In a letter to the Guardian newspaper UKIP FOI Press Officer Jacob Campbell argues the path to peace is not be found in settlements
DEAR SIR, Not for the first time, I read with exasperation that "all settlements built on territory occupied by Israel in the 1967 war are illegal under international law" ('Palestine papers are distortion of truth, say Palestinian officials', 24 January). No they are not. The illegality of Israeli settlements in the West Bank is contingent upon their violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which stipulates that "the occupying power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies". Yet those territories captured quite legitimately in self-defence by Israel during the 1967 war are not "occupied" at all, since they did not previously belong to any sovereign power. Furthermore, the notion that settlement-building is "one of the most sensitive issues to be resolved in the conflict" is demonstrably incorrect. Thousands of Israelis settled in the Sinai between 1967 and 1982, and every last one of them was uprooted in accordance with the 1979 Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty. In short, settlements are not a barrier to peace.
JACOB CAMPBELL, York Press Officer, UKIP Friends of Israel