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      Evicting Palestine



            Israel is engaged in a systematic and illegal scheme of forced evictions against Palestinians. Forced evictions of Palestinians, and the human rights abuses they suffer as a result, are known, and yet largely ignored by the international community. In this article, Penny Green and Amelia Smith expose this crime by documenting the key methods adopted by the Israeli state to achieve the goal of “Evicting Palestine” – village and house demolitions, unrecognizing Bedouin villages, the separation wall, settlement expansion and historical claims to the land. The article is based primarily on extensive fieldwork that the authors carried out in March 2014. The article reveals that these various methods of forced displacement contribute to an over-arching and ongoing process, the primary aim of which is to construct new spaces that exclude Palestinians from their ancestral land in order to expand the Israeli-Jewish population and to increase colonial control and annexation of Palestinian territory.


            Author and article information

            State Crime Journal
            Pluto Journals
            1 April 2016
            : 5
            : 1
            : 81-108
            [1 ] Queen Mary University of London
            [2 ] Middle East Monitor
            © 2016 International State Crime Initiative

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            forced eviction,Nakba, occupation,ethnic cleansing,Judaization,settler colonialism


            1. Judaization is a project and policy of the Israeli government and associated organizations intended to increase the Jewish population in regions with a Palestinian–Arab majority.

            2. Around 90,000 Palestinian/Arab Israelis live in 176 “unrecognised” villages located largely, but not solely in the Galilee (Medea Institute 2014).

            3. “Apartheid” here refers to just one mechanism in Israel's territorial assault on the Palestinians. There are similarities between apartheid South Africa and present-day Israel – discrimination and segregation for example – yet as Patrick Wolfe has argued, it is historically incorrect to equate what he calls Israel's continuing “eliminationist” strategy with South African apartheid where African labour was indispensable to the regime (Wolfe 2006). Differences aside, Israeli policies meet the description of apartheid as outlined in the 1998 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (Article 7.2(h)): “The crime of apartheid” means inhumane acts & committed in the context of an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over any other racial group or groups and committed with the intention of maintaining that regime.

            4. Israeli settlements are in violation of International Humanitarian Law, specifically the provision of the Fourth Geneva Convention prohibiting the transfer of part of the population of the Occupying Power – in this case, Israeli citizens – to the occupied territory. The aim of the provision is to prevent the Occupying Power changing the social, demographic and economic pattern of the occupied territory, to the detriment of the population living there. According to Peter Maurer ( 2012), president of the ICRC, Israel's decisive and systematic support over the years to the establishment of settlements, including by taking away land, has effectively achieved & a profound alteration of the economic and social landscape of the West Bank, which hinders its development as a viable nation and undermines future prospects for reconciliation. (1507)


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