Dr. Meir Rosenne, former Israeli ambassador to the United States and France, said on Wednesday that the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria are legal and that this is true under international law.
Rosenne spoke to Arutz Sheva a day after the prosecutor for the International Criminal Court in The Hague rejected a complaint filed by the Palestinian Authority against Israel for alleged war crimes during "Operation Cast Lead" in Gaza in 2009.
The prosecutor explained that only states can file a complaint with the International Criminal Court, noting that the PA is only an observer at the United Nations and not a member state.
Dr. Rosenne noted that “the PA is not a country. It has a Palestinian Authority and Hamas which controls Gaza but they have no country. All UN documents dealing with Resolution 242 do not mention the word Palestinian.”
He added that although some people may not be aware of this, under international law the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria have full legal status.
“American jurists such as former ICJ President Stephen Schwebel have said that Israel has more rights to Judea and Samaria,” said Rosenne. “Any legal expert who looks at the UN documents will see that there is no such concept as the West Bank or the occupied territories, but rather Judea and Samaria. That is the terminology that appears in the most official documents.”
Dr. Rosenne added that according to the Geneva Convention, all the Jewish communities are legal, saying, “Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention says that an occupying power cannot forcibly move citizens to occupied territory. This was true during World War II when the Germans forcefully moved German citizens to occupied Polish territories. In our case, Israel never occupied Judea and Samaria. Judea and Samaria is an area that has never belonged to another country. Jordanian occupation was never recognized, just as the Egyptian occupation of Gaza was not recognized. The fate of these areas should be determined by negotiations among the parties. The settlers never forcibly entered anywhere, nor were they moved there, so they are perfectly legal.”
He also noted that, according to the Geneva Convention, terrorists imprisoned in Israel should not be considered prisoners of war.
“The Geneva Convention states that a prisoner of war is a man who openly carried weapons and wore uniforms and respected the laws of war,” said Rosenne. “The terrorists do not carry arms openly, they do not have uniforms and they do not respect the laws of war when they kill children. They are not party to the conflict because no Arab state has adopted them. Nevertheless, Israel allows every terrorist to meet with an attorney.”