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Settlement info

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>Published by the Foundation for Middle East Peace
>A Special Report of the Foundation for Middle East Peace
>March 2002
>Creating Facts: Israel's Settlement Vision
>The Carter Administration View: "Settlements are Inconsistent with
>International Law"
>Short Takes
>Settlements and International Law
>Settlement Facts
>Settlement--scores, almost one hundred years ago, in areas of the Land of
>Israel populated by Arabs and sometimes solely by Arabs--was it moral or
>immoral: Permitted or forbidden? One of the two. If it was moral then
>settlement near Nablus is moral. . . . There is no third way.
>For Menachem Begin, who spoke these words in an address before the Israeli
>Knesset in May 1982, Jewish settlement throughout the "Land of Israel" was
>and remains an expression of the enduring vitality of Zionism and its
>moral vision. For Begin and many Israelis, there is no vital distinction
>between the Jewish settlements before the state was created in 1948 and
>those Israel has established in violation of international law in the West
>Bank, Gaza Strip, Golan Heights, and East Jerusalem after the 1967 war.
>All Israeli governments, Labor and Likud, pursued settlements after 1967
>in order to consolidate Israeli control over the occupied territories and
>prevent the emergence of a Palestinian state.
>The Zionist experience of state building in Palestine in the first half of
>this century led Israelis leaders to believe that civilian Jewish
>settlements were the building blocks upon which sovereignty was created
>and which defined its territorial limits. These leaders viewed security,
>sovereignty, and settlement as inextricably linked. For them, security
>achieved by settlement was an existential concept rather than a military
>imperative. As Moshe Dayan explained, Jewish settlements in the occupied
>territories are essential "not because they can ensure security better
>than the army, but because without them we cannot keep the army in those
>territories. Without them the IDF would be a foreign army ruling a foreign
>During the first decade of occupation after the 1967 war, Labor-led
>governments established the infrastructure and institutions for the
>creation and expansion of permanent Israeli settlement in the territories.
>Labor's approach was incremental, but after 1977, Begin's Likud government
>embraced settlements as its raison d'Ítre and the key to the Likud's
>political renaissance. Aside from the ideological imperative to settle the
>land, Begin viewed settlements as his opportunity to create a political
>constituency rooted in the settlements of the West Bank just as Labor had
>done with its kibbutz and moshav settlements in pre-state Israel.
>In July 1977 Begin refused President Jimmy Carter's request to freeze
>settlement activity. At the time, there were about 50,000 Israelis living
>in annexed East Jerusalem, but only 7,000 settlers in 45 civilian outposts
>in the West Bank and Gaza.
>In September 1977 Begin's minister of agriculture, Ariel Sharon, unveiled
>"A vision of Israel at Century's End," calling for the settlement of 2
>million Jews in the occupied territories. The Likud plan proposed settling
>Jews in areas of Arab habitation and for numerous settlement points as
>well as large urban concentrations in three principle areas:
>-- a north-south axis running from the Golan through the Jordan Valley and
>down the east coast of Sinai;
>-- a widened corridor around Jerusalem; and
>-- the populated western slopes of the Samarian heartland of the West Bank.
>This last wedge of Jewish settlement was of prime concern to Likud
>strategists, particularly Sharon, who was intent upon establishing Israeli
>settlements to separate the large blocs of Arab population on either side
>of the Green Line north of Tel Aviv.
>Settlements under Likud were designed to bring about a "demographic
>transformation" of the territories and a Jewish majority there. The
>co-chairman of the World Zionist Organization's Settlement Department,
>Mattityahu Drobless, noted that the Likud plan "will enable us to bring
>about the dispersion of the [Jewish] population from the densely populated
>urban strip of the coastal plain eastward to the presently empty [of Jews]
>areas of Judea and Samaria."
>Likud's intention to preempt the possibility of a territorial division of
>the land and to strike at the basis of potential Palestinian sovereignty
>by destroying the continuity of Palestinian-controlled territory was
>stated clearly by Drobless more than twenty years ago. "The disposition of
>the settlements must be carried out not only around the settlements of the
>minorities [Arabs], but also in between them. . . ." When negotiators met
>during 2000 at Camp David to reach a permanent agreement on a border, they
>had to deal with an area in which Palestinian cities, town, and villages
>were often surrounded and separated by Israeli settlements and roads.
>The Government of Israel has used legal ruses to confiscate Palestinian
>land for settlements. It has allocated hundreds of millions of dollars
>annually for the development and expansion of settlements in occupied
>territories. Settlement construction fluctuates between 2,000 and 5,000
>housing units each year. By the end of 1985, the settler population in the
>West Bank and Gaza stood at 42,000, a 100 percent increase since 1982. By
>1990, it stood at 76,000. In addition, 120,000 Israelis had settled in
>East Jerusalem, 10,000 more were in the Golan Heights, and 3,000 lived in Gaza.
>Settlements and the Oslo Agreements
>The 1993 and 1995 Oslo Agreements did not expressly prohibit expansion of
>settlements and deferred negotiation of borders and settlements until
>final status talks to be held by 1996. However, they preserved the
>"integrity and status" of the West Bank and Gaza during the interim
>period. Nevertheless, settlement construction continued and the population
>in the West Bank and Gaza doubled again. As of February 2002, there are
>400,000 Israelis living in occupied territory. In the West Bank, there are
>206,000 Israeli settlers and 2 million Palestinians, although settlements,
>adjacent confiscated land, settlement roads and other land controlled by
>the IDF cover 59 percent of the area. In the Gaza Strip, 7,000 settlers
>control 20 percent of this 140 square mile area amidst about 1.1 million
>Palestinians. There are 170,000 settlers in East Jerusalem and 16,000 in
>the Golan Heights. Many Israeli settlements in the West Bank are
>strategically located to command access to the main aquifer underlying the
>West Bank and Israel. Settlers consume six times more water per capita
>than Palestinians.
>American Policy Toward Settlements
>Until the early 1980's, the U.S., like all other states except Israel,
>viewed Israeli settlements as a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention.
>After President Reagan declared that settlements were not "illegal," in
>contrast to previous U.S. policy, the U.S. took no legal position on
>settlements, although all subsequent administrations have opposed
>settlements as an obstacle to peace. No U.S. administration has been able
>to persuade Israel to halt or significantly slow settlement growth.
>In December 2000, President Clinton proposed borders for a Palestinian
>state encompassing 94-96 percent of the West Bank that would have required
>abandonment of scores of settlements, but allowed the retention of large
>bloc settlements near the Green Line in exchange for swaps of Israeli land
>to the new Palestinian state. Clinton's proposals became moot after the
>elections of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and President George W. Bush. The
>Bush administration has made no proposals for resolving the problem.
>Policy of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon
>Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who has devoted his career to expanding
>settlements, has built 25 new settlement outposts since his election in
>January 2001. The Mitchell Plan, which is designed to bring about a
>cease-fire in the current uprising and a return to negotiations, calls for
>a "freeze" on settlements. Sharon has nominally accepted a freeze, but has
>reserved the right to continue "natural growth," a formula that Israel has
>used in the past to mask settlement expansion. Sharon has accepted the
>concept of a Palestinian state, but only in 42 percent of the West Bank
>and Gaza, the area that is now under Palestinian administrative control.
>Sharono has said that Israel will not abandon any settlements.
>Settlements vs. Peace
>Today, there is no prospect for a viable Palestinian state in the West
>Bank and Gaza without abandonment of most Israeli settlements. Palestinian
>negotiators have indicated that if there were agreement in principle that
>the borders of the Palestinian state are defined by the 1967 Green Line,
>including East Jerusalem, they would be willing to discuss border
>adjustments. Such an arrangement might cede to Israel large, heavily
>populated settlements located near the Green Line in return for
>Palestinian annexation of equivalent areas of land on the Israeli side of
>the line.
>In 1980 Professor Jacob Talmon of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, a
>renowned Israeli authority on Zionism and nationalism, wrote an open
>letter to Prime Minister Begin calling for an end to Israel's policies of
>occupation and settlement. Foreshadowing the current violent confrontation
>between Palestinians and Israelis, Talmon said, "The combination of
>subjection, national oppression and social inferiority is a time bomb" for
>the future of Israel. He urged Begin: "Let us not compel the Arabs to feel
>that they have been humiliated until they believe that hope is gone and
>they must die for Palestine."
>Talmon's warning was prophetic. If the settlements remain, as Sharon
>intends, blocking the creation of a viable Palestinian state, the outcome
>will be chronic civil war. Today, majorities in both societies support the
>concept of two states. Palestinians are unlikely to abandon their struggle
>for a sovereign state of their own, and no Israeli government is likely to
>attempt to "transfer" Palestinians, although one party in Sharon's
>coalition advocates this. Israeli demographers predict that the
>fast-growing Arab population in Israel and the territories will exceed the
>Jewish population by 2020. Thus, if Israel is determined to preserve both
>a Jewish state as well as its settlements in the territories, it must
>continue to use military force to repress and dominate a hostile
>Palestinian populace that within this century will outnumber the Jews.
>Such an outcome would perpetuate violence, deny security for Israel,
>prevent justice for Palestinians, and corrupt and destroy Israel's
>character as a democratic state.
>Back to Table of Contents
>"Settlements are Inconsistent with International Law"
>Following are excerpts from the April 21, 1978 opinion of the Legal
>Adviser of the Department of State to the Congress on the legal status of
>Israeli settlements in the occupied territories.
>The Settlements
>Israel began establishing civilian settlements in 1968. Civilian
>settlements are supported by the government, and also by non-governmental
>settlement movements affiliated in most cases with political parties. Most
>are reportedly built on public lands outside the boundaries of any
>municipality, but some are built on private or municipal lands
>expropriated for the purpose.
>Legal Considerations
>1. As noted above, Israeli armed forces entered Gaza, the West Bank, Sinai
>and the Golan Heights in June, 1967, in the course of an armed conflict.
>Those areas had not previously been part of Israel's sovereign territory
>nor otherwise under its administration. By reason of such entry of its
>armed forces, Israel established control and began to exercise authority
>over these territories; and under international law, Israel thus became a
>belligerent occupant of these territories.
>Territory coming under the control of a belligerent occupant does not
>thereby become its sovereign territory. International law confers upon the
>occupying state authority to undertake interim military administration
>over the territory and its inhabitants; that authority is not unlimited.
>The governing rules are designed to permit pursuit of its military needs
>by the occupying power, to protect the security of the occupying forces,
>to provide for orderly government, to protect the rights and interests of
>the inhabitants and to reserve questions of territorial change and
>sovereignty to a later stage when the war is ended.
>On the basis of the available information, the civilian settlements in the
>territories occupied by Israel do not appear to be consistent with these
>limits on Israel's authority as belligerent occupant in that they do not
>seem intended to be of limited duration or established to provide orderly
>government of the territories and, though some may serve incidental
>security purposes, they do not appear to be required to meet military
>needs during the occupation.
>2. Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection
>of Civilian Persons in Time of War, August 12, 1949, 6 UST 3516, provides,
>in paragraph 6:
>The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian
>population into the territory it occupies.
>Paragraph 6 appears to apply by its terms to any transfer by an occupying
>power of parts of its civilian population, whatever the objective and
>whether involuntary or voluntary.
>The Israeli civilian settlements thus appear to constitute a "transfer of
>parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies"
>within the scope of paragraph 6.
>4. It has been suggested that the principles of belligerent occupation,
>including Article 49, paragraph 6, of the Fourth Geneva Convention, may
>not apply in the West Bank and Gaza because Jordan and Egypt were not the
>respective legitimate sovereigns of these territories. However, those
>principles appear applicable whether or not Jordan and Egypt possessed
>legitimate sovereign rights in respect of those territories. Protecting
>the reversionary interest of an ousted sovereign is not their sole or
>essential purpose; the paramount purposes are protecting the civilian
>population of an occupied territory and reserving permanent territorial
>changes, if any, until settlement of the conflict.
>While Israel may undertake, in the occupied territories, actions necessary
>to meet its military needs and to provide for orderly government during
>the occupation, for the reasons indicated above the establishment of the
>civilian settlements in those territories is inconsistent with
>international law.
>Back to Table of Contents
>Unless there is willingness in Israel to change its mentality or to evict
>settlements, and not only the isolated ones; unless Israel seriously
>considers going back to the1967 borders--some minor adjustments here and
>there will be fine--then the conflict will continue for a very long period
>of time.
>No Palestinian leader in his right mind will ever accept a situation in
>which Israel can keep its settlers happy and achieve peace.
>Khalil Shikaki, Associate Professor of Political Science at Bir Zeit
>University and Director of the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey
>Research in Ramallah, in Palestine-Israel Journal, Vol. VII, No. 3, 4, 2000
>Every time I have gone to Israel in connection with the peace process on
>each of my trips I have been met with the announcement of new settlement
>activity. This does violate United States policy. It is the first thing
>that Arabs--Arab governments--the first thing that Palestinians in the
>territories--whose situation is really quite desperate--the first thing
>they raise when we talk to them. I don't think there is any greater
>obstacle to peace than settlement activity that continues not only
>unabated but at an advanced pace.
>U. S. Secretary of State James A. Baker, May 22, 1991
>A cessation of Palestinian-Israeli violence will be particularly hard to
>sustain unless the Government of Israel freezes all settlement activity.
>The Government of Israel should also give careful consideration to whether
>settlements that are the focal points for substantial friction are
>valuable bargaining chips for future negotiation or provocations likely to
>preclude the onset of productive talks.
>Report of the Sharm el-Sheikh Fact-Finding Committee (The Mitchell Report)
>May 20, 2001
>The Sharon Government, with the backing of the Labor Party, is continuing
>the settlement policy in the territories. The creation of new settlements
>inflames the conflict with the Palestinians and endangers more Israeli
>soldiers and civilians. The settlements policy also jeopardizes Israel's
>position in the new world constellation formed in the wake of the World
>Trade Center and Pentagon attacks. The Settlements are an obstacle to any
>future agreement, and, as in the past, the settlers are endangering
>Israel's security and leading us on a suicidal path.
>Prof. Arie Arnon, Peace Now Update, October 4, 2001
>The settlements established in these territories through miserable
>decisions by all the governments of Israel, are draining the economy,
>undermining social solidarity and creating huge and harmful gaps between
>the settlers--who are granted encouragement and benefits by the
>government--and the citizens who live within the Green Line and carry a
>heavy burden. The injuries to innocent civilians, the unbearable delays at
>the roadblocks, the humiliation of hundreds of thousands of human beings,
>the insolent construction of new settlements--these are the bitter fruit
>of the occupation of the territories. The occupation is not only eroding
>the ability of the sovereign state to defend itself, and is not only
>undermining its moral standing in the eyes of the world, but is also
>splitting Israeli society. It is retarding its development and sowing
>violence and hatred within it.
>Ha'aretz, Editorial, February 15, 2002
>The Six-Day War was forced upon us; however, the war's seventh day, which
>began on June 12, 1967 and has continued to this day, is the product of
>our choice. We enthusiastically chose to become a colonial society,
>ignoring international treaties, expropriating lands, transferring
>settlers from Israel to the occupied territories, engaging in theft and
>finding justification for all these activities. Passionately desiring to
>keep the occupied territories, we developed two judicial systems:
>one--progressive, liberal--in Israel; and the other--cruel, injurious--in
>the occupied territories. In effect, we established an apartheid regime in
>the occupied territories immediately following their capture. That
>oppressive regime exists to this day.
>This is the harsh reality that is causing us to lose the moral base of our
>existence as a free, just society and to jeopardize Israel's long-range
>survival. Israel's security cannot be based only on the sword; it must
>rather be based on our principles of moral justice and on peace with our
>neighbors--those living next door and those living a little further away.
>An occupation regime undermines those principles of moral justice and
>prevents the attainment of peace. Thus, that regime endangers Israel's
>Michael Ben-Yair, Attorney General, Israel 1993-1996, Ha'aretz, March 3, 2002
>The only way for Israelis to have security is, quite simply, to end the
>35-year-old occupation of Palestinian territory. Israelis must abandon the
>myth that it is possible to have peace and occupation at the same time,
>that peaceful coexistence is possible between slave and master. The lack
>of Israeli security is born of the lack of Palestinian freedom. Israel
>will have security only after the end of occupation, not before.
>Marwan Barghouti, General-Secretary of the Fateh Party(West Bank), The
>Washington Post, January 16, 2002
>Back to Table of Contents
>UN Security Council Resolution 465 of 1980
>5. Determines that all measures taken by Israel to change the physical
>character, demographic composition, institutional structure or status of
>the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since 1967, including
>Jerusalem, or any part thereof, have no legal validity and that Israel's
>policy and practices of settling parts of its population and new
>immigrants in those territories constitute a flagrant violation of the
>Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in
>Time of War and also constitute a serious obstruction to achieving a
>comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East.
>The Fourth Geneva Convention, to which Israel is a signatory states that
>"the Occupying power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own
>civilian population into the territory it occupies".
>The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (1998) defines "the
>transfer directly or indirectly by the Occupying power of parts of its own
>civilian population into the territory it occupies" as a War Crime
>indictable by the International Criminal Court.
>Back to Table of Contents
>Number of settlements in the West Bank (5,640 sq. km.): 130
>Number of settlements in the Gaza Strip (360 sq. km.): 16
>Number of settlement areas in East Jerusalem: 11
>Number of settlement areas in the Golan Heights: 33
>Total settler population in the West Bank and Gaza Strip:
>1972: 1,500
>1983: 29,090
>1992: 109,784
>2001: 213,672
>Total settler population in East Jerusalem:
>1972: 6,900
>1992: 141,000
>2000: 170,400
>Total settler population in the Golan Heights: 17,000
>Palestinian population:
>-- 2 million in 650 locales in the West Bank (including 200,000 in East
>-- 1.1 million in 40 locales in the Gaza Strip
>An estimated 100,000 Israelis, comprising 50 percent of the settler
>population, reside in eight settlements. The average population in the
>remaining one hundred forty settlements is 714.
>Built-up settlement areas occupy 1.4 percent of the West Bank's 5,640 sq.
>km. Settlement boundaries enclose almost 10 percent of West Bank
>territory. In addition, with the outbreak of the al-Aqsa intifada in
>September 2000, Israel appears to be planning "no-go" areas between 70 and
>500 meters wide around each settlement and every military installation in
>the occupied territories.
>According to the YESHA Council, 3,000 settlers--comprising 1.5 percent of
>the settler population of 200,000--in the West Bank (excluding East
>Jerusalem) and the Gaza Strip--moved out of the settlements during 2001.
>This exodus was more than compensated for by natural increase and an
>influx of new residents, enabling the settler population to grow at a rate
>of 5 percent.
>On August 12, 2001, Ha'aretz reported that the settler departure rate had
>exploded to 5 percent--or 10,000 people. A typical annual rate is 1 percent.
>At least 360 Palestinian homes were demolished in the Gaza Strip by the
>IDF during the first year of the intifada. Since October 2000, Israeli
>authorities have demolished more than 200 houses in the West Bank.
>In September 1993, there were 32,750 dwelling units in the West Bank and
>Gaza Strip settlements. Between 1993 and July 2000, construction was
>initiated on an 17,190 units.
>Settlers in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and the Golan Heights received
>government mortgages during 2000 at a rate more than twice the national
>average. There were 16 new mortgages for every 1,000 settlers during the
>year 2000, compared to 6 per 1,000 Israelis.
>Israel has uprooted 5.5 sq. km. of Palestinian orchards and destroyed 4.5
>sq. km. of field crops.
>Back to Table of Contents
>© Copyright 2002 The Foundation for Middle East Peace. All Rights Reserved
>Return to the Foundation for Middle East Peace main page
>From: "Habitat International Coalition"
>Subject: Special Rapporteur Report on Housing Rights Violations in
>Palestine(second time)
>Date: Fri, 21 Jun 2002 12:16:58 +0200
>Dear HIC friends,
>Mr. Miloon Kothari, the UN Special Rapporteur on adequate housing, told
>reporters about the Report on his recent visit to the occupied Palestinian
>territories. The Special Rapporteur visited Israel and the occupied
>Palestinian territories from 5 to 10 January 2002, at the invitation of
>Ben Gurion University and the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in
>Israel (Adalah). He availed himself of the opportunity to meet with a
>group of non-governmental organizations, United Nations and
>intergovernmental agencies and Palestinian authorities, in order to
>collect information necessary for reporting to the Commission during its
>fifty-eighth session in response to the resolution S-5/1 adopted on 19
>October 2000, in which the Special Rapporteur was requested to "carry out
>immediate missions to the occupied Palestinian territories and to report
>the findings to the Commission at its fifty-seventh session and, on an
>interim basis, to the General Assembly at its fifty-fifth session".
>In a 27-page report, Kothari said Israel claimed that settlement expansion
>was necessary because of "natural" population growth. But while settler
>numbers have risen by 12 percent a year, the Israeli population has been
>growing by just 2 percent a year, he said. "Israel has used the current
>crisis to consolidate its occupation" of Palestinian areas, said Kothari.
>The building of new Jewish settlements is "incendiary and provocative" and
>settlers are "free to indulge in violence and confiscate land," he said.
>Israel has built more than 100 Jewish settlements - home to about 200,000
>Israelis - on land conquered in the 1967 Six Day War and is continuing
>construction. It claims the territory it seized is disputed, rather than
>occupied and that the Geneva Conventions do not apply. Kothari cited
>international accords like the Geneva Conventions on warfare, which govern
>the behavior of occupying powers. The 1949 agreements bar the colonization
>of occupied land, but lack legal measures to ensure compliance. "The
>active and sustained implantation of Jewish settler colonies serves the...
>purpose of acquiring territory and natural resources and limiting the
>living space of the Palestinian host population," he said. Thousands of
>homes had been bulldozed and thousands more are threatened with
>demolition, he said, citing studies by Israeli human rights groups with
>which he had been in contact since his visit.
>Kothari criticized the destruction of homes during Israeli military
>incursions like the battle in Jenin refugee camp. Kothari said that "the
>serial and deliberate destruction of homes and property constitutes a war
>crime under international law." Kothari said the widely publicized
>destruction of homes during military operations, meant to "cause optimum
>material and psychological harm," was just a small part of an ongoing
>takeover of Palestinian areas. Israel is intentionally destroying olive
>groves, orange orchards and other Palestinian agricultural land and is
>responsible for severe "misuse of and hoarding of water resources,"
>including cutting off pipelines to Palestinian villages, he said.
>You will find the Report of the Special Rapporteur on adequate housing in
> (Human and Habitat Rights Without Boundaries and
>Hope that the Report could be useful for your information and possible
>follow-up to build peace in justice.
>Ciao in solidarity
>Cesare Ottolini
><<< visit our website >>>
>Cesare Ottolini
>HIC Coordinator
>c/o Unione Inquilini
>via Carlo Bettella, 2/ter
>35133 Padova - Italia
>tel ++ 39 049691771
>fax ++ 39 02700415592
>HIC General Secretariat
>PO Box 34519 Groote Schuur 7937
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>TEL: +27 21 696 2205/07
>FAX: +27 21 696 2203
> William J. (Bill) Thomson, Ph.D.
> (

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