Army intimidate village ahead of an illegal land grab

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

26th August 2013 | International Solidarity Movement, Nablus Team | Bruqin, Occupied Palestine

Today, Monday 26th August, Israeli occupation forces invaded the village of Bruqin in the early hours of the morning. The Israeli army then proceeded to enter twelve houses and arrest 11 young men from the village. The men were aged between 18 and 27 and they were held for 7 hours before being released at 10:00 this morning.

A view of Bruqin (Photo by ISM)

A view of Bruqin (Photo by ISM)
Mohanned, a 27-year-old music teacher was one of the young men arrested, alongside his brother, 25-year-old Hammed. The brothers and their whole family were awoken by the Israeli army entering their house at 02:30. The soldiers demanded to see the ID of all the men present and gave no reason for their commands or presence in the village. The situation was very similar for 24-year-old Feher, a builder who was arrested at 03:00. Mohanned, Hammed and Feher were removed from their homes, blindfolded and handcuffed, along with the other young men taken. The Israeli army was described as “aggressive but not violent” with no injuries sustained.

One resident of Bruqin described the invasion as “quiet” although there were at least 50 soldiers in 5 military jeeps and this was “very frightening for the villagers”. He then continued to state that he believed this was supposed to act as an intimidating warning to the people of Bruqin.

It does not seem unrelated that the village is currently at risk of losing 700 dunums of land to the nearby (illegal) settlement of Bruchin. The below picture highlights the areas that are at risk and the residents have been attempting to fight this illegal theft of vital farming land over the last two months. However in order to adhere to the court process, the residents must access their land to attain the correct measurements to supply to the court. However due to violent settler attacks many people are unable to enter their own land and as such the mayor of Bruqin has had to apply for permission on behalf of the Bruqin residents. He is awaiting confirmation and as yet Bruqin has no information on the state of their court battle for land they legally own.

Between the blue and yellow lines is the at risk land (Photo by ISM)i

Between the blue and yellow lines is the at risk land (Photo by ISM)i
All settlements in Palestine are illegal under international law and Bruchin is no exception.  In 2012, the settler colony of Bruchin was “legalised” by the Israeli government, previously, even Israeli law classed Bruchin as an illegal outpost. Now that Bruchin has the “official” support of its own government, it is attempting to steal land from a number of villages to build 550 new settler homes. The residents of Bruqin, the legal owners of many of the dunums in question, are determined to fight this land grab, but many are apprehensive about repercussions from the Israeli army if they continue to resist. It seems apparent that from this morning’s action, their concerns are unfortunately justified.


“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:

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Israel. Not looking for Peace. Nor Talks. But this…

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