on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla and its inhuman practices in the Palestinian region. However, the world community in general has severely failed in recognizing the rights of Palestinians. Their failed bid for the statehood in the UN Security Council in 2011 is a clear proof of the lack of support for the Palestinian cause among the major world powers.
Currently, Palestinians continue to suffer at the hands of Israeli occupation and its settlement building activity in the occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank. While Israel does not seem to put a stop on its inhuman practices, Palestinians are not giving up on their demand for a sovereign state either. Given the current state of events, it is unlikely that Palestine-Israel conflict will be resolved anytime soon. There is a dire need to reach a sustainable peace agreement in this regard which should be implemented by both the parties in letter and spirit.