Evaluate the role played by United Nations (UN) in the resolution of the Palestine Issue

Evaluate the role played by United Nations (UN) in the resolution of the Palestine Issue by Captain Imran Khan

Role played by the UN in the resolution of Palestine Issue | Daily Writeups and Opinions

The answer is solved by Captain Imran Khan on the given pattern, which Sir Syed Kazim Ali teaches to his students, who consistently score the maximum because of their attempting the questions.


The United Nations has made significant efforts in the negotiated peaceful settlement of the Palestine issue. However, it has failed to resolve it due to unnecessary external pressures mainly coming from the superpower United States. Therefore, the United Nations has to work independently, conscientiously, and efficiently to fulfil its given responsibility with just decisions to establish eternal peace in the region.

How did the Palestine Issue originate?

  • The unjust Partition of Palestine into two States in 1947
  • The establishment of an apartheid Jewish state among the Muslim nations
  • Multiple wars between the Arabs and Jews
  • The issue of the status of holy places in Palestine.

What role did the United Nations play in resolving the Palestine Issue?

  • Keeping the holy land- Jerusalem- under the international control
  • Protecting the rights of Palestine refugees apparently
  • Bringing peace agreements between Arab countries and Israel
  • Calling out Israeli Jews for illegal settlement in the Palestine Territories

Why has the United Nations failed to resolve the Palestine Issue Peacefully?

  • Non-sovereign international status of the United Nations.
  • The strong influence of external powers, especially US- on the UN
  • Unnecessary interference of superpowers in the region
  • Israel’s rebellious illegal settlements in the west bank and military interventions in Gaza

Critical Analysis


Answer to the Question


United Nations (UN) – a global organization to maintain international peace- has worked as a broker in Israel- Palestine Issue. In its efforts to achieve international peace, the UN has continued to conduct debates and resolutions on the issue. Since the partition of Palestine in 1947, UN General Assembly has passed around 293 resolutions to affirm equal human rights, protect Palestinian refugees from wars, and call out for the cessation of Israeli settlement activity in Palestine territory. Additionally, it has set the basic principles for a negotiated peaceful settlement- the land for peace formula- through resolutions 242 and 338 in 1967 and 1973, respectively. However, the UN’s role has not been very encouraging, mainly because of the unnecessary involvement of the United States that- being a veto power and a significant contributor to the UN – has always turned the decisions of the UN on its side. Since the US has employed its power always in favour of Israel and to the consternation of Palestine, the UN has not only failed to allay the genuine grievances of the Palestinians but has also remained miserably impotent to prevent Israeli atrocities against them. Moreover, Israel has remained to violate the resolutions made by the UN.

Consequently, despite its efforts to resolve the conflict, there have been four major wars in the region. Hence, the UN General Assembly has overall remained paralyzed as far as the Israel-Palestine issue is concerned. Nonetheless, it still has a significant role in affecting international laws in the region. Therefore, the only way the UN can help resolve the issue is to play its unbiased active role without any pressure to reinvigorate the peace in Palestine and all over the world.

How did the Palestine Issue originate?

After World War II, when the British failed to reconcile its conflicting promises made during the war to both the Arab and Jewish communities, it extricated itself from the situation, handing over the issue to the United Nations. As a result, the United Nations parted Palestine through UN Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP) under UN resolution 181 into an independent Jewish state and an independent Arab state- Israel, and Palestine, respectively. However, the partition was unjust. Arabs with more than 1.8 million population and eighty-five per cent of land possession and Jews with less than 484 thousand population and fifteen per cent of land possession were granted equal territory. Egypt, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Saudi Arabia requested that Palestine’s independence be recognized, but the notion was rejected as none of them was the direct representative of UNSCOP. Thus, an apartheid Jewish state was established in May 1948. Almost immediately, neighbouring Arab armies moved in to prevent the establishment of the Israeli state, and multiple wars continued to break down until 1967, including the Arab Israel war 1948, Suez Crisis 1956, and the Six days war 1967. The main epicentre for the successive wars and continued violence in the region has been the holy city of Jerusalem, having the holy place of all the three most prevalent religions of the world- Judaism, Islam, and Christianity. Thus, the state is more considered a conflict than the holy land.

What role did the United Nations play in resolving the Palestine Issue?

The declared objective of establishing the UN was to prevent conflicts among states and maintain peace in the world. However, it has to face daunting challenges in the face of multiple wars and conflicts still going on. One of such major conflicts is the Palestine Issue. Historically, the role of the UN regarding the Israel-Palestine conflict has not been very encouraging as far as the achievement of peace is concerned. However, it has endeavoured to settle the issue through multiple resolutions. Initially, at the time of independence, the UN managed to keep the holy city of Jerusalem under international control to keep both Muslims and Jews from the sacred lands’ conflict. Still, it aggravated the violence rather than resolving it. As a matter of fact, the only era when the UN could predominantly make an impact was the post-partition wars in the region. For instance, during the Arab-Israel war in 1948, the Security Council called upon all governments to issue a cease-fire order to their military forces through UN resolution 749. Likewise, it created UN emergency forces (UNEF) at the Egypt-Israel border to manage the crisis after the Suez War in 1956 and ensure peace in the region. Further, the UN general assembly has established a United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) to supplant solaces for Palestinian refugees of was. It also made its possible efforts to bring peace agreements between the Arab countries and Israel. Another important strategy made by the UN in paving the way for peace is deploring Israel’s policy of contravening human rights in occupied Palestine through the Commission on Human Rights and condemning the illegal settlements of Jews in Palestine’s land. Cutting it short, the UN has passed an enormous resolution to bring peace to the disputed region.

Why has the United Nations failed to resolve the Palestine Issue Peacefully?

Notwithstanding all the efforts of the United Nations, it has failed to maintain tranquillity in the Palestine territory. Its role has remained sidelined due to multiple reasons. Firstly, the United Nations is a non-sovereign body with clear non-democratic elements in the Security Council, which provides only five permanent members with veto power. Thus, the United States- being a veto power and a primary benefactor to the UN and its different agencies- has always been inclined towards Israel, subjugating the chagrin Palestinians. Further, it has continuously been Israel’s major financial, diplomatic, and military backer and kept Israel-Palestine diplomacy under its own control, making multiple agreements like Oslo Accord 1993 and Camp David Summit 2000 in the disputed territory without bothering to involve the UN. In addition to the US, the interference of other external powers, like France, Russia, and Britain, for their political and economic benefits has aggravated the situation. Backed by the world’s great powers- mainly the US- Israel has always disobeyed the UN policies without fear. Despite the restrictions on buying land and making settlements in the disputed territory, Israel has persisted to expand settlements in the West Bank and Golan Heights and military attacks in the Gaza region of Palestine. Hence, the UN needs to be more independent and strict in its actions if it wants to resolve the Palestine issue on a serious note.

Critical Analysis

Although the United Nations has remained preoccupied with the question of Palestine, it – being a puppet in the hand of its most significant contributor- the United States, has done almost nothing in resolving the Palestine issue, especially post Six-Day War resolution 242. The resolution was predominantly a call for the withdrawal of Israeli forces from the 1967 war occupied territories of Arabs. Consequently, even after seven decades of conflict, the Israel-Palestine peace has remained elusive. Hence, it is not wrong to say that the UN is the platform in which only the international concerns of the developed nations are addressed, not the issues of states like Kashmir and Palestine.


In a nutshell, the Palestine issue is as old as the United Nations. A newborn international organization has been trying to resolve conflict in the developing disputed land. Since the UN has adopted more than two hundred resolutions on the Palestine issue, no one can deny its efforts- even if submissive- in resolving the Palestine issue. However, no practical action has been taken to secure observance and implementation. Further, Israel has defied practically all the resolutions with unconditional support from the US. Hence, it is high time the UN must either uphold the Charter or use coercive means to resolve the issue with a rational approach to safeguard the rights of the Palestinians and create a free Palestinian State.

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