Les colonies Israélienne dans la bande de Gaza et la Rive Occidentale (Deuxième partie) - CEDIPP, Étude de DDP – Publication de DDP Français
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The major subjects of the study were discussed in four chapters as follows: General legal requirements under military occupation; The United Nations and the question of settlements; The nature and purpose of settlements; and Acquisition of land and impact on the Arab residents.
In the first chapter Israeli practices in the occupied territories were assessed in light of the international laws of military occupation. Two major international laws were presented as applicable to the Israeli occupied territories: the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of August 1949 (the Fourth Geneva Convention) and the Hague Convention on the Laws and Customs of War on Land, signed on 18 October 1907. Articles 2, 47, 49, 53 of the Fourth Geneva Convention and articles 46, 55, 56 of the Hague Convention were discussed, in particular, as being applicable to the Israeli occupied territories.
Chapter II presented the issue of the United Nations and the question of settlements. It contained major reports and resolutions of the United Nations which indicate the illegality of the Israeli settlements in the occupied territories. General Assembly resolutions 2443 (XXIII), 2851 (XXVI) and 32/5 were cited to indicate the General Assembly's rejection of the settlements policy on the occupied territories. The General Assembly condemned in particular the following Israeli policies:
"(a) The annexation of parts of the occupied territories)
"(b) The establishment of Israeli settlements therein and the transfer of an alien population thereto;
"(c) The destruction and demolition of Arab houses;
"(d) The confiscation and expropriation of Arab property..."
Resolutions 446 (1979) and 465 (1980) of the Security Council were also cited. The Security Council in these resolutions affirmed once more that "the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, is applicable to the Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967, including Jerusalem". The Council also determined that Israel's policy and practices of establishing settlements in the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since 1967 had no legal validity and constituted a serious obstruction to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East.
Chapter III discussed the nature and purpose of settlements. It indicates that settlements could be of two kinds: military and civilian. The settlers in the civilian settlements have the official status of civilians in military service. Settlements were often given the status of military "stations" in order to avoid foreign policy problems and domestic opposition.
The chapter also indicates that settlements have been established along three prongs which appear to be aimed at containing and isolating the Palestinian communities. The first prong runs along the Jordan River, the second along the 1948 armistice line, while the third prong calls for settlements to ring the most populous Palestinian towns, like Nablus and East Jerusalem.
Chapter IV deals with the acquisition of land and impact on the Arab residents. It said that "all Israeli settlements constructed on the West Bank are located on land which either (1) was in the domain of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, or (2) belonged to villages and individuals at the time of the occupation. The land for these settlements is acquired by means of purchase, expropriation, or confiscation."
The chapter indicates that the Security Council Commission established under resolution 446 (1979) found that in the Gaza Strip, "confiscation of land is final". In the West Bank "The extent of the confiscated land increased from 27 per cent of the total areas in May 1979 to 33 per cent in September 1980." It also indicates that the number of Jews in the West Bank increased from 3,200 in 1977 to 20,000 in 1980 and to 40,000 in 1981.
These four chapters attempted to present a comprehensive analysis of the nature and the purpose of settlements including, in particular, the legal and the international implications. The analysis is as valid today as it was at the time the study was written.
Nevertheless, since 1981, when the data for the study were collected, the magnitude of the settlements practices has changed and more United Nations resolutions have been added to condemn these practices.
This paper (Israeli settlements - part II) updates the study on settlements and includes new reports and resolutions of the United Nations on the subject as well as new data regarding the settlements practices.
The paper deals with four major issues:
(a) The United Nations and the question of settlements;
(b) The change in the nature and purpose of the settlements;
(c) The magnitude of the settlements;
(d) Lists of settlements (annexes).
These resolutions were based mainly on reports submitted by the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting Human Rights of the Population of the Occupied Territories (established by General Assembly resolution 2443 (XXIII); by the Commission set up "to examine the situation relating to settlements in the Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem" (established by Security Council resolution 446 (1979); and by the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (established by General Assembly resolution 3376 (XXX)).
In its report of 14 October 1983 (A/38/409), the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Population of the Occupied Territories, concluded that the Government of Israel continued to follow a policy aimed at the annexation of those territories in violation of its obligation under the Fourth Geneva Convention. "It may be recalled" the Special Committee continued, "that under this Convention military occupation is to be considered to be a temporary de facto situation giving no rights whatsoever to the occupying Power over the sovereignty of the occupied territory."
In its report of 20 October 1982 (A/37/485) the Special Committee concluded that "the Fourth Geneva Convention remains the principal international instrument in humanitarian law which applies to the occupied territories. The information contained in the report and reflected in chapter IV and the conclusions enunciated in the foregoing paragraphs would indicate that the articles of the Convention, reproduced, continue to be contravened".
The 1981 report (A/36/579) had also concluded that the Israeli settlements were in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention and further specified that "the transfer of Israeli civilians to the occupied territories is contrary to article 49 of the Convention", and that "according to article 29, the Israeli Government is responsible for the acts of its agents in the occupied territories".
The General Assembly, at its thirty-fifth, thirty-sixth, thirty-seventh and thirty-eighth sessions, after considering the annual reports of the Special Committee, adopted, respectively, resolutions 35/122 (11 December 1980), 36/147 (16 December 1981), 37/88 (10 December 1982) and 38/79 (15 December 1983).
The General Assembly also considered the settlement question at its special session on 19 August 1982 and adopted resolution ES-7/6. In brief in these resolutions the General Assembly reaffirmed that the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, is applicable to Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967, including Jerusalem) strongly deplored the failure of Israel to acknowledge the applicability of that Convention to the territories it has occupied since 1967; condemned the Israeli policies and practices, and particularly the annexation of parts of the occupied territories, including Jerusalem; the establishment of new settlements and expansion of the existing settlements on private and public Arab land, and transfer of an alien population thereto; confiscation and expropriation of private and public Arab property in the occupied territories and all other transactions for the acquisition of land involving the Israeli authorities, institutions or nationals on the one hand and the inhabitants of institutions of the occupied territories on the other; determined that all such measures and actions taken by Israel in the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem, have no legal validity and constitute a flagrant violation of the Geneva Convention and of relevant United Nations resolutions; strongly deplored the persistence of Israel in carrying out such measures, in particular the establishment of settlements in the Palestinian and other occupied Arab territories; and called upon Israel to comply strictly with its international obligations in accordance with the principles of international law and the provisions of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949.
Of special significance were the resolutions of the Security Council regarding the Israeli settlements and other practices in the occupied Palestinian and other Arab territories, including Jerusalem.
The Council, at its 2203rd meeting on 4 March 1980, adopted resolution 465 (1980). After taking note of the report of the Security Council Commission established under resolution 446 (1979) to examine the situation relating to settlements in the Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem (S/13450) and taking note also of letters from the Permanent Representative of Jordan (S/13801) and the Permanent Representative of Morocco, Chairman of the Islamic Group (S/13802), the Council:
"Determines that all measures taken by Israel to change the physical character, demographic composition, institutional structure or status of the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem, or any part thereof, have no legal validity and that Israel's policy and practices of settling parts of its population and new immigrants in those territories constitute a flagrant violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War and also constitute a serious obstruction to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East?
"Strongly deplores the continuation and persistence of Israel in pursuing those policies and practices and calls upon the Government and people of Israel to rescind those measures, to dismantle the existing settlements and in particular to cease, on an urgent basis, the establishment, construction and planning of settlements in the Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem;
"Calls upon all States not to provide Israel with any assistance to be used specifically in connexion with settlements in the occupied territories?"
Security Council resolution 465 (1980) was reaffirmed by the Council in its resolution 471 (1980) which also reaffirmed the applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War to the Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967, including Jerusalem.
Following the decision of the Israeli Government to change the status and the character of Jerusalem and particularly the approval of the Basic Law by the Israeli Knesset in July 1980, the Security Council approved resolutions 476 (1980) and 478 (1980).
Resolution 476 (1980) which was adopted on 30 June 1980 deplored "the persistence of Israel, in changing the physical character, demographic composition, institutional structure and the status of the Holy City of Jerusalem". The resolution also reiterated that "all such measures which have altered the geographic, demographic and historical character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem are null and void and must be rescinded in compliance with the relevant resolutions of the Security Council".
On 20 August 1980 the Security Council adopted at its 2245th meeting resolution 478 (1980) which:
"Censures in the strongest terms the enactment by Israel of the 'basic law' on Jerusalem and the refusal to comply with relevant Security Council resolutions;
"Affirms that the enactment of the 'basic law' by Israel constitutes a violation of international law and does not affect the continued application of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, in the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since June 1967, including Jerusalem;
"Determines that all legislative and administrative measures and actions taken by Israel, the occupying Power, which have altered or purport to alter the character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem, and in particular the recent 'basic law' on Jerusalem, are null and void and must be rescinded forthwith;
"Affirms also that this action constitutes a serious obstruction to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East;
"Decides not to recognize the 'basic law1 and such other actions by Israel that, as a result of this law, seek to alter the character and status of Jerusalem and calls upon:
"(a) All Member States to accept this decision;
"(b) Those States that have established diplomatic missions at Jerusalem to withdraw such missions from the Holy City. "
The International Conference on the Question of Palestine which convened at the United Nations Office at Geneva from 29 August to 7 September 1983, ended its meetings with a Declaration and a Programme of Action. In its Declaration, which is called "The Geneva Declaration on Palestine" (A/CONF.114/42) the Conference enunciated several guidelines for concerted international effort to resolve the question of Palestine. The following were among those guidelines:
"The need to oppose and reject such Israeli policies and practices in the occupied territories, including Jerusalem, and any de facto situation created by Israel as are contrary to international law and relevant United Nations resolutions, particularly the establishment of settlements, as these policies and practices constitute major obstacles to the achievement of peace in the Middle East";
"The need to reaffirm as null and void all legislative and administrative measures and actions taken by Israel, the occupying Power, which have altered or purported to alter the character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem, including the expropriation of land and property situated thereon, and in particular the so-called 'basic law' on Jerusalem and the proclamation of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel."
The report of the Special Committee indicated that during 1981 it received information on some 40 settlements that were either established or inaugurated or whose construction had commenced. In addition, the Special Committee noted the "continuing construction and expansion of Israeli settlements in occupied Jerusalem". Section IV b of the report shows the allocation of some 200 square kilometres to Israeli settlements on the West Bank.
In its 1983 report (A/38/409) the Special Committee cited several sources concerning the increase in settlements activities and land acquisition.
According to research conducted by Miron Benvenisti 1/ Israel may seize some 60 per cent of the West Bank lands. It emerged from an aerial photography map that some 3.2 million dunums out of a total of 5 million dunums of the West Bank land was rocky and grazing ground, a considerable part of which had already been declared "State land". Some 400,000 dunums were "absentee land", and some 70,000 dunums were lands bought by private individuals.
On 7 November 1982 2/ the Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Michael Dekel, announced that "Israel would build or expand 20 settlements on the West Bank during the next 12 months. He reiterated Israel's goal to "populate 160 West Bank settlements with 100,000 Jews within the next five years. At present there are about 25,000 Jews in 103 settlements built since 1967". "The Ministerial Committee on Settlement", he added "planned to add 57 more settlements with about 60,000 to 80,000 more Jews by 1987."
On 30 December 1982 3/ Matityahu Drobles, co-chairman of the World Zionist Organization's Settlement Department, told the Knesset Economic Committee that "about 40,000 Jewish settlers (8,000 families) would be added in the next few months to the 30,000 settlers on the West Bank". By 1986 the World Zionist Organization and the Government plan to settle 130,000 Jews there, and 30 more settlements would be established. Mr. Drobles told the Committee that in 30 years there would be 1.3 million Jews on the West Bank, and said "this plan would mean settling 70 per cent of the land of the West Bank which was not privately owned".
In April 1983, this plan was presented again by the Settlement Division of the Zionist Congress (Ha'aretz 10 April 1983). According to this plan 30 years from now the number of Jewish settlements on the West Bank will reach 165 and will be populated by 1,300,000 Jews.
The 165 settlements will include, according to the new plan, 5 large cities (10 to 30 thousand families each), 65 community settlements (about 400 families each), and 59 moshavim and kibbutzim.
The plan projects that in the next few years the settlements activities will concentrate on the following projects: The opening of some 400 km of new roads; enlargement of the 75 existing rural settlements; turning the 15 Nahal posts into civilian settlements; enlargement of the 18 existing urban settlements; establishment of 57 new proposed settlements; development of industrial areas in the frequency of 400 to 500 dunum yearly; and the continuation of the takeover of "State" and private lands.
On 26 October 1982, the then Defense Minister Ariel Sharon said that "Massive settlement all over the West Bank is the best answer to the various plans that outsiders are trying to foist on Israel" (The Jerusalem Post, 27 October 1982).
The Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Population of the Occupied Territories 4/ in its 1983 report regarding the settlement issues concluded with the following:
"Plans continue to be announced of the establishment of more and more settlements; reports continue to be received of expropriation of property for a variety of reasons. The net result is the continuation of the consolidation of the Israeli presence in the occupied territories to the detriment of the civilian population. Over 150 settlements have so far been established, and over 60 per cent of the land in the West Bank has passed into the hands of the authorities. Official plans envisaging construction of settlements and measures of colonization up to the year 2010 continue to be announced."
On 12 November 1982, the Security Council met at the request of Jordan on behalf of the Arab Group and of the Organization of the Islamic Conference to consider the question of Israel's perseverance in its policy of establishing settlements in the occupied Arab and Palestinian territories.
In his statement to the Council on that occasion, the Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People expressed the fear that "under the cover of the tragic events in Lebanon and profiting from the fact that the troubles it had created in that country were monopolizing world attention, Israel might be emboldened to put into effect its plans for the illegal annexation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip to satisfy its ambitions based on alleged political security considerations.
"In defiance of international public opinion and international law, Israel has not only continued to strengthen its existing settlements, but has indicated that several new settlements would be established by means of illegal confiscation of land at the expense of the Arab inhabitants." He stressed that "the settlements were not mere agricultural co-operatives but rather urban centres, often at commuting distance from Israeli metropolitan zones, thus hindering a future solution."
In addition to the recent intensification of settlement activities in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, the settlement characteristics have been also changed during the last few years. According to Miron Benvenisti ("The turning point in Israel" in The New York Review of Books, 13 October 1983) the settlement phase initiated by ideologically motivated groups mobilized by the Gush Ernunim is now over. The typical settler of the 1980s, according to him, is "a figure well known throughout the Western world: the suburbanite".
Benvenisti's report concluded that "the officials responsible for settlement are well aware of the needs of homo suburbanus; they are concentrating most of their efforts on the region termed 'the area of high demand'; that is, a ring of settlements encircling Jerusalem and Tel Aviv".
According to this report there are 100,000 families potentially willing to move out to the suburbs on the West Bank during the coming decade if they can be housed close to the large cities. Benvenisti adds "the land grab of the West Bank territory, which has been officialy called 'the declaration of State domain', and the purchase of private lands already provides enough reserves for the construction of hundreds of thousands of residential units".
According to Yosef Goell, a Jerusalem Post reporter, a photo of a 3100 bill was printed in the daily Hamodia of 23 December 1982, with an advertisement which read "They're giving you? Grab'." (The Jerusalem Post, 14 January 1983).
The advertisement, according to Mr. Goell, inserted by the Cohav Hashomron Town Development Company of Beni Brak, was referring to the "nearly free land and munificent housing subsidies available to settlers in the new towns already rising on the western slopes of Samaria. Similar developments are also sprouting in Judea, around Jerusalem." The $100 bill, something of an exaggeration, referred to the estimated monthly mortgage payments for the smaller flats being offered in new towns such as the exclusively haredi, ultra-religious, Emanuel.
According to Goell, this subsidy in land and housing makes it eminently feasible for Israeli families of differing means to make a great leap towards realizing their dream homes. This rush, he explains, is based on the "accumulation in Israeli hands of land in the West Bank". Of the nearly 7 million dunums that constitute that area, 1.7 million are believed to be State lands. Of this, between 200,000 and 500,000 dunums have been, or are, on the verge of being distributed for settlement and development.
A new development in settling the occupied territories has been the attempts, by the settling bodies and by the settlers themselves, to establish new settlements inside and around Palestinian towns and populated areas.
In a letter dated 18 July 1983 (A/38/306-S/15880), the Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People referred to reports that the Israeli Government intended to carry out its decision to restore an old quarter of Hebron and establish non-indigeneous colonial settlers there, despite the local Arab resistance. He emphasized that this policy was exceptional in that the planned settlements would be situated in the very centre of the town of Hebron, not on the outskirts, and would be surrounded by long-established Arab quarters. The Chairman went on to point out that that policy had exacerbated tensions and had given rise to numerous manifestations of violence and other related acts in the town. He referred to the burning of some 90 per cent of the Arab stalls in the town market and the dismissal of the acting mayor of the town, the latter action having been approved by the Israeli cabinet on 10 July 1983. In that connection, the Chairman quoted an official statement by the Israeli labour opposition party, which said that any attempt to create a mixed city in Hebron against the wishes of the Arab population would cause generations of grief.
The daily Jerusalem Post reported on 18 April 1983, that "Two new Jerusalem suburbs are to be created de facto". The two new settlements in the Jerusalem area are to be established within days, one to "halt Arab residents from what government officials claim would be illegal squatting, and the other to push agencies into executing already approved plans".
On 19 April 1983, the Israeli army handed over the Bracha settlement to civilian settlers. The settlers, all said to be members of the Gush Emunim, moved in to form the nucleus of "Shechem Illit" (Upper Nablus), a Jewish quarter which is planned to eventually house 800 families. Bracha lies south of Nablus, the largest Arab town on the West Bank (Ha'aretz, 19 April 1983).
In Hebron, Deputy Prime Minister and Housing Minister, David Levy, told reporters on 10 July 1983, after a Cabinet session, that his ministry has a two stage plan for the construction of a Jewish quarter in Hebron. Levy explained that the first stage would settle several dozen families, while the second stage, to be implemented gradually over the next three years, was based on a projected 500 Jewish families to move into the heart of the city (Ha'aretz, 11 July 1983).
In addition to the fact that the settlements activities are of a continuous character, there are several factors which work against attempts to determine the magnitude of the phenomenon. The following are some of the more important factors.
The multiplication of the Israeli offices in charge of settlements in the occupied territories. There are several offices of the Government such as the Office of Deputy Prime Minister, the Office of Deputy Agriculture Minister and the Intergovernmental Committee for Settlements Affairs which work separately and provide sometimes different figures regarding settlements. In addition to these offices, the World Zionist Organization, the Zionist Congress and the Jewish Agency are involved directly in establishing and maintaining settlements, a fact that adds confusion to the efforts to arrive at a valid conclusion regarding the magnitude of the settlements.
For example, in January 1981, the Construction Ministry (Office of the Deputy Prime Minister) provided a list of a total of 44 settlements on the West Bank. In the same month, the Office of the Deputy Agriculture Minister in Charge of Settlements provided a list of a total of 54 settlements on the West Bank. Both lists are official but, nevertheless, differ.
Posts not included in the Israeli list of settlements. Centres, parks, campuses and other "non-purely residential" posts and which are counted as settlements by the United Nations and its organs, are not counted by the Israeli sources in their lists of settlements. Centres, such as Allon Shevot, Pesagot, Shelomziyyon, Mishor Adumim; parks such as Canada Park, Hurshat Aroug and Mitapeh Gorin; the Hebrew University campus and the Old City in East Jerusalem, are all excluded from the Israeli lists of settlements in the occupied territories. These centres and parks are counted on the United Nations lists as Israeli posts and therefore could be added to the lists of settlements.
The settlements in Jerusalem not counted by the Israeli sources. Jewish settlements which have been established in the Arab city of Jerusalem and the mountains surrounding the city are not counted by the Israeli sources as settlements in the occupied territories, since they are considered by the Israeli authorities as Israeli territories. Sixteen such settlements are counted and documented by the United Nations and its organs.
Settlements with two names (duplication). Some settlements are listed by two different names which may indicate either a change in the settlement's status (from Nahal (military settlement) to civilian settlement, for instance) or a change in its structure (such as merging with another settlement). Settlements such as Kedumim, Halamish, Sanor, Yakir, Beit Aryeh, Homesh, Hinanit, Ariel and Kfar Adumim, have respectively, the following duplicate names; Elon Moreh, Neve Tzuf, Dotan, Karnei Shomron D, Levohah, Maaleh Nahal, Reihan B, Haris and Maale Aduminim. This duplication should be taken into consideration while updating the list.
Being aware of these difficulties and in order to describe as accurately as possible the magnitude of the settlements in the occupied territories, two measures were taken. First, four lists from different sources, namely the Jewish Agency (November 1982), the Report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Population of the Occupied Territories (October 1982), the study prepared by the Division for Palestinian Rights (March 1982) and Drobles' list of settlements (Israeli Deputy Agriculture Minister) (September 1980) were used as sources of information. For new settlements established from October 1982 to November 1983, the monitoring reports of the Division for Palestinian Rights, which are based on several newspapers from the areas, were used as a source.
Second, in order to avoid duplication and to validate information, the name, the year of establishment, the kind and the location of settlements were identified and listed. An overall list was secured which contains the accumulative data of the four other lists without being itself a duplicate of them.
A. Number of settlements according to the different lists
Table 1 presents five different figures of settlements in the occupied West Bank (including Jerusalem) and the Gaza Strip. The lists show the number of settlements in both areas up to November 1982. The lowest number of settlements, 54, is represented by Drobles' list which was published in September 1980 and did not include the settlements in Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip. This list also did not include the centres, parks and other "non-purely settlement" posts.
The Jewish Agency's list contains 115 settlements in both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip and was published in early 1982. It does not, however, include centres, parks and other non-purely settlement posts.
The Study published by the Division for Palestinian Rights listed 118 settlements in both areas including some of the non-purely settlement posts. This list is based on data collected until mid-1981 and therefore is not complete.
The Report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Population of the Occupied Territories counted 138 settlements in both areas. However, the report was based on data collected up until August 1982 and did not include some of the non-purely settlement posts.
The fifth list of table 1 shows that, based on accumulative information from the four other sources, some 204 settlements and posts were established by November 1982 on both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. This list contains every settlement, centre, park and other "non-purely" settlement post in the areas including Jerusalem and its mountains. The list was completed based on name, year of establishment, structure and location of settlements which appeared in the four other sources.
B. Year of establishment and geographical distribution of settlements
Table 2 below shows the year of establishment of the settlements and their location in the six major areas of the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip. Settlement activity started immediately after the occupation of the territories in June 1967. During the first three years, the Israeli authorities established 20 settlements, mainly in Jerusalem and the Jordan Valley. In the following six years settlement activity continued but not with the same intensity. Twenty-four settlements were established of which 7 settlements were in Jerusalem and in the mountains and 7 others in the Jordan Valley.
In the years between 1967 and 1976, the settlement activity of the Government of Israel, led by the Labour Party, was mainly in Jerusalem (12) and in the Jordan Valley (15). The rest of the settlements during this period (total 17) were established in the two larger areas of the West Bank (north and south) and in the Gaza Strip.
Starting in 1977, after the establishment of the Likud Government (under Prime Minister Menachem Begin) there was an intensification of settlement activities and a shift in their location. In the year 1977 alone, 26 settlements were established. By the end of 1982, some 160 settlements and posts were established. The graph below demonstrates the shift in the settlement intensity.
Table No. 3 indicates that starting in 1977 and by the end of 1982, the Likud Government had established 24 urban and 44 community settlements. This is a major shift in the type of new settlements established during a relatively short period of time (six years). By the end of 1982, 83 urban and community settlements were established in the occupied West Bank (including Jerusalem) and the Gaza Strip.
Table No. 4 shows that besides the area of Jerusalem, the urban and community settlements were concentrated in the northern West Bank. In this part of the occupied territories 53 urban and canmunity settlements were established by the Likud Government by the end of 1982. The table also shows that settlements in the Gaza Strip and the Jordan Valley contain only moshavim and kibbutzim.
According to these reports, some of the 63 settlements were established and settled during 19b3 and some others are in the process of being established or plan to be established. It is rather difficult to determine the exact number of these settlements which are already populated. Nevertheless, the reports do indicate the location and the type of the 63 settlements.
Table 5 below shows the types and the geographical distribution of the new settlements. The table shows that the majority of the settlements (63) have been established or are to be established in the northern part of the West Bank. A large portion of the new settlements (49) is urban or semi-urban (community). Only 11 settlements are agricultural (moshav). The urban settlements are established mainly around Jerusalem (including the Ramallah and Bethlehem areas) and on the western side of the West Bank (close to the 1967 borders and to the big cities of Israel).
More than 200 settlements and posts have been established since 1967 and more than 60 per cent of the land in the territories has been seized by the Israeli authorities. For the last seven years, since the establishment of the Likud Government, Israeli officials as well as settlement activists have stated their intention to establish Jewish settlements all over the occupied territories, including in the most populated Palestinian cities and towns.
These statements have been accompanied by intensive build-up of new urban and community settlements around Jerusalem, Hebron, Nablus, Jenin and other Palestinian cities. In Jerusalem and Hebron, Jewish settlements were established inside the cities themselves.
New types of settlements were established in "the area of high demand" encircling Jerusalem and Tel Aviv in order to provide solutions to housing problems of these cities at a minimum cost. This type of settlement, which provides cheap housing and a short commuting distance to the Israeli cities, attracts mass migration to the occupied territories.
The Israeli settlements in the occupied territories in their different forms and locations, are in violation of two major international laws of military occupation. These are the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of August 1949, and the Hague Convention on the Laws and Custoius of War and Land, signed on 18 October 1907. The applicability of these two Conventions to the occupied West Bank (including Jerusalem) and the Gaza Strip has been repeatedly endorsed by the United Nations General Assembly and the Security Council.
During the last four years the General Assembly as well as the Security Council have reaffirmed the previous resolutions of the United Nations which declared the illegality of the Israeli settlements. They also asserted "that all such measures and actions taken by Israel in the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem, have no legal validity, are null and void, and constitute a serious obstruction to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East."
2/ A/38/409, p. 97.
3/ Ibid., p. 99.
4/ Ibid., p. 121.