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"As is" reference - not a United Nations document

Source: and Samaria
13 July 2012

The Commission to Examine the Status of Building in Judea and Samaria

Conclusions and Recommendations

(Translation from the original and authoritative Hebrew text)

After having considered the terms of reference set out in the Commission's mandate, and in light of what we have heard, as well as the considerable amount of material that has been presented to us by a wide range of bodies, our conclusions and recommendations are as follows:

Our basic conclusion is that from the point of view of international law, the classical laws of "occupation" as set out in the relevant international conventions cannot be considered applicable to the unique and sui generis historic and legal circumstances of Israel's presence in Judea and Samaria spanning over decades.

In addition, the provisions of the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention, regarding transfer of populations, cannot be considered to be applicable and were never intended to apply to the type of settlement activity carried out by Israel in Judea and Samaria.

Therefore, according to International law, Israelis have the legal right to settle in Judea and Samaria and the establishment of settlements cannot, in and of itself, be considered to be illegal.

With regard to the other issues considered, our recommendations are as follows:

1. The Government is advised to clarify its policy regarding settlement by Israelis in Judea and Samaria, with a view to preventing future interpretation of its decisions in a mistaken or overly "creative" manner. We propose that such government decision include the following principles:

2. With regard to settlements established in Judea and Samaria on state lands or on land purchased by Israelis with the assistance of official authorities such as the World Zionist Organization Settlements Division and the Ministry of Housing, and which have been defined as "unauthorized" or "illegal" due to the fact that they were established without any formal government decision, our conclusion is that the establishment of such settlements was carried out with the knowledge, encouragement and tacit agreement of the most senior political level —government ministers and the Prime Minister, and therefore such conduct is to be seen as implied agreement.

Regarding these settlements, as well as those established pursuant to a government decision but lacking definition of their municipal jurisdiction, or without having completed the planning and zoning procedures, and as a result, have been described as "unauthorized" or "illegal", the remaining outstanding procedures should be completed as follows:

Finally, we wish to stress that the picture that has been displayed before us regarding Israeli settlement activity in Judea and Samaria does not befit the behavior of a state that prides itself on, and is committed to the rule of law.

If as a result of this report, the message is conveyed that we are no longer in the formative stages of the creation of our state when things were done in an informal and arbitrary manner, we will be satisfied.

The proponents of settlements, including at the most senior political levels, should internalize and acknowledge the fact that all actions on this matter can only be in accordance with the law. Similarly, official governmental bodies should act with alacrity and decisiveness in fulfilling their functions to ensure that the law is duly observed.

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