Ethnic Cleansing by Israel In Photos: House demolitions leave four families unsheltered in Khirbet ‘Atuf

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

2nd July 2013 | International Solidarity Movement, Nablus Team | Khirbet ‘Atuf, Occupied Palestine

On Thursday 27th June, beginning at 9 AM, Israeli military bulldozers demolished the homes and structures of four families in the village of Khirbet ‘Atuf, a shepherding village east of Tammun in Tubas Governorate. One man was taken to the hospital in Nablus after being physically beaten while attempting to protect his family from Israeli soldiers. Another man had his vehicle confiscated by Israeli authorities, and the total cost of his lost property totals $13,000 USD, not a small sum for a shepherding family. While Israeli authorities usually provide demolition notices to the families whose homes they are destroying, these families were given none.  Other villagers fear that the demolitions of their own homes may come without notice at any moment.

Demolished makeshift houses (Photo by ISM)

Demolished makeshift houses (Photo by ISM)

The village, which is located in Area C and therefore under complete Israeli military and civil control, is no stranger to home demolitions. All four families whose homes were demolished on Thursday have had their homes demolished at least two previous times, and international aid agencies have provided temporary tents for the families to sleep in. The people are facing health problems from excessive heat exposure, and in some cases their sheep also no longer have protection from the sun – their shelters having also been destroyed.

The landscape of the village offers one of the most chilling images of Israeli apartheid. The villagers who has been prevented from farming their land by the Israeli military is dry, brown, mostly barren of vegetation and repeatedly subject to home demolitions; while Beqa’ot, the illegal Israeli colony directly adjacent to the village, is green, well-off, and receives the perpetual support, funding, and protection of the Israeli state and military.

Demolished makeshift houses (Photo by ISM)

Demolished makeshift houses (Photo by ISM)

Weekly military training exercises occur in the village, and the residents are forced to leave their homes during the duration of these exercises by the military. Unexploded ordnance (UXO), which the Israeli military is infamous for leaving behind during its 2006 war with Lebanon and the US military during its imperialist war in Vietnam, Laos, and, Cambodia, has been left behind in the village as a result of these military exercises. When these bombs are disturbed incidentally, they explode, and have caused thirty villagers to lose their limbs. Since 1970, fourteen villagers have died as a result of these exercises.

When asked what they will do next, the families whose homes have been destroyed said that they are seeking outside financial assistance to rebuild their homes.

Family furniture left without shelter

Family furniture left without shelter (Photo by ISM)





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).


Still live in fairy-tale-land about Israel? Time to wake up: The Map of the “Greater Israel” even is hammered on the currency:All facts at Storify continuously updated. Read what Israeli ‘leaders’ have said and done even before (peace) talks and how their actions contradict the reality and ugly facts which they try to hide from you:

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