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Are Israel's 'Settlements' in Judea and Samaria Legal?

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Statement: International law, under which Judea and Samaria is part of the legal land of the state of Israel has become a political law and thus the world has come to believe that Israel has no claim to any land beyond the 'Green Line'.

All the UN resolutions condemning Israel on the "settlements" are based on lies, totally ignoring international law that has become international political law.

It is just like admitting that the existence of the Palestinian Authority and its recent "promotion" in the UN is based on going AGAINST the UN charter, AGAINST the Montevideo Agreement on what determines a state to be, etc. It's exactly the same.

The main problem is not the lack of pertinent international law, but rather the practical irrelevance of any such law in a world that still basks in ritualistic anti-Semitism. Europe, as the always-residual source of such hatred, will never support Israel, irrespective of authoritative international law. Hence, the core problem here is not jurisprudential, but geopolitical. This is a problem that must be solved by Israelis only.

In the meantime Israel is NOT making its legal case for construction in Judea and Samaria and is not defending itself. As it stands now, if Israel continues to build beyond the 'Green Line', the European Union may even begin taking harsher punitive measures against it. As long as the government of Israel does not promote the jurisprudence that the "settlements" in Judea and Samaria are legal, world pressure will continue and get even worse.

For reference please read the article below.

We need to push back! And we begin right here with the facts and truth. Every time we see anyone complaining about the illegality of the "settlements" in Judea and Samaria we send them the below explanation as our reply. The government of Israel needs to use this one page as well. Enough of the lies.

Below is a 9-point summary explaining why Jews building in Judea and Samaria is NOT illegal. One page with the facts that settlements in Judea and Samaria are NOT illegal to act as a tool to push back and defend Israel from the anti-Semites in Europe and beyond.

This land all of it belongs to the Jewish Nation under the Mandate for Palestine
this land, all of it, belongs to the Jewish Nation under the Mandate for Palestine

Jews building settlements in Judea and Samaria is legal
By Salomon Benzimra, author of the book: The Jewish People's Rights to the Land of Israel

First and foremost, the first five pages of the Levy Report ("Legal Argument") clearly summarizes why Israel is not an occupying power in Judea and Samaria - and East Jerusalem - and, therefore, why the settlements are not illegal. You can find the English version of these 5 pages here:

The following are the points on which this claim rests:

1. The legality of the "settlements" cannot be dissociated from the notion of "occupation." As long as Israel is viewed as an "occupying power," not only the "settlements" can be construed as illegal but the whole of Israel becomes "occupied territory" since there is no difference between land acquired or repossessed - a better term would be "liberated" - in 1967 and 1948-49 respectively.

2. The Fourth Hague Regulation of 1907 defines "occupation" in Article 43: it presupposes that "the authority of the legitimate power ...passed into the hands of the occupant." The annexation of Judea & Samaria (renamed in 1950 "The West Bank') by Jordan has never been recognized as "legitimate."

3. The San Remo Resolution (April 1920) integrated the Balfour Declaration (November 1917) to Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations (June 1919) and resulted in the following:
3a: The provisions of the Balfour Declaration (i.e. the establishment of a Jewish National Home in Palestine) became binding upon Britain, which the Supreme Council of the Allied Powers selected as the Mandatory Power in the land.

3b. The establishment of a Jewish National Home in Palestine was no longer a mere a British foreign policy decision, but became an act of international law.

3c. Pursuant to the San Remo Resolution, in July 1922, the Mandate for Palestine was confirmed, approved by the 52 members of the League of Nations and entered into force in September 1923.

3d. No "special rights" were conferred to the Jewish people. The Supreme Council recognized a pre-existing right by calling for the "reconstitution" of the Jewish National Home in Palestine - and not the "creation" - it being clearly understood that it would turn, in time, into a sovereign Jewish State, pending on an expected Jewish population majority.

4. Following the Churchill White Paper - the official British policy for Palestine - of June 1922, Britain separated the Transjordan part of Palestine - the land east of the Jordan River - and made it an exclusively Arab land where no organized Jewish settlement was allowed, as per the inserted Article 25 of the Mandate. However, in "western Palestine" - from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea - all the provisions of the Jewish National Home were upheld, including the encouragement of Jewish settlement of all lands (as per Article 6).
5. When the League of Nations ceased to exist, in 1946, following the creation of its heir, the United Nations, the acquired rights of the Jewish people remained enshrined in the UN Charter (Article 80).

6. The UN General Assembly Resolution 181 recommended a further partition of the remaining "western Palestine" into a Jewish State and an Arab State. Had this recommendation been accepted by both parties, the terms of the Mandate would have been superseded. But that was not the case, due to the Arabs' rejection of the Resolution. Besides, the recommendation formulated in UNGA Res. 181 violated the UN Charter (Article 80) and the terms of the Mandate, still in force in 1947, especially Article 5 which prohibited the cession of any territory of Palestine to a foreign power.

7. Since no agreement occurred in 1947 pertaining to a further partition of Palestine, and no other binding agreement has been entered into between Israel and the Arabs ever since, which might affect the Jewish sovereignty over western Palestine, the provisions of the Mandate still hold, and especially the title to the land, vested in the Jewish people and that includes Judea and Samaria.

8. Point #7 therefore refutes the notion of Israel being an "occupying power" in any part of western Palestine -From the River to the Sea - since one cannot occupy land on which it has legal title.

9. Because the State of Israel is not an "occupying power" in any part of western Palestine, it follows that the Fourth Geneva Convention does not apply. This is especially true for Article 49 which deals with transfer and deportation of populations to and from occupied territories, in addition to other legal aspects (the nature of the Contracting Parties, the non-forcible transfers, etc.), and the preposterous situation of ethnic cleansing, which the Arabs demand that would result in making Judea and Samaria judenrein.

Conclusion: The claim that it is illegal for Jews to build in Judea and Samaria and that Israel "occupies" the land is an utter lie, arises from deliberate ignorance, pandering to the Arab/Muslim world, anti-Semitism or all of the above combined.

Nurit Greenger sees Israel and the United States equally, as the last two forts of true democratic freedom and since 2006, has been writing about events in these two countries. Contact her by writing to nurit.4.nuritg@gmail.com Read more stories by Nurit Greenger.

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