The Palestinian-Israeli conflict has never been economic, America

The apparent failure of the ongoing secret Palestinian-Israeli talks appears to have led their US sponsors to put more emphasis on economic issues. A three-year plan has been drawn up by the US peace delegation working through the offices of the Quartet, still nominally headed by former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair.

US emphasis on economic issues is not solely due to the “failure of peace talks”. As a matter of fact, it’s a deliberate attempt to divert attention from the real nature of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict: political, legal and humanitarian. It has never been economic.

That said, it should be emphasized that only Israel, the occupying Power, is responsible for economic, social and development issues in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. And as long as Palestinians live under occupation, Israel has a duty to provide them with all kinds of services. Only Israel should bear the cost.

This duty derives from Article 43 of the Regulations concerning the Laws and Customs of War on Land annexed to The Hague Convention (IV) respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land of 1907, which provides: “The authority of the legitimate power having in fact passed into the hands of the occupant, the latter shall take all the measures in his power to restore, and ensure, as far as possible, public order and safety…”