PCHR is following up with deep concern the Israeli Occupying Forces activities aiming at controlling and confiscating more Palestinian agricultural land in order to expand the already established illegal settlements and build a new bypass road to connect the settlements with the Israeli territory.
While PCHR continues its legal efforts to face these illegal acts, it calls upon the international community and international organisations to immediately intervene to stop Israeli Occupying Forces’ crimes, including the crime of the construction of settlements, which are considered to be a war crime according to international humanitarian law.
According to the Centre investigation, the most recent Israeli attempt to confiscate or to control Palestinian land, is the order issued by the Israeli Occupying Forces Commander in Gaza strip, Gen. Doron Almug. The order calls for the seizure of 60 donums of the land located east of Netzarim settlement and south of Gaza City.
According to the order issued on 17 July, the Israeli Occupying Forces Commander claims that the land is confiscated for ‘military necessity’. The order will remain in force from July 2002 to 17 July 2007.
The owners of the land, El Wahda and Harz families, have received a copy of the order on 18 July, and they were granted 96 hours to complain and appeal to the Israeli Forces Commander in the area or to the Israeli Legal Advisor. Their land stretches between Salah Al Din Street on the east, and Netzarim settlement on the west.
It is clear, looking at the map and the size of the land confiscated, that Israeli Occupying Forces are planning to build a new settlement road that will connect the settlement with a military outpost on Salah al Din Street, as an alternative of the old settlement road, located south of the land recently seized.
Actually, Israeli Occupying Forces has levelled, throughout the past two years, wide portions of agricultural land, and destroyed many houses in the area close to the old settlement road. Usually, Israeli Occupying Forces justify these acts with ‘security and military necessity’, consequently the areas along the old settlement road are destroyed and unusable.
PCHR was mandated by El Wahda and Harz families to appeal the order.
PCHR is extremely concerned with the new Israeli measure, and consider it as a part of the settlement and land confiscation activities committed by Israeli Occupying Forces in grave violation of international human rights law and international humanitarian law, especially the 1949 IV Geneva Convention.
The Centre renews its call for the international community, particularly the High Contracting Parties to the IV Geneva Convention, to meet its legal obligation and to intervene to stop the ongoing violations committed by Israeli Occupying Forces.