Since the invasion of Ukraine by Russia on February 24, the Israeli government has urged Ukrainian Jewish refugees to relocate to Israel and has reduced bureaucratic barriers to ensure their fast entrance. Israel is eager to accept Jewish refugees from Ukraine in order to maintain Jewish “demographic superiority” over the Palestinian population. 7,000 Ukrainian Jews have crossed the border into Moldova, Poland, Hungary, and Romania thanks to Jewish organizations. According to Jewish aid organizations, up to 200,000 Jews lived in Ukraine at the time of the invasion. While about 8,000 Jewish and non-Jewish settlers have arrived in occupied Palestine.
The Israeli settlements are considered the main obstacle to the establishment of the Palestinian state. The policy of Israel as occupying power is represented in expelling Palestinian citizens from their lands, bringing in Jewish settlers in their place, and building settlements for them on Palestinian lands.
Israel settles all the new Jewish settlers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem settlements, as part of its constant endeavor to increase the number of its Jewish settlers to force the Palestinian population there to leave their lands. International law considers the Palestinian territories which occupied after the Six-Day War in 1967 as occupied territories and affirms that “Israel” is an occupying power in these territories ( ICJ: Advisory opinion 2004, Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory). Moreover, it confirms that settlement activities are in violation of international law and international humanitarian law.
Israel’s transfer of Ukrainian Jews to the occupied Palestinian territories is a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention and the rules of customary international law, and this violation entails an international responsibility for Israel. Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention prohibits Individual or mass forcible transfers of the population of the occupied territories to other areas, and also prohibits the occupying power from settling its own citizens in the territories it occupies. The article states :
- “ Individual or mass forcible transfers, as well as deportations of protected persons from occupied territory to the territory of the Occupying Power or to that of any other country, occupied or not, 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.”
The UN Security Council has declared the Israeli settlements to constitute a “flagrant violation of international law.” in Resolution 2334. And according to the Article 25 of the UN charter “The Members of the United Nations agree to accept and carry out the decisions of the Security Council in accordance with the present Charter”. Israeli settlements are also a potential war crime under the Rome Statute of 1998. They are also a major source of human rights abuses and a substantial impediment to Palestinians’ right to self-determination. According to the 2001 Articles on State Responsibility, all UN member states bear legal duties through the fundamental principle of Third State Responsibility.
Since its occupation of Palestine and until today, Israel has continued with this policy as part of its efforts to empty Palestine of the Palestinians and achieve Jewish demographic superiority within the framework of its comprehensive settlement plan to occupy all of Palestine. This is what I affirmed in Article 7 of the Jewish Nation-State Law, which considers settlement to be of importance and of national value to the Jewish state. the article states: ” The State views the development of Jewish settlement as a national value, and shall act to encourage and promote its establishment and strengthening”.
Although the Israeli settlements violate international humanitarian law and Palestinians’ right to self-determination since these rights are deemed peremptory norms (jus cogens) that cannot be crossed and at the same time accepted by the international community of states as a norm from which no derogation is permitted, Israel ignores all of this and continues its settlement operations and expansionist policies.
The Security Council, in its Resolution No. 2334 issued in 2016, called on states and the international community to deal with settlements in a legal form consistent with the spirit of Article 42 of the international responsibility proposition
The international community is obligated under Article 41 of the ILC’s Draft Articles on Responsibility of States for International Wrongful Act to take measures, including not recognizing the legality of Israeli settlement, and not providing any support to help the occupying state maintain its settlement or to continue its settlement activity, as countries and the international community must cooperate with each other to take legal measures to end settlement operations in the Palestinian occupied territories.
Israel has obligations under its international responsibility, in accordance with international law, to stop settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territories, and to compensate the Palestinian communities residing in the occupied territories for the direct and indirect, material and moral damages caused to them as a result of the Israeli settlements by restoring the situation to what it was before, satisfaction and reparation.
The scene of the arrival of new waves of Ukrainian Jewish settlers to settle in the occupied Palestinian territories at the expense of the Palestinian families who resided on this land before the establishment of this entity confirms once again on the double standards adopted by the West in its application of the rules of international law when it comes to Palestine.