Follow UNISPAL Twitter RSS
83. Another argument to justify the implantation of settlers and settlements is that such implantation within the meaning of article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention is prohibited only to the extent that it bears directly to the expulsion or transfer of the inhabitants of the occupied territory. For a discussion of these issues, see Emma Playfair, Administration of Occupied Territories in International Law (Oxford, 1991). This claim finds no support in the plain meaning of the words of article 49 or in the intention of the drafters of the Fourth Geneva Convention and has been similarly rejected by the international community. Thus, for example, in Security Council resolution 484 of 19 December 1980, the Council reaffirmed the applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949 to all the Arab territories occupied by Israel in 1967, and called upon Israel as the Occupying Power to adhere to the provisions of the Convention.
84. An authoritative legal opinion on this issue was given in the Letter of the State Department Legal Advisor, Mr. Herbert J. Hansell, Concerning the Legality of Israeli Settlements in the Occupied Territories of 21 April, 1978. International Law Materials (1978) 777-779. In that Letter, the Legal Advisor to the State Department of the United States stated as follows: