A Top Secret cable sent to the new Israeli ambassador in Washington DC, Yitzhak Rabin, explains, with rare frankness, the reasons why Israel avoided formally recognizing the applicability of the Fourth Geneva Convention to the territories it occupied in 1967.
The Comay-Meron Cable reveals reasons for Israeli position on applicability of 4th Geneva Convention
“a. Our consistent line has been and continues to be to avoid discussions about the administered territories with foreign elements based on the Geneva Convention. This is why we have preferred to solve problems pragmatically and with a positive spirit. […] You realize what security and political interests dictated this line. Express recognition on our part of the applicability of the Geneva Convention would highlight serious issues with respect to the Convention in terms of blasting homes, deportations, settlements etc. Moreover, when we have to leave all options regarding borders open, we must not acknowledge that our status in the administered territories is simply that of an occupying power. Therefore, we have always stressed the unique features of our situation: lack of recognized borders, Jordan’s status as an occupier in the West Bank, etc. In short, our policy with respect to the administered territories is to try and prevent blatant clashes with the Geneva Convention without getting into the issue of its applicability. The truly difficult problem is, of course, East Jerusalem, because here, if the government had adhered to the Geneva Convention and the 1907 Hague Regulations, it would not have been able to make far-reaching changes on the administrative and legal level, such as land confiscations etc.[…]”