First, let’s discuss «settlements» from the point of view of the Geneva convention. The case of the West Bank does not fall under the definition of the Geneva Convention, paragraph 49, which speaks of the occupation by one «power» of the territory of another «power».
Until 1993, when a “Power” called the Palestinian Authority was created with the consent of Israel, Israel did not occupy the territory of another “Power”, that is the territory of another state. Jordanian control over the West Bank, not recognized by any state in the world, ended in 1967. Then Israel became the only «power» in the West Bank, and that’s when we created the settlements.
That is, Israel had the legal right to settle its citizens in this territory, until 1993, the moment when we created the Palestinian Authority or the second «power» in this territory.
Israel has not established any new settlements since 1993. Moreover, on its own initiative, our «Power» liquidated three settlements in the West Bank and more than a dozen Jewish settlements in Gaza. This is what the Jewish “Disengagement” looked like, which provoked a new attack of aggressiveness among the Palestinians and all anti-Semites.
Further, according to the Oslo peace treaty, half of the territory of the West Bank, where all Jewish settlements are located (zone «C»), should remain under the jurisdiction of Israel until the signing of a new agreement between the parties. Thus, after 1993, Israel does not violate the Geneva Convention.
Even if the Jewish settlements were not legal in the first place (which I dispute on the basis of an accurate, literal interpretation of paragraph 49 of the Geneva Convention), the Oslo Accords provided a legal basis for the continued existence and development of these settlements.
Only a new treaty between Israel and Palestine can change the status of Jewish settlements. The only question is whether the destruction of Jewish settlements will really lead to peace. As we have already seen, the unilateral «disengagement» and the forcible transfer of the Jewish population lead not to peace, but to war.
The absence of a mention of settlements in the Oslo treaties means that the Palestinians did not demand the demolition of these settlements. The demand for the transfer of Jews is a new demand, that is, a violation of the concluded agreement. In fact, the Palestinians do not hide this truth. According to the rules of Islam, all agreements with «infidels» are invalid in advance and Muslims are obliged to violate them.
As we know, the “international community” adopted other laws. If the Palestinians did not demand the expulsion of the Jews from Palestine in the treaty they signed, then by default they recognized the Jewish right to live here.
Now let’s discuss the «occupation». Anti-Semites claim that Israel is «occupying» the West Bank. Hamas claims that Israel is occupying all of Israel’s territory, including Tel Aviv and Haifa, not to mention Jerusalem. The Israeli ultra-right believe that Palestine occupies some part of Israel in zones A and B.
Israel and Palestine are parts of the same small country. The boundaries are not precisely defined and are a matter of dispute. Does international law consider the settlement of a disputed territory an occupation? I have never seen such a statement anywhere. The creation of settlements in the disputed territory does not fall under paragraph 49 of the Geneva Convention.
If we began to evict the population from disputed territories such as Crimea, Abkhazia, South Ossetia, South Sakhalin, and the Kuriles, Kashmir, Arunachal Pradesh on the border of China and India, Western Sahara, Gibraltar, Ceuta, Melilla, Northern Cyprus, Atacama (Chile and Bolivia disputed territory), Guyana, West Irian, etc., about 20 million people would have to be transferred.
According to international law, third countries are obliged to consider the border between states to be the dividing line that the disputing parties established in the LAST treaty they signed. In our case, such an agreement was signed by Yasser Arafat and Benjamin Netanyahu in 1998.
The temporary, but at the same time the most legal border between Israel and Palestine runs along the line separating zones A and B from zone C. This border was established in the last treaty signed by Israel and Palestine.
Therefore, Israel OWNS Area C, even if only temporarily. The state cannot occupy its own territory. Anti-Semites have no legal basis to call Israel an occupier. It’s just another blood libel.
The Trump administration has recognized the legitimacy of Jewish settlements in the West Bank. Trump has proven he is not an anti-Semite. Now it’s Biden’s turn.
As for Europe, everything is clear. Most of today’s Europeans are descendants of those who supported Hitler’s anti-Semitic policies. Today, millions of Europeans use the property that they inherited as a result of the genocide or the expulsion of Jews from Europe. Seen in this light, Europe’s demand to «return to the 1949 borders», that is, to carry out the transfer of Jews, looks especially immoral.
Another thing is that it is time to resolve the issue of the status of the Palestinians living in zone C. They must be given the rights of residents of Israel and thus the accusations of apartheid should be dropped.
The Palestinians can convincingly prove their desire for peace only by recognizing the right of Jews to live in this country, including the West Bank. Just as Israel recognized the right of 2.5 million Arab citizens of Israel to live in our country. If the Palestinians ever want peace, they can prove it by recognizing the Jews of Judea and Samaria as citizens of Palestine.