Ecstasy vs. Siesta
Israel Ecstatic vs. International Community Siesta & the Two-State Solution RIP

Posted: 13/12/2014

 

 

On December 9, 2014, the Israeli daily newspaper “Haaretz” published a report indicated that the so-called Israeli Civil Administration (ICA), a vital branch of the Israeli occupation Army (IoA), allocated 35,000 dunums from the Palestinian lands declared by for the IoA as fire zones for the  interest of Israeli illegal settlements and outposts expansion in the West Bank. The targeted lands are located mostly in the Jordan Valley area, and south of Hebron Governorate nearby the illegal settlement of Ma’on and in the northwestern part of the West Bank in Salfit Governorate for the interest of Beit Arye, Peduel, Eli Zahav and ‘Ofra settlements.

The total area classified as a firing zone amount to 998,185 dunums and constitutes 17.6 % of the West Bank total area and nearly the same area classified as area “A” and falls under the control of the Palestinian Authority where some 70% of the Palestinians in the West Bank live.

The targeted lands were originally designated as State Land and turned over to the Army’s use as a firing and practice areas following the Israeli occupation and early 1970’s. However, and following the lunch of negotiations in the early 1990’s the IoA disused much of the firing zones areas that it became abandoned but remains under full control of the IoA.

In 1999, the ICA employed an internal unit known as the “Blue Line Team” to identify and reconfirm the boundaries of areas identified as State Land using advanced digital methods and so far they completed charting some 260,000 dunums, of which 35,000 dunums located within the firing zones declared area. Table/ map below show locations and related information to firing zones areas.

No. Firing Zone Code Name No. of Pal. Localities located within F.Z No. of Settlements  Master Plan within F.Z Area of  F.Z- Dunums Location
1 203 11 2 32,591 Ramallah
2 208 8 0 9,725 Ramallah
3 309 3 0 8,263 Hebron
4 900 4 1 73,077 J.Valley
5 901 3 0 49,229 Tubas
6 902 2 1 10,653 J.Valley
7 903 3 4 80,309 J.Valley
8 904 a 5 4 42,497 Nablus & J.V
9 904 6 4 60,781 Nablus & J.V
10 906 7 7 88,256 Ramallah & J.V
11 911 2 1 6,819 J.Valley
12 911 a 2 0 4,632 J.Valley
13 918 2 3 32,712 Hebron
14 929 5 1 58,711 Ramallah
15 929 a 1 0 170 Hebron
16 930 1 1 168 Hebron
17 934 7 1 14,745 Ramallah
18 959 1 0 76 Hebron
19 aa 10 13 409,294 Jerusalem & J.V
20 aaa 7 2 15,477 Ramallah
TOTAL 90 45 998,185 *********
Table clarifies the details of the firing zone in the West Bank (ARIJ Database)


See map 1
 

Map 1: the locations of firing zones and closed military areas in the Occupied West Bank

 

Expropriated by Declaring “State Land”

When Israel occupied the West Bank in 1967, only one third of the occupied West Bank territory was registered to the people with a Turkish (Ottoman Empire) issued Tabo (certificate of ownership) and/ or with an official British certificate/ registration issued during the British Mandate era. Fundamentally, the Ottoman land code (law) of 1858 continue to govern the land holdings in the West Bank but was never so used during the centuries of Ottoman rule, or under the British and Jordanian rules who maintained the same law. Israeli Military Order #59 (1967(amended by M.O.1091)), which constituted an abuse of the Ottoman land law, by which the Israeli Military-appointed position of 'Custodian of Government Property' expropriated land owned by the Jordanian Government. Also, allows the 'Custodian of Government Property' to expropriate land from individuals or groups by declaring it 'Public Land' or 'State Land', the latter which it defines as land that was owned or managed by, or had a partner who was an enemy body or citizen of an enemy country during the 1967 war.

Accordingly, when Israel occupied the West Bank territory it assumed control of what was assigned as State Land at the time – during the Jordanian Administration period; an area of 634,920 dunums (11.2% from the total West Bank area) classified as “Registered State Lands”, where according to the Israeli equivocal interpretation to the laws, Israel consider itself the legitimate heir of the Jordanian, the British Mandate, the Ottoman; respectively State Land after its military occupation to the Palestinian territory in June 1967, which is absolutely erroneous.

Following the Israeli occupation of the West Bank in 1967, Israel proceeded to classify an additional “Declared State Land” area of 843,922 dunums (14.9% from the total West Bank area) the high point of which was after the year 1979. Currently, the ICA prepares to complete procedures on what is called “Surveyed State Lands” which constitutes 11.7% from the West Bank with a total area of 666,327 dunums. In compilation, the total area of what classify State Land according to Israel as a “State Lands” rounds up to 2,145,169 dunums; some 38% of the West Bank total area).

It is worth mentioning that 248,904 dunums (4.4% of the West Bank area) and 11.6% of what constitutes state land according to Israel is actually located within what classifies as areas “A” and “B” according to Oslo II Interim Agreement signed between Israel and the Palestinian Liberation of Palestine (PLO), mainly in Hebron Governorate at the southern part of the West Bank.

Israel Recognize History Epochs, eclectically, to the interest of Its own’ 

As a matter of fact , and from the first day of its occupation of the Palestinian land, Israel embarked to enactment of illegal and ambiguous laws in an attempt to legitimize its forcibly capturing the Palestinian lands in a deceptive democratic manner, while the fact is quite the opposite.  Actually, Israel moved steadily toward various types of confiscations to serve its colonial interests where the main types of land expropriation were as follows: Confiscation by declaring “State Land” using the ottoman land classifications (Waqf Mulk, Khuraj, Matrouk, Mawat, Miri lands), confiscation by declaring Abandoned land (not cultivated), confiscation by declaring military zones and for military purposes, confiscation for closed areas, confiscation for public use and confiscation by Absentee Property law of 1950 and its amendments.

We can easily realize that the intents behind the Israeli confiscations of the Palestinian lands throughout the years of occupation are not more than innovative tools to capture as much as possible from the Palestinian lands to sustain the Israeli Occupation where according to the aforementioned report published by “Haaretz” most of the lands confiscated as “state land” were allocated to the Israeli settlers and to the Israeli colonial enterprise on the Palestinian Territory and the examples are many: The settlement of Kiryat Arba’ in Hebron was built on lands expropriated as for military purposes and the settlement of Har Homa was built on a lands owned by residents from Bethlehem and Beit Sahour cities and confiscated in the year 1990 for “public use” by the former Israeli Finance minister (Isaac Mode’i) where these lands were classified as green areas before being confiscated. Another example is for the settlement of Ma’aleh Adumim where most of the lands that the settlement was built on, confiscated as “state lands” before they were allocated to build the settlement. Also Giva’ot military base located in Gust Etzion settlement bloc west of Bethlehem Governorate, the Israeli government had recently approved a plan to build a new settlement with 523 housing units in the military base site.

According to these aforementioned examples we can realize that the confiscations conducted by Israel throughout the years are not more than justifications to pounce on the Palestinian lands for the purpose of impose facts on the ground, in a tools , the Israeli occupation authorities believes that it were legitimate. More than that Israel harnessing the history ,eclectically, and according to its own interest, where Israel don’t recognize the existence of Palestine while it recognize the Ottoman laws that used to be implemented in the Ottoman empire era, in which “Palestine” was part of , and this of course with the aim of capturing and expropriation of more private-owned lands. See map 2:

Map 1: the “state land” areas in the West Bank according to the Israeli classification

 

As a matter of fact, the Israeli seizing of the Palestinian lands under any of the pretext mentioned before, is a systematic Israeli circumvent over the international law rules and international legitimacy resolutions, where all of the confiscation orders issued by Israel are illegitimate and contradicts with the United Nation Security council Resolutions 242 and 338 that  stipulate the illegality of the Israeli military occupation of the Palestinian lands and that includes all the confiscations, building illegal settlements and outposts and bypass roads,  constructing the Segregation Wall, destroying Palestinian properties and restricting their movement and all of the colonial practices conducted by Israel since June 4, 1967-present are illegal, null and void.

The International community must stand for its responsibility to obligate Israel to stop all of its expansionist and colonial projects in the Palestinian Territory, and to refrain from its attempts to legalize what is illegal, while instead of being innovative in confiscating the Palestinian properties, Israel must comply with the International law rules and conventions before the world would be an eyewitness for burying the peace process and two-state solution.

For the Occupying State of Israel, the equivocal international silence in front of the Israeli colonial and illegal violations in Palestinian territory constitute a green light for Israel to move forward with its colonial and expansionist plans which will lead the situation in the occupied territory and in the entire region to a dire consequences.

Legal & International Status

The Israeli colonial and expansionist activities that taking place in all parts of the Occupied Palestinian Territory constitute a grave breach for the International law rules and conventions in which the stature of the international legitimacy became at stake.

The Israeli systematic-accelerated gross measures that are taking place in all parts of the oPt on a daily bases ascend to the status of war crimes and collective punishment.

Obviously, the Palestinian residents of Palestine are languishing under what is so-called “Evil triangle” which constitute from  the Israeli Occupation Army, the Israeli Civil Administration and the Israeli settlers.

These three parties constitute the ribs of the triangle that strangulate the Palestinians by storking their daily lives in integrated illegal and aggressive measures and activities which started from targeting their lands houses, restricting their movements trapping their communities in enclaves and islands, expropriating their properties and reached to targeting their lives.

the Forth Geneva Convention also states in Article 49 that “The occupying power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own population into the territories it occupies.” and Article 174 of the same convention “prohibits the 'extensive destruction and appropriation of property not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly.”

  • Art. 23 of the Hague Convention of 1907 also provides: In addition to the prohibitions provided by special Conventions, it is especially forbidden to destroy or seize the enemy's property, unless such destruction or seizure be imperatively demanded by the necessities of war;
  • Article XXXI, Oslo II, 1995 provides: Neither side shall take any step that will change the status of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
  • Article XXXI of the 1995 Oslo agreement Israel is forbidden from building or planning to any project or settlements or any colonial expansion or any plan that lead to change the status of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The article provides “Neither side shall initiate or take any step that will change the status of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip pending the outcome of the permanent status negotiations”.
  • Under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights Adopted and proclaimed by General Assembly resolution 217 A (III) of, December 10, 1948, Article 17 reads: 'No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.' Which means it bans Israel from destroying or confiscating the property of the Palestinians at any case.
  • Article 33 of the Forth Geneva Convention prohibits collective punishment, and land leveling and property destruction carried out by Israeli forces are collective punishments. The article states: 'No protected person may be punished for an offence he or she has not personally committed. Collective penalties and likewise all measures of intimidation or of terrorism are prohibited.”
  • Article 53 of the same convention provides that 'any destruction by the Occupying power of real or personal property belonging individually or collectively to private persons, or to the State, or other public authorities or social or cooperative organizations is prohibited, except where such destruction is rendered absolutely necessary by military operations.'
  • Article 147 of the convention considers 'extensive destruction and appropriate of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly' as a grave breach of the Convention and thus constitute a war crime.

Moreover ,'Article 12' of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and 'Article 13' of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights/ entry into force 23 March 1976, in accordance with Article 49 which reads:

Article 12:

Everyone lawfully within the territory of a State shall, within that territory, have the right to liberty of movement and freedom to choose his residence.

Article 13:

Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each State. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Under the Fourth Geneva Convention Israel is prohibited to demolish the Palestinian houses according to the Article 53 of the Convention which provides that: 'Any destruction by the Occupying Power of real or personal property belonging individually or collectively to private persons, or to the State, or to other public authorities, or to social or cooperative organizations, is prohibited, except where such destruction is rendered absolutely necessary by military operations

Furthermore,  the  existence of the Israeli settlements in the West Bank and their expansions are Illegal and contradicts with the international law rules, United Nations Security Council Resolutions such as 237 (1967), 271 (1969), 446 (1979),  452 (1979) ,465 (1980.

 Resolution 446 March 22, 1979 calls on Israel to rescind its previous measures and to desist from taking any action which would result in changing the legal status and geographical nature and materially affecting the demographic composition of the Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem and, in particular, not to transfer parts of its own civilian population into the occupied Arab territories"

Also the resolution 452 of the 1979 “calls upon the Government and people of Israel to cease, on an urgent basis, the establishment, construction and planning of settlements in the Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem.

In May 2001, the head of the International Red Cross delegation to Israel and the Occupied Territories said that settlements are "equal in principle to war crimes". (Note: "The transfer, the installation of population of the occupying power into the occupied territories is considered as an illegal move and qualified as a 'grave breach.' It's a grave breach, formally speaking, but grave breaches are equal in principle to war crimes", Rene Kosirnik, head of the ICRC delegation to Israel and the OPT, press conference 17 May 2001).

The Israeli Occupation practices in the occupied Palestinian territory and especially in the city of Jerusalem clearly violate the Palestinian human rights under international law and the fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 systematically, which constitute a crime of apartheid according to the International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid (1973) which defines apartheid as: 'the imposition of various legislative measures on different racial groups while injuring the rights of one. Moreover, the crime of Apartheid comprises a 'crime against humanity' and 'a serious threat to international peace and security'.

And the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (1965)

Article 5 provides that: 'States' Parties undertake to prohibit and eliminate racial discrimination in all of its forms and to guarantee the right of everyone, without distinction as to race, color, or national or ethnic origin, to equality before the law, notably in the enjoyment of the following rights: ... (e) in particular ... (iii) the right to housing'.

  • Article 2 in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights reads that: 'Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.'
  • Article 3 states that 'everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person'.
  • Article 13 states also that: Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state.'
  • Article 25 states that: Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.

 


Prepared by:  
The Applied Research Institute - Jerusalem