BY Motasem A Dalloul
The international community has a legal obligation to help the Palestinian resistance, including Hamas to end the Israeli occupation of Palestine because it is a clear and flagrant violation of the international law.
During the British occupation of Palestine, which started in 1922, the British government facilitated the travel of Jews and Zionists from all corners of the world to Palestine, helped them, gave them military training and armed them. At the same time, the British occupation worked hard to disarm the Palestinians as they went far in this to the extent that a Palestinian would have a six-month prison sentence for owning a knife, while Jews and Zionists had high-tech weaponry.
Jews and Zionists established closed communities, which they called kibbutzim. However, in fact, they were cores for Jewish and Zionist settlements. These settlements, which were protected by the government of the British occupation, expanded and swallowed huge swathes of the Palestinian land and this expansion reached the holy sites, including Al-Aqsa Mosque. This triggered several clashes with the Palestinians, the indigenous residents of Palestine. After such clashes, the government of the British occupation would sentence the Palestinians to death, while the Jews and Zionists sent free.
In 1948, the government of the British occupation handed over the land of Palestine and all the weapons stockpile, including tanks, artilleries and automatic gun machines to the Jewish and Zionist gangs, who carried out massacres, slaughtered thousands of unarmed Palestinians and drove more than 800,000 of them out of their homes, villages and cities. They destroyed more than 555 Palestinian villages, towns and cities. The leaders of the Zionist Jewish gangs announced the creation of the state of Israel on the bones and skulls of the indigenous residents of the land. All this happened before the eyes of the international community, who has been, since then, condemning the actions and aggression of the Zionist state and at the same time putting pressure on the Palestinians to remain silent and accept the new oppressive reality.
Trying to defend themselves and regain their rights, the Palestinians raised their guns and started fighting the Zionist Israeli occupation. However, the international community interfered several times and the UN General Assembly, as well as the UN Security Council have taken hundreds of resolutions against the Israeli occupation in supporting the Palestinians rights. But none of the resolutions of the international bodies has ever been implemented. The Israeli occupation state has always been ignoring these resolutions and most of the times labelling them anti-Semite. This continued until the Israeli occupation dominated most of the Palestinian land and put severe restrictions on the movement, work, education and many other walks of life of the Palestinians.
Therefore, based on the right enshrined in the international law, the Palestinians, mostly refugees in concentration camps in occupied Palestine and other Arab states, decided to restart their resistance against the oppressive Zionist Israeli occupation in 1987. The trigger, which ignited the wave of the popular Palestinian resistance that year, was the murder of six Palestinian workers by an Israeli Jewish settler in Gaza on December 7. The next day, thousands of Palestinians in Gaza took to the streets to participate in the funerals, which turned to protests against the Israeli occupation and expanded to the occupied West Bank. On December 14, a group of Palestinian refugees, who were forced out of their homes by the Zionist Jewish gangs in 1948 and lost many of their relatives, announced the creation of the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement Hamas.
This movement started leading and organising the popular protests against the Zionist Israeli occupation, which rejected the protests and violently cracked down on them. The late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir and his successor Yitzhak Rabin adopted clearly violent crackdown against the Palestinian protests, leading to the death of hundreds of Palestinians and injuring thousands. They carried out massacres, demolished villages and homes and closed universities and schools. Therefore, based on the right enshrined on the international law, Hamas and the other Palestinian resistance groups were compelled to go with the armed resistance, which hurt the Zionist Israeli occupation but accelerated peace talks with the Palestinian Liberation Organisation that had contact with the Zionist Israeli occupation through an American mediation, since the early 1970s.
In September 1993, the Oslo Peace Accords were announced. They were called the announcement of principles that stipulated the creation of the Palestinian Authority (PA) to run about 40 per cent of the Palestinian lands occupied in 1967. They also stipulated the creation of a Palestinian state in 1998. However, no real PA ruling and or Palestinian state has ever been created. The Palestinians carried out a series of resistance operations between 1993 and 1998 to put pressure on the Zionist Israeli occupation in order to stick to its obligations stipulated in the Oslo Accords, but they saw nothing, with exception to an Israeli procrastination. In 2000, the late Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon raided Al-Aqsa Mosque, triggering a second wave of resistance.
Unlike the previous resistance waves, this one was armed and Hamas was the core of this armed resistance. Due to the severe restrictions imposed by the Israeli occupation, the Arab states and the West, Hamas was unable to get developed weapons to stand up against the occupation which uses the most modern and developed weapons. Therefore, it started making and developing its own weapons, which has become more effective day by day, pushing the Israeli occupation to unliterally leave the Gaza Strip. The Israeli occupation considered Hamas as a terrorist organisation and called its acts of resistance terrorism. The occupation put pressure on most of the world countries to blacklist Hamas, and they actually did. All this did not stop Hamas or end its resistance, however.
Hamas leaders and members are part of the Palestinians and most of them are refugees. They believe in their right to return to their homes where they were driven out of in 1948. So that, they do not intent to surrender, lest they go through the same failed experience of the PLO –lay their arms and sit for peace talks. Hamas insists that it could start peace talks, but it does not think of laying down its arms, only used to liberate Palestine and defend the Palestinians. Hamas founder Sheikh Ahmad Yassin has proposed a long-term truce on condition of an Israeli withdrawal from the Palestinian land occupied in 1967.
Regarding Hamas’s resistance, Richard Falk, the UN Special Rapporteur on Palestinian Human Rights, said: “In international law, Palestinian resistance to occupation is a legally protected right…Israel’s failures to abide by international law, as a belligerent occupant, amounted to a fundamental denial of the right of self-determination, and more generally of respect for the framework of belligerent occupation — giving rise to a Palestinian right of resistance. It's time for Israel to accept that as an occupied people, Palestinians have a right to resist - in every way possible.”
If the Palestinian resistance is considered acts of terror, what can we call the French Revolution and the wars of liberation in the 1950′s and 1960′s? Can we call Nelson Mandela, who resisted the apartheid repression a hero? What can we call the Warsaw Ghetto uprising by the Jewish population against the Nazi repression? There are many similar questions could arise out of this cynicism!
The international law unambiguously endorses “armed struggle” for peoples who seek self-determination under “colonial and foreign domination.”
UN resolution 37/43, dated December 3, 1982, “reaffirms 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.”
Moreover, the resolution’s preamble makes it clear and refers not hypothetically in the abstract, but rather specifically to the rights of Palestinians, stating, “Considering that the denial of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people to self-determination, sovereignty, independence and return to Palestine and the repeated acts of aggression by Israel against the peoples of the region constitute a serious threat to international peace and security.”
So that, resistance by Hamas and all the other Palestinian resistance factions could not be labelled as acts of terror and thus Hamas members and leaders, as well as members and leaders of the other Palestinian resistance factions could not be labelled as terrorists. However, the Israeli occupation state is illegal and its aggression against the Palestinians are considered acts of terror and the international community is obligated by the international law to help the Palestinians get rid of the Israeli occupation, not to help the Zionist Israeli occupation get rid of the Palestinians.