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Posts tagged ‘international law’

Israeli settlements are about much more than a few houses

Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) are illegal, constituting a grave violation of the Geneva Conventions. They are also an impediment to a long-term negotiated deal, in that they eat up land, and their continued growth is a clear sign of bad faith.

But Israel’s colonies in the oPt are also part of a violent, inherently discriminatory regime of segregation and displacement – in other words, they have an immediate, ongoing human rights impact. And their “footprint” goes well beyond the built-up areas of houses and caravans. Read more

Three things MPs should be talking about if they really support Palestine

At a time when Israel’s most loyal defenders in the UK parliament pay lip service to a “two-state solution,” what does it mean in Westminster to support the Palestinians?

The question arises in light of a new campaign that the Labour Friends of Israel (LFI) is launching under the title “For Israel, For Palestine, For Peace,” a rebranding exercise announced during the Labour Party’s recent annual conference. Read more

How much Palestinian land do Israeli settlements really eat up?

The Israeli government and its supporters routinely play down the significance of West Bank settlements as an obstacle to peace with the Palestinians. One recent example of this came from a Jewish Agency spokesperson, who tweeted: “Jewish communities in the West Bank take up under 2% of the land; that is, over 98% of the West Bank contains no Jewish residents at all.”

So is this true – and exactly how much of the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) do Israel’s settlements take up? Read more

‘Just a few more apartments’: Netanyahu dismisses concerns over Israeli settlements

Benjamin Netanyahu is a busy man; he certainly doesn’t have time to deal seriously with international objections – even from allies – to petty topics such as settlement expansion.

That was the impression Israel’s prime minister gave on Wednesday, when he dismissed US concerns about the recent approval of 800 new housing units in settlements. “A few more apartments near the municipality of Ma’ale Adumim” are not “preventing peace”, Netanyahu said.

This was classic Bibi disingenuousness. Read more

49 facts about Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip

This week marked the 49th anniversary of Israel’s military occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. So here are 49 facts about a military regime that has lasted almost half a century. Read more

UK charity under pressure over donations to Israeli settlements

A UK charity is facing regulatory scrutiny and political pressure following revelations that it is acting as a conduit for donations to illegal Israeli settlements in the Occupied West Bank.

UK Toremet receives donations on behalf of vetted ‘recipient agencies’, making it “easier to gift money to charities outside the UK by facilitating a UK tax receipt and Gift Aid qualification.” It has distributed more than £1 million to organisations in the UK, Israel, and elsewhere.

In September 2015, I revealed how UK Toremet’s list of approved recipients included several groups operating in, or for the benefit of, Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT), colonies which are illegal under international law. Read more

Palestine: Hungry for Freedom

On February 26, Palestinian journalist Mohammad Al Qeeq ended what has widely been reported as one of the longest hunger strikes on record. Al Qeeq was detained at his home in Ramallah by Israeli forces last November and subsequently placed under administrative detention without any charges, and no trial. After 94-days of abstention, a deal was struck with the Israeli authorities. He is now set to be released in two months, on May 21.

But the journalist’s hunger-strike was notable for another reason; the case threw into sharp relief aspects of Israel’s military regime in the West Bank that it prefers to keep out of the spotlight. Read more

Chicago law professor praised right-wing Israeli settler group in West Bank lecture

A law professor at Chicago’s Northwestern University gave a lecture as the guest of a right-wing Israeli organisation whose head supports the “transfer” of Palestinians, it has emerged.

Eugene Kontorovich, described on his faculty website as an expert in international law, is a public apologist for Israel’s illegal settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT). In a recent op-ed for The New York Times, he attacked the European Union’s guidelines for the labelling of settlement produce. Read more

How Israel uses its ‘security needs’ to justify discrimination

Israel’s “security needs” are routinely cited by officials in Tel Aviv and western capitals as a justification for everything from the continued occupation of the West Bank to the bombardment of the Gaza Strip.

Back in June, Israel’s parliament voted to extend for another year a law that “allows the government to avoid granting Israeli citizenship or residency status to Palestinians married to Israelis”.

In the words of Haifa-based legal advocacy group Adalah, the law “bans family unification where one spouse is an Israeli citizen [in practice almost all of whom are Palestinian citizens] and the other a resident of the [West Bank and Gaza Strip]” – though, of course, this excludes Jewish settlers. Read more

When law is the target: Israel’s campaign will whitewash war crimes everywhere

In 2011, and in response to accusations of war crimes during the final months of conflict with the Tamil Tigers two years previously, the Sri Lankan government convened a conference where then-Minister of External Affairs G. L. Peiris declared that “the entire body of international law must be revisited.” Human Rights Watch called the event “a public relations exercise to whitewash abuses.”

This week, a new conference will take place in Israel on a familiar-sounding theme: “Towards a New Law of War.” According to conference organisers Shurat HaDin, the goal of the event “is to influence the direction of legal discourse concerning issues critical to Israel and her ability to defend herself.” Read more