Wednesday, January 31, 2007

A 'Black Paper'

In a previous post, I informed you that members of the UK Parliament's International Development Committee visited me at Shiloh and we discussed issues.

Well, the report is out and it is such a hatchet job.

Try this on:

The settlements

65. Over 420,000 Israeli settlers live in the OPTs in about 160 settlements and 100
outposts.112 The location of settlements in the West Bank can be seen in Map 1. All settlements established on land which is occupied are in breach of international law. Under Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, Israel is under an obligation as the occupying power not to transfer its citizens to the Occupied Palestinian Territories.113

The Roadmap is clear that Israel should freeze all settlement activity including the
natural growth of existing settlements, and dismantle all outposts built since former
Prime Minister Sharon's election in March 2001.114 The UK Government’s view is that
settlement building is contrary to international law and is an obstacle to peace.115

66. The Hague Regulations prohibit the occupying power from making permanent changes to the occupied area apart from in relation to narrowly defined military needs or unless the occupied population benefits from such changes.116 A recent report by the Israeli NGO Peace Now notes that the property rights of Palestinians have been systematically violated in the course of settlement building. Using data from the Israeli Civil Administration the report found that Palestinians privately own nearly 40% of the land on which settlements have been built. The report also found that over 50% of land deemed ‘state land’ by Israel has been declared as such through controversial means and mostly for the benefit of settlements.117

112 Ev 84 [DFID]; Q 243 [Mr Shearer]. Outposts are unauthorized ‘temporary’ structures which have been erected close to existing settlements. See, The Sasson Report Concerning Unauthorized Outposts,
113 Israel formally annexed East Jerusalem in 1967 and considers it belongs to the state of Israel. This is not recognized by the international community.
114 The Roadmap, ‘a performance-based roadmap to a two state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,’ was agreed in 2003 between the GoI and the PLO and approved by the Quartet.
116 The Hague Regulations are discussed at
117 Peace Now, Breaking the Law in the West Bank: One violation leads to another, October 2006.

During the Mandate days, there were 'White Papers' of British policy.

This one's all black.

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