What instructs the law regarding "settlements"


At May 15, 1948 expired mandate for Palestine that the League of Nations gave to British Empire in 1921. The Empire has not fulfilled the main condition for the mandate – it doesn’t gave the Jewish people the opportunity to settle freely throughout the territory of the mandate. Moreover, the British Empire did not allow Jews to escape from Holocaust  to Palestine. This means in particular, that the United Kingdom bears part of the responsibility for the Holocaust. Well, not by 100%, but, say, 10% of all the victims, that is some 600,000 victims, almost zero…

The Palestinian people share this responsibility with the British Empire. Under the leadership of their great leader, Haj Amin Al Husseini, the Palestinian people raised Intifada of 1936-1939 against the admission of Jews to Palestine, so giving the British Empire an excuse to violate the main condition of the Mandate. Moreover, the great leader Haj Amin Al Husseini repeatedly appealed during the Holocaust  to the governments of Hungary, Croatia and Romania, disclosing specific plans for the transfer to Palestine of the Jews, scheduled for the destruction in these countries. His requests were fulfilled, the victims went to the gas chambers. In this way, he managed to destroy about 40,000 Jews.

These crimes of the Palestinian people, and the fear of liability, caused the Great Palestinian Nakba ("Panic") in 1948, and about 700,000 Palestinians left their towns and villages, seeking refuge from the expected revenge of the Jews. The vast majority of the Palestinian refugees have moved within 5 to 40 miles from their homes. In addition, rich Palestinians evacuated in advance to the capitals of the neighboring states (even before Israel's independence). Obviously, they evacuated on their own, and not as a result of military action, and maybe cannot be considered refugees. 

In November 1947, the UN General Assembly adopted a decision on the termination of the British Mandate and the partition of Palestine into two states, Jewish and Arab ( "Arab State" has not been named Palestine, probably under pressure from other Arab states that had appetite for the area). At May 15, 1948, the day of the expiration of the British Mandate, David Ben-Gurion proclaimed the establishment of the State of Israel. The Declaration of Independence set Israel’s claim to the entire territory of the former British Mandate of Palestine.

The UN Security Council approved the Declaration of Independence of Israel, the Jewish state became member of the United Nations. No one, except Israel itself, has not yet raised at the moment the issue of the future borders of the state, because of the existence of the state itself has been called into question.

On the same day, May 15, 1948, neighboring Arab states officially announced the invasion, which in fact started earlier. Egypt occupied Gaza, most of the Negev and the territory of today's Judea. It seems that the Egyptian rulers had claim on Jerusalem, but there already were Jordanian forces. Jordan expanded the zone of occupation in the West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem, evicting tens of thousands of Jews. Lebanon and Syria have captured parts of the border area, but their advance was halted. Iraqi troops attacked unsuccessfully in the Jordan Valley, and were forced to retreat to the east bank of the river.

Haj Amin al-Husseini, too, proclaimed in 1948 by the creation of the Palestinian government in Gaza, but eventually disbanded this government. The territory allotted for "Arab state" in Palestine, has divided between Jordan, Israel and Egypt. In 1949, these countries, as well as Syria and Lebanon, concluded in Rhodes ceasefire agreement. Although the text of the agreement in 1949 clearly states that the agreement does not set boundaries, (line 1949 — is only a cease-fire line, the boundaries should be set in the future), the ceasefire line of 1949 began to play the role of international borders, until the conclusion of Israel's peace agreements with Egypt (1979) and Jordan (1994).

In June 1967, the West Bank was occupied by Israel for more than a legal basis, because of Jordan, along with Egypt and Syria, attacked Israel, not concealing their desire to destroy the state of Israel. This was a gross violation of the UN Charter, such actions are prohibited by international law. There is no doubt that the capture and subsequent Israeli occupation of the West Bank in 1967, fully comply with the UN Charter. It seems, no one in the West has not contested this fact.

Instead, there’s tough criticism of Israel's creation of Jewish "settlements" (villages and towns) in the West Bank, Gaza, the annexation of East Jerusalem and the construction of housing for the Jews.

In this criticism, the only legal argument for "illegality" of the Jewish settlements in the occupied ( "controlled") territories of Palestine is one sentence of paragraph 49, "IV Geneva Convention   (IV GENEVA CONVENTION RELATIVE TO THE PROTECTION OF CIVILIAN PERSONS IN TIME OF WAR OF 12 AUGUST 1949).

Here is a sentence: «The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies». 

The supporters of the legality of the settlements claim that Convention implicates only forced deportation of the population. Since the "settlers" arrived in the West Bank voluntarily, the article 49 of the IV Geneva Convention cannot be applied to our case. The opponents of the legality of settlements (including Israeli opponents) claim that the entire Geneva Convention is aimed at protecting only the civilian population of the occupied territory, and does not protect the civilian population of "occupying power."

To resolve the dispute, I propose to re-read the title of the Convention: «IV Geneva Convention relative to the protection of civilian persons in time of war of 12 August 1949". Any person able to understand what he is reading, must admit that the convention concerns about the civilian population in general. Its purpose is the protection of civilians in time of war, and not to divide them on the basis of "occupying" and "occupied".

It is true that most of the provisions of the Convention refer to the civilian population of the occupied territory, and this is natural: people, placed under the power of the enemy, exposed to much greater danger and are in need of protection. Nevertheless, we claim that the item is aimed at protecting of the civilian population of the "occupying power", and this is evident from both the title and the spirit of the convention. Its purpose is humanitarian: to protect the civilian population in those cases when it is in danger.

If this is not the case, the Geneva Convention violates the principle of equality proclaimed by the Charter of Human Rights. After all, "the occupying power" is not necessarily the aggressor, there may occur just the opposite cases. The most striking example of this situation is Israel.

Defending itself against aggression which aimed at the destruction of the state, Israel was forced to occupy part of the territory of the "Arab State" in 1948, then the territory of the West Bank (1967) and the Palestinian Authority (2002, in the course of "Operation Defensive Shield"). Israel three times occupied, temporarily, the territory of Sinai (1948, 1956 and 1967), and then returned the territory to Egypt. Israel three times (1956, 1967 and 2002) was forced to occupy the whole of Gaza, to defend themselves against aggression, terror and rocket attacks.

If the Geneva Convention does not protect the civilian population of "occupying power" during the war, the document contradicts the principle of equality, which is a fundamental principle of the Charter of Human Rights. Such a document should be null and void.

So let's recognize that the Geneva Convention implies also to the civilian population of "occupying force", and that the sentence "«The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies»,  implies protection of the civilian population of the occupying power from being forcibly resettled.

This means in turn that the voluntary resettlement of Jews into the area "C" of Judea and Samaria does not violate any clause of the Geneva Convention. That is "settlements" are legal, so no one may dare to deport the "settlers" from their homes, villages and towns. By the way, more than half of the "settlers" were born in these places, and this is their homeland. Forcible transfer of the Jewish population from the zone "C", if it occurs, should be qualified as a crime against humanity, in accordance with the Charter of Human Rights.


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    Иорданско-израильская граница зафиксирована договором от 26 октября 1994 года по линии между Британской подмандатной Палестиной и Эмиратом Трансиорданией, с некоторыми незначительными отличиями.

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