On the contradictory claims that Mitzpe Shalem is situated
in "undisputed territory," that Mitzpe
Shalem is "not an illegal settlement," that
Mitzpe Shalem does not violate international law, specifically
because "there is no recognized right of any peoples
other than Israel to the West Bank," and that "sovereignty
over the West Bank has been in dispute for more than 60
"Ahava does not interfere with the
Palestinian population. Mitzpe Shalem is situated in
an unpopulated area in undisputed territory in the Judea
Desert, and there are no Palestinians residing in the
vicinity of Mitzpe Shalem."
"Mitzpe Shalem is not an illegal settlement.
Ahava's manufacturing facility is located at Kibbutz
Mitzpe Shalem, on the North-Western shore of the Dead
Sea, just 6 miles north of the "Green Line",
within the area usually referred as the West Bank."
"Ahava's use of the Mitzpe Shalem
facility is legal and does not violate any provision
of International Law, especially as there is no recognized
right of any peoples other than Israel to the West Bank."
"The sovereignty over the West Bank
has been in dispute for more than 60 years. It is expected
that the future of the West Bank, and in particular
of that part where Mitzpe Shalem is situated, will be
finally decided as part of the negotiations between
Israel and the Palestinians."
statements by Ellis are factually inaccurate and contradictory.
The West Bank has been occupied by Israel since the
1967 war. Numerous United Nations resolutions and the
ruling of the International Court of Justice in 2004
affirmed the Israeli Occupation of the West Bank and
Gaza Strip. Also Israel's own Supreme Court stated in
2004 that Israel was holding the area "in
belligerent occupation." As an occupied territory,
the West Bank and its Palestinian residents are protected
by the Geneva Conventions.
All Israeli settlements in the West Bank, including
Mitzpe Shalem and Kalia, are illegal under international
law. Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention states
that, "The Occupying Power shall not deport or
transfer parts of its own civilian population in the
territory it occupies." Ahava's manufacturing plant
and visitors center are located at Mitzpe Shalem. Ahava
labels its goods as "products of Israel" when
in fact they are made in the Occupied West Bank. This
labeling is under investigation in the U.K., and activists
in France have filed suit against Sephora for carrying
these products because of Ahava's illegal practices.
The settlements of Mitzpe Shalem and Kalia are cooperatives
owned by the settlers living in them, and together they
own 44% of Ahava. Both of these settlements are deep
inside Palestinian territory. Mitzpe Shalem is about
9 km from the Green Line and Kalia is 30 km from the
Green line. Ahava profits are therefore subsidizing
these illegal settlements and their residents. According
to mapping done by Adalah, The Legal Center for Arab
Minority Rights in Israel (www.adalah.org), formerly
there were a few Palestinian communities on the lands
on which these two settlements are located: Nabi Musa
where Kalia is now situated and 'Arab al-Ta'amira near
Despite Yaacov Ellis's claims to the contrary,
Ahava Dead Sea Laboratories is an Israeli profiteer
in Occupied Palestine.