Montreal firms building settlements in West Bank want civil suit dismissedGood Luck..........
MONTREAL — A lawyer for Montreal developers being sued under Canadian war-crimes legislation will attempt to get the case dismissed when it goes before a Quebec court later this month.
The West Bank town of Bilin filed a lawsuit in Quebec Superior Court last July seeking $2 million in damages from Green Mount International Inc. and Green Park International Inc.
Bilin, a Palestinian village of 1,700 west of Ramallah, wants the court to stop the Montreal companies' construction projects and prevent them from marketing their homes to Israelis.
Ronald Levy, a lawyer for the two companies, said Thursday he wouldn't discuss the case because it is before the courts. He did confirm that a series of motions will be presented during hearings scheduled for late June.
The outcome of those motions will determine whether the case proceeds.
Lawyers for the companies are expected to argue Canada is not a proper forum to hear the case. An Israeli court has already rejected Bilin's claims.(SURPRISE!!!)
Emily Schaeffer, an Israeli lawyer acting for the village, says Israeli courts have never recognized that building settlements breaks any international humanitarian laws. She believes the Canadian courts are the only place to argue this claim.
"The claims we're bringing cannot be heard in the Israeli courts - they are what are called non-justiciable issues," Schaeffer said in an interview on the steps of the Montreal courthouse Thursday.
"Israel is not willing to listen to an argument that it has violated international law by building settlements. It considers settlements a political discussion not up for a legal debate."
The lawsuit uses the 2000 Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act to appeal to international and Canadian laws which prohibit foreign powers from settling civilians in territory acquired through war.
The legislation also applies to those who aid foreign nations, Schaeffer said.
Israeli courts have said the land being used for the development is state land and, as such, means Israel has acquired title and property rights.
Lawyers for the villagers see things differently.
"What we're saying is international law doesn't recognize Israel's law in the occupied territories," said Schaeffer, who will assist Canadian lawyer Mark Arnold in making the village's case.
Israel has had a sizable military presence in the West Bank since the end of the 1967 war and has been accused of being an occupying power.
An estimated 40,000 settlers live on land that Bilin and other neighbouring villages claim belong to them. Schaeffer said approximately 42 buildings have been constructed on land belonging specifically to Bilin, housing about 1,000 families.
She says 16 of those buildings have been constructed by the two Canadian firms.
Schaeffer says that pre-1967, extensive documentation shows the land was under the municipal control of Bilin with private pieces connected to specific families.
Green Mount International and Green Park International are both registered to the same Montreal-area woman, according to Quebec's registry of companies.
But very little is known about the companies and Levy declined to say who owns them.
Schaeffer is embarking on a cross-Canada tour trying to raise awareness about Bilin. She is supposed to be joined by Mohammed Al-Khatib of Bilin, but he hasn't yet been granted a visa.(And my bet says that Canada won't give him one either, As the Zionists control Canadas borders)
"The question is just whether Canadian courts will take on this kind of case given its political, controversial nature," she said. linky link
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