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The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict and Israel’s Unyielding No’s

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On October 7, 2023, armed Palestinian organizations in Gaza fired hundreds of missiles into Israel’s territory. They also broke over the border barrier frequently, penetrating Israeli communities and murdering and kidnapping both Israeli soldiers and civilians. Following the declaration of a state of war alert, the Israeli military started attacking homes and medical institutions in the Gaza Strip. Since then, areas of Gaza have been reduced to rubble, resulting in thousands of deaths and over a million displaced persons.

On October 7, 2023, armed Palestinian organizations in Gaza fired hundreds of missiles into Israel’s territory. They also broke over the border barrier frequently, penetrating Israeli communities and murdering and kidnapping both Israeli soldiers and civilians. Following the declaration of a state of war alert, the Israeli military started attacking homes and medical institutions in the Gaza Strip. Since then, areas of Gaza have been reduced to rubble, resulting in thousands of deaths and over a million displaced persons.

Israel’s Six No’s that Have Stalled the Peace Process

The Six No’s reminds the Khartoum meeting of Arab Leaders in 1967 in which they announced their famous Three No’s: no recognition, negotiation, or peace with Israel in the Israel-Palestine context. This stance, not universally upheld across the Arab world, saw significant shifts, with Arab countries like Egypt and Jordan making peace with Israel. This initiative implicitly acknowledged Israel endorsed the use of negotiations as the primary approach to resolving the Israel-Palestine conflict, representing a departure from prior positions. There’s a possible irony or tragedy in this role reversal. While Israel showed flexibility when Arab states were inflexible historically, today, when Arab attitudes towards Israel have become more adaptable compared to the past, Israeli leadership has grown more unwavering. They now assert their own set of denials.

No To Two-State Solution

Political leaders in the Israeli government and the opposing groups stand together in opposing the establishment of Palestine within the Israel-Palestine conflict. Prime Minister Netanyahu, known for his strong support for Israeli settlements, has declared no to a ceasefire.

No To One-State Solution

A shared binational one-state approach is rejected by an even greater majority in Israel because it is seen as a threat to the Jewish character of the state, which is the reason for its creation. Many Israelis fear that a one-state solution might dilute the nation’s Jewish identity and diminish its historical and cultural significance for Jewish people worldwide. The steadfast rejection of a one-state outcome highlights the significance of preserving Israel’s unique character and mirrors the prevailing sentiment among many Israelis who consider their nation as a homeland for Jewish people across the globe.

No To Negotiations

Both Netanyahu and Opposition Leader Lapid are against initiating any dialogue with the Palestinians in the ongoing Israel-Palestine conflict. The history of negotiations, often resulting in deadlocks and ongoing conflict, forms the basis for their stance. They are reluctant to engage in negotiations due to a sense of distrust and skepticism about the Palestinian leadership’s commitment to a peaceful resolution. This reluctance underscores the significant challenges in establishing a meaningful and lasting peace process in the region. While some may view this stance as hindering progress, it reflects the cautious approach taken by Israeli leaders to navigate the complex conflict landscape.

No, To End to Israeli Settlements in West Bank

Netanyahu, despite his statement that his government won’t annex or create a Palestinian state, has expressed support for settlement construction. This practice is deemed a clear violation of international law by UNSC Resolution 2334, mandating its immediate cessation within the Israel-Palestine conflict. This ongoing expropriation of territory for settlements by the Israeli government undermines the potential for a viable Palestinian state, given the established principle of a land-for-peace formula, which involves creating a state of Palestine within the borders of 1967.

No To Palestinian Sovereignty Over Jerusalem

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak was the one who gave the idea to make Jerusalem the capital of both Israel and Palestine by splitting into two as a solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict. Unfortunately, this idea could not materialize. As of today, the Israeli government seems more resolute in opposing the split of Jerusalem in the context of the Israel-Palestine conflict. This issue recently gained prominence when the Israeli government opposed President Biden’s plan to start the functions of its embassy in Jerusalem because it had earlier served as the de facto mission of the U.S. in Palestine before its closure in President Trump’s era.

No To the Return of Palestinian Refugees

Over the last two decades, Israel has adopted a more stringent stance on the issue of refugee return within the Israel-Palestine conflict. The years 2001-2002 marked a notable period of mutual understanding between Israelis and Palestinians regarding refugees. The Clinton Parameters from 2001 recognized the moral and material suffering of the Palestinian people in the 1948 war, emphasized the requirement for an international mechanism to address compensation, resettlement, and related matters, and highlighted the U.S. role in leading these efforts.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the Israel-Palestine conflict is entrenched in a state of stasis, with Israel’s six no’s and a lack of willingness to negotiate, pushing a resolution further from reach. Recent violence underscores the volatility of the situation. Settlement expansion, Jerusalem’s status, and refugee return issues complicate matters. To move forward, a reevaluation of positions and a renewed commitment to peaceful resolution are essential, given the current deadlock.

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The author is a graduate in International Relations from the University of Sindh, Jamshoro. He is fascinated by the constantly changing world and wants to explore the causes and ramifications of contemporary state interactions.

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