“Deal of the century” broke: will there be a new conflict in the middle East

Israel slowed down planned for the beginning of July the annexation of the West Bank

July 1, 2020 Israel in the framework of the “deal of the century” was scheduled to begin the annexation of the West Bank of the Jordan river. The date was announced by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ahead of time. It has been prepared for the Israelis. It has been prepared for the Palestinians, who refused to go to the settlement of the conflict according to the plan, trump’s Netanyahu. It has been prepared for the world that has not recognized the unilateral (that is, without the participation of the Palestinians) agreement. At the last moment tel Aviv slowed down with annexation. Why, for how long, and most importantly, what will happen if Israel will undertake the implementation of the “deal of the century” – understood the website Today.

“Deal of the century”


To find out who has more historic rights to the disputed territory of the West Bank and Jerusalem – it is arduous even for historians. The Palestinians bring their own valid arguments. The Israelis – their own good. Under the existing international law, the West Bank is territory occupied by Israel. This status is assigned to the West Bank by a UN resolution in 1967, after he repeatedly confirmed/mentioned in other documents of the United Nations. The vote of Ukraine during one of these resolutions in 2016 even caused a minor international incident between the two countries. By the way, the vast majority of countries (Ukraine in particular) does not recognize the status of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

The logic of this position of the world community based on those same international agreements. A significant part of the West Bank, according to the UN plan of 1947, was ceded to the Arab state.

Западный Берег реки Иордан  – территория изначально международными договоренностями предназначенная для создания государства Палестина

The West Bank of the Jordan river – the territory of international agreements initially intended to create Palestinian state


Soon, however, the land was occupied by Jordan (which also led the “iron” arguments about “native Jordanian land”). Then took them to Israel. In General, war and intifada for a piece (the territory of the West Bank one and a half times less than the territory of the small region of Ukraine – Chernivtsi) is not the most fertile land in the world were conducted over many decades. Abated (temporarily and relatively) only in the early nineties of the last century. When the leaders of Israel and Palestine Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat under the supervision and with the active assistance of the United States began to negotiate. Then the Oslo agreements were signed, which even today are considered the world key to start resolve the conflict. The parties had to make significant concessions (for example, Israel agreed to the establishment of the Palestinian national authority, the Palestine liberation Organization recognized the right of Israel to exist, etc). And, although the arrangements have not worked in full, is today referred to by the international community, denying the plan of trump in recognition.

“Why the agreement in Oslo was a breakthrough? Because thanks to them, the Arab world recognized Israel’s right to exist. And it provided though shaky, but still balance in the region and hope for a final peace settlement. Now that Palestine said that they can get out of any agreements, this means that the situation is reset. This opens up a Pandora’s box for the resumption of the Arab-Israeli confrontation,” – said in comments to the website “Today” head of the Center for military and legal researches of Alexander Musienko.

Annexation is occupation

According to the agreements in Oslo, the West Bank was divided into areas managed by either the Israeli side or the Palestinian or together. According to the plan of trump, a considerable part of the territory that today is controlled by Israel, had to move to that state. There is a caveat: de jure, these areas are now considered occupied tel Aviv. With all its international law implications. The fact that international law is rather strictly defines the “limits” to occupants. In numerous legal acts issued requirements to comply with human rights, the protection of civilians and so on. De jure in the occupied territories should be governed by the laws of the occupied state. Under the fourth Geneva Convention, the occupying state cannot move to the occupied territory part of its own civilian population (and, therefore, Israeli settlements are illegal).

Plan trump proposed the actual legalization of the existing status quo. And, by and large, he had some chances of success (also managed to Washington in the 90 to turn “incredible” the Oslo accords). But only if the current us President would be a diplomat. But the style of the tramp in international politics, as has already managed to make a lot of allies and opponents to the US – to “push” the necessary decisions. With the Palestinians failed.

"Сделка века". Так после ее реализации должна, по задумке авторов, выглядеть территория Палестины (на карте отмечена зеленым цветом). На территории Западного берега "легализуются" израильские поселения. Столица Израиля – Иерусалим

“Deal of the century”. So after its implementation should, according to the authors, to look the territory of Palestine (on the map marked in green). On the territory of the West Bank “legalized” Israeli settlements. The Capital Of Israel – Jerusalem


In order to say “no”, the Palestinians had a few hours studying the plan. The European Union adopted a document with optimistic caution, after the Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas took the right, from the point of view of international law, a position that any plan can be implemented in the case of the consent of both parties. And absolutely do not do that unilaterally. Because in this case, it blamed international law, the occupation will change in principle unacceptable annexation.

Israel is ready to act

However, Israel, which for the sake of a “deal of the century” concessions, was ready to implement a plan to trump it unilaterally. Netanyahu and part of the establishment see a historic chance for the state to cut the “Gordian knot” of problems in the region. The logic of action is this: we take what we are entitled to under the plan (and not more), and allow the Palestinians to take what is supposed to them. The implementation of a spur of the moment.

Israel for decades has repeatedly made concessions in the settlement of the conflict, repeatedly voluntarily left the conquered territories, in 2005, led from Gaza into its own settlement in the framework of the plan for “unilateral disengagement”, etc.

“Israel very often, as for me, unjustly accused of aggression against the Arab world. Forgetting that state all the territories that were captured in wars, in the end voluntarily left. Remember the Sinai Peninsula, remember Lebanon, many other territories – Israel coming out for the sake of the peace process,” – said in comments to the website “Today” Alexander Musienko.

Moreover, all these “steps forward”, as a rule, did not cause the response of Palestinians and terrorist organizations was perceived as a weakness. Again, for tel Aviv the question of control over these territories is primarily a question of security. But on the other hand, the same agreement in Oslo showed that progress in settlement could be achieved through negotiation. It takes time and the right approach.

Why Israel and the United States retreated

Whatever it was, July 1, Israel planned to start the implementation of the “deal of the century” unilaterally. That, by the standards of international law, called annexation. However, this did not happen.

“Israel and the us have not yet made a final decision. The process was launched. But in some time they gave the brakes. First, in the United States and Israel understand that such annexation could have unpredictable consequences in the Palestinian territories. The Palestinians can, for example, to start a new intifada, making the life of Israel is quite complicated,” – said in comments to the website “Today” expert on international policy and the Middle East the analytical center “Ukrainian Institute for the future” Iliya Kusa.


According to him, in the United States initially was not unity on this issue.

“The deal has been lobbied by certain people, Pro-Israel politicians. And by Donald trump, who believed in the success of it all. But much of the establishment does not accept this deal, they don’t understand why it is needed now, and I think that it is dangerous. Now between these two groups resumed fighting, and Israel the “green light” do not give” – said Ilya Kusa.

In addition, according to the expert, to the position of the United States influenced the election. The team trump thought about the fact that among his base voters, there are large groups who do not approve of the annexation – the Jewish community, Evangelical Christians. Consequently, on the eve of elections trump can lose this electorate.

“Of course, Israel is no visual signal US to start anything not. The annexation is in itself a violation of international law. And when you have no support for a major ally, and you risk falling into international isolation, who’s it going?” – says Iliya Kusa.

Finally, according to him, in Israel itself there is no unity on this issue.

“Partners in Netanyahu’s coalition do not agree with the plan to Annex 30% of the West Bank and the Jordan valley. Tending to the fact that if we talk about the annexation is to Annex only a small part of the territory, maximum stretching in this process. Many do not understand, why rush to annexation, and if so a lot of problems: coronavirus, Economics and so on. Aside from the potential isolation annexation nothing Israel does not. By and large, it is interesting only to a narrow circle of persons. the Majority fears that the annexation would threaten the stability and security of the state. That cornered the Palestinians to take up arms,” says Iliya Kusa.

The world is against

A role in the fact that the question of annexation was pending, probably played a tough international reaction. So, while a representative of the American delegation in Jerusalem, decided together with the Israelis what to do on 1 July, his opinion on this occasion Israel was quick to bring a number of world leaders. In particular, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in an article for an Israeli newspaper noted that the annexation would be a violation of international law. And that “deal of the century” is not the long-term interests of Israel.

The UN high Commissioner for human rights Michelle Bachelet in a special statement noted that the exact consequences of the annexation it is impossible to predict. However, in her opinion, they can be catastrophic for the entire region.

High representative of the European Union for foreign Affairs and security policy, Among Borrell noted that the annexation of the West Bank is unacceptable, because it contradicts the norms of international law. According to him, unilateral steps of Israel “will affect the current close ties between tel Aviv and the EU.” Urged Israel to refrain from annexing France and Germany.

The great war will not

However, confidence in the fact that Israel has abandoned plans of annexation in General, and not at the time, no. As further steps the Israelis.

“It’s hard to imagine how events will unfold tomorrow or in a week. You need to follow. I do not exclude that if there will be annexation, then a small part. Nevertheless it can cause a strong reaction from the Palestinians. The implementation of the “deal” unilaterally breaking the agreements reached in Oslo. The Palestinians in this case, I can say that refusing to conduct any negotiations. In General, this will be the point of no return,” says Iliya Kusa.

Фото: REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa//Mohammed Salem

Photo: REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa//Mohammed Salem

In turn, Oleksandr Musienko noted that, in his opinion, Israel it would be much better to go to the new negotiations.

“Given how much has been spent by generations of politicians, including the us, to resolve the conflict, I think the current decisions of the leadership of Israel and the US short-sighted. The only correct solution would be to talk about a new round of negotiations. And I’m inclined to think that Israel will go to them. And the current maneuvers – not that other, as attempt to obtain the best conditions for these negotiations. The main thing is not to cross the line beyond which war,” – said the expert.

If still in the West Bank, “flash”, the experts almost exclude serious involvement in the conflict of neighbouring States, which could significantly destabilize the situation in the region affect oil prices and so on.

“The most that can go Jordan to break the peace Treaty with Israel. To declare and fight a war they have no resources. Will follow the lead of the European Union to try to stop Israel by diplomatic means. Turkey and Iran support the Palestinians, but I can’t tell you how much they are willing to intervene directly. If there is a big conflict maybe Iran will help the Palestinians with weapons and finances. Turkey is unlikely – it is more profitable to negotiate with Israel. In any case, no Arab anti-Israel coalition that is ready to go to war with Israel over Palestine, today. All this remained in the past. But in General it will depend on how the conflict will develop, and its scale,” says Ilya Kusa.

According to Alexander Musienko, even in the case of the annexation of the West Bank and an armed Palestinian-Israeli conflict, “Arab intifada” against Israel will not.

“Turkey can support moral statements. Despite the rhetoric, they will focus on the US position. Iran, of course, can support the Palestinians, but also, I think, rather, symbolic. But in General, such unification of the Arab world, which was when the Arabs fought against Israel in the last century, will not. Most of the Arab countries support the peace with Israel. And everyone knows that a new global confrontation is a return to the past is a dead end,” – summed up Oleksandr Musienko.

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