Samar Assad

Iraq Study Group: No Military Solution to the Palestine Question

In its 6 December report, The Iraq Study Group made three important points regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: 1) there is no military solution to the conflict; 2) UN Resolutions 242 and 338 and the principle of “land for peace” is the only way to achieve peace; 3) hold unconditional meetings to resume negotiations. The group also stressed the importance of an engaged U.S. administration in political negotiations based on a two-state solution. While these recommendations are on target and the significance of the messenger should not be dismissed, the message is not new. Palestinians have long reiterated these points. 

The Demographic and Economic War against Palestinians

When Israel launched its demographic war against Palestinians in 1947, it was carried out through military tactics that were difficult to conceal from the international community. The unresolved result of that war can be seen in refugee camps all over the Arab world. According to U.N. figures, between 1947 and 1949 Zionist military forces forcibly expelled or caused to flee approximately 800,000 Palestinians (amounting to 75 percent of the Arab population of what became Israel). In 1967, more than 200,000 Palestinians fled their homes in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Since 1967, Israel has continued its demographic war but the tactics have become obscured through the use of so-called legal and political criteria. 

Information brief: History of Israeli-Arab prisoner exchanges

Arrangements for prisoner exchanges between Arab governments and Israel date back to 1948. During the early 1980s, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and Israel exchanged prisoners, the most famous of which is known as the “Jibril Deal” in May 1985. Through third-party negotiations, Israel and Hizballah carried out three prisoner exchanges starting in 1996. Attempts to secure the release of Palestinian political prisoners through negotiations often failed because Israel regularly suspended talks over prisoners or renegotiated established criteria for their release.