MYTH: Settlements Are Illegal

Ariel University (pictured above) sits in an Israeli community in Samaria and offers an excellent education to many Jews and Arabs in the area. It also hosts students from around the world (photo credit: Wikipedia Commons, מיכאלי).

FACT: Many argue that Israeli “settlements” (Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria – the “West Bank”) are illegal under the Fourth Geneva Convention. This claim, however, is false. Article 49, paragraph 6 of the Fourth Geneva Convention states that a country “shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population” to the territory it gains.

Israelis in Judea and Samaria choose to live there on their own free will; the government has never “transferred” or “deported” anyone. Additionally, the Israeli government has never transferred or deported Arabs (Israeli citizens or non-citizens) to or from any territory.

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop rightly stated, “I’d like to see which international law has declared them illegal.”

Moreover, it is incorrect to call Judea and Samaria “occupied,” seeing as Israel has legal and historical claims to the areas. Israel also won the land in a defensive war from a country that had held it illegally.

Please see “MYTH: Israel Occupies Palestine/The ‘West Bank’” for more information on the “occupation” claim.