As we reflect on this historic November 29th, marking 76 years since the UN partition plan, the world must stand united in solidarity with the Palestinian people, recognising their inherent right to resist occupation and achieve self-determination. On this heartbreaking International Day of Solidarity for Palestinians, Broken Chalk not only amplifies its voice but passionately advocates for the union of the Palestinian people under one sovereign territory and for a harmonious resolution to the enduring 75-year Israeli-Palestinian conflict.On this day in 1947, the UN adopted the partition plan, carving out a vision for a Jewish state and a Palestinian state, with Jerusalem as an international zone “corpus separatum.” This historic decision laid the groundwork for a two-state solution based on the principles of equal rights and self-determination under the UN Charter in Article 1 (2).1
In the wake of recent events, Broken Chalk echoes UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ assertion that the October 7th attacks by Hamas “did not occur in a vacuum” and are intertwined with the 75-year struggle for self-determination and the resistance to Israeli occupation.2 Since Hamas’ recent attack on October 7th 2023, there have been over 12,000 civilians killed in the Gaza Strip, with over 5000 being children.3 “Gaza has become a graveyard for children”, speaks the UN Secretary-General Guterres.4
Broken Chalk asserts the importance of fostering political bipartisan dialogue in pursuing a lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Recognising the urgency of a two-state solution, we emphasise that the path to genuine self-determination for Palestinians must begin at the grassroots level. It is imperative that civil society be granted full autonomy to shape and forge its own states, free from external impositions. As we contemplate the long-term aspirations for Palestinian self-determination, it becomes clear that a pivotal step forward is the acknowledgement that Palestinians possess the agency to construct a model for their own state independently, free from external constraints imposed by Israel or the international community.
On this day, the 29th of November, it is imperative to passionately reassert the immediate need to uphold the commitment to a two-state solution, fostering an environment where both Palestinians and Israelis thrive with unbridled autonomy and sovereignty. A reunion of Palestinians residing in both the West Bank and Gaza must transcend mere consideration; it demands recognition as an enduring solution embedded within Israel’s policy commitments and the collective conscience of the international community. The existing division among Palestinians in these two territories not only hampers the realisation of Palestinian self-determination but also perpetuates the challenges posed by unlawful settlements in the West Bank and the apparent stagnation of the Palestinian Authority (PA).
While acknowledging Israel’s legitimate right to defend itself against a terrorist organisation wholly committed to dismantling the Jewish state, Broken Chalk emphasises the utmost importance of unwavering adherence to international law, with a specific focus on maintaining proportionality in response to security threats.5 In condemning the universally deplorable attack by Hamas, it is crucial to highlight the disparity in Israel’s approach. Palestinians in Gaza are experiencing collective punishment for the actions of Hamas, raising questions about the proportionality of Israel’s response. The methods employed by the Israeli Defense Forces appear incongruent with the target objectives, as the alarming ratio of casualties reveals a stark imbalance – for every Israeli civilian lost, 10 Palestinians have paid a devastating price.6 As we navigate this complex landscape, Broken Chalk advocates for a measured and proportionate approach that respects the principles of international law while safeguarding the rights and lives of all those affected by the conflict.
The recent attacks have dealt a significant blow to the prospects of a two-state solution, with reports suggesting Palestinians in Gaza facing displacement into Sinai, Egypt, amid ongoing negotiations.7 It is crucial to shed light on the challenges Gaza faces, where limited control over its territory, borders, and economy impedes its ability to exercise full autonomy. Broken Chalk condemns the reported relocation of Palestinians to Southern Gaza and urges all parties involved to prioritise the preservation of human rights and international law.8
In alignment with Broken Chalk’s mission to make education universal, we find the cataclysmic attack on the al-Fakhoora school, operated by the UNRWA, extremely deplorable. 9 Targeting educational institutions undermines the fundamental right to education for all and hampers the prospects for a brighter future for Palestinians. As children are the future of our world, the international community must do whatever is necessary to prevent attacks on refugee camps and schools and to prevent the further loss of life of innocent men, women, and children. We call for a prospective collaboration with other NGOs to make a fundraising campaign as an emergency aid for those affected in Gaza.
As we stand together in solidarity with Palestinians on this significant day, Broken Chalk calls on the international community to renew its commitment to a just and lasting resolution that respects the rights and aspirations of both Palestinians and Israelis. We call for an immediate ceasefire and a revision of the UN partition plan in which both sides uphold the right to self-determination.
Broken Chalk announces it to the public with due respect.
3 https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2023/11/18/israeli-air-strikes-kill-28-palestinians-in-southern-gaza#:~:text=Since October 7, more than,to about 2.3 million people.