İlknur Şebnem Öztemel -TDO- 01.06.2017 June 5 is the 50th anniversary of the last Arab-Israeli fighting, the Six Days War, in 1967. In the dawn of the anniversary, Israeli NGO Akevot, released unearthed documents detailing the legal and diplomatic debates in the post-war period which shows the mannered dovishness of Israel.
Researchers working in Akevot has spent thousands of hours over two years gaining access to declassified, often dog-eared, documents and building a digital record of them. Their aim is to ensure the primary sources of conflict decision-making remain accessible to researchers, diplomats, journalists and the wider public.
Israeli army seized 5,900 square km of the West Bank, the walled Old City of Jerusalem and more than two dozen Arab villages on the city's eastern flank. On other fronts, it conquered the Golan Heights from Syria, Sinai and the Gaza Strip from Egypt. Meanwhile, they had already focused on plans for illegal settlements to handle the unexpected seizure of the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and the 660,000 Palestinians living there.
Only a month after the end of the war, senior foreign ministry officers drafted a set of seven possibilities from establishing an independent, demilitarized Palestine with its capital as close as possible to Jerusalem to annexing the entire area or handing it over Jordan. Another policy is called as "the graduated solution" which is the one perhaps closest to what exists to this day: a plan to establish a Palestinian state only once there is a peace agreement between Israel and Arab nations.
Moreover, Theodor Meron who is a senior legal adviser to foreign ministry wrote his own position on settlements in critical 1967-1968 period. In a secret mail to prime minister Meron said Meron said: "My conclusion is that civilian settlement in the administered territories contravenes explicit provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention". He added "...any legal arguments that we shall try to find will not counteract the heavy international pressure that will be exerted upon us even by friendly countries which will base themselves on the Fourth Geneva Convention". Additionally, he requested to establish civilian and military camps to make the annexation legally justified. On the other hand, recently, he wrote in the American Journal of International Law regarding the growing perception in the international community on "individual Palestinians’ human rights, as well as their rights under the Fourth Geneva Convention, are being violated". He declined to respond the questions of reporters.
Israel try to defend its invasion on Palestinian territory citing historical, biblical and political links to the West Bank and East Jerusalem, as well as security considerations. Following it declared Jerusalem as its "indivisible and eternal capital".
Lior Yavne, founder and director of Akevot, said "One of the things we realized early on was that so many of the policies related to current day Israeli government activities in the occupied territories have roots going back to the very first year of occupation". He also stated, "Policies that were envisaged very early on, 1967 or 1968, serve government policies to this day".
Furthermore, Tom Segev, a leading Israeli historian and author of the book named “1967 - Israel, the War, and the Year that Transformed the Middle East", indicated "The Six-Day War actually never ended. The seventh day has lasted ever since for the last 50 years. And it is affecting both us and the Palestinians ... every day, every minute".
It is not a surprising thing for many people. It seems Israeli state policy is not centred to peace in the Middle East and Israeli military officers looking forward for an excuse to interfere any state that is located in the map of their so-called ‘’Promised land’’. Israel’s military intervention to Lebanon in 2006 may be presented as an example of it. Israeli officers are sure to have victory with their army’s exclusive technological power and sometimes by using unproportional force against other states and actors in the region.