Palestine Politics Social Justice

The State of Israel and the Annexation of the West Bank

While it may come as no surprise to you that this annexation, which officially began on the 1st of July 2020 but has since been revealed to be delayed until late July, is extremely bad news for the Palestinian populace, it may also come to be a surprise that this move is also politically bad for Israel, but before we can delve into why this may be an ill-thought out move on behalf of the Israeli nationalists, it is important to take a look at what the annexation actually means.

What does the Annexation mean?

The term “annexation” itself is defined as being “possession taken of a piece of land or a country, usually by force or without permission” as per the Cambridge dictionary[1]. In order to understand the sheer gravitas of the situation, it would be pertinent to draw your attention to the notion that annexation means the taking of land by force or without permission; this is what serves to make the reality of the situation so terrifying, as in a day and age where the prevalence of the Black Lives Matter movement is forcing governments in the west to acquiesce an improvement to the education surrounding the era of colonialism, we are being forced to watch on in horror as the state of Israel does the very thing that we regarded as being a repugnant crime resigned to the past.

The aforementioned Allon Plan serves to highlight a desire simmering for over 50 years among Israeli nationalists to annex parts of the West Bank deemed to be their land as per biblical depictions of the Hebrew lands of Judea and Samaria[2]. Israel has been gradually trying to encroach upon the land assigned to the Palestinians in 1948 by the United Nations[3] (who had already had their land torn from them in order to supply a home for the displaced Jewish community), increasing their territory at the expense of the Palestinian populace. The West Bank was initially de facto annexed by Israel in 1967, meaning that it was essentially in practice annexed by Israel without it necessarily being legally established, before being de jure annexed in 1980 as per the Jerusalem law which the Israeli Supreme Court treated as an effective annexation of East Jerusalem whilst the United Nations Security Council ruled the law “null and void”[4]. Since then, the Israeli government has encouraged and facilitated the transfer of Israeli civilians into territories in the occupied West Bank, which in actuality is illegal as per international humanitarian law[5], foreshadowing a further displacement of the Palestinian people from their own land. Furthermore, the 385,900 civilians settled in Israeli settlements within Area C of the West Bank[6] (a portion of Palestinian territory where the Palestinian Authority is responsible for the medical and educational services needed by the 300,000 Palestinian people settled there[7] and the infrastructure is the responsibility of Israel[8]) which, again, is illegal[9][10][11]and constitutes a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention[12][13][14][15], are subjected to Israeli law. The resulting legal system is described as “enclave law” and is deemed as being a gradual attempt at the annexation of Area C by the Israeli government[16].

The Palestinian National Authority (abbreviated to PA or PNA) was established in 1994 to serve as the governing body over the Gaza strip and areas A and B of the West Bank.

the Annexation of the West Bank in Palestine by Israel Map
A map of Palestine.

All in all, the annexation of the West Bank is not a new concept, but has in actuality been a notion festering among the Israeli nationalists for decades. Its abrupt launch in July, however, can be mainly attributed to President Netanyahu’s victory in the most recent Israeli election, and the Trump administration’s frankly questionable Middle East Peace Plan: having been revealed to the public in January, the Peace Plan revolves around the Israeli annexation of the West Bank, placing 30% of it under Israeli control[17]. The Peace Plan was denounced by both the Yesha council[18] (the umbrella term for the councils of the illegal Israeli settlers in the West Bank) and the PA: the Yesha remained staunchly opposed due to the fact that the plan would establish a Palestinian state[19], and the PA were aggravated by the blatant favouritism of Israeli interests and the fact that no Palestinian authorities were invited by the US for the negotiations that resulted in the inception of the Peace Plan[20].

2 replies on “The State of Israel and the Annexation of the West Bank”

Beautifully written and explained. Loved the detail and cross-references that helped sink in the severity of the situation.

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