A groundbreaking ruling that was “forgotten” by the media is now surfacing. Israel’s just presence in Judea and Samaria is coming to light.
This groundbreaking ruling by a French court was given in 2013, but somehow escaped the media’s awareness.
A pro Israel activist has worked to bring this “old news” to light, because of its outmost significance.
“I decided to put to work my years of Law Studies in France, and I meticulously analyzed the Court ruling,” Jean-Patrick Grumberg wrote.
The following is an analysis of the dramatic court proceedings and their significance:
In a historical trial, the 3rd Chamber of the Court of Appeal of Versailles declared in 2013 that Israel is the legal occupant of Judea and Samaria.
The Court of Appeal of Versailles ruled that Israel’s presence in Judea and Samaria is unequivocally legal under international law, dismissing a suit brought by the Palestinian Authority (PA) against Jerusalem’s light rail built by French companies Alstom and Veolia
To rule on the suit, the Court of Appeals had to determine the legal rights of Palestinians and Israelis in the region. Their conclusion was that the Palestinians have no right – in the international legal sense – to the region, unlike Israel, who is legitimately entitled to all land beyond the 67 line.
The story goes back to the ’90s, when Israel began work for for the construction of the Jerusalem light rail. The tender was won by French companies Veolia and Alstom. The light rail was completed in 2011, and it crosses Jerusalem all the way through the city.
Following this, the PLO filed a complaint with the Tribunal de Grande Instance of Versailles France, against Alstom and Veolia, because according to PLO, the construction of the tram was illegal since the United Nations (UN0, the European Union (EU) and other governments consider Israel’s presence there illegal.
In order to rule whether the light rail’s construction was legal or not, the court had to review the texts of international law and examine international treaties in order to establish the respective legal rights of the Palestinians and the Israelis.
This is the first time since the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948 that an independent, non-Israeli court has been called upon to examine the legal status of Judea and Samaria under international law, beyond the political claims of the parties.
While the Court’s findings have no effect in international law, they do have the utmost importance, which is to clarify the legal reality.
The Versailles Court of Appeal’s conclusions are resounding: Israel has real rights in Judea and Samaria, its decision to build a light rail in Jerusalem or anything else in the area is legal, and the judges rejected all the arguments presented by the Palestinians.
The PLO claimed that Israel’s presence in the area was illegal according to international treaties and that that the light rail construction has resulted in the destruction of Palestinian buildings and houses, and has conducted many illegal dispossessions. Therefore, several clauses from the annexed Regulations to the October 18, 1907 Fourth Hague Convention were violated.
The Court of Appeal rejected all the Palestinian arguments.
Referring to the texts on which the PLO claim is based, the Court of Appeal considers that Israel is entitled to ensure order and public life in the region, and therefore Israel has the right to build a light rail, infrastructure and dwellings.
The Court explained that the PA misinterpreted the texts and they do not apply to Israel presence in Judea and Samaria
All the international instruments put forward by the PLO were acts signed between states, and the obligations or prohibitions contained therein are relevant to states. Neither the PA nor the PLO are states, and therefore, none of these legal documents apply to them.
Likewise, the Court showed that these texts are binding only on those who signed them, namely the contracting parties. Neither the PLO nor the PA have ever signed these texts.
The Court, quite irritated by the arguments presented by the PA, boldly asserted that the law cannot be based solely on the PLO’s assessment of a political or social situation.
The Court of Appeal therefore sentenced the PLO and Association France Palestine Solidarité (AFPS), who was co-appellant, to pay 30,000 euros ($32,000) to Alstom, 30,000 euros to Alstom Transport and 30,000 euros to Veolia Transport.
Neither the PLO nor the Palestinian Authority nor the AFPS appealed to the Supreme Court, and therefore the judgment became final.
This is the first time that a Court has legally destroyed all Palestinian legal claim that Israel’s occupation is illegal.