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Israeli Palestinian Conflict Essay

3595 words - 15 pages

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been one of the most important issues that the United Nations has focused on since its founding in 1945. It has been the central topic for many resolutions, special committees, and peacekeeping efforts over the last sixty years. The United Nations has served as a platform for discussion about this conflict and has been used as a mediator between the opposing groups as a peaceful resolution to the issues is sought. Its main interest is in creating a peaceful end to this conflict and ensuring that both sides are just in their actions.
At the time that the United Nations was founded, Great Britain administered the area of Palestine as a ...view middle of the document...

The partition plan divided Palestine into eight parts including Jerusalem which was to be administered by the UN Trusteeship Council. This resolution also officially terminated the British mandate and called for the removal of all British military forces from the region. The Jewish Agency accepted the plan but the Palestinian Arabs rejected it on the ground that it violated the UN Charter’s provisions giving people the right to decide their own destiny (Question of Palestine).
Resolution 181 led to an outbreak of violence in the region which forced the Security Council to call a special session of the General Assembly in April 1948. On April 23 a Truce Commission was established to help bring about a ceasefire between the militant groups and Count Folke Bernadotte was appointed as the UN mediator in May to work in cooperation with the Truce Commission in the effort to promote a peaceful settlement of the conflict. On 11 December 1948 resolution 194 (III) was passed which focused on the issue of Palestinian refugees who had fled the region during the 1947 war. It declared that any refugees who wished to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors should be allowed to do so and that compensation should be paid to those who choose not to return. 194 also established the UN Conciliation Commission for Palestine to act as the UN mediator after Bernadotte had been assassinated earlier in the year. This resolution was accepted by both parties and is the legal foundation for the Palestinian right of return claim. The following year Israel was accepted as a member of the United Nations, giving them significant legitimacy as an independent state. The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees was also formed this year under resolution 302 (IV) to provide humanitarian aid to the refugees(Question of Palestine). This was somewhat controversial, however, as no aid was supplied to the Jews who were displaced from the same areas and during the same war nor to the Jewish refugees who were continuously fleeing from Europe and other Arab countries in the region(Nye and Welch).
The next important United Nations resolution was 242 which was adopted on 22 November 1967 in response to the Six-Day War. It became the most important reference for Arab-Israeli and later Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations. It laid out “principles for peace” that were seen as necessary steps for the peaceful resolution of this conflict. It called for the withdrawal of all Israeli troops from territories that they had occupied in recent conflicts. It also called for an end to all violence and for a need for respect and acknowledgement of the sovereignty of the other state, including territorial integrity and political independence. The next year, the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People was created to examine Israeli settlements in Palestinian areas(Question of Palestine).
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