Official: Israeli settlers tour Beit Ummar


HEBRON (Ma’an) — For the second time in two weeks, settlers made a tour of Beit Ummar north of Hebron, according to a spokesman for the town’s popular committee.

Muhammad Ayyad Awad said that more than 100 Kfar Etzion settlers toured Beit Ummar under the protection of Israeli forces. During the tour, they made provocative remarks which eventually sparked clashes.

Awad said the clashes erupted in the Asida area, and residents threw rocks at the settlers. Israeli forces responded by firing live ammunition and stun grenades, he added.

Ahmad Abu Hashem, the coordinator of the popular committee, said Karmei Tzur settlement security official have announced that the settlement will expand and 200 dunums will be confiscated from the village.

Meanwhile, around 200 settlers with 12 Israeli army jeeps raided Baraka village east of Yatta and set up six temporary houses in an attempt to create a new outpost near Ma’on settlement.

Separately, Israeli forces detained a Palestinian resident on Friday after police dogs attacked him during clashes between Palestinian and Israeli forces in the Tabqa area south of Hebron.

Locals said Akram Jamal was attacked by the dog after Israeli forces released it. The forces refused to allow a Red Crescent team to give him first aid before detaining him.

Also Friday, Palestinians tossed Molotov cocktails at an Israeli military patrol near al-Aroub, settler media reported. There were no reports of injury or damage.

(www.maannews.net / 03.02.2012)

Syria forces break up Hama protest marking killings

BEIRUT (Reuters) — Syrian forces shot dead one person in the city of Hama on Friday as they broke up a protest marking the anniversary of a 1982 massacre by troops loyal to President Bashar Assad’s father, activists said.

The opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said security forces dispersed demonstrators in the Janoub al-Malaab district of Hama, where residents had planned to release 1,000 red balloons to mark the killing of more than 10,000 people when Hafez al-Assad’s forces crushed an Islamist uprising.

Violence has raged on as diplomats at the United Nations wrangle over an Arab and Western draft resolution condemning today’s Syrian authorities for a military crackdown on an 11-month-old revolt in which thousands of people have been killed.

Activists reported arrests and heavy gunfire in several areas and said at least 18 people were killed across Syria.

Violence also returned to the main commercial hub Aleppo, which has so far remained largely on the sidelines of the uprising but which is now home to a growing opposition movement.

Eight soldiers were killed in clashes with army deserters in the southern province of Deraa and seven people were killed in Damascus province, where the government beat back rebels who temporarily seized towns last week.

Syria’s government says foreign-backed militants are behind the uprising against 42 years of Assad family rule. Authorities prevented any commemoration of the Hama killings in all that time.

Activists had said protests would be held across Syria on Friday after the main weekly Muslim prayers under the banner “Hama, forgive us”.

Video footage on the Internet, purportedly filmed in Hama on Friday, showed dozens of people in a sidestreet waving green, white and black rebel flags and chanting “freedom forever”.

On Thursday, Hama residents coated many streets with red paint to mark the four-week assault on the city and the razing of its old town by Hafez al-Assad’s forces in February 1982.

At the UN Security Council, Arab and Western drafters of a resolution condemning Syria’s crackdown revised their text on Thursday in an effort to avoid a Russian veto, though their draft included language Moscow has rejected.

(www.maannews.net / 03.02.2012)

Jewish settlements in the rulings of the European Court of Justice

Dr. Abdulrahman Muhammad Ali

Jewish settlements in the rulings of the European Court of JusticeIntroduction

After decades of human suffering resulting from Israel’s occupation and illegal colonisation of Palestinian territory; fruitless and stalled negotiations; moribund policies; and legal options being overlooked in favour of diplomacy, it is time to look at a new strategy using political action and negotiations based on international law.

Observers of the Palestine question note that some Western countries are openly pro-Israel, “right or wrong”, and the so-called diplomacy of most does nothing for the Palestinian cause. Western diplomats, for example, almost always avoid declaring that Israeli settlements are illegal, breach international law and are an obstacle to peace. Sadly, the Palestinian Authority usually displays the same reluctance.

The European judiciary, represented by the European Court of Justice, however, appear to have more courage than the diplomats; they are clear that the Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories of the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem are not part of the territory of the State of Israel. As such, goods and companies therein do not have the right to any preferential customs treatment from the European Union. This is based on a decision issued by European Court of Justice on 25 February 2010 in the case of Brita Gmbh v Hauptzollant Hamburghafen.

Issued by the highest European judicial body, this ruling is as important as that issued by the International Court of Justice on the Separation Wall in the West Bank.1

The existence and continued expansion of Jewish settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories is a breach of UN Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338 and signed agreements based on the principle of land for peace.2

The occupying authority has to fulfil its legal responsibilities towards the Geneva Conventions of 1949, as whatever an “occupying authority” does regarding the confiscation of Palestinian land is a clear violation of all common humanitarian law. The occupying authority in this case (Israel) violates article 233 of the Convention of The Hague for example, and article 147 of the Fourth Geneva Conventions of 1949 which considers seizure and confiscation of land through armed conflict to be illegal and to constitute seriously grave breaches.4

The International Court of Justice stressed clearly in its advisory decision that legal consequences arising from the construction of the separation wall in the occupied Palestinian territories are considered violations by the occupying state and stated:

“Regarding the issue of settlements, the Court notes that the article (49), paragraph 6 of the Fourth Geneva Convention stipulated that ‘The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies’. The Court also notes that this article does not only deny deportation or transfer of the population as what had happened during World War II, but also denies any measures taken by the occupying state to regulate and promote the transfer of part of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies. In this regard, the information available to the court shows that the occupying authority, and since 1977, exercises a programmed policy and has sophisticated practices in establishing settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory which violates article (49), paragraph (6).”

The UN Security Council has adopted the view that this policy and these practices (ie Israeli settlements) have no legal basis and are regarded as illegal; the Security Council has also called on “the occupying authority” to apply and comply with the Fourth Geneva Convention.

It must be emphasised that the practice of population transfer into the occupied territory violate the right of the Palestinian people in self-determination in two distinct ways: First, the removal of people from their land strikes at the very heart of the right, impairing the ability of the people to determine the destiny of their territory. It follows that mass expulsions or deportations from the occupied land and the transfer of settlers therein violate not only the individual rights of self-determination but also the collective right of self-determination.

Second, even in the absence of mass expulsion or population transfer, policies may serve to defeat core elements of the right of self-determination. The transfer of settlers into the occupied territory may be used as a means of depriving the indigenous people of their land or other natural resources essential to their traditional life style.5

Article 8/2/b/viii of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court states that “war crimes” includes, “Other serious violations of the laws and norms applicable in international armed conflicts within the established outline of international law, namely, any of the following acts… (viii) The transfer, directly or indirectly, by the Occupying Power of parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies, or the deportation or transfer of all or parts of the population of the occupied territory within or outside this territory”.

According to the elements of crimes that have been adopted by the Assembly of States Parties on 09/09/2002, which are explanations of the articles 6, 7 and 8 of the Rome Statutes,6 this offence7 needs to be accompanied by the following elements:

1. The perpetrator, directly or indirectly, transfers part of its population into the territory it occupies, or deports or transfers of all the population of the occupied territory or some of them inside or outside it.

2. The conduct took place in the context of international armed conflict and was associated with it.

3. The perpetrator was aware of the factual circumstances that proved the existence of an armed conflict8.

The prohibition of deportation or transfer of the population outside or inside the occupied territory by the occupying power is considered a firm and common principle and does not allow for any exceptions, except for that stated in the second paragraph of article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention; these exceptions are the security of the people themselves and for imperative military reasons. This principle is stated in article 49, paragraph 1and 2,9 and has been confirmed in article 51, paragraph 310 and article 76, paragraph 111 of the Fourth Geneva Convention.12 Besides this, article 85, paragraph 4 of the Additional (Protocol I) prohibits transfer or deportation of the population outside or inside the occupied territory by the Occupying Power. This article stipulated: “In addition to the grave breaches defined in the preceding paragraphs and in the Conventions, the following shall be regarded as grave breaches of this Protocol, when committed wilfully and in violation of the Conventions or the Protocol:

(a) the transfer by the Occupying Power of parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies, or the deportation or transfer of all or parts of the population of the occupied territory within or outside this territory, in violation of Article 49 of the Fourth Convention…

The prohibition bans the occupying state from transferring its own civilian population into the occupied territory as this will lead to a change in the geographical structure of the occupied territory and will restrict the rights of the population of the occupied territory in their rights of ownership of the land (the right of refugees to return to their homes, for example), and create physical changes on the ground.

The transfer, directly or indirectly of the people of an occupying state into the occupied territory, through the establishment of settlements, violates in turn international humanitarian law, because the occupying state is acting as an administrative and military power in the territory which it occupies, and this is forbidden, regardless of its objectives.13

The transfer process must be carried out by the occupying state, and requires clear governmental involvement. Illegal acts by individuals acting on their own in relocating Jewish settlers in occupied Palestinian territory without the approval or support of the occupying state, or its knowledge, cannot be pinned on the state.

Population transfer into and out of occupied territory can be done directly or indirectly according to the text of article 8/(2)/(b)/(viii) of the Rome statute. This phrase, which was in neither the Fourth Geneva Conventions nor in Protocol I, was added at the request of the Arab states and was approved by a majority vote.

Indirect transfer includes the land confiscation, government settlement-plans, and providing protection for settlers and the settlements. “Transfer” includes economic incentives provided by the occupying state to encourage the settlers to build in the occupied territory; these could include granting loans to settlers and offering tax exemptions to settlers and foreign investors.

All of this has been confirmed by the decision of the European Court of Justice in the case of Brita.

The European Court of Justice, now called “The Court of Justice”, is the highest court in the European Union on matters of European law. The court’s main function is to interpret European law and implement it uniformly across the European Union. It has 27 judges representing 27 states, was established in 1952 and is based in Luxemburg, playing a role in the arbitration of conflicts and disputes among the European Union’s institutions. National judicial decisions cannot be taken to the Court of Justice for appeal, but national courts may ask it to decide on issues related to European Law.14

There are 8 general judges helping the main judges in the Court of the Justice. The Advocate General is responsible for providing legal opinions in cases submitted to the court; he or she can ask questions of parties to disputes before providing an opinion for the judges prior to them issuing their final judgement. Although the Advocate General’s opinion serves only as an advisory view for the judges to consider, in practice, the judges generally take the same view.15

The decision issued by the Court of Justice in the case of Brita Gmbh v Hauptzollant Hamburghafen, included the court’s view on the subject of Jewish settlements through its interpretation of the provisions of the EU Israel Association Agreement. This was based not on European economic law, but public international law with which the Court confirmed the borders of 1967 with the Palestinian territories under Israeli administration and Jewish settlements not constituting part of the occupying state.

Regrettably, this judgement has not been addressed by Arabic jurisprudence nor by researchers despite its legal importance.16

I will shed some light on the main points mentioned in the Advocate General’s opinion and give a brief explanation of what was mentioned in the Court’s decision.

Brita and the European Court of Justice

1. The nature of the dispute

Brita is a German company which imports drink-makers for sparkling water, as well as accessories and syrups, all of which are produced by an Israeli supplier, Soda Club Ltd., at a factory in Mishor Adumin in the occupied West Bank to the East of Jerusalem.17Mishor Adumin is considered to be one of the most important economic hubs in the occupied territory.18

During the first six months of 2002, Brita submitted requests for free passage of imported goods and more than 60 requests to the German Customs Authorities to make use of the preferential tariff on imported goods from Soda Club according to the partnership agreement signed between Israel and the European Union. The source of the goods was listed as “Israel”.19

German Customs Authorities decided to grant a temporary preferential customs tariff for Soda Club products imported by Brita, but they asked for verification of the place of origin of the items.

Israeli Customs Authorities confirmed to their German counterparts that the goods originated with a company in an area that is under the control of the Israel Customs Authorities and, as such, they comply with the EU-Israel Association Agreement. According to the agreement’s terms, therefore, these goods were entitled to preferential treatment.20

On 6 February 2003, the German Customs Authorities asked the Israelis by way of supplementary information if the goods exported to Brita by Soda Club had been manufactured in Israeli settlements in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip or Golan Heights; the question was not answered.21

In September 2003, the German Customs Authorities withdrew the preferential treatment that had been granted previously to Brita and its goods imported from Soda Club on the grounds that it could not be established conclusively that the imported goods are entitled to benefit under the EU-Israel Association Agreement. Consequently, the Customs Authorities in Germany sought post-clearance recovery of customs duties amounting to a total of €19,155.46 from the German company.22

Brita then brought an action before the Finanzgericht Hamburg (Finance Court) and asked for the annulment of the decision taken by the German Customs authorities with regards of recovery of customs duties.23 The Finance Court took the view that the dispute depended on the interpretation of the EU-Israel Association Agreement on the one hand, and the EU-PLO Interim Association Agreement on the other. As a result, the Finance Court referred the dispute to the European Court of Justice.

2. The legal opinion of the Advocate General put before the judges

The Advocate General presented his legal opinion on 29 October 2009. He pointed out during his presentation that the application of the EU-Israel Association Agreement faced obstacles, especially with regards to issuing the required “Certificate of origin of products”. He confirmed that the European Commission has alerted importers to doubts about the validity of such certificates issued by Israeli Customs Authorities.24

Referring to a communication between the EC, the Council and the European Parliament dated 12 May 1998, the Advocate General said that that there is an obstacle in implementing the EU-Israel Association Agreement, especially Protocol 4, which was applicable even before the implementation of the agreement in 2000, that most of the products certified as originating in “Israel” were actually produced in the occupied Palestinian territories.25

He added that on 23 November 2001, the European Commission issued an official opinion declaring “the results of the verification procedures carried out by the Commission confirming that Israel issued many ‘Certificates of origin’ [confirming] that products which come from places under its administration since 1967 are from Israel.” Therefore, these products are not entitled to benefit from preferential treatment under the EC-Israel Association Agreement.26

The Commission confirmed that all European importers who present documentary evidence of certificates of origin of products with a view to securing preferential treatment for products originating from Israeli settlements in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights are informed that they must take all the necessary precautions as the goods coming from these territories may give rise to a customs tariff.27

The Advocate General explained before the Court of Justice that the EU-Israel Association Agreement applies to Israeli territories according to Article 83 of that agreement. He added that the boundaries of the Israeli state were defined in the Partition Plan of the UN General Assembly in 1947 as per Resolution 181. Later on, the Israeli state was declared based on the boundaries defined by the partition plan.28

He added further that UN Security Council Resolution 242 dated 22 November 1967 referred to in the EU-PLO Interim Association Agreement stipulated that Israeli forces were asked to withdraw from the occupied territories and respect the sovereignty of all states in the area.29

The Advocate General confirmed to the judges that according to the aforementioned circumstances of the case, the Court cannot but conclude that the West Bank territory, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip are not part of the territory of the State of Israel.30

As a result, the Advocate General stressed that it was difficult to say that products coming from the West Bank and the occupied territories generally, should enjoy preferential treatment according to the EU-Israel Association Agreement.31  Hence, granting such preferential treatment to products originating in the West Bank is not acceptable according to the EU-Israel Association Agreement.32

The Advocate General added that during the meeting about the EU-Israel Association Agreement held on 3 December 2004, the European Commission asked Israeli Customs authorities to define the origin of manufacturing the products on the certificate of origin of products coming from Israel. The aim of this request, as asserted by the Advocate General, was to differentiate between the products manufactured in Israel which are entitled to the preferential treatment according to the Agreement, and those manufactured in Israeli settlements which are not entitled to preferential treatment according to the same agreement.33

The Jewish settlements are illegal according to the judgement of the European Court of Justice

The European Court of Justice referred in its preliminary ruling to several legal provisions regarding the case before it and which are applicable, before explaining its legal logic in the final decision.

1. The legal scope

The Court referred to Article (31) of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties which asserted that any treaty must be interpreted in good faith and in accordance with ordinary meaning to be given to the terms of the treaty in their context and in the light of its object and purpose. The Court asserted that article 31/3 stipulated that in the interpretation of any treaty, there shall be taken into account any relevant rules of International Law applicable in relations between the states. As for Article (34) of the Vienna Convention, it provided that a treaty does not create either obligations or rights for a third state without its consent.34

The Court confirmed that the EU-Israel Association Agreement came into force on 1 June 2000 and article (6) of this agreement provided that “the free trade of area between Israel and the European Community shall be reinforced according to the modalities set out in the agreement and pursuant to the articles of the agreement on Tariffs and Trade of 1994 and of other multilateral agreements on trade in goods annexed to the agreement establishing the World Trade Organisation”.35

Referring to Article (8) of the EU-Israel Association Agreement, the Court said it provided that customs duties are prohibited on industrial products as defined in that agreement between the two parties when importing or exporting.36

It also referred to the territorial scope of the EU-Israel Association Agreement which is defined in Article (83) as follows: The Agreement shall apply on the land to the territories establishing the European Community and, on the other hand, to the territory of the state of Israel.37

The Court mentioned that Protocol (4) to the EU-Israel Association Agreement laid down the rules relating to the definition of “originating products” as well as the methods of administrative cooperation.38  It asserted that article (2) of Protocol (4) laid down that products wholly manufactured in Israel, within the meaning of article (4) of Protocol (4), are to be treated as originating in Israel.39  The Court also referred to article (32) of Protocol (4) which stated the procedure for verifying “proof of origin of the products” where the customs authorities requesting the verification for the proof of origin of these products shall be informed by the exporting state of the result of this verification within 10 months at most.40

Then the Court referred to the EU-PLO Interim Association Agreement (which was for the benefit of the Palestinian Authority later) which came into force on 1 July 1997. Article (3) stipulated that the PLO and the European Community must establish progressively a free trade area according to the provisions of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade of 1994 and of the other multilateral agreements on trade in goods annexed to the agreement establishing the World Trade Organisation.41 Article (5) and (6) of the EU-PLO Interim Association Agreement provided that the products imported from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip shall not be subject to any customs duties.42 The Court indicated that the territorial scope of the Agreement is defined for the benefit of the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Every treaty has its own territorial scope to be applied; the first is to be applied on the territories of the state of Israel and the second on the territories of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.43

2. The legal logic adopted by the Court in its judgement

The Court stated that the EU-Israel Association Agreement stipulated that Israeli customs authorities are the competent authority to issue proof-of-origin certificates for products produced in the state of Israel. The EU-PLO Interim Association Agreement gave the Customs department there the competent authority to issue proof-of-origin certificates for products produced in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.44

Hence, to interpret article (83) of the EU-Israel Association Agreement as meaning the Israeli Customs Authorities are competent to issue certificates in respect of products originating in the West Bank will deprive Palestinian customs authorities of exercising the competence conferred upon them by the agreement with the European Community. Therefore, the Court considered that for the Israeli Customs Authorities to issue certificates that the origin of products is the West Bank would thus be contrary to article (34) of the Geneva Convention.45

The Court added that article (83) should be interpreted as meaning that the products originating in the West Bank do not fall within the territorial scope of the EU-Israel Association Agreement and do not therefore qualify for preferential treatment under that agreement.46

Hence, the Court confirmed that the German Customs Authorities have the right to refuse to grant Brita and its products preferential treatment under the EU-Israel Association Agreement as the origin of these products is the West Bank and not Israel.47

Regarding the certificate of the proof-of-origin of the products, Article (32)/6 of the EU-Israel Association Agreement provided that the exporting state is the one which issues such certificates while the importing states can, through the Customs Authorities, verify the original source of the products. The Court added that the German Customs Authorities’ request for additional information from the Israeli Customs Authorities regarding the origin of the products did not concern the question of whether the manufacture of the products had been undertaken sufficiently in a certain area, but to verify the precise place in which the exported products to Brita via Soda Club were manufactured, for the purpose of determining if this place fell within the jurisdiction and territorial scope of the EU-Israel Association Agreement.48

The Court made it clear that the European Union, undoubtedly, took the view that the products manufactured in the locations under Israeli administration/occupation since 1967 do not qualify for the preferential treatment provided for under the EU-Israel Association Agreement.49 It supported its view in paragraph 66 when it stated that the Israeli Customs Authorities did not reply to the letter sent by the German Customs Authorities asking whether the exported products had been manufactured in Israeli settlements in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, East Jerusalem or the Golan Heights.

Hence, the Court finally ruled that the customs authorities of any European State importing products may refuse to grant the preferential treatment provided for under the EU-Israel Association Agreement, where the products concerned originated in the West Bank.50 The Court also ruled that the customs authorities of any European State importing products are not bound by the proof of origin certificate or the reply given by the exporting state to questions submitted by the importing states where that reply does not contain sufficient information for the purpose of implementing article 32/6 of the Protocol of the EU-Israel Association Agreement to determine the real origin of the products.51

Conclusion

Through looking at this case, which was considered by the highest judicial body in the European Union, we can assert that an insistence on the language of International Law being applied to the Palestinian issue can give results. The European Court of Justice ruled that Israeli settlements in the occupied territories in the West Bank and the East Jerusalem are illegal and violate international law. The Court affirmed in its decision on the Brita case that the European States must not recognise the status quo created by Israeli settlements, and every European State must prohibit preferential tariff treatment for all products coming from Jewish settlements.

On the other hand, European civil society supporting the Palestinian issue, such as the campaign for BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) must.52  In the Arab World everyone should alert the local authorities to all the products which originate on illegal Israeli settlements. Reference to the European Court of Justice’s resolution on this matter should be made in order to ensure that such goods do not benefit from any preferential treatment. A copy of the Court’s resolution should, perhaps, be sent to Trades Unions and Employers associations, and to national Ministries of Trade and Foreign Affairs in each European state to encourage them to apply the judgement to goods classed by Israel as “Israeli” but which, in fact, originate on an illegal Jewish settlement.

Civil society campaigners must expose the fraud committed by Israel when it claims that products manufactured in the settlements originate in the state of Israel and not from occupied territory.

The author holds a Phd in International Law/ France and a Certificate from the Research Center of The Hague Academy of International Law

 


ENDNOTES

1For more information regarding this topic, read the book “Israel and the international law” issued by al Zaytuna centre for studies 2011.

2Interim Agreement signed in Washington on 28 September 1995, article XXX1.7

3Art.23 (g) from Convention (IV) respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land and its annex: Regulations concerning the Laws and Customs of War on Land. The Hague, 18 October 1907 “To destroy or seize the enemy’s property, unless such destruction or seizure be imperatively demanded by the necessities of war;

4Article (147) Grave breaches to which the preceding Article relates shall be those involving any of the following acts, if committed against persons or property protected by the present Convention: …taking of hostages and extensive destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly.

5Catriona J. Catriona J. Drew, “Self-determination and population transfert”, In, Human Rights, self-determination and political change in the occupied Palestinian territory, edited by Stephen Bowen, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 1997, pp. 141-142

6See  http://www.icc-cpi.int/NR/rdonlyres/9CAEE830-38CF-41D6-AB0B-68E5F9082543/0/Element_of_Crimes_English.pdf

7COTTIER (M.), FENRICK (W.), SELLERS (P.), Andreas ZIMMERMANN (A.), “War Crimes”, PP. 173-288, In THRIFTERER (O.) (ed.) Commentary on the Rome statute of the International Criminal Court, Observers, Notes, Article by Article. Baden-Baden, 1999. Simpson, Gerry (ed.), War crimes law / Gerry Simpson. Ashgate/Dartmouth, 2004, pp. XXXIII, 484 p. CHUTER (D.), War crimes : confronting atrocity in the modern world. Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2003. MAC GOLDRICK (D.), War crimes trials before international tribunals : legality and legitimacy. Domestic and international trials, 1700-2000 / ed. by R.A. Melikan, 2003. NIEMANN (G.), War Crimes, Crimes Against Humanity, and Genocide in International Criminal Law. Handbook of Transnational Crime & Justice / ed. Philip Reichel. Thousand Oaks, CA [etc.]: Sage, 2005, pp. 204-229.

8http://www.icc-cpi.int/NR/rdonlyres/9CAEE830-38CF-41D6-AB0B-68E5F9082543/0/Element_of_Crimes_English.pdf

9Article (49) Individual or mass forcible transfers, as well as deportations of protected persons from occupied territory to the territory of the Occupying Power or to that of any other country, occupied or not, are prohibited, regardless of their motive.
Nevertheless, the Occupying Power may undertake total or partial evacuation of a given area if the security of the population or imperative military reasons so demand. Such evacuations may not involve the displacement of protected persons outside the bounds of the occupied territory except when for material reasons it is impossible to avoid such displacement. Persons thus evacuated shall be transferred back to their homes as soon as hostilities in the area in question have ceased.

10Article 51/paragraph  3  “The work shall be carried out only in the occupied territory where the persons whose services have been requisitioned are. Every such person shall, so far as possible, be kept in his usual place of employment.

11“Protected persons accused of offences shall be detained in the occupied country, and if convicted they shall serve their sentences therein.”

12See International Committee of the Red Cross, Commentary on the fourth Geneva Convention, ICRC,
http://www.icrc.org/ihl.nsf/7c4d08d9b287a42141256739003e636b/6756482d86146898c125641e004aa3c5 ; See  ROUCOUNAS (E.J) , Les infractions grave au droit humanitaire (article 85 du Protocole Additionnel I aux Conventions de Genève, 31 Revue Hellénique de droit international 116 (1978).

13Progress Report of the Special Rapporteur Awn Shawkat AL- KHASAWANEH on the Human Rights dimensions of population transfer, including the implantation of settlers, U.N.doc. E/CN.4/sub.2/1994/18 (30 June 1994) par. 73, Preliminary Report of the Special Rapporteurs Awn Shawkat AL-KHASAWNEH and Ribot HATANO on Human Rights dimensions of population transfer, including the implantation of setters U.N.doc E/CN.4/sub.2/1993/17 (6 July 1993).

14Refer to the following articles to learn more about the Court of Justice and its jurisdiction:
Official website of the court: http://curia.europa.eu/jcms/jcms/Jo2_7024/
Some general information on the court:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Court_of_Justice#Advocates-General
Site last visited on 19 March 2011.

15Refer to the following articles to learn more about the functions of the advocate general visit: Advocate General http://www.ena.lu/ Laure CLEMENT-WILZ, ” The function of the advocate general at the european court of justice”, http://www.u-paris2.fr/1268901575081/1/fiche___article/&RH=RECHERCHE_EN Site last visited on 19 March 2011

16This issue was considered in brief studies:
http://www.alhaq.org/etemplate.php?id=508 European Court of Justice: Israeli Settlement Goods do not Fall into Israeli Customs Authority 2 March 2010
http://www.mondialisation.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=17830 , La Cour européenne de Justice dessine les frontières d’Israël, par Gilles Devers, 27 février 2010
http://www.ism-france.org/news/article.php?id=13481&type=communique , Décision Brita de la Cour de Justice Européenne sur l’importation dans l’UE de produits de territoires occupés (Jérusalem Est), Par Gilles Devers, 25-02-201

17See clause 30 of the court’s judgement:
http://curia.europa.eu/jurisp/cgi-bin/form.pl?lang=EN&Submit=rechercher&numaff=C-386/08

18Mishor adumim is one of the several settlement sited on what is called Ma’ale Adumim.  Its population exceeded 35,000 and it situated on the highway no. 1 which joined it with East Jerusalem.  These settlements surrounded East Jerusalem within a great settlement plan, planned more than 10 years ago.
Soda Club company is one of the most famous companies in the Mishor Adumim settlement and it was criticised highly by the Sweden commissions after Israeli organisation for the right to work published a report showing  discrimination and exploitation of the Palestinian workers in Soda Club company.
After a big campaign in Swede against Soda Company by Empire Company which distributes products of the Soda Club to manufacture the products coming to the Sweden market outside Mishor Adumim as this area considered illegal settlement by the International law and the company agreed hesitatively.

19See clause 31 of the court’s judgement:
http://curia.europa.eu/jurisp/cgi-bin/form.pl?lang=EN&Submit=rechercher&numaff=C-386/08

20See clause 30-32 of the court’s judgement
http://curia.europa.eu/jurisp/cgi-bin/form.pl?lang=EN&Submit=rechercher&numaff=C-386/08

21See clause 33 of the court’s judgement
http://curia.europa.eu/jurisp/cgi-bin/form.pl?lang=EN&Submit=rechercher&numaff=C-386/08

22See clause 34 of the court’s judgement
http://curia.europa.eu/jurisp/cgi-bin/form.pl?lang=EN&Submit=rechercher&numaff=C-386/08

23See clause 35 of the court’s judgement
http://curia.europa.eu/jurisp/cgi-bin/form.pl?lang=EN&Submit=rechercher&numaff=C-386/08

24See clause 27 of the Advocate General’s opinion
http://curia.europa.eu/jurisp/cgi-bin/form.pl?lang=EN&Submit=rechercher&numaff=C-386/08

25See clause 29 of the Advocate General’s opinion
http://curia.europa.eu/jurisp/cgi-bin/form.pl?lang=EN&Submit=rechercher&numaff=C-386/08

26See clause 31 of the Advocate General’s opinion
http://curia.europa.eu/jurisp/cgi-bin/form.pl?lang=EN&Submit=rechercher&numaff=C-386/08

27See clause 31 of the Advocate General’s opinion
http://curia.europa.eu/jurisp/cgi-bin/form.pl?lang=EN&Submit=rechercher&numaff=C-386/08

28See clause 109 of the Advocate General’s opinion
http://curia.europa.eu/jurisp/cgi-bin/form.pl?lang=EN&Submit=rechercher&numaff=C-386/08

29See clause 111 of the Advocate General’s opinion
http://curia.europa.eu/jurisp/cgi-bin/form.pl?lang=EN&Submit=rechercher&numaff=C-386/08

30See clause 112 of the Advocate General’s opinion
http://curia.europa.eu/jurisp/cgi-bin/form.pl?lang=EN&Submit=rechercher&numaff=C-386/08

31See clause 115 of the Advocate General’s opinion
http://curia.europa.eu/jurisp/cgi-bin/form.pl?lang=EN&Submit=rechercher&numaff=C-386/08

32See clause 120 of the Advocate General’s opinion
http://curia.europa.eu/jurisp/cgi-bin/form.pl?lang=EN&Submit=rechercher&numaff=C-386/08

33See clause 122 of the Advocate General’s opinion
http://curia.europa.eu/jurisp/cgi-bin/form.pl?lang=EN&Submit=rechercher&numaff=C-386/08

34See clause 3-6 of the court’s judgement
http://curia.europa.eu/jurisp/cgi-bin/form.pl?lang=EN&Submit=rechercher&numaff=C-386/08

35See clause 8 of the court’s judgement
http://curia.europa.eu/jurisp/cgi-bin/form.pl?lang=EN&Submit=rechercher&numaff=C-386/08

36See clause 9 of the court’s judgement
http://curia.europa.eu/jurisp/cgi-bin/form.pl?lang=EN&Submit=rechercher&numaff=C-386/08

37See clause 11 of the court’s judgement
http://curia.europa.eu/jurisp/cgi-bin/form.pl?lang=EN&Submit=rechercher&numaff=C-386/08

38See clause 12 of the court’s judgement
http://curia.europa.eu/jurisp/cgi-bin/form.pl?lang=EN&Submit=rechercher&numaff=C-386/08

39See clause 13 of the court’s judgement
http://curia.europa.eu/jurisp/cgi-bin/form.pl?lang=EN&Submit=rechercher&numaff=C-386/08

40See clause 17 of the court’s judgement
http://curia.europa.eu/jurisp/cgi-bin/form.pl?lang=EN&Submit=rechercher&numaff=C-386/08

41See clause 21 of the court’s judgement
http://curia.europa.eu/jurisp/cgi-bin/form.pl?lang=EN&Submit=rechercher&numaff=C-386/08

42See clause 22 of the court’s judgement
http://curia.europa.eu/jurisp/cgi-bin/form.pl?lang=EN&Submit=rechercher&numaff=C-386/08

43See clause 46 and 47 of the court’s judgement
http://curia.europa.eu/jurisp/cgi-bin/form.pl?lang=EN&Submit=rechercher&numaff=C-386/08

44See clause 49-51 of the court’s judgement
http://curia.europa.eu/jurisp/cgi-bin/form.pl?lang=EN&Submit=rechercher&numaff=C-386/08

45See clause 52 of the court’s judgement
http://curia.europa.eu/jurisp/cgi-bin/form.pl?lang=EN&Submit=rechercher&numaff=C-386/08

46See clause 53 of the court’s judgement
http://curia.europa.eu/jurisp/cgi-bin/form.pl?lang=EN&Submit=rechercher&numaff=C-386/08

47See clause 54 of the court’s judgement
http://curia.europa.eu/jurisp/cgi-bin/form.pl?lang=EN&Submit=rechercher&numaff=C-386/08

48See clause 64 of the court’s judgement
http://curia.europa.eu/jurisp/cgi-bin/form.pl?lang=EN&Submit=rechercher&numaff=C-386/08

49See clause 64 of the court’s judgement
http://curia.europa.eu/jurisp/cgi-bin/form.pl?lang=EN&Submit=rechercher&numaff=C-386/08

50See clause 74/1 if the courts judgement
http://curia.europa.eu/jurisp/cgi-bin/form.pl?lang=EN&Submit=rechercher&numaff=C-386/08

51See clause 74/2 if the courts judgement
http://curia.europa.eu/jurisp/cgi-bin/form.pl?lang=EN&Submit=rechercher&numaff=C-386/08

52Boycott, Désinvestissement, Sanctions :Le cadre juridique de l’action des militants
http://www.enfantsdepalestine.org/IMG/pdf/cadre-juridique-de-laction-des-militants-bds-2mai.pdf

(occupiedpalestine.wordpress.com / 02.02.2012)

THE BOMBING THAT STARTED IT ALL!

Another Bomb In Jerusalem: 91 DEAD

July 2, 1946: The King David Hotel in Jerusalem was bombed. Killing 91 people

Menachem Begin planned the destruction of the King David Hotel and the massacre of Deir Yassin. Ex prime minister, Shamir, was originally a member of the Jewish “terrorist” gang called Irgun, which was headed by none other than Menachem Begin. Shamir later moved over to the even more radical “Stern Gang,” which committed many vicious atrocities.      Shamir himself has defended the various assassinations committed by the Irgun and Stern gangs on the grounds that “it was the only way we could operate, because we were so small. So it was more efficient and more moral to go for selected targets.” The selected moral targets in those early days of the founding of the state of Israel included bombing of the King David Hotel and the massacre of Deir Yassin.

April 9, 1948: A combined force of Irgun and Stern Gangs committed a brutal massacre of 260 Arab residents of the village of Deir Yassin. Most of whom were women and children. The Israeli hordes even attacked the dead to satisfy their bestial tendencies. In April, 1954, during Holy Week, and on the eve of Easter, The Christian cemeteries in Haifa were invaded, crosses broken down and trampled under the feet of these miscreants, and the tombs desecrated. The Israeli military conquest, therefore was made against a defenseless people, who had been softened up by such earlier massacres as Deir Yasin {250 Arabs; men, women and children were massacred there}.

The Jew, Weizman, referred to the massacre as this “miraculous simplification of our task” and Ben Gurion said “without Deir Yasin there would be no Israel.” Americans are not told that 10% of the Arabs killed by the Israeli’s in 1948 were Christian and that 10% of the Arab property confiscated belonged to Christians. Nor are they told the fact that Israel’s massacres and military actions forced 100,000 Christians to become refugees.

Accounts by Red Cross and United Nations observers who visited the scene, said that the houses were first set on fire and the occupants were shot down as they came out to escape the flames. One pregnant woman had her baby cut out of her stomach with a knife. Reminiscent of the acts committed by their brother Jews in Russia during and after the Bolshevik {Jewish} take over. The head of the International Red Cross delegation in Palestine, Jacques de Reynier, drove into the village and was met by a detachment of Irgun terrorists. In his report of the massacre the previous night, he wrote: “All of them were young, some even adolescents, men and women armed to the teeth: revolvers, machine-guns, hand-grenades, and knives, most of them still blood-stained. A beautiful young girl with criminal eyes showed me hers {knife} still dripping with blood, she displayed it like a trophy.”

May 1948: The U.S. appointed Count Folke Bernadotte of Sweden to mediate between the Arabs and the Israelis. In his first progress report (of Sept. 16, 1948) he recommended that the U.N. should affirm “the right of the Arab refugees to return to their homes in Jewish controlled territory at the earliest possible date.” The Israelis responded in their own quiet way. The following day Bernadotte was murdered in Jerusalem.

The spectacular assassination which caused an International outcry was claimed, the, by an unknown “Fatherland Front,” but that was a cover for Shamir’s Stern Gang. Yoshua Zeitler and Meshlam Markover of Stern told Israeli Television earlier this year {1989} that, they respectively directed and led the operation that killed the Swedish diplomat and his French aid-de-camp. Zeitler, 71, said he decided to speak now because of fear that the U.N. and the “goyim” {non-Jews} are again trying to force Israel into concessions.

February 1949: Israel launched an offensive across the Armistice lines with Egypt which brought its forces to the Gulf of Aqaba, occupying the Palestinian police post of Umm Rashrash which they afterwards named Eilat.

1950: Israelis seized the Al-Uja de-militarized zone on the Egyptian side and Baqqara on the Syrian side, expelling their Arab inhabitants and razed their homes to the ground by bulldozers.

1950-1955: Israeli forces unleashed more than 40 acts of armed aggressions against Arab states, almost all causing a heavy loss of life. This included attacks and massacres in Qibya, Huleh 1953, Nahalin, Kfar Qassem in 1954, Gaza and a Syrian outpost on Lake Tiberias in 1955.

October 14-15, 1953 — Under the command of Ariel Sharon, Israeli squads attacked the unarmed Arab village of Qibya in the demilitarized one. Where they blew up 42 houses and killed more than sixty residents who were trapped inside. The details were so gruesome that the U.S. joined in a U.N. condemnation of the Israeli action, and for the first and only time, suspended aid to Israel in reprisal.

July 1954: Israeli intelligence planted “a ring of spies (Moles)” in Cairo, its task was to begin sabotage operations against selected Egyptian, British and American targets…On July 14, the Alexandria post office was fire-bombed and the U.S. Information Agency offices in Cairo and Alexandria were damaged by fire started by phosphorous incendiary devices, as was a British-owned theater.

Members of the spy ring were caught, and they confessed. They had been planted by Modin, the Israeli military intelligence organization. The purpose, presumably, was to sabotage Egyptian relations with the U.S. and Britain. Various commissions of inquiry into the affair conducted in Israel were never able to decide whether or not Israeli Defense Minister Pinchon Lavon authorized the operation.

(whatreallyhappened.com / 02.02.2012)

PLO apologizes to UN chief

Palestinians protest as Ban`s convoy arrives in Gaza.
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — The PLO leadership apologized Thursday for the “strange” welcome UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon received upon arriving in the Gaza Strip.

Dozens of people threw shoes and stones at the UN chief’s convoy as it entered Gaza, a Ma’an reporter said. No one was injured.

In a statement, the PLO executive committee said that Palestinians are hospital people who welcome officials coming to the occupied territories to see the “suffering and crimes” committed by Israel.

The committee added that it respects Ban’s role supporting Palestinian rights.

It called on Palestinians to stop such behavior “contrary to the Palestinian tradition of hospitality.”

In Gaza, Ban played down the incident at a news conference.

“I thank the people of Gaza for the warm welcome,” he said, provoking laughter among local journalists. “I met many people who were waiting for me at the entrance.”

Many of those who protested as the UN convoy passed were family members of Palestinians being held in Israeli prisons. They hit the vehicles with signs bearing slogans accusing Ban of bias towards Israel and of refusing to meet the relatives of Palestinian prisoners.

A spokesman for deportees from the Israeli siege of Bethlehem’s Nativity church in 2002 called on Ban to defend the rights of the Palestinian people, including detainees and deportees.

A number of Gazans whose homes were destroyed in Israel’s war on the coastal enclave in 2008 held up signs reading “Gaza is living in darkness,” and “Save the children of Gaza,” a Ma’an reporter witnessed.

(www.maannews.net / 02.02.2012)

Medics: Israeli tanks open fire on northern Gaza

Israeli army tank.
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Israeli tanks opened fired on the northern Gaza Strip on Thursday, medics said.

No injuries were reported as tanks opened fire at a crowd of people in Beit Hanoun, medical sources told Ma’an.

Six projectiles were fired at southern Israel from the Gaza Strip on Wednesday with no reported injuries.

The projectiles landed in the Shaar Hanegev regional council at around 9 p.m., Israeli news site Ynet reported.

(www.maannews.net / 02.02.2012)

Terrorists shell residential areas in Homs

An image grab taken from a YouTube video uploaded on January 31, 2012 shows an oil pipeline burning in the Baba Amr neighborhood of the restive city of Homs following a terrorist attack.
At least 20 people have been injured as terrorist groups shell several residential areas in the Syrian city of Homs, where violent clashes between security forces and armed gangs continue to take their toll, Press TV reports.
Witnesses say terrorists fired shells at al-Zahra and al-Nezha neighborhoods in Homs on Wednesday and several homes and schools were hit.

The London-based Syrian Observatory of Human Rights said 15 soldiers were also killed during clashes in the restive central city.

At least 15 people, including a top military commander, were killed by armed gangs in a northern suburb of the Syrian capital, Press TV’s correspondent in Damascus reported.

The clashes come as the West is making attempts to convince Russia not to veto a draft Security Council resolution calling on President Bashar al-Assad to step down.

Russia has repeatedly expressed opposition to any UN resolution that would justify sanctions or the use of force against Syria, describing negotiations as the only way to end months of unrest in the country.

China, another veto- -wielding permanent member of the UN Security Council, has also expressed opposition to the draft resolution based on concerns that this could eventually lead to a military action against Syria, similar to the NATO attacks on Libya in March 2011.

(www.presstv.ir / 02.02.2012)

VIVA PALESTINA ARABIA ANNOUNCES “THE RIGHT OF RETURN CONVOY”

More than three years since Israel’s Operation Cast Lead, which killed over 1,400 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip the siege remains.

The changes sweeping Egypt and the Middle East bring the promise of finally lifting that blockade and of further steps to relieve the suffering of the Palestinian people. But promise alone will not end the suffering now, nor address the reasons for it.

That is why Viva Palestina Arabia is organising an aid convoy to again break the siege on Gaza. It is looking to the future. That is why it will be carrying construction equipment to rebuild the schools, clinics, public buildings and homes which have been destroyed both by Israel’s attacks and by the effects of the ongoing siege.

It’s purpose is also to highlight in each country it passes through the reasons for the humanitarian crisis in Gaza and the wider suffering of the Palestinian people. Peace talks are stalled, yet illegal Israeli settlement building in the West Bank continues, as does the driving out of non-Jewish inhabitants of Jerusalem.

Conditions for millions of Palestinian refugees in the camps in Palestine and neighbouring countries remain appalling. This convoy will be highlighting the rights of those refugees, enshrined in international law and in UN resolutions. They have an inalienable right to return to the homes they were driven out of.

This convoy, which comes after the great siege-breaking efforts of Viva Palestina in Britain and of attempts to break the siege by sea, is therefore scheduled to reach Gaza on 15 May, Nakba Day, on which Palestinians the world over commemorate the catastrophe that forced so many of them, now a majority, into exile.

Last year saw international protests on Nakba Day which brought the fundamental reasons for the humanitarian crisis in Palestine and in the camps to world attention.

With this convoy, VPA will be part of another international effort to focus on these vital questions.

The flag of Palestine has become a leitmotif for humanitarians and those who care about justice the world over. Now, there are attempts to reverse that development, to encourage people in the West, the Middle East and around the world to avert their eyes from Palestine.

This convoy is about the return to Palestine – the right of Palestinians to return and returning our attention to this central issue by contributing to the construction, the rebuilding, of a Palestine for all Palestinians, with Jerusalem recognised as its capital.

You can join us, contribute to aid and vehicles and support this mission.

Please click here to read more about the convoy requirements and to register

(www.vivapalestinaarabia.org / 02.02.2012)

Palestinian protesters throw shoes at UN chief in Gaza

Palestinian demonstrators in the northern Gaza Strip hold signs in protest at UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s visit to the besieged territory, February 2, 2012.
Angry Palestinian protesters have hurled shoes and stones at a convoy of vehicles transporting UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon into the Gaza Strip.
The protesters pelted the convoy as it crossed through a checkpoint in northern Gaza from Israel on Thursday.

Nobody was injured and the convoy left the area.

Many of the protesters were reportedly the relatives of the Palestinians imprisoned in Israeli jails.

The UN chief is on a trip to Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories apparently to push for the resumption of Palestinian-Israeli talks that stalled in September 2010 after Israel declined to renew a 10-month freeze on its illegal settlement construction in the West Bank.

Acting Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas said on January 26 that several meetings between low-ranking Palestinian Authority officials and Israelis in Jordan over the past few weeks ended inconclusively.

Palestinian protesters on Thursday accused Ban of “bias towards Israel” and said the UN chief had “refused to meet” the relatives of prisoners.

On Wednesday, Ban met with the Palestinian Authority chief in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

The UN chief said in a joint press conference with Abbas that all the Israeli settlements in the West Bank are “contrary to international law.”

On Wednesday, Israel once again rejected calls by Ban to stop its illegal settlement construction in the West Bank.

(www.presstv.ir / 02.02.2012)

PA diplomats in Paris involved in espionage activities


AMMAN, (PIC)– Different informed Palestinian sources revealed on Monday the involvement of diplomats from the Palestinian authority embassy in Paris in espionage activities for Arab, western and Israeli intelligence agencies, according to the Jordanian newspaper Al-Ghad.

These diplomats, Al-Ghad says, are spearheaded by deputy ambassador of the PA in Paris Safwat Ibraghit and all espionage activities are carried out also in complicity with senior PA officials, most notably, head of the Palestinian national fund Ramzi Khouri, foreign minister Riyadh Al-Maliki, ambassador to France Hayel Al-Fahoum and Fatah international relations officer Nabil Shaath.

The sources asserted that the deputy ambassador has extorted and pressured dozens of Palestinian students in France to gather intelligence information on the activities of some Islamic organizations before sending it to foreign security agencies including the Mossad.

They cited as an example that many students were recruited by him in coordination with the Mossad to collect and report about serious intelligence information from the Lebanese arena.

The sources noted that the PA embassy in Paris received many complaints against Ibraghit, who was sentenced to five months in a French jail on a charge of assaulting Palestinians in Paris, but despite that, the PA and its foreign ministry did not take any action against him.

They added that Ibraghit, who undermined the reputation of the PA diplomatic mission in France, was promoted illegally to the post of deputy ambassador by a committee headed by Khouri and Maliki, affirming that this measure served all parties involved.

The sources also pointed that senior officials of Fatah’s central committee, atop of them is Nabil Shaath, are fully aware of what is happening in the PA embassy in Paris.

(www.australiansforpalestine.net / 02.02.2012)