B'Tselem - Publications - By Hook and By Crook, July 2010: "July 2010, Comprehensive report
By Hook and By Crook: Israel’s Settlement Policy in the West Bank
Some half a million Israelis are now living over the Green Line: more than 300,000 in 121 settlements and about one hundred outposts, which control 42 percent of the land area of the West Bank, and the rest in twelve neighborhoods that Israel established on land it annexed to the Jerusalem Municipality. The report analyzes the means employed by Israel to gain control of land for building the settlements. In preparing the report, B'Tselem relied on official state data and documents, among them Attorney Talia Sasson’s report on the outposts, the database produced by Brigadier General Baruch Spiegel, reports of the state comptroller, and maps of the Civil Administration.
The settlement enterprise has been characterized, since its inception, by an instrumental, cynical, and even criminal approach to international law, local legislation, Israeli military orders, and Israeli law, which has enabled the continuous pilfering of land from Palestinians in the West Bank.
The principal means Israel used for this purpose was declaration of “state land,” a mechanism that resulted in the seizure of more than 900,000 dunams of land (sixteen percent of the West Bank), with most of the declarations being made in 1979-1992. The interpretation that the State Attorney's Office gave to the concept “state land” in the Ottoman Land Law contradicted explicit statutory provisions and judgments of the Mandatory Supreme Court. Without this distorted interpretation, Israel would not have been able to allocate such extensive areas of land for the settlements.
In addition, the settlements seized control of private Palestinian land. By cross-checking data of the Civil Administration, the settlements’ jurisdictional area, and aerial photos of the settlements taken in 2009, B'Tselem found that 21 percent of the built-up area of the settlements is land that Israel recognizes as private property, owned by Palestinians.
To encourage Israelis to move to the settlements, Israel created a mechanism for providing benefits and incentives to settlements and settlers, regardless of their economic condition, which often was financially secure. Most of the settlements in the West Bank hold the status of National Priority Area A, which entitles them to a number of benefits: in housing, by enabling settlers to purchase quality, inexpensive apartments, with an automatic grant of a subsidized mortgage; wide-ranging benefits in education, such as free education from age three, extended school days, free transportation to schools, and higher teachers’ salaries; for industry and agriculture, by grants and subsidies, and indemnification for the taxes imposed on their produce by the European Union; in taxation, by imposing taxes significantly lower than in communities inside the Green Line, and by providing larger balancing grants to the settlements, to aid in covering deficits.
Establishment of the settlements violates international humanitarian law. Israel has ignored the relevant rules of law, adopting its own interpretation, which is not accepted by almost all leading jurists around the world and by the international community.
The settlement enterprise has caused continuing, cumulative infringement of the Palestinians’ human rights, as follows:
* the right of property, by seizing control of extensive stretches of West Bank land in favor of the settlements;
* the right to equality and due process, by establishing separate legal systems, in which the person’s rights are based on his national origin, the settlers being subject to Israel’s legal system, which is based on human rights and democratic values, while the Palestinians are subject to the military legal system, which systematically deprives them of their rights;
* the right to an adequate standard of living, since the settlements were intentionally established in a way that prevents urban development of Palestinian communities, and Israel’s control of the water sources prevents the development of Palestinian agriculture;
* the right to freedom of movement, by means of the checkpoints and other obstructions on Palestinian movement in the West Bank, which are intended to protect the settlements and the settler’s traffic arteries;
* the right to self-determination, by severing Palestinian territorial contiguity and creating dozens of enclaves that prevent the establishment of an independent and viable Palestinian state.
The cloak of legality that Israel has sought to give to the settlement enterprise is aimed at covering the ongoing theft of West Bank land, thereby removing the basic values of legality and justice from Israel’s system of law enforcement in the West Bank. The report exposes the system Israel has adopted as a tool to advance political objectives, enabling the systematic infringement of the Palestinians’ human rights.
The extensive geographic-spatial changes that Israel has made in the landscape of the West Bank undermine the negotiations that Israel has conducted for eighteen years with the Palestinians and breach its international obligations. The settlement enterprise, being based on discrimination against the Palestinians living in the West Bank, also weakens the pillars of the State of Israel as a democratic country and diminishes its status among the nations of the world.
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Full report, PDF
Palestine Video - A Palestine Vlog
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
- ***Alnakba [The Catastrophe] - [P1] The Threads of the Conspiracy [P2] Crushing the Revolution
- ***Alnakba [The Catastrophe] - [P3] Ethnic Cleansing [P4] Nakba Continued
- **Al Nakba [La Catástrofe] - [P1] Los Hilos de la Conspiración [P2] Aplastar la Revoución
- **AlNakba [La Catásrofe] - [P3] Limpieza Étnica
- *A Palestinian Woman
- *Azmi Bishara - Interview:
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- *Azmi Bishara: The Last Colonial Question
- *Blood & Religion, Unmasking the Israeli State
- *De Facto State of Lawlessness
- *Drying up Palestine
- *Edward Said - On Orientalism
- *Edward Said: Lecture The Myth of 'The Clash of Civilzations'
- *Edward Said: Memory, Inequality and Power: Palestine and the Universality of Human Rights
- *Edward Said: Palestine, Iraq and U.S. Policy
- *Francis Boyle - Palestinians and International law
- *From Occupation to Enclosure: Fragmenting the Palestinian State 1 - Diana Buttu"
- *From Occupation to Enclosure: Fragmenting the Palestinian State 2 - Amira Hass"
- *George Bisharat - Ending the Palestinian Nakba
- *Ghada Karmi at Yale
- *Ghada Karmi: Why Israel is a Failed State
- *Ilan Pappe - Interview
- *Ilan Pappe - Israel's 1967 Plan for the West Bank and Gaza Strip
- *Ilan Pappe on the Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine
- *In the Spider's Web
- *Interview: Ghassan Andoni
- *Israel's Secret Weapon (Israel's WMD)
- *Jeff Halper - Israeli Apartheid and the Paths to a Just Peace
- *Jeff Halper- The United States, Israel and the American Jewish Community
- *Jenin Jenin
- *John Pilger - Palestine is still the issue
- *John Pilger - The War on Democracy
- *Landscapes of Occupation in Palestine
- *Muhammad Jaradat & Eitan Bronstein: 1948 and the Right of Return
- *Noam Chomsky - Middle East Crisis
- *Noam Chomsky on Gaza - MIT
- *Norman Fikelstein - The Israel-Palestine conflict: what we can learn from Gandhi
- *Norman Finkelstein speech at Columbia University (3 parts video)
- *Occupation 101
- *Off The Charts - If Americans Knew
- *Palestine Street -1- The Lost Bride
- *Palestine Street -2- The Bride in exile
- *Peace, Propaganda and the Promised Land: Media & the Israel-Palestine Conflict
- *People and The Land: The Story of a People Under Occupation
- *Phyllis Bennis - "Dual Occupations: Iraq and Palestine in Bush's Empire"
- *Rachel: An American Conscience
- *Rashid Khalidi - Palestine: 40 Years of Occupation, 60 Years of Dispossession
- *Rep. Paul Findley Dares to Speak Out -- Again! AIPAC exposed
- *Salman Abu Sitta: Atlas Palestine
- *Salman Abu Sitta: The Geography of Occupation
- *Secret WMD in Israel
- *Technical Error at Beit Hanoun
- *Tegenlicht ('Backlight') A Documentary on the Israel Lobby -
- *The Bases Are Loaded: US Permanent Military Presence in Iraq
- *The Easiest Targets: The Israeli Policy of Strip Searching Women and Children
- *The influence of the Israel Lobby on American foreign policy
- *The Iron Wall
- *The Israeli Wall in Palestinian Lands
- *The Killing Zone
- *The Unrecognized
- *This is Not Your War
- *Wall of Shame
- Watch "If Americans Knew" Videos
- Watch Alternate Focus Videos
- Watch B'Tselem Videos
- watch ISM Videos
- Watch pdxjustice Videos