The US government has decided not to consider the Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories as a violation of international law. According to the US, the construction of Israeli settlements in the West Bank is “not per se incompatible with international law”, the Warlord Pompeo explains. With this decision, the Trump Administration, with a view to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, has repeatedly violated international law.
UN has already condemned illegal occupation several times
In the Middle East war of June 1967, the Israeli forces occupied the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem, as well as the Syrian Golan Heights and the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula. In the meantime, more than 200 illegal settlements with more than 600,000 illegal Jewish settlers exist in the West Bank.
This occupation, which took place in 1967, was condemned by consensus by the UN Security Council by its Resolution 242 by 15:0 votes as a “breach of international law” and called on the Israeli government to withdraw fully and unconditionally from the occupied territories. Following the Yom Kippur War of October 1973, the Security Council, by its Resolution 338, reiterated the determination of the international illegality of occupation and the demand for withdrawal from the Israeli government. The two Resolutions 242 and 338 continue to be without restriction valid international law, and they have been reaffirmed many times by the Security Council in other resolutions over the last five decades.
In several resolutions, the UN Security Council has also explicitly stated that the settlement of territories illegally occupied by international law is also contrary to international law and has called on Israel to refrain from the occupation which is contrary to international law. Last, in Resolution 2234 of 23 December 2016, in which the Security Council
Reaffirms that the establishment by Israel of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, is not legally valid and constitutes a flagrant breach of international law and a serious obstacle to the achievement of the two-state solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace.
once again demands that Israel immediately cease all settlement activities in the Occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, and fully respect all its legal obligations in this respect.
The Security Council noted that the settlements were “a major obstacle to peace”. Resolution 2234 was adopted by 14 votes in favour; the United States, which had been ruled by the Obama Administration until the end of December 2016, abstained.
United States systematically violates international law
However, the Trump Administration has been systematically violating more and more international law provisions relevant to the conflict between Israel and Palestine since it took office in January 2017. First, it relocated the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, thereby explicitly acknowledging the Israeli government’s claim to Jerusalem as the sole capital of Israel. In this way, the United States violates the UN Division resolution by which the General Assembly passed its resolutions on 30 June 2012. On 11 November 1947, two states had decided to form the territory between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River, which was then managed by the United Kingdom as a “Palestinian Mandate area”.
The division of resolution explicitly stipulates that the Status of Jerusalem remains open and the future role and function of the city (whether as a joint or separate capital of one or both States, or as an international city with the main cities in Tel Aviv and Ramallah) in negotiations between the two sides to be decided.
In a further step contrary to international law, the Trump Administration in the spring of this year acknowledged the decision of the government of Benjamin Netanyahu to declare the illegal occupation of Syrian Golan Heights as a permanent part of the Israeli territory.
New language regulation obscures occupation contrary to international law
And finally, the Washington State Department, led by Mike Pompeo, has removed the term “Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT)”, which has been used in all U.S. government documents since 1967, at the UN and elsewhere in global diplomacy and in decisions of international courts for the territories occupied by Israel, from all official documents and the language used by the U.S. government, replacing it with the term “disputed territories”.
The tendency to conceal the harsh reality of the occupation contrary to international law by this new language regime and to make it trivial has been observed for some time in other Western capitals as well. It was only last week that the German government’s Commissioner for anti-Semitism, Felix Klein, referred to the Office of Chancellor Angela Merkel as a senior official who is directly subordinate to the Office of Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Klein did so in his criticism of the judgment of the European Court of justice in Luxembourg. The latter has recently decided that products from the occupied territories which Israel exports to EU countries (and also to Switzerland) in breach of the trade preference agreement with the EU, which has been in force since 1996, must be declared with their correct origin (“from the West Bank”). Klein claimed that the decision of the European Court of Justice set " double Standards “for Israel because there were no corresponding provisions” for other controversial areas " such as the Ukrainian Crimea or the territory of Western Sahara managed by Morocco.
Accordingly, the Secretary-General of the ruling Christian Democrats, Paul Ziemiak said. Already in the summer of 2017, the director of the Catholic Academy in Berlin banned an event that had already been contractually agreed and announced in posters and leaflets for the 50th anniversary of Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories in June 1967, on the grounds that “the term occupation is not part of our language”.
In Switzerland, among other things, the website “Audiatur” constantly disregards international law, in which it also uses the term “controversial areas” and always places the term “crew” in quotation marks. A criticism of the judgment of the European Court of justice simply denies that the 1967 UN Division resolution not only decided to create a state of Israel, but also the creation of a state for the Palestinians.
The recent decision of the Trump Administration, contrary to international law, leaves more to be expected. If Israel makes the announcement (yet)-Prime Minister Netanyahu about the annexation of at least parts of the West Bank true, it should also receive support from the Trump Administration.