Foreign Office explains

August 11, 2013 by Henry Benjamin
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The Department for Foreign Affairs has responded to a “please explain” call by J-Wire regarding a statement made at the Lakemba mosque by Foreign Minister Bob Carr that all Israeli settlements on Palestinian land are illegal under international law and should cease.

Bob Carr with Australian Jewish leaders Dr Danny

Bob Carr  (3rd from left) with Australian Jewish leaders  Peter Wertheim, Dr Danny Lamm, Dr Colin Rubenstein, Philip Chester and Jeremy Jones

A spokesman for Senator Carr told J-Wire:    “I have been advised that ‘Israeli settlement activity is a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention (to which Israel is a party)

The applicability of the Fourth Geneva Convention to the Occupied Palestinian Territory is widely accepted

For example, the annual GA resolution on the applicability of the Fourth Geneva Convention to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the other occupied territories, was adopted at UNGA67 on 15 November 2012 by 164 in favour; six against; four abstentions.

Article 49(6) of the Fourth Geneva Convention (on the protection of civilians in time of war) provides that “the Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies”.

In its 2004 Advisory Opinion on the Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall on Occupied Palestinian Territories, the ICJ unanimously concluded that the Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (including East Jerusalem) had been established in breach of international law.

The Security Council has also, over time, described Israeli settlement activity as having “no legal validity'”.

J-Wire contacted the The Executive Council of Australian Jewry, the Zionist Federation of Australia and The Australia/Israel and Jewish Affairs Council for comments when the comments were made.

Only AIJAC responded.




2 Responses to “Foreign Office explains”
  1. George says:

    I have discussed this matter (4th Geneva Convention and much more (“Occupied Territory”, “Illegal Settlements”) at some length as per customary and prevailing International Law.
    It can be found here:

  2. Gedalia says:

    This requires urgent escalation and mobilisation by all Australian Jewry.

    If this is the policy of the Labour Party I call on Michael Danby to resign from the Party and stand as an independent.

    Successive Israeli Governments, Labour and Likud, have consistently maintained that the Fourth Geneva convention does not apply to the disputed territories as these lands form part of the original Palestine Mandate to which the Jewish National Home provision still applies. Until now, the Australian Government have maintained neutrality towards this stance, but now it appears Bob Carr has guided Australia towards officially adopting a false Palestinian narrative.

    The Australian Jewish community must challenge Mr Carr quote the Article in International Law that prohibits Israel of settling in the so called “West Bank”. The 1946 Fourth Geneva Convention states “The present Convention shall apply to all cases of declared war or of any other armed conflict which may arise between two or more of High Contracting Parties, even if the state of war is not recognized by one of them.” The conditions of “armed conflict” between “two or more of the High Contracting Parties”, as set forth in the article, are fulfilled in that there was a war between two signatories, Israel and Jordan. However, the so called West Bank was never part of Jordan, and Jordan was never was a High Contracting Party. So, what is this territory at all? The so called West Bank is a residual part of the Mandate for Palestine intended to be part of the Jewish State, as reaffirmed by Article 80 of the UN Charter.

    Declaring that Israeli settlements in the so called West Bank are illegal under International law, by citing the Geneva convention is a complete bastardisation of history and a blight on our foreign ministry.

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