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Legal, Rights Groups Discuss Area C Forcible Displacement

November 24, 2015
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Forced displacement in Area C was the topic of a seminar organized by the Department of Political Sciences in the Law and Public Administration faculty, Gruppo Di Volotariato Civile (GVC), and the Jerusalem Legal Aid and Human Rights Center (JLAC) on November 19, 2015. JLAC head Issam Arouri and university political science lecturer Samih Hamouda spoke at the event.

 “It is extremely vital to discuss cases of forcible displacement in area C for Palestinians,” said Dean of the Law and Public Administration faculty Yaser Amouri, introducing the event, “because such policies unmask the Israeli occupation’s brutality and disregard for international law and the Fourth Geneva Convention, in particular article 49, which clearly ‘prohibits the forcible transfer or deportation from occupied territory of protected persons’.”

He further added, “The seminar is a translation of the vision of our faculty and university, both of which realize their essential role in defending the rights of the Palestinian people and increasing awareness among Palestinian youth concerning its role in confronting and foiling Israel's racist policies.”

Arouri reviewed the suffering of Palestinians in Area C, which he explained as part of the wider Israeli plan of forcible displacement. "These policies include preventing Palestinians in area C from accessing basic services or building houses to ultimately confiscate their land."

It is important to confront and foil these policies by intensifying our efforts and providing Palestinians in those areas with aid to support their existence, he stressed.

Arouri also tackled new Israeli settlement plans, among them the area known as “E1,” which will displace over 15,000 Palestinians. He said the plan for construction in E1 was proposed independently, however construction of settlements in E1 will ultimately disconnect Palestinian cities and villages, using a network of roads to connect E1 with other illegal Israeli settlements. The plan also includes the expansion of the Ramallah-Jericho main road. 

E1’s completion will be the last nail in the coffin of the two-state solution, Arouri said, as it means isolating Jerusalem and destroying geographical contiguity in the West Bank. This requires urgent action in the Israeli courts, Arouri posed.

Meanwhile, Hamouda chose to focus in his presentation on the colonial basis for partitioning the West Bank into areas A, B, and C at the time of the Oslo agreements.

He said that these divisions reflect the poor planning abilities of the Palestinian negotiators, who neglected essential facts and disregarded Israel’s modus operandi. The concept of sovereignty was stripped from every power granted to the Palestinian Authority in agreements with Israel, he said.

Instead, the agreements were limited to the superficial management of the local population’s affairs and security. Nor did the agreed-upon division include articles prohibiting the confiscation of land or settlements’ expansion, Hamouda pointed out.

The seminar was moderated by Hani Musa, a lecturer in the political sciences department, who opened the floor for questions following the two presentations.

The seminar comes is part of a GCV project to support the protection of the Palestinian people in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, from forcible displacement. It was sponsored by the European Union’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection office. 


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