“Legalizing the illegal”
The Israeli occupying state prosecutor is legalizing what is considered illegal by international laws and binding accords

“Legalizing the illegal” <br> The Israeli occupying state prosecutor is legalizing what is considered illegal by international laws and binding accords
The Israeli state prosecutor have notified the Israeli high court, that state prosecution is updating it’s report on the case concerning the illegal outpost ‘Derech Ha’avot’, and that the status of the illegal outpost may eventually reconsidered to become ‘legal’.
This statement was made following a petition that was made by the Israeli ‘Peace Now’ organization, and the Palestinians land owners which the illegal outpost was established on, the outpost was build on privately owned Palestinian lands. The Israeli occupying State prosecutor update was reported by the ‘Peace Now’ movement as follows: ‘It was decided to launch a survey process to determine weather the lands of ‘Derech Ha’avot’ are State Lands … If the process should reveal that the buildings – all or part of them – are on State Land, then their authorization will be considered. Buildings that will be found built on Private Lands – their demolition orders will be executed, according to the priorities’ 
The illegal outpost of Derech Ha’avot, is located within the illegal settlement block of Gush Etzion, the block which is now home for more than 53,868 of Israeli settlers, all living in the West Bank territory occupied during the 1967 war.
The term ‘State Land’ and upon its legal definition narrated in the Israeli Basic law of Israel lands, falls under lands owned by the state of Israel or by the Development Authority, or Keren Kayemet Le-Israel. This law have been set by the Israeli Knesset in year 1960, and no amendment was made on it pre or after the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, Thereby the Israeli state prosecutor decision on lunching a survey to determinant whether lands of ‘Derech Ha’avot’ are ‘State Lands’ or not,  has no legal basses for such survey, as lands in question are not within the internationally recognized  boundary of Israel, and no legal amendments were made on re-defining the Palestinian occupied territory as part of Israel lands.
The Israeli State prosecution statement is considered to be a very ambiguous and dangerous that has damaging effects on the viability of the ‘Two State Solution’, as the international backed formal for the peace process in the Middle East. Complications of such statement can be seen clearly when noting the ‘232’ [ARIJ Data Base look Map Num 1 ] illegal Israeli outposts scattered through the West Bank. Prosecutor legalizing a single outpost would constitute a legal ground to legalize the other ‘232’ outposts. The implications and effects of such tactical land grab suicidal move would be catastrophic and only Palestinian civil population would pay its price.
Map 1: Distribution of Israeli settlements’ Outposts in the Ocupied Palestinian Territory 


The Israeli government was obligated by the ‘Oslo Peace’ accords, in which Israel and the Palestinian singed and affirmed not to change the status of the occupied territories awaiting final status agreement;
Article XXXI of the 1995 Oslo agreement; “Neither side shall initiate or take any step that will change the status of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip pending the outcome of the permanent status negotiations’… thereby; Israel is forbidden under this singed binding agreement from all forms of building nor planning any settlements project or any colonial expansion, nor any plan that leads to change the status of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Nevertheless Israel and under the pretext of ‘natural growth’ continued and manipulated the international community in it’s none stop expansions of settlements, denouncing to recognize East Jerusalem as part of the occupied territories. 
‘Sasson Report’ which is an official Israeli government report published on March 8, 2005 that concluded that Israeli state bodies had been discreetly diverting millions of shekels to build settlements and outposts in occupied West Bank that were illegal under Israeli law. The report was headed by the former head of the State Prosecution Criminal Department Talia Sasson. The report detailed how officials in the Israeli Ministry of Defense and Ministry of Housing and Construction and the settlement division of the World Zionist Organization spent millions of Israeli shekels from state budgets to support the unauthorized outposts.
The ‘Sasson report’ called it a ‘blatant violation of the law’ and said ‘drastic steps’ were needed to rectify the situation. It describes secret cooperation between various ministries and official institutions to consolidate ‘wildcat’ outposts, which settlers established. The report noted that the problem was ongoing, saying ‘the process of outpost expansion is profoundly under way.’
The report states:
  • The Israeli Ministry of Housing supplied mobile homes for outposts on private Palestinian land
  • The Israeli Ministry of Defense approved the positioning of trailers for the new outposts
  • The Ministry of Education paid for nurseries and their teachers
  • The Ministry of Energy facilitated work to connect outposts to the electricity grid
  • Roads to outposts were paid for with taxpayers’ money
The report mentioned 150 outposts in the occupied West Bank, but Sasson cautions that this list was not exhaustive, due to the lack of cooperation of some ministries and government offices which, according to her, failed to hand over some important documents.
The settlement expansion initiative was backed by Ariel Sharon when he was serving as foreign minister under Binyamin Netanyahu government at that time, In 1998 he publicly urged settlers to seize hilltops in order to break up the contiguity of Palestinian areas and prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state, saying: ‘Let everyone get a move on and take some hilltops! Whatever we take, will be ours, and whatever we don’t take, will not be ours!’. The report prompted calls that Sharon and other former and current government officials face legal repercussions for their alleged official involvement in the funding of illegal settlements.
The Mitchell Report that was issued in May 2001 noted to one of the most important steps towards easing the current situation and leading to a peaceful solution in the long-term is for the Israeli government to freeze all settlement activity, including the ‘natural growth’ of existing settlements.
Most Importunately to note that previous studies on the illegal settlement and outpost enterprise, indicated that such illegal building have passed a booming phase over the last two decades, an increase of 173% of space occupied by Israeli illegal settlements and outposts, a massive growth in the number of outposts totaling ‘232’ by the end of the year 2009.       
Furthermore, the proposed ‘Road Map’ peace plan, proposed by the ‘Quartet’; the United States, the European Union, Russia, and the United Nations, demands Israel to remove all illegal outposts, and to adopt a clear total settlement expansion freeze through the occupied Palestinian territories. 
Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister came into power as a result of the Israeli elections of the year 2009, an extreme right-wing government.
Since then the international community made efforts on pressuring Israel to halt its illegal activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, in a move that was seen as a brave step in the international community in its aged efforts to bring stability to the Middle East. During President Obama’s Cairo speech on June 4, 2009 in which Obama addressed the Arab world he stated, among other things, that ‘The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements’. ‘This construction violates previous agreements and undermines efforts to achieve peace. It is time for these settlements to stop.
In return it seems the Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu had made arrangements with the right-wing parties involved in his government coalition and later as reported On 4 September 2009, Netanyahu concede to the settlers’ demands to approve more settlement expansion before any temporary settlement freeze agreement takes place.
On 25 of November 2010, the Israeli occupying government of Benjamin Netanyahu, have declared a memorandum alleging aims of freezing settlements building, a memorandum that Israeli authorities claim to do apply, manipulated the international community pressure over Israel’s illegal exploitation and annexation of occupied Palestinian territory, persuading its illegal alleged annexation of East Jerusalem by not including its alleged ‘settlement freeze’.
‘In the moratorium just announced by the government of Israel, there will be no new housing construction starts during the 10-month period.,’ said George Mitchell. ‘None.  There will be no approval of any housing projects during the 10-month moratorium.’ 
As it have been documented and noted Israel had shown no real intention for it’s memorandum of settlement freeze it declared, on the contrary reports have indicated massive tenders approval for settlement expansions even during moments that were seen crucial, while international efforts were intensified and invested in restarting the peace talks between Palestinians and Israel.
On the 1 January 2010 Haaretz Israeli daily news paper highlighted the settlement expansions despite settlement memorandum of freeze describing it as a building boom, reported several thousands units being build , based on a filed tour carried out by the news agency.
‘Despite the construction freeze, dozens of settlements in the West Bank are experiencing a building boom, even on the eve of another visit to the region by U.S. envoy George Mitchell to try to restart talks for a final settlement between the Israelis and Palestinians…’ [Haaretz Daily News Paper, 1 Jan 2010]     
Israel continued manipulative efforts to exclude occupied East Jerusalem from any memorandum settlement freeze continued as part of its de-facto policy toward its illegal annexation of occupied East Jerusalem, respectful international community and peace talk stakeholders, have condemned  and raised concerns toward the unilateral illegal practices by Israeli government in occupied East Jerusalem.
US: White House Statement by Vice President Joe Biden; ‘I condemn the decision by the government of Israel to advance planning for new housing units in East Jerusalem. The substance and timing of the announcement, particularly with the launching of proximity talks, is precisely the kind of step that undermines the trust we need right now and runs counter to the constructive discussions that I’ve had here in Israel.
We must build an atmosphere to support negotiations, not complicate them. This announcement underscores the need to get negotiations under way that can resolve all the outstanding issues of the conflict. The United States recognizes that Jerusalem is a deeply important issue for Israelis and Palestinians and for Jews, Muslims and Christians’.  
EU:Declaration by Catherine Ashton, the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy; The European Union condemns the recent decision of the Israeli authorities to authorize construction around the Shepherd Hotel in East Jerusalem. The international community is making every effort to facilitate the resumption of peace talks. Settlement construction in East Jerusalem is illegal and undermines these efforts. The EU calls on Israel to reverse this decision.
Quartet: The Quartet condemns Israel’s decision to advance planning for new housing units in East Jerusalem. The Quartet has agreed to closely monitor developments in Jerusalem and to keep under consideration additional steps that may be required to address the situation on the ground.
The Quartet re-affirms that unilateral actions taken by either party cannot prejudge the outcome of negotiations and will not be recognized by the international community.
As clearly noted, he Israeli continues vulgar measures towards hindering the peace talk’s efforts international stakeholders invest in brining peace and stability in the Middle East. ‘Modus operandi’ employed by the Israeli polices leave no space for strict accountability towards human rights violations in the occupied Palestinian territories carried by state or settlement enterprises.
The Israel state prosecutor deterring the evacuation of the illegal outpost of Derech Ha’avot, will declare new era of legal manipulation grounds that will eventually deprive the Palestinians land owners there chance to retrieving there stolen lands. Such actions are undermining the new round of proximity peace talks that the international community is on the hunt for.
Noting that Palestinian occupied territories that came under Israeli occupation after the 1967 war including East Jerusalem lands annexed by Israel [Unilaterally redefined Jerusalem municipal boundary], were never recognized by international law as part of the state of Israel. The Israel ‘Basic Law; Jerusalem Capital of Israel’  which was passed by the Israeli Knesset on the 30th of July 1980, faced international protest, including UN Security Council Resolution 478 which declared the new Basic Law ‘null and void’.
on the 25 of January 2010 the United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution A/RES/64/19; clearly noting and reaffirming the illegality of all Israeli occupation practices of exploitation and control over the occupied Palestinian territories, the illegality of Israeli settlements build within the 1967 occupied Palestinian territories including East Jerusalem ‘Reaffirming the illegality of the Israeli settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem’ and the Israeli building of the de-facto illegal Israeli segregation wall. The General Assembly resolution also reaffirmed relevant resolutions previously set by the UN General Assembly, and UN Security council ‘Recalling further relevant Security Council resolutions, including resolutions 242 (1967) of 22 November 1967, 338 (1973) of 22 October 1973, 1397 (2002) of 12 March 2002, 1515 (2003) of 19 November 2003, 1544 (2004) of 19 May 2004 and 1850 (2008) of 16 December 2008′.
Previously mentioned and other various documented UN GA resolution and UN SC resolution [UN Violated SC resolution 237, 271, 446, 452, 465, 476, 478, 592, 605, 607, 636, 672, 694, 726, 799, 904, 1073, 1322], firmly called upon Israel as an occupying power to comply with international law and end all practices contrary to international law affirming the applicability of international laws at Time of War, thereby the Forth Geneva Convention is applicable and obliges the occupying power under it’s articles avoid such appropriation of property; Article 49 “The occupying power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own population into the territories it occupies’, furthermore and under Article 147 of the same convention; ‘extensive destruction and appropriate of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly’ as a grave breach of the Convention and thus constitute a war crime’.  Subsequently the status of the illegal Israeli settlements as an illegal practice of an occupying power; such act is categorized under the ‘Grave Breach’ on the international laws constituting war crime.
What has been formally mentioned affirms that the status of the Palestinian territories as occupied, and there for international law is applicable. By so whether considered under Israeli law as state land or not, has no legal impact on its legal status internationally, which recognizes the Palestinian territories occupied, thereby any act that is categorized as unlawful, grave breach or war crime under international laws, holds Israel responsible toward the occupied population and would be held accountable by the world nations ‘ Without prejudice to the provisions of the foregoing Article, grave breaches of the Convention shall be punished as crimes against the law of nations by the tribunals of any of the High Contracting Parties or by any international jurisdiction the competence of which has been recognized by them. Grave breaches shall include in particular those which cause death, great human suffering or serious injury to body or health, those which constitute a grave denial of personal liberty or a derogation from the dignity due to the person or involve extensive destruction of property, also breaches which by reason of their nature or persistence show a deliberate disregard of this Convention.
Furthermore, on the 17 May 2001, the head of the International Red Cross delegation to Israel and the oPt raised serious concerns toward the illegality and ‘grave breach’ towards international law all which is caused due to the existence of the illegal settlement enterprise.
The transfer, the installation of population of the occupying power into the occupied territories is considered as an illegal move and qualified as a ‘grave breach.’ It’s a grave breach, formally speaking, but grave breaches are equal in principle to war crimes’, Rene Kosirnik, head of the ICRC delegation to Israel and the OPT
Israel’s policies contradict the well of the international community, re-noting that its de-facto polices come in contradiction with international law, human rights treaties and multiple UN Resolutions.
All what is mentioned formerly affirm that the illegality of the Israeli exploitation of the occupied Palestinian territories, including and  of Jerusalem, demanding the Israeli government to apply international law in its practices in this territory, which Affirms the applicability of the fourth Geneva Convention.

[1] State may legalize West Bank outpost http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3880559,00.html

[2] Petition to High Court: State Confirms Outpost to be Authorized as a New Settlement http://www.peacenow.org.il/site/en/peace.asp?pi=66&docid=4648
[3]  Basic law: Israel Lands
[4] Sasson Report, Wikipedia
[5] An increase by 173% over the past two decades
‘ The Israeli settlements’ built-up areas exceeds that of the Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territory’
[6] Roadmap For Peace in the Middle East: Israeli/Palestinian Reciprocal Action, Quartet Support ‘U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Public Affairs,16/7/2003
[7] Benjamin Netanyahu – Second term as Prime Minister: 2009–present http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benjamin_Netanyahu#cite_note-59   
[8]  Israel to Approve More Settlement Construction Before Freeze  
  Expanding the settlement of Betar Illit ‘ Warmly welcoming to the US Mideast special envoy G .Mitchell
[11] Construction in West Bank settlements booming despite declared freeze
[12] Statement by Vice President Joe Biden
[13] Catherine Ashton, the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy http://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms_Data/docs/pressdata/EN/foraff/113542.pdf
[15] Resolution adopted by the General Assembly  [without reference to a Main Committee (A/64/L.23 and Add.1)] 64/19. Peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine
[16] II. ‘ Grave violations. ‘ Convention (IV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War. Geneva, 12 August 1949.  Part IV : Execution of the convention #Section I : General provisions
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Categories: Settlement Expansion