Ruling on land in West Bank disregards international law
The Association for Civil Rights in Israel and Yesh Din filed an application to join an appeal against the Jerusalem District Court’s ruling on the outpost of Mitzpe Kramim as amici curiae (friend of the court). The District Court held that the provisions of clause 5 of the Order Concerning Government and Abandoned Property (Market Regulations) could be applied to authorize the outpost of Mitzpe Kramim, which was built on private Palestinian land.
In our request to join, we sought to clarify the biggest problem of the ruling: the ruling, which addresses the status of land in the occupied territories, does not devote a single word (!) to the provisions of international humanitarian law that apply in the field. Neither the 1907 Hague Convention respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land, nor the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War from 1949, customary international law, or even the Israeli High Court of Justice’s ruling on private land. The court referred to the hearing as a debate over contract law. It completely disregarded the law applicable to the land, which constitutes the array of rights and protections to which appellants and other landowners are entitled. This is also the law that delineates forbidden and permissible boundaries for the military commander and other Israeli authorities in occupied territory.
The ruling and respondents’ position regarding the appeal, seeks to establish an exception that does not constitute harm to the private property of a protected population. The harm does not constitute a significant or essential security necessity, nor does it meet the conditions of the local law that preceded IDF forces’ entry into the area, and the military commander’s transformation into a substitute for a sovereign body. The verdict also contradicts established Supreme Court rulings, while accepting problematic interpretations that are inappropriate and inconsistent with the provisions of international law, and even blatantly disregards its applicability. The Court also entirely ignores the reinforcement of interpretive presumptions, intended to interpret legal provisions in a manner consistent with Israel’s obligations under international law.
The verdict constitutes a “touchstone” for the resourceful and active implementation of the principle of “market regulation” in relation to thousands of other cases. It seeks to entrench an illegal reality that has been created, while disregarding international law and its principles, insofar as they seek to defend the protected population in occupied territory.
Civil Appeal 7668/18 Salha v. Angel
Attorney: Roni Pelli
For further information (Hebrew)