INTERNATIONAL LAW AND THE PRACTICE OF ARCHITECTURE IN ISRAEL & THE TERRITORIES IT ILLEGALLY OCCUPIES SINCE 1967.
The myriad breaches of International law, human rights and the Geneva Convention are impossible to condense. Here are the basic items:
“Israel’s policy of settling its civilians on occupied land violates the Fourth Geneva Convention and is considered a war crime, according to the statute of the International Criminal Court.”
“The policy of Israel in establishing settlements in the occupied Arab territories has no legal validity and constitutes a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention…” United Nations Security Council Resolution 452
“The participating High Contracting Parties… reaffirm the illegality of the settlements in the said territories and of the extension thereof.” Conference of High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention, 2001
“The Court concludes that the Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (including East Jerusalem) have been established in breach of international law.” The International Court of Justice, 2004
“Israel’s policy of settling its civilians on occupied land violates the Fourth Geneva Convention and is considered a war crime, according to the statute of the International Criminal Court.” Amnesty International
These are all copiously documented by human rights organisations like Amnesty, and also by Israeli human rights organisations like B'Tselem, and Peace Now - particularly in publications like "Land Grab" and "Under the Guise of Security" which is what Israel always cites but is inadmissable in view of its expansionist activities which have led to the resistance by the Palestinians and ultimately the suicide bombers, because Israel was assassinating their leaders with impunity.
This conflict has many parallels with the South African struggle - in many ways it's more intractable, and worse in its humans rights records (ongoing for 40 years).
Israeli architects and planners are complicit in these breaches as without them the settlements and infrastructure would not have been built. In fact they secretly worked with the defence establishment in planning these settlements - as shown in "A Civilian Occupation" and "Hollow Land" by Eyal Weizman.
APJP's three petitions were:
1. Currently, on the slopes of east Jerusalem, in the village of Silwan some eighty-eight Palestinian homes are under threat of demolition. This is part of a master planned development on annexed land for the alleged benefit of Israelis of the extreme religious El ’Ad movement, which would consolidate their presence to the exclusion of the current Palestinian inhabitants.
2. The next campaign includes Israel’s E1 Plan that aims for the expansion of the largest illegal Israeli settlement, Ma’ale Adumim, linking it with the Jerusalem metropolitan area. This plan would dissect the West Bank, destroying the possibility of contiguity for a future viable Palestinian state.
3. A petition supports the campaign to save Lifta, the ruins of a Palestinian village near Jerusalem, from being converted into an real estate development for wealthy Americans that totally excludes the original Palestinian inhabitants who live nearby, and also their heritage and memory. It is hoped to have the involvement of UNESCO and the World Monuments Forum in this campaign.
Israel, settlements, the Wall and international law:
UN Resolution 242, November 1967
"The Security Council, expressing its continuing concern with the grave situation in the Middle East, emphasizing the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war and the need to work for a just and lasting peace in which every State in the area can live in security,
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:
Withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict; Termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgement of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force."
Resolution 242 (Nov.22, 1967): Emphasises "the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war" and calls for Israeli withdrawal from all occupied territories.
Res.446 (Mar 22,1979) : :Determines that the policy and practices of Israel in establishing settlements in..territories occupied since 1967 have no legal validity" and calls on Israel "to recind its previous measures and to desist from 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 its own civilian population into the occupied Arab territories"
(There are now 500,000 Israeli settlers in the West Bank)
Res.452 (July 20, 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"
Territory coming under the control of a belligerent occupant does not thereby become its sovereign territory. International law confers upon the occupying state authority to undertake interim military administration over the territory and its inhabitants; that authority is not unlimited. The governing rules are designed to permit pursuit of its military needs by the occupying power, to protect the security of the occupying forces, to provide for orderly government, to protect the rights and interests of the inhabitants and to reserve questions of territorial change and sovereignty to a later stage when the war is ended.
Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, August 12, 1949, 6 UST 3516, paragraph 6: The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.
Convention (IV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War. Geneva, 12 August 1949.
Part III : Status and treatment of protected persons #Section III : Occupied territories
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.
Nevertheless, the Occupying Power may undertake total or partial evacuation of a given area if the security of the population or imperative military reasons so demand. Such evacuations may not involve the displacement of protected persons outside the bounds of the occupied territory except when for material reasons it is impossible to avoid such displacement. Persons thus evacuated shall be transferred back to their homes as soon as hostilities in the area in question have ceased.
The Occupying Power undertaking such transfers or evacuations shall ensure, to the greatest practicable extent, that proper accommodation is provided to receive the protected persons, that the removals are effected in satisfactory conditions of hygiene, health, safety and nutrition, and that members of the same family are not separated.
The Protecting Power shall be informed of any transfers and evacuations as soon as they have taken place.
The Occupying Power shall not detain protected persons in an area particularly exposed to the dangers of war unless the security of the population or imperative military reasons so demand.
The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.
Paragraph 6 appears to apply by its terms to any transfer by an occupying power of parts of its civilian population, whatever the objective and whether involuntary or voluntary. The Israeli civilian settlements thus appear to constitute a "transfer of parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies" within the scope of paragraph 6.
It has been suggested that the principles of belligerent occupation, including Article 49, paragraph 6, of the Fourth Geneva Convention, may not apply in the West Bank and Gaza because Jordan and Egypt were not the respective legitimate sovereigns of these territories. However, those principles appear applicable whether or not Jordan and Egypt possessed legitimate sovereign rights in respect of those territories. Protecting the reversionary interest of an ousted sovereign is not their sole or essential purpose; the paramount purposes are protecting the civilian population of an occupied territory and reserving permanent territorial changes, if any, until settlement of the conflict.
UN Security Council Resolution 465 of 1980 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.
The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (1998) defines "the transfer directly or indirectly by the Occupying power of parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies" as a War Crime indictable by the International Criminal Court. (Article 7, Crimes Against Humanity.)
Article 46 of the Hague Convention prohibits the confiscation of private property in occupied territory. The confiscation of land by the Israeli government for settlement construction is in violation of this article. (Laws and Customs of War on Land (Hague II); July 29, 1899)
Article 55 of the Hague Convention stipulates that "the occupying state shall be regarded only as administrator and usufructuary of public buildings, real estate, forests, and agricultural estates belonging to the hostile State, and situated in the occupied country. It must safeguard the capital of these properties, and administer them in accordance with the rules of usufruct." In other words, the occupying power cannot take over or use territories or private properties in the occupied territories to serve the interests of its civilian population. (Laws and Customs of War on Land (Hague II); July 29, 1899)
UN Security Council Resolution 242 (1967) calls for Israel to withdraw completely from territories it occupied. The settlements are the biggest obstacle to implementing this resolution.
UN Security Council Resolution 465 (1980), which was unanimously adopted, made it clear that "Israel's policy and practices of settling parts of its population and new immigrants" in the occupied territories constitutes "a serious obstruction to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East". The Security Council called upon Israel to "dismantle the existing settlements and in particular to cease, on an urgent basis, the establishment, construction or planning of settlements in the Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem.
The Mitchell Report (May 2001), one of the most important steps towards easing the current situation and leading to a peaceful solution in the long-term is for the Israeli government to freeze all settlement activity, including the "natural growth" of existing settlements.
In May 2001, the head of the International Red Cross delegation to Israel and the Occupied Territories said that settlements are "equal in principle to war crimes". (note: "The transfer, the installation of population of the occupying power into the occupied territories is considered as an illegal move and qualified as a 'grave breach.' It's a grave breach, formally speaking, but grave breaches are equal in principle to war crimes", Rene Kosirnik, head of the ICRC delegation to Israel and the OPT, press conference 17 May 2001.)
According to international law, an occupying power is required to administer the territory it controls as far as possible without making far-reaching changes to the existing order, while at the same time ensuring the protection of the fundamental rights of the inhabitants of the occupied territory. The core idea of the international rules of belligerent occupation is that occupation is transitional, for a limited period, and one of its key aims is to enable the inhabitants of an occupied territory to live as "normal" a life as possible.
Article 53 of the Fourth Geneva Convention prohibits the destruction by the occupying power of private or public property, except where rendered absolutely necessary by military operations. Article 147 of the Fourth Geneva Convention lists as a grave breach "extensive destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly."
Article 55 of the Hague Regulations forbids the occupying state from changing the character and nature of state property, except for security needs and for the benefit of the local population.
The settlements that Israel established in the Occupied Territories are illegal and breach international humanitarian law. The primary reason is that the Fourth Geneva Convention (Article 49) forbids the occupying state to transfer its civilian population to the occupied territory, or to materially alter the territory to the detriment. The purpose of the prohibition is to prevent exploitation of the consequences of war to colonise occupied territory, and to avoid resulting harm to the civilian population.
The route of the Separation Barrier around the settlements violates the human rights of the Palestinians living in nearby villages. The building of the wall away from the 1967 borders has been considered illegal.The purpose of the Wall is to grab more land, especially agricultural land and water aquifers belonging to the Palestinians, and to expand the illegal settlements.
In the judgement at the Hague, July 2004 on the Wall being constructed in Occupied Territory, they judged:
THE HAGUE, 9 July 2004. The International Court of Justice (ICJ), principal judicial organ of the United Nations, has today rendered its Advisory Opinion in the case concerning the Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.
1) The construction of the wall being built by Israel, the occupying Power, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, and its associated régime, are contrary to international law”;
2) Israel is under an obligation to terminate its breaches of international law; it is under an obligation to cease forthwith the works of construction of the wall being built in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, to dismantle forthwith the structure therein situated, and to repeal or render ineffective forthwith all legislative and regulatory acts relating thereto, in accordance with paragraph 151 of this Opinion”;
3) Israel is under an obligation to make reparation for all damage caused by the construction of the wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem”;
4) All States are under an obligation not to recognize the illegal situation resulting from the construction of the wall and not to render aid or assistance in maintaining the situation created by such construction; all States parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 12 August 1949 have in addition the obligation, while respecting the United Nations Charter and international law, to ensure compliance by Israel with international humanitarian law as embodied in that Convention”;
The United Nations, and especially the General Assembly and the Security Council, should consider what further action is required to bring to an end the illegal situation resulting from the construction of the wall and the associated régime, taking due account of the present Advisory Opinion.”
Reasoning of the Court:
The Security Council described Israel’s policy of establishing settlements in that territory as a “flagrant violation” of the Fourth Geneva Convention, the Court finds that those settlements have been established in breach of international law. It further considers certain fears expressed to it that the route of the wall will prejudge the future frontier between Israel and Palestine; it considers that the construction of the wall and its associated régime “create a ‘fait accompli’ on the ground that could well become permanent, in which case, . . . [the construction of the wall] would be tantamount to de facto annexation”. The Court notes that the route chosen for the wall gives expression in loco to the illegal measures taken by Israel, and deplored by the Security Council, with regard to Jerusalem and the settlements, and that it entails further alterations to the demographic composition of the Occupied Palestinian Territory. It finds that the “construction [of the wall], along with measures taken previously, . . . severely impedes the exercise by the Palestinian people of its right to self‑determination, and is therefore a breach of Israel’s obligation to respect that right”.
RE: Jerusalem: The 1947 United Nations partition plan declared Jerusalem a corpus separatum, a separate body, to be run under an international UN administration. That is still its only internationally recognised status. But after the 1948 war the city was divided between Jordan and Israel, which established its capital in West Jerusalem. In 1967 Israel conquered the eastern part of the city and subsequently annexed it. In 1980 a Basic Law proclaimed Jerusalem `complete and united`, the capital of Israel. Since then, the policy pursued by all Israeli governments has been to preserve Jewish hegemony over the city and prevent its division, thereby preventing the birth of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.
NOTE:ISRAEL'S ANNEXATION OF TERRITORY ACQUIRED IN JERUSALEM AFTER 1967 IS NOT RECOGNISED BY ANY COUNTRY - AND THUS ANY BUILDING IN EAST JERUSALEM AS IN SILWAN, IS CONSIDERED ILLEGAL.
From the International Union of Architects' Charter:
Principle 2 - Obligations to the Public:
“Architects have obligations to the public to embrace the spirit and letter of the laws governing their professional affairs, and should thoughtfully consider the social and environmental impact of their professional activities.”
2.1 Standard: “Architects shall respect and help conserve the systems of values and the natural and cultural heritage of the community in which they are creating architecture. They shall strive to improve the environment and the quality of the life and habitat within it in a sustainable manner, being fully mindful of the effect of their work on the widest interests of all those who may reasonably be expected to use or enjoy the product of their work."
I. UIA Code of Ethics and Conduct (all national Professional bodies accept this when affiliating)
A code of ethics and conduct establishes a professional standard of behavior that guides architects in the conduct of their practices. Architects should observe and follow the code of ethics and conduct for each jurisdiction in which they practice.
Rules of ethics and conduct have as their primary object the protection of the public, caring for the less powerful and the general social welfare, as well as the advancement of the interests of the profession of architecture.
The existing UIA International Code of Ethics on Consulting Services remains in force. Member Sections of the UIA are encouraged to introduce into their own codes of ethics and conduct the recommended Accord Guidelines and a requirement that their members abide by the codes of ethics and conduct in force in the countries and jurisdictions in which they provide professional services, so long as they are not prohibited by international law or the laws of the architect’s own country.
II. UIA Accord on Recommended International Standards of Professionalism in Architectural Practice and Recommended Guidelines <http://www.uia-architectes.org/sites/default/files/UIA-Accord%20full_def.pdf>
(please read page 20)
This document has been produced by UIA’s professional practice commission after ten years research. should Its current Co-Directors: Rick A. Lincicome (USA) <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>
Zhuang Weimin (PR of China) <mailto:email@example.com>
for an official opinion.
III. The UIA’s International Code of Ethics on Consulting Services.