Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Only if Guided by International Law

Rafi Dajani of ATFP sends this item. This is an issue the NCF has done a lot of work on. One key problem is the rules of engagement for any such force:

In BitterLemons (Israel/Palestine) former Palestinian minister of planning Ghassan Khatib outlines the factors that would make it acceptable for Palestinians to have an international force in the occupied territories ONLY IF GUIDED BY INTERNATIONAL LAW By Ghassan Khatib Bitter Lemons, Opinion (Palestine/Israel) July 9, 2007

The idea of deploying international forces in Palestine to ease tensions and violence with Israel is yet again being bandied about. The difference this time is the response by all parties. It used to be an idea that Israel rejected and Palestinians promoted. Now the Palestinians, unsurprisingly, are divided and the Israelis are hesitant.
The idea of international peacekeeping forces was always encouraged by the peace camps in Palestine and Israel because it is consistent with their approach and the kind of solution they are after, namely one based on international legality, including the relevant UN resolutions. International forces would, as part of their remit, serve to monitor the behavior of the parties, and since Israeli practices in the occupied territories are always in contradiction with these laws, Israel has always avoided such a third party role.


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