Know More About Palestine

Wednesday March 24, 2010 5:17 PM (EST+7)
ANALYSIS: Israeli settlements: what are they, really?

Read more: settlements, peace process, negotiations,

RAMALLAH, Mar. 24 (JMCC) - Award-winning essayist Richard Greener examines the issue of settlements in this clear, factual article.

Americans know that the issue of Israeli settlements is an obstacle in the way of Middle East peace. But do we properly comprehend what Israeli settlements really are?

We must begin with Article 49 of the Geneva Convention. Israel is a signatory to this international agreement. So is the United States. Contrary to recent US Executive branch behavior, the Geneva Accords do carry the full weight of international law. Article 49 is simple, clear and is not a subject of controversy. It forbids an occupying power from moving its own civilian population onto occupied lands as permanent residents. Despite this prohibition Israel has constructed settlements outside and beyond its borders for more than 40 years.

Official Israeli figures show that 304,569 Israeli Jews now live on the West Bank in housing built on land that is not part of the State of Israel. That is the definition of a settlement. Those three hundred thousand settlers do not live in Israel yet they continue to call themselves Israelis and the State of Israel treats them as full citizens. The land on which these housing units have been built was forcibly conquered, taken by the armed forces of the State of Israel. Another 190,000 Israeli Jews live in East Jerusalem - in the Arab section of that city. These settlers also live in housing that was forcibly constructed after the military of the State of Israel removed Arabs already living there. These Israeli settlements in Jerusalem bring the total of Israeli settlers living outside the borders of their country to almost 500,000. There are about 2.5 million Palestinians living on the West Bank and in Jerusalem...

Read the full article from the Huffington Post...







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