Annexation International Law Definition

Conditions may prevail that render superfluous the need for conquest before annexation. In 1910, Japan converted its protectorate of Korea into a colony annexed by proclamation. Before the annexation of the Svalbard Islands in 1925, Norway eliminated its competitors by a treaty in which they accepted Norwegian ownership of the islands. The annexation of Hawaii by the United States in the late 19th century was a peaceful process based on the Hawaiian government`s voluntary acceptance of American authority. In this sense, United Nations General Assembly resolutions ES-10/5 and ES-10/6 stipulated that “all illegal Israeli actions in Occupied East Jerusalem and the rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, in particular settlement activities and their practical results, violate international law and cannot be recognized regardless of the passage of time”. [48] In 2016, Security Council Resolution 2334 went even further, proclaiming that all UN states must distinguish in their respective relations between the territory of Israel and the territories occupied since 1967. As early as 1982, the General Assembly had decided not to recognize Israel`s act of aggression and had called on States to impose sanctions on the occupying Power Israel for its illegal actions. [49] On June 15, a senior Hamas official, Salah al-Bardawil, said at a press conference in the Gaza Strip that Israel`s “annexation plan” would face “resistance in all its forms” and called for Palestinian popular action against the plan. On June 25, the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas` military wing, said Israel`s plan to “annex” parts of the West Bank was seen as a “declaration of war” on the Palestinians. In agreement, the International Law Commission (ILC), in its work on the codification of contract law, considered that “the law of the Charter [of the United Nations] on the prohibition of the use of force is in itself a striking example of a rule of international law having the character of an ius cogens [peremptory norm]”. [8] The ILC Special Rapporteur also confirmed that the “prohibition of aggression”[9] and the “right to self-determination” were the most widespread examples of peremptory norms of general international law.

[10] Similarly, in “Consequences of the Peremptory Norms of General International Law (jus cogens) on Unilateral Acts”[11], the ILC Special Rapporteur dealt with the unilateral use of force leading to annexation. It reaffirmed that unilateral acts contrary to peremptory norms, including the use of force and annexation, were considered invalid and inadmissible. This is also in line with the ILC Guiding Principles, which apply to unilateral declarations by States capable of establishing legal obligations, with observations that state in principle eight that “a unilateral statement contrary to a peremptory norm of general international law is void”. [12] Having considered only a few of the possible consequences of an alleged Israeli annexation, I will argue here that its illegality should be vigorously maintained. International legal voices should affirm that any political struggle for the future of the “land between the river and the sea” takes place in the shadow of this principle, that of the right to power. People of good will can reasonably disagree on the good outcome of the political struggle. But the shadow cast by the ban on annexation could help bring this outcome into line with justice. “Annexation” is the forced acquisition of territory and a flagrant violation of international law. As such, it cannot have any effect on the legal status of the territory that remains occupied de jure.

In the context of the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT), “annexation” means extending Israeli law to territories recognized as occupied and treating them as part of Israeli territory. Of course, it is by no means certain that annexation would turn all or even most Palestinians into Israeli citizens. If Israel offered this option, many Palestinians would reject it for political reasons. Many would see this in stark contrast to The long-standing Palestinian quest for national self-determination in an independent state – a right clearly recognized by international law. Moreover, as experience with the residents of East Jerusalem has shown, Israel could put all sorts of practical and procedural obstacles on the way to Palestinians acquiring Israeli citizenship – even if the option is officially available. Protected persons located in an occupied territory may under no circumstances or be deprived in any way of the benefits of this Convention by an amendment introduced into the institutions or government of that territory as a result of the occupation of a territory, or by an agreement concluded between the authorities of the occupied territories and the Occupying Power; nor by the annexation of all or part of the territory occupied by the latter. Tibet came under the control of the People`s Republic of China (PRC) after attempts by the Tibetan government to gain international recognition, efforts to modernize its army, negotiations between the Government of Tibet and the People`s Republic of China, a military conflict in the Chamdo region of western Kham in October 1950, and the final adoption of the seventeen point agreement by the Government of Tibet under the Chinese pressure in October 1951. [16] [17] In some Western countries According to opinion, the incorporation of Tibet into China is considered an annexation. [18] [19] [20] Annexation would be primarily a legal act. The difference between a territory “occupied” by a State and a territory “annexed” by that State is a legal distinction, whether or not that distinction has economic, political, religious or other consequences. Fifty-three years after the conquest of the West Bank, Israel may be issuing a legal proclamation of formal annexation enshrined in parliamentary legislation. Such a proclamation of annexation would consist either of a declaration that part or all of the West Bank is an integral part of Israel, as Israel did in 1980 with respect to East Jerusalem, or a declaration that “Israeli law applies” to the region, as was the case in 1981 with respect to the Golan Heights.

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