The “Peace to Prosperity” plan proposed by the United States, and developed in the absence of any meaningful engagement with Palestinian representatives, is not a serious means to solve the conflict between Israel and Palestinian, and all actors in the international community should reject it, the ICJ said today.
As presented, the Plan would pave the way for Israel to annex large portions of the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and deny the Palestinians the internationally protected right to self-determination as well as the right to return of Palestinians. In addition, it seeks to legitimize the acquisition of land by force, all in violation of international law and the UN Charter.
On 28 January 2020, US President Donald Trump publicly announced the plan at the Whitehouse in Washington, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at his side.
“The US plan is a political stunt that patently disregards international law and how the rights of Palestinians are recognized and protected under international law,” said Said Benarbia, the ICJ’s MENA Programme Director.
The ICJ emphasized that any claims of sovereignty by Israel over parts of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, based on this plan would be null, void and of no effect.
The text of the US plan inaccurately asserts that Israel has “valid legal and historical claims over the West Bank” and notes that “[t]he State of Israel and the United States do not believe the State of Israel is legally bound to provide the Palestinians with 100 percent of pre-1967 territory.”
This position runs counter to numerous applicable UN Security Council Resolutions, including Resolution 242, which required Israel’s complete withdrawal from the territory occupied in 1967.
“Any settlement to the conflict between Israel and Palestine must be consistent with international law, including international human rights law and international humanitarian law,” Benarbia added. “This requires negotiations on an equal footing between the parties, optimally with broad international engagement, not simply an intervention by a single State.”
Israeli settlements are established in violation of article 49(6) of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prohibits the Occupying Power from transferring its own population into the occupied territory.
Their eventual incorporation into Israel would amount to unlawful annexation, in contravention of the prohibition of territorial acquisition by force established by the UN Charter and international law.
The US plan posits that “Jerusalem will remain the sovereign capital of the State of Israel,” apportioning to the State of Palestine the areas of the city beyond the separation barrier. It also denies the right to return of Palestinian refugees.
Effectively making Israel’s occupation of parts of the West Bank permanent, the US plan further provides that Israel will maintain “overriding security responsibility for the State of Palestine” and that the West Bank and Gaza should be fully demilitarized.
Said Benarbia, Director of the ICJ Middle East and North Africa Programme, t: +41-22-979-3817; e: said.benarbia(a)icj.orgNews