U.N.: Settlements Violate Geneva Conventions

Israel Must Withdraw Immediately, Report Finds

Getty Images

By JTA

Published January 31, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

A United Nations investigation into the impact of Jewish West Bank settlements on the Palestinian population said that Israel should immediately begin to withdraw all settlers from the territory.

The report issued Thursday by the U.N. Human Rights Council based in Geneva said that settlement violate the 1949 Geneva Conventions and that failure to withdraw could lead to a finding of war crimes at the International Criminal Court.

The Palestinians have threatened to take Israel to the ICC since the Palestinian Authority was recognized as having non-member state status in the General Assembly in November.

The Human Rights Council’s investigation began last March. Israel did not cooperate with the investigation, including barring investigators from entering the territory, saying that the council is biased against the Jewish state. The council has issued more resolutions regarding Israeli human rights violations than any country.

The report said that Israel “must, in compliance with article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, cease all settlement activities without preconditions. It must immediately initiate a process of withdrawal of all settlers from the OPT,” or Occupied Palestinian Territories.

Investigators interviewed about 50 Palestinians in Jordan in order to prepare the report. The report said that the Palestinians were prevented by the settlements from reaching their farming lands and water resources.

The report estimated that 520,000 settlers live in the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem in some 250 settlements.

This, according to the report, “prevents the establishment of a contiguous and viable Palestinian state and undermines the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination.”

Israel’s Foreign Ministry rejected the report, calling it “counterproductive.” The report “will only hamper efforts to find a sustainable solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict,” the ministry said in a statement.

“The only way to resolve all pending issues between Israel and the Palestinians, including the settlements issue, is through direct negotiations without pre-conditions,” the ministry said. .

“The Human Rights Council has sadly distinguished itself by its systematical, one-sided and biased approach towards Israel. This latest report is yet another unfortunate reminder of such approach,” the ministry concluded.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • Planning on catching "Fading Gigolo" this weekend? Read our review.
  • A new initiative will spend $300 million a year towards strengthening Israel's relationship with the Diaspora. http://jd.fo/q3Iaj Is this money spent wisely?
  • Lusia Horowitz left pre-state Israel to fight fascism in Spain — and wound up being captured by the Nazis and sent to die at Auschwitz. Share her remarkable story — told in her letters.
  • Vered Guttman doesn't usually get nervous about cooking for 20 people, even for Passover. But last night was a bit different. She was cooking for the Obamas at the White House Seder.
  • A grumpy Jewish grandfather is wary of his granddaughter's celebrating Easter with the in-laws. But the Seesaw says it might just make her appreciate Judaism more. What do you think?
  • “Twist and Shout.” “Under the Boardwalk.” “Brown-Eyed Girl.” What do these great songs have in common? A forgotten Jewish songwriter. We tracked him down.
  • What can we learn from tragedies like the rampage in suburban Kansas City? For one thing, we must keep our eyes on the real threats that we as Jews face.
  • When is a legume not necessarily a legume? Philologos has the answer.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.