Part 2 - Israeli Settlements on Palestinian Land Are Illegal
As an occupying power, Israel has transferred more than 600,000 Israelis into settlements in the occupied West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. These actions are illegal. Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention forbids an occupying power from transferring “parts of its own civilian population into the territories it occupies.”
The International Court of Justice stated in a 2004 advisory opinion that the Israeli “settlements have been established in breach of international law.” The Court agreed with the United Nations Security Council that Israel’s establishment of settlements in occupied Palestinian territory constitutes a “flagrant violation” of the Fourth Geneva Convention.
Since 1967, Israel has maintained an illegal military occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Israel claims it acted in self-defense when it attacked Egypt, Syria, and Jordan in the Six-Day War and seized the Palestinian territories.
But Egypt, Syria and Jordan were neither poised to attack nor did they ultimately attack Israel. The initial assault was conducted by Israel in order to annihilate the Egyptian army and seize the West Bank.
Furthermore, it is well-established that territory cannot be lawfully acquired by war. Accordingly, in 1967, Security Council Resolution 242 enshrined “the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war.” In 2016, the Council reiterated that language in Resolution 2334, which condemned Israel for building settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem. Resolution 2334 states that Israel’s creation of settlements on Palestinian land “has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law.”
Moreover, Israel’s establishment of settlements in Palestinian territory constitutes a war crime. The International Criminal Court’s Rome Statute classifies an occupying power’s direct or indirect transfer “of parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies” as a war crime.