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Decades of Palestinian Displacement in East Jerusalem

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Decades of Palestinian Displacement in East Jerusalem - by Stephen Lendman

The UN General Assembly's 1947 Resolution 181 internationalized Jerusalem as a separate body (a corpus separatum), administered by a UN Trustee Council, a policy still binding but not followed. Nor have other resolutions or international law provisions Israel rejects, ones interfering with its military occupation, affecting E. Jerusalem Palestinians repressively since June 1967, more still after passage of the July 30, 1980 Basic Law, declaring "Jerusalem, complete and united, is the capital of Israel."

Yet on June 30, 1980, the Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 476 (America abstaining), declaring "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 (Fourth Geneva) violation."

Following Israel's non-compliance, the SC unanimously passed Resolution 478 (America again abstaining), "censur(ing Israel) in the strongest term" for enacting the Jerusalem Basic Law, calling it a violation of international law, saying the Council doesn't recognize it, and telling member states to withdraw their diplomatic missions from the city.

The Security Council and General Assembly reaffirmed their positions that East Jerusalem is occupied territory, that expropriating its land is illegal, and that all Israeli legislative and administrative measures, altering the city's character and status, are null and void and must be rescinded forthwith. To this day, Israel never complied, continuing its relentless policies of land seizures, home demolitions, and dispossessions, flagrantly flouting its obligations under international law.

Also its illegal occupation in defiance of Hague Regulation 43, stating:

"The authority of the legitimate power having in fact passed into the hands of the occupant, the latter shall take all the measures in (its) power to restore, and ensure, as far as possible, public order and safety, while respecting, unless absolutely prevented, the laws in force in the country."

In addition, temporary administrative powers only are authorized, legitimate sovereignty to be restored as soon as possible, never indeterminately held by the occupier, what Israel has done for over 43 years, preventing the restoration of the pre-war status quo.

Under Article 64, Fourth Geneva explained it further, stating:

"The penal laws of the occupied territory shall remain in force, with the exception that they may be suspended by the Occupying Power in cases where they constitute a (legitimate) threat to its security or an obstacle to the application of the present Convention....

The Occupying Power may, however, subject the population of the occupied territory to provisions, which are essential to enable the Occupying Power to fulfill its obligations under the present Convention, to maintain the orderly government of the territory, and to ensure the security of the Occupying Power, of members and property of the occupying forces or administration...."

The Occupier may do nothing to enhance the economic or political deterioration of territory it controls, or permit societal chaos in it by its actions or inaction. Nor may it deprive the public of their rights and protections under Geneva or do anything in violation of international humanitarian law, such as imposing collective punishment, forcible transfers, or confiscations of private property. It may enact no laws or impose any measures that violate its legal obligations.

For the past 43 years, especially since July 30, 1980 in East Jerusalem, Israel has systematically and willfully flouted the law, severely repressing Palestinians, (protected persons under Fourth Geneva), aimed at displacing them.

In her 1999 book, "Separate and Unequal: The Inside Story of Israeli Rule in East Jerusalem," former Advisor on Arab Affairs under Teddy Kollek, (Jerusalem's mayor from 1965 - 1993), Amir Cheshin, explained Israeli policy saying:

"Israel's leaders adopted two basic principles in their rule of East Jerusalem. The first was to rapidly increase (its) Jewish population....The second was to hinder growth of the Arab population and to force Arab residents to make their homes elsewhere."

Since 1967, it was binding Israeli policy, evident today from the Haaretz Akiva Eldar and Nir Hasson June 28 article, headlined "Jerusalem master plan: Expansion of Jewish enclaves across the city," saying:

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I was born in 1934, am a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.

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