In an otherwise uninteresting commentary published as an opinion piece in the Washington Post, Dennis Ross, adviser to several American presidents on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, suggested that … as Israel’s Supreme Court has just recommended that there should be “no additional quarries” in the West Bank that are Israeli-owned, there is now some sort of “opening” for Palestinian ownership!
[Have we mentioned how much the terrible Qalandia checkpoint is clogged up by the huge double-dump truck convoys loaded with cut stone and spraying rock dust all over the area? These huge stone transport trucks mix with tens of thousands of stressed and some crazed-aggressive drivers, on a two-lane road — with just one lane in each direction. Many tens of thousands of people, and perhaps more, are forced to drive on this dreadful route around or through Qalandia every single day, for lack of any alternative routes…]
Ross’ piece in the Washington Post is entitled, How to break a Middle East stalemate…
It is an astonishing reading of the Israeli Supreme Court ruling.
In effect, as we have written earlier [on December 28] here, the Israeli Supreme Court rejected a petition filed by Tel Aviv-based lawyer Michael Sfard on behalf of the Israeli human rights organization Yesh Din against the Israeli exploitation of Palestinian natural resources in the occupied West Bank. The only argument from the Yesh Din petition retained by the Israeli Supreme Court is that there should be no more Israeli-owned stone quarries. The Israeli government supported that argument in the Yesh Din petition, too — so it wasn’t really very hard for the Israeli Supreme Court to back it.
But, for Dennis Ross to extrapolate from that Israeli Supreme Court decision rejecting the petition, and argue that the Israeli Supreme Court has now opened the way to Palestinian ownership, is a surprising logical leap.
Dennis Ross wrote [referring to the Haaretz story here as his source], in his Washington Post opinion piece:
To give one example, there are Palestinian stone masonry factories in Area A, but Palestinians have limited access to the rock quarries in the West Bank, which are in Area C. In a case brought against Israeli ownership of the rock quarries, the Israeli Supreme Court ruled late last month that no additional quarries should be Israeli-owned. That ruling creates an opening for private Palestinian ownership, should any new quarries be established — and there clearly is room for more”.