Critics of U.S. ‘Israel Anti-Boycott Act’ say even requests for information could expose citizens to penalties

This proposed Bill which makes it illegal to Boycott Israeli businesses located in Occupied Palestinian Territory has not taken into consideration International Law and the limits of the occupying Authority whose only mandate is to ‘administer’ the area, under the rules of usufruct he is not, for instance, allowed to sell immovable property, certainly not natural resources like water or minerals [Ahava].
The Israeli occupying authority under the Military Commander must act only within the Occupied Palestinian Territories [OPT] according to the narrow parameters of customary International Law. Under The Hague regulations 1907 and the Geneva Conventions 1949, the Occupant is allowed to sell, [under the rules of usufruct the ‘fruit’ of the property not the ‘capital’ i.e, he can sell the apple but not the tree, or he can rent a building, but not sell it]. He can (using local labour) administer the area for two reasons only:
(1) Military needs and/or
(2) To benefit the local protected population.

Not the settlers obviously, their illegal presence does not cover the legal definition of protected persons under International Law as defined by Geneva Convention Article 4 (below).
Geneva Conventions 1949. Article 4
Persons protected by the convention are those who, at a given moment and in any manner whatsoever, find themselves, in case of conflict or occupation, in the hands of a party to the conflict or occupying power of which they are not nationals [cited fourth Geneva Conventions 1949. Article 4]
The following agreement is what the US administration signed up to and is still in place..

In July 1943 an International conference was held in London, its mandate was to upgrade the Hague regulations since they were not specific enough on property transfers, particularly because of the Nazi depredations in much of occupied Europe, these resolutions were put together by the leading jurists of their time and represent the latest and definitive word on the transfer of property rights and interests both within and outside occupied territory The USA, USSR, China and the United Kingdom and Dominions amongst others adopted them, here are the first four resolutions:-

(1) The rules governing the validity in third countries of the acts of belligerent occupants and of transfers of, or dealings with, property, rights and interests of any description whatsoever derived from such acts, are rules of international law the non observation of which entails international responsibility.
Note: In courts of third States cases may be decided according to a variety of legal considerations, but the result must be in harmony with the rules of international law, the main contents of which are set out below. The Conference has not discussed the conditions under which a third State that does not give effect to the said rules is liable to pay damages to the injured party and/or his State.
(2) The occupant does not succeed, even provisionally, to the status or rights of the sovereign whom he displaces. The occupant has at most, under international law, only limited rights or jurisdiction and administration; acts in excess of these limited rights are null and void in law and are not entitled to legal recognition in any country.
(3) The rights of the occupant do not include any right to dispose of property, rights or interests for purposes other than the maintenance of public order and safety in the occupied territory. In particular, the occupant is not, in international law, vested with any power to transfer a title which will be valid outside that territory to any property, rights or interests which he purports to acquire or create or dispose of; this applies whether such property, rights or interests are those of the State or of private persons or bodies. This status of the occupant is not changed by the fact that the annexes by unilateral action the territory occupied by him.
(4) The civil administration established in a country subject to belligerent occupation has no status in international law. Any rule of international law establishing the invalidity of transfers of, or dealings with, property, rights and interests effected by the occupant applies also to similar transfers and dealings carried out by any associate or agent of the occupant acting for him or in his interest.

The issue of exploitation of natural resources of occupied territory arose following the occupation of Iraq by the forces of the USA and the UK, the two countries made a commitment to the UN security council that all the receipts from the Iraqi oil sector would be used for the Iraqi people, and would be kept in a separate fund from which only a recognised representative of the Iraqi people could draw (see UN resolution 1483 May 22nd 2003). The International court of justice at the Hague ruled that it was absolutely forbidden to utilise the natural resources of the occupied territory for the need of the occupying country and that by doing so breached article 43 (republic of Congo V Uganda. 19th December 2005).
Of course we are aware of what the United States thinks of International Law so I will not hold my breath waiting for them to adhere to the above.

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