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International law and Israeli settlements

The international community considers the establishment of Israeli settlements in the Israeli-occupied territories illegal on one of two bases: that they are in violation of Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention or that they are in breach of international declarations. The United Nations Security Council, the United Nations General Assembly, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the International Court of Justice and the High Contracting Parties to the Convention have all affirmed that the Fourth Geneva Convention applies to Israeli settlements. Numerous UN resolutions and prevailing international opinion hold that Israeli settlements in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights are a violation of international law, including UN Security Council resolutions in 1979, 1980, 2016. UN Security Council Resolution 446 refers to the Fourth Geneva Convention as the applicable international legal instrument, calls upon Israel to desist from transferring its own population into the territories or changing their demographic makeup.

126 Representatives at the reconvened Conference of the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions in 2014 declared the settlements illegal as has the primary judicial organ of the UN, the International Court of Justice and the International Committee of the Red Cross. Israel has argued that the settlements are not in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention since, in its view, Israeli citizens were neither deported nor transferred to the territories, they cannot be considered to have become "occupied territory" since there had been no internationally recognized legal sovereign prior. Successive Israeli governments have argued that all authorized settlements are legal and consistent with international law. In practice, Israel does not accept that the Fourth Geneva Convention applies de jure, but has stated that on humanitarian issues it will govern these areas de facto by its provisions, without specifying which these are; the majority of legal scholars hold the settlements to violate international law, while others have offered dissenting views supporting the Israeli position.

The Israeli Supreme Court itself has never addressed the issue of the settlements' legality. Shortly after independence, the Israeli Supreme Court ruled that the fundamental principles of international law, accepted as binding by all civilized nations, were to be incorporated in the domestic legal system of Israel. In the aftermath of the 1967 Six-Day War, Israel occupied the Sinai Peninsula, the Gaza Strip, West Bank, East Jerusalem and Golan Heights. Theodor Meron, at the time the Israeli government's authority on the topic of international law and legal counsel to the Israeli Foreign Ministry, was asked to provide a memorandum regarding the status in international law of proposed settlement of the territories, which he subsequently addressed to the Foreign Minister Abba Eban on 14 September 1967, he concluded that short-term military settlements would be permissible, but that "civilian settlement in the administered territories contravenes the explicit provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention," adding that the prohibition on any such population transfer was categorical, that "civilian settlement in the administered territories contravenes the explicit provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention."

It follows from the presence on files of these notes, Gershom Gorenberg argues, that the Prime Minister at the time, Levi Eshkol, knew that Israeli settlements in the territories Israel had just occupied would violate international laws and that by that time Eshkol had been engaged in exploring the possibility of settling the newly conquered region. Meron's unequivocal legal opinion was marked top secret and not made public; the Israeli government proceeded to authorise the construction of military settlements for security purposes. They were built on the fringes of the territories, along the Jordanian and Syrian frontiers and along the edges of the Sinai Peninsula. Israel announced that it accepted Security Council Resolution 242 and was ready to negotiate with each Arab state on each element in that resolution. Abba Eban told. Egypt and Jordan demanded simultaneous negotiations and withdrawal, with Jordan's King Hussein suggesting that if negotiations did not achieve peace within six months or a year, the withdrawn Israel troops could reoccupy the West Bank and make a separate peace treaty with the Palestinians.

Levi Eshkol informed Washington it would return Syrian and Egyptian territory in exchange for peace, but there was no mention of returning the West Bank, though secret talks with Jordan did take place over possible forms of accommodation between the two countries regarding it. In the meantime, with government permission granted, Kfar Etzion was re-established in September 1967, becoming the first civilian settlement to be built in the West Bank. During the 1970s, Israel's Supreme Court ruled that the establishment of civilian settlements by military commanders was legal on the basis that they formed part of the territorial defense network and were considered temporary measures needed for military and security purposes. After Likud came to power in 1977, using land on the basis of the 1907 Hague Regulations, which implied a temporary nature of Israeli presence, was not employed anymore as the new government declared land in the West Bank "state land". In 1978 and 1979 the Israeli Supreme court, prompted by the new government policies, ruled on two important cases that set out the requirements for Israeli settlement legality under international law.

In Ayauub et al. vs. Minister of Defence, the Court determined that the Hague Conventions but not the Geneva Conventions could be applied by Israeli cour

Bombing of Yawata (June 1944)

The Bombing of Yawata on the night of 15/16 June 1944 was the first air raid on the Japanese home islands conducted by United States Army Air Forces strategic bombers during World War II. The raid was undertaken by 75 B-29 Superfortress heavy bombers staging from bases in China. Only 47 of these aircraft bombed the raid's primary target, the Imperial Iron and Steel Works at Yawata in northern Kyūshū, little damage was caused. Five B-29s were lost in accidents during the operation and two were destroyed by Japanese aircraft. While the raid did not achieve its aims, it had other effects, it raised Japanese civilians' awareness that their country was being defeated and received unduly positive media coverage in the United States. Intelligence gathered by the B-29s revealed weaknesses in Japan's air defenses and the raid was the first of many on Japan. Yawata was attacked again by B-29s operating from China on 20 August 1944 and much of the city was destroyed in a firebombing raid conducted by B-29s based in the Mariana Islands on 8 August 1945.

The first United States Army Air Forces raid on Japan took place on 18 April 1942 when 16 B-25 Mitchell medium bombers flying from an aircraft carrier attacked several cities during the Doolittle Raid. Although this raid caused little damage, it boosted morale in the United States; the Japanese government responded to the attack by both increasing the number of fighter units based in the home islands and conducting an offensive in the Pacific Ocean which ended in defeat during the Battle of Midway. The USAAF was not able to mount further attacks on the Japanese home islands after this raid, however, as none of its combat aircraft had sufficient range to reach this area from bases in China or the Pacific until the B-29 Superfortress heavy bomber was ready for combat; the B-29 Superfortress had a difficult introduction into service. Work began on designing the bomber in early 1940 and the first prototype flew on 21 September 1942; the Superfortress was the largest combat aircraft of World War II and boasted a heavy maximum bomb load, long range and powerful defensive armament.

The B-29 incorporated a number of new features such as a pressurized cabin and remote-controlled turrets. While 1,664 B-29s had been ordered by the USAAF before the aircraft first flew, its development was set back by several months after the second prototype crashed on 18 February 1943 and problems with the design were solved; the 58th Bombardment Wing was formed in June 1943 to operate the USAAF's first B-29s but it did not begin receiving these aircraft until October. The slow delivery of B-29s and mechanical problems with the aircraft meant that the wing lagged behind its training schedule, only became capable of deployment in March 1944 after the so-called "Battle of Kansas" program began to produce combat-ready aircraft. In late 1943 the United States Joint Chiefs of Staff approved a proposal to begin the strategic air campaign against the Japanese home islands and East Asia by basing B-29s in India and establishing forward airfields in areas of China; this strategy, designated Operation Matterhorn, required the construction of large airstrips near Chengdu in inland China which would be supplied by Allied cargo aircraft and be used to refuel B-29s traveling from bases in Bengal en route to bombing targets in Japan.

XX Bomber Command was assigned responsibility for this effort and its ground crew began to leave the United States for India by sea in December 1943. The Twentieth Air Force was formed in April 1944 to oversee all B-29 operations. In an unprecedented move, the commander of the USAAF, General Henry H. Arnold, took personal command of this unit and ran it from the Pentagon; the 58th Bombardment Wing was XX Bomber Command's main combat unit, its movement from Kansas to India took place from April to mid-May. While the wing had not completed training at the time it left for India, its combat groups were more experienced than most newly deployed USAAF bomber units. After establishing itself in India, XX Bomber Command under the command of Brigadier General Kenneth Wolfe undertook various tasks to prepare for raids against Japan. Foremost among these was stockpiling fuel at the airfields in China; until late 1944, USAAF Air Transport Command aircraft did not transport fuel for XX Bomber Command, this task was instead undertaken by the B-29s.

This arrangement proved inefficient, however, as 12 B-29 sorties between India and China were needed to transport enough fuel and other supplies to enable one of the heavy bombers to fly a round trip between China and Japan. As a result, it took longer than expected to build up sufficient stockpiles in China to allow B-29 operations to commence. Moreover, continued technical problems with the Superfortress, their Wright R-3350 engines, resulted in many of XX Bomber Command's aircraft being unserviceable and in need of modification at all times. XX Bomber Command conducted its first combat operation on 5 June 1944. On this day 98 B-29s were dispatched from bases in India to attack targets in Bangkok, Thailand, as a'dress rehearsal' for more ambitious operations against Japan and targets in South East Asia. Although little damage was done and five B-29s were lost due to flying accidents and technical faults, the operation was rated a success by XX Bomber Command as it provided useful combat experience for the bomber crews as well as data on how the B-29 performed in action.

On 6 June, Wolfe received a message from Arnold informing him that the Joint Chiefs of Staff wanted a raid to be conducted against Japan as soon as possible. The goals of this operation were to relieve pressure on Chinese forces which were being attacked by the Japanese and to support the invasion of Saipan. Arnold's message asked how many B-29s could be dispatched on 15 and 20 June

No Sleep (LaViVe album)

No Sleep is the debut and sole studio album recorded by German girl group LaViVe, released on 17 December 2010 on digital and physical formats by Starwatch Music. LaViVe was formed on the ninth installment of the German adaption of the international television talent show Popstars in 2010, consisted of four members. Musically, No Sleep was described as a dance-pop album with eurodance influences. Several covers were recorded for the album of material released by Romanian acts Akcent, Connect-R and Fly Project, as well as by American singer John Michael Montgomery. Music critics met No Sleep with mixed reviews noting its lack of profundity, but pointing out the tracks "Keep On", "Hurtful" and "I Swear" as highlights. Commercially, the record attained minor success, reaching the top 50 in Germany and Austria, the top 100 in Switzerland. No Sleep was aided by the release of one single, "No Time for Sleeping", which peaked within the top 30 in the aforementioned countries. "I Swear" was made available as a promotional single to minor success in Germany.

German girl group LaViVe was formed on the ninth installment of the German adaption of the international television talent show Popstars in 2010, consisting of Meike Ehnert, Sarah Rensing, Julia Köster and Katrin Mehlberg. Their debut and sole studio album No Sleep was released on digital and physical formats on 17 December 2010 by Starwatch Music in Germany. No Sleep has been described as a mainstream-fashioned dance-pop album with eurodance influences, its opening track "How Deep Is Your Love" is a cover of Romanian group Akcent's 2010 single of the same name. Musically, it is an uptempo eurodance-influenced song containing an accordion and synthesizers in its instrumentation, it is followed by "No Time for Sleeping", a cover of Romanian singer Corina's 2010 single "No Sleepin'", a synthpop-influenced uptempo dance song featuring discreet piano and a prominent clink sound. "Keep On" and "Hurtful" are both dance recordings. Other songs covered by LaViVe for No Sleep are "Burning Love" by Romanian singer Connect-R, "Unisex" by Romanian duo Fly Project and "I Swear" by American artist John Michael Montgomery.

The latter features vocals from the final eleven contestants of the ninth installment of Popstars, credited as "Popstars". Upon its release, No Sleep was met with mixed response from music critics. Josef Gasteiger of German magazine Laut criticized the album's content and its lyrics as "boring", while pointing out the lack of profundity and stating that the songs sounded like demo versions, he further suggested that "Keep On" and "Hurtful" would have sounded better as ballads, picked "I Swear" as the highlight on the album. Christopher Polusik, writing for T-Online, negatively commented on how the short recording impacted on the album's production, he lauded the tracks "Keep "Hurtful" and "I Swear" for showcasing LaViVe's vocals. Commercially, No Sleep attained minor success on record charts. In Germany, the record peaked at number 44, leaving after four weeks, it reached number two on GfK Entertainment's Newcomer component chart. No Sleep debuted at number 47 in Austria and climbed to its peak position at number 42 the next week, exiting the ranking after a total of four editions.

The record further reached position 83 in Switzerland in its sole charting week. One single has been released from No Sleep, "No Time for Sleeping", which reached the top 30 in the aforementioned countries. "I Swear" was promotionally made available, peaking at number 69 in Germany. Credits adapted from the liner notes of No Sleep