For the past 75 years, the United Nations has attempted to resolve the issue between Israel and Palestine. In 1947, they made the effort to establish peace between the Arab and Jewish communities by dividing Palestinian into two separate territories, one for the Arabs and the other for the Jewish community. Their interference led to thousands of Palestinians losing their homes and lives. In 1948, after Israel claimed its independence, it entered a war with its Arab neighbors and claimed 77 percent of Palestinian territory. It is estimated that between 1947 and 1949, around 750,000 Palestinians were expelled from their land and forced to become refugees.
The terror and bloodshed continued in 1967 when Israeli forces occupied the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem. This time around, up to a million Palestinians became refugees. Concerned for the rising number of refugees and human rights abuses, the UN introduced a couple of Security Council resolutions that required the Israeli forces to withdraw from the occupied territories. Despite these official requests by the UN, the Israeli forces did not retreat. Instead, the UN found itself mediating between Israel and Lebanon after Israel invaded the latter in 1982. The war between Palestine and Israel was far from over and in 1987, there was an uprising within the occupied Palestinian territory against the Israeli forces. These protests and retaliations against Israel led to the loss of even more Palestinian lives, pressurizing the UN to hold peace talks in 1991.
In recent years, the UN has become more alarmed by Israel’s actions towards Palestine. In early May of 2021, Israel’s decision to evict Palestinian families generated protests and uproar from Palestinians and other nations around the globe. Israeli forces responded with violence, and a two-week war broke out between the Hamas and the Israeli army. This was documented not only by news sources, but also by users on social media, specifically on Tik Tok, who showed their audience the physical, emotional, and psychological damage done to their homes, their families and friends, their livelihoods. With global outcry and demands of ceasefire, the war ultimately came to a halt. More than 200 Palestinians were killed, around 1,900 of them wounded, and approximately 72,000 Palestinians were displaced.
Recently, on June 7, 2022, the first report by the UN Independent International Commission of Inquiry was released. This report indicated that Israel aims to have full control over Palestinian land, which would undoubtedly cause a major humanitarian crisis. Furthermore, it states that there is evidence to suggest that Israel will not end its occupation. Human rights commissioner Chris Sidoti says, “Israel clearly has no intention of ending the occupation. In fact, it has established clear policies to ensure complete permanent control over the Occupied Palestinian Territory. This includes altering the demography of these territories through the maintenance of a repressive environment for Palestinians and a favorable environment for Israeli settlers.”
The UN report also cites discrimination and the goal to occupy Palestine as reasons for the conflict. Additionally, the report reveals that Israel has violated international human rights laws and the laws and customs of the war. Israel has refused to take accountability for its actions. Just this May, Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was murdered by Israeli forces in the West Bank. And Israel’s response to the killing was cold and disheartening.
This 18-page report by the UN claims evidence of Israel’s intentions towards Palestine and its future. Alongside human rights organizations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, the UN is the third body to publicly accuse Israel of human rights abuse.