Jerusalem (Jul. 6)
Retired Supreme Court Justice Haim Cohen strongly defended the conduct of the Military Government in the occupied territories. He observed that while the military sometimes exaggerates security needs over other values, its overall record of administration has been exemplary.
Cohen, who earned the reputation of being one of the most liberal jurists on Israel’s highest court, made his remarks at a press conference to mark publication of the booklet “The Rule of Law in the Areas Administered by Israel,” a research study by the Jerusalem branch of the International Committee of Jurists (ICJ).
The study was undertaken in reply to a highly criticial report by West Bank lawyers Raja Shehadeh and Honathan Kuttab published last year under the imprint of the ICJ with a forword by the organization’s secretary general, Niall MacDermont.
The booklet does not deal with the political aspects of Israel’s occupation. Examining the Military Government from a legal viewpoint it stated that all of its acts in the spheres of human rights, ownership of land, and Israel’s right to establish settlements are strictly legal.
The introduction to the study, written by Cohen, stated that by appealing to the Surpreme Court, residents of the territories are able to make use of one of the most significant expressions of the rule of law in the areas.