Völlig unvorbereitet purzelte ich heute aus meinem Bett und konnte es kaum glauben, was die gestrigen Schlagzeilen groß anprangern: Israel hat endlich die Besatzung beendet! Ja, man glaubt es kaum. Aus und vorbei! Von einen auf den anderen Tag. Und dann auch noch mehr als zwei Wochen vor der Welt geheim gehalten. Mitten im Sommerloch, so urplötzlich, macht gerade eine rechts-rechtsextreme Regierung mit den jahrzehntelangen leeren Versprechen endlich ein Ende:

With regard to Israel’s legal status in the West Bank, the Levy Committee declared that Israel is not an occupying power. The panel arrived at that conclusion after considering two conflicting legal approaches on the question.

The first approach, presented by elements generally identified with the left, holds that Judea and Samaria are “occupied territories” under international law, ever since they were captured from the Jordanian kingdom in 1967.

According to this approach, as a military occupier, Israel is subject to international restrictions governing occupation, first and foremost the Hague Regulations with regard to the laws and customs of ground warfare, and the Fourth Geneva Convention with regard to protecting civilian populations in times of war.

Under these covenants, an occupier must manage the area and maintain order while taking care of its security needs and the needs of the civilian population until the occupation ends. There is a prohibition against damaging private property, and the occupier is also banned from moving any of its own population to settle in the occupied area.

The committee also heard conflicting legal opinions, submitted by elements identified with the right, such as the Regavim movement and the Binyamin Regional Council. They presented the position that because Judea and Samaria were never a legitimate part of any Arab state, including Jordan, Israel is not an occupying power.

As such, the conventions dealing with management of occupied territories and their populations are not relevant to Israel’s presence in Judea and Samaria.

With regard to the Geneva Convention and its Section 49, which forbids an occupier from transferring any of its population to settle in the occupied area, the right-wing groups argued that this section was formulated after World War II and was aimed at preventing the forced transfer of populations, a situation that isn’t relevant to Judea and Samaria.

Members of the panel accepted the legal opinion presented by the right. They explained that the generally accepted concept of occupation relates to short periods in which territory is captured from a sovereign state until the dispute between the two sides is resolved. But Judea and Samaria have been under Israeli control for decades, and it is impossible to foresee a time when Israel will relinquish these territories, if ever.

Da haben wir uns wohl doch etwas zu früh gefreut.