“Settling” constitutes a warcime according to international law and ICC statute. Even under US’ own military legislations’
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OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– The Israeli municipal council in occupied Jerusalem started to re-distribute dozens of demolition orders to the Palestinian natives in Arab neighborhoods and towns in the eastern part of the city.
Tawfik Ghazzawi, one of the natives who received demolition notices, told the Palestinian information center (PIC) that he was surprised one morning to see Israeli municipal employees sticking a renewed demolition order on the wall of his house in Sahel neighborhood of Attour district.
Ghazzawi noted that his house is composed of two floor apartments, one has been closed by an Israeli municipal court in 2007 until he obtains a permit and the other is where he lives with his family of 12 members.
“About 10 years ago, an administrative demolition decision was issued against my house in 2002 and the municipal court forced me to pay a fine regularly during the past years, and until last September I continued to pay the fine, but as I just finished paying the fine, the Israeli municipality hastened to put a new demolition order at the pretext of unlicensed construction,” he elaborated.
The citizen pointed out that he and the residents of his neighborhood had submitted a project plan for their area to obtain the required permits in accordance with the law and regulations in place, but the municipal council declined the plan and “this time” at the pretext that their area is green and uninhabitable.
According to Ghazzawi, Sahel neighborhood contains 24 homes and all its residents received demolition notices years ago, but because of these renewed demolition threats, they have become exposed once again to displacement and court trials in order to force them to leave the area and later build settlement outposts on the ruins of their homes.
“They tried to knock down my house in 2006 without prior warning, but the lawyer was able at the last minute to stop the demolition order after the troops had forced us out of our home along with our luggage, belongings and all the furniture, and stole my wife’s gold jewelry, an amount of money and every precious thing inside the house,” he affirmed.
He said he filed a complaint with the Israeli police to have his stolen things back, but to no avail.
In Beit Hanina district, specifically in Wadi Addam neighborhood, Israeli municipal employees also stormed an apartment building of six floors belonging to Tawfiq Zannoun and handed all the residents demolition orders at the pretext that the third floor was built without a permit.
The Israeli municipal council in Jerusalem said in a meeting held two weeks ago that there are 20, 000 demolition orders against Palestinian homes in east Jerusalem, but it needs some time to coordinate with the Israeli government and the interior ministry to implement part of these orders during 2013.
Despite the fact that most of Palestinian natives cannot obtain construction permits, the municipal council claimed that it wants to deter the Palestinian natives from building without permits.
“States may not deport or transfer parts of their own civilian population into a territory they occupy.”
State practice establishes this rule as a norm of customary international law applicable in international armed conflicts.
International armed conflicts
The prohibition on deporting or transferring parts of a State’s own civilian population into the territory it occupies is set forth in the Fourth Geneva Convention.
It is a grave breach of Additional Protocol I.
Under the Statute of the International Criminal Court, “the transfer, directly or indirectly, by the Occupying Power of parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies” constitutes a war crime in international armed conflicts.
Many military manuals prohibit the deportation or transfer by a party to the conflict of parts of its civilian population into the territory it occupies.
This rule is included in the legislation of numerous States.
Official statements and reported practice also support the prohibition on transferring one’s own civilian population into occupied territory.
Attempts to alter the demographic composition of an occupied territory have been condemned by the UN Security Council.
In 1992, it called for the cessation of attempts to change the ethnic composition of the population, anywhere in the former Yugoslavia.
Similarly, the UN General Assembly and UN Commission on Human Rights have condemned settlement practices.
According to the final report of the UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights Dimensions of Population Transfer, including the Implantation of Settlers and Settlements, “the implantation of settlers” is unlawful and engages State responsibility and the criminal responsibility of individuals.
In 1981, the 24th International Conference of the Red Cross reaffirmed that “settlements in occupied territory are incompatible with article 27 and 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention”.
In the Case of the Major War Criminals in 1946, the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg found two of the accused guilty of attempting the “Germanization” of occupied territories.
 Fourth Geneva Convention, Article 49, sixth paragraph (cited in Vol. II, Ch. 38, § 334).
 Additional Protocol I, Article 85(4)(a) (adopted by consensus) (ibid., § 335).
 ICC Statute, Article 8(2)(b)(viii) (ibid., § 336).
 See, e.g., the military manuals of Argentina (ibid., §§ 346–347), Australia (ibid., § 348), Canada (ibid., § 349), Croatia (ibid., § 350), Hungary (ibid., § 351), Italy (ibid., § 352), Netherlands (ibid., § 353), New Zealand (ibid., § 354), Spain (ibid., § 355), Sweden (ibid., § 357), Switzerland (ibid., § 357), United Kingdom (ibid., § 358) and United States (ibid., § 359).
 See, e.g., the legislation of Armenia (ibid., § 361), Australia (ibid., §§ 362–363), Azerbaijan (ibid., §§ 364–365), Bangladesh (ibid., § 366), Belarus (ibid., § 367), Belgium (ibid., § 368), Bosnia and Herzegovina (ibid., § 369), Canada (ibid., §§ 371–372), Congo (ibid., § 373), Cook Islands (ibid., § 374), Croatia (ibid., § 375), Cyprus (ibid., § 376), Czech Republic (ibid., § 377), Germany (ibid., § 379), Georgia (ibid., § 380), Ireland (ibid., § 381), Mali (ibid., § 384), Republic of Moldova (ibid., § 385), Netherlands (ibid., § 386), New Zealand (ibid., §§ 387–388), Niger (ibid., § 390), Norway (ibid., § 391), Slovakia (ibid., § 392), Slovenia (ibid., § 393), Spain (ibid., § 394), Tajikistan (ibid., § 395), United Kingdom (ibid., §§ 397–398), Yugoslavia (ibid., § 399) and Zimbabwe (ibid., § 400); see also the draft legislation of Argentina (ibid., § 360), Burundi (ibid., § 370), Jordan (ibid., § 382), Lebanon (ibid., § 383) and Trinidad and Tobago (ibid., § 396).
 See, e.g., the statements of Kuwait (ibid., § 405) and United States (ibid., §§ 406–407) and the reported practice of Egypt (ibid., § 402) and France (ibid., § 403).
 See, e.g., UN Security Council, Res. 446 , 452 and 476 (ibid., § 408), Res. 465 (ibid., § 409) and Res. 677 (ibid., § 410).
 UN Security Council, Res. 752 (ibid., § 411).
 See, e.g., UN General Assembly, Res. 36/147 C, 37/88 C, 38/79 D, 39/95 D and 40/161 D (ibid., § 412) and Res. 54/78 (ibid., § 405); UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 2001/7 (ibid., § 413).
 UN Sub-Commission on Human Rights, Final report of the Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights Dimensions of Population Transfer, including the Implantation of Settlers and Settlements (ibid., § 415).
 24th International Conference of the Red Cross, Res. III (ibid., § 419).
 International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg, Case of the Major War Criminals, Judgement (ibid., § 421).