Report: Occupation escalates settlement activity in Jerusalem

“Settling” constitutes a warcime according to international law and ICC statute. Even under US’ own military legislations’
Law resources below this article


[ PIC 05/05/2013 – 09:48 PM ]

images_News_2013_05_05_settlement-building2_300_0[1]RAMALLAH, OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– A Palestinian report showed an escalation in the Israeli settlement activity during the past week, especially in the occupied city of Jerusalem.

The weekly report of the National Office for the Defense of Land pointed out that the Israeli government intends to provide more support for settlement activities in Jerusalem and its suburbs, as it plans to allocate 22 million shekels for the enhancement of settlement activity in the occupied city.

It is expected that the Israeli government will provide facilities for settlement construction projects in the holy city on the 46th anniversary of the occupation of Jerusalem which falls next Wednesday, the report added.

It pointed that Netanyahu’s extremist government has continued to approve more settlement plans; as the Israeli Interior Ministry has introduced a new plan that includes converting 13,300 dunums of open areas to areas for the building.

According to this new plan, the settlement of Modi’in, set up on lands west of the city of Ramallah in the West Bank, will be expanded by 3,700 dunums.

The Israeli Land Authority has also sent bids for selling lands in order to establish 121 new housing units in Givat Ze’ev settlement, east of occupied Jerusalem.

For its part; the Jerusalem Municipality announced the opening of Road 20 next Sunday, in the town of Beit Hanina north of Jerusalem. This Road divides the town of Beit Hanina into two, and connects the northern settlements with the Begin Road (Road 443), then towards the 1948-occupied territories.

Meanwhile, Haaretz newspaper said on Friday that “a huge 25-story building shaped like a helmet and sheathed in a material that looks like gold is expected to be built on Mount Scopus, one of the highest points in Jerusalem, in a plan for founding a center dedicated to the heritage of Jewish physicist Albert Einstein.”

The paper said that the building plans have been recently submitted by the Jerusalem Development Authority to the regional building and planning committee.

The Einstein Heritage Center, which according to the plan would be visible from nearly everywhere in the city, is slated to be built following a government decision taken about two years ago as part of the framework “for strengthening Israel’s national heritage”.

“The center is a joint project of the national heritage department at the Prime Minister’s Office, the President’s Office, the Jerusalem Development Authority, the Jerusalem Municipality and the Hebrew University, which also owns Einstein’s intellectual estate”, Haaretz added.





LAW

“States may not deport or transfer parts of their own civilian population into a territory they occupy.”

Summary

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.[1]

It is a grave breach of Additional Protocol I.[2]

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.[3]

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.[4]

This rule is included in the legislation of numerous States.[5]

Official statements and reported practice also support the prohibition on transferring one’s own civilian population into occupied territory.[6]

Attempts to alter the demographic composition of an occupied territory have been condemned by the UN Security Council.[7]

In 1992, it called for the cessation of attempts to change the ethnic composition of the population, anywhere in the former Yugoslavia.[8]

Similarly, the UN General Assembly and UN Commission on Human Rights have condemned settlement practices.[9]

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.[10]

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”.[11]

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.[12]

References

[1] Fourth Geneva Convention, Article 49, sixth paragraph (cited in Vol. II, Ch. 38, § 334).

[2] Additional Protocol I, Article 85(4)(a) (adopted by consensus) (ibid., § 335).

[3] ICC Statute, Article 8(2)(b)(viii) (ibid., § 336).

[4] 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).

[5] 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).

[6] 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).

[7] See, e.g., UN Security Council, Res. 446 , 452 and 476 (ibid., § 408), Res. 465 (ibid., § 409) and Res. 677 (ibid., § 410).

[8] UN Security Council, Res. 752 (ibid., § 411).

[9] 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).

[10] 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).

[11] 24th International Conference of the Red Cross, Res. III (ibid., § 419).

[12] International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg, Case of the Major War Criminals, Judgement (ibid., § 421).


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