“. . . Israeli settlements have gone beyond a mere breach of Article 49(6) by acquiring features of apartheid . . .” (Bianca Watts)

Illegal West Bank Israeli settlement and Apartheid Wall. (Photo: Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, June 19, 2015)

❶ Israeli forces confiscate Palestinian-owned residential barracks in Jericho
❷ British Consulate General launches initiative to support olive harvest
❸ UN Security Council holds meeting on illegal expansion of Israeli settlements in West Bank
. . . ❸ ― (a) ‘The occupation is sustainable because the world refuses to take action.’ Transcript of the prepared remarks B’Tselem executive director Hagai El-Ad delivered to UN Security Council
. . . ❸ ― (b) Israel suspends ties with UNESCO

  • Background:  “Better Than A Thousand Hollow Words Is One Word That Brings Peace: Enforcing Article 49(6) Of The Fourth Geneva Convention Against Israeli Settlements In The Occupied Palestinian Territory.” Pacific Mcgeorge Global Business & Development Law Journal
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Ma’an News Agency
Oct. 14, 2016
Israeli forces Thursday confiscated residential barracks in the Palestinian Bedouin residential area of Arab al-Mleihat in the occupied West Bank district of Jericho, according to a Ma’an reporter.
___The residential barracks belonged to Ali Suliman al-Mleihat and Mohammad Ali al-Mleihat.
___The mayor of Jericho Majid al-Fityani told Ma’an that Israel’s continuous demolitions and confiscations are “crimes against the Palestinian people,” and only “proves that Israel is unwilling to make peace.”
___Al-Fityani added that the world was responsible for ending Israeli violations against Palestinians, including the routine leveling of Palestinian lands, confiscations, demolitions, detentions, and killings.      More . . .

Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Oct. 15, 2016
British Consul General in Jerusalem Alastair McPhail announced on Friday that for the second year in a row, the British Consulate General will be supporting the Palestinian olive harvest in Area C and East Jerusalem.
___McPhail made the announcement during an olive picking event in the village of Yanoun, near Nablus.
___“I’m proud to launch our initiative to support Palestinian olive growers in vulnerable areas of the West Bank, for the second year in a row,” he said. “I hope that this exciting partnership with the Palestinian Authority Commission Against the Wall and Settlements will provide Palestinian farmers, in some of the most vulnerable areas, with the confidence and resilience to harvest their olives during these difficult times.”      More . . .

Bedouin village of al-Arakib, one of the dozens Bedouin Arab communities in the Negev desert not recognised by the Israeli state (Photo: Reuters, Aug. 29, 2013)

Ma’an News Agency
Oct. 14, 2016
The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) held a special meeting Friday regarding illegal Israeli settlement construction and expansion in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem. . . .  the meeting was classified as an ‘Arria-Formula,’ which according to the UNSC, are informal gatherings which enable Security Council members to discuss “frankly” the topic at hand, and hear from guests whom the council deems would be beneficial to listen to.
[. . . .]
Among those presenting on the issue were Hagai El-Ad, the executive director of B’Tselem, an Israeli organization that monitors human rights abuses in the occupied Palestinian territory, and Lara Friedman, director of policy and government relations at the Americans for Peace Now, the sister organization of the Israeli human rights NGO.     More . . .
+972 Blog
Hagai El-Ad
Oct. 14, 2016
What does it mean, in practical terms, to spend 49 years, a lifetime, under military rule? When violence breaks out, or when particular incidents attract global attention, you get a glimpse into certain aspects of life under occupation. But what about the rest of the time? What about the many “ordinary” days of a 17,898-day-long occupation, which is still going strong?       More . . .  
The Middle East Monitor – MEMO
Oct. 14, 2016
Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett announced today that Israel is suspending all of its joint activities with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) after the organisation adopted a resolution that disregards the connection between Judaism and Al-Aqsa Mosque and casts doubt over the link between the religion and the Western Wall.
___In a message to UNESCO member states, Bennett said: “Your decision denies history and encourages terror. Those who give prizes to supporters of jihad in Jerusalem mere days after two Jews were murdered in the city, may very well be the next in line.”    More . . .

[NOTE: This article is a comprehensive discussion of the history of the Israeli Occupation of the West Bank and the world’s response to it.]

  • Watts, Bianca. “Better Than A Thousand Hollow Words Is One Word That Brings Peace: Enforcing Article 49(6) Of The Fourth Geneva Convention Against Israeli Settlements In The Occupied Palestinian Territory.” Pacific Mcgeorge Global Business & Development Law Journal 24.1 (2011): 443-472.  Source (Full) . . .

The illegality of Israeli settlement in the OPT is explained in the Fourth Geneva Convention (“Geneva IV” or “Convention”), which is the principal international treaty governing the law of belligerent occupation. Article 49, paragraph 6 of the Geneva IV (“Article 49(6)”) provides that “[t]he Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.” High Contracting Parties (“HCPs”) are obligated to both respect and ensure respect for the Convention in all circumstances under Article 1 of the Convention. Today, 194 states are party to the Convention, including the United States and Israel, and none have fulfilled their obligation under Article 1.8. In fact, the United States consistently uses its veto power in the United Nations (“U.N.”) Security Council to block proposals to intervene and enforce the Geneva IV against Israel.
[. . . .]
Israel first inquired about the legality of settling in the OPT, specifically the West Bank and the Golan Heights, in the fall of 1967. On September 18, 1967, Israeli Foreign Ministry Officials received a top-secret memo that settlement in the West Bank and Golan Heights would violate Article 49(6). Israeli officials were advised that the prohibition of settlements under Article 49(6) was categorical, unconditional, and aimed at preventing colonization of a conquered territory by the conquering state. This memo confirmed that Israeli officials knew that building settlements in the OPT violated international law prior to beginning settlement construction. Yet, despite the memo’s unequivocal warning that settlements violated the Geneva IV, Israel forged ahead with plans that resulted in the settlement enterprise we see today.
[. . . .]
“The United Nations has issued scores of resolutions affirming the applicability of Geneva IV to the OPT and calling upon Israel to abide by its legal obligations as an Occupying Power.” For instance, in Resolution 3240, the General Assembly criticized Israel’s “continued and persistent” violation of the Geneva IV through the establishment of new settlements and expansion of existing settlements in the OPT.39 The General Assembly also demanded that Israel cease its settlement activity.
[. . . .]
After over forty years of occupation and settlement in the OPT, Israel was bound to engage in activity that would produce negative effects on Palestinians and subject the state to overwhelming criticism from its nationals and third states. However, Israeli settlements have gone beyond a mere breach of Article 49(6) by acquiring features of apartheid, and possibly rendering its entire occupation regime illegal. The United States, as Israel’s closest and most powerful ally, must change its approach. It cannot continue to shield Israel from both international and domestic calls for the government to comply with its obligation under Article 49(6) to cease settlement in the OPT and yet expect finality to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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