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Author Topic: The legality of settling the west bank
prowsej
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posted 16 July 2004 05:57 PM      Profile for prowsej   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I'm unsure about the legal status of settling in the West Bank.

Suppose I'm independently wealthy and decide to leave Canada and set up the "Prowse Orphanage for Vulnerable Palestinian Children" in Janin, to give but one hypothetical example. Would this be legal? Or would this constitute illegal settlement activity?
Suppose I'm an Israeli citizen who wants to move to Janin with my family to start a new life. Would this be legal? Or would this constitute illegal settlement activity?

My understanding is that these are illegal activities because they constitute attempts to change the "facts on the ground," the "demographic reality," and they attempt to "pre-judge the outcome of settlement talks".

The Economist writes, in relation to the ICJ Wall decision that "The Security Council has said time and again that the settlements Israel has built on the lands it captured in the war of 1967 are illegal, as was its annexation of the eastern, Arab, half of Jerusalem. The court seems to argue, by extension, that Israel is entitled to build a fence on its own side of the armistice line that separated Israel from Jordan before that war, but not one that extends into the West Bank to protect some 160,000 Israelis (not counting those in east Jerusalem) who have been allowed and often encouraged to settle, illegally, on the far side. Such a fence, the court says, could well become permanent: like the settlements themselves, it can be construed as an attempt to create facts on the ground, change the demography, attach parts of the West Bank to Israel and so impede the Palestinians' quest for a state of their own."

In other words, is the Israeli settler movement illegal in and of itself, or is it only the Israeli governments support and encouragement of the settler movement that makes it illegal; is it the action or the intent?


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