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Qumran Caves

The Israeli-occupied territories are the territories captured by Israel from Egypt, Jordan, and Syria during the Six-Day War of 1967, consisting of the West Bank and East Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip and the Golan Heights, and, until 1982, the Sinai Peninsula. The United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 242 following the war in 1967, which called for "the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East" to be achieved by "the application of both the following principles: ... Withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict ... Termination of all claims or states of belligerency" and respect for the right of every state in the area to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries.

Israel returned the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt in 1982, as part of the 1979 Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty. Although Israel unilaterally disengaged from Gaza in September 2005, it has held the territory under an embargo at various times since June 2007 and is considered the occupying power in the Gaza Strip by the United Nations, the United States, the United Kingdom and various human rights organizations. Israel is considered the current occupying power of the Golan Heights, the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.

Contents

Overview

Following the capture by Israel of these territories, settlements of Israelis were established within each of them. The West Bank and the Golan Heights are strategically significant to Israel, in part because they provide a significant portion of Israel's water resources, the former from its underground aquifer, and the latter for containing many of the headwaters of the Jordan River. Both of these territories also contain highlands that overlook a large part of Israel, and provide more readily defensible positions from threats. The West Bank also contains many of the most important religious and historic sites of the Land of Israel.

Specific territories

The Sinai Peninsula

The Sinai Peninsula is a sparsely populated territory between the Suez Canal and the Gulf of Aqaba. Israel first captured the Sinai, along with the Gaza Strip, during the 1956 Suez Campaign. Israel's invasion of the Sinai was coordinated with France and the United Kingdom's seizure of the Suez Canal. Pressure from the Soviet Union and the United States forced Israel to withdraw from both the Sinai and Gaza the next year.

After re-capturing the Sinai in the 1967 Six Day War, Israel began establishing settlements along the Gulf of Aqaba, and in the northeast portion, just below the Gaza Strip, with plans to expand the settlement of Yamit into a city with a population of 200,000.[1] The actual population of Yamit, however, never exceeded 3,000.[2] The Sinai Peninsula was returned to Egypt beginning in 1979 under the Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty following the 1978 Camp David Accords. Israel completed its withdrawal, including the dismantling of eighteen settlements, two air force bases, a naval base, and other installations in 1982. The returned territory included the only oil resources under Israeli control.

Israeli Security Zone

See also Israeli Security Zone and South Lebanon Army

From 1982 to 2000 Israel occupied the southern part of Lebanon. During that time Hezbollah rocket brigades were kept out of range of major Israeli cities. Since the 2000 withdrawal, Hezbollah has been able to launch rockets hitting targets as far south as Hadera during the 2006 Lebanon War.

The West Bank and the Gaza Strip

See also: Political status of the West Bank and Gaza Strip

Map of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, 2007

Jointly often referred to as the Palestinian territories, or as "Ha-Shetachim" (The Territories) or Yesha —an acronym for YEhuda, SHomron, v'Aza, the Hebrew names of the territories. Both of these territories were part of former British Mandate of Palestine, and both have populations consisting primarily of Arab Palestinians, including historic residents of the territories and refugees who fled their homes in the territory that became Israel after the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. Around 300,000 Israeli settlers also live in the West Bank (Not including a further 200,000 in East Jerusalem and a further 50,000 in the former Israeli-Jordanian no-man's land). Both territories were allotted to the Arab state under United Nations Partition Plan of 1947, but the West Bank was occupied by Jordan and the Gaza Strip was occupied by Egypt after the 1948 war. In 1950, Jordan annexed the West Bank, but this was recognized only by the United Kingdom. (see 1949 Armistice Agreements, Green Line)

The Mountain Aquifer, from which Israel draws over a third of its fresh water resources, has 83% of its recharge area located in the West Bank.[3] The portion of the Coastal Aquifer that lies in the Gaza Strip has been overexploited for many years, and its water —Gaza's only significant source of fresh water— has become brackish and of limited use due to infiltration of sea water.

From their occupation in 1967 until 1993, the majority of people living in these territories —those who are not Israeli citizens — were subject to Israeli military administration without Israeli citizenship, including the right to vote in Israeli elections. Israel retained the mukhtar (mayoral) system of government inherited from Jordan, and subsequent governments began developing infrastructure in Arab villages under its control. (see Palestinians and Israeli law, International legal issues of the conflict, Palestinian economy)

Since the Israel-Palestine letters of recognition of 1993, most of the Palestinian population and cities have been under the internal jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority, and only partial Israeli military control, although Israel has frequently redeployed its troops and reinstated full military administration in various parts of the two territories.

In 2000 the Israeli government started to construct the Israeli West Bank barrier, separating Israel and several of its settlements, as well as a significant number of Palestinians, from the remainder of the West Bank. In 2004, the International Court of Justice issued an advisory opinion stating that the barrier violates international law.[4] In a related case the Israeli Supreme Court, sitting as the High Court of Justice, stated that Israel has been holding the areas of Judea and Samaria in belligerent occupation, since 1967. The court also held that the normative provisions of public international law regarding belligerent occupation are applicable. The Regulations Concerning the Laws and Customs of War on Land, The Hague of 1907 and the Fourth Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War 1949 were both cited.[5]

In 2005, Israel legislated that all of the residents in the Gaza Strip and in four settlements in the northern West Bank as part of Israel's unilateral disengagement plan would have to abandon their homes. Some settlers resisted the order, and were forcibly removed by the IDF.

In 2007, after Hamas defeated Fatah in the Battle of Gaza (2007) and took control over the Gaza Strip, Israel imposed a blockade on Gaza. Rocket attacks and Israeli raids, such as Operation Hot Winter continued into 2008. A ceasefire was agreed in June 2008, but at the end of December 2008 Israeli forces began Operation Cast Lead, launching the Gaza War that left an estimated 1,166-1,417 Palestinians and 13 Israelis dead.[6][7][8]

East Jerusalem

Map of Jerusalem

While East Jerusalem is considered by many to be part of the West Bank, it is treated separately in negotiations. The 1947 UN Partition Plan had contemplated that all of Jerusalem would be an international city (within an international area which was supposed to include Bethlehem too) for at least ten years, after which the residents would be allowed to conduct a referendum and the issue could be re-examined by the Trusteeship Council. However, after the 1948 Arab-Israeli War Jordan captured East Jerusalem and the Old City, and Israel captured and annexed the western part of Jerusalem. Jordan annexed East Jerusalem along with the rest of the West Bank in 1950, but no nations gave de jure recognition to this annexation.[9]

Israel captured East Jerusalem from Jordan in the 1967 Six-Day War and a few weeks later ordered to apply its "laws, jurisdiction and administration" in its territory in several towns and villages surrounding it. In 1980 Israel passed the "Jerusalem Law" proclaiming "united Jerusalem" as the Israeli capital, thus officially annexing East Jerusalem. However, United Nations Security Council Resolution 478 declared this action to be "null and void", and that it "must be rescinded forthwith". It also called upon countries which held their diplomatic delegations to Israel in Jerusalem, to move them outside the city.

Most nations with embassies in Jerusalem complied, and relocated their embassies to Tel Aviv or other Israeli cities prior to the adoption of Resolution 478. Following the withdrawals of Costa Rica and El Salvador in August 2006, no country maintains its embassy in Jerusalem, although Paraguay and Bolivia have theirs in nearby Mevasseret Zion.[10]

The United States Congress passed the Jerusalem Embassy Act in 1995, stating that "Jerusalem should be recognized as the capital of the State of Israel; and the United States Embassy in Israel should be established in Jerusalem no later than May 31, 1999. As a result of the Embassy Act, official U.S. documents and web sites refer to Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The embassy itself still did not move pending the agreement of the President.

There is little international support for Israel's claim that Jerusalem is its undivided capital. As of 19 May 2007 no country has their embassy there, instead choosing to locate in Tel Aviv. The 2007 Jerusalem Day celebrations were not attended by either US or EU ministers.[11]

The Golan Heights

The Golan Heights were captured from Syria near the end of the Six Day War. An armistice line was created and the region came under control of the Israeli military.[12]

In the Yom Kippur War, the Syrian military attempted to retake the territory. Despite inflicting high casualties, the ambushing assault was unsuccessful. Following the war, both countries signed an armistice. As a condition, a UN observation force was established to ensure the ceasefire remained. [13]

An estimated 20,000 Israeli settlers and 20,000 Syrians live within the territory. All inhabitants are entitled to Israeli citizenship.[14]

On 14 December 1981 Israel passed the Golan Heights Law, applying common law over the territory. While generally considered "annexation" by critics and many experts, Israel has expressly avoided using the term to describe this action. The UN Security Council promptly rejected the action with Resolution 497.[15]

Applicability of the term "occupied"

See article Status of territories captured by Israel
See article International law and the Arab-Israeli conflict
A military checkpoint along the route of the forthcoming West Bank Barrier

The United Nations Security Council (Resolution 446 Resolution 465 and Resolution 484, among others), the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention,[16] and the International Committee of the Red Cross,[17] have each resolved that the territories discussed in this article are occupied and that the Fourth Geneva Convention provisions regarding occupied territories apply. In its advisory opinion on the separation barrier, the International Court of Justice described the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem as occupied, though without considering arguments for or against the applicability of the term.[18]

The Israeli High Court of Justice determined in the 1979 Elon Moreh case that only the military commander of an area may requisition land according to article 52 of the regulations annexed to the Hague IV Convention. Military necessity had been an after-thought in planning portions of the Elon Moreh settlement. That situation did not fulfill the precise strictures laid down in the articles of the Hague Convention, so the Court ruled the requisition order had been invalid and illegal.[19] Various Israeli Cabinets have made political statements and many of Israel's citizens and supporters dispute that the territories are occupied and claim that use of the term "occupied" in relation to Israel's control of the areas has no basis in international law or history, and that it prejudges the outcome of any future or ongoing negotiations. They argue it is more accurate to refer to the territories as "disputed" rather than "occupied" although they agree to apply the humanitarian provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention pending resolution of the dispute. Yoram Dinstein, has dismissed the theory as being “based on dubious legal grounds”. Dinstein is Professor Emeritus at Tel Aviv University where he formerly held the posts of President, Rector and Dean of Law.[20] Many Israeli government websites do refer to the areas as being "occupied territories".[21]

In recent decades the government of Israel has argued before the Supreme Court of Israel that its authority in the territories is based on the international law of "belligerent occupation", in particular the Hague Conventions. The court has confirmed this interpretation many times, for example in its 2004 and 2005 rulings on the separation fence.[22][23] According to the BBC, "Israel argues that the international conventions relating to occupied land do not apply to the Palestinian territories because they were not under the legitimate sovereignty of any state in the first place."[24]

Soon after the 1967 war, Israel issued a military order stating that the Geneva Conventions applied to the recently-occupied territories [9], but this order was rescinded a few months later [10]. For a number of years, Israel argued on various grounds that the Geneva Conventions do not apply. One is the Missing Reversioner theory[25] which argued that the Geneva Conventions apply only to the sovereign territory of a High Contracting Party, and therefore do not apply since Jordan never exercised sovereignty over the region [26]. In 1986, the International Court of Justice ruled that portions of the Geneva Conventions of 1949 merely declare existing customary international law.[27] In 1993, the UN Security Council adopted a binding Chapter VII resolution establishing an International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. The resolution approved a Statute which said that the problem of adherence of some but not all States to the Geneva Conventions does not arise, since beyond any doubt the Convention is declarative of customary international law.[28] The subsequent interpretation of the International Court of Justice does not support Israel's view on the applicability of the Geneva Conventions.[18]

In its June 2005 ruling upholding the constitutionality of the Gaza disengagement, the Israeli High Court determined that "Judea and Samaria" [West Bank] and the Gaza area are lands seized during warfare, and are not part of Israel:

The Judea and Samaria areas are held by the State of Israel in belligerent occupation. The long arm of the state in the area is the military commander. He is not the sovereign in the territory held in belligerent occupation (see The Beit Sourik Case, at p. 832). His power is granted him by public international law regarding belligerent occupation. The legal meaning of this view is twofold: first, Israeli law does not apply in these areas. They have not been "annexed" to Israel. Second, the legal regime which applies in these areas is determined by public international law regarding belligerent occupation (see HCJ 1661/05 The Gaza Coast Regional Council v. The Knesset et al. (yet unpublished, paragraph 3 of the opinion of the Court; hereinafter – The Gaza Coast Regional Council Case). In the center of this public international law stand the Regulations Concerning the Laws and Customs of War on Land, The Hague, 18 October 1907 (hereinafter – The Hague Regulations). These regulations are a reflection of customary international law. The law of belligerent occupation is also laid out in IV Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War 1949 (hereinafter – the Fourth Geneva Convention).[29][30]

In two cases decided shortly after independence (the Shimshon and Stampfer cases) the Israeli Supreme Court held that the fundamental rules of international law accepted as binding by all "civilized" nations were incorporated in the domestic legal system of Israel. The Nuremberg Military Tribunal determined that the articles annexed to the Hague IV Convention of 1907 were customary law that had been recognized by all civilized nations. [31] In the past, the Israeli Supreme Court has argued that the Geneva Convention insofar it is not supported by domestic legislation "does not bind this Court, its enforcement being a matter for the states which are parties to the Convention". They ruled that "Conventional international law does not become part of Israeli law through automatic incorporation, but only if it is adopted or combined with Israeli law by enactment of primary or subsidiary legislation from which it derives its force". However, in the same decision the Court ruled that the Hague IV Convention rules governing belligerent occupation did apply, since those were recognized as customary international law.[32] The Court has not ruled on the status of the Geneva Conventions since the Security Council determined they were customary international law, because the government of Israel has declared it complies with their international humanitarian law provisions. Al Haq, a West Bank affiliate of the International Commission of Jurists, has asserted that "As noted in Article 27 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, 'a party may not invoke the provisions of its internal law as justification for its failure to perform a treaty'. As such, Israeli reliance on local law does not justify its violations of its international legal obligations".[33] Further, the Palestinian mission to the U.N. has argued

it is of no relevance whether a State has a monist or a dualist approach to the incorporation of international law into domestic law. A position dependent upon such considerations contradicts Article 18 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties of 1969 which states that: "a state is obliged to refrain from acts which would defeat the object and purposes of a treaty when it has undertaken an act expressing its consent thereto." The Treaty, which is substantially a codification of customary international law, also provides that a State "may not invoke the provisions of its internal law as justification for its failure to perform a treaty" (Art. 27).[34]

Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court

For the purposes of the Rome Statute, "war crimes" includes grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions and other serious violations of the laws and customs applicable in international armed conflict.[35] The Additional Protocol 1 to the Geneva Conventions (1977) stipulated that the transfer by the occupying Power of parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies constitutes a grave breach of the Conventions, and a war crime. It also stipulated that the High Contracting Parties would provide one another with mutual assistance in connection with criminal proceedings brought on account of grave breaches of the Conventions or the Protocol - and provided that in situations of serious violations they could act jointly or individually.[36] 169 countries are parties to the Additional Protocol.[37]

Despite Israel's view that the settlements in the areas occupied during the 1967 War did not constitute a serious violation of the laws and customs applicable in international armed conflict, the United Nations Diplomatic Conference of Plenipotentiaries disagreed. By a vote of 120 to 7, the International Criminal Court (ICC) was given subject matter jurisdiction over occupying powers that transfer, either directly or indirectly, parts of their own civilian population into the territory that they occupy. In 2000, the editors of the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights Palestine Yearbook of International Law 1998-99 said "in particular, that Article 8, which provides that the "transfer, directly or indirectly, by the Occupying Power of parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies, or the deportation or transfer of all or parts of the population of the occupied territory within or outside this territory" amounts to a war crime. This is obviously applicable to Israeli settlement activities in the Occupied Arab Territories."[38] However, the head of the Israeli delegation, Judge Eli Nathan, felt otherwise, stating that "... Israel has, enthusiastically and responsibly, and with a sense of acute sincerity and seriousness, actively participated in all stages of the preparation of the Statute, not imagining, in our wildest dreams that even this, of all things, would ultimately be blemished and abused as a potential tool in the political war against Israel."[39] When signing, Israel stated that "... the Government of the State of Israel signs the Statute while rejecting any attempt to interpret provisions thereof in a politically motivated manner against Israel and its citizens." At the end, Israel did not ratify the treaty.[40] In 2002 Attorney General Elyakim Rubinstein warned the Knesset Constitution Committee that Israelis could be indicted by the new International Criminal Court (ICC), when the court was formally inaugurated.[41]

In 2004 the International Court of Justice noted that the Security Council had described Israel's policy and practices of settling parts of its population and new immigrants in the occupied territories as a "flagrant violation" of the Fourth Geneva Convention. The Court also concluded that the Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (including East Jerusalem) have been established in breach of international law and that all the States parties to the Geneva Convention are under an obligation to ensure compliance by Israel with international law as embodied in the Convention.[18]

Currently the Rome Statute of the ICC has 139 Signatories and 108 Ratifications. Some signatories, notably Israel and the United States, later stated that they did not intend to become parties to the treaty. The world's two largest countries, China and India, did not sign.[42] Many of the signatories have vested universal jurisdiction in their own national courts for crimes defined in the Statute.[43] For example, Section 4.1 of The Canadian Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act, S.C. 2000, c. 24 stipulates that crimes defined by the Rome Statute are violations of customary international law and are indictable offenses within Canada. A complaint was recently filed in the Superior Court of Montreal against two Canadian businesses accusing them of offenses under the statute. The complaint dealt with construction of settlements for Israeli citizens on Palestinian land near the village of Bil'in.[44]

The Palestinian National Authority accepted the jurisdiction of the ICC. [45] Many of the ICC member states already recognize the State of Palestine. Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad al-Malki presented the ICC prosecutor with documentary evidence which shows that 67 states in Latin America, Asia, Africa and Europe have legally recognized the State of Palestine.[46] John Dugard has served as Judge ad hoc on the International Court of Justice and as a Special Rapporteur for both the former United Nations Commission on Human Rights and the International Law Commission. He recently wrote that the majority of states recognize the State of Palestine, and that it was only necessary that it be considered a State for the purposes of the Rome Statute for the case to be accepted by the International Criminal Court.[47]

See also

References

  1. ^ The Arab-Israeli Dilemma (Contemporary Issues in the Middle East), Syracuse University Press; 3rd edition (August, 1985 ISBN 0-8156-2340-2
  2. ^ Kintera.org - The Giving Communities
  3. ^ "Geography of Water Resources", Princeton University. Retrieved September 5, 2007.
  4. ^ U.N. court rules West Bank barrier illegal, CNN, July 10, 2004.
  5. ^ Beit Sourik Village Council v. The Government of Israel
  6. ^ Israel tightens grip on urban parts of Gaza. By Nidal al-Mughrabi. January 12, 2009. Reuters.
  7. ^ Lappin, Yaakov (2009-03-26). "IDF releases Cast Lead casualty numbers". JPost. http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1237727552054&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull. Retrieved 2009-03-26.  
  8. ^ Younis, Khan. "Rights Group Puts Gaza Death Toll At 1,284". CBS. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/01/22/world/main4746224.shtml?source=RSSattr=World_4746224. Retrieved 2009-02-17.  
  9. ^ UK recognition of Israel and of Jordanian annexation of the West Bank, House of Commons, April 17, 1950 - scan as PDF file
  10. ^ http://www.israelnn.com/news.php3?id=110349
  11. ^ "US envoy won't take part in J'lem Day" "jpost.com" website. Retrieved May 19, 2007
  12. ^ During the Autumn of 2003, following the declassification of key Aman documents, the newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth released a series of controversial articles which revealed that key Israeli figures were aware of considerable danger that an attack was likely, including Golda Meir and Moshe Dayan, but had decided not to act. The two journalists leading the investigation, Ronen Bergman and Gil Meltzer, later went on to publish Yom Kippur War, Real Time: The Updated Edition, Yediot Ahronoth/Hemed Books, 2004. ISBN 965-511-597-6
  13. ^ http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/country_profiles/3393813.stm Regions and territories: The Golan Heights
  14. ^ http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/country_profiles/3393813.stm Regions and territories: The Golan Heights
  15. ^ UN Security Council Resolution 497
  16. ^ "Conference of High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention: Declaration" "Foundation for Middle East Peace" website.
  17. ^ "Annexe 2 - Conference of High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention: statement by the International Committee of the Red Cross" ICRC website. Retrieved October 5, 2005
  18. ^ a b c "Legal Consequence of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory"
  19. ^ see page 349 of Israel Yearbook on Human Rights Volume 9, 1979, By Yoram Dinstein
  20. ^ see Yoram Dinstein, ‘The International Law of Belligerent Occupation and Human Rights’, 8 Israeli Yearbook on Human Rights 104, 107 (1978) and International law expert, Professor Yoram Dinstein, on the international ‘War on Terrorism’
  21. ^ Public activities section of Ezer Weizman's Knesset profile
  22. ^ 2004 Israeli Supreme Court ruling (RTF format)
  23. ^ 2005 Israeli Supreme Court ruling
  24. ^ "The Geneva Convention", Israel and the Palestinians, BBC News
  25. ^ see "The Missing Reversioner: Reflections on the Status of Judea and Samaria", by Dr. Yehuda Z. Blum, 3 Israel L. Rev. 279 (1968)
  26. ^ [1]
  27. ^ see Military and Paramilitary Activities in and against Nicaragua (Nicaragua v. United States of America)
  28. ^ see the report made by the Secretary General
  29. ^ see HCJ 7957/04 Mara’abe v. The Prime Minister of Israel
  30. ^ Chronological Review of Events/June 2005
  31. ^ see the "Place of customary international law" on pages 5-6 of International Law in Domestic Courts: Israel, by Dr. David Kretzmer and Chapter 2 "Application of International Law", in The Occupation of Justice, by David Kretzmer
  32. ^ HCJ 69/81
  33. ^ [2]
  34. ^ http://domino.un.org/UNISPAl.NSF/3d14c9e5cdaa296d85256cbf005aa3eb/6b939c57ea9ef32785256f33006b9f8d!OpenDocument
  35. ^ See Rome Statute Of The International Criminal Court Article 8 [3]
  36. ^ See Articles 85, 88, and 89 of Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I), 8 June 1977 [4]
  37. ^ See State Parties to the Additional Protocol [5]
  38. ^ See Palestine Yearbook of International Law 1998-99, Anis Kassim (Editor), Springer, 2000, ISBN: 9041113045
  39. ^ Statement by Judge Eli Nathan Head of the Delegation of Israel to the Rome Conference
  40. ^ UN Treaty Collection, Rome Status, Israel section[6]
  41. ^ See Ha'aretz, June 12, 2002, A-G: NEW HAGUE COURT MAY INDICT SETTLERS FOR WAR CRIMES and Ha'aretz, 20 August 2004, Mazuz: Hague ruling on fence could lead to sanctions on Israel
  42. ^ UN Treaty Collection, Rome Status[7]
  43. ^ see Database of National Implementing Legislation
  44. ^ see Montreal firms used as fronts for Israeli settlements
  45. ^ see RIGHTS:ICC Investigating Israel War Crimes Charges, By Daniel Luban
  46. ^ see ICC prosecutor considers ‘Gaza war crimes’ probe
  47. ^ See Take the Case, Op-Ed section, New York Times, July 22, 2009 [8]

External links


The Israeli-occupied territories are the territories which have been designated as occupied territory by the United Nations and many other international organisations, governments and others to refer to the territory occupied by Israel from Egypt, Jordan, and Syria after the Six-Day War of 1967. They consist of the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and much of the Golan Heights and, until 1982, the Sinai Peninsula. The West Bank and Gaza Strip are also referred to as Palestinian territories or Occupied Palestinian Territory. Palestinian Authority and numerous international bodies[who?] consider East Jerusalem to be part of the West Bank, a position disputed by Israel ( Jerusalem Law ) .

Israel prefers the term "Disputed Territories" in the case of West Bank [1][2]

The first use of the term was in United Nations Security Council Resolution 242 following the Six Day War in 1967, which called for "the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East" to be achieved by "the application of both the following principles: ... Withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict ... Termination of all claims or states of belligerency" and respect for the right of every state in the area to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries. However, withdrawal from the territories was conditional on a negotiated peace, rejected by the Arab states following the Khartoum Resolution.

Following Israeli withdrawal from the Sinai Peninsula in 1982, as part of the 1979 Israel–Egypt Peace Treaty, that territory ceased to be considered occupied territory. Although Israel unilaterally disengaged from Gaza in September 2005, it continues to be designated the occupying power in the Gaza Strip by the United Nations, the United States, the United Kingdom and various human rights organizations.[3][4][5] Israel disputes it is the occupying power in the Gaza Strip. Israel's annexation of East Jerusalem in 1980[6] and the Golan Heights in 1981[7] has not been recognised by any other country.[8]

Contents

Overview

The significance of the designation of these territories as occupied territory is that certain legal obligations fall on the occupying power under international law. Under international law there are certain laws of war governing military occupation, including the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907 and the Fourth Geneva Convention.[9] One of those obligations is to maintain the status quo until the signing of a peace treaty, the resolution of specific conditions outlined in a peace treaty, or the formation of a new civilian government.[10]

There is a dispute as to whether, and if so to what extent, Israel is an occupying power in relation to the Palestinian territories.

On the basis that the Palestinian territories are occupied territory, Israeli settlements in these territories are in breach of Israel's obligations as an occupying power and constitute a grave breach of the Geneva Conventions and that the settlements constitute war crimes.[11][12]

The Sinai Peninsula

Israel captured the Sinai Peninsula from Egypt in the 1967 Six Day War. It established settlements along the Gulf of Aqaba and in the northeast portion, just below the Gaza Strip. It had plans to expand the settlement of Yamit into a city with a population of 200,000,[13] though the actual population of Yamit did not exceeded 3,000.[14] The Sinai Peninsula was returned to Egypt in stages beginning in 1979 as part of the Israel–Egypt Peace Treaty. As required by the treaty, Israel had to evacuate Israeli military installations and civilian settlements. Israel dismantled eighteen settlements, two air force bases, a naval base, and other installations by 1982, including the only oil resources under Israeli control. The evacuation of the civilian population, which took place in 1982, was done forcefully in some instances, such as the evacuation of Yamit. The settlements were demolished, as it was feared that settlers might try to return to their homes after the evacuation[citation needed].

Since 1982, the Sinai Peninsula has not been regarded as occupied territory.

The Golan Heights

since 1974]]

Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria in the 1967 Six Day War. A ceasefire was signed on 11 June 1967 and the Golan Heights came under Israeli military administration.[15] Syria rejected UNSC Resolution 242 of 22 November 1967, which called for the return of Israeli-occupied territories in exchange for peaceful relations. Instead, Syria joined the other Arab League countries in adopting the Khartoum Resolution of August 1967, which became known as the "Three 'No's": "no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no negotiations with it",[16] and insisting that withdrawals by Israel were a pre-condition for any talks with it. Israel had accepted Resolution 242 in a speech to the Security Council on 1 May 1968. In March 1972, Syria "conditionally" accepted Resolution 242.

In the Yom Kippur War of 1973, Syria attempted to retake the territory militarily, but the attempt was unsuccessful. Israel and Syria signed a ceasefire agreement in 1974 that left almost all the Heights in Israeli hands, while returning a narrow demilitarized zone to Syrian control. A United Nations observation force was established in 1974 as a buffer between the sides.[17] By Syrian formal acceptance of UN Security Council Resolution 338,[18] which set out the cease-fire at the end of the Yom Kippur War, Syria also accepted Resolution 242.[19]

On 14 December 1981, Israel passed the Golan Heights Law, extending Israeli administration and law to the territory. Israel has expressly avoided using the term "annexation" to describe the change of status. However, the UN Security Council has rejected the de facto annexation in a non-binding UNSC Resolution 497, which declared it as "null and void and without international legal effect",[20] and consequently continuing to regard the Golan Heights as an Israeli-occupied territory. The measure has also been criticized by other countries, either as illegal or as not being helpful to the Middle East peace process.[citation needed]

Syria wants the return of the Golan Heights, while Israel has maintained a policy of "land for peace" based on Resolution 242. The first high-level public talks aimed at a resolution of the Syria-Israel conflict were held at and after the mulitlateral Madrid Conference of 1991. Throughout the 1990s several Israeli governments negotiated with Syria's president Hafez Al-Assad. While serious progress was made, they were unsuccessful.

In 2004, there were 34 settlements in the Golan Heights, populated by around 18,000 people.[21] Today, an estimated 20,000 Israeli settlers and 20,000 Syrians live in the territory. All inhabitants are entitled to Israeli citizenship, which would entitle them to an Israeli driver's license and enable them to travel freely in Israel,[17] but most non-Jewish residents of the territory have declined citizenship.

Palestinian territories

The West Bank and Gaza Strip are often jointly referred to as the Palestinian territories. Both of these territories were part of Mandate Palestine, and both have populations consisting primarily of Arab Palestinians, including significant numbers of refugees who fled from territory that became Israel after the 1948 Arab–Israeli War.

West Bank

and the Gaza Strip, 2007]]

The West Bank was allotted to the Arab state under United Nations Partition Plan of 1947, but the West Bank was occupied by Jordan after the 1948 war. In 1950, Jordan annexed the West Bank, but this was recognized only by the United Kingdom. (see 1949 Armistice Agreements, Green Line)

In 1967 the West Bank came under Israeli military administration. Israel retained the mukhtar (mayoral) system of government inherited from Jordan, and subsequent governments began developing infrastructure in Arab villages under its control. (see Palestinians and Israeli law, International legal issues of the conflict, Palestinian economy)

Since the Israel–Palestine Liberation Organization letters of recognition of 1993, most of the Palestinian population and cities came under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority, and only partial Israeli military control, although Israel has frequently redeployed its troops and reinstated full military administration in various parts of the two territories. On July 31, 1988, King Hussein surrendered all Jordanian claims to the West Bank to the PLO.[22]

In 2000 the Israeli government started to construct the Israeli West Bank barrier, separating Israel and several of its settlements, as well as a significant number of Palestinians, from the remainder of the West Bank. In 2004, the International Court of Justice issued an advisory opinion stating that the barrier violates international law.[23] In a related case the Israeli Supreme Court, sitting as the High Court of Justice, stated that Israel has been holding the areas of Judea and Samaria in belligerent occupation, since 1967. The court also held that the normative provisions of public international law regarding belligerent occupation are applicable. The Regulations Concerning the Laws and Customs of War on Land, The Hague of 1907 and the Fourth Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War 1949 were both cited.[24]

About 300,000 Israeli settlers live in the West Bank (and a further 200,000 live in East Jerusalem and 50,000 in the former Israeli–Jordanian no-man's land).[citation needed]

Gaza Strip

Gaza Strip was allotted to the Arab state under United Nations Partition Plan of 1947, but Gaza Strip was occupied by Egypt after the 1948 war.

Between 1967 and 1993, the Gaza Strip was under Israeli military administration.

In March 1979, Egypt renounced all claims to the Gaza Strip in the Egypt–Israel Peace Treaty.

Since the Israel–Palestine Liberation Organization letters of recognition of 1993, the Gaza Strip came under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority.

In February 2005, the Israeli government voted to implement a unilateral disengagement plan from the Gaza Strip. The plan began to be implemented on 15 August 2005, and was completed on 12 September 2005. Under the plan, all Israeli settlements in the Gaza Strip (and four in the West Bank) and the joint Israeli-Palestinian Erez Industrial Zone were dismantled with the removal of all 9,000 Israeli settlers (most of them in the Gush Katif settlement area in the Strip's southwest) and military bases. Some settlers resisted the order, and were forcibly removed by the IDF. On 12 September 2005 the Israeli cabinet formally declared an end to Israeli military occupation of the Gaza Strip. To avoid allegations that it was still in occupation of any part of the Gaza Strip, Israel also withdrew from the Philadelphi Route, which is a narrow strip adjacent to the Strip's border with Egypt, after Egypt's agreement to secure its side of the border. Under the Oslo Accords the Philadelphi Route was to remain under Israeli control to prevent the smuggling of materials (such as ammunition) and people across the border with Egypt. With Egypt agreeing to patrol its side of the border, it was hoped that the objective would be achieved. However, Israel maintained its control over the crossings in and out of Gaza. The Rafah crossing between Egypt and Gaza was monitored by the Israeli army through special surveillance cameras. Official documents such as passports, I.D. cards, export and import papers, and many others had to be approved by the Israeli army.[citation needed]

The Israeli position is that Gaza is no longer occupied, inasmuch as Israel does not exercise effective control or authority over any land or institutions in the Gaza Strip.[25][26] Foreign Affairs Minister of Israel Tzipi Livni stated in January, 2008: “Israel got out of Gaza. It dismantled its settlements there. No Israeli soldiers were left there after the disengagement.”[27] Israel also notes that Gaza does not belong to any sovereign state.

Immediately after Israel withdrew in 2005, Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas stated, "the legal status of the areas slated for evacuation has not changed."[25] Human Rights Watch also contested that this ended the occupation.[28][29] The United Nations, Human Rights Watch and many other international bodies and NGOs continues to consider Israel to be the occupying power of the Gaza Strip as Israel controls Gaza Strip's airspace, territorial waters and controls the movement of people or goods in or out of Gaza by air or sea.[3][4][5]

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs maintains an office on “Occupied Palestinian Territory,” which concerns itself with the Gaza Strip.[30] A July 2004 opinion of the International Court of Justice treated Gaza as part of the occupied territories.[31] In his statement on the 2008–2009 Israel–Gaza conflict Richard Falk, United Nations Special Rapporteur on "the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories" wrote that international humanitarian law applied to Israel "in regard to the obligations of an Occupying Power and in the requirements of the laws of war."[32] In a 2009 interview on Democracy Now Christopher Gunness, spokesperson for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) contends that Israel is an occupying power. However, Meagan Buren, Senior Adviser to the Israel Project, a pro-Israel media group contests that characterization.[33]

In 2007, after Hamas defeated Fatah in the Battle of Gaza (2007) and took control over the Gaza Strip, Israel imposed a blockade on Gaza. Palestinian rocket attacks and Israeli raids, such as Operation Hot Winter continued into 2008. A six month ceasefire was agreed in June 2008, but it was broken several times by both Israel and Hamas. As it reached its expiry, Hamas announced that they were unwilling to renew the ceasefire, and at the end of December 2008 Israeli forces began Operation Cast Lead, launching the Gaza War that left an estimated 1,166–1,417 Palestinians and 13 Israelis dead.[34][35][36]

East Jerusalem

File:Greater Jerusalem May 2006 CIA remote-sensing map
Greater Jerusalem, May 2006. CIA remote sensing map showing East Jerusalem, the Green Line and Jerusalem's city limits which were unilaterally expanded by Israel, 28 June 1967, annexed by Knesset (30 July 1980), and modified and expanded in February 1992.

Jerusalem has created additional issues in relation to the question of whether or not it is occupied territory. The 1947 UN Partition Plan had contemplated that all of Jerusalem would be an international city within an international area that included Bethlehem for at least ten years, after which the residents would be allowed to conduct a referendum and the issue could be re-examined by the Trusteeship Council.

However, after the 1948 Arab–Israeli War Jordan captured East Jerusalem and the Old City, and Israel captured and annexed the western part of Jerusalem. Jordan annexed East Jerusalem along with the rest of the West Bank in 1950, but this annexation was recognized by only two countries, and not by the United Nations.[37] Israel captured East Jerusalem from Jordan in the 1967 Six-Day War and a few weeks later ordered its "laws, jurisdiction and administration" to apply in several towns and villages surrounding Jerusalem.

It is for these reasons that East Jerusalem is considered by many to be part of the West Bank. However, the Oslo Accords treat the city separately. In 1980 Israel passed the "Jerusalem Law" proclaiming "united Jerusalem" as the Israeli capital, thereby annexing East Jerusalem. However, United Nations Security Council Resolution 478 declared this action to be "null and void", and that it "must be rescinded forthwith". It also called upon countries which held their diplomatic delegations to Israel in Jerusalem, to move them outside the city.

Most nations with embassies in Jerusalem complied, and relocated their embassies to Tel Aviv or other Israeli cities prior to the adoption of Resolution 478. Following the withdrawals of Costa Rica and El Salvador in August 2006, no country maintains its embassy in Jerusalem, although Paraguay and Bolivia have theirs in nearby Mevasseret Zion.[38]

The United States Congress passed the Jerusalem Embassy Act in 1995, stating that "Jerusalem should be recognized as the capital of the State of Israel; and the United States Embassy in Israel should be established in Jerusalem no later than May 31, 1999. As a result of the Embassy Act, official U.S. documents and web sites refer to Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Since passage, the law has never been implemented, because of opposition from Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama, who view it as a Congressional infringement on the Executive Branch’s constitutional authority over foreign policy;[39] they have consistently claimed the presidential waiver on national security interests.

Applicability of the term "occupied"

]]

Israeli judicial decisions

In two cases decided shortly after independence, in the Shimshon and Stampfer cases, the Supreme Court of Israel held that the fundamental rules of international law accepted as binding by all "civilized" nations were incorporated in the domestic legal system of Israel. The Nuremberg Military Tribunal determined that the articles annexed to the Hague IV Convention of 1907 were customary law that had been recognized by all civilized nations.[40] In the past, the Supreme Court has argued that the Geneva Convention insofar it is not supported by domestic legislation "does not bind this Court, its enforcement being a matter for the states which are parties to the Convention". They ruled that "Conventional international law does not become part of Israeli law through automatic incorporation, but only if it is adopted or combined with Israeli law by enactment of primary or subsidiary legislation from which it derives its force". However, in the same decision the Court ruled that the Fourth Hague Convention rules governing belligerent occupation did apply, since those were recognized as customary international law.[41]

The Israeli High Court of Justice determined in the 1979 Elon Moreh case that the area in question was under occupation and that accordingly only the military commander of the area may requisition land according to Article 52 of the Regulations annexed to the Hague IV Convention. Military necessity had been an after-thought in planning portions of the Elon Moreh settlement. That situation did not fulfill the precise strictures laid down in the articles of the Hague Convention, so the Court ruled the requisition order had been invalid and illegal.[42] In recent decades, the government of Israel has argued before the Supreme Court of Israel that its authority in the territories is based on the international law of "belligerent occupation", in particular the Hague Conventions. The court has confirmed this interpretation many times, for example in its 2004 and 2005 rulings on the separation fence.[43][44]

In its June 2005 ruling upholding the constitutionality of the Gaza disengagement, the Court determined that "Judea and Samaria" [West Bank] and the Gaza area are lands seized during warfare, and are not part of Israel:
The Judea and Samaria areas are held by the State of Israel in belligerent occupation. The long arm of the state in the area is the military commander. He is not the sovereign in the territory held in belligerent occupation (see The Beit Sourik Case, at p. 832). His power is granted him by public international law regarding belligerent occupation. The legal meaning of this view is twofold: first, Israeli law does not apply in these areas. They have not been "annexed" to Israel. Second, the legal regime which applies in these areas is determined by public international law regarding belligerent occupation (see HCJ 1661/05 The Gaza Coast Regional Council v. The Knesset et al. (yet unpublished, paragraph 3 of the opinion of the Court; hereinafter – The Gaza Coast Regional Council Case). In the center of this public international law stand the Regulations Concerning the Laws and Customs of War on Land, The Hague, 18 October 1907 (hereinafter – The Hague Regulations). These regulations are a reflection of customary international law. The law of belligerent occupation is also laid out in IV Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War 1949 (hereinafter – the Fourth Geneva Convention).[45][46]

Israeli legal and political views

Soon after the 1967 war, Israel issued a military order stating that the Geneva Conventions applied to the recently occupied territories,[47] but this order was rescinded a few months later.[48] For a number of years, Israel argued on various grounds that the Geneva Conventions do not apply. One is the Missing Reversioner theory[49] which argued that the Geneva Conventions apply only to the sovereign territory of a High Contracting Party, and therefore do not apply since Jordan never exercised sovereignty over the region.[50] However, that interpretation is not shared by the international community.[51] The application of Geneva Convention to Occupied Palestinian Territories was further upheld by International Court of Justice, UN General Assembly, UN Security Council and the Israeli Supreme Court.[51]

In cases the before the Israeli High Court of Justice the government has agreed that the military commander’s authority is anchored in the Fourth Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, and that the humanitarian rules of the Fourth Geneva Convention apply.[52] The Israeli MFA says that the Supreme Court of Israel has ruled that the Fourth Geneva Convention and certain parts of Additional Protocol I reflect customary international law that is applicable in the occupied territories.[53] Gershom Gorenberg has written that the Israeli government knew at the outset that it was violating the Geneva Convention by creating civilian settlements in the territories under IDF administration. He explained that as the legal counsel of the Foreign Ministry, Theodor Meron was the Israeli government's expert on international law. On September 16, 1967 Meron wrote a top secret memo to Mr. Adi Yafeh, Political Secretary of the Prime Minister regarding "Settlement in the Administered Territories" which said "My conclusion is that civilian settlement in the Administered territories contravenes the explicit provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention." [54] Moshe Dayan authored a secret memo in 1968 proposing massive settlement in the territories which said “Settling Israelis in administered territory, as is known, contravenes international conventions, but there is nothing essentially new about that.”[55]

Various Israeli Cabinets have made political statements and many of Israel's citizens and supporters dispute that the territories are occupied and claim that use of the term "occupied" in relation to Israel's control of the areas has no basis in international law or history, and that it prejudges the outcome of any future or ongoing negotiations. They argue it is more accurate to refer to the territories as "disputed" rather than "occupied" although they agree to apply the humanitarian provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention pending resolution of the dispute. Yoram Dinstein, has dismissed the position that they are not occupied as being “based on dubious legal grounds”.[56] Many Israeli government websites do refer to the areas as being "occupied territories".[57] According to the BBC, "Israel argues that the international conventions relating to occupied land do not apply to the Palestinian territories because they were not under the legitimate sovereignty of any state in the first place."[58]

International views

The official term used by the United Nations Security Council to describe Israeli-occupied territories is "the Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem", which is used, for example, in Resolutions 446 (1979), 452 (1979), 465 (1980) and 484. A conference of the parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention,[59] and the International Committee of the Red Cross,[60] have also resolved that these territories are occupied and that the Fourth Geneva Convention provisions regarding occupied territories apply.

In 1986, the International Court of Justice ruled that portions of the Geneva Conventions of 1949 merely declare existing customary international law.[61] In 1993, the UN Security Council adopted a binding Chapter VII resolution establishing an International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. The resolution approved a Statute which said that the problem of adherence of some but not all States to the Geneva Conventions does not arise, since beyond any doubt the Convention is declarative of customary international law.[62] The subsequent interpretation of the International Court of Justice does not support Israel's view on the applicability of the Geneva Conventions.[63]

In July 2004, the International Court of Justice delivered an Advisory Opinion on the 'Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory'. The Court observed that under customary international law as reflected in Article 42 of the Regulations annexed to the Hague IV Convention, territory is considered occupied when it is actually placed under the authority of the hostile army, and the occupation extends only to the territory where such authority has been established and can be exercised. The Israel raised a number of exceptions and objections,[64] but the Court found them unpersuasive. The Court ruled that territories had been occupied by the Israeli armed forces in 1967, during the conflict between Israel and Jordan, and that subsequent events in those territories, had done nothing to alter the situation.

Al Haq, a West Bank affiliate of the International Commission of Jurists, has asserted that "As noted in Article 27 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, 'a party may not invoke the provisions of its internal law as justification for its failure to perform a treaty'. As such, Israeli reliance on local law does not justify its violations of its international legal obligations".[65] Further, the Palestinian mission to the U.N. has argued
it is of no relevance whether a State has a monist or a dualist approach to the incorporation of international law into domestic law. A position dependent upon such considerations contradicts Article 18 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties of 1969 which states that: "a state is obliged to refrain from acts which would defeat the object and purposes of a treaty when it has undertaken an act expressing its consent thereto." The Treaty, which is substantially a codification of customary international law, also provides that a State "may not invoke the provisions of its internal law as justification for its failure to perform a treaty" (Art. 27).[66]

War crimes allegations

The establishment of Israeli settlements are held to constitute a transfer of Israel's civilian population into the occupied territories and as such are illegal under the Fourth Geneva Convention.[67][68][69]

In 2000, the editors of the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights Palestine Yearbook of International Law (1998–1999) said "the "transfer, directly or indirectly, by the Occupying Power of parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies, or the deportation or transfer of all or parts of the population of the occupied territory within or outside this territory" amounts to a war crime. This is obviously applicable to Israeli settlement activities in the Occupied Arab Territories."[70]

In 2004 the International Court of Justice, in an advisory, non-binding[71] opinion—noted that the Security Council had described Israel's policy and practices of settling parts of its population and new immigrants in the occupied territories as a "flagrant violation" of the Fourth Geneva Convention. The Court also concluded that the Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (including East Jerusalem) have been established in breach of international law and that all the States parties to the Geneva Convention are under an obligation to ensure compliance by Israel with international law as embodied in the Convention.[63]

Israel denies that the Israeli settlements are in breach of any international laws.[72] The Israeli Supreme Court has yet to rule decisively on settlement legality under the Geneva Convention.[73]

See also

References

  1. ^ http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/About+the+Ministry/Behind+the+Headlines/FAQ_Peace_process_with_Palestinians_Dec_2009.htm#Settlements1
  2. ^ http://www.jcpa.org/jl/vp470.htm
  3. ^ a b "Israel/Occupied Palestinian Territories: The conflict in Gaza: A briefing on applicable law, investigations and accountability". Amnesty International. 2009-01-19. http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/MDE15/007/2009/en/4c407b40-e64c-11dd-9917-ed717fa5078d/mde150072009en.html. Retrieved 2009-06-05. 
  4. ^ a b "Human Rights Council Special Session on the Occupied Palestinian Territories" July 6, 2006; Human Rights Watch considers Gaza still occupied.
  5. ^ a b Levs, Josh (2009-01-06). "Is Gaza 'occupied' territory?". CNN. http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/meast/01/06/israel.gaza.occupation.question/index.html. Retrieved 2009-05-30. 
  6. ^ See Jerusalem Law
  7. ^ See Golan Heights Law
  8. ^ See also UN Security Council Resolution 497 [1]
  9. ^ Occupation and international humanitarian law: questions and answers, International Committee of the Red Cross, 2004.
  10. ^ Convention (IV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War. Geneva, 12 August 1949.Commentary on Part III : Status and treatment of protected persons #Section III : Occupied territories Art. 47 by the ICRC
  11. ^ See Rome Statute Of The International Criminal Court Article 8
  12. ^ See Articles 85, 88, and 89 of Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I), 8 June 1977 [2]
  13. ^ The Arab–Israeli Dilemma (Contemporary Issues in the Middle East), Syracuse University Press; 3rd edition (August, 1985 ISBN 0-8156-2340-2
  14. ^ Kintera.org—The Giving Communities
  15. ^ During the Autumn of 2003, following the declassification of key Aman documents, the newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth released a series of controversial articles which revealed that key Israeli figures were aware of considerable danger that an attack was likely, including Golda Meir and Moshe Dayan, but had decided not to act. The two journalists leading the investigation, Ronen Bergman and Gil Meltzer, later went on to publish Yom Kippur War, Real Time: The Updated Edition, Yediot Ahronoth/Hemed Books, 2004. ISBN 965-511-597-6
  16. ^ "Essential Documents: Khartoum Resolution". Council on Foreign Relations. http://www.cfr.org/publication/14841/khartoum_resolution.html?breadcrumb=%2Fpublication%2Fpublication_list%3Ftype%3Dessential_document%26page%3D69. Retrieved 2009-11-08. 
  17. ^ a b http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/country_profiles/3393813.stm Regions and territories: The Golan Heights
  18. ^ "Syria's acceptance of 338"
  19. ^ Hinnebusch, Raymond A.; Drysdale, Alasdair (1991). Syria and the Middle East Peace Process. New York: Council on Foreign Relations Press. pp. 105, 108. ISBN 0-87609-105-2. http://books.google.com/books?id=q0J0nJktlWIC&dq=0876091052&output=html. 
  20. ^ UN Security Council Resolution 497
  21. ^ Golan Facts.
  22. ^ Kifner, John (August 1, 1988). "HUSSEIN SURRENDERS CLAIMS ON WEST BANK TO THE P.L.O.; U.S. PEACE PLAN IN JEOPARDY; Internal Tensions". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/1988/08/01/world/hussein-surrenders-claims-west-bank-plo-us-peace-plan-jeopardy-internal-tensions.html?sec=&spon=&pagewanted=all. 
  23. ^ U.N. court rules West Bank barrier illegal, CNN, July 10, 2004.
  24. ^ Beit Sourik Village Council v. The Government of Israel
  25. ^ a b Dore Gold, JCPA Legal Acrobatics: The Palestinian Claim that Gaza is Still "Occupied" Even After Israel Withdraws, Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, Vol. 5, No. 3, August 26, 2005.
  26. ^ International Law and Gaza: The Assault on Israel's Right to Self-Defense, Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, Vol. 7, No. 29 28 January 2008.
  27. ^ Israeli MFA Address by Israeli Foreign Minister Livni to the 8th Herzliya Conference, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Israel), January 22, 2008.
  28. ^ "Israel: 'Disengagement' Will Not End Gaza Occupation" Human Rights Watch. October 29, 2004
  29. ^ "Human Rights Council Special Session on the Occupied Palestinian Territories" July 6, 2006"
  30. ^ Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs office on Occupied Palestinian Territory web site.
  31. ^ Summary of the Advisory Opinion: Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, International Court of Justice, July 9, 2004.
  32. ^ Richard Falk, Statement by Prof. Richard Falk, United Nations Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, United Nations Human Rights Council, December 27, 2008.
  33. ^ A Debate on Israel’s Invasion of Gaza: UNRWA's Christopher Gunness v. Israel Project’s Meagan Buren Democracy Now, January 5, 2009.
  34. ^ Israel tightens grip on urban parts of Gaza. By Nidal al-Mughrabi. January 12, 2009. Reuters.
  35. ^ Lappin, Yaakov (2009-03-26). "IDF releases Cast Lead casualty numbers". JPost. http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1237727552054&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull. Retrieved 2009-03-26. 
  36. ^ Younis, Khan (2009-01-22). "Rights Group Puts Gaza Death Toll At 1,284". CBS. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/01/22/world/main4746224.shtml?source=RSSattr=World_4746224. Retrieved 2009-02-17. 
  37. ^ UK recognition of Israel and of Jordanian annexation of the West Bank, House of Commons, April 17, 1950—scan as PDF file
  38. ^ http://www.israelnn.com/news.php3?id=110349
  39. ^ Signing Statement by the President on H.R. 1646, the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, FY 2003, 30 September 2002, NARA Archives.
  40. ^ see the "Place of customary international law" on pages 5–6 of International Law in Domestic Courts: Israel, by Dr. David Kretzmer and Chapter 2 "Application of International Law", in The Occupation of Justice, by David Kretzmer
  41. ^ HCJ 69/81
  42. ^ see page 349 of Israel Yearbook on Human Rights Volume 9, 1979, By Yoram Dinstein
  43. ^ 2004 Israeli Supreme Court ruling (RTF format)
  44. ^ 2005 Israeli Supreme Court ruling
  45. ^ see HCJ 7957/04 Mara’abe v. The Prime Minister of Israel
  46. ^ Chronological Review of Events/June 2005
  47. ^ http://www.israellawresourcecenter.org/cgi-bin/browse.py?sectionname=laws&action=view&item=1
  48. ^ http://www.israellawresourcecenter.org/cgi-bin/browse.py?sectionname=laws&action=view&item=101
  49. ^ see "The Missing Reversioner: Reflections on the Status of Judea and Samaria", by Dr. Yehuda Z. Blum, 3 Israel L. Rev. 279 (1968)
  50. ^ [3]
  51. ^ a b "The Geneva Convention". BBC. 2009-12-10. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/1682640.stm. Retrieved 3 August 2010. 
  52. ^ Israel: Supreme Court. "Beit Sourik Village Council v. The Government of Israel". UNHCR. http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/docid/4374ac594.html. Retrieved 29 July 2010. 
  53. ^ See Operation Gaza: factual and legal aspects
  54. ^ See page 99 of Gorenberg, Gershom, "The accidental empire: Israel and the birth of the settlements, 1967-1977", Macmillan, 2006, ISBN 080507564X
  55. ^ See Israeli State Archives 153.8/7920/7A, Document 60, dated October 15, 1968, cited on page 173 of Gorenberg's "The accidental empire"
  56. ^ see Yoram Dinstein, ‘The International Law of Belligerent Occupation and Human Rights’, 8 Israeli Yearbook on Human Rights 104, 107 (1978) and International law expert, Professor Yoram Dinstein, on the international ‘War on Terrorism’
  57. ^ Public activities section of Ezer Weizman's Knesset profile
  58. ^ "The Geneva Convention", Israel and the Palestinians, BBC News
  59. ^ "Conference of High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention: Declaration" "Foundation for Middle East Peace" website.
  60. ^ "Annexe 2—Conference of High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention: statement by the International Committee of the Red Cross" ICRC website. Retrieved October 5, 2005
  61. ^ see Military and Paramilitary Activities in and against Nicaragua (Nicaragua v. United States of America)
  62. ^ see the report made by the Secretary General
  63. ^ a b "Legal Consequence of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory"
  64. ^ 'Letter dated 29 January 2004 from the Deputy Director General and Legal Advisor of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, together with the Written Statement of the Government of Israel'
  65. ^ [4][dead link]
  66. ^ http://domino.un.org/UNISPAl.NSF/3d14c9e5cdaa296d85256cbf005aa3eb/6b939c57ea9ef32785256f33006b9f8d!OpenDocument
  67. ^ Abu-Lughod, Janet. "Israeli Settlements in Occupied Arab Lands: Conquest to Colony". Journal of Palestine Studies (University of California Press) 11 (2): 17. http://www.jstor.org/stable/2536268. "annexations, expulsions and the creation of settlements are specifically prohibited by international law. The Fourth Geneva Convention, in Article 47, proscribes the annexation of occupied territory, and the United Nations has repeatedly condemned Israel's precipitous annexation of East Jerusalem and a wide belt of surrounding suburbs, villages and towns. Article 49 of the same convention prohibits the forcible transfer or deportation of residents from an occupied area, regardless of motive. And yet thousands of Palestinians have been expelled (see Lesch, 1979:113-130, for a partial list of the "officially deported" ones) while many more have been, through measures to be described below, "pressured" to leave. The same Article expressly forbids the transfer by an occupying power of any of its civilian population into occupied areas. And yet, at most recent count, over 90,000 Israeli Jews have been officially "settled" within the illegally- annexed Jerusalem district, and more than 30,000 others have been "settled" in some 100 nahals (military forts), villages and even towns that the Israeli government has authorized, planned, financed and built in unannexed zones beyond the 1949 cease-fire line that Israelis refer to not as a border, but euphemistically as a "green line."". 
  68. ^ Falk, Richard. "International Law and the al-Aqsa Intifada". Middle East Report (Middle East Research and Information Project) (217): 17. http://www.jstor.org/stable/1520166. "Article 49 has been interpreted as prohibiting both forced deportations of Palestinians and population transfers of the sort associated with the establishment and continuous expansion of Israeli settlements". 
  69. ^ Roberts, Adam. "Prolonged Military Occupation: The Israeli-Occupied Territories Since 1967". The American Journal of International Law (American Society of International Law) 84 (1): 85. http://www.jstor.org/stable/2203016. "The settlements program is quite simply contrary to international law. However, it is now so far advanced, and so plainly in violation of the Geneva Convention, that it actually creates a powerful reason for Israel's continuing refusal to accept that the Convention is applicable in the occupied territories on a de jure basis". 
  70. ^ Palestine Yearbook of International Law 1998–1999, Anis Kassim (Editor), Springer, 2000, ISBN 9041113045
  71. ^ http://www.icj-cij.org/court/index.php?p1=1&p2=6#advisory
  72. ^ "Israel, the Conflict and Peace: Answers to frequently asked questions". Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs. November 2007. http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Peace+Process/Guide+to+the+Peace+Process/Israel-+the+Conflict+and+Peace-+Answers+to+Frequen.htm#settlements. "Are Israeli settlements legal?" 
  73. ^ pg 99 The Occupation of Justice, by David Kretzmer

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