It's time for Israel to accept that as an occupied people, Palestinians have a right to resist - in every way possible.
By Stanley L Cohen
July 21, 2017 "Information Clearing House" - Long ago, it was settled that resistance and even armed struggle against a colonial occupation force is not just recognised under international law but specifically endorsed.
In accordance with international humanitarian law, wars of national liberation have been expressly embraced, through the adoption of Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions of 1949 (pdf), as a protected and essential right of occupied people everywhere.
inding evolving vitality in humanitarian law, for decades the General Assembly of the United Nations (UNGA) - once described as the collective conscience of the world - has noted the right of peoples to self-determination, independence and human rights.
Indeed, as early as 1974, resolution 3314 of the UNGA prohibited states from "any military occupation, however temporary".
In relevant part, the resolution not only went on to affirm the right "to self-determination, freedom and independence [...] of peoples forcibly deprived of that right,[...] particularly peoples under colonial and racist regimes or other forms of alien domination" but noted the right of the occupied to "struggle ... and to seek and receive support" in that effort.
The term "armed struggle" was implied without precise definition in that resolution and many other early ones that upheld the right of indigenous persons to evict an occupier.
This imprecision was to change on December 3, 1982. At that time UNGA resolution 37/43 removed any doubt or debate over the lawful entitlement of occupied people to resist occupying forces by any and all lawful means. The resolution reaffirmed "the legitimacy of the struggle of peoples for independence, territorial integrity, national unity and liberation from colonial and foreign domination and foreign occupation by all available means, including armed struggle".
A palpable illusion
Though Israel has tried, time and time again, to recast the unambiguous intent of this precise resolution - and thus place its now half-century-long occupation in the West Bank and Gaza beyond its application - it is an effort worn thin to the point of palpable illusion by the exacting language of the declaration itself. In relevant part, section 21 of the resolution strongly condemned "the expansionist activities of Israel in the Middle East and the continual bombing of Palestinian civilians, which constitute a serious obstacle to the realization of the self-determination and independence of the Palestinian people".
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