Rights group: Land swap agreements ‘illegal’

 

Laborers work at a construction site of new housing units in Givat Zeev Israeli settlement in the West Bank, north of Jerusalem.

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Palestinian agreements to swap land with Israel as part of a peace deal are illegal under the law governing occupation, rights group said Al-Haq said Thursday.

A recent proposal by Palestinian officials to Mideast Quartet diplomats on the borders of a future state could endanger Palestinian rights and be legally invalid, a new report by the Ramallah-based legal organization says.

The November PLO offer proposed swapping 1.9 percent of West Bank land with Israel, the Tel-Aviv based daily Haaretz reported.

“Rather than facilitate the exercise of self-determination and Palestinian sovereignty over their natural resources, ‘land swap’ agreements concluded under occupation will result in further fragmentation of Palestinian society and will effectively constitute official sanctioning of the dispossession of Palestinian land,” Director of Al-Haq Shawan Jabarin said Thursday.

“The Fourth Geneva Convention protects the interests of the occupied population and clearly states that any agreements that undermine their rights are prohibited as they are borne of a clear imbalance of power between the two parties involved.”

(www.maannews.net / 09.12.2011)

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