US Lawyer: Israeli Occupation of Arab East Jerusalem Illegal
A far greater degree of Arab solidarity with the Palestinian people than has been demonstrated to date - not simply on the rhetorical level but on the practical and financial levels - will be required to end the illegal brutal occupation of Jerusalem by Israel, said an American lawyer. John Whitbeck, during a lecture iat Sharjah University on Hursday, reported Gulf News.
In the lecture: 'the legal Status of Jerusalem Under International Law', Whitbeck asserted the need for Israelis, Palestinians, Americans and all the people of the Middle East to understand more clearly both what the true legal status of Jerusalem was and what the viable options for its future status in a concept of peace were.
The lecture at the University of Sharjah was sponsored by the Jurists Association as part of a three-day seminar entitled "Human Rights in the Occupied Territories".
"Israeli occupation of Arab East Jerusalem is illegal," Whitbeck said, adding that the official status of Jerusalem and the territories was that Israel was in de facto military occupation of those territories. Few governments, he noted, recognized Jerusalem as the Israeli capital, which was why all embassies were in Tel Aviv rather than in Jerusalem.
Israel is in military occupation of an expanded East Jerusalem, just as it is in military occupation of the rest of the West Bank and of the Gaza Strip. So it is legally bound by the obligations of an occupying power under the Fourth Geneva Convention with respect to its administration of expanded East Jerusalem, just as it is so bound with respect of its administration of the rest of the West Bank and of the Gaza Strip.
Accordingly, he said, settlement building, land confiscations and house demolitions constitute violations of the Fourth Geneva Convention when perpetrated in expanded East Jerusalem, just as they do when perpetrated in the rest of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. According to Whitbeck, in the absence of any other immediate solution, there were now three viable sovereignty options which have the potential to be acceptable both to most Israelis and to most Palestinians – Albawaba.com
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