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According to Israel's Guide to the Mideast Peace Process, charges regarding the illegality of Israeli settlements in the 1967 Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) have no foundation in international law. Peace efforts between Israel and Palestine will have no chance of success as long as Israel uses its prolonged military occupation to promote and protect its annexation-in-disguise of the West Bank and East Jerusalem. John Dugard has passed on this hard truth consistently as Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the OPT. The international community should take the same hard line towards the Guide as it has done towards the Hamas Charter. If it wants to establish a just and lasting peace in the Middle East, it should not allow Israel to bend the truth any more in respect of the legality of the Israeli settlements in the OPT as Hamas has done in respect of the illegality of Israel.
The impartial and nearly unanimous advisory opinion by the International Court of Justice in the Wall case put the role of politics and diplomacy in the settlement of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict in its proper place, within the context of the rule of law. The significance of the opinion goes far beyond the illegality of the construction of the wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT). The Court wisely and courageously seized the opportunity of its first direct involvement in the conflict to speak in plain legal terms about the tricky political problems that have ruined the Israeli–Palestinian peace process. It ascertained the present responsibility of the United Nations to protect Palestine's statehood. It affirmed the applicability of the prohibition of acquisition of Palestinian territory by Israel and confirmed the illegality of the Israeli settlements in the OPT. Moreover, the existence of the Palestinian people as the rightful claimant to the OPT is no longer open to question. One may only regret that the UN was not able to ask the Court to throw light on the Palestinian question at a much earlier stage.
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