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French court: Jerusalem light rail project legal

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(JTA) – A French court ruled that Israel did not violate international law by building a light rail line in eastern Jerusalem.

The ruling on March 22 by the Versailles Court of Appeals came in response to a lawsuit filed in 2007 by the Palestine Liberation Organization and the France-Palestine Solaridite association against three French firms that participated in the construction of the light rail network. The plaintiffs claimed the firms were responsible for human rights and international law violations. 

In the 32-page ruling, the judges wrote that international treaties applied to Israel’s occupation of lands captured in 1967 and that those conventions — including the Hague Convention of 1907 — state that “the occupying power can and even must establish normal, public activity in the occupied territory.”

The judges ordered the plaintiffs pay a total of $117,000 in legal costs to the three firms: Veolia Transport, Alstom and Alstom Transport.

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