The Israeli leadership blames Arafat for the current violence, and claims that they are defending their territory. However, as a small set of examples:
It is the Palestinians that have been under military occupation since 1967.
Settlement programs have continued, contrary to the accords.
The Israelis have delayed their military withdrawals from or redeployments in the Occupied Territories of the West Bank and Gaza, as required by those accords.
They still have 60 per cent of the former and 20 per cent of the latter.
Jerusalem, a most crucial aspect of this latest conflict, is now off limits to those Palestinians who are not residents of Jerusalem.
There have been additional concessions demanded by Israel, counter to international laws and agreements including dropping the entire case against Israel by Palestinians, as the following quote will describe.
As Tim Llewellyn, former BBC correspondent, in the Guardian reports2 (October 15, 2000), "The Palestinians found out this summer that Israel wanted yet more concessions: their legal rights to proper, effective self-determination traded for a clean bill of health for Israel. For an ephemeral state, Arafat was to sign up to dropping the whole Palestinian case against Israel. For the administration of a sticking plaster, a deep and angry wound was to be forgotten: the exodus from Palestine; the horrors of massacre and exile; the right of return; all recognised by and enshrined in international law and United Nations resolutions."
As Israeli leadership changed and Ariel Sharon came to power, the fear of an increased hard-line approach unfortunately came true, with targeted assasinations of key Palestinian members, more land grabs. Retaliation by Palestinian groups with acts of suicide and terrorism has been horrific as well. Even some 400 Israelis have refused service4 in the occupied territories saying in a petition that "We will not take part in the war for the peace of the settlements. We will not continue to fight beyond the green line [Israel's pre-1967 border with the West Bank and Gaza] in order to rule, expel, destroy, blockade, assassinate, starve and humiliate an entire people".
B'Tselem, an Israeli human rights organization has described the Israeli settlements in the West Bank as being illegal:
Ze'ev Sternhell, in the Ha'aretz (March 8, 2002) even suggests that Israeli policies are colonial and in that context, regard for life on both sides is taking a different meaning as the violence continues:
Robert Malley, director of the International Crisis Group's Middle East program makes an interesting observation that can summarize events of much of 2001, as appeared in the New York Times:
Malley has also criticized the U.S. here as well, which we look at on the next page.
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