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Opinion: Settlements are illegal, so settlers must leave
Published Tuesday 05/02/2013 (updated) 11/02/2013 21:20
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Palestinians have waited for more than six decades following their Nakba, or catastrophe, in 1948, and more than four decades of occupation until the world has finally admitted that colonies or "settlements" in the Occupied Palestinian Territories are not only illegal, but are also in violation of international law and constitute war crimes.

Israel is responsible for the millions of Palestinian refugees scattered throughout the world, the hundreds of thousands of prisoners and victims since Israel was founded, and is still responsible despite the fact that the world community believes that Israel is an occupying power and settlements in occupied Palestinian land are illegal.

More than half a million Jewish settlers in more than 250 colonies must leave the settlements they have built illegally on stolen Palestinian lands since the occupation of the West Bank in 1967; this was the conclusion of the UN investigators who convened in Geneva a few days ago.

The report also said that Israeli settlement practices could be subject to prosecution as possible war crimes.

Christine Chanet, a French Judge who led the inquiry in a press conference said "Israel must cease settlement activities and provide adequate, prompt and effective remedy to the victims of violations of human rights."

As expected, Israeli politicians refused to accept the decision, and attacked the UN, the way they do every time Israel is condemned for its deeds.

In fact, Israeli leaders never recognize or accept decisions made by the UN or any of its organizations; the only decision they recognized and welcomed with joy, was the decision which announced the division of Palestine, giving the Zionist terrorist gangs an entity on the Palestinian land and with it the foundation of the State of Israel.

The report's recommendations also called on all member states to carry out their responsibilities towards the Israeli violations and irregularities of international law.

Former Israeli foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman said "the recommendations are useless and not worth the ink they were written with." He knows that the world will deal with them in the same way as every other UN recommendation on the Palestinians throughout the years.

Settlements and settlers are part of the long-lasting problem of the Israeli occupation that is imposed upon the Palestinians.

Despite the position of the world's countries and the universal condemnation of settlement building, Israel continues its policy in this regard; plans to confiscate more lands appear frequently, and the demolition of Palestinian neighborhoods is still one of the main practices of the occupation authorities.

The UN human rights recommendations are particularly important because Israel's settlement policies continue to harm Palestinians. Israel is threatening to demolish the al-Fhaidat neighborhood of Anata, north of Jerusalem, the village of Susiya in the south Hebron hills, and many rural communities in the Jordan Valley.

In occupied East Jerusalem, things are worsening, as reported by Israeli daily Haaretz on Monday: '"Two weeks ago an enforcement/punishment operation ended in Isawiya in north Jerusalem, and a week ago a new operation started in Silwan. The operations included numerous arrests, roadblocks to inspect vehicles, tax collection, house demolitions, shutting off water, various fines, searches and random checks of identification, and more'."

The time has come to eradicate this plague that undermines the two-state solution, prolongs Israel's policy of land confiscation and the construction and expansion of settlements, while turning its back on the international community and ignoring all human rights demands.

The author is a Palestinian writer and journalist based in Bethlehem.
1 ) some one / some where
05/02/2013 18:25
what kind of analysis is this and why you call this garbage an analysis maybe the auther and publsher refer to dictionary and found the meaning of analysis

2 ) Amira / Canada
06/02/2013 00:30
They will eventually be kicked out. See the Algerian example. French occupy Algeria from 1860 to 1962. All the settlers and their descendants had to leave by boats and go back to were they came from.

3 ) Yehuda Solomon / Israel
06/02/2013 01:42
Rashid, we both know how the current state of affairs is going and how the future state of affairs will be [and if you don't know regarding the Palestinians (west of the Jordan River) I'll tell you: hopeless)]. As you probably know by now, the U.S. President is planning to visit the State of Palestine and Israel in Mar. When he gets done touring the State of Palestine and goes home, do you know what will materialize for the better for the State of Palestine afterwards ??? ... a year (cont.)

4 ) Yehuda Solomon / Israel
06/02/2013 01:55
from now ??? ... 5 years from now ??? ... 10, 20, 50 or 100 years from now and beyond ??? ... Answer: Nothing. Not a damn thing. 10 years from now we're going to have over a million of us living in the State of Palestine. Do you think for a second those Israelites like myself are worried about the political "fallout" or import of our recent elections where everyone thinks our national will and commitment to make Israel from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River is eventually (cont.)

5 ) Yehuda Solomon / Israel
06/02/2013 02:13
going to crumble as the inevitable fate of our intransigence in failing to withstand world condemnation ??? ... That somehow "demographics" or the West's labeling us as an evil apartheid nation that eventually must bow to ITS interpretations of principles of justice and righteousness as they relate to the Palestinians is going to make us relent like hell in the final outcome ??? Rashid, your last paragraph, 1st sentence up to the comma ... is 100% right. The 2-nation solution is forever dead.

6 ) Lance / UK
07/02/2013 00:33
Why is Israel not made to abide by International Law? It has more resolutions against it than any other State. It has nuclear weapons and will not open it's facilities to UN IAEA inspection - as Iran does. Israel cannot carry on behaving as if it is above the law. Obama and the West needs to stand up to Israel and ensure justice for Palestine.

7 ) Morqos / Diaspora
08/02/2013 14:51
If by 10 years from now there are a million settlers inside the West Bank, we'll be half Israel's population by then, even if your the "official" sources keeps lying saying there are no more than 20% arabs. What has to be, has to be, and everything becomes naturally.

8 ) Giacomo / USA
12/02/2013 16:57
"(UN) giving Zionist terrorist gangs an entity on Palestinian land." Everything you ask for now was yours 65 years ago, if you had not violently opposed the UN Partition Plan and the State of Israel; your rhetoric and the occupation continues today as a result. The settlements, on <5% of Palestinian land, are the result of, not the cause of your problems. Accept responsibility, recognize Israel, fix your wakseh (if you can), negotiatiate and live in peace, end the occupation.

9 ) Hilde / Palestine
13/02/2013 11:53
Yes of course they are illegal, of course they should leave. They steal the land and water and pollute it - beat old people and children and shoot people with impunity. Racist white supremacists.

10 ) Colin Wright / USA
15/02/2013 06:40
'Opinion: Settlements are illegal, so settlers must leave.' Technically, this is not an opinion. It's a statement of fact.

11 ) Meantime Israel and "Palestine / are the MOST QUIET
16/02/2013 09:00
spot in the MIDDLE EAST. funny. they used to say that the Israeli -Palestinian conflict is the cause of unrest in the MIDDLE EAST. NOBODY SAYS THAT ANY MORE. Not even HUSSEIN (obama)

12 ) Lilith / The World
16/02/2013 23:07
Actually Colin Wright there is nothing illegal about settlements and it is not a statement of fact. One cannot steal land when there is no owner of the land, as in the case of Judea and Samaria. It's ancient Jewish land. History and archaeology proves that.

13 ) Daoud / USA
17/02/2013 14:25
Lilith...that point of view demonstrates the lies you tell us. Israel is not a democracy because it will not extend equal rights and citizenship to the people in the lands it settles and surrounds, AND they most certainly do NOT share my values. But they will gladly tell me those lies so that I will not protest my government paying for this immorality,

14 ) Hilde / Palestine
19/02/2013 14:41
Who has monopolised archaeology and the interpretation of archaeological finds of the occupied territories, may I ask? Rewriting ancient history so as it fits a mythology and a storybook? Get real, baby.

15 ) Amira / Canada
21/02/2013 01:07
There is no occupation without settlers. Settlements are ILLEGAL. Settlers are not civilians. They represent barbaric occupation. They are trained ideologically (that Palestine is theirs) and militarily. Many Jewish people of different countries do their military service in Israel and there are also many training camps for their children for training. They betray their country of residence and they commit crimes by participating in the barbaric occupation.

16 ) thankgodimatheist / australia
25/02/2013 02:22
If they were to be kicked out one day they would have gotten away with it the easiest way imaginable. They and all those who made this abominable situation a daily nightmare for the indigenous population should be dragged to La Hague facing charges for crimes against humanity. Those illegal settlers, especially the ideological among them, have caused unspeakable suffering to their victims. They must be accountable.
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