The Unexplored Option: Jewish Settlements in a Palestinian State


The withdrawal of Israeli settlers and soldiers from the Gaza Strip, the recent Hamas victory in the Palestinian Authority elections, and the results of the Israeli elections in which the newly-formed Kadima Party received a plurality of the votes have all focused attention upon the fate of Israeli Jewish settlements on the West Bank. Most parties consider the continued existence of the settlements as precluding a peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and their establishment as having violated international law. The assumption that their presence precludes peace is premised primarily on the assumption that Israeli settlements will eventually mean Israeli sovereignty. This article explores an option that has never been considered -- the continuance of settlements under Palestinian sovereignty. The assumption that their establishment violates international law is primarily based upon an interpretation of the sixth paragraph of Article 49 of the 4th Geneva Convention. The article contains original research into the origins and meaning of that pargraph. More generally, the article articulates why continuance of the settlements under Palestinian sovereignty should be considered and identifies the conditions necessary for such to occur.


Comparative and Foreign Law | Dispute Resolution and Arbitration | Human Rights Law | International Law | Law and Politics | Military, War, and Peace

Date of this Version

March 2006