Part one (via the Guardian):
Israeli companies are entitled to exploit the West Bank’s natural resources for economic gain, according to a supreme court ruling that says international law must be adapted to the “reality on the ground” of long-term occupation.
The supreme court rejected a petition brought by an Israeli human rights organisation against the quarrying of stone by Israeli companies in the West Bank. Yesh Din claimed that the quarrying was illegal under international law because it exploited the natural resources of the occupied territory for the benefit of the occupying power.
But the court ruled last week that in a prolonged occupation the economic development of the occupied territory could not be frozen indefinitely. It added that the quarrying firms were not destroying the “capital” of the West Bank’s natural resources, and were providing employment to Palestinians.
Existing Israeli-owned quarries should be allowed to continue operating, but no new ones should open, the court ruled, reflecting the Israeli government’s position.
Yesh Din said the ruling could be applied to other economic aspects of the occupation, such as water resources and the appropriation of archeological artefacts.
Its petition against the state of Israel and 10 Israeli companies operating quarries in the West Bank demanded a halt to all Israeli quarrying andmining activity, and that no new licences be issued. It said Israeli quarrying in the West Bank was illegal and “executed through brutal economic exploitation of occupied territory for the needs of the state of Israel, the occupying power”.
Part two (via Ben White in the Guardian):
Last week, the president of the European Jewish Congress (EJC) launched an extraordinary attack on an Israeli human rights organisation, Adalah, comparing the NGO to the far-right French National Front and British National party.
Moshe Kantor, who heads the umbrella organisation for elected representatives of Europe’s Jewish communities, was responding to a leaked EU document that expressed concern for Israel’s treatment of Palestinian citizens (EJC declined to comment for this article). Claiming that the report had used Adalah as a source, Kantor said:
“Adalah, an extremist organisation on the margins of society, openly declares a radical political agenda to change the nature of the state of Israel and has worked alongside some of the most radical elements in the region. It is like using sources from Front National to understand French society or the British National party to understand British society.”
Adalah is a well-established legal rights centre in Israel that works to promote and defend the rights of Palestinian citizens (“Israeli Arabs”). It has special consultative status with the UN’s economic and social council (ECOSOC), and has received funding over the years from the likes of Oxfam, New Israel Fund and Christian Aid.