مداخلة الدكتور هيثم مناع في ندوة: صفقة القرن: طريق إلى السلام أم خريطة طريق للفصل العنصري (الأبارتايد) الدائم؟ التي عقدت عبر الفديوكونفرنس بتاريخ 16/03/2020 في مقر المعهد الاسكندنافي لحقوق الانسان
صفقة ترامب والقانون الدولي
طلبت مني الدكتورة ريما خلف أن أتحدث عن صفقة ترامب والقانون الدولي. لكن نص الصفقة ينكر منذ البداية أية علاقة له بالقانون الدولي، فقد أخبرنا محرروا “الصفقة” بوضوح: “بينما نحن نحترم الدور التاريخي للأمم المتحدة في عملية السلام، فإن هذه الرؤية ليست تلاوة لإصدارات الجمعية العامة ومجلس الأمن والقرارات الدولية الأخرى بشأن هذا الموضوع، لأن مثل هذه القرارات لم تحل ولن تحل الصراع “(صفحة5). وأضافوا بصفاقة: أن” هذه الرؤية تركز على الأمن” (صفحة 5).
أمن إسرائيل هو الهوس الوحيد عند فريق التحرير. أما العدالة أو الحقوق أو قرارات الأمم المتحدة أو القانون الدولي فلا يعتبرونه مشكلتهم أصلا.
كما أشار نزار محمد، تتعامل صفقة ترامب مع الفلسطينيين “ليس كشركاء متساوين مع الحقوق والتطلعات الوطنية المشروعة، ولكن كطرف مهزوم يقبل بشروط الاستسلام في أعقاب نزاع عنيف، طرف غير مسلح ومحاصر، متروك لمصيره ولا يملك إلا خيار قبول أي تسوية تفرضها عليها دولة إسرائيل “.
أليس من المشروع السؤال بعد قراءة متن الصفقة: ما هو الفارق بين هذا النص والبرنامج السياسي لليمين المتطرف الإسرائيلي؟
تعزز هذه الخطة سيادة إسرائيل على الضفة الغربية وقطاع غزة وتكرس أبدًا الاحتلال تحت قشرة “كانتون” تحت السيطرة تسميه دولة، وهي تشرّع لكل ما نتهكته واحتقرته إسرائيل في القانون الدولي وقرارات الأمم المتحدة منذ 1948. ضم الأراضي المحتلة ضروري لأمن إسرائيل، التهجير السكاني والتغيير الديمغرافي مهم لطابع الدولة اليهودي، سرقة الأراضي والموارد مجرد خسائر جانبية في بناء الدولة الإسرائيلية…
في هذا المشروع الترامبي، وكما كما كتب روبرت فانتينا، “مستقبل الشعب الفلسطيني يتم تقريره دون تدخل من الشعب الفلسطيني. حتى المبتدئين في الشؤون العامة، يستغربون أن ملايين الفلسطينيين في فلسطين، ومثلهم ممن يعيش في مخيمات اللجوء وحول العالم، ليس لهم رأي أو صوت في مستقبل أمتهم، على الأقل كما حددها ترامب ونتنياهو. لكن عندما يكون الهدف ببساطة إعطاء إسرائيل كل ما تريد، فإن من السهل فهم “الوصاية والإنتداب” التي يقدمها هؤلاء”.
في كل جهود السلام التي شهدها العالم، من الصعب أن نجد ما هو أبعد عن السلام من الخطة أحادية الجانب التي تم إعدادها، فكل قضايا الوضع النهائي والصعبة – الحدود والأمن ووضع القدس واللاجئين والاعتراف الدولي تأخذ في الاعتبار وجهة النظر الإسرائيلية كما هي:تعارض الصفقة قرارات مجلس الأمن 242 و 338 و 193، التي تدعو إسرائيل إلى الانسحاب من الأراضي الفلسطينية والعربية التي احتلت عام 1967 كوسيلة لتعزيز عملية السلام بين الدولتين. وهي تضع استراتيجية لنقل ملكية القدس إلى إسرائيل بشكل نهائي، وتعطي أكثر من 90 بالمئة من المياه والغاز إلى الإسرائيليين، تضم أرض “المختار” العسكري والاقتصادي والبشري من الضفة الغربية مع غور الأردن والسيطرة على الحدود (تحتفظ إسرائيل بالسيطرة الكاملة على ما يقرب من 1400 كيلومتر من الحدود)، والرقابة والتسجيل عليها، وجميع الأراضي الواقعة بين نهر الأردن والبحر الأبيض المتوسط. بالإضافة إلى حرمان اللاجئين الفلسطينيين من حقهم في تقرير المصير كما ورد في قرارات الأمم المتحدة.هذا يعني، معسكر اعتقال كبير لشعب، تحت السيطرة العسكرية الإسرائيلية. نموذج جديد من بانتوستان جنوب إفريقيا في الزمن العنصري. تشكل هذه الخطة بوضوح تأكيدًا ومأسسة منهجية لنظام الفصل العنصري (الأبارتايد) في فلسطين التاريخية.
يعتبر المجتمع الدولي سياسة بناء المستوطنات في الأراضي المحتلة غير قانونية. كما تعتبر المستوطنات الإسرائيلية في القدس الشرقية والجولان، المناطق التي ضمتها إسرائيل رسميًا، خارجة عن القانون. ذكرت الأمم المتحدة في عدة مناسبات أن بناء إسرائيل للمستوطنات اليهودية في المناطق الفلسطينية يشكل انتهاكًا لاتفاقية جنيف الرابعة. كما وصفت محكمة العدل الدولية المستوطنات خارج إسرائيل بأنها غير شرعية. أما المادة الثامنة من ميثاق روما للمحكمة الجنائية الدولية فتعتبرها جريمة حرب. كذلك تعتبر المادة الثامنة من ميثاق روما جريمة الفصل العنصري (الأبارتايد) جريمة ضد الإنسانية.
بعد أكثر من 50 مليون ضحية في الحرب العالمية الثانية، كان من أهم نجاحات الأمم المتحدة بلورة ما يسمى بالقانون الدولي. إقرار مواثيق وعهود لحماية حقوق الإنسان والشعوب، والحديث عن سلام عالمي قائم على العدالة. تعتبر إدارة ترامب نفسها فوق القانون، فماذا تعني هذه البلطجة إلا العودة إلى قانون الغاب. ما هو مطروح علينا يمس وجود البشر ومستقبلهم وحماية الحد الأدنى من قيمهم وليس فقط مجرد مؤامرة على شعب. هذا هو التحدي الكبير لجميع المدافعين عن حقوق الإنسان والشعوب والمجتمع المدني العالمي اليوم: يجب أن تكون المقاومة ذراعنا، والدفاع عن الحقوق الفلسطينية واجبنا…
ملاحق مقتبسة من تقريري الإسكوا غير المعمدين من الأمين العام للأمم المتحدة حول الظلم في العالم العربي والأبارتايد وتذكير بمادتين أساسيتين في ميثاق روما للمحمكة الجنائية الدولية
نظام روما الأساسي للمحكمة الجنائية الدولية
المعتمد في روما في 17 تموز/يوليو 1998
الجرائم ضد الإنسانية
- لغرض هذا النظام الأساسي، يشكل أي فعل من الأفعال التالية ” جريمة ضد الإنسانية ” متى ارتكب في إطار هجوم واسع النطاق أو منهجي موجه ضد أية مجموعة من السكان المدنيين، وعن علم بالهجوم :-
ي) جريمة الفصل العنصري.
ح) تعني ” جريمة الفصل العنصري ” أية أفعال لا إنسانية تماثل في طابعها الأفعال المشار إليها في الفقرة 1 وترتكب في سياق نظام مؤسسي قوامه الاضطهاد المنهجي والسيطرة المنهجية من جانب جماعة عرقية واحدة إزاء أية جماعة أو جماعات عرقية أخرى، وترتكب بنية الإبقاء على ذلك النظام .
- يكون للمحكمة اختصاص فيما يتعلق بجرائم الحرب، ولاسيما عندما ترتكب في إطار خطة أو سياسة عامة أو في إطار عملية ارتكاب واسعة النطاق لهذه الجرائم.
- لغرض هذا النظام الأساسي تعني ” جرائم الحرب ” :-
8 ” – قيام دولة الاحتلال على نحو مباشر أو غير مباشر، بنقل أجزاء من سكانها المدنيين إلى الأرض التي تحتلها، أو أبعاد أو نقل كل سكان الأرض المحتلة أو أجزاء منهم داخل هذه الأرض أو خارجها.
هـ) الانتهاكات الخطيرة الأخرى للقوانين والأعراف السارية على المنازعات المسلحة غير ذات الطابع الدولي ، في النطاق الثابت للقانون الدولي ، أي أي من الأفعال التالية :-
“5 – نهب أي بلدة أو مكان حتى وإن تم الاستيلاء عليه عنوة.
Trump’s DC “institutionalize” the following crimes committed by Israel
- Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court
Article 7 Crimes against humanity:
(j) The crime of apartheid
“The crime of apartheid” means inhumane acts of a character similar to those referred to in paragraph 1, committed in the context of an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over any other racial group or groups and committed with the intention of maintaining that regime;
Article 8 War crimes
(viii) The transfer, directly or indirectly, by the Occupying Power of parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies, or the deportation or transfer of all or parts of the population of the occupied territory within or outside this territory;
- List Security Council Resolutions with which Israel failed to comply or violated
|Resolution no. (year)||Demand/Call/Request|
|1||237 (1967)||Calls upon the Government of Israel to ensure the safety, welfare and security of the inhabitants of the areas where military operations have taken place and to facilitate the return of those inhabitants who have fled the areas since the outbreak of hostilities;
|2||242 (1967)||Affirms that the fulfillment of Charter principles requires the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East which should include the application of both the following principles:
(i) Withdrawal of Israel armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict;
|3||250(1968)||Calls upon Israel to refrain from holding the military parade in Jerusalem which is contemplated for 2 May 1968|
|4||252 (1968)||Urgently calls upon Israel to rescind measures that change the legal status of Jerusalem, including the expropriation of land and properties thereon.
Considers that all legislative and administrative measures and actions taken by Israel, including expropriation of land and properties thereon, which tend to change the legal status of Jerusalem are invalid and cannot change that status;
|5||258(1968)||Reaffirms its resolution 242 (1967) of 22 November 1967, and urges all the parties to extend their fullest co-operation to the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in the speedy fulfillment of the mandate entrusted to him under that resolution.|
|6||(259)1968||Requests the Government of Israel to receive the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, to co-operate with him and to facilitate his work;|
|7||267 (1969)||Urgently calls once more upon Israel to rescind forthwith all measures taken by it which may tend to change the status of the City of Jerusalem, and in future to refrain from all actions likely to have such an effect;|
|8||271 (1969)||Calls upon Israel scrupulously to observe the provisions of the Geneva Conventions 1/ and international law governing military occupation and to refrain from causing any hindrance to the discharge of the established functions of the Supreme Moslem Council of Jerusalem, including any co-operation that Council may desire from countries with predominantly Moslem population and from Moslem communities in relation to its plans for the maintenance and repair of the Islamic Holy Places in Jerusalem;
|9||298 (1971)||Urgently calls upon Israel to rescind all previous measures and actions and to take no further steps in the occupied section of Jerusalem which may purport to change the status of the City or which would prejudice the rights of the inhabitants and the interests of the international community, or a just and lasting peace;
|10||338 (1973)||Calls upon the parties concerned to start immediately after the cease-fire the implementation of Security Council resolution 242 (1967) in all of its parts|
|11||446 (1979)||Determines that the policy and practices of Israel in establishing settlements in the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since 1967 have no legal validity and constitute a serious obstruction to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East;
Calls once more upon Israel, as the occupying Power, to abide scrupulously by the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention, to rescind its previous measures and to desist from taking any action which would result in changing the legal status and geographical nature and materially affecting the demographic composition of the Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem, and, in particular, not to transfer parts of its own civilian population into the occupied Arab territories;
|12||452 (1979)||Calls upon the Government and people of Israel to cease, on an urgent basis, the establishment, construction and planning of settlements in the Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem;|
Determines that all measures taken by Israel to change the physical character, demographic composition, institutional structure or status of the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem, or any part thereof, have no legal validity and that Israel’s policy and practices of settling parts of its population and new immigrants in those territories constitute a flagrant violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War and also constitute a serious obstruction to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East;
… and calls upon the Government and people of Israel to rescind those measures, to dismantle the existing settlements and in particular to cease, on an urgent basis, the establishment, construction and planning of settlements in the Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem;
|14||468 (1980)||Calls upon the Government of Israel as occupying Power to rescind these illegal measures and to facilitate the immediate return of the expelled Palestinian leaders so that they can resume the functions for which they were elected and appointed,|
|15||469 (1980)||Calls again upon the Government of Israel, as occupying Power, to rescind the illegal measures taken by the Israeli military occupation authorities in expelling the Mayors of Hebron and Halhoul and the Sharia Judge of Hebron, and to facilitate the immediate return of the expelled Palestinian leaders, so that they can resume their functions for which they were elected and appointed;
|16||471 (1980)||Calls upon the Government of Israel to provide the victims with adequate compensation for the damages suffered as a result of these crimes;
Calls again upon the government of Israel to respect and to comply with the provisions of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, as well as with the relevant resolutions of the Security Council;
|17||476(1980)||Reconfirms that all legislative and administrative measures and actions taken by Israel, the occupying Power, which purport to alter the character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal validity and constitute a flagrant violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War and also constitute a serious obstruction to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East;
Urgently calls on Israel, the occupying Power, to abide by this and previous Security Council resolutions and to desist forthwith from persisting in the policy and measures affecting the character and status of the Holy city of Jerusalem;
|18||478(1980)||2. Affirms that the enactment of the “basic law” by Israel constitutes a violation of international law and does not affect the continued application of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, in the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since June 1967, including Jerusalem;
3. Determines that all legislative and administrative measures and actions taken by Israel, the occupying Power, which have altered or purport to alter the character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem, and in particular the recent “basic law” on Jerusalem, are null and void and must be rescinded forthwith;
|19||484 (1980)||2. Calls upon Israel, the occupying Power, to adhere to the provisions of the [Fourth Geneva] Convention;
3. Declares it imperative that the Mayor of Hebron and the Mayor of Halhoul be enabled to return to their homes and resume their responsibilities;
|20||592 (1986)||Calls upon Israel to abide immediately and scrupulously by the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949;
|21||605 (1987)||Calls once again upon Israel, the occupying Power, to abide immediately and scrupulously by the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, and to desist forthwith from its policies and practices that are in violation of the provisions of the Convention;
|22||607 (1988)||Calls upon Israel to refrain from deporting any Palestinian civilians from the occupied territories;|
|23||608 (1988)||1. Calls upon Israel to rescind the order to deport Palestinian civilians and to ensure the safe and immediate return to the occupied Palestinian territories of those already deported;
|24||636 (1989)||Calls upon Israel to ensure the safe and immediate return to the occupied Palestinian territories of those deported and to desist forthwith from deporting any other Palestinian civilians;|
|25||641 (1989)||Calls upon Israel to ensure the safe and immediate return to the occupied Palestinian territories of those deported and to desist forthwith from deporting any other Palestinian civilians;|
|26||672 (1990)||Calls upon Israel, the occupying Power, to abide scrupulously by its legal obligations and responsibilities under the Fourth Geneva Convention, which is applicable to all the territories occupied by Israel since 1967;|
|27||673 (1990)||Urges the Israeli Government to reconsider its decision and insists that it comply fully with resolution 672 (1990) and to permit the mission of the Secretary-General to proceed in keeping with its purpose;|
|28||681 (1990)||Urges the Government of Israel to accept de jure applicability of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, to all the territories occupied by Israel since 1967, and to abide scrupulously by the provisions of the said Convention;|
|29||694 (1991)||that Israel, the occupying Power, refrain from deporting any Palestinian civilian from the occupied territories and ensure the save and immediate return of all those deported;|
|30||726 (1992)||Requests Israel, the occupying Power, to refrain from deporting any Palestinian civilian from the occupied territories;|
|31||799 (1992)||Demands that Israel, the occupying Power, ensure the safe and immediate return to the occupied territories of all those deported;|
|32||904 (1994)||Calls upon Israel, the occupying Power, to continue to take and implement measures, including, inter alia, confiscation of arms, with the aim of preventing illegal acts of violence by Israeli settlers;
Calls for measures to be taken to guarantee the safety and protection of the Palestinian civilians throughout the occupied territory, including, inter alia, a temporary international or foreign presence, which was provided for in the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements, signed by the Government of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization at Washington, D.C. on 13 September 1993, 6/ within the context of the ongoing peace process;
|33||1073 (1996)||Calls for the immediate cessation and reversal of all acts which have resulted in the aggravation of the situation, and which have negative implications for the Middle East peace process [referred to the action by the Government of Israel to open an entrance to a tunnel in the vicinity of Al Aqsa Mosque and its consequent results];|
|34||1322 (2000)||Calls upon Israel, the occupying Power, to abide scrupulously by its legal obligations and its responsibilities under the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 12 August 1949;|
|35||1435 (2002)||Demands that Israel immediately cease measures in and around Ramallah including the destruction of Palestinian civilian and security infrastructure;
Demands also the expeditious withdrawal of the Israeli occupying forces from Palestinian cities towards the return to the positions held prior to September 2000;
|36||1544 (2004)||Calls on Israel to respect its obligations under international humanitarian law, and insists, in particular, on its obligation not to undertake demolition of homes contrary to that law;|
- International humanitarian law
The ICRC states that international humanitarian law primarily stems from the four Geneva Conventions of 1949 and the Additional Protocols of 1977 relating to the protection of victims of armed conflicts. The most serious violations of the GCIV are considered war crimes. In the case of the military occupation, the Fourth Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilians in Times of War (GC IV) is the most relevant and most referred to.
Israel refuses to acknowledge the applicability of the GC IV in the occupied Palestinian territory. This is despite the 18 Security Council Resolutions that reaffirm such applicability and the Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice in 2004.
Major principles that govern international humanitarian law during times of war (and occupation) and aim at protecting civilians include:
- The principle of distinction
- The principle of proportionality
- The principle of humane treatment
- The principle of non-discrimination
- Women and children [special protection of]
Israel as an occupying power has ignored and violated all the aforementioned principles through violating a large number of provisions of its international humanitarian law obligations as a State Party of the Fourth Geneva Convention since 1951. This includes but is not exclusive to the violation of articles:
- Article 27 by systematic and persistent inclination by the Israeli authorities to directly harm civilians not participating directly in the conduct of hostilities.
- Articles 16-21, Articles 23, 55, 56 and 59 through the regular denial of Israeli military of free passage to medical, humanitarian and relief convoys and not refraining from directly attacking medical and humanitarian facilities, vehicles and vessels, as did the attack on the Turkish Flotilla show in May 2010.
- Article 134 which states that “[t]he High Contracting Parties shall endeavor, upon the close of hostilities or occupation, to ensure the return of all internees to their last place of residence, or to facilitate their repatriation”, by denying the Palestine refugees their right to return to their lands.
- Articles 5, 27, 31, 32, 37, 70-73 and 76 by committing illegal acts of torture and inhuman treatment along with violating their basic judicial rights under the framework of administrative detention.
- Articles 23, 26, 33, 34, 49 and 53 by regular use of collective punishments by Israeli military through acts of harmful closure to the Palestinian population, destruction of their properties aiming at expelling many from their homes and lands, to make way for Jewish settlements, which fall under illegal forced displacements under GCIV.
Many of the violations of the GC IV constitute grave breaches may amount to war crimes for which Israeli authorities must be held accountable.
The recurrent Israeli offensives on the Gaza Strip, the latest of which was the 2014 summer offensive that lead to unprecedented destruction and loss of life manifest Israel’s disregard for international humanitarian law. The offensive clearly entailed violations of international human rights law, including possible war crimes. This has prompted the Human Rights Council to establish and dispatch an independent, international commission of inquiry into these violations. However, previous experiences have shown that Israel was not held accountable for such violations (e.g. the Goldstone report and the Flotilla report).
Given the failure of the Israeli judiciary to seriously prosecute those responsible of such acts as ordered by article 146 of GCIV, the international community should make way for specific mechanisms in order to seek restorative justice for the Palestinian victims of the occupying power’s illegal conduct. While international instruments have been deployed to investigate war crimes and hold perpetrators accountable in other countries (Sierra Leone, former Yugoslavia etc.) no such measure has been taken in the case of Palestine in spite the fact that Israel’s documented violations date back at least to 1967 (see Security Council section above).
Along the same lines, the International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid (1973) defines “the crime of apartheid”, as “policies and practices of racial segregation and discrimination as practiced in southern Africa, shall apply to the following inhuman acts committed for the purpose of establishing and maintaining domination by one racial group of persons over any other racial group of persons and systematically oppressing them” (Article 2).
In 2012, the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination expressed it concerns and censured Israel a number of times under the rubric of Article 3 of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. Article 3 refers to the prevention of apartheid and racial segregation. (See section on non-discrimination above).
In his January 2014 report, former United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967 Professor Richard Falk examined the policies and practices that constitute apartheid. He concluded that Israeli policies and practices in the context of its prolonged occupation “constitute racial segregation and apartheid”.
His predecessor, John Dugard, had recommended in 2007, the referral of the question of whether “elements of the [Israeli] occupation constitute forms of colonialism and apartheid” to the International Court of Justice for an advisory opinion. However no related action was taken.
Given the amount of legal opinions and documentation on this issue, the fact that no international legal body has taken action to investigate the issue of apartheid in Palestine, serves to highlight the impunity that Israel has enjoyed in the realm of international justice.
- Palestine refugees
Millions of Palestinians residing in de facto exile for decades have not relinquished their right to return. A large portion of them remain in refugee camps inside the occupied Palestinian territory and in neighboring countries. Two main Israeli policies and govern the issue of Palestine refugees. The first being the denial of their right to return to their land and country, while is the systematic confiscation of private property belonging to Palestine refugees. Both policies aim at maintaining demographic dominance of the Jewish population and control of the land and property.
The Israeli Law of Return (1950) clearly states that “Every Jew has the right to come to this county as an oleh” (Article 1). In a 1970 amendment, the law also granted the right to return to “a child and a grandchild of a Jew, the spouse of a Jew, the spouse of a child of a Jew and the spouse of a grandchild of a Jew…” (Article 4A(a)).
Furthermore, successive Israeli prime ministers, including the incumbent, Benjamin Netanyahu, have consistently dismissed Palestinian refugees’ right to exercise their right to return. It is “not right, not justified, and not legitimate”, Netanyahu commented on the right of return, reiterating the long held Israeli position that Israel is not responsible for the fate of Palestine refugees. The Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations went further and accused United Nations organizations, namely UNRWA, of “fueling false promises and gives grievance to dangerous myths” referring to the right of return.
For one, all the above comes in spite of the fact that the right of individuals to return home is enshrined in international humanitarian law (see GCIV Article 143 in section II (3) above) and international human rights law. For, Palestine refugees have the basic right to return to their home and country according the Universal declaration of Human Rights, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
Furthermore, among the arguments used by Israelis and supporters of the concept of the “Jewish State”, is that allowing the right of return would flood the State with millions of non-Jewish refugees and hence yield the end of the State of Israel. The conclusion of this argument is simply dismissing an inalienable right as impractical… for a regime that seeks ethnic/religious dominance of one group over another.
The main issue concerning the issue of refugees right of return is that of discrimination and racism. By using criteria such as religious affiliation and lineage to confirm or deny a person’s right to “Return” to Palestine/Israel, the existing Israeli regime has not only denied Palestine refugees from their right to return, but also from their right to non-discrimination and equality.
Another inequality that plagues Palestine refugees is the issue of dispossession by means of seizing private property utilizing a series of laws, at the foremost of which is the Absentee Property Law (1950).
This law transfers “every right” in any property of ‘absentees’ had in an official Israeli entity, “Custodianship Council for Absentees’ Property”. The law defines absentees as property owners:
“i) was a national or citizen of the Lebanon, Egypt, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Trans-Jordan, Iraq or the Yemen, or
(ii) was in one of these countries or in any part of Palestine outside the area of Israel, or [between 29 November 1947 and 14 March 1950]
(iii) was a Palestinian citizen and left his ordinary place of residence in Palestine
(a) for a place outside Palestine before the 27th Av, 5708 (1st September, 1948); or
(b) for a place in Palestine held at the time by forces which sought to prevent the establishment of the State of Israel or which fought against it after its establishment;”
Upon close examination of the definition above Absentees’ Property Law, similar to other laws, it becomes obvious that it is directed towards Palestine refugees’ property, or more precisely non-Jewish residents of mandate Palestine at the time when they fled, were forcefully displaced, or were residing in an Arab country or in parts of Palestine controlled by Arab armies at the time.
So coupled with other laws, Israel used the Absentees’ Property Law to claim and seize an estimated 4,200-5,800 km2 of ‘abandoned’ lands. Furthermore, between 1948 and 1953 alone, 95 per cent (350 of 370) of settlements for Jewish Israelis and immigrants were created on lands confiscated under this law, highlighting the nature of the displacement and dispossession that affected only non-Jewish residents of Palestine.
One further inequality in this regard was institutionalized by Israel through the Absentees’ Property (Compensation) Law (1973). The law limits the ability to clam compensation for lands seized under the Absentees’ Property Law to a person who “is an Israel resident on the date of the coming into force of this Law or who becomes an Israel resident thereafter […]”. This limitation clearly excludes all Palestine refugees. Lastly, in 2009, Israel passed the Israel Land Administration Law which allows privatization of land owned by Palestine refugees.
Thus, a non-Jewish Palestinian who became a refugee is not allowed to return to his country, his property is seized by Israeli authorities and has no mechanism to claim compensation or redress. At the same time, any person of Jewish ancestry can immigrate to the same land, may live and work in or on property of a Palestine refugee, and can claim compensation should the array of land and property laws deprive them of any property.
Richard Falk, Virginia Tilley, Israeli Practices towards the Palestinian People and the question of Apartheid, 2017
Group of Intellectuals, Injustice in the Arab Region and the Road to Justice, 2017
Reports of Palestinians and Internationals NGOs
 Resolutions 237 (1967), 271 (1969), 446 (1979), 465 (1980), 471 (1980), 476(1980), 484 (1980), 592 (1986), 605 (1987), 636 (1989), 641 (1989), 672 (1990), 673 (1990), 681 (1990), 726 (1992), 799 (1992), 1322 (2000), 1544 (2004)
 See Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, ICJ, 2004
 Article 147 identifies these grave breaches as “those involving any of the following acts, if committed against persons or property protected by the present Convention: willful killing, torture or inhuman treatment, including biological experiments, willfully causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health, unlawful deportation or transfer or unlawful confinement of a protected person, compelling a protected person to serve in the forces of a hostile Power, or willfully depriving a protected person of the rights of fair and regular trial prescribed in the present Convention, taking of hostages and extensive destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly”.
 See A/HRC/RES/S-21/1, para. 13.
 See Report of the United Nations Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict, A/HRC/12/48
 See Report of the Secretary-General’s Panel of Inquiry on the 31 May 2010 Flotilla Incident, http://www.un.org/News/dh/infocus/middle_east/Gaza_Flotilla_Panel_Report.pdf
 Article 146 (1&2) : “The High Contracting Parties undertake to enact any legislation necessary to provide effective penal sanctions for persons committing, or ordering to be committed, any of the grave breaches of the present Convention defined in the following Article.
Each High Contracting Party shall be under the obligation to search for persons alleged to have committed, or to have ordered to be committed, such grave breaches, and shall bring such persons, regardless of their nationality, before its own courts. It may also, if it prefers, and in accordance with the provisions of its own legislation, hand such persons over for trial to another High Contracting Party concerned, provided such High Contracting Party has made out a prima facie case”.
 CERD/C/ISR/CO/14-16, paras. 11, 15, 24, 25, 26, 27.
 A/HRC/25/67, para. 78.
 A/HRC/4/17, p. 3.
 http://www.mfa.gov.il/mfa/mfa-archive/1950-1959/pages/law%20of%20return%205710-1950.aspx; An oleh is someone who makes an Aliyah or immigration to Israel.
 Jerusalem Post, Netanyahu on Palestinian 'right of return': There is no room for maneuver, 16 January 2014 http://www.jpost.com/Diplomacy-and-Politics/Netanyahu-on-Palestinian-right-of-return-There-is-no-room-for-maneuver-338329; also see New York Times, Olmert Rejects Right of Return for Palestinians, March 31, 2007, http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/31/world/middleeast/31mideast.html,; and Haaretz, Ariel Sharon to Haaretz: 'Iraq war created an opportunity with the Palestinians we can't miss, 13 April 2003, http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/ariel-sharon-to-haaretz-iraq-war-created-an-opportunity-with-the-palestinians-we-can-t-miss-1.13058
 See, http://embassies.gov.il/un/The_Ambassador/Appearances/Pages/Ambassador-Ron-Prosor-at-the-Jerusalem-Post-Conference.aspx
 Article 13 (2): Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.
 Article 12 (4): No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of the right to enter his own country.
 See http://embassies.gov.il/un/The_Ambassador/Appearances/Pages/Ambassador-Ron-Prosor-at-the-Jerusalem-Post-Conference.aspx
 Israeli ABSENTEES’ PROPERTY LAW, 5710-1950, Article 2-Article 3, http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/0/E0B719E95E3B494885256F9A005AB90A
 Israeli ABSENTEES’ PROPERTY LAW, 5710-1950, Article 1(b) http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/0/E0B719E95E3B494885256F9A005AB90A
 COHRE, BADIL, Ruling Palestine, A History of the Legally Sanctioned Jewish-Israeli Seizure of Land and Housing in Palestine, 2005, p. 55; http://www.badil.org/en/documents/category/35-publications?download=102%3Aruling-palestine
 Absentees’ Property (Compensation) Law, 5733-1973, Article 1, https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Peace/absentee.html
 Adalah, http://www.adalah.org/en/law/view/505