The legality of the settlements-2 - Comment - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper
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    • Eylo
    • 21.10.05 | 20:02 (IST)

    According to the 4th Geneva Convention,the prohibition of exiling conquered populations and settling populations from the conqueror's territory into conquered territories pertains to territory conquered in an offensive war. These sections of the Convention were written to deter future actions like those of the Nazis in Eastern Europe during WWII. Since Israel acquired soverignty over the territories in a defensive war, these prohibitions do not apply. The fact that the belligerent opponent (Jordan) remained at war (until 1994) meant that the conquered population was potentially hostile. Moreover, Israel never exiled any Arabs from anywhere in the territories (except in 1992 when it deported about 400 terrorists to south Lebanon in an attempt to stop terror activities). On the contrary, because of Israel's policies of 'open bridges' across the Jordan (although Jordan was still in a state of declared war with Israel), Arabs migrated into Israel in vast numbers, and the Arab population of the West Bank tripled,fromabout 650,000 in 1967 to more than 2,000,000 in 1994, with a commesurate increase in Arab settlements (some estimates suggest that as many as 260 new Arab villages or expansions of existing sites occurred during this time). It is obvious, therefore, that Israeli settlement activity not only did nothing to infringe on the well being of the indigenous population; rather, that activity actually created the beneficial economic environment into which hundreds of thousands of Arabs could integrate.

    from the article: Preparing for the next war
    First published 00:00 21.10.05 | Last updated 00:00 21.10.05
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