RAMALLAH, The Ramallah municipality received today a recognition and a legal response from the European Commission’s Legal Service and the European External Action Service on the necessity to exclude the illegal Israeli settlement body of Modi’in-Maccabim-Re’ut from the Euro-Mediterranean Regional and Local Assembly (ARLEM).
This came after efforts made by the municipality of Ramallah and the Palestinian Al-Haq human rights organization to impose international law and respect its charters.
In a joint statement, the Ramallah municipality and Al-Haq organization stressed the importance of this step at the national and diplomatic level as well as the importance of building on it and using it in Palestinian diplomatic endeavors to achieve our just demands on the international scene.
They also demanded the European foreign policy to translate this move into action by excluding the settler body from the ARLEM.
“The European Union and its institutions and advisory bodies, including the European Committee of the Regions, have a duty to refrain from undertaking actions that may involve recognition of the occupation or annexation by Israel. This applies to part of the municipality of Modi’in-Maccabim-Re’ut,” according to the joint statement.
Following a request for legal clarification by the municipality of Ramallah, Al-Haq drafted its position paper on the legal status of Israeli settlements as being contrary to established norms and practices of international law, in particular the prohibition on forcible transfer found in Article 49(6) of the Fourth Geneva Convention.
Al-Haq further outlined that the construction and maintenance of illegal Israeli settlements necessarily involve the commission of war crimes and crimes against humanity, which fall under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court.
The position paper recalled that the EU has expressed a clear position on the illegality of Israeli settlements, both in law and policy, noting that the EU has excluded Israeli settlements, including Modi’in-Maccabim-Re’ut, from preferential treatment under the terms of the EU-Israel Technical Arrangement as being outside the de jure territory of Israel.
Source: Palestinian News & Info Agency (WAFA)