Yousef Zahran
Year 24
Month 06
Day 07
Legal Analysis of Israeli settlement

Announcement of Palestine as the promised land of the Jews and launching a massive campaign of transferring them from around the world to the Palestinian territories in the years that followed the Second World War laid the foundation of one of the century's longest and most controversial disputes in international stage to date.

The Israelis under a series of excuses have been forcing the Palestinians out of their houses and seizing their lands. The seized Palestinian lands are reshaped into settlement units for the incoming Jews. A wide circle of countries and international organizations have protested the Israeli settlement projects on the Palestinian territories only to be responded to by Tel Aviv’s disregard of calls for construction cessation and international resolutions, and pressing forward with own plans.

 

 

When Israel captured the West Bank in the 1967 Six-Day War, no Israeli citizens had lived in the territory for nearly two decades, since an earlier war. But in 1968, a small group of religious Jews rented rooms at the Park Hotel in Hebron for Passover, saying they wanted to be near the Tomb of the Patriarchs, one of the holiest sites in Judaism (as well as Islam and Christianity).

The Israeli government reluctantly allowed them to stay "temporarily." From that beginning, hundreds of thousands of Israeli Jews now reside in the West Bank, citing religion, history and Israel's security among their false justifications for being there.

 

Israeli settlements in International law
The international community considers the establishment of Israeli settlements in the Israeli-occupied territories illegal under international law, because the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 prohibits countries from moving population into territories occupied in a war. The United Nations Security Council, the United Nations General Assembly, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the International Court of Justice and the High Contracting Parties to the Convention have all affirmed that the Fourth Geneva Convention does apply.

Numerous UN resolutions have stated that the building and existence of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights are a violation of international law, including UN Security Council resolutions in 1979, 1980, and 2016. UN Security Council Resolution 446 refers to the Fourth Geneva Convention as the applicable international legal instrument, and calls upon Israel to desist from transferring its own population into the territories or changing their demographic makeup. The reconvened Conference of the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions has declared the settlements illegal as has the primary judicial organ of the UN, the International Court of Justice and the International Committee of the Red Cross.

 

 

Tel Aviv has never respected these resolutions and international laws. In fact, during all these years the Israeli regime has turned a deaf ear to the pro-deal Palestinian and Arab sides whose most important demand and condition for peace is Tel Aviv’s halt of occupation of further Palestinian lands.

On the other side, the US vetoing of anti-Israeli United Nations Security Council's resolutions has strongly emboldened the regime’s leaders to press ahead with their breach of international law. Perhaps the US decline to block the non-binding UN resolution that criticized the Israeli settlements in December 2016, a month before the Barack Obama administration left the White House, marked a turning point in the international consensus against the Israeli abuses against the Palestinians' rights.


United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334
United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334 was adopted on 23 December 2016. It concerns the Israeli settlements in "Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem". The resolution passed in a 14–0 vote by members of the U.N. Security Council (UNSC). Four members with United Nations Security Council veto power, China, France, Russia, and the United Kingdom, voted for the resolution, whereas, the United States abstained.

The resolution states that Israel's settlement activity constitutes a "flagrant violation" of international law and has "no legal validity". It demands that Israel stop such activity and fulfill its obligations as an occupying power under the Fourth Geneva Convention.

 

 

It was the first UNSC resolution to pass regarding Israel and the Palestine territories since 2009, and the first to address the issue of Israeli settlements with such specificity since Resolution 465 in 1980. While the resolution did not include any sanction or coercive measure and was adopted under non-binding Chapter VI of the United Nations Charter, Israeli newspaper Haaretz stated it "may have serious ramifications for Israel in general and specifically for the settlement enterprise" in the medium-to-long term.

The resolution condemns "all measures aimed at altering the demographic composition, character and status of the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem." It lists among those measures "the construction and expansion of settlements, transfer of Israeli settlers, confiscation of land, demolition of homes and displacement of Palestinian civilians, in violation of international humanitarian law and relevant resolutions."


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