Minister Yair Shamir reviews Israel''s strong legal position awarding it rights to and in Judea and Samaria. And he does so directly in contradistinction to an opinion published in this paper by local International Red Cross appointee, one Juan Pedro Schaerer.
Shamir, son of former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Yitzhak Shamir, sums up the problem he has with Schaerer and the ICRC legal position he furthers so:
...when its claims on the conflict are based on false interpretations, and partial or wholly inaccurate declarations, it does damage...it is also time to return to the intentions and words of the original drafters of international law, and rely less on specious interpretations with little basis.
As I am guessing that neither gentlemen are legal scholars (though legal scholars have, I presume, assisted in composing their opeds; Schaerer was in Iraq in 2008 but his bio is unknown to me), I feel quite comfortable to contribute my own thinking.
There is no law in international jurisprudence that defines "settlement" as illegal in certain circumstances. What the argument is about is whether Jewish people have "been transfered" into the area of Judea and Samaria and then the argument is whether this act of "transfer" was lawful. Schaerer thinks not:
Population transfers for the purpose of establishing settlements are forbidden under international humanitarian law, regardless of whether people are being directly transferred or indirectly transferred through incentives, encouragements or other measures facilitating their settlement in the occupied territory.
"Whereas the Principal Allied Powers have agreed, for the purpose of giving effect to the provisions of Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations, to entrust to a Mandatory selected by the said Powers the administration of the territory of Palestine...and Whereas the Principal Allied Powers have also agreed that the Mandatory should be responsible for putting into effect the declaration originally made on November 2nd, 1917, by the Government of His Britannic Majesty, and adopted by the said Powers, in favor of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people...and Whereas recognition has thereby been given to the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country..."
The Administration of Palestine, while ensuring that the rights and position of other sections of the population are not prejudiced, shall facilitate Jewish immigration under suitable conditions and shall encourage, in co-operation with the Jewish agency referred to in Article 4, close settlement by Jews on the land, including State lands and waste lands not required for public purposes.
The Mandatory shall be responsible for seeing that no Palestine territory shall be ceded or leased to, or in any way placed under the control of the Government of any foreign Power.