Illegal Acquisition of Land
Illegal Acquisition of Land:
"The occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies" Article 49(6) of the Fourth Geneva Convention,
After the occupation, Israel, the occupying Power, immediately proceeded to take control of as much of the Palestinian land as possible. In the process, Israel applied complex measures for illegal land acquisition, ranging from the control of all state and communal lands, the application of the British Mandatory Defense (Emergency) Regulations of 1945 and of the absentee property procedures, the change of laws related to the expropriation of land, to the direct confiscation of privately owned land. The illegally acquired land could become either "closed areas," "security zones," "green areas," "nature reserves," or could be used for the building of settlements. More than 50% of the land of the Occupied Palestinian Territory is now under Israeli control and approximately 38% of the Occupied Territory, including more than 1/3 of East Jerusalem, has been used for settlement building.
In 1967, Israel embarked on its illegal settlement policy, which consisted of the permanent transfer of parts of its Israeli Jewish citizens to the occupied territories, including Jerusalem, Gaza Strip, the Syrian Golan and the Egyptian Sinai in 1967. Since then, Israel has returned the Sinai back to Egypt in stages from 1979 to 1982 and Israel also removed its 21 settlements and 8,500 settlers from the Gaza Strip in 2005. Despite this “disengagement” Israel still controls the air and sea of Gaza as well as the import and export of goods. At the same time, Israel has transferred approximately 500,000 Jewish settlers to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, 185,000 of which live within the illegally expanded municipal boundaries of East Jerusalem over the years of its occupation. The aim of such policies has been the colonization of parts of the occupied territory and to prevent the realization by the Palestinian people of their right to self-determination. It is also important to note that the settlements in the rest of the occupied West Bank, are strategically placed to de facto annex parts of the West Bank that have underground water aquifers beneath them or are in the Jordan Valley, near the Jordan River, the main freshwater supply for Palestinians, controlled by Israel denying Palestinians inter alia, their water rights.