- The Israeli organization “Breaking the Silence” (BtS) published a study in December 2020 highly critical of Israel’s transportation infrastructure projects in the West Bank. However, the study ignores the relevant provisions in the Oslo Accords signed by the PLO and Israel.
- This study is meant to delegitimize Israel’s presence in the territories and undermine an agreed negotiation process. It cannot be divorced from those international and national non-governmental organizations and member states of the European Union that advocate an identical hostile political line to Israel and finance and support Breaking the Silence. Here is a list of those who supported the study financially.
- The study falsely assumes that the territory belongs to the Palestinians. In fact, Israel’s entry into the territories in 1967 after being attacked by its neighbors, and its subsequent control and administration of the territories, were in accordance with the relevant requirements of international law.
- Occupation of territory during the course of an armed conflict is not illegal. To the contrary, it is an accepted and recognized legal state-of-affairs. Pending a negotiated resolution of the conflict, Israel committed itself to abide by international humanitarian and legal norms, and such administration has been under strict judicial supervision by Israel’s Supreme Court.
- There exists no binding international determination that the territories are Palestinian. Similarly, according to the 1995 Israel-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, the permanent legal and political status of the territories has yet to be negotiated.
- International law enables the legitimate utilization by the authority administering the territory of non-privately-owned land and property, pending the permanent settlement of the dispute. The Oslo Accords enable both sides to conduct planning, zoning, and construction activities in the areas under their respective jurisdiction and thus to construct roads and transportation infrastructure.
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