|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Statement by Bureau of Committee on Exercise of Inalienable Rights of Palestinian
People on Situation 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:
The Bureau of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People condemns the continuing Israeli military raids in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, which escalated into a massive onslaught on the civilian population after three Israeli settlers went missing on 12 June in the occupied West Bank.
The Bureau joins the international condemnation of this abduction, including by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. It wishes to remind Israel, at the same time, that it bears full responsibility for the security of those Israeli citizens that it has illegally transferred to the territory it occupies. Moreover, as the Committee has repeatedly stated, these population transfers constitute a clear violation of article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which states, “The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies”. Currently more than half a million Israelis live in some 150 illegal settlements scattered around the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, built on land confiscated from Palestinians.
The incident and the Israeli reaction shed a new light on the oppressive Israeli policies and actions in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. The recent onslaught resulted in the killing of more than five Palestinian civilians, including a 15-year-old boy, the injuring of more than 100, including at least 28 children, and the collective punishment of the entire civilian population under its occupation, including the restriction of movement imposed on 800,000 Palestinians residing in Hebron. Israel has arrested more than 550 Palestinians during the operation that started on 13 June, and the total number of administrative detainees in Israeli prisons increased from approximately 190 to at least 340.
After more than two weeks of heavy-handed Israeli military operations in the West Bank against the civilian population, mass arrests, closures and intimidation it became obvious that the actual goal of these actions has been to undermine the recently formed Palestinian National Consensus Government, welcomed by the vast majority of the international community, including this Committee.
The Bureau of the Committee condemns the Israeli policies of collective punishment against the Palestinian people, as they manifest themselves in the recent clampdown in the West Bank, but also in the illegal, inhumane blockade of the Gaza Strip, now in its eighth year. It reiterates its condemnation of all acts of violence against civilians, including rocket fire from Gaza into Israel and the harsh retaliation by Israel resulting in the killing and maiming of Palestinian civilians in the Strip.
The Bureau of the Committee calls upon the international community to adopt concerted action to stop Israel’s illegal and provocative actions. It regrets that the Security Council has been unable to uphold its responsibility to act as the guardian of international peace and security and to act decisively against the violation of its numerous resolutions on the conflict. The Bureau calls for the reconvening of the Conference of the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to deal with the violations of its provisions against the State of Palestine, a State party to the Convention. Only serious collective action by the international community will compel Israel to abide by its obligations as the occupying Power. Israel has to cease all acts of collective punishment against the Palestinians, including the blockade of Gaza. It has to respect the right of self-determination of the Palestinian people and its other inalienable rights. Only then, efforts to resume the political process and to lead it to a successful settlement of all permanent status issues will have a chance of success.
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