Following Israel’s 1967 invasion and seizure of areas of Egypt, Jordan, and Syria, they have continued to occupy Palestinian land in the West Bank and Gaza, and Syria’s Golan Heights. Throughout these occupations Israel has routinely violated the Fourth Geneva Convention that defines the duties and limitations of an occupying power, to which Israel is a signatory. Temporary occupation is permissible under international law but must be only temporary and relinquished at the earliest opportunity. Accordingly, UN Resolution 242 in 1967 directed Israel to withdraw, but has been ignored for nearly a half century.
The people occupied are "protected persons" whose human rights are supposedly protected by this treaty but were immediately ignored and violated by Israel, making a peace treaty acceptable to the Palestinians impossible. Below is a partial list of articles violated. Some Geneva IV provisions, reinforced by repeated UN resolutions, have been flagrantly and relentlessly violated.
See, for example, Articles 49, 53 and 71-72 prohibiting population transfers into occupied territories(the settlements), destruction of property (over 27,000 bulldozed homes and over a million uprooted olive and fruit trees as of 2010), and denial of due process (extrajudicial assassinations and ongoing imprisonment of some 5,000 Palestinians including routine torture at any given time, many held under "administrative detention" without charges or trial).
Since no peace treaty has been signed, the UN designates this a "belligerent occupation" and Israeli violations are therefore war crimes.
Convention (IV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War. Geneva, 12 August 1949.
Art. 3.(1) Persons taking no active part in the hostilities... shall in all circumstances be treated humanely. To this end the following acts are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever with respect to the above-mentioned persons: (a) violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture; (b) taking of hostages; (c) outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment;
(d) the passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions without previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court, affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples.
Art. 4. An individual protected person detained as a spy or saboteur, or as a person under definite suspicion of activity hostile to the security of the Occupying Power...shall nevertheless be treated with humanity and, in case of trial, shall not be deprived of the rights of fair and regular trial.
Art. 11. The High Contracting Parties may at any time agree to entrust to an international organization which offers all guarantees of impartiality and efficacy the duties incumbent on the Protecting Powers by virtue of the present Convention.
When persons protected by the present Convention do not benefit or cease to benefit, no matter for what reason, by the activities of a Protecting Power, the Detaining Power shall request a neutral State, or such an organization, to undertake the functions performed under the present Convention by a Protecting Power designated by the Parties to a conflict...such as the International Committee of the Red Cross, to assume humanitarian functions.
Art. 16. The wounded and sick, as well as the infirm, and expectant mothers, shall be the object of particular protection and respect.
Art.24. The Parties to the conflict shall take the necessary measures to ensure that children under fifteen, who are orphaned or are separated from their families as a result of the war, are not left to their own resources
Art. 26. Each Party to the conflict shall facilitate enquiries made by members of families dispersed owing to the war, with the object of renewing contact with one another and of meeting, if possible
Art. 27. Protected persons are entitled, in all circumstances, to respect for their persons, their honour, their family rights, their religious convictions and practices, and their manners and customs. They shall at all times be humanely treated, and shall be protected especially against all acts of violence or threats thereof and against insults and public curiosity.
Art. 32. The High Contracting Parties specifically agree that each of them is prohibited from taking any measure of such a character as to cause the physical suffering or extermination of protected persons in their hands.
Art. 33. No protected person may be punished for an offence he or she has not personally committed. Collective penalties and likewise all measures of intimidation or of terrorism are prohibited.
Art. 47. Protected persons who are in occupied territory shall not be deprived, in any case or in any manner whatsoever, of the benefits of the present Convention by any change introduced, as the result of the occupation of a territory, into the institutions or government of the said territory... nor by any annexation by the latter of the whole or part of the occupied territory.
Art. 49. Individual or mass forcible transfers, as well as deportations of protected persons from occupied territory to the territory of the Occupying Power...are prohibited, regardless of their motive.
The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.
Art. 53. Any destruction by the Occupying Power of real or personal property belonging individually or collectively to private persons, or to the State, or to other public authorities, or to social or cooperative organizations, is prohibited.
Art. 55. To the fullest extent of the means available to it, the Occupying Power has the duty of ensuring the food and medical supplies of the population.
Art. 56. The Occupying Power has the duty of ensuring and maintaining, with the cooperation of national and local authorities, the medical and hospital establishments and services, public health and hygiene in the occupied territory.
Art. 64. The penal laws of the occupied territory shall remain in force
.Art. 68. The death penalty may not be pronounced against a protected person unless the attention of the court has been particularly called to the fact that since the accused is not a national of the Occupying Power, he is not bound to it by any duty of allegiance.
Art. 71. No sentence shall be pronounced by the competent courts of the Occupying Power except after a regular trial. Accused persons who are prosecuted by the Occupying Power shall be promptly informed, in writing, in a language which they understand, of the particulars of the charges preferred against them, and shall be brought to trial as rapidly as possible.
Art. 72. Accused persons shall have the right to present evidence necessary to their defence and may, in particular, call witnesses. They shall have the right to be assisted by a qualified advocate or counsel of their own choice, who shall be able to visit them freely and shall enjoy the necessary facilities for preparing the defence.
Art. 143. Representatives or delegates of the Protecting Powers shall have permission to go to all places where protected persons are, particularly to places of internment, detention and work.
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