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Israeli ambassador and Donald Trump defend continuing settlement expansion

TJI Pick
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Published: 7 May 2016

Last updated: 4 March 2024

The settlements give rise to a number of hotly debated issues. These include the legality or otherwise of some or all settlements, whether or not Israel’s military administration of territory across the Green Line constitutes occupation, the applicability or otherwise of the 4th Geneva Convention, the roles the Israeli government and government agencies play in authorising, promoting, facilitating or maintaining settlements (and on occasion freezing settlement expansion or demolishing or evacuating some settlements) and whether, whatever the correct position may be on other issues, the settlement project threatens a two-state solution or is otherwise politically unwise. The following are some opinions on some of these issues.

Settlements aren't the key to Middle East peace – Shmuel Ben Shmuel – The Sydney Morning Herald 03.05.16
Ambassador says no question Israel's settlements in West Bank are ‘one of the key unresolved issues in the Israel-Palestinian conflict’ but asserts Israeli right to continue settling anywhere in West Bank, denies there is any occupation, and denies that Israeli state plays any role in the transfer of its citizens into settlements.

EXCLUSIVE: Trump insists Israel should keep building West Bank settlements
– Daily Mail Australia 04.05.16 [includes video 0:48]

Ex-ICC prosecutor – settlements debate welcome
December 19, 2015
Moreno Ocampo says debate about settlements’ legality is desirable, especially in the framework of ICC’s current preliminary examination into ‘the situation in Palestine’. ‘We need this debate to better understand — what’s this crime*, how does it apply? How can it be committed?’ [* Article 8 (2)b(viii) of the 1998 Rome Statue defines as a war crime the ‘transfer, directly or indirectly, by the Occupying Power of parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies’.]

It’s the settlements, stupid
– David Horowitz – The Times of Israel 14.10.2015
Netanyahu is right about the need for direct negotiations, about the need to guarantee Israel’s security if there’s a Palestinian state, about the Hamas threat, about Abbas’s failures and about double standards in the treatment of Israel by the international community. But how can he credibly protest against unilateral pro-Palestinian political activity, how can he expect to be heeded, when his Israel is unilaterally remaking the facts on the ground?

The secret ingredient of the Israeli Right’s indignation: occupation-denial
– Chemi Shalev – Haaretz 28.10.14
‘Think about it: once you take occupation out of the equation, Israeli indignation is the least we can do. If there is no occupation, international protests against Israeli construction in the territories become both incomprehensible and reprehensible, as they are often perceived.’                                                                                                              

 

For those interested in factual questions of what the Israeli government and government agencies actually do or don’t do in relation to settlements, the following are a few recent posts and more can be found by searching under ‘settlements’ on the Home page:

Defence Ministry plans on establishing new Israeli settlement in West Bank - Chaim Levinson - Haaretz 07.05.16
The new community is intended for those currently living in the Amona outpost, which is slated for evacuation and demolition by the end of the year.

Netanyahu misleads again on settlement expansion April 19, 2016
Netanyahu claimed that new government approved building plans wouldn’t expand Israeli settlements; aerial photos prove otherwise.

Misuse of closed zones in the West Bank
March 5, 2016
Israeli NGO Kerem Navot reveals how orders creating closed military zones have worked since 1967 to shape the map of the West Bank in the settlers’ favour. At date of the report, nearly one third of the West Bank was subject to such orders (1,765,000 dunams or about 436,000 acres) about 78% of which was not being used for military purposes at all.

No settlement freeze, especially not in isolated settlements
February 16, 2016
“Despite Israeli government declarations of a ‘freeze’, construction on the ground continued in full force during 2015, most of it in isolated settlements, providing housing for thousands more settlers who would probably have to be evacuated under a permanent status agreement.”

Netanyahu’s sleight of hand on settlements
November 3, 2015
‘The totality of the facts tells the real story – a story of a long history of deep and active support for settlement expansion, checked only intermittently and temporarily, for tactical political purposes.’

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