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GS Paper II –International Relations

Two-state solution remains ‘only way’ for Israel-Palestine peace, insists UN

What’s Happening-
The two-state solution remains “the only way” to meet the aspirations of the Palestinians and Israelis, the UN envoy for the West Asia peace process told the Security Council

Key Points discussed were:

  • The council met to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian conflict a day after President Donald Trump stepped back from the U.S. commitment to a two-state solution as part of a final peace deal.

Absence of clear strategy:

  • “The two-state solution remains the only way to achieve the legitimate national aspirations of both peoples,” Nickolay Mladenov told the council. “Some may hold the illusion that the conflict can be ‘managed’ indefinitely,” Mr. Mladenov said. “That the absence of a clear strategy to advance peace is a strategy in itself.”

The envoy urged Us New Leadership:

  • Israeli and Palestinian leaders to “carefully contemplate the future”, which he warned could be one “built on perpetual conflict, rising extremism and occupation”.
  • Mr. Trump announced that the U.S. would not insist on a two-state solution to the conflict, in a break from Washington’s decades-old policy and from the international consensus on the peace process.
  • Mr. Trump’s comments have triggered sharp responses from Muslim countries and organisations.
  • Hassan Nasrallah, Secretary General of Hezbollah, the Lebanese militant group, says the remarks made by Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Trump mark the end of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

Background-
The two-state solution refers to a solution of the  which calls for “two states for two groups of people.
” The two-state solution envisages an independent  alongside the , west of the .
The boundary between the two states is still subject to dispute and negotiation.
The territory of the former Mandate Palestine which shall not form part of the Palestinian State, shall be part of Israeli territory.
The framework of the solution is set out in UN resolutions on the “Peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine”, going back to 1974
There have been many  to realize a two state solution, starting from the 1991 ,1993  and the failed  , Taba negotiations in early 2001.
In 2002, the Arab League proposed the .
The latest initiative, which also failed, was the .

Sources- The Indian Express, The Hindu, MEA.

GS Paper II  Indian Constitution- amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.

Story of a controversial ordinance

What’s Happening-

  • The Enemy Property (Amendment and Validation) Ordinance has been promulgated many times

Key Points discussed were:

  • The recent promulgation of the Enemy Property (Amendment and Validation) Ordinance saw some controversy as it was the fifth time that the law was being introduced through the ordinance route.
  • President Pranab Mukherjee approved it although he had reservations about its repeated re-promulgation.
  • The Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha in March 2016, but the Rajya Sabha sent it to a Select Committee.

Background:

  • After the wars against China in 1962 and Pakistan in 1965 and 1971, property belonging to the nationals of these two countries was taken over by the Union government under the Defence of India Acts.
  • Later, the Enemy Property Act, 1968 was passed to vest all such immovable and movable property in a ‘Custodian’.
  • The son of a person whose property in India had been taken over after he emigrated to Pakistan wanted it to be returned to him on the ground that he (the son and legal heir) was a citizen of India, and the property concerned was no more enemy property after his father’s death.
  • After years of litigation, the Supreme Court ruled in 2005 that the Custodian did not have any title to the property and was only a trustee managing it.
  • This ruling meant that legal heirs of erstwhile owners of enemy property, if they were Indian citizens, could get it back. The Centre promulgated an ordinance in 2010 to get over the implications of the judgment so that valuable property, numbering in thousands and worth thousands of crores of rupees, would continue to be with the Custodian.
  • The ordinance lapsed then, and was issued afresh in January 2016. Since then, it has been issued again repeatedly.
  • Six members of the Select Committee have recorded their dissent in its report. They opposed the declaration of Indian legal heirs of enemies as enemies too, the bar on their inheriting the property, the vesting of the title in the Custodian.

Sources- The Indian Express, The Hindu. Page 12