Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Israel rewrites international law and Geneva conventions - New York Times

JERUSALEM — Flouting international opinion, an Israeli government-appointed commission of jurists said Monday that Israel’s presence in the West Bank was not occupation and recommended that the state grant approval for scores of unauthorized Jewish settlement outposts there.

The committee’s legal arguments, while nonbinding, could provide backup for the government should it decide to grant the outposts retroactive official status. But such a move would inevitably stir international outrage and deal a significant blow to prospects for an Israeli-Palestinian peace settlement.

“The report relates to the question of legality and legitimacy of the settlement enterprise in Judea and Samaria,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement issued by his office, referring to the West Bank by its biblical name. He added that the report’s conclusions would be submitted to a ministerial committee on settlement affairs for discussion and that “the facts and claims” presented in the report “merit serious examination.” More