IMEMC & Agencies: Australian Foreign Minister said, in an interview with the “Times Of Israel” newspaper, that the international community should refrain from labeling Israeli settlements in the West Bank as illegal, and claimed that Israel “has the right to build its settlements”.
Julie Bishop strongly denounced European countries that are “pressuring” Israel into stopping its illegitimate settlement activities, and said that she would like to see “which International Law declared those settlements illegal”.
Her statements completely ignore the Fourth Geneva Convention Article Number 49 that states, “The occupying power shall not move parts of its civilian population into territory it occupies”.
In addition, the UN Security Council issued at least six resolutions, ignored by Israel, stating that the Fourth Geneva Convention applies to the occupied territories, including resolution number 465 that describes Israel’s settlement activities as clear violations of the Fourth Geneva Convention.
The resolution states that Israel is seriously violating the Fourth Geneva Convention, article number 49, regarding the protection of civilians.
It says, “The occupying power shall not deport or transfer parts of its civilian population into the territory it occupies”.
Commenting on direct political talks between Israel and the Palestinians, the Australian FM said that “she supports the talks” and that it is “counterproductive to adopt positions that could lead to the collapse of talks”.
She added that the “disputes” regarding Israel’s settlement activities are clear indications of the importance of talks in an attempt to achieve a comprehensive agreement.
The United States has repeatedly denounced Israel’s settlement activities in occupied Palestine. Yet, in February 2011, the Obama Administration vetoed a resolution which was meant to describe all of its settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories as illegal.
Back then, US Ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice, said Israel’s settlements are illegitimate, and in 2013, Secretary of State John Kerry described Israel’s settlements as illegitimate.
The United States grants Israel more than $3.6 billion in annual aid, in addition to hundreds of millions collected by lobbies and other pro-Israel campaigns.
Israel’s settlements and its Annexation Wall have deprived thousands of Palestinians access to their own lands, led to the illegal annexation of large areas of Palestinian lands, and turned the occupied territories into isolated cantons that are separated from each other.
Settlements are built in vital and fertile areas of occupied Palestine, such as the Jordan Valley, on and around Palestinians farmlands and orchards, in addition to occupying mountains and hilltops, to ensure Israel has full control of natural resources, hills, valleys and are preventing the expansion of Palestinian communities.
Settlements and the wall are illegitimate unilateral Israeli moves meant to preclude final status peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, as they are imposing Israel’s own agenda and its version of facts on the ground.