The failure of mediation in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: historical junctures

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This article is featured in Orient I/2024.

In this essay, I examine three historical junctures in the failure of formal mediation in the Israeli- Palestinian conflict. The three historical junctures involve the United Nations partition plan in 1947, the autonomy framework of the Israeli-egyptian Camp David Accords in the late 1970s and the Madrid-Oslo negotiations in the 1990s. The essay ends with some reflections on future engagement in formal mediation at the policy and practice levels. Based on this historical and analytical overview, I clearly indicate that any effective mediation and future conflict resolution process must facilitate coherently and genuinely the implementation of the Palestinian right to self-determination beyond permanent occupation and oppressive autonomy. I also demonstrate through analysis and historical experience that any conclusive settlement in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict must be based on sustainable peace, equality and justice.

Yaser Alashqar is lecturer in the school of law at Independent College in Dublin and a visiting professor in World Heritage studies at University College Dublin in Ireland. His teaching and research focus on law and dispute resolution, including mediation, negotiation and arbitration. His academic and research interests also involve conflict, heritage and Israeli-Palestinian issues. He holds a PhD in Peace and Conflict studies from Trinity College Dublin, and his recent published research includes Civil Society and Peacebuilding: Critical Review (2022) and Heritage in the Israeli–Palestinian Conflict: Sociopolitical Perspective (2022). He continues to work on training and research projects with european universities, government institutions and international organisations. He is also an academic member of the Centre for Palestine studies at the University of london and a frequent media commentator on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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