Practice Relating to Rule 130. Transfer of Own Civilian Population into Occupied Territory
Sweden’s IHL Manual (1991) provides:
The occupying power may find it in its own interests to move sections of its own civilian population into the occupied area. Such movements of population can have very far-reaching negative consequences for the occupied population. It is important to stress that, according to the [1949 Geneva Convention IV] (Article 49), any movement of the occupying power’s own civilian population is prohibited.
In 2007, in a Statement of Government Policy in the Parliamentary Debate on Foreign Affairs, the Government of Sweden stated with regard to Israel: “Settlements in the occupied territories are in clear violation of international law.”
Israeli illegal settlement expansion is accelerating. Violence by extremist settlers is increasing. And evictions and house demolitions in East Jerusalem are continuing. These developments threaten to make a two-state solution impossible. And they severely limit the ability of the Palestinian Authority to promote better living conditions for the Palestinian population, most notably in Area C.
In the coming years, I … think we will see a greater effort to strengthen the coherence between international law and concrete actions. Settlements are illegal and an obstacle to peace. The debate about economic activity in the settlements and guidelines for the labelling of products from settlements should be seen in this light.