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End Israel's Occupation: 40 years too many

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MAP 4: 1967-2007 OCCUPATION

During the 1967 six-day war, Israel captured and occupied the West Bank and Gaza. Almost immediately afterwards the world consensus was that Israel illegally occupied this territory and UN resolution 242 was passed calling for Israel to withdraw. Israel has continued to ignore this and all subsequent UN resolutions pertaining to its illegal occupation of Palestinian territories. For forty years, Palestinians living in the occupied territories, have been living under military occupation and have had their rights to self-determination trampled on. Despite reaffirming on numerous occasions that international law should apply, the international community has failed to enforce it and failed to hold Israel accountable for the numerous violations it has engaged in since 1967.

The Israeli occupation has clearly violated three principles of international law, which are meant to prevent expansionism and colonization:

  1. inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war
  2. prohibition of the transfer of civilians of the occupying Power to the occupied territory
  3. right of peoples to self-determination

Israel has transformed its occupation into one of active colonization, whereby it has undertaken measures to change the legal status, demographic composition and character of Palestinian territory, confiscating land, exploiting natural resources, building more than 200 settlements and transferring over 400,000 of its citizens to the occupied territory - all done in direct contravention of international law and the fourth Geneva Convention.

Other policies have included extensive use of collective punishments such as curfews, house demolitions and closure of roads, schools and community institutions. Hundreds of Palestinian political activists have been deported, tens of thousands of acres of Palestinian land have been confiscated, and thousands of trees have been uprooted. Since 1967, over 300,000 Palestinians have been imprisoned without trial, and over half a million have been tried in the Israeli military court system: many have been subject to torture, and dozens of people have died in detention from abuse or neglect. Israeli officials have claimed that harsh measures and high rates of imprisonment are necessary to thwart terrorism. However, the Palestinian right to self determination has still been denied and settlement growth continues unabated. And all the while, even nonviolent forms of opposition to the occupation are considered a breach of Israel’s security. The binding UN Security Council Resolution 465 (1980) calling for the dismantling and cessation of future construction and planning of all settlements - including those in Jerusalem - has been outright ignored by Israel.







© 2007 Women For Palestine