Annexation of West Bank in all but name
Bibi lawyers kill Two State solution, negate international law, and rule that West Bank was no-man’s land and is now part of Israel
A legal panel, the Levy Committee, set up by Netanyahu has concluded that the West Bank was effectively no-man’s land before 1967 and denies that Israel’s presence there is that of an occupying force.
The Levy Committee’s recommendations are, subject to some formalities, pre-accepted by the Netanyahu government.
It legalises all settlements (and adjacent areas for “natural growth”) on the grounds that because they had “continuous and consistent government activity in their favour, the settlers had reason to believe they were acting with permission”, and characterises this government asistance as “an assurance that cannot be violated”.
So despite having no building permits, these settlements cannot be removed. Further measures will make it easier for settlers to acquire land, and to build, “subject to the opinion of the security authorities”, on huge tracts of land previously designated as being for IDF military use.
These decisions, retrospectively legalising all the land stolen since 1967 and normalising future land acquisition, regulation and building for Israel’s chosen Hebrew ethnic group, were then placed in the context of a newly declared national claim to all the lands between the old Green Line (1948 ceasefire line) and the Jordanian border, i.e. the rest of historic Palestine which Israel long ago re-named Judea and Samaria in advance of unification.
An old, formalistic, argument that Israel has never before seriously promoted is now included in these findings: that as these lands had not been formally part of any other sovereign state, Israel is not an occupying power and has no obligations as such under international law.
And the committee also goes on to overturn the Geneva Conventions on the conduct of an occupying power and against settling its own population into the occupied area, saying, in its wisdom, that these international laws are outdated and obsolete.
And finally, they cite Israel’s own behaviour as a validation for the de facto normalisation and annexation of their military conquest of June 1967: that the law on occupation of conquered lands assumes that this is temporary, whereas “Judea and Samaria have been under Israeli control for decades, and it is impossible to foresee a time when Israel will relinquish these territories, if ever.”
This report, initiating annexation in all but name and rubber-stamped by the government in advance, blows out of the water any last tattered remnants of the Two State solution.
It is time now to challenge the remaining believers in the Two State myth with this question: will you now support the comprehensive demands by Palestinians for equal civil rights in the One Country that exists between the River and the Sea?
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