Israel Plans Annexing West Bank Territory
by Stephen Lendman
International law is clear and unequivocal. Settlements and regional councils are brazenly illegal.
So are West Bank/East Jerusalem closed military zones, no-go areas, nature reserves, national parks, Separation Wall land expropriation, free-firing zones, commercial locations, Jews only roads, checkpoints, other barriers, and other exclusively Jewish areas.
Combined they comprise about 60% of West Bank land. Israel plans annexation. More on this below.
Israeli controlled occupied territory prevents Palestinian self-determination, equality, property and free movement rights. Blatant violations of international humanitarian and human rights laws.
Fourth Geneva prohibits occupying powers from transferring their citizens to occupied land.
Hague Regulations prohibit permanent changes in occupied territories. Unless benefit local residents.
Or for military necessity. In the narrowest sense of the term. For the shortest period of time.
Since 1967, Israel established 125 West Bank settlements, 100 outposts, and 12 neighborhoods.
Settler enclaves were built in East Jerusalem areas. Including the Old City's Muslim Quarter, Silwan, Sheikh Jarrach, Mount of Olives, Ras al-Amud, Abu Dis, and Jabal al-Mukabber.
In 2005, 16 Gaza settlements were dismantled. As part of Sharon's disengagement plan. Residents were shifted to other settlement locations.
Occupied Palestine reflects militarized colonization. Discriminatory apartheid. Worse than South Africa's system. Separate and unequal is official Israeli policy.
Civil law governs settlers. Military orders deprive Palestinians of all fundamental rights. With no control over their daily lives. Or ability to stop Israel from stealing their land.
Since Oslo, settler population more than tripled. From around 200,000 in 1993 to over 600,000 today.
Growing exponentially. Lawlessly. On stolen Palestinian land. It doesn't matter. Israel operates unaccountably.
Palestinian rights don't matter. They're denied free expression and movement. Their homes are bulldozed and destroyed. They're uprooted and displaced.
Forbidden from returning to land once theirs. Denied redress.
West Bank reconfiguration plans intend isolating them in ghettoized bantustans. Making sovereign viability impossible.
Two states once were possible. No longer. One state comprised of Israel and Occupied Palestine alone works now. Nothing else is viable.
Conditions for Palestinians are intolerable. Occupation, land theft, dispossessions, inequality, a permanent non-Jewish underclass, instability, and conflict reflect daily life.
Peace, equity and justice remain pure fantasy. Permanent militarized occupation is official Israeli policy.
Land theft continues unabated. During nine months of 2013/2014 so-called peace talks, Israel approve an unprecedented 13,851 new settler homes.
Declared a record amount of occupied territory state land. According to Peace Now, Israel broke all West Bank/East Jerusalem construction records.
An unprecedented 50 new housing units daily on average. Over 1,500 per month. Tenders issued quadrupled previous numbers.
Showing Israel categorically rejects peace. Claims otherwise are Big Lies. Its latest land grab involves stealing nearly 3,200 acres of Palestinian land.
Adjacent to Jerusalem. Extending its boundaries. Preventing Palestinian farmers from accessing their land.
For "military purposes," Israel claims. In blatant violation of international law. Part of Israel's Judaization policy.
Proposed new Norms Law legislation aims to annex around 60% of West Bank land. Approved by Israel's Ministerial Committee. Requiring three Knesset readings to become law.
Enforced by military decree. Giving Israel sovereignty over Palestinian land. Annexing it. Applying new legislation exclusively to Jewish settlers.
Legitimizing the illegitimate. "(I)n complete contradiction with international law," according to Meretz party leader Zehava Gal-On.
"Whoever chooses to live in the settlements knows this is occupied territory," she said.
"Now they want to conduct a de facto annexation while only extending the law to settlers, which creates a policy of apartheid."
At the same time, establishing permanent territorial militarized control, she added.
Worse than what already exists. Norms Law supporters ludicrously claim settler rights currently are compromised.
An "unacceptable situation," they say. Because Israeli law doesn't apply. It always did. It does now. Claims otherwise are false.
Proposed new legislation has nothing to do with applying it.
Everything to do with blatant land theft. Annexation. Incorporating around 60% of West Bank territory within Israel.
Denying Palestinians self-determination. Making peaceful conflict resolution impossible. A third intifada more likely.
Norms Law provisions require all Knesset legislation be published as military regulations. By the IDF's Central Command head.
Within 45 days of approval. Only for settlers. Excluding Palestinians. Governed by draconian military orders.
Affecting virtually all aspects of their lives. Denying them fundamental civil and human rights everyone deserves.
Assuring greater than ever occupation harshness. Making incidents like police unaccountably murdering Palestinians in cold blood more likely.
Giving them license to kill. Making assassinations official Israeli policy. Masquerading as protecting national security.
Turning Palestine into a free-firing zone. A shooting gallery. Aimed at eliminating nonexistent terrorist threats.
Making Palestinians guilty of being Arabs. Sentencing them to death at Israel's discretion.
Legitimizing Israeli aggression. Blaming Palestinians for state-sponsored crimes.
Jerusalem Legal Aid and Human Rights Center director Issam Aruri said Norms Law provisions let "Knesset (members) become responsible for (most) of the West Bank…"
"(A) step towards formal annexation…" Without formally declaring it. Israel already applies its laws to settlers.
Doing so constitutes annexation. Norms Law enactment would make it official. Legalized separation and discrimination.
Two separate and unequal legal systems. Based on nationality and religion. Denying Palestinians fundamental rights for being Muslims.
Displacing them from land rightfully theirs. Brutalizing resisters. Calling democratic freedom fighters "terrorists." According to senior PA official Nabil Shaath:
"The (Palestinian) Authority completely opposes applying the Israeli law to settlements in the West Bank because this creates a political context where these settlements become a part of Israel."
It's "disregarding all international pressure and carries on with its occupation projects."
"Palestinians are suffering since the Camp David agreement with Egypt in 1979, especially in the West Bank as Israel has kept us under temporary measures and autonomy."
"They are stealing the land, water, materials, and all natural resources in the West Bank."
B'Tselem calls Israel's settlement enterprise from inception "an instrumental, cynical, and even criminal approach to international law, local legislation, Israeli military orders, and Israeli law, which has enabled the continuous pilfering of land from Palestinians in the West Bank" and East Jerusalem.
Washington supports and encourages it. Obama ludicrously claims Israel is improving things in Gaza. Wants peace.
Truth is polar opposite. Israel's settlement policy alone reveals its dark side. Legitimizing land theft.
Dispossessing Palestinians from land rightfully theirs. Stealing their resources. Exploiting their people.
Controlling their borders, air space and coastal waters. Isolating them in cantonized enclaves.
Making separate and unequal official Israeli policy. Institutionalizing police state ruthlessness more than ever.
Jewish Home Party/Economy Minister Naftali Bennett matches Netanyahu's extremism. A potential future prime minister.
Wanting non-Jews excluded from Israel. Ethnically cleansed. Genocidally eliminated.
On November 5, The New York Times featured his article titled "For Israel, Two-State Is No Solution," saying:
"Israel cannot afford to gamble with its security. There are no second chances in the volatile Middle East."
"That is why, for its security, Israel cannot withdraw from more territory and cannot allow for the establishment of a Palestinian state in the West Bank."
"If we were to pull out of the West Bank, the entire country would become a target for terrorists who would be able to set up rocket launchers adjacent to the Old City of Jerusalem and on the hills above the runways of Ben-Gurion International Airport and the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange."
He proposed a so-called "four-step" (no peace) peace plan. Including unilaterally annexing so-called Area C. Over 60% of West Bank land. Where Israel maintains full control.
Claiming annexation "reduce(s) the scope of the territory in dispute, making it easier to reach a long-term agreement in the future."
Any "Palestinian entity in areas A and B will be short of a state," he maintains. It "will not control its own borders and will not be allowed to have an army."
Gaza "cannot be a party to any agreement…I am aware that the world will not immediately accept this proposal."
"It seems to go against everything Israel, the Palestinians and the international community have worked toward over the last 20 years."
"But I will work to make this plan government policy because there is a new reality in the Middle East, which has brought an end to the viability of the Oslo peace process."
Lunatic extremists like Bennett infest Israel. Palestinian self-determination is verboten. So are fundamental humanitarian and human rights laws.
Israel intends permanent militarized occupation. Peace is a convenient illusion.
Billionaire casino operator Sheldon Adelson is likeminded. Militantly hard-right. Ideologically racist.
On the one hand, advocating nuking Iran. As prime minister, "I would bomb the daylights out of those sons of bitches," he said. Mindless about potentially millions of lost lives.
On the other, calling Palestine a made-up nation. Existing solely "to destroy Israel," he claims. It can't survive as a democracy, he added.
"So Israel won't be a democratic state. So what!" Build a bigger, better "big wall," he urged. "I would put up a big wall around my property," he said.
Adelson, Bennett, Netanyahu and likeminded lunatics reflect Israeli extremism writ large.
Wanting all valued parts of Judea and Samaria annexed. Permanent militarized occupation.
Palestinians denied all rights. Resisters eliminated. International law ignored.
Naked aggression at Israel's discretion. Peace a convenient illusion. Democracy pure fantasy.
Institutionalized racism official policy. State terror enforcing it. Revealing Israel's dark side more than ever. Might alone makes right.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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