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The following is the Parliamentary State Secretary in the German Foreign Ministry, WolfRuthart Born's answer (December 23, 2010

) to written questions posed by Heike Hänsel, MP of the party DIE LINKE ( "Left Party") in the German Bundestag. Dear Madam, I will answer your question: How does the German government appraise the assessments by diverse Israeli human rights organizations (including Bat Shalom, Machsom Watch, Women in Black), that the construction of the rapid rail transit A1, linking Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, as well as the participation of the German state enterprise, DB Mobility Logistics AG, with its subsidiary DB International, are in violation of international law, since the high-speed transit crosses occupied Palestinian West Bank territory but is destined for the exclusive use of Israeli citizens and not for the Palestinian population living along the transit route? as follows: The German government considers that, in the occupied territories, Israel is bound by the terms of Humanitarian International Law, particularly the Convention respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land (The Hague, Oct. 18. 1907) and the Convention (IV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War (Geneva, Aug. 12. 1949). Therefore, the power occupying the occupied territories is to be seen as merely an administrator and beneficiary of public buildings and property. It is supposed to insure the continued existence of this property and administer it in accordance with the rules of usufruct. In addition, the occupying power is forbidden from confiscating private property. The international legality of the construction of a rapid transit rail line between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem must be assessed in accordance with these criteria. The German government views any measures with concern that render the realization of a two-state solution more difficult. I will answer your question: In the case that the German government concludes that the construction of the rapid rail transit A1 is indeed in violation of international law, does it, as owner of the DB AG, intend to renounce its participation in the construction of the rapid transit A1 through Palestinian territory, to re-enter the bounds of legality? as follows: The German government expects that all enterprises respect the laws in effect and international law as well as human rights. The responsibility for abiding by laws is primarily in the hands of the board of directors or the administration. In accordance with company law, they are in charge of operating businesses. If there is a suspicion of a violation of the law in enterprises, where the government is a shareholder, the government will use its vested powers as proprietor, as well as exert its influence through its representatives on the supervisory board to clear up the issue and if necessary to put a halt to the violations. Yours truly, Wolf-R. Born
( / English Translation: George Pumphrey) 1