“Settling” constitutes a warcime according to international law and ICC statute. Even under US’ own military legislations’
Law resources below this article
In its Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories for the week of 16 – 22 May 2013, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) found that 3 Palestinian civilians were wounded during incursions in the West Bank. In addition,14 protesters, including 12 children, were wounded during peaceful protests at the entrance of al-Jalazoun refugee camp, north of Ramallah.
Israeli attacks in the West Bank:
During the last week, Israeli forces conducted 65 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. 32 Palestinian civilians, including 2 children and 2 women, were abducted in the West Bank.
During the reporting period, Israeli forces wounded 17 Palestinian civilians, including 12 children. 3 civilians were wounded during incursions in the Palestinian communities, while 14 others, including 12 children, were wounded in peaceful protests in al-Jalazoun refugee camp, north of Ramallah.
On 17 May 2012, 3 Palestinian civilians were wounded. The first one was wounded when Israeli forces moved into Beit Ummar village, north of Hebron, while the other two ones were wounded by the newly-employed Tutu bullets when Israeli forces moved into al-Aroub refugee camp, north of Hebron, as Israeli forces have recently resumed using snipers to disperse Palestinian demonstrations using Tutu rifles, which are sniper rifles with a small barrel.
Israel continued its efforts to create Jewish majority in the occupied East Jerusalem. Israeli forces demolished 8 houses, a man was obliged to demolish his own house and 84 civilians became homeless.
On Saturday, 17 May 2013, Nader al-Sherif destroyed his own house, in the occupied East Jerusalem, in order to avoid being sent to jail or paying the destruction fees and other fines that the Israeli Municipality in Jerusalem would impose on him. The house, made of bricks and tin, is of 45 square metres and is occupied by a family of 11 members.
On Monday, 20 May 2013, Israeli forces demolished a part of Taiser Abdul-Rahman Sabbah Abu-Snaina’s (53) house, located in al-Masharef mountain in the northern side of the occupied East Jerusalem, in Karm Louis area near Sho’fat military checkpoint. The house is of 27 square metres in area, established in 1963, and it was occupied by a family of 12. On the same day, Israeli forces bulldozed the al-Joulani car showroom in al-Shaikh Jarrah neighbourhood.
On Tuesday, 21 May 2013, Israeli forces bulldozed 3 residential buildings and 61 civilians became homeless.
Israeli forces established dozens of checkpoints in the West Bank. 3 Palestinian civilians were abducted at checkpoints in the West Bank.
On Thursday, 16 February 2013, Israeli forces razed more than 40 dunums of farmlands which are planted with approximately 700 olive, fig and grape seedlings that are between 1 – 3 years in ‘Aqraba village, southeast of Nablus. They also demolished a water well of 200 cubic metres, used to irrigate the crops, and destroyed the fence surrounding the plot of land, which is the property of Ayham Seirya. Israeli forces claimed that these lands are closed military areas.
On Monday, 20 May 2013, Israeli forces moved into al-Buq’a area, east of Hebron, imposed a curfew on Palestinian civilians and opened a dirt road leading to the farmlands of al-Jaber family, uprooted a water irrigation system and confiscated it. The bulldozed lands are property of Mohammed Aref Darwish al-Rajbi and Badawi Fawaz Arief al-Rajbi.
Also on Monday, 20 May 2013, Israeli forces, accompanied by a number of military vehicles and two bulldozers, moved into the eastern Bart’a village, which is isolated from its surroundings because of the annexation wall in the west of Jenin, and destroyed 5 shops. The destroyed shops are 5 barracks used by their owners for business, and they were destroyed under the pretext of being in area (C).
On Monday, Israeli forces, accompanied by 3 military vehicles and a vehicle of the Israeli Civil Administration, moved into Arab al-Hathaleen area, which is adjacent to the Khurbat Uml-Khair, in the east of Yatta, in the south of Hebron and placed notices to halt construction work for 7 establishments.
Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip:
In the Gaza Strip, Israeli navy forces continued to pursue the Palestinian fishermen in the sea. On 19 May 2013, Israeli forces abducted 2 fishermen and confiscated their fishing boat off al-Waha resort, northwest of Beit Lahia, in the north of the Gaza Strip. On 20 and 22 May 2013, Israeli gunboats opened fire at the Palestinian fishing boats that were sailing within the 6 nautical mile limit off al-Waha resort, in the north of the Gaza Strip. Neither casualties nor material damage were reported.
On 21 March 2013, the Israeli authorities allowed the Palestinian fishermen to sail up to 6 nautical miles instead of 3 as had been enforced since 21 March 2013 as a form punishment against the Palestinian civilians. This decrease constitutes a violation of the agreement between Hamas and the Israeli authorities following the latest Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip.
Israel has continued to impose a total closure on the Occupied Palestinian Territories and has isolated the Gaza Strip from the outside world.
Israeli navy forces continued to target Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip sea. 2 fishermen were abducted and their boat was confiscated in the north of the Gaza Strip.
Fishermen were pursued and their fishing equipment was confiscated off Deir al-Balah shore.
Israeli settlement activities:
Israeli forces have continued to support settlement activities in the West Bank and Israeli settlers have continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property.
On Thursday, 17 May 2013, engineering teams coming from “Kiryat Arba” settlement, established on Palestinian civilians’ lands in the east of Hebron, under the protection of Israeli forces, surveyed a dirt road that Palestinians use to access their lands in al-Husaine valley area, in the east of the city, to pave the way for establishing a new road for settlers that leads to the Ibrahimi Mosque, in the center of the old city of Hebron.
On Saturday, 18 May 2013, a group of settlers from “Beit El” settlement, in the north of Ramallah, threw stones and Molotov cocktails at Palestinian vehicles while passing through the main road to al-Jazloun refugee camp, which is adjacent to the afore-mentioned settlement. As a result, a 2001 Mercedes taxi burnt out after it was hit by a Molotov cocktail.
On Monday, 21 May 2013, a group of settlers from “Havat Gilad” settlement, north of Qalqilya, set fire to lands which belong to Palestinians from Tal village, southwest of Nablus, near Amateen and Far’ta villages in the north of Qalqilya. Israeli forces also abducted 18-year-old Nash’at Emad Sowan, from Amateen village, while standing near his house and took him to an unknown destination.
Israeli attacks on non-violent demonstrations:
Israeli forces continued the systematic use of excessive force against peaceful protests organised by Palestinian, Israeli and international activists against the construction of the annexation wall and settlement activities in the West Bank. As a result, dozens of protesters suffered tear gas inhalation and others sustained bruises as they were attacked by Israeli soldiers. Of the wounded was Rasila Mahmoud Awad (60), who fainted and was taken to Palestine Medical Complex in Ramallah.
In the same context, the Palestinian civilians organized many peaceful protests in support with the Palestinian prisoners in the Israeli jails, especially those on hunger strike. Israeli forces used excessive force to disperse these protests. As a result, 14 civilians, including 12 children, were wounded.
On 17 May 2013, 9 civilians, including 8 children, were wounded in protests at the southern entrance of al-Jalazoun refugee camp, north of Ramallah.
On 19 May 2013, 3 others, including 2 children, in protests in the same area.
On 21 May 2013, 2 children were wounded during a peaceful protest in the abovementioned area. According to Maariv newspaper, the Israeli army has recently resumed using snipers to disperse Palestinian demonstrations; this technique was used at the end of last week near the settlement of Beit El in eastern Ramallah, using Tutu rifles, which are sniper rifles with a small barrel (0.22 inch caliber bullets).
Recommendations to the international community:
Due to the number and severity of Israeli human rights violations this week, the PCHR made several recommendations to the international community. Among these were a recommendation that the UN General Assembly transfer the Goldstone Report to the UN Security Council in order to refer it to the International Criminal Court in accordance with Article 13(b) of the Rome Statute.
In addition, the PCHR calls upon the United Nations to confirm that holding war criminals in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is a precondition to achieve stability and peace in the regions, and that peace cannot be built on the expense of human rights and victims.
For the full text of the report, click on the link below:
“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).