Settlements and Settler violence

Institutionalised Impunity: Israel’s Failure to Combat Settler Violence in the Occupied Palestinian Territory

Attacks by Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank against members of the Palestinian population and their property are an extensive, long-term, and worsening phenomenon. According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the number of settler attacks resulting in Palestinian casualties and property damage increased by over 144 percent in 2011, compared to 2009, with an average of eight incidents per week, and over 400 incidents throughout the year. Al-Haq has documented a significant increase in incidents of settler violence against the Palestinian population of the West Bank since 2011. In 2013, the report of the United Nations International Fact-Finding Mission on Settlements highlighted the failure of the Israeli authorities to enforce the law by investigating such incidents and taking measures against their perpetrators. The Fact-Finding Mission came to the "clear conclusion that there is institutionalised discrimination against the Palestinian people when it comes to addressing violence."

Feasting on the Occupation: Illegality of Settlement Produce and the Responsibility of EU Member States under International Law

Al-Haq’s position paper ‘Feasting on the Occupation: Illegality of Settlement Produce and the Responsibility of EU Member States under International Law’ examines the implications of trade in settlement produce and the entry of such produce into the EU market, in light of the obligations of EU Member States under international law.

Pillage of the Dead Sea: Israel’s Unlawful Exploitation of Natural Resources in the Occupied Palestinian Territory

The Dead Sea area is the lowest point on Earth and the world’s saltiest body of water. It is renowned for its distinctive geographical, mineral and climatic features and is rich in natural resources. The wide variety of minerals present in the area permits the development of profitable cosmetic industries and raw materials, such as silt, sand, gravel and mud, are regularly extracted for these purposes.

Unmasking the Freeze

The 26 September 2010 brings a formal end to the ten-month Israeli moratorium on settlement construction in the West Bank. Israeli government officials have stated that once the moratorium comes to an end, construction in the West Bank is expected to resume at its previous rate. However, in light of its terms and its application in practice, the moratorium itself amounts to nothing more than a hollow political gesture in the form of an alleged “freeze,” whilst Israel’s illegal settlement activity continues almost unabated. This opinion paper discusses Israel’s practices and policies of settlement construction in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, and examines the legal implications of Israel’s policies and the nature of the ensuing obligations of the international community.

The Israeli Settlements from the Perspective of International Law

This report considers the issue of Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT). Immediately after Israel occupied these lands in 1967, authorities began formulating and implementing projects to settle the area, with the intent of creating a range of political, social, and economic circumstances that could impact its geography and demography. Issues addressed include the legal nature of Palestine and the legal rules that govern it; the effects of settlement on the OPT; their legal justifications; evaluation of Israel's settlement policy in light of international humanitarian law; and the responsibilities of Israel and third-party states.

Latest Publications