Occupation

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Justice Levy’s Legal Tinsel: The Recent Israeli Report on the Status of the West Bank and Legality of the Settlements

In February 2012, the Israeli government appointed a commission, headed by former Supreme Court Justice Levy, to “examine the status of building in Judea and Samaria”—in other words, to examine the legality of settlements, whether authorised by the Israeli government or not, in the West Bank.  On 9 July 2012, the Commission’s report was released.  The report is in Hebrew, but its conclusions and recommendations have been translated into English by one of the Commission’s members, Alan Baker, and an unofficial translation of its arguments regarding international law has been published on a pro-Israeli US blog. The reasoning of the Report, such as there is, is a travesty of legal argumentation.  It is selective in the issues it chooses to address, and perverse in its interpretation of international law. The arguments employed with regard to the status of the West Bank and legality of the Israeli settlements there are not novel.  Indeed, they are well-worn, tired, and have been thoroughly discredited in the past.  They contradict established legal opinion,…

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Exploiting A ‘Dynamic’ Interpretation? The Israeli High Court of Justice Accepts the Legality of Israel’s Quarrying Activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory

 Valentina Azarov is a lecturer in human rights and international law and the chair of the Human Rights Program at the Al-Quds Bard College, Al-Quds University, East Jerusalem, Palestine. Formerly she worked as a legal researcher with Al-Haq, a Palestinian human rights organisation, with consultative UN ECOSOC status, and HaMoked-Centre for the Defense of…

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Is Gaza Still Occupied by Israel?

While the recent conflict between Israel and Hamas was still ongoing, I was wary of commenting on what is a very contentious legal issue - whether Gaza is still to be considered as occupied as a matter of international humanitarian law, even after Israel's unilateral disengagement from Gaza in 2005. I was wary of doing so primarily because the issue…

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