Switzerland ignores Israeli land laws in Judea and Samaria

A Swiss authority responded that it does not recognize Israeli construction laws in the area.

By World Israel News staff

Switzerland does not recognize Israeli authority and construction laws in Area C of Judea and Samaria, a letter addressed to the Israeli right-wing NGO Regavim from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) reveals.

Several weeks ago, the NGO reached out to the agency and the Swiss Embassy in Israel after learning that the SDC had funded a large and illegal school on Israeli lands near the Kisan settlement in Gush Etzion, which Regavim called an attempt to “unilaterally redraw the map of Area C.” This was despite the construction lacking necessary approval from the Civil Administration.

Regavim CEO Meir Deutsch said that any construction without a permit from the Civil Administration was illegal, and violated Israeli and international law.

According to the Oslo Accords, an agreement made between the State of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization signed in Washington in 1993, Israel controls security and land management development in Area C of Judea and Samaria, which covers some 60% of the land in the area. This includes military training, economic investments and settlement development.

However, in response to the NGO’s enquiry, the SDC said: “Switzerland considers that the planning and zoning regime, as implemented by Israel in Area C, is not in conformity with international law. Switzerland also considers that the regime is implemented in a discriminatory manner, undermining prospects for a two-state solution.”

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The letter continues: “We welcome the recent commitment of the Israeli authorities to grant more building permits for Palestinians in Area C.”