- Violations of International Law Regarding Ethnic Cleansing -

Index | Ethnic Cleansing of Palistine | Cleansing of City of Jaffa | Canada Park

The ethnic cleansing of Palestine (what is now Israel and the Occupied Territories) constitutes a war crime and crimes against humanity.

Ethnic cleansing is a grave breach of Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949—war crimes of particular seriousness. Article 49 forbids "individual or mass forcible transfer, as well as deportations of protected persons from occupied territory to the territory of ….any other country regardless of motive. ." Article 3 states that "people taking no active part in the hostilities" shall always "be treated humanely, without any adverse distinction founded on race, color, religion or faith, birth or wealth."

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, article 13, also forbids ethnic cleansing. “Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and return to his own country.” In a similar vein, article 17(2) declares that “No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.”

The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, which is affirmed by UN Security Council Resolution 1674, and the Nuremberg Charter, article 6, define "crimes against humanity" as including "murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation, and other inhumane acts committed against any civilian population, before or during a war."

UN Resolution 194, article 11, passed by the United Nations General Assembly on December 11, 1948, resolves that refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return, and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or in equity, should be made good by the governments or authorities responsible.