The Fourth Geneva Convention:
The Fourth Geneva Convention, ratified by Israel in June 1951,
prohibits Israel from establishing colonies in the Occupied
Palestinian Territories. Article 49 (6) of the Fourth Geneva
Convention states "The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer
parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies."
According to the Commentary of the Fourth Geneva Convention,
the prohibition on the establishment of colonies is intended
to prevent a practice adopted during the Second World War by
certain Powers, which transferred portions of their own population
to occupied territory for political and racial reasons or in
order, as they claimed, to colonize those territories. Such
transfers worsened the economic situation of the native population
and endangered their separate existence as a race."; (emphasis
Security Council Resolutions:
The United Nations recognizes that Israel' practice of establishing
colonies in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, including
East Jerusalem, is illegal and a serious obstruction to achieving
a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East.
*UNSCR 452 (1979): "Calls upon the
Government and people of Israel to cease, on an urgent basis,
the establishment, construction and planning of settlements
in the Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem.";
UNSCR 465 (1980):
that all measures taken by Israel to change ... the demographic
composition ... of the Palestinian and other Arab territories
occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem...have no legal validity
and Israel's policy and practices of settling parts of its population
and new immigrants in those territories constitute a flagrant
violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention...and also constitute
a serious obstruction to achieving a comprehensive, just and
lasting peace in the Middle East."
•"Calls upon the Government and
people of Israel to ... dismantle the existing settlements ..."
The establishment of colonies in the Occupied Palestinian Territories
is a war crime:
Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court of 1998 (Article
8(b)(viii)) defines "the transfer directly or indirectly by
the Occupying Power of parts of its own civilian population
into the territory it occupies as a War Crime indictable by
the International Criminal Court.
*The Head of the International Committee
of the Red Cross Delegation to Israel stated on May 17, 2001
The policy of settlements as such in humanitarian law is a war
crime. The transfer, the installation of population of the occupying
territories is considered as an illegal move and qualified as
a grave breach [of the45 Fourth Geneva Convention]. It's a grave
breach, formally speaking, but grave breaches are equal in principle
to war crimes.