Bethlehem /PNN /
The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel published a new position paper in which Adalah analyzes a series of recent measures by the current Israeli government which constitute annexation of the West Bank and a clear policy to extend the regime of Jewish supremacy and deepen the apartheid in the West Bank that has been established for generations.
The position paper, The Acceleration of the Annexation of the West Bank under the 37th Israeli Government led by Prime Minister Netanyahu, encompasses a legal analysis of measures taken to move towards annexation since the latest iteration of the Netanyahu government was seated in December 2022.
In its December 2022 coalition agreements and guiding principles, the new government pledged to increase Jewish settlements and development across the West Bank and to ultimately implement Israeli sovereignty across all of the West Bank.
This position paper analyzes several of the Israeli government’s grave actions to annex the West Bank. These include institutional changes and transfer of spheres of operation to government offices, legalization of outposts and expansion of settlements; and direct application of Israeli domestic law in the occupied West Bank.
The position paper also includes Adalah’s legal appeals to the Israeli authorities in regard to these actions and responses it received from officials. These responses show the government's explicit, open and official intention to continue to perpetuate Israel's control of the West Bank and to apply Israeli law to it, contrary to the provisions of international law, while completely denying the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination.
These include a letter from the Government Secretary, stating that “Judea and Samaria are the cradle of the history for the Jewish people and were liberated in 1967 in a defensive war against the aggression of the Jordanian occupation, which illegally held these areas since 1948,” and bases its justification for holding these territories on the claim that they were designated for a Jewish state by the League of Nations at the San Remo Conference held after the First World War in 1920.
As Adalah’s report concludes, these alarming measures constitute de facto and de jure annexation of the West Bank and are gross violations of international law. Taken together, these decisions constitute war crimes, a crime of aggression, and a crime against humanity (apartheid) under the Rome Statute, as well as a deepening of the apartheid system that already exists. These measures will also have a direct impact on the question that is currently pending before the International Court of Justice (ICJ), regarding the legal consequences of Israel’s policies in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and the International Criminal Court, which is currently conducting an investigation into the commission of war crimes by Israel.
Adalah’s Legal Director, Dr. Suhad Bishara, stated: “These measures are part of an unequivocal program by the government of Israel to annex parts of the West Bank and institute full Israeli sovereignty over the land. This is an attempt to wholly erase the right of the Palestinian People to self-determination and bypass Palestinians’ rights under international law. We urge the international community to not look away from these flagrant violations of international law and to take immediate action against these measures.”