The True Story of the Israeli Settlements (The communities of Judea, Samaria and Gaza)
United Nations Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338. Resolution 242, adopted after the Six-Day War in 1967, set out criteria for peace-making by the parties to the conflict.
Resolution 338, passed after the Yom Kippur War in l973, makes resolution 242 legally binding.
Resolution 242, which as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs between 1966 and 1969, I helped produce, calls the parties to make peace and allows Israel to administer the territories it occupied in l967 until a just and lasting peace in the Middle East is achieved.
When such a peace is made, Israel is required to withdraw its armed forces “from territories” it occupied during the Six-Day War not from “the” territories, nor from “all” the territories, but some of the territories, which included the Sinai Desert , the West Bank, the Golan Heights, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip,
Five-and-a-half months of vehement public diplomacy made it perfectly clear what the Resolution 242 means.
Ingeniously drafted resolutions calling for withdrawals from “all” the territories were defeated in the Security Council and the General Assembly. Speaker after speaker made it explicit that Israel was not to be forced back to the “fragile” and “vulnerable” Armistice Demarcation Lines, but to “secure and recognized” boundaries agreed to by the parties
THE FOURTH GENEVA CONVENTION
Israel has established its settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in accordance with international law. Attempts have been made to claim that the settlements violate Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 which forbids a state from deporting or transferring “parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.” However, this allegation has no validity in law.
Israel maintains that the Convention (which deals with occupied territories) is not applicable to the West Bank and Gaza Strip. As there was no internationally recognized legal sovereign in either territory prior to the l967 Six Day War, they cannot be considered to have become “occupied territory” when control passed into the hands of Israel.
Article 49 would not be relevant to the issue of Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Gaza. The Convention was drafted immediately following the Second World War, against the background of the massive forced population transfers that occurred during that period.
Israel has not forcibly transferred its civilians to the territories and the Convention does not place any prohibition on individuals voluntarily choosing their place of residence.
Moreover, the settlements are not intended to displace Arab inhabitants, nor do they do so in practice. According to independent surveys, the built-up areas of the settlements (not including roads or unpopulated adjacent tracts) take up about 3% of the other territory of the West Bank.
Other communities, such as the Gush Etzion bloc in Judea, were founded before 1948 under the internationally endorsed British Mandate. The right of Jews to settle in all parts of the Land of Israel was first recognized by the international community in the 1922 League of Nations Mandate for Palestine.
As the former US Under- Secretary of State for Political Affairs, Professor Eugene Rostow, has written: ” the Jewish right of settlement in the area is equivalent in every way to the right of the local population to live there.” (AJlL, 1990, volume 84, p.72). 84, p.72)
II Addendum from The Jewish Press, May 17, 2019
Over 400 rabbis, leaders of the Rabbinical Congress for Peace (RCP) issued the following statement of principle:
“The original sin and root or all problems is the delusional theory that withdrawing from territories brings peace and security to Israel.”
We have sounded the alarm repeatedly clearly showing that previous withdrawals from Gaza, a small section of south Lebanon and parts of the Golan have been a major mistake and must never be repeated.
These areas have only resulted in creating bases for terrorist strong-holds used to launch missile attacks against Israel. They are also used to create massive tunnels into Israel proper which are the groundwork for further direct invasion.
(Israelis and their leaders would have to be out of their minds to give up one more inch of territory and thus contribute to the centuries-old ambition of the Arabs to drive the Jews from their G-d given land.) jsk
Israel Commentary. To subscribe to Israel Commentary: Send your email address to: email@example.com Web Page: www.israelcommentary.org “Like” on Facebook @ 1. Israel Commentary 2) Jerome S. Kaufman