Peace Now's Settlement Watch: Creeping Annexation: Changes in the Interpretation of the Laws Regarding Occupation

Creeping Annexation: Changes in the Interpretation of the Laws Regarding Occupation
Settlements Watch Peace Now,
December 2017

Report's Main Points:

In recent years, the Attorney General and the State Prosecutor's Office have made dramatic changes in their positions on a number of issues regarding Israel's control over the occupied territories (OT). These changes are part of the g overnment's effort to apply the standards of Israel's democracy to settlements located in territory that is subject to belligerent Israeli occupation, where the Palestinian population lives without democracy and equal rights. These changes are contrary to previous positions of the legal echelon and the Supreme Court, and they magnify the legal question surrounding Israel's control of the OT in terms of international law.

Among other things, the Attorney General stated that:

    • It is permissible to expropriate Palestinian land in cases where the Israeli takeover was carried out "in good faith."
    • It is permissible to confiscate land for the purpose of access to a settlement.
    • Abandoned property may be used for settlement purposes.
    • It is permitted to "liquidate" the abandoned property without judicial process.
    • It is permissible to expropriate protected tenancy of the Hebron Municipality on public land, even without a judicial process.
    • Legislative changes were made to facilitate the demolition and deportation of Palestinian communities in Area C.

These changes mark another step in the policy of de facto annexation of the OT to Israel, and they are intended to "normalize" the settlements and make them part of Israel, even without declaring so.

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