Considering the recent developments in the Gaza Strip on October 7th as the starting point to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict disregards a long history of occupation, expulsion and systematic injustice and is the wrong path to understand the current deterioration. Doing so legitimises the targeting and killing of civilians and is a direct invitation for favouritism towards one narrative while ignoring the other.
The comprehensive and balanced perspective to the ongoing and recent events should be referred back to many years. It must begin from the emergence of the occupation, the flabbiness of the international community and the retraction from their obligations to serve a just and fair solution to the Palestinian issue based on international legitimacy and international law. Dealing only with limited events can produce frustration and insecurity, which deepens the prevailing sense of hopelessness and diminishes trust in the international community and human rights system.
Besieging the Gaza Strip over the past two decades combined with the international community’s ignorance of the demands for civilian protection have constituted the international community’s clear abandonment of all of its values. The Palestinian leadership's consistent appeals to the United Nations for international protection of the Palestinian population were utterly neglected. This neglection allowed further deterioration to occur. This led to a chronic state of frustration and anxiety, opening up a wide margin for the development of the current escalation and approaching a point of no return.
REFORM believes that threatening to suspend Palestinian development aid will only foster a growing sense of distrust in the international community. Such a perspective engenders an environment of polarisation, endangers Palestinian citizens' survival, well-being and safety and intensifies the vulnerability of marginalised and less fortunate populations, hindering their access to basic human needs.
Continuing the double standards that classify people on a coercive discriminatory basis encourages violence, ideologisation and extremism that will only lead to more violence. Therefore, we call for an end to these policies and a firm commitment to upholding international law for the benefit of humanity, its development and growth rather than creating wars and animosity between people.
REFORM not only advocates for meaningful and impactful international interventions to safeguard the lives of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and West Bank, including Jerusalem, but also urges the international community to address the underlying causes of the conflict. By focusing on these root causes, we can not only alleviate the immediate symptoms but also create an environment in which the international community can proactively respond to the Palestinians’ aspirations regarding their self-determination and the establishment of an independent democratic state.