Switzerland regrets the building permit for 300 housing units in the West Bank and the plans for a further 500 in East Jerusalem

Bern, 30.07.2015 - On 29 July the Israeli government approved the building of 300 housing units in the Beit El settlement in the West Bank. Switzerland regrets this decision as well as the plan to build a further 500 housing units in East Jerusalem.

The 4th Geneva Convention, which is applicable throughout the occupied Palestinian territory, prohibits the occupying power from transferring parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies. The settlements are not only a violation of international law but are also a serious obstacle to peace and a just and lasting two-state solution.

Furthermore, Switzerland is concerned about the announced measures to forcibly relocate the Bedouin community from the municipality of Susiya in the West Bank and the threat to demolish its infrastructure. International humanitarian law prohibits the forcible transfer of protected persons within an occupied territory unless this is absolutely necessary owing to hostilities in the immediate vicinity and is only done on a temporary basis.

Switzerland calls on the Israeli government to renounce the building of settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory and the planned resettlement measures in Susiya, and to take steps to reduce tensions.

 


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