Q. In 2014 Did the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Convention find the “settlements” to be illegal?

A. Yes. On December 17th, 2014 the United Nations released the following, excerpted in part, after the tear line.

Conference of High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention Declaration

Original caption reads: In all circumstances, sick or wounded enemy soldiers must be helped or tended.

Original caption reads: In all circumstances, sick or wounded enemy soldiers must be helped or tended.

1. This Declaration[1] reflects the common understanding reached by the participating High Contracting Parties to the Conference of High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention on 17 December 2014, mindful of the recommendation by the United Nations General Assembly in resolution 64/10 of 1 December 2009.

2. The participating High Contracting Parties reaffirm the statement[2] of the Conference of High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention of 15 July 1999 and the Declaration of 5 December 2001 …

8. The participating High Contracting Parties express their deep concern about the impact of the continued occupation of the Occupied Palestinian Territory. They recall that, according to the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice of 9 July 2004, the construction of the wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, at least insofar as it deviates from the Green Line, and its associated regime, are contrary to international humanitarian law. They equally express their deep concern, from an international humanitarian law standpoint, about certain measures taken by the Occupying Power in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including the closure of the Gaza Strip. They reaffirm the illegality of the settlements in the said territory and of the expansion thereof and of related unlawful seizure of property as well as of the transfer of prisoners into the territory of the Occupying Power.

Other Documents and Statements Mentioned Above

The statement from the High Contracting Parties to Geneva reaffirmed that Geneva 4th applies to Palestine saying on July 15th, 1999:

Statement

 

This statement reflects the common understanding reached by the participating High Contracting Parties to the Conference.

 

After consultations among High Contracting Parties, the Conference, as recommended by UN GA Resolution ES-10/6 in its tenth Emergency Special Session/1, convened in Geneva on 15 July 1999.

 

The participating High Contracting Parties reaffirmed the applicability of the Fourth Geneva Convention to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem. Furthermore, they reiterated the need for full respect for the provisions of the said Convention in that Territory.

 

Taking into consideration the improved atmosphere in the Middle East as a whole, the Conference was adjourned on the understanding that it will convene again in the light of consultations on the development of the humanitarian situation in the field.

 

____________________

 

1 Operative Paragraph 6: “Reiterates its recommendation that the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention convene a conference on measures to enforce the Convention in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, and to ensure respect thereof in accordance with common article 1, and further recommends that the High Contracting Parties convene the said conference on 15 July 1999 at the United Nations Office at Geneva.”

 

From UNGAR Resolution 64/10 of 1 December 2009

The General Assembly[3],

 

Guided by the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations,

 

Recalling the relevant rules and principles of international law, including international humanitarian and human rights law, in particular the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949,1 which is applicable to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem …

 

Gravely concerned by reports regarding serious human rights violations and grave breaches of international humanitarian law committed during the Israeli military operations in the Gaza Strip that were launched on 27 December 2008, including the findings of the Fact-Finding Mission and of the Board of Inquiry convened by the Secretary-General,

 

Condemning all targeting of civilians and civilian infrastructure and institutions, including United Nations facilities,

 

Stressing the need to ensure accountability for all violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law in order to prevent impunity, ensure justice, deter further violations and promote peace,

 

Convinced that achieving a just, lasting and comprehensive settlement of the question of Palestine, the core of the Arab-Israeli conflict, is imperative for the attainment of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace and stability in the Middle East …

 

5. Recommends that the Government of Switzerland, in its capacity as depositary of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, undertake as soon as possible the steps necessary to reconvene a Conference of High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention on measures to enforce the Convention in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and to ensure its respect in accordance with common article 1 …

 

7. Decides to remain seized of the matter.

 

[1] Switzerland. Conference of High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention Declaration. UNISPAL. United Nations, 17 December 2014. Web. 6 July 2016. ‹https://unispal.un.org/DPA/DPR/unispal.nsf/0/E7B8432A312475D385257DB100568AE8

[2]Conference of High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention. Statement, Geneva. UNISPAL. United Nations, 15 December 1999. Web. 7 July 2016. ‹https://unispal.un.org/DPA/DPR/unispal.nsf/5ba47a5c6cef541b802563e000493b8c/43b9f2b1643b4aee85256e37005946ea?OpenDocument

[3] Resolution adopted by the General Assembly. A/RES/64/10. UNISPAL. United Nations, 1 December 2009. Web. 7 July 2016. ‹https://unispal.un.org/DPA/DPR/unispal.nsf/5ba47a5c6cef541b802563e000493b8c/43b9f2b1643b4aee85256e37005946ea?OpenDocument

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Michael Hess

Michael Hess

I started writing and editing BBSNews in 1990. Before the 'web, back in the Bulletin Board System (BBS) days. My pursuit of factual and reality based information informs my worldview. The ever evolving BBSNews contains New Mexico news, national and international news, politics, space, foreign policy and in particular; news and facts about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. See our About Us page for more details.