Israel shifts Oslo accord borders to continue to prevent Palestinians from using their land and building homes

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

10th August 2013 | International Solidarity Movement, Nablus Team | Huwwara, Occupied Palestine

Maher from the village of Huwwara close to Nablus, is one of many Palestinians who has been tricked into thinking that Palestinians have the power to issue building permits in areas labelled as ‘B’ under the Oslo accords.


Maher on his land, where he was planning to build his house (Photo by ISM)

Maher owns land designated as ‘B’ and so applied to the Palestinian Authority for planning permission to build a house to provide for his children when they grew up. The permission was accepted and he obtained the relevant documents and paid the relative charges to proceed. The land the house was going to be built on was being used as a rubbish tip and so he started to clear the land in order to build the house. For six months he cleared the land and dug the foundations of the house before Israel issued a stop work paper in early July. Maher was surprised by this, especially when the reason for the stop work order being issued was because of Israeli claims that the land was Area C. Maps obtained show that the proposed structure is in area B but Maher has no choice but to challenge the decision in the court if he wants to continue building.

Maher's house map issued by the PA (Photo by ISM)

Maher’s house map issued by the PA (Photo by ISM)

Maher, skeptical of the result of the court system speaks of his frustration and the inevitable expense, ‘I don’t have much money to build, then Israel comes and stops it. I don’t have money to risk if Israel will target it.’

The land is on the outskirts of a built up area of houses and Palestinian residents and so it is not clear why Israel is prohibiting the building of the property as there are no ‘security’ concerns of the occupation near by.’There’s just Palestinians here . No army , no settlers, nothing prohibiting us from building’ says Maher.

Stop Working Order

Since he received the stop work order, the site neighbouring his was also given a stop work order on their property that was nearing completion. Israel as the occupying power has to provide for services, infrastructure and allow for new accommodation for the inhabitants but almost universally rejects planning permission in area C. Maher’s land is in area B and so under the agreement where the Palestinian Authority and Israel have joint control, the permission granted by the Palestinian Authority should be sufficient to build the home. Similar cases of this denial of permission and dismissal of Palestinian Authority permits due to claiming that the land was area C, has happened in the village of Sarra.

Since the stop work order, the land that was dug and cleared has began to fill with rubbish again. Maher is still determined; ‘If I build, I’ll make it like a park.’

Under the Oslo agreement the occupied territories in the West Bank were divided into areas A, B and C. A small amount of area designated as ‘A’ gives full power to the Palestinian Authority to administer in civil and security matters. Land designated as area ‘C’ is under full Israeli military control where the occupying power has to provide security and services for all the inhabitants. Area ‘B’ is agreed to be under joint control by the Palestinian Authority and Israel.



  • Aug 10, 2013 | International Conference on Oslo Accord: Impact and Future ~ by @KawtherSalam



“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.[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]


[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:

You can forget all details. Save yourself time. It is only about Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine

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