Theodor Meron, the then legal advisor of the Israeli Foreign Office, examined in 1968 the legality of house demolition and deportation policies in the Occupied Territories. The legal opinion he authored was classified “Top Secret” and was recently found in the Israel State Archives. Meron – today one of the world’s most respected jurists – stated in his Opinion the Fourth Geneva Convention applies to Israel’s conduct in the Territories and that it overcomes there the Defence (Emergency) Regulations, which Israel relies upon to this day.
To: Director General. From: Legal Advisor
“You have requested my opinion as to whether the blasting of homes and deportation to the East Bank contravene the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War.
My presumption for the purpose of this opinion will, therefore, be that the Fourth Geneva Convention applies in full. However, as you are aware, our policy has been to avoid making statements regarding whether or not we are subject to the Fourth Geneva Convention for reasons which need not be detailed herein. This policy of avoiding the Convention was, in my opinion, correct, although, as a result of various allegations regarding violations of the Convention, pressure on us has mounted recently.”
"No damage to persons or property other than the home itself "
“At 5:05 PM, the home of Sa’id Ahmad Hamuda, 60, which had been emptied of all persons or property before we reached it, was blown up. No damage to persons or property was caused. Here too, police officers were stationed to deny access to passerby. In each of the cases, it was explained, in Arabic, that the home was being blown up because a landmine had been found under the track and not one of them had cooperated in order to uncover who had laid the mine. In addition, we used a loudspeaker.”