Volume XXXVII, Bulletin No. 3
on action by the United Nations system and
relevant to the question of Palestine
Bureau of Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People issues statement on the situation in Jerusalem
Quartet holds conference on Initiative for the Palestinian Economy
Deputy Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process issues statement ont he death of Palestinians in recent security-related incidents
Secretary-General condemns rocket attacks on Israel from Gaza
Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs briefs Security Council on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question
UN International Meeting on the Question of Palestine convenes in Quito
Human Rights Council adopts three resolutions on the human rights situation in Palestine
Deputy Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process calls for immediate halt to demolitions in East Jerusalem
The Bulletin can be found in the United Nations Information System
on the Question of Palestine (UNISPAL) on the Internet at:
I. BUREAU OF COMMITTEE ON THE EXERCISE OF THE INALIENABLE RIGHTS OF THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE
ISSUES STATEMENT ON THE SITUATION IN JERUSALEM
On 5 March 2014, the Bureau of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People issued the following statement (GA/PAL/1287):
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 is alarmed by recent developments and increased tensions in Occupied East Jerusalem.
We are particularly concerned by the increasing incursions by Israeli extremists and political leaders, including Government officials, on the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound. These incidents provoke Palestinian and other Muslim worshippers and often lead to clashes, in which Palestinian civilians are injured, tear-gassed and detained. In another worrying development, the Knesset recently began a debate on a bill to impose “Israeli sovereignty” over Al-Haram Al-Sharif. Such actions with regard to this highly sensitive area provoke the Palestinians and may also be perceived as serious acts of incitement in the wider region. Moreover, these actions undermine the current negotiations process, threatening the prospects for peace.
These recent actions are indicative of a strategy aimed at altering the legal, demographic, physical and cultural character of East Jerusalem. Such actions are clearly prohibited under international law. House demolitions, evictions, land expropriation and the revocation of residency rights of Palestinian Jerusalemites are also on the increase. In 2013, 565 structures were demolished in East Jerusalem, displacing 298 Palestinians, including many women and children. Palestinians are permitted to build in only 14 per cent of East Jerusalem, and a third of Palestinian land in East Jerusalem has been expropriated since 1967. In the same period, the residency status of more than 14,000 Palestinians has been revoked by Israel.
Moreover, the wall, a vast system of checkpoints and the imposition of a strict “entry permit” regime have effectively cut off East Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank, restricting Palestinian movement, fragmenting the Palestinian Territory and exacerbating the already dire economic and social conditions of Palestinian residents.
Israel also continues to construct settlements in East Jerusalem, in violation of international law and in defiance of the international community’s repeated calls for ending such illegal acts. Since the resumption of peace talks last July, Israel announced construction plans for more than 5,000 new settlement units in Palestinian neighbourhoods in the city.
The Bureau of the Committee wishes to reaffirm that East Jerusalem remains an integral part of the Occupied Palestinian Territory and is subject to the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention, as affirmed by numerous Security Council and General Assembly resolutions. Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention clearly states: “The occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.”
The question of East Jerusalem is a crucial permanent status issue. A sovereign, contiguous and viable State of Palestine, with East Jerusalem as its capital and with arrangements for the holy sites acceptable to all, is a core requirement for the achievement of a just and lasting peace.
The Bureau of the Committee calls on the Security Council to act without delay to address these alarming developments, which are in defiance of the Council’s resolutions, including 252 (1968), 267 (1969), 271 (1969), 298 (1971), 476 (1980), 478 (1980), 672 (1990) and 1073 (1996). The Bureau also calls on the Security Council to continue monitoring violations of the aforementioned resolutions and to act accordingly for their implementation.
The Committee will continue to carry out its mandated work until the question of Palestine is resolved in all its aspects. It calls on the international community to do its utmost to make 2014, the International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, a decisive year in achieving the freedom and national rights of the Palestinian people and a peaceful solution to the conflict in all its aspects. The Committee will revisit this important issue at its upcoming Joint Meeting with the League of Arab States on 10 March 2014.
II. QUARTET HOLDS CONFERENCE ON THE INITIATIVE FOR THE PALESTINIAN ECONOMY
The Quartet on 9 March 2014 held a conference to discuss the Initiative for the Palestinian Economy. A press release issued by the Office of the Quartet Representative is reproduced below:
Over 100 people attended a major conference in Prague this weekend to discuss an economic initiative designed to bring about transformative change and substantial growth in the Palestinian economy and create hundreds of thousands of new jobs.
The Initiative for the Palestinian Economy (IPE) is an ambitious, multi-year plan drafted by a team of policy advisors, external economic analysts and international domain experts under the leadership of Quartet Representative Tony Blair in support of renewed Palestinian-Israeli political negotiations.
Quartet Representative Tony Blair and former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright co-chaired the event. The conference was convened by the Aspen Institute, Partners for a New Beginning, the Office of the Quartet Representative, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Middle East Commercial Center, and UCLA’s Center for Mideast Development.
Speaking at Saturday’s opening event, Tony Blair said that the potential of the Palestinian economy is enormous. He explained that the initiative goes into “granular detail” that “sets out what we need from the private sector, the international financial institutions, and the governments” of Israel and the Palestinians. He added that what is now needed are measures that “improve not just the economy in the most basic sense, but also the economy in the sense that people feel that Palestinian statehood can become a reality because they see around them the developments within the Palestinian territories that are consistent with statehood.” He explained that the initiative is “not just about improving GDP and jobs, but also about removing restrictions, giving businesses a greater ability to be entrepreneurial, and for the Palestinian Authority to be in a situation that it can run its own affairs.”
Albright Stonebridge Group Chair Madeleine Albright told participants: “To give you all an idea of why we’re here, less than a year ago, Partners for a New Beginning had a meeting with Secretary Kerry about our work and what we could do to support investment in the Palestinian private sector, given its priority. His message to us was clear: work with Blair and the Quartet, and work with the Palestinians. And so, in the past six months, PNB has redoubled its efforts to align priorities with Tony [Blair] and his team under the banner of the Initiative for the Palestinian Economy, working alongside the Palestinian public sector and business community to drive investment in high growth sectors outlined by the IPE.”
Deputy Palestinian Prime Minister Dr Mohammed Mustafa told participants: “The exercise today is first and foremost the story of the Palestinian economy, specifically about the unrealized potential of this economy. We have all the ingredients of a very successful and prosperous economy.” He discussed the “difficult and challenging conditions on the ground in the absence of independence,” and said the delegates had “our full commitment to work with you as a serious, committed partner, to make sure this vision is implemented and the economic benefits are realized.”
Following welcome remarks by U.S. Ambassador to the Czech Republic Norman Eisen, Aspen Institute President and CEO, Walter Isaacson, moderated a roundtable discussion between Dr Mustafa, Mr Blair and U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Anne Patterson on the potential benefits of the IPE. Participants heard that the plan focuses on catalyzing private sector-led growth in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip, and covers eight key economic sectors: construction, building materials, agriculture, tourism, information and communication technology, energy, water, and light manufacturing.
Blair explained that the initiative is a complementary process to the political negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA), led by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, and is not a substitute.
The Prague event brought together international businesspeople, investors, financiers, Palestinian Authority officials, and key figures in the Palestinian private sector for the first conference dedicated to this major international initiative to boost the Palestinian economy. For more on the initiative, please see here.
Among the international organizations present were Microsoft, Coca-Cola, Goldman Sachs, Honeywell, Morgan Stanley, General Electric, Cisco and OPIC, the U.S. Government’s development finance institution.
Plenary sessions looked at cross-cutting issues such as investment challenges and opportunities, as well as risk mitigation. A session on the construction sector discussed critical infrastructure and urban development investments, as well as plans that will underpin and help sustain growth in the Palestinian economy. Focused breakout sessions brought together Palestinian businesses with potential international investors for in-depth discussions on sectors such as information and communications technologies, tourism and agriculture.
III. DEPUTY SPECIAL COORDINATOR FOR THE MIDDLE EAST PEACE PROCESS
ISSUES STATEMENT ON THE DEATH OF PALESTINIANS IN RECENT SECURITY-RELATED INCIDENTS
The following statement was issued on 11 March 2014 in Jerusalem by the United Nations Deputy Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Mr. James W. Rawley:
The Deputy Special Coordinator is deeply concerned by reports that three Palestinians died in separate security-related incidents in the West Bank within a 24-hour period, including two shot dead. We urge that thorough investigations be conducted into all such cases, welcoming steps taken to this effect, and that accountability for any violations of international law be ensured. We call on all concerned to demonstrate restraint and work towards de-escalating tensions.
IV. SECRETARY-GENERAL CONDEMNS ROCKET ATTACKS ON ISRAEL FROM GAZA
On 12 March 2014 UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon issued the following statement (SG/SM/15705):
The Secretary-General strongly condemns the multiple rocket attacks today on Israel from Gaza, for which Islamic Jihad has claimed responsibility. While reports of damage and injuries are still being ascertained, the Secretary-General deplores the severe escalation of violence. He urges all actors to exercise maximum restraint to prevent further incidents that could bring greater escalation and destabilisation in the region.
V. UNDER-SECRETARY-GENERAL FOR POLITICAL AFFAIRS BRIEFS SECURITY COUNCIL
ON THE SITUATION IN THE MIDDLE EAST, INCLUDING THE PALESTINIAN QUESTION
On 18 March 2014 Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman briefed the Security Council on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question. The following are excerpts from the briefing (S/PV.7140):
We meet today against the backdrop of last week’s dangerous escalation in Gaza and Israel that concluded with a fragile calm. That latest upsurge serves to underscore the fact that the status quo is not sustainable.
Eight months since the resumption of talks between Israelis and Palestinians, United States-led efforts to present a basis for continued negotiations are ongoing. We are yet again approaching some decisive timelines. Leaders on both sides are confronted with difficult decisions. Public support for peace among Israelis and among Palestinians — Palestinians both in the West Bank and in Gaza — will be tested.
The international community’s commitment to engage in those efforts on the basis of existing principles has remained steadfast. On 3 and 17 March, the United States President met individually with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and Palestinian President Abbas in Washington, D.C.; Secretary Kerry met with President Abbas in that city on 16 March and with the King of Jordan in the first week of March. In late February and earlier this month, Chancellor Merkel and Prime Minister Cameron made visits to Israel and Palestine and impressed upon their interlocutors the importance of progress on the peace track. Meeting in Cairo on 9 March, the Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the League of Arab States reinforced their position that all final status issues be addressed in line with principles outlined in the relevant Security Council resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative. Quartet envoys also continued their internal consultations and met separately with the parties.
We have stressed before the importance of tangible steps to improve socioeconomic conditions on the ground, which must go hand in hand with and reinforce the political process. The urgent need for progress in that regard was acknowledged at a conference in Prague on 8 to 9 March. Jointly organized by the Quartet representative and the United States Secretary of State, the conference brought together approximately 100 international business people, Palestinian Authority officials and key figures in the Palestinian private sector. Early estimates suggest that economic activity weakened in 2013 in both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The International Monetary Fund projects only a 2.5 per cent increase in real gross domestic product in 2014, well below the growth needed to absorb new job seekers. Unemployment reached 23.4 per cent last year — the highest level since 2010. In February, the Palestinian Cabinet approved a $4.2 billion budget for 2014, reflecting a 9 per cent increase from 2013. The 2014 budget presents a current deficit of $1.3 billion and development financing needs of $333 million.
Worrying trends continued in the West Bank. Israeli security forces carried out 292 search-and-arrest operations. Three Palestinians were shot dead by Israeli forces: a Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine activist killed on 27 February in Birzeit, near Ramallah; a civilian Jordanian citizen killed at the Allenby crossing to Jordan on 10 March; and a Palestinian civilian killed that same day near the illegal settlement outpost of Givat Assaf near Ramallah. Subsequent to Prime Minister Netanyahu’s expression of regret to King Abdullah of Jordan last week, Israeli President Shimon Peres offered his deepest condolences and regret to Jordan on behalf of Israel over last week’s shooting at the Allenby crossing. We continue to urge investigations into all such incidents and note that agreement has been reached to establish a joint Israeli-Jordanian investigation into the Allenby Bridge shooting.
A total of 325 Palestinians were arrested, including an alleged Izz el-Deen al-Qassam Brigades leader in Hebron on 4 March, and 128 Palestinians were injured. An Israeli soldier was also injured. Clashes also continued in and around refugee camps, in particular in Al-Jalazun camp near Ramallah, and during demonstrations against the barrier.
In five instances, Palestinian security forces defused unexploded ordnance in different parts of the West Bank between 3 and 6 March. On 5 March, they reportedly took into custody and handed over to Israeli security forces an Israeli settler detained by Palestinian farmers while uprooting olive trees near Nablus.
Settler attacks resulted in eight Palestinians injured, including two children. On 2 March, a settler vehicle reportedly fatally struck a 66-year-old Palestinian near Ramallah. Settler attacks also resulted in damage to Palestinian property. Approximately 390 trees and saplings were reportedly vandalized, including about 180 olive trees uprooted near Qalqiliya on 2 March. On 26 February, Palestinian stone- and Molotov-cocktail-throwing attacks resulted in injuries to three settlers near Nablus and material damage to vehicles, including to the vehicle of an Israeli Knesset member near Nablus on 9 March.
The Israel Central Bureau of Statistics stated on 3 March that construction in the settlements more than doubled in 2013 as compared to 2012. We are also concerned about any movement towards approval of settlement projects in East Jerusalem. Continued settlement activity in the occupied Palestinian territory is contrary to international law and an obstacle to peace.
Demolitions continued on a smaller scale as compared to the previous reporting period. Eight structures, including five residences, were demolished in East Jerusalem, displacing 23 people, including 12 children. We are concerned that, in late February, the Israeli authorities issued stop-work orders against 18 residential and livelihood-related structures in the Bedouin community of Jabal Al-Baba, which was funded by international donors to support the vulnerable community. Over 85 per cent of the residents in that area are refugees. We reiterate the importance of Palestinian access to a fair planning and zoning system.
Tensions continued to increase with respect to the Temple Mount/Haram Al-Sharif. A debate on whether to extend Israeli sovereignty over the Temple Mount/ Haram Al-Sharif on 25 February in the Israeli Knesset plenary, which concluded without action, was followed by clashes on the ground and by strong Palestinian and Jordanian opposition. We call on all parties to show the utmost restraint regarding the holy compound. Provocative acts from any quarter must cease, and the sanctity of holy sites of all faiths must be fully respected. The Secretary-General underscores that incitement, whatever its source, poisons the atmosphere for peace. He calls upon Israeli and Palestinian leaders to exercise their responsibilities in halting incitement.
We remain concerned about the health of eight Palestinian prisoners on ongoing hunger strike protesting their administrative detention, five of whom are currently in Israeli hospitals. Administrative detainees should be either charged or released. We have also seen reports that additional Palestinian prisoners and detainees, who had previously announced the start of a hunger strike to begin today, have called off that strike.
Turning to Gaza, the underpinnings of the ceasefire understanding continued to be undermined. As mentioned earlier, a dangerous escalation of violence took place between 11 and 13 March. More than 70 rockets and 5 mortar shells were indiscriminately fired towards Israel, the majority of which were claimed by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Over 50 landed in Israel, fortunately without resulting in injuries. Israel conducted 15 airstrikes on Gaza in March, resulting in the death of 5 militants reportedly affiliated with the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and injuries to 5 Palestinian civilians. A 57-year-old Palestinian woman was shot dead by Israeli forces on 28 February during a protest in the vicinity of the border fence, and another two Palestinian civilians were injured in similar circumstances. The Secretary-General strongly condemned the firing of multiple rockets into Israel and called on all actors to exercise maximum restraint. He also deplores the loss of civilian life under any circumstances.
On 5 March, Israeli naval forces intercepted a ship in the Red Sea allegedly transporting arms from Iran to the Gaza Strip. The cargo reportedly included 40 M-302 rockets with a range of up to 160 kilometres and 181 mortar shells and approximately 400,000 7.62-calibre rounds. We condemn all illegal weapons smuggling and call for the full implementation of resolutions 1850 (2008) and 1860 (2009). If the allegations of arms shipments from Iran are true, that also appears to be a violation of resolution 1747 (2007).
At the same time, the economic and humanitarian situation continued to worsen in the context of a tightened access regime and violence, both severely affecting the lives of the population in Gaza. Compounding an already dire electricity situation, the near shutdown of Gaza’s only power plant was averted by another last-minute Qatari contribution of $32 million to procure industrial fuel for the plant. The Qatari contribution is expected to enable the Gaza power plant to continue generating some 55 megawatts daily for an additional 3 months. The current situation highlights the need to advance a sustainable structural solution to Gaza’s energy problems.
Gaza’s unemployment rate is 38.5 per cent. Extremely limited movement in and out of Gaza from the Erez and Rafah crossings continues to afflict the civilian population, including patients awaiting medical treatment. Recurrent drug and medical equipment shortages are affecting the Gaza medical system, further increasing the number of patients seeking referral outside for medical conditions that could have been treated inside Gaza, were supplies available. Approximately $250,000 per month would be required to cover the cost of those critical medical supplies. The United Nations is seeking donors’ assistance to establish an emergency medical safety net while urging the Palestinian Authority and the de facto authorities in Gaza to develop a structural solution to the problem.
Meanwhile, work on previously commenced United Nations projects has not resumed as originally agreed to with the Israeli authorities, and about 15 projects, worth $14 million, remain stalled. Another 42 projects, valued at around $96 million, are still awaiting Israeli approval.
We fully recognize the complex security dimension of the situation in Gaza. However, the price should not be paid by the people of Gaza. In the context of deteriorating humanitarian and development conditions, the United Nations finds it increasingly difficult to provide assistance to the population of Gaza while restrictions on access, including for United Nations operations, persist and have even increased. We would like to call the attention of the Council to that unsustainable situation in the Gaza Strip and appeal to all parties concerned to contribute to alleviating the deteriorating conditions of the civilian population.
In conclusion, last week, with the situation in Gaza, we came very close to the brink of another crisis in an already volatile region. We should take that as yet another reminder of the need to work together to restore prospects for a durable regional peace. The Middle East still faces an unpredictable future with multiple sources of uncertainty. What is certain, however, is that the Arab-Israeli conflict cannot be ignored in shaping the future constructively. The Secretary-General remains convinced that a solution of the Palestinian-Israeli issue, in the form of a negotiated two-State solution, is the best contribution to regional stability that we can make at this time.
VI. UN INTERNATIONAL MEETING ON THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE CONVENES IN QUITO
On 25 and 26 March 2014, the United Nations International Meeting on the Question of Palestine “Engaging for peace – the International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People” convened in Quito, Ecuador. Representatives of governments, intergovernmental organizations, including various United Nations bodies, and civil society, together with expert speakers from Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Israel, Palestine and the United States shared their expertise at the meeting. The text of the Secretary-General’s address to meeting participants, as delivered by Oscar Fernandez-Taranco, Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs, is reproduced below (SG/SM/15727, GA/PAL/2171):
It is my pleasure to send greetings to all those taking part in the United Nations International Meeting on the Question of Palestine. I thank the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People for organizing this event, as well as the Government of Ecuador for hosting.
The United Nations General Assembly declared the year 2014 as the International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.
As the conflict in Syria continues and new peace and security emergencies arise around the globe, we must not be diverted from the urgent need to find a lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I am hopeful for the success of diplomatic efforts being spearheaded by the United States of America.
The United Nations remains committed to a peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine resulting in the two-State solution, with Israel and Palestine living side by side in peace and security within recognized, pre-1967 borders.
The current renewed round of peace negotiations has presented a rare and important opening to advance the two-State solution. I call on both parties to act to reach an agreement, even if it requires painful concessions. In seeking peace, we must focus also on the important efforts towards Palestinian economic revival.
I am encouraged by the commitment of Arab leaders to uphold the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative, which holds the promise of normalizing relations between the entire Arab region and Israel, in return for a comprehensive and just solution of the Arab-Israeli conflict.
At the same time, I remain deeply troubled by Israel’s rapidly expanding settlement activity in the West Bank, including in East Jerusalem. International law is clear: settlements are illegal and they also risk rendering a two-State solution impossible.
The situation in East Jerusalem is of particular concern. Increasing incidents at Temple Mount/Haram al Sharif, as well as the recent Israeli Knesset debate on a bill to impose “Israeli sovereignty” over Temple Mount/Haram al Sharif are deeply troubling. Such actions with regard to this highly sensitive issue may be perceived as serious acts of incitement in the wider region. Moreover, these actions undermine the current negotiations process, threatening the prospects for peace.
I am deeply concerned by the recent escalation of violence between Gaza and Israel and the unacceptable rocket firing into civilian areas, which seriously risks undermining the fragile ceasefire with Israel. I call for maximum restraint by all sides to allow the implementation of the Agreement on Movement and Access and Security Council resolution 1860 (2009).
I am hopeful that the International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People will help to create an environment favourable for fulfilling the collective international responsibility towards the Palestinian people and their free and prosperous future.
Please accept my best wishes for a successful meeting.
VII. HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL ADOPTS RESOLUTIONS ON THE HUMAN RIGHTS SITUATION IN PALESTINE
During its twenty-fifth regular session, which concluded on 28 March 2014, the Human Rights Council considered and adopted four resolutions on the Human Rights Situation in Palestine and other Occupied Arab Territories. The texts of the three adopted resolutions on Palestine entitled – Right of the Palestinian people to self-determination; Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan; Follow-up to the report of the United Nations Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict, are reproduced below:
25/… Right of the Palestinian people to self-determination
The Human Rights Council,
Guided by the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, in particular the provisions of Articles 1 and 55 thereof, which affirm the right of peoples to self-determination, and reaffirming the need for the scrupulous respect of the principle of refraining in international relations from the threat or use of force, as specified in the Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation among States in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, adopted by the General Assembly in its resolution 2625 (XXV) of 24 October 1970,
Guided also by the provisions of article 1 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and article 1 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which affirm that all peoples have the right to self-determination,
Guided further by the International Covenants on Human Rights, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples and by the provisions of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, adopted on 25 June 1993 by the World Conference on Human Rights,1 and in particular Part I, paragraphs 2 and 3, relating to the right of self-determination of all peoples and especially those subject to foreign occupation,
Recalling General Assembly resolutions 181 A and B (II) of 29 November 1947 and 194 (III) of 11 December 1948, as well as all other resolutions that confirm and define the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, particularly their right to self-determination,
Recalling also Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) of 22 November 1967, 338 (1973) of 22 October 1973, 1397 (2002) of 12 March 2002 and 1402 (2002) of 30 March 2002,
Taking note of General Assembly resolution 67/19 of 29 November 2012,
Recalling the conclusion of the International Court of Justice, in its advisory opinion of 9 July 2004, that the construction of the wall by Israel, the occupying Power, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, along with measures previously taken, severely impedes the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination,
Recalling also the resolutions adopted in this regard by the Commission on Human Rights, the last of which was resolution 2005/1 of 7 April 2005,
Reaffirming the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination in accordance with the provisions of the Charter, relevant United Nations resolutions and declarations, and the provisions of international covenants and instruments relating to the right to self-determination as an international principle and as a right of all peoples in the world, and emphasizing that this jus cogens norm of international law is a basic prerequisite for achieving a just, lasting and comprehensive peace in the region of the Middle East,
Affirming the applicability of the principle of permanent sovereignty over natural resources to the Palestinian situation as an integral component of the right to self-determination,
Noting the decision of the General Assembly, in its resolution 68/12 of 26 November 2013, to proclaim 2014 the International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, and reaffirming that the United Nations will continue to be engaged on the question of Palestine until the question is resolved in all its aspects in accordance with international law,
1. Reaffirms the inalienable, permanent and unqualified right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, including their right to live in freedom, justice and dignity, and to establish their sovereign, independent, democratic and viable contiguous State;
2. Also reaffirms its support for the solution of two States, Palestine and Israel, living side by side in peace and security;
3. Stresses the need for respect for and preservation of the territorial unity, contiguity and integrity of all of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem;
4. Confirms that the right of the Palestinian people to permanent sovereignty over their natural wealth and resources must be used in the interest of their national development, the well-being of the Palestinian people and as part of the realization of their right to self-determination;
5. Urges all Member States and relevant bodies of the United Nations system to support and assist the Palestinian people in the early realization of their right to self-determination;
6. Decides to continue the consideration of this question at its twenty-eighth session.
Adopted by 46 in favour,
1 against and no abstentions
25/… Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan
The Human Rights Council,
Guided by the principles of the Charter of the United Nations and affirming the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force,
Reaffirming that all States have an obligation to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms, as stated in the Charter and as elaborated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenants on Human Rights and other applicable instruments,
Recalling the relevant resolutions of the Commission on Human Rights, the Human Rights Council, the Security Council and the General Assembly reaffirming, inter alia, the illegality of the Israeli settlements in the occupied territories, including in East Jerusalem,
Recalling also Human Rights Council resolution 19/17 of 22 March 2012, in which the Council decided to establish an independent international fact-finding mission to investigate the implications of the Israeli settlements on the human rights of the Palestinian people throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem,
Mindful that Israel is a party to the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, which is applicable de jure to Palestinian and all Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967, including East Jerusalem and the Syrian Golan, and recalling the declaration adopted by the Conference of High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention, held in Geneva on 5 December 2001,
Considering that the transfer by the occupying Power of parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies constitutes a breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention and relevant provisions of customary law, including those codified in Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949,
Recalling the advisory opinion rendered on 9 July 2004 by the International Court of Justice on the Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, and recalling also General Assembly resolutions ES-10/15 of 20 July 2004 and ES-10/17 of 15 December 2006,
Noting that the International Court of Justice concluded that the Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, had been established in breach of international law,
Taking note of the recent relevant reports of the Secretary-General, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories and the treaty bodies monitoring compliance with the human rights treaties to which Israel is a party, as well as the recent reports of the Special Rapporteur of the Human Rights Council on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967,
Taking note also of the report of the independent international fact-finding mission to investigate the implications of the Israeli settlements on the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of the Palestinian people throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem,1
Affirming that the Israeli settlement activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, undermine regional and international efforts aimed at the realization of the two-State solution of Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security within recognized borders, on the basis of the pre-1967 borders,
Recalling the Quartet road map to a permanent two-State solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and emphasizing specifically the Quartet’s call for a freeze on all settlement activity, including so-called natural growth, and the dismantlement of all settlement outposts erected since March 2001, and the need for Israel to uphold its obligations and commitments in this regard,
Taking note of General Assembly resolution 67/19 of 29 November 2012, by which, inter alia, Palestine was accorded the status of non-member observer State in the United Nations, and taking note of the follow-up report thereon of the Secretary-General,2
Aware that Israeli settlement activities involve, inter alia, the transfer of nationals of the occupying Power into the occupied territories, the confiscation of land, the forced displacement of Palestinian civilians, including Bedouin families, the exploitation of natural resources and other actions against the Palestinian civilian population and the civilian population in the occupied Syrian Golan that are contrary to international law,
Expressing grave concern at the continuation by Israel, the occupying Power, of settlement activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in East Jerusalem, in violation of international humanitarian law, relevant United Nations resolutions, the agreements reached between the parties and obligations under the Quartet road map, and in defiance of the calls by the international community to cease all settlement activities,
Expressing grave concern in particular at the construction and expansion by Israel of settlements in and around occupied East Jerusalem, including its so-called E-1 plan, which aims to connect its illegal settlements around and further isolate occupied East Jerusalem, thus threatening the creation of a contiguous Palestinian State, as well as at the continuing demolition of Palestinian homes and eviction of Palestinian families from the city, the revocation of Palestinian residency rights in the city, and ongoing settlement activities in the Jordan Valley,
Expressing grave concern at the continuing construction, contrary to international law, by Israel of the wall inside the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, and expressing its concern in particular at the route of the wall in departure from the Armistice Line of 1949, which is causing humanitarian hardship and a serious decline in socioeconomic conditions for the Palestinian people, is fragmenting the territorial contiguity of the Territory and undermining its viability, and could prejudge future negotiations and make the two-State solution physically impossible to implement,
Deeply concerned that the wall’s route has been traced in such a way as to include the great majority of the Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem,
Deploring settlement activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan, as well as any activities involving the confiscation of land, the disruption of the livelihood of protected persons, the forced displacement of civilians and the de facto annexation of land,
Gravely concerned at the rising number of incidents of violence, destruction, harassment, provocation and incitement by extremist Israeli settlers in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, against Palestinian civilians, including children, and their properties, including historic and religious sites, and agricultural lands,
Aware of the detrimental impact of the Israeli settlements on Palestinian and other Arab natural resources, especially as a result of the confiscation of land and the forced diversion of water resources, including the destruction of orchards and crops and the seizure of water wells by Israeli settlers, and of the dire socioeconomic consequences in this regard,
Recalling Human Rights Council resolution 22/29 of 22 March 2013, in follow-up to the report of the independent international fact-finding mission to investigate the implications of Israeli settlements on the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of the Palestinian people throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem,
Recalling the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights,3 annex. which place responsibilities on all business enterprises to respect human rights by, inter alia, refraining from contributing to human rights abuses arising from conflict, and urge States to provide adequate assistance to business enterprises to assess and address the heightened risks of abuses in conflict-affected areas,
Reaffirming the fact that the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War undertook to respect and ensure respect for the Convention in all circumstances, and that States should not recognize an unlawful situation arising from breaches of peremptory norms of international law,
Emphasizing the importance for States to act in accordance with their own national legislation on promoting compliance with international humanitarian law with regard to business activities that result in human rights abuses,
Expressing its concern at the failure of Israel, the occupying Power, to cooperate fully with the relevant United Nations mechanisms, in particular the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian Territories occupied since 1967,
1. Reaffirms that the Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan are illegal and an obstacle to peace and economic and social development;
2. Calls upon Israel to accept the de jure applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and to the occupied Syrian Golan, to abide scrupulously by the provisions of the Convention, in particular article 49 thereof, and to comply with all its obligations under international law and cease immediately all actions causing the alteration of the character, status and demographic composition of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the occupied Syrian Golan;
3. Demands that Israel, the occupying Power, immediately and completely cease all of its settlement activities in all of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan, and calls in this regard for the full implementation of all relevant resolutions of the Security Council, including, inter alia, resolutions 446 (1979) of 22 March 1979, 452 (1979) of 20 July 1979, 465 (1980) of 1 March 1980, 476 (1980) of 30 June 1980 and 1515 (2003) of 19 November 2003;
4. Demands that Israel, the occupying Power, comply fully with its legal obligations, as mentioned in the advisory opinion rendered on 9 July 2004 by the International Court of Justice;
5. Condemns the continuing settlement and related activities by Israel, including the expansion of settlements, the expropriation of land, the demolition of houses, the confiscation and destruction of property, the expulsion of Palestinians and the construction of bypass roads, which change the physical character and demographic composition of the occupied territories, including East Jerusalem and the Syrian Golan, and constitute a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, and in particular article 49 thereof;
6. Also condemns the recent Israeli announcements of the construction of new housing units for Israeli settlers in the West Bank and around occupied East Jerusalem, as they seriously undermine the peace process and jeopardize the ongoing efforts by the international community to reach a final settlement compliant with international legitimacy, including relevant United Nations resolutions, constitute a threat to the two-State solution and the creation of a contiguous, sovereign, independent Palestinian State, and are in violation of international law and would entail the forced transfer of Palestinian civilians, and calls upon Israel to immediately reverse its decisions;
7. Expresses its grave concern at: (a) The increasing number of newly built structures over the past years and to date, undermining the efforts of the international community to advance the Middle East peace process; (b) The implications for the final status negotiations of Israel’s announcement that it will retain the major settlement blocks in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including the settlements located in the Jordan Valley; (c) The expansion of Israeli settlements and the construction of new ones on the occupied Palestinian territory rendered inaccessible behind the wall, which create a fait accompli on the ground that could well be permanent, in which case, it would be tantamount to de facto annexation; (d) The operation by Israel of a tramway between West Jerusalem and the Israeli settlement of Pisgat Zeev, which is in clear violation of international law and relevant United Nations resolutions;
8. Calls upon Israel, the occupying Power: (a) To reverse the settlement policy in the occupied territories, including East Jerusalem and the Syrian Golan, and, as a first step towards their dismantlement, to stop immediately the expansion of existing settlements, including so-called natural growth and related activities, prevent any new installation of settlers in the occupied territories, including in East Jerusalem, and discard its E-1 plan; (b) To immediately cease construction of the new illegal settlement highway (the “Begin Highway”) in the neighbourhood of Beit Safafa in occupied East Jerusalem, which is in clear violation of international law; (c) To put an end to the human rights violations linked to the presence of settlements, especially of the right to self-determination, and fulfil its international obligations to provide effective remedy for victims; (d) To take immediate measures to prohibit and eradicate all policies or practices that discriminate against and disproportionately affect the Palestinian population in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, by, inter alia, putting an end to the system of separate roads for the exclusive use of Israeli settlers, who reside illegally in the said territory, to the complex combination of movement restrictions consisting of the wall, roadblocks and a permit regime that only affects the Palestinian population, and to the application of a two-tier legal system; (e) To put an end to measures resulting in the territorial fragmentation of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and which are isolating Palestinian communities into separate enclaves; (f) To take and implement serious measures, including confiscation of arms and enforcement of criminal sanctions, with the aim of ensuring full accountability for, and preventing, all acts of violence by Israeli settlers, and to take other measures to guarantee the safety and protection of Palestinian civilians and Palestinian properties in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem; (g) To bring a halt to all actions, including those perpetrated by Israeli settlers, harming the environment, including the dumping of all kinds of waste materials in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan, which gravely threaten their natural resources, namely water and land resources, and which pose an environmental, sanitation and health threat to the civilian populations;
9. Welcomes the adoption of the European Union Guidelines on the eligibility of Israeli entities and their activities in the territories occupied by Israel since June 1967 for grants, prizes and financial instruments funded by the European Union from 2014 onwards;
10. Encourages all States and international organizations to continue to actively pursue policies that ensure respect of their obligations under international law with regard to all illegal Israeli practices and measures in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, particularly Israeli settlements;
11. Urges all States: (a) To ensure that they are not taking actions that assist the expansion of settlements or construction of the wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem; (b) To implement the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights in relation to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and to take appropriate measures to encourage businesses domiciled in their territory and/or under their jurisdiction, including those owned or controlled by them, to refrain from committing or contributing to gross human rights abuses of Palestinians, in accordance with the expected standard of conduct in the Guiding Principles and relevant international laws and standards; (c) To provide information to individuals and businesses on the financial, reputational and legal risks, as well as the possible abuses of the rights of individuals, of getting involved in settlement-related activities, including economic and financial activities, the provision of services in settlements and the purchasing of property;
12. Requests that all parties concerned, including United Nations bodies, implement and ensure the implementation of the recommendations contained in the report of the independent international fact-finding mission to investigate the implications of Israeli settlements on the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of the Palestinian people throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and endorsed by the Human Rights Council through its resolution 22/29, in accordance with their respective mandates;
13. Calls upon the relevant United Nations bodies to take all necessary measures and actions within their mandates to ensure full respect for and compliance with Human Rights Council resolution 17/4 of 16 June 2011, on the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and other relevant international laws and standards, and to ensure the implementation of the United Nations “Protect, Respect and Remedy” Framework, which provides a global standard for upholding human rights in relation to business activities that are connected with Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem;
14. Welcomes the decision of the Working Group on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises to issue a statement before the twenty-sixth session of the Human Rights Council, in follow-up to Council resolution 22/29;
15. Requests the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to present a report detailing the implementation of the recommendations contained in the report of the independent fact-finding mission on the implications of Israeli settlements on the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of the Palestinian People throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, to the Human Rights Council at its twenty-eighth session;
16. Requests the Secretary-General to report on the implementation of the present resolution at its twenty-eighth session;
17. Decides to remain seized of the matter.
Adopted by 46 in favour,
1 against and no abstentions
25/… Follow-up to the report of the United Nations Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict
The Human Rights Council,
Recalling its relevant resolutions, including resolution S-9/1, adopted on 12 January 2009, and resolution S-12/1, adopted on 16 October 2010, in follow-up to the human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the report of the United Nations Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict,1
Recalling also the relevant rules and principles of international law, including international humanitarian and international human rights law, in particular the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, which is applicable to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem,
1. Renews its recommendation that the General Assembly remain apprised of the matter until it is satisfied that appropriate action with regard to implementing the recommendations contained in the report of the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict is taken at the domestic or international level in order to ensure justice for victims and accountability for perpetrators, and to remain also ready to consider whether additional action within its powers is required in the interests of justice;
2. Decides to remain seized of the matter.
Adopted by 46 in favour,
1 against and no abstentions
VIII. DEPUTY SPECIAL COORDINATOR FOR THE MIDDLE EAST PEACE PROCESS CALLS FOR
AN IMMEDIATE HALT TO DEMOLITIONS IN EAST JERUSALEM
The following press release was issued on 28 March 2014 in Jerusalem by the office of the United Nations Deputy Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Mr. James W. Rawley:
The United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator James W. Rawley today expressed concern over the Israeli authorities’ demolition of a two-story building in the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of At Tur on 26 March.
The building included two apartments, a mosque, and a medical centre. The demolition resulted in the displacement of a family of seven refugees, including five children, and directly affected 24 other Palestinians, including 10 children.
“I am deeply concerned about the ongoing displacement of Palestinians in East Jerusalem and destruction of their private property.” said Mr. Rawley. “These actions cause unnecessary humanitarian suffering and increase tension. They also run counter to Israel’s obligations under international law. Demolitions must halt until Palestinians have access to a fair planning and zoning regime that meets their needs.”
Building permits are extremely difficult for Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem to obtain. Some 35% of East Jerusalem land has been allocated for Israeli settlements, while only 13% is available for Palestinian development, much of it built up already.
Displacement rose significantly in East Jerusalem in 2013, with 298 Palestinians forcibly displaced from demolitions compared to 71 in 2012. Thus far in 2014, 85 Palestinians, including 45 children, have been displaced and an additional 93 have had their livelihoods affected.
Download Document Files: 14-57369f.pdf 14-57369s.pdf
Document Type: Bulletin, French text, Monthly Bulletin, Publication, Spanish text
Document Sources: Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (CEIRPP), Department of Political Affairs (DPA), Department of Public Information (DPI), Division for Palestinian Rights (DPR), Human Rights Council, Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Quartet, Security Council, United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for the OPT
Subject: Assistance, Economic issues, Human rights and international humanitarian law, Humanitarian relief, Inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, Living conditions, Middle East situation, Palestine question, Refugees and displaced persons, Settlements, Solidarity day
Publication Date: 31/03/2014