Stealing Palestinian Resources
Stealing Palestinian Resources
by Stephen Lendman
Israel wants it all. For decades, it’s been systematically stealing Palestinian land and resources.
Al Haq’s new report provides more evidence. Titled “Pillage of the Dead Sea: Israel’s Unlawful Exploitation of Natural Resources in the Occupied Palestinian Territory,” it details grand theft and war crimes. They benefit Jews by harming Palestinians. More on it below.
Yesh Din defends Palestinian human rights. It exposes Israeli abuses. It champions long denied accountability.
In March 2009, it petitioned Israel’s High Court of Justice (HCJ). It wants lawless West Bank mining operations stopped. Israel and 11 Israeli corporations steal Palestinian resources rightfully theirs. It demanded all quarrying and mining activities cease.
It argued that Israeli companies pillage Palestinian resources for profit and Israel’s benefit. Doing so also violates fundamental international law. As an occupying power, Israel is obligated to protect, not exploit, Palestinian rights.
On December 26, 2011, the HCJ rejected Yesh Din’s petition. It sanctioned lawless pillage. On January 10, 2012, Yesh Din requested another hearing before a broader panel of judges.
Seven distinguished Israeli legal experts stood with Yesh Din. They took issue with the Court’s ruling. Their collective opinion matters. It provides greater impact.
On July 25, 2012, the HCJ spurned Yesh Din again. In his decision, retired Deputy President Judge Eliezer Rivlin said the December 2011 ruling rejected Yesh Din’s petition mainly because Israel and the Palestinian Authority addressed the issue earlier. They agreed to an interim 1995 deal.
He failed to explain its terms. It explicitly said “quarries must be transferred to the Palestinian side within 18 months.” Israel still controls them. The Court’s ruling OK’d its right to steal.
Seven leading international law experts disagree. They unequivocally call Israel’s mining operations lawless. In their judgment, the Court’s ruling was troublesome. Judge Rivlin addressed their opinion, saying:
“I did not ignore the opinion of the experts on international law submitted in support of the petitioner’s argument. The learned opinion raises important questions and analyzes them most skillfully and eruditely.”
“However, in the concrete circumstances of this case, since no precedent was set in the decision that would justify a further hearing, there is no need to discuss them at this stage.”
In response, Yesh Din attorney Shlomy Zachary said:
“This decision by the High Court of Justice recognizes the serious flaws of the court’s decision on the original petition, and mutes its conclusions.”
“The court is also aware that the decision’s determinations must be decided in the future, and therefore the decision on the concrete matter cannot serve as a binding precedent.”
“The opinion of the leading experts from Israel’s universities, submitted as part of this case, added another level that reinforced the need to minimize the determinations about this matter, and we welcome that.”
Israel’s High Court tried having it both ways. In initially rejecting Yesh Din’s petition, HCJ President Dorit Beinisch said:
“The belligerent occupation of Israel in the area has some unique characteristics, primarily the duration of the occupation period that requires the adjustment of the law to the reality on the ground, which imposes a duty upon Israel to ensure normal life for a period, which