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Israel's apartheid wall past and present

Muhammed45

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Oct 2, 2015
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Israel's Apartheid Wall: we are here and they are there​

Format AssessmentSource
Introduction
On 23 June 2002, the Israeli government authorized a plan to build a ‘security wall’ running the full length of the West Bank, expected to be completed by June 2003. The apartheid wall shall have three parts: a northern section, a section for Jerusalem and a southern section. Israel’s apartheid wall is projected to run the whole 360-km length of the West Bank, near Salem, a village west of Jenin to the Hebron area in the South. The wall shall include electric fences, trenches and security patrols.

On 14 July 2002, the Israeli ministerial cabinet for national security approved the first phase of the wall, fencing off the northern West Bank.

Importantly, Israel’s apartheid wall shall not be built within its de-facto international borders (approximating to the 1949 Armistice line, or "Green Line"). It shall be built within the West Bank, upon seized Palestinian lands.[1] The wall (and surrounding closed military areas) shall annex approximately 10% of the West Bank to Israel.[2]

Based on projections done by several Palestinian institutions, the apartheid wall shall also illegally annex Palestinian land containing approximately 57 Israeli settlements, and inhabited by about 303,000 Israeli settlers. About 384, 918 Palestinians shall be effectively illegally annexed to Israel, or hemmed into the wall.[3] Palestinians unlawfully transferred to the direct control of the Israeli State will not be granted residential status or citizenship, while Israeli settlers already enjoy full Israeli citizenship.[4]

LAW has consistently argued that Israel’s so-called "security wall" is in fact an apartheid wall. The wall will restrict Palestinian freedom of movement, Palestinian livelihoods and Palestinian access to land - a wall which divides upon ethnic, national and religious identity.[5] The apartheid wall involves the illegal annexation of some of the most fertile lands in the West Bank and water sources, while pushing Palestinians further into Bantustans, cantons and enclaves, where Israel can ensure maximum control over Palestinian lives and land.[6] This is particularly evident when the case of Qalqilya is examined, as LAW offers in this report.

This LAW report seeks to introduce Israel’s apartheid wall, outline some of its major impacts, discuss the nature of the military orders used to seize Palestinian land, and Israeli arguments for the apartheid wall. LAW shall also examine the wall in the context of international law and agreements made between Israel and the PLO, arguing that the so-called "security" wall is a form of apartheid (as legally defined) and also gives rise to grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention (namely war crimes).
LAW’s report offers most details about the northern section of the apartheid wall. It is for this section that LAW has been able to obtain most detailed information. Official Israeli sources have been extremely recalcitrant in providing information about the impact the wall shall have upon Palestinians, their lands and livelihoods. Indicative of a blatant lack of concern the wall’s impact shall have on Palestinians, official Israeli maps for the wall, particularly the first phase, which is already being implemented, are changed without notice.[7]

The Northern part of the Apartheid wall

The northern part of the Apartheid wall, running from Salem to Kfar Qassem, south of Qalqilya shall be approximately 110 km long. About 17 Palestinian villages and towns shall be fenced in.[8] Approximately 108, 918 [A1] Palestinians shall be hemmed in or effectively transferred to Israel, while thousands of dunums of Palestinian land are being destroyed, confiscated and illegally annexed by Israel through military orders.[9] It is estimated that 1.6% of the West Bank, through this part of the wall shall be illegally confiscated and annexed to Israel.[10]

These 17 Palestinian villages shall be separated into four different cantons or Bantustans. The land between the wall and the Israel proper shall be a closed military zone. Israel claims that special permits shall be issued to allow Palestinians living in this area to enter the West Bank, with permanent checkpoints along every 15 km inside the wall.[11] Palestinians living beyond the wall may have to apply for special permits to enter the closed military zone, as may all Palestinians wishing to enter these areas, for whatever reason.

The first Bantustan shall include Rummaneh (pop: 3,046), al-Taybeh (pop: 2155) and ‘Anin (pop: 3,359), close to Jenin between two walls: the main apartheid wall in the West Bank, and another wall, separating the villages from the West Bank. Total approximate population in this first Bantustan: 8,560 Palestinians.[12]

In the second Bantustan, Nazlat ‘Issa (pop: 2,262), Khirbet Abdullah al-Yunis (pop: 127), Barta‘a al-Sharqiyya (pop: 3,699) and al-Baqa al-Sharqiyya (3,254) shall be illegally annexed to Israel.[13] Barta‘a al-Sharqiyya and al-Baqa al-Sharqiyya are West Bank towns with sister towns inside Israel - Barta‘a al-Gharbiyya and al-Baqa al-Gharbiyya. Total approximate population in this second Bantustan: 9,342 Palestinians.

Despite being annexed to Israel, Palestinians residing in these four localities shall not be given Israeli citizenship nor residency.[14] Although in some cases, Israel’s Green Line is only meters away, it shall be forbidden to enter Israel. It is not yet clear whether another barrier shall separate these areas from the Green Line.[15]

The third Bantustan, containing Tulkarem, Shweiki, and Irtah (combined pop: 41,109),[16] ‘Izbet Shoufa (891), Khirbet Jabara (295), Faroun (2,884) shall also be illegally annexed to Israel and surrounded by trenches to ensure their separation from Israel. Total approximate population in this third Bantustan: 45,179 Palestinians.

The fourth Bantustan, comprising Qalqilya (pop: 39,580) Hable (5,445), Ras al-Tireh (351), Khan Nabi Ilyas (1,075), ‘Izbat Jaloud (126) and Ras ‘Attiyeh (1,415) shall be completely surrounded by the wall with only one exit and entrance point. Total approximate population in this forth Bantustan: 47,992 Palestinians.
The fourth Bantustan, comprising Qalqilya (pop: 39,580) Hable (5,445), Ras al-Tireh (351), Khan Nabi Ilyas (1,075), ‘Izbat Jaloud (126) and Ras ‘Attiyeh (1,415) shall be completely surrounded by the wall with only one exit and entrance point. Total approximate population in this forth Bantustan: 47,992 Palestinians.

The forth Bantustan in particular, evidences Israel’s desire to illegally annex land containing illegally built Israeli settlements to Israel and prime Palestinian agricultural lands and water with as few Palestinians as possible, rather than genuine "security needs."

All Palestinian property within 60 - 100 meters of the wall shall, or has been destroyed, particularly agricultural or cultivated lands[17] and trees.[18] Qalqilya shall be deprived of at least 15% of its municipal lands and more than 50% of its agricultural land[19], placing increasing pressure on a fast growing population.[20] The 15% and 50% approximations at this stage appear to be conservative, as Israel keeps changing the route in that area.

Underneath Qalqilya lies the Western Aquifer system, providing 51% of the West Banks water resources.[21] This shall be illegally confiscated and annexed, along with 14 water wells in the city - some 30% of the city’s water resources.[22]

Meanwhile, Palestinian land containing illegally built Israeli settlements near Qalqilya shall also be illegally annexed to Israel. The illegal Israeli settlements of Alfe Menashe, Tsufim and Oranit shall all purportedly become a part of Israel proper.[23] This is at the expense of Palestinians in the Qalqilya area, enclosed in a Bantustan, deprived of their water, lands and livelihoods.

The Apartheid wall around the southern West Bank, including Jerusalem

Detailed plans or maps for the apartheid wall to be built in the south West Bank have not been approved as yet. However, according to Jamal Salman, Director General of the Bethlehem Municipality, by 23 August 2002, Israel had already confiscated some 700 dunums of Palestinian land in order to build the southern part of the wall.[24]

The expected length of the southern part of the apartheid wall of 215 km will "result in Israel’s de facto annexation of 400 square kilometers (approximately 7% of the Occupied West Bank) of which more than one third is located in Occupied East Jerusalem." This part of the wall shall annex 39 illegally built Israeli settlements to Israel, with some 270,000 settlers, and approximately 276,000 Palestinians.[25]

A 54 km stretch covering metropolitan Jerusalem has been approved. Plans for the apartheid wall around Jerusalem is similar in process to the wall being built around Qalqilya, although more complex. Israel intends for this part of the apartheid wall to envelope as many illegal Israeli settlement blocks built in occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank, while excluding as many Palestinians as possible.

According to the PLO Negotiations Affairs department, ". . .Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon authorized the "Enveloping Jerusalem" Plan, which will include the Israeli defined Municipal borders as well as two large outer Israeli settlement blocs of Givon and Adumim in a 54 kilometer wall."[26]

However, the planned wall for Jerusalem will not only cover further illegally annexed land inhabited by 180,000 illegal Israeli settlers. It shall also include some 276,000 Palestinians. "In order to resolve this "demographic" problem," the Negotiations Affairs report notes, "Israel is building two walls around Jerusalem. The first is an inner wall built primarily around the Israeli defined municipal boundaries. . ."[27] [Own emphasis added.]
To maintain the exclusivist and expansionist vision of Israeli Jerusalem, with as many Israeli Jews and as few Palestinians as possible, Israel may (and most likely, will) effectively create a Bantustan encompassing the village of Kfar ‘Aqab and the Calandia refugee camp, although residents carry Jerusalem identity cards.[28] With this wall, they shall be cut off from both the West Bank and Jerusalem, and Israel shall avoid the messy problem of what to do with thousands of Palestinians on ‘their’ side of the wall.

Land and water

Thousands of dunums of prime agricultural land will be illegally confiscated and annexed, or stolen, in a society with a traditional economy based on agriculture. The agricultural economy has become increasingly important during this Intifada, as belligerent re-occupation, curfews, checkpoints and other forms of collective punishment and closure have isolated West Bank towns from each other, leading to a growing reliance on local and home produce for both immediate sustenance and employment.

The lands Israel shall illegally confiscate and annex in the first phase of the Apartheid wall are amongst the most fertile in the West Bank. Qalqilya and its surrounding areas are considered the fruit basket of Palestine, where olives, seasonal fruits and vegetables are sold all over the West Bank.

Demonstrative of the increasing reliance on agriculture, prior to September 29, 2000, 22% of Qalqilya economy was based on agriculture. Since the beginning of the Intifada, that figure has risen to 45%. 2000 agricultural workers support around 15,000 Palestinians in the city - some 37.5% of Qalqilya’s total population.[29]

The valuable Western Aquifer System, lying in the West Bank and Israel, will also be entirely under Israeli control, as lands in Qalqilya will be seized. The effect of this on Palestinian access to the Western Aquifer System is yet to be known. However, as LAW indicates in this report, there are grave concerns regarding potential Palestinian access to water resources, which shall, or have been, illegally annexed by Israel.

Impact of Israel’s apartheid wall upon Palestinians

Permits and freedom of movement


Israel’s army has consistently maintained in all legal challenges to the apartheid wall that special permits shall be issued for fenced in Palestinians.[30]

Since 1967 Israel has implemented a system of curfews, restricting the movement of the civilian population. From around 1993, a system of various external and internal closures was imposed, both partial and total, in particular, through the system of military checkpoints.[31]

Checkpoints can only be crossed with the right documents, namely, an ID card. More recently, Palestinians in the West Bank have had to apply for a further special permit to travel from one area of the West Bank to the other (for instance, from Ramallah to Nablus).

Previously permits were also required and still possible (albeit difficult to obtain) if the traveler wished to travel from the West Bank to Jerusalem or to Israel, or from the West Bank to the Gaza Strip, and vice versa. Since September 2000 no movement has been allowed between the Gaza Strip and West Bank (including East Jerusalem), and to Israel. Since March 2002, it is no longer possible to apply to travel between the West Bank to Jerusalem or to Israel.

Israel’s long history in using a system of permits (to enter Palestinian cities in the West Bank, to enter Gaza, to enter Jerusalem or Israel), shows a systematic abuse of this measure, consistently used as a tool of collective punishment under the all-embracing pretext of ‘security concerns.’

A previous report by LAW detailing the impact of closure and curfew notes,

"Since September 2000 this system of closures and curfews has intensified significantly, and is now described as a ‘siege’ of the civilian population. . . .Israel has imposed a "near-complete sealing off of the Gaza Strip and restrictive permit policy in the West Bank".

"In particular, travel has not been allowed between the West Bank and Gaza and movement between both and Israel has been very limited. . .Travel between West Bank villages and urban centers has been often disrupted by checkpoints, blockades and destroyed roads.

". . .Since March 2002, ‘Israel initiated a West Bank curfew regime that kept, at times, up to 600,000 Palestinians in their houses 24 hours-a-day. These curfews in addition to the on going military action prevented the normal functioning of nearly every aspect of life’."[32]

Consider for example, LAW’s petition to the Israeli High Court on October 14, 2002 on behalf of Palestinian families challenging the destruction and illegal annexation of their land and construction of the wall on their private property. The Israeli High Court suggested that rather than passageways (i.e., checkpoints) being erected every 15km to link Palestinians to their lands, according to the existing plan, this could be increased to two or more, based on agreements between farmers and the Israeli army.
After a telephone discussion between LAW's attorney and the main petitioner, these suggestions were rejected because it was not believed that the military would actually implement these proposals. The petitioners are still seeking to challenge the fundamental illegality of the destruction, confiscation and illegal annexation of their land and construction of the wall on their private property. The main petitioner had rejected these proposals, saying that he could not attend court because he had been held up at a checkpoint.[33]

LAW has real and justified concerns that Palestinians may not be able to obtain permits to leave the area, or for Palestinians outside the closed military zone, to enter. Under the pretext of security, Palestinians may not be able to renew permits, or even return to their homes once they have left the closed military zone.[34] Or, Palestinians inside Bantustans may suddenly find that they are under curfew, or that the checkpoint/passageway has been closed.

Closure, curfew and economic concerns

Palestinians between the apartheid wall and Israel or the West Bank, shall be denied the remaining freedom of movement they have left, or shall have to work through an arbitrary, unwieldy Israeli administration. Without permits (or perhaps even with them), they shall be cut off from surrounding villages, their agricultural lands, and other neighboring towns.

While closure (and its accompanying measure, curfew) have been repeatedly and consistently denounced as a form of collective punishment, leading to widespread unemployment, poverty and hunger; denying access to education, health services and religious worship; Israel’s apartheid wall promises more of the same and worse.

Palestinian localities - cites, towns, villages and refugee camps are economically interlinked, with more than half of all Palestinian establishments working in inter-Palestinian trade.[35] The World Bank noted in March 2002, "Closures and confrontation have resulted in a precipitous decline in trade, employment and investment. . .the main proximate cause of the recession is closure. It therefore follows that removing or significantly easing closure is the most important prerequisite if further decline is to be arrested and economic pressure removed from the Palestinian people."[36]

The deliberate policies implemented under the Israeli occupation: closures, curfews; the apparently discriminatory process of speeding entry of Israeli goods into the West Bank and Gaza Strip while holding up Palestinian goods; denial of physical access to food, water supplies and agricultural land for harvesting; physical destruction of key civilian infrastructure, land, property and businesses; taxes withheld from the PA by the Israeli government; punitive controls on exports, and foreign policy; and de-development policies have all worked to increasingly impoverish a whole population.[37] According to a report issued by the Office of the United Nations Special Co-ordinator (UNSCO) studying the impact of Israeli closures upon Palestinians within the period of 1 January 2002 - 30 June 2002:

". . .income levels declined dramatically, leading to sharp increases in poverty levels, now estimated at 60 percent. Unemployment is now around 50 percent, and even higher when factoring in curfews. Closure policies created economic losses of more than USD 1.1 billion. . .Internal and external trade is contracting, investment has plummeted to negligible levels and Palestinian businesses are collapsing."[38]

Closure, curfew and food

The most punishing impact on closure and curfew, which shall only increase with Israel’s apartheid wall, hemming in Palestinians into Bantustans, is poverty and hunger. LAW in particular fears a ‘Gazafication’ of Palestinians hemmed into Bantustans, whereby Palestinians caught in the apartheid wall will be hermetically sealed from both Israel and the West Bank, reliant on Israel to ensure their freedom of movement and their right to livelihood, as Palestinians are in Gaza.
According to the same report issued by the Office of the United Nations Special Co-ordinator (UNSCO) studying the impact of Israeli closures upon Palestinians within the period of 1 January 2002 - 30 June 2002, regarding poverty and impoverishment,

". . .preliminary results from survey sampling reveal abnormal rates of malnutrition in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, with acute and chronic malnutrition now observed at much higher rates than in normally nourished populations."[39]

Regarding Gaza, a frightening, albeit realistic model for the new Bantustans, which shall be created through the apartheid wall, the UNSCO report continues,

"Nutrition indicators show a much more severe situation for the Gaza Strip than in the West Bank, which is not surprising given that Gaza has endured prolonged and worsening conditions of unemployment and poverty. Approximately 42 percent of Gazans are entirely dependent on food aid. . . Studies show that 13 percent of children in Gaza exhibit moderate to severe acute malnutrition and 18 percent exhibit chronic malnourishment."[40] [Own emphasis added. ]

Israeli created closures and curfews are apparently made to willfully cause great suffering. A report issued by Care International found chronic and acute malnutrition is widespread among children under five years of age and is increasing rapidly.[41] Care International’s Nutritional Assessment, indicates an increase in the number of malnourished children with 22.5% of children under 5 suffering from acute (9.3%) or chronic (13.2%) malnutrition. The preliminary rates are particularly high in Gaza with the survey showing 13.2% of children suffering from acute malnutrition putting them on par with children in countries such as Nigeria and Chad.[42]

In the year 2000, it was estimated that 7.5% and 2.5% of Palestinian children suffered from chronic and acute malnutrition [Refer to OCHA Weekly Humanitarian Update on the Occupied Palestinian Territories, (13-19 July 2002)].

Care International’s survey respondents indicated that shortages in Gaza were primarily due to border closures that seal the Gaza Strip off from Egypt, Israel and the West Bank.[43]

Closure, curfew and water

LAW is concerned regarding further impeded water access for Palestinians following the building of Israel’s apartheid wall.

As the UN SR on Housing records in his June 2002 report, there are "six [principal] methods of institutionalized Israeli violations of the Palestinian people’s right to water affecting housing and habitat in the [OPTs]:

a) Destruction by military and paramilitary (settlers) of Palestinian water sources, pumps, wells and distribution infrastructure;

b) Non provision of water infrastructure, including networks and facilities for local solutions;

c) Lack of proper maintenance for existing infrastructure so as to prevent leakage and water loss;

d) Outright prevention of Palestinians from drilling and constructing water delivery facilities, most notably in areas of Jewish settler colonies;

e) Discriminatory distribution and insufficient water supply to Palestinians in areas that the Israeli water utility (Mekorot) controls; and

f) Pollution and contamination of Palestinian aquifers through the combined dumping of lethal waste, hazardous use of chemical fertilizers, and over pumping, leading to salinisation."[44]

He describes the discrimination in comparative use of water, with Israel extracting more than 85% of Palestinian water from West Bank aquifers, accounting for about 25% of Israel’s water use. He states that Palestinians use 246MCM of water resources to supply nearly 3 million Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip for their domestic, industrial and agricultural needs, compared with Israel’s use of `1,959 MCM for its population of about 6 million. Per capita water consumption by Palestinians is 82 cm3, compared with 326.5 cm3 for Israeli citizens and settlers. Daily per capita water use is five times more than Palestinians (and in Gaza seven times more than Palestinians). The actual per capita consumption of Palestinians is considered to be much less than this because of leakage from under maintained networks.
Underneath Qalqilya lies the Western Aquifer system, providing 51% of the West Banks water resources.[45] This shall be illegally annexed, along with 14 water wells in the city - some 30% of the city’s water resources.[46]

While the effects of this are yet unknown, previous Israeli precedent regarding denial of Palestinians access to water raises serious concerns. Israel’s defense establishment has previously claimed that it works closely with "the civil administration" to ensure a steady supply of water to Palestinians "uninvolved" in terrorist activity. However, this has not proven to be the case, consistently since 1967 and particularly so since the beginning of the Intifada.

Many Palestinian villages rely on wells and water collection (through roof-top tanks) for drinking water and for agriculture. According to the UN SR on Housing over 150 Palestinian villages (about 215,000 inhabitants), and about 282 communities in West Bank villages have no direct access to a public water network or distribution service, and therefore are dependent upon trucks to supply water for basic needs.[47] However, due to the restrictions of movement imposed since the beginning of the Intifada, water tankers have continued to face enormous difficulties delivering water. Villagers who are not hooked up to the water system are suffering a severe water crisis and facing health risks as a result.

Consider a recent article in Ha’eretz, "Scraping the bottom of the cistern,"

"In the last two years, because of the policies of closures and curfews, those 200,000 [Palestinians not connected to the water network] receive much less than the minimum amount required - 50 liters a day - and the water they do get is of a poor quality, unhealthy, and so costly that fewer and fewer are able to pay for it.

"The IDF's blockades around every village and the prohibitions on Palestinians traveling on most of the paved roads to the West Bank have doubled and tripled the distances the tankers have to travel from the water source to the villages, so instead of five to 10 trips a day, they can now only manage two or three.

"Instead of seven kilometers, they have to travel as far as 55 - on unpaved roads. Sometimes they encounter mobile IDF and police checkpoints, which delay their trips for hours. Because of the difficulties on the roads, the drivers demand double payment and more for every cubic meter of water they transport. Unemployed and impoverished, most residents are unable to pay the high prices.

"The defense minister's spokesman promised Ha'aretz that "the defense establishment is working to meet all needs of the broad Palestinian population uninvolved in terror... [and that] in the West Bank, there is a steady supply of water. When there are isolated problems regarding water supply, it is enabled through tankers and with the help of the army and the civil administration." But there is no connection between those promises and reality.[48]

It is assumed that Israel’s apartheid wall shall further enable Israel to exercise control over water sources to deny Palestinians their right to water.

The apartheid wall and physical safety of Palestinians

Another foreseeable impact upon Palestinians, particularly those fenced in, shall be their safety while attempting to maintain some kind of freedom of movement or access to their agricultural lands, as they shall be living in closed military zones. Based again on previous precedent throughout this Intifada, Israeli forces have not come under serious investigation for the deaths of any Palestinian civilians to date.[49] According to B’Tselem’s report reviewing implementation of curfew over ther period from approximately June - October[?] to [?] soldiers while enforcing curfews have killed at least fifteen Palestinians.[50] Many more have been maimed or wounded. How will Israeli forces react to Palestinian civilians attempting to work on their lands, leave their houses, or otherwise practice their right to freedom of movement?

The existence of a closed military zone where Palestinians shall reside raises serious concerns that such people shall be targets for trigger-happy soldiers, with little or no access to appeal, let alone international monitors (formally or informally), the international media, or other means of possibly forcing Israeli soldiers to act with less impunity.[51]

The nature of the military orders used to seize Palestinian land

Military orders issued by Israel’s military commander of the West Bank, Moshe Kaplinski, are being used to seize land. Indeed, the Israeli army intends to ‘seize’ (confiscate and illegally annex) these lands until December 31, 2005.[52] The military orders used to illegally confiscate and annex lands can be repeatedly renewed, and there is no time limit on renewals. It may be done indefinitely.[53]

At first glance, Kaplinski’s military orders appear to be provisional - confiscated lands may be returned after December 31, 2005, or they may be up for review. They are issued purportedly pursuant to the Hague Regulations whereby occupying powers can assume temporary administrative control of publicly owned land and buildings and administrative units. However, the occupying power does not acquire property rights, but only temporary administrative control.[54] Moreover, the occupying power is prohibited from confiscating private land and property.

A security wall, including electrified fences, walls, trenches and checkpoints implies both a permanent infrastructure and a permanent structure. There is nothing temporary about a wall.

Moreover, relying on past precedent, military orders to illegally confiscate lands is permanent. In the late 1960s and 70s, military orders such as these were used to seize lands to build settlements and settler by-pass roads on the pretext of security needs. Yehezkel Lein in a report by B’Tselem, the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, writes:
"On the basis of this permission, Israeli military commanders issued dozens of orders between 1968-1979 for the requisition of private land in the West Bank, claiming that it ‘is required for essential and urgent military needs.’ During the above-mentioned period, almost 47,000 dunums [4 dunums = 1 acre] of private land were requisitioned, most of which were intended for the establishment of settlements. The following settlements were among those established on this land: Matitiyahu, Neve Zuf, Rimonim, Shilo, Bet El, Kokhav Hashahar, Alon Shvut, El’azar, Efrat, Har Gilo, Migdal Oz, Gittit, Yitav and Qiryat Arba’."[55]

However, following the landmark case regarding the Elon Moreh settlement in 1979, where leaders of the extremist Gush Emunim (Bloc of the Faithful) petitioned for the Israeli High Court’s approval of the settlement based upon its permanency, rather than upon military necessary, Israel has stopped using military directives for settlements, turning to other means to confiscate and steal Palestinian lands for this purpose.[56]
Once again, military orders to seize, and illegally confiscate land were reintroduced in 1994 to build Israeli-only by-pass roads for settlers. Between August 1994 and September 1996, 4,386 dunums of Palestinian lands were seized by Israel using military orders.[57] When Palestinian residents petitioned the Israeli High Court to stop seizures of their land, arguing setter’s roads could not be considered a military need, "the court rejected the petition, accepting the state’s argument that the construction of the roads was needed for ‘absolute security needs’."[58]

It is in this context that military orders, issued by Moshe Kaplinski, Israel’s military commander of the West Bank, should be seen. Military orders to ‘seize’ Palestinian-owned land in the West Bank have been consistently premised on the basis of an overall strategy of strengthening the Occupation, rather than administering in Occupied Territories; in ensuring Israel can illegally annex as much Palestinian land as possible, and in taking away the livelihoods of Palestinians, whether through curfew, prevention of goods, or land confiscation - the effects are the same.

The confiscation of land for the purposes of building the apartheid wall can be considered to amount to illegal annexation as Israel is seeking to acquire this part of the territory to incorporate it into its own territory. The land and property confiscated from the Occupied Territories for the purposes of building the wall is being treated as lying within Israel’s borders.

As is stated in Pictet’s Commentary to the Fourth Geneva Convention: ". . .the traditional concept of occupation (as defined in article 43 of the Hague Regulations 1907) according to which the occupying authority was considered as merely being a de facto administrator. . .the occupation of territory in wartime is essentially a temporary, de facto situation, which deprives the Occupied Power of neither its statehood nor its sovereignty; it merely interferes with its power to exercise its rights. That is what distinguishes occupation from annexation, whereby the Occupying Power acquires all or part of the occupied territory and incorporates it into its own territory." [Refer to ‘The Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, ICRC, Geneva, 1958’.]

Israeli arguments for the apartheid wall

Israel however, claims that Palestinian interests are served by building an apartheid wall. The army will not have to resort to re-occupation, checkpoints, closures and other forms of collective punishments and human rights abuses to ensure Israel’s security.[59] The very same argument was used to justify by-pass roads for Israeli settlers in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, upon stolen Palestinian land.[60]

According to that argument, Israeli settlers would then be safe on roads exclusively reserved for them (effectively apartheid, as Palestinians are forbidden from using these roads), which would minimize checkpoints, closures and re-occupation of Palestinian areas.

The creation of apartheid Israeli-only roads has not in any way minimized Israel’s brutal military presence in the West Bank or Gaza Strip. In fact, it has only increased, in troops, equipment and brutality. As old roads become ‘dangerous’ for settlers, new roads also built on lands seized from Palestinians after 2000, the beginning of the second Intifada.[61]
It is apparent from the outset that Israel’s apartheid wall will be no different. Checkpoints, curfews, open indiscriminate fire upon civilians, closures, and so on shall continue, as their basis is not simply in Israeli fears of ‘infiltration.’ Rather, such measures are imposed as Israel’s army increasingly acts without accountability and impunity in the West Bank, backed up by a supportive Israeli government, public and international community.

Closures, curfews, and open indiscriminate fire upon civilians shall continue as Israel refuses to dismantle illegal Israeli-only settlements within the apartheid wall, thus ensuring a demand for Israeli forces to protect Israeli settlers, living illegally on occupied Palestinian territory.

More of the same shall continue, as Israel’s army regularly uses force, without regard to Palestinian lives, in order to appease an increasingly right wing Israeli public, hungry for signs of Israel’s strength as Palestinian resistance to occupation continues.

Israel’s security

Israel claims that a wall is necessary for the country’s security. As previously argued, serious questions must be raised as to the genuine security basis for the building of the wall. Instead LAW asserts that the wall is being used as a basis for illegally annexing further land.

Moreover, even if any genuine security rationale could be raised for building of the wall Israel must act within the boundaries of international law.

The use of the wall to separate the West Bank from Israel can be compared to the security justifications provided for other methods of total closure used. As the UN Special Rapporteur to the Occupied Palestinian Territories, John Dugard, argued in his March 2002 report in relation to movement restrictions: "[it is] not to prevent security risks from crossing checkpoints. . .Rather, it is to humiliate Palestinians and put pressure on them to cease resistance to Israeli occupation."[62] .

Again, in September 2002 he stated: "There can be no doubt that Israeli has legitimate security concerns. . ..At the same time, it is necessary to ask whether the measures resorted to by Israel, particularly curfews and closures, always serve a security need. Often they appear so disproportionate, so remote from the interests of security, that one is led to ask whether they are not in part designed to punish, humiliate and subjugate the Palestinian people. Israel’s legitimate security needs must be balanced against the legitimate humanitarian needs of the Palestinian people. To the Special Rapporteur it appears that there is no such balance. Human rights have been sacrificed to security. This in turn produces a greater threat to Israeli security: the hopelessness of despair which leads inexorably to suicide bombings and other acts of violence against Israelis."[63] (Own emphasis added).

According to Binyamin Ben-Eleizer, Israel’s defense minister, "the terrorist attacks that have been haunting Israel have obliged us to build a continuous obstacle to stop the infiltration of terrorists into Israel."[64]

Israel maintains that the apartheid wall shall control topography that shall enable observation from patrol roads. Yet B’Tselem argues: "In most of the areas, the barrier’s path passes along river beds or hillsides, and not necessarily the high points. Furthermore, the three largest villages along this section of the barrier. . .are located on hills. Thus, many sections of the planned patrol roads do not overlook them."[65]

The wall in context of international law and Israeli-PLO agreements

Land seizure and destruction


The Fourth Geneva Convention 1949 states in Article 47 that "protected persons who are in occupied territory shall not be deprived, in any case or in any manner whatsoever, of the benefits of the present Convention by any change introduced, as the result of the occupation of a territory, into the institutions or government of the said territory, nor by any agreement concluded between the authorities of the occupied territories and the Occupying Power, nor by any annexation by the latter of the whole or part of the occupied territory."

The military orders and the construction of the wall violate basic principles of international human rights and humanitarian law. Israel has exceeded any legitimate powers of an occupying power under international humanitarian law by exercising more than a temporary, administrative role in its permanent confiscation of land and annexation of property within occupied territories for construction of the wall.

Israel argues that Article 52 of the Hague Regulations of 1907, enable it to confiscate the land for the purposes of the building of the wall. However, article 52 only refers to "requisitions in kind and services", which does not include immoveable property and realty including land, and certainly does not include private land held by individual protected persons. This is made expressly clear by other articles of the Hague Regulations 1907 including article 53 which states: "An army of occupation can only take possession of cash, funds, and realizable securities which are strictly the property of the State, depots of arms, means of transport, stores and supplies, and generally all moveable property belonging to the state which may be used for military operations. All appliances. . .depots of arms, and generally, all kinds of munitions of war, may be seized, even if they belong to private individuals, but must be restored and compensation fixed when peace is made." [Own emphasis added]

Any ‘requisitions’, which cannot include permanent confiscation of private land, can only be undertaken when they are for the benefit of the "needs of the army of occupation" and not for the benefit of the citizens of the State of that army.
Even where the occupying power argues that destroying or seizing "the enemy’s property" is "imperatively demanded by the necessities of war" (article 23(g)), and where land or other immoveable property is in question, the occupying State is at most authorized to act as a temporary administrator and must safeguard such property. As regards such land or immoveable property, article 55 provides: "The occupying State shall be regarded only as administrator and usufructuary of public buildings, real estate, forests, and agricultural estates belonging to the hostile State, and situated in the occupied country. It must safeguard the capital of these properties, and administer them in accordance with the rules of usufruct."

Moreover, a distinction must be drawn between public and private property within the occupied territories. Article 46 clearly states "private property cannot be confiscated". Accordingly, any attempt to permanently confiscate land or other immoveable property goes beyond the occupying power’s role as a temporary administrator and any confiscation of private property and land is illegal.

The Israeli occupying power must balance any security concerns with the interests of the Palestinian protected persons. In this respect, the apartheid wall is a wholly disproportionate, as well as unlawful measure.

Moreover, Israel has not been able to explain or justify the destruction and confiscation of land and property within the occupied territory instead of within Israel’s own sovereign territory.

Israel's apartheid wall involves seizing, destroying and permanently changing the status of the occupied territories and to the obvious detriment of the local population.

Collective punishment

Israeli sources say that Israel's apartheid wall is being built for 'security purposes.’ However, the destruction and confiscation of land effectively punishes the entire population, in particular those whose homes and land have been destroyed and land permanently confiscated. International humanitarian law prohibits collective penalties.

Under the Fourth Geneva Convention, to which Israel is a signatory, destruction of property in occupied territories is forbidden under Article 53. It constitutes collective punishment, which is explicitly prohibited by Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention. It further constitutes extra-judicial punishment and arbitrary interference with home and property.

Moreover, such extensive destruction of the private property carried out wantonly and without genuine military necessity amounts to a grave breach under article 147 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, namely a war crime.

Illegal confiscation and annexation of land violates the general principle under international law of inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force, as reaffirmed by UN Security Council Resolution 242[66]

Israel-PLO agreements
The Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip ('Oslo II') of September 28, 1995, provides that 'neither side shall initiate or take any step that will change the status of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip pending the outcome of the permanent status negotiations'. Moreover, the agreement states that 'the two sides view the West Bank and the Gaza Strip as a single territorial unit, the integrity and status of which will be preserved during the interim period'. Moreover, territorial jurisdiction is defined as the Gaza Strip territory, except for the settlements and Israeli installations, and the West Bank territory, except for Area C which, 'except for the issues that will be negotiated in the permanent status negotiations, will be gradually transferred to Palestinian jurisdiction in three phases'.

The "security" wall - a form of apartheid

Israel’s so-called "security-wall" is a form of apartheid, positioned within an overall system of apartheid and colonialism in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.[67]

On 18 July 1976 the International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid, drafted through the UN Commission of Human Rights, came into force, and codified what States consider the 'crime of apartheid' involves ("Apartheid Convention")

The Apartheid Convention declares the 'crime of apartheid' to be a crime against humanity and punishable by State Parties to the Convention, or by an international penal tribunal having jurisdiction over state parties that accept its jurisdiction. It sets out the elements that comprise the crime of apartheid and the liabilities for perpetrating the crime.

In a previous report issued by LAW:

‘Apartheid’ has been legally defined by a number of international treaties as a war crime and crime against humanity, with a broader meaning and applicability, including under Protocol 1 to the Geneva Conventions; the International Criminal Court Statute 1998, and the International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid 1973."

"These treaties legally define ‘apartheid’ as ‘a system of institutionalised racial segregation and discrimination for the purpose of establishing and maintaining domination by one racial group . . . over another . . . and systematically oppressing them’. The Apartheid Convention comprehensively lists examples of inhuman acts designed to establish and maintain domination and systematic oppression.

"Israeli actions/policies fulfil these elements including: Denial of the right to life and liberty of person; Murder; Infliction of serious bodily or mental harm, by infringement of their freedom or dignity, or by subjecting them to torture, or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment; By arbitrary arrest and illegal imprisonment; Deliberate imposition of living conditions calculated to cause a group their physical destruction in whole or in part; Legislative or other measures calculated to prevent a group from participation in the political, social, economic and cultural life of the country and the deliberate creation of conditions preventing the full development of such a group denying their basic human rights and freedoms (including Right to work; Right to form recognised trade unions; Right to education; Right to leave and to return to their country; Right to nationality; Right to freedom of movement and residence; Right to freedom of opinion and expression; Right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association); Measures (including legislative) designed to divide the population along racial lines by: Creation of separate reserves and ghettos for the members of a racial group, Prohibition of mixed marriages, and Expropriation of landed property; Exploitation of labour; Persecution of organisations and persons by depriving them of fundamental rights and freedoms because they oppose apartheid." [68]

While the report continues to list similarities between Israel’s brand of apartheid to the system used in South Africa, this report focuses on how Israel’s so-called "security wall" specifically fulfils acts associated with apartheid as defined under the Apartheid Convention.

The focus with regard to Israel’s so-called security wall are measures (including legislative) it has taken through building this wall designed to divide the population along racial lines by creation of separate reserves and ghettos for the members of a racial group; separation of Palestinian families/communities; controls on freedom of movement through the system of ID cards, curfews and closures; expropriation of landed property.
It is important to note here that Israel does not have self-recognized borders. The West Bank (including East Jerusalem) and the Gaza Strip, occupied by Israel in 1967, are considered to be Occupied Territories, with rules of administration outlined by customary International law, and specifically, the Fourth Geneva Convention.

Expropriation of landed property: Land seizures clearly fall upon racial lines in building this wall. Land is only being taken from Palestinian Arabs - not Israeli Jews -in illegal settlements built on seized Palestinian lands in the West Bank.

Palestinians residing in the West Bank shall be dispossessed of thousands of dunums of land, including agricultural lands, in many cases, the backbone of their livelihoods.

Creation of separate reserves and ghettos for the members of a racial group: LAW notes with concern that all persons trapped between the so-called "security-wall" and Israel or the West Bank are entirely Palestinian. It thus appears that ethnic-religious (i.e. racial) motives drove the choice of localities to place between the wall and Israel/West Bank.

Indeed, these different hemmed in areas where Palestinians shall reside (but no Israeli Jews) will effectively be separate reserves for members of one racial group: Palestinian Arabs. Moreover, through seizing prime agricultural lands to be used to either build the wall or as buffer zones, Israel is creating tiny cantons between the wall and Israel/West Bank, that will be significantly deprived of land and other resource access.

This is particularly evident in Qalqilya, where that canton has been specifically created to serve the needs a small number of illegal Israeli settlers, who shall be residing in land illegally annexed to Israel at the expense of the movement, livelihoods and lands of Palestinian residents.

On a larger scale, Palestinian Arabs will be unable to move easily from behind the wall, but Israeli settlers, living in colonial outposts all over the West Bank will not be similarly affected. They will continue to be able to move freely. Thus, the wall effectively separates two ethnic-religious groups, to the distinct disadvantage, and collective punishment of one of these groups: Palestinian Arabs.[69]

Separation of Palestinian Families/Communities: A clear result of the apartheid wall shall be separation of Palestinian families and communities.

Controls on freedom of movement through the system of ID cards, curfews and closures: Israel’s apartheid wall clearly enforces controls on freedom of movement, through a new system of special permits to exit or enter Palestinian areas between the wall and the West Bank or Israel. As noted earlier, LAW also expresses its concern that the special permit system, combined with closures (all entry and exit points shall be staffed by Israeli forces) and curfews shall be used punitively, as demonstrated by clear precedence in the West Bank and Gaza strip, particularly throughout the latest Intifada.

Summary
Israel’s apartheid wall, which is currently being built, has been undertaken with a cynical and almost total lack of concern for Palestinian lives, land and water. Indeed, the process of building the wall to date has only indicated Israel’s desire to illegally confiscate and annex as much land and water as possible, with as few Palestinians as possible actually residing within that illegally annexed land. Judicially, the Israeli High Court has failed to require the Israeli military and government to adhere to its obligations under international law by offering a virtual carte blanche to the Israeli army to confiscate, build upon Palestinian lands and purport to illegally annex that land and property within Israel’s borders.

Hemming in hundreds of thousands of Palestinians has raised little, if any debate in Israel or the international community. Nevertheless, the two distinct features of this wall - hemming in only one ethnic-religious group, and confiscating and illegally annexing properties (including water resources) from the same ethnic-religious group, amounts to a form of apartheid, as well involving violations of the Fourth Geneva Convention, and Israel’s own agreements with the PLO.

LAW condemns the brazen illegality of this wall, the cynical way in which fertile lands and water resources have been unlawfully destroyed, confiscated and purportedly illegally annexed within Israel’s borders; and the potential impact it shall have on those Palestinians hemmed in: in particular in terms of their rights to work and employment, movement, access to healthcare and education, their rights to access adequately nutritious food and water and accordingly to be free from hunger and malnutrition, and their rights to physical safety.

Footnotes

[1] According to all official documentation obtained by LAW and other Palestinian civil and governmental institutions; based upon pre-emptive moves to confiscate lands in the Southern west Bank; based on outlined plans for Jerusalem and reiterated through official Israeli maps obtained by LAW for northern section of wall. September 23, 2002, Israeli maps attachment to State response to Military Orders 17/2002 and October 14, 2002, Israeli maps attachment to State response to petition 8352/02.

[2] October 2002, Palestine Liberation Organization Negotiations Affairs Department (PLO-NAD). Unilateral Action in Jerusalem: Making Two States Impossible, PLO-NAD, Ramallah, pp. 17-18.

[3] Figures from LAW - Palestinian Society for the Protection of Human Rights and the Environment for the northern wall (108, 918 Palestinians) and October 2002, Palestine Liberation Organization Negotiations Affairs Department (PLO-NAD). Unilateral Action in Jerusalem: Making Two States Impossible, PLO-NAD, Ramallah, pp. 17-18 (276,000 Palestinians).

[4] This is based on State responses to previous LAW petitions to halt the confiscation of land. The issue of granting Israeli citizenship to those Palestinians annexed to Israel has not arisen. Rather, the notion of ‘special permits’ to re-enter the West Bank has been suggested.

[5] See our previous press releases,


LAW, October 15 2002. "Apartheid wall saga continues" LAW,
HTML:
.
LAW, October 14, 2002. "LAW petition: Stop seizing lands for apartheid wall" LAW, [html].
LAW, September 25 2002. "11,000 Palestinians between Israel’s apartheid wall and Green Line" LAW, [html]."
LAW, September 11 2002. "LAW files more petitions against construction of Israel’s apartheid wall" LAW, [html].
LAW, August 20 2002. "LAW files petition against construction of Israel's apartheid wall" LAW, [html].

[6] See for instance: September 23, 2002, Israeli maps attachment to State response to Military Orders 17/2002 and October 14, 2002, Israeli maps attachment to State response to petition 8352/02.
[7] Thus the original official Israeli map for the first phase of the wall presented to the Israeli High Court (September 23, 2002. Israeli maps attachment to State response to Military Orders 17/2002) is different to the second official Israeli map presented on October 14, 2002 to the Israeli High Court for the first phase of the wall, particularly around the Qalqilya area. Importantly, the first Israeli response noted 11,000 Palestinians who would be stuck between the wall and Israel; the second noted 12,000.
[8] 17 towns and villages are LAW’s approximation. The original official Israeli map for the first phase of the wall presented to the Israeli High Court. Re: September 23, 2002. Israeli maps attachment to State response to Military Orders 17/2002 is different to the second official Israeli map presented on October 14, 2002 to the Israeli High Court for the first phase of the wall, and so it is yet unclear of more or less than 17 towns and village shall be fenced in. Neither official map details the exact amount of Palestinian villages and towns.

[9] Sum of populations from the 17 villages and towns. Numbers from: October 15, 2002 Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, Dissemination & Documentation Dept. Division of User Services. Mid-Year projected Population by Selected Localities, 2002, Palestine Central Bureau of Statistics, Ramallah.

[10] According to October 2002, Palestine Liberation Organization Negotiations Affairs Department (PLO-NAD). Unilateral Action in Jerusalem: Making Two States Impossible, PLO-NAD, Ramallah, p. 18. However, the figure may be higher, as Israel’s official maps keep altering Palestinian territories to be annexed.

[11] According to Israeli military response, 14 October 2002, LAW petition # 8352/02 to Israeli High Court.

[12] 2002 population numbers, according to October 15, 2002. Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, Dissemination & Documentation Dept. Division of User Services. Mid-Year projected Population by Selected Localities, 2002, Palestine Central Bureau of Statistics, Ramallah.

[13] October 15, 2002. Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, Dissemination & Documentation Dept. Division of User Services. Mid-Year projected Population by Selected Localities, 2002, Palestine Central Bureau of Statistics, Ramallah.

[14] LAW received no indication that West Bank Palestinians annexed to Israel would be granted Israeli citizenship through its legal proceedings. However, it was suggested that special permits may be issued to allow Palestinians in annexed areas access to the West Bank.

[15] There is no indication on the first official map presented that a barrier, trench, or any other obstacle shall separate these localities from Israel, although as West Bank residents, it is illegal to enter Israel without a permit specifically for this end. Re: September 23, 2002. Israeli maps attachment to State response to Military Orders 17/2002

[16] Tulkarem, Shweiki and Irtah are three different localities. However, due to the close proximity of the latter two villages to Tulkarem, the Palestinian Bureau of Statistics considers them one statistical locality.

[17] The width of the wall varies from one place to another, generally ranging from between 60-100 meters wide and every thing on these lands will be destroyed. Re: September 23, 2002. Israeli maps attachment to State response to Military Orders 17/2002

[18] October 11, 2002. PLO Negotiations Affairs Department, Bad Fences Make Bad Neighbors - Part II: Focus on Qalqilya. PLO-NAD, Ramallah, p. 1.

[19] October 11, 2002. PLO Negotiations Affairs Department, Bad Fences Make Bad Neighbors - Part II: Focus on Qalqilya. PLO-NAD, Ramallah, p. 2.

[20] 15% figure from October 2002, Palestine Liberation Organization Negotiations Affairs Department (PLO-NAD). Unilateral Action in Jerusalem: Making Two States Impossible, PLO-NAD, Ramallah, p. 18.

[21] October 11, 2002. PLO Negotiations Affairs Department, Bad Fences Make Bad Neighbors - Part II: Focus on Qalqilya. PLO-NAD, Ramallah, p. 1.

[22] October 11, 2002. PLO Negotiations Affairs Department, Bad Fences Make Bad Neighbors - Part II: Focus on Qalqilya. PLO-NAD, Ramallah, p. 2.

[23] LAW, October 14, 2002. "LAW petition: Stop seizing lands for apartheid wall" LAW, [html].

[24] 23 August 2002. Statement by Jamal Salman, Director General of the Bethlehem Municipality, noted in October 2002, Palestine Liberation Organization Negotiations Affairs Department (PLO-NAD). Unilateral Action in Jerusalem: Making Two States Impossible, PLO-NAD, Ramallah, p. 19.

[25] October 2002, Palestine Liberation Organization Negotiations Affairs Department (PLO-NAD). Unilateral Action in Jerusalem: Making Two States Impossible, PLO-NAD, Ramallah, pp. 18 - 19.

[26] October 2002, Palestine Liberation Organization Negotiations Affairs Department (PLO-NAD). Unilateral Action in Jerusalem: Making Two States Impossible, PLO-NAD, Ramallah, p. 18.

[27] October 2002, Palestine Liberation Organization Negotiations Affairs Department (PLO-NAD). Unilateral Action in Jerusalem: Making Two States Impossible, PLO-NAD, Ramallah, p. 19.

[28] October 2002, Palestine Liberation Organization Negotiations Affairs Department (PLO-NAD). Unilateral Action in Jerusalem: Making Two States Impossible, PLO-NAD, Ramallah, p. 18.

[29] October 11, 2002. PLO Negotiations Affairs Department, Bad Fences Make Bad Neighbors - Part II: Focus on Qalqilya. PLO-NAD, Ramallah, p. 1.

[30] For instance, in LAW’s latest petition to the Israeli High Court. See: LAW, October 14, 2002. "LAW petition: Stop seizing lands for apartheid wall" LAW, [html].
[31] 4 October 2002. LAW, UN Human Rights Committee Implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights: List of issues to be taken up in connection with the consideration of the Periodic Report submitted by Israel on 4 December 2001 (CCPR/C/ISR/2001/2), concerning the rights covered by articles 1-27 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights 1966 (‘ICCPR’) as regards the Occupied Palestinian Territories (‘OPTs’). LAW, [html].

[32] 4 October 2002. LAW, UN Human Rights Committee Implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights: List of issues to be taken up in connection with the consideration of the Periodic Report submitted by Israel on 4 December 2001 (CCPR/C/ISR/2001/2), concerning the rights covered by articles 1-27 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights 1966 (‘ICCPR’) as regards the Occupied Palestinian Territories (‘OPTs’). LAW, [html].

[33] LAW, October 15 2002. "Apartheid wall saga continues" LAW, [html].

[34] Also see B’Tselem report. Yehezkel Lein, September 2002. The Separation Barrier: Position Paper September 2002, B’Tselem, The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, Jerusalem, p.9.

[35] See UNSCO, 2002. The Impact of Closure and Other Mobility Restrictions on Palestinian Productive Activities: 1 January 2002 - 30 June 2002, UNSC (Office of the United Nations Special Co-ordinator), pp. 13-20 [html].

[36] March 2002. World Bank, Fifteen Months - Intifada, Closures and Palestinians Economic Crisis - An Assessment, World Bank, [html].

[37] Regarding apparently discriminatory processes of speeding up entry of Israeli goods into the West Bank while holding up Palestinian goods, see UNSC, 2002. The Impact of Closure and Other Mobility Restrictions on Palestinian Productive Activities: 1 January 2002 - 30 June 2002, UNSC (Office of the United Nations Special Co-ordinator), pp. 12, 13, 14, 15. Note for instance,

"The delays in export of perishable produce from the Gaza Strip have had a serious economic impact. UNSCO researches have regularly visited checkpoints that facilitate the trade of goods in and out of Gaza in order to examine how the delays are created, and their impact. For example, tomatoes and carrots were observed spoiling in the sun, while fresh Israeli produce appeared to be entering Gaza without extensive delays. The spoiled produce is no longer marketable, and the income is lost. Reduced income in turn is converted into a demand shock via lower demand for Palestinian produced goods and services inside Gaza." (12; 2002)

[38] UNSC, 2002. The Impact of Closure and Other Mobility Restrictions on Palestinian Productive Activities: 1 January 2002 - 30 June 2002, UNSC (Office of the United Nations Special Co-ordinator), preface [html].

[39] UNSC, 2002. The Impact of Closure and Other Mobility Restrictions on Palestinian Productive Activities: 1 January 2002 - 30 June 2002, UNSC (Office of the United Nations Special Co-ordinator), p.3 [html].

[40] UNSC, 2002. The Impact of Closure and Other Mobility Restrictions on Palestinian Productive Activities: 1 January 2002 - 30 June 2002, UNSC (Office of the United Nations Special Co-ordinator), p.3 [html].

[41] August 5, 2002, Care International. Preliminary Finding of the Nutritional Assessment and Sentinel Surveillance System For West Bank and Gaza, Care International, [html].

[42] August 5, 2002, Care International. Preliminary Finding of the Nutritional Assessment and Sentinel Surveillance System For West Bank and Gaza, Care International, [html].

[43] August 5, 2002, Care International. Preliminary Finding of the Nutritional Assessment and Sentinel Surveillance System For West Bank and Gaza, Care International, [html].

[44] [Refer to Report of the Special Rapporteur on adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living, Mr. Miloon Kothari, on his visit to the occupied Palestinian Territories, E/C.N.4/2003/5, 10 June 2002, pages 16-17].

[45] October 11, 2002. PLO Negotiations Affairs Department, Bad Fences Make Bad Neighbors - Part II: Focus on Qalqilya. PLO-NAD, Ramallah, p. 1.

[46] October 11, 2002. PLO Negotiations Affairs Department, Bad Fences Make Bad Neighbors - Part II: Focus on Qalqilya. PLO-NAD, Ramallah, p. 2.

[47] Refer to the UNSR on Housing report of June 2002. Refer as well to August 2001, B’Tselem. Not Even a Drop. The Water Crisis in Palestinian Villages, B’Tselem, [html]. Btselem in that report refers to 200,000 at that stage not being connected to a water network and reliant upon water from water tankers.

[48] Quotes from October 16, 2002, Amira Hass. "Scraping the bottom of the cistern," Ha’eretz, [html].

[49] Shlomi Swisa, October 2002. Lethal Curfew: The use of live ammunition to enforce curfew. B’Tselem - The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, Jerusalem. p. 35.

[50] It is unclear exactly from what day/month to day/month B’Tselem was covering. LAW sees that the B’Tselem number given - 15 is extremely conservative. See Shlomi Swisa, October 2002. Lethal Curfew: The use of live ammunition to enforce curfew. B’Tselem - The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, Jerusalem. p. 12.
[51] Also see Yehezkel Lein, September 2002. The Separation Barrier: Position Paper September 2002, B’Tselem, The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, Jerusalem, p.9.

[52] Military orders 17/2002/T, 18/2002/T, 20/2002/T, 21/2002/T, 22/2002T and 31/2002/T have been issued in this regard. See previous LAW press releases,


LAW, September 11 2002. "LAW files more petitions against construction of Israel’s apartheid wall" LAW [URL]http://www.lawsociety.org/Press/Preleases/2002/sep/sep11.html[/URL]
LAW, August 20 2002. "LAW files petition against construction of Israel's apartheid wall" LAW, [[URL]http://www.lawsociety.org/Press/Preleases/2002/August/aug20.html[/URL]]

[53] 16 October 2002, Conversation with LAW attorney, ‘Azem Bishara
[54] Accepted interpretation of the Hague Regulations attached to the 1907 Hague Convention on Warfare on Land.

[55] Yehezkel Lein, May 2002. Land Grab: Israel’s Settlement Policy in the West Bank, B’tselem, The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, Jerusalem. See chapter three, "The Mechanism Used to Seize Control of Land," part A. Seizure for Military Needs, pp.31-34.
Lein (31; 2002) further notes the justification given for settlements as a security need, given by Justice Vitkon at the time:

"In terms of the purely security-based consideration, there can be no questioning that the presence in the administered territory of settlements - even "civilian" - of the citizens of the administering power makes a significant contribution to the security situation in that territory, and facilitates the army’s performance of its function. One need not be an expert in military and defense matters to appreciate that terrorist elements operate more easily in territory occupied exclusively by a population that is indifferent or sympathetic to the enemy than in a territory in which there are also persons liable to monitor them and inform the authorities of any suspicious movement. With such people the terrorists will find no shelter, assistance and equipment. These are simple matters and there is no need to elaborate."

[56] Yehezkel Lein, May 2002. Land Grab: Israel’s Settlement Policy in the West Bank, B’tselem, The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, Jerusalem, pp. 31-33.

[57] Yehezkel Lein, May 2002. Land Grab: Israel’s Settlement Policy in the West Bank, B’tselem, The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, Jerusalem, pp. 33-34.

[58] Yehezkel Lein, May 2002. Land Grab: Israel’s Settlement Policy in the West Bank, B’tselem, The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, Jerusalem, p34.

[59] State response to petition by LAW to Israeli High Court. Petition # 7784/2002 ‘Abd al-Hadi ‘Abd al-Hadi & Others vs. Military Commander of West Bank

[60] 16 October 2002, Conversation with LAW attorney, ‘Azem Bishara

[61] Yehezkel Lein, May 2002. Land Grab: Israel’s Settlement Policy in the West Bank, B’tselem, The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, Jerusalem, p34.

[62] Refer to E.CN.4/2002/32, 6 March 2002, available at www.un.org

[63] [Refer to A/57/366/Add.1, 16 September 2002, ‘Question of the violation of human rights in the occupied Arab Territories, including Palestine’, Report of the Special Rapporteur of the Commission on Human Rights on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied by Israeli since 1967; page 4].

[64] India Info, June 17 2002. "Israel starts work on controversial West Bank fence" India Info, [html].

[65] Also see Yehezkel Lein, September 2002. The Separation Barrier: Position Paper September 2002, B’tselem, The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, Jerusalem, p.15.

[66] [Refer to Ian Brownlie, ‘Principles of Public International Law, Fifth Edition’, Oxford University Press, page 126]

[67] See for instance,
LAW 20 March 2002. Oral statement made by the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, an NGO with Special Consultative Status, in collaboration with LAW, The Palestinian Society for the Protection of Human Rights & The Environment: Commission on Human Rights, 20 March 2002, Fifty eighth session. Item 6 of the provisional agenda: Racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and all forms of discrimination. LAW, [html]
LAW 2001. Israel’s Brand of Apartheid: Law Society. LAW, [html]
LAW 2001. Israel’s Brand of Apartheid: Select LAW Reports. LAW, [html]
LAW 2001. Israel’s Brand of Apartheid: The Palestinian Preparatory Group for the World Conference Against Racism. LAW, [html]
[68] LAW 20 March 2002. Oral statement made by the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, an NGO with Special Consultative Status, in collaboration with LAW, The Palestinian Society for the Protection of Human Rights & The Environment: Commission on Human Rights, 20 March 2002, Fifty eighth session. Item 6 of the provisional agenda: Racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and all forms of discrimination. LAW, [html]
[69] Israeli settlers in the West Bank cannot be considered to be discriminated against in terms of geography. They are distinctly administratively and militarily separate from Palestinian areas through armed check posts, settler-only roads, a host of financial incentives, and so forth. i.e., Israeli settlers enjoy Israeli citizenship and are treated by Israel as residing in the land of Israel (both in terms of Israel’s refusal to commit to a border line with the West Bank and ideologically).
[HEADING=1]Report details[/HEADING]
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[*][URL='https://reliefweb.int/country/isr']Israel[/URL]
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Other country
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[*][URL='https://reliefweb.int/country/pse']occupied Palestinian territory[/URL]
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[*][URL='https://reliefweb.int/organization/law']LAW-The Palestinian Society for the Protection of Human Rights and the Environment[/URL]
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[*][URL='https://reliefweb.int/updates?advanced-search=%28F5%29']Assessment[/URL]
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[*][URL='https://reliefweb.int/updates?advanced-search=%28L267%29']English[/URL]
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Muhammed45

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Israel's security narrative for 'apartheid wall' collapses​

March 22, 2022 at 3:30 pm
2013_12_3-Palestinian-Shuafat-refugee-camp281114_MUA_00-2.jpg


Since the start of its construction two decades ago, in defiance of international law, Israel's separation barrier, known also as the "apartheid wall," has been a major source of controversy. The wall cuts through Palestinian communities, agricultural fields, and farmlands, thus adding further obstruction and misery to the lives of Palestinians.

Israel vigorously defended the walls' construction as an essential security need. But on its 20_year anniversary, serious questions are being asked about Israel's security narrative as the occupation state turns a blind eye to thousands of Palestinians crossing through its porous wall.

OPINION: Israel is hiding behind useless 'security' walls yet again

Where, once Palestinians would have been shot for merely approaching the wall, a steady stream of Palestinians are able to commute through its many holes and gaps along the snaking 712 km-long route, built almost entirely within the Israeli occupied territories, beyond the 1967 borders. Some sections of the wall reach as deep as 22 km into Palestinian territory, dividing communities and leaving farmers reliant on Israeli permits to access their own land.
"Stop the Wall", a Palestinian grassroots advocacy campaign, said that upon the wall's completion, Israel will have annexed 46 per cent of the West Bank, "isolating communities into Bantustans, ghettos and military zones". The group said that the wall will isolate more than 78 Palestinian villages and communities, a total of 266,442 Palestinians.

Disputing the Israeli narrative, Palestinians have always maintained that the wall was another one of Israel's many ruses to annex their territory to build and preserve existing illegal Jewish-only settlements.

Supporting the Palestinian claim, the Guardian published a report uncovering the ease with which Palestinians move through the wall in full view of Israeli occupation soldiers.

OPINION: The colonial nature of Israel's Wall

"The Israeli public was sold this wall as a necessary security measure," Dror Etkes, who documents illegal Israeli construction in the occupied Palestinian territories for his NGO, "Kerem Navot", is reported as saying in the British paper. "My understanding is there's been a change of policy, and soldiers are now supposed to turn a blind eye to the Palestinians coming in." Etkes estimates there are now hundreds of breaches in the barrier, which an unknown number of people use each day.

"Israel knows it needs to relieve the economic pressure in the West Bank and it benefits from the cheaper labour. Which raises the question: if [the wall] is just an arbitrary construction, why is it here at all?" Etkes asked, questioning Israel's argument about the wall.

The Palestinian economy has been starved by the Israeli occupation and has forced many to seek work elsewhere. Unemployment in the West Bank has hovered at around 25 per cent for several years, and wages are much lower than in Israel, reported the Guardian. Once they arrived, many workers remained in Israel for a week or longer, avoiding police or anyone who might report them, until they had earned enough to risk making the journey home again. Even working with no rights in sometimes dangerous conditions, the risk was worth it.
Holes are said to have been cut all along the wall to facilitate access to the Triangle, a cluster of majority-Arab-Israeli towns and villages abutting the Green Line. All the gaps were big enough for adults to pass through comfortably; incongruously, some were next to locked gates, or close to checkpoints and visible cameras. Some people said they had valid permits but chose to use the breaches in the fence because it was quicker and easier than queuing at official terminals, where soldiers can question and search them.

The International Court of Justice (ICJ), the UN judiciary organ, issued an advisory opinion in 2004, declaring Israel's separation wall illegal.It found that the wall violates international law and called for its dismantlement. It also ruled that Israel should pay reparations for any damage caused.

The UN General Assembly later voted overwhelmingly to demand Israel complies with the ICJ ruling. The vote called on UN member states "not to recognise the illegal situation resulting from the construction of the wall in the occupied Palestinian territory, including in and around East Jerusalem" and "not to render aid or assistance in maintaining the situation created by such construction".
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