|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Statement by Bureau of Committee on Exercise of Inalienable Rights of Palestinian
People on Israel’s Settlement Activity in Occupied Palestinian Territory
The Bureau of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People issued the following statement today, 7 November:
The Bureau of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People condemns the continuing expansion of illegal Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, the latest example of which was the issuance of tenders to build 1,061 housing units in the West Bank and 1,225 in East Jerusalem on 3 and 4 November 2013.
Since the resumption of Israeli-Palestinian talks on 29 July 2013, the following have also been announced, approved or issued by Israel, the occupying Power: the construction of 230 units in the “Ma’on” settlement, tenders for the construction of 394 units in the West Bank, tenders for the construction of 793 units in East Jerusalem, a construction plan for 942 housing units in the “Gilo” settlement, and the construction of more than 1,500 settlement units in “Ramat Shlomo” in East Jerusalem. These illegal activities are seriously eroding the already-bleak prospect for realizing a two-State solution based on the 1967 borders.
All settlement activities constitute a gross violation of article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prohibits the occupying Power from transferring parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies. This has been reaffirmed in numerous Security Council and General Assembly resolutions and the 2004 Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice on the wall.
The international community does not recognize Israel’s annexation of East Jerusalem. The City is an integral part of the Occupied Palestinian Territory and subject to the Fourth Geneva Convention.
While Israel continues to transfer its own population into the Occupied Palestinian Territory, it relentlessly continues its illegal expulsion of the Palestinian population from East Jerusalem through home demolitions and residency rights revocations. The Bureau expresses its serious alarm at the recent issuance of demolition orders for 200 residential blocks in Ras Khamis and Ras Shahada in East Jerusalem, putting over 15,000 Palestinians at the risk of displacement. In August, the entire Bir Nabala Bedouin community in East Jerusalem was demolished, forcibly displacing 39 people, including 18 children. In 2013, at least 91 homes and structures have been demolished in East Jerusalem, displacing 265 people, in serious violation of international law. Furthermore, in Area C of in the West Bank, 451 homes and structures have been demolished in 2013, displacing 615 people.
The Bureau urges the Security Council to act decisively against the continuing disrespect by Israel for its resolutions and the systematic obstruction of the goals of the peace process. The Bureau calls for the reconvening of the Conference of the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention in order to address Israel’s continued violation of its provisions. The Bureau also expresses its support for European initiatives to put pressure on entities promoting the expansion of illegal settlements, and encourages all Governments to follow suit. The Committee stands ready to support the State of Palestine in employing all diplomatic, legal and political means to protect the territorial integrity and viability of the Palestinian land and safeguard the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, and to support all other initiatives in various international bodies to end Israel’s impunity and to bring it into compliance with international law and to salvage the prospects for peace.
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