Jointly published by the
Centre on Housing
Rights and Evictions (COHRE) and
BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency & Refugee Rights
This comprehensive 150-page study (with its 90 pages of appendices)
carefully documents and illustrates how relentlessly effective the
colonising Jews and the ‘Jewish State’ – Israel – have been in using
ruthless policies, strategic planning, ‘the rule of law’ and an iron
fist to displace Palestinians and dispossess them of most of their
land and much of their property, slowly but surely erasing Palestine
from the map.
In its comprehensive
historical scope, the study ranges from the inception of the Zionist
movement in the late 19th century, which paved the way
for early Jewish immigration to Palestine and acquisition of land
there, to very recent developments such as the building of ‘the
Wall’ in the Israeli‑occupied West Bank and the wave of housing
demolitions. It takes in: the late Ottoman period, which ended a few
years after World War I; the British Mandate period, which began
between the wars and ended with the creation of the State of Israel
through force of arms in 1948; the subsequent destruction and
depopulation of Arab villages and towns, the forced exodus of the
Palestinian refugees; and the progressive encroachment on and
constriction of Palestinian life and development, involving massive
loss of territory, housing and other property, and ongoing erosion
and violation of economic, social and cultural (ESC) rights.
Playing a central
role in this process have been Israeli amendments to Ottoman and
British law, Israeli law within the Jewish State itself, and
hundreds of Israeli military orders and regulations – which have
force of law – in the Occupied Territories. In particular, this
study critically examines – from a housing and ESC rights
perspective – Jewish-Israeli policies and laws on land and property.
In the process, however, it also highlights related areas of Israeli
state and military control through ‘legal’ means, revealing how
all‑enveloping, intricately interwoven and tight is the net that is
steadily being closed around the Palestinian people.
Using ‘facts on the
ground’ and figures, the study demonstrates that even if a final
settlement to the conflict could immediately be negotiated, a
Palestinian state would be utterly unviable given the shortage of
available land and infrastructure, the lack of territorial
contiguity, the ubiquitous and disruptive presence of countless
settlements and their associated legal and physical infrastructure,
the legal and territorial stranglehold on East Jerusalem, and the
imminent splitting of the occupied West Bank into unconnected
northern and southern halves by the envisaged ‘Metropolitan
Jerusalem’, the connection of Ma’ale Adumim, and the E-1 Plan.
Palestine is rapidly being wiped off the map.
The study also shows
that this process of colonisation, dispossession and rigid
constraint falls far short of meeting the standards of relevant
international treaties and agreements. Specifically, Israel’s
discriminatory policies towards Palestinians are shown to constitute
violations of large numbers of key UN resolutions adopted by the
international community over the past several decades.