Australian Foreign Minister said, in an interview with the âTimes Of Israelâ newspaper, that the international community should refrain from labeling Israeli settlements in the West Bank as illegal, and claimed that Israel âhas the right to build its settlementsâ.Julie Bishop strongly denounced European countries that are âpressuringâ Israel into stopping its illegitimate settlement activities, and said that she would like to see âwhich International Law declared those settlements illegalâ.
Her statements completely ignore the Fourth Geneva Convention Article Number 49 that states, âThe occupying power shall not move parts of its civilian population into territory it occupiesâ.
In addition, the UN Security Council issued at least six resolutions, ignored by Israel, stating that the Fourth Geneva Convention applies to the occupied territories, including resolution number 465 that describes Israelâs settlement activities as clear violations of the Fourth Geneva Convention.
The resolution states that Israel is seriously violating the Fourth Geneva Convention, article number 49, regarding the protection of civilians.
It says, âThe occupying power shall not deport or transfer parts of its civilian population into the territory it occupiesâ.
Commenting on direct political talks between Israel and the Palestinians, the Australian FM said that âshe supports the talksâ and that it is âcounterproductive to adopt positions that could lead to the collapse of talksâ.
She added that the âdisputesâ regarding Israelâs settlement activities are clear indications of the importance of talks in an attempt to achieve a comprehensive agreement.
The United States has repeatedly denounced Israelâs settlement activities in occupied Palestine. Yet, in February 2011, the Obama Administration vetoed a resolution which was meant to describe all of its settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories as illegal.
Back then, US Ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice, said Israelâs settlements are illegitimate, and in 2013, Secretary of State John Kerry described Israelâs settlements as illegitimate.
The United States grants Israel more than $3.6 billion in annual aid, in addition to hundreds of millions collected by lobbies and other pro-Israel campaigns.
Israelâs settlements and its Annexation Wall have deprived thousands of Palestinians access to their own lands, led to the illegal annexation of large areas of Palestinian lands, and turned the occupied territories into isolated cantons that are separated from each other.
Settlements are built in vital and fertile areas of occupied Palestine, such as the Jordan Valley, on and around Palestinians farmlands and orchards, in addition to occupying mountains and hilltops, to ensure Israel has full control of natural resources, hills, valleys and are preventing the expansion of Palestinian communities.
Settlements and the wall are illegitimate unilateral Israeli moves meant to preclude final status peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, as they are imposing Israelâs own agenda and its version of facts on the ground.