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Source: Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
27 April 2012


المستوطنات في المناطق الفلسطينية السكنية
في القدس الشرقية

APRIL 2012

1.Similar to the rest of Israeli settlements in the oPt, settlements in East Jerusalem are illegal under international humanitarian law (IHL), as they violate Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prohibits the transfer of the occupying power’s civilian population into occupied territory.

2. The establishment of settlements in the heart of Palestinian neighborhoods commonly entails the forced eviction and displacement of Palestinians. In addition to depriving families of their homes, this has often resulted in disruption to livelihoods and access to basic services such as education and water/sanitation. This inevitably leads to reduced standard of living and increased dependency on humanitarian aid. The impact of displacement on children can be particularly devastating, including post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety and reduced academic achievement.

3. This settlement activity has also led to increased tensions, restrictions on public space, residential growth and freedom of movement. The continuous deployment of private security guards and police forces to protect the settlements, particularly in Silwan and Sheikh Jarrah, has also led to frequent clashes, which undermined the physical security of Palestinian residents.

4. Israel, as an occupying power, has an obligation to protect the Palestinian civilian population. International law prohibits the forced displacement of civilians and the transfer of settlers into occupied territory, as well as confiscation or destruction of private property, except when such destruction is absolutely necessary for military operations. The application of the Israeli legal system to accommodate claims over property rights in an occupied territory is also unlawful under international law, and it involves discrimination against Palestinian refugees, who are not allowed to reclaim their property in Israel.

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