Tag Archives: Israel

Settlements are War Crimes


No more Vetoes!

Especially on Settlements for they are War Crimes


The United States used its veto in 2011 to block a UN resolution condemning Israeli settlements, and it also rejected a direct UN role in the peace process.

This has had punishing consequences for the Palestinian people who live within the illegally occupied territories and illegitimately blockaded Gaza.

By vetoing the 2011 settlement resolution, Israel has been able to escalate its criminal acts that continue to violate international law, rules of armed conflict and respect for human rights against the Palestinian people.

Under the Rome Statute, settlements in occupied territories are a war crime.

The responsibility is on the United Nations with regard to Palestine in all its aspects in accordance to international law that after 68 years of resolutions, must be mitigated immediately:

  • 77+ resolutions against Israel on ethnic cleansing, occupation and war on Palestine have amounted to nothing.


The United States as a permanent member of the UN Security Council must use its power to protect Palestine and its unarmed civilians; as articulated by the laws, resolutions, reports and legal opinions provided below.


Law on illegality of Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territory including East Jerusalem

Settlements are War Crimes Rome Statute Article 8(2)(b)(viii) of the International Criminal Court Rome Statute defines “[t]he transfer, directly or indirectly, by the Occupying Power of parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies” as a war crime.
International law no longer recognizes that a state could acquire title to territory by conquest (1922). SECURITY COUNCIL

S/RES/242 (Document)

November 22 1967

The situation in the Middle East

Re: Principle of the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war







Article 2 of the Charter of the United Nations requires all members to refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations

The Security Council cannot create loopholes in peremptory norms of international law or the UN Charter, and that any use of indefinite language has to be interpreted in line with the overriding legal principles regarding the “inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war” and the prohibitions on mass deportations or displacement in connection with the settlement of the refugee problem

Right to Self-Determination

Equal Rights

UN Charter

Principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples is among the purposes and principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations

Law on occupation and illegal settlements


International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)

12 August 1949



The applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem

U.N.T.S. No. 973, Vol. 75, p. 287

Article 2 states that signatories are bound by the convention both in war & armed conflicts where war has not been declared, and in an occupation of another country’s territory

Article 49 states that the Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies

UN Resolutions affirming the illegality of Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territory including East Jerusalem

General Assembly

A/RES/70/154 December 2015


Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 24 November 2015

70/15. Peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine


Reaffirming the illegality of the Israeli settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem

Encouraging all States and international organizations to continue to actively pursue policies to ensure respect for their obligations under international law with regard to all illegal Israeli practices and measures in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, particularly Israeli settlements

Gravely concerned over the negative developments that have continued to occur in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, including the escalation of violence and any excessive use of force, resulting in a large number of deaths and injuries, mostly among Palestinian civilians, including children and women, the construction and expansion of settlements and the wall, the arbitrary arrest and detention of more Palestinian civilians, the acts of violence, vandalism and brutality committed against Palestinian civilians by Israeli settlers in the West Bank, the widespread destruction of public and private Palestinian property, including religious sites, and infrastructure and including the demolition of homes, including if carried out as a means of collective punishment, the internal forced displacement of civilians, especially among the Bedouin community, and the consequent deterioration of the socioeconomic and humanitarian conditions of the Palestinian people

Security Council resolutions that include call Israeli settlements to be in violation of international law 242 (1967) of 22 November 1967

338 (1973) of 22 October 1973

1397 (2002) of 12 March 2002

1515 (2003) of 19 November 2003

1544 (2004) of 19 May 2004

1850 (2008) of 16 December 2008

General Assembly

A/RES/58/292 May 2004

58/292 of 6 May 2004 Status of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem

Reaffirming the principle of the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force

Affirms that the status of the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, remains one of military occupation, and affirms, in accordance with the rules and principles of international law and relevant resolutions of the United Nations, including Security Council resolutions, that the Palestinian people have the right to self-determination and to sovereignty over their territory and that Israel, the occupying Power, has only the duties and obligations of an occupying Power under the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949 1 and the Regulations annexed to the Hague Convention respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land, of 1907

Expresses its determination to contribute to the achievement of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and the attainment of a just and comprehensive negotiated peace settlement in the Middle East resulting in two viable, sovereign and independent States, Israel and Palestine, based on the pre-1967 borders and living side by side in peace and security

Security Council

Resolution 446

22 March 1979

The issue of Israeli settlements in the “Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967, including Jerusalem”
General Assembly

Resolution 2625 (XXV)

24 October 1970

“The Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Co-operation among States” Reiterating the importance of maintaining and strengthening international peace founded upon freedom, equality, justice and respect for fundamental human rights and of developing friendly relations among nations irrespective of their political, economic and social systems or the level of their development
General Assembly


29 November 1947

Resolution 181 (II). Future government of Palestine That it is now 68 years since the adoption of resolution 181 (II) of 29 November 1947 and 48 years since the occupation of Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, in 1967 and nothing has been resolved.
General Assembly
Security CouncilA/70/354


1 September 2015



Peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine

Report of the Secretary-General submitted pursuant to the request made in resolution 69/23 of 25 November 2014

“Israel’s violations include, inter alia, continuation of its illegal settlement campaign in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, involving land confiscation, construction of settlements, the annexation wall, Israeli-only by-pass roads and other related infrastructure and the transfer of more Israeli settlers, as well as its military campaign against the Palestinian people, including the 2014 war on Gaza and daily military raids in the West Bank, causing death and injury to Palestinian civilians; destruction of Palestinian homes and property; forced displacement of Palestinians, particularly Bedouin families; exploitation of natural resources, including water; daily arrest raids, resulting in imprisonment and administrative detention of over 6,000 Palestinians, who are enduring inhumane conditions, abuse and torture at the hands of the occupier; policies aiding and abetting settler terror and violence against Palestinian civilians and destruction of property, including agricultural lands and Muslim and Christian holy sites; the illegal blockade of the Gaza Strip in collective punishment of the 1.8 million Palestinians there and strangulation of the economy and innumerable other measures of collective punishment against the Palestinian people, all in breach of international law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention, relevant United Nations resolutions and the 2004 advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice, and in violation of provisions of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court

Reports and legal opinions confirming illegality of Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territory including East Jerusalem

Advisory opinion rendered on 9 July 2004 International Court of Justice on the legal consequences of the construction of a wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, and recalling also its resolutions ES-10/15 of 20 July 2004 and ES-10/17 of 15 December 2006 Recalling in particular relevant United Nations resolutions affirming that Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, are illegal and an obstacle to peace and to economic and social development as well as those demanding the complete cessation of settlement activities

Settlements established by Israel in breach of international law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory Construction of the wall and its associated régime create a “fait accompli” on the ground that could well become permanent Risk of situation tantamount to de facto annexation Construction of the wall severely impedes the exercise by the Palestinian people of its right to self-determination and is therefore a breach of Israel’s obligation to respect that right

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Statement by the International Committee of the Red Cross, Geneva, 5 December 2001 ICRC holds that the establishment of Israeli settlements violate Fourth Geneva Convention

The ICRC also holds that the displacement of Palestinians that may occur due to the settlements also violates Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention

General Assembly

A/RES/70/154 December 2015

Extreme and detrimental impact of Israeli settlement policies, decisions and activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, including on the contiguity, integrity and viability of the Territory, the viability of the two-State solution based on the pre-1967 borders and the efforts to advance a peaceful settlement in the Middle East



Open Letter to US President Obama

President Obama: When does enough, become enough?


President Barack Obama

The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20500

13 April 2016


Dear Mr. President,

When does enough, become enough?

Every single one of your predecessors have requested and/or demanded that Israel stop building settlements on occupied Palestinian land. Beginning with President Lyndon Johnson who stated, “the transfer of civilians to occupied areas, whether or not in settlements which are under military control, is contrary to Article 49 of the Geneva Convention, which states “The occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.” Speaking on behalf of President Richard Nixon, Charles Yost, U.N. Ambassador to the United Nations reaffirmed the position of the United States saying that Israel was an occupying power and was governed by international law concerning its actions. President Ford’s ambassador to the United Nations William Scranton said that resettlement of the Israeli civilian population was illegal and an obstacle to any kind of resolution in Palestine.

His successor, President Carter, spelled it out even more succinctly, stating that, “We consider it to be contrary to International Law.” Invoking Article 49, paragraph 6, of the Fourth Geneva Convention he stated that they [settlements] are illegal and that [the convention] applied to the territories.” He called this issue an impediment to any successful conclusion of the Middle East peace process. President Reagan supported a settlement freeze by Israel, calling the building of settlements ill-advised and unnecessarily provocative, as they were in no way necessary for the security of Israel.

George H. W. Bush said that U.S. policy was firm and that there “should be no new settlements in the West Bank or in East Jerusalem.” His ambassador to the United Nations Thomas Pickering had already made this statement previously, “Since the end of the 1967 war, the United States has regarded Israel as the occupying power in the occupied territories, which includes the West Bank, Gaza, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights. The U.S. considers Israel’s occupation to be governed by the Hague Regulations of 1907 and the 1949 Geneva Conventions concerning the protection of civilian populations under military occupation.”

President Clinton called the expansion of settlements counterproductive to a solution and would ultimately threaten the security of the Israel, the Palestinians, the Arab states and the U.S., while his successor President George W. Bush, your predecessor, went on record as saying that, “the U.S. has long opposed settlement activity and, consistent with the report of the Mitchell committee, settlement activity MUST STOP.”

That brings us to you, Mr. President. You and your administration. Israel has not given the level of disrespect that it has given to you to any of your predecessors. During the visit of Vice President Biden to Israel, in March of this year, the Israeli Civil Administration’s Head of Government Property signed a declaration according to which 2,342 dunams (580 acres) became the property of Israel. If that is not the height of disrespect, I don’t know what is. Israel has flipped you the bird, Mr. President, repeatedly. They do as they like with impunity. And for their ludicrous behavior they get rewarded?

Mr. President you have stated again and again that the settlement building activities of Israel must stop. Yet they have not stopped, indeed they have escalated at an ever alarming rate. There will come before you (the UNSC) shortly a UN Resolution put forth by the Palestinian Representative to the United Nations regarding these aforementioned settlements. I urge you to do the right thing and put a halt to the illegal settlement activities in the Occupied Territories.

This is your last term, Mr. President, you will be leaving and your legacy will have been established.You have a chance to write your final chapter decisions and base them on standing up for international law and human rights. Don’t miss this opportunity, Mr. President, do the right thing. Stand up for the Palestinian people and stop the robbery and terroristic activities of Israel. God knows the indigenous people have suffered enough.


Reverend Stephen Brackens Brinkley
San Diego, CA 92101 USA