Published in October this year, the report said that there are reasonable grounds to conclude that the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory is now unlawful under international law due to its permanence and the Israeli government’s de facto annexation policies.
The report added that “The occupation of territory in wartime is a temporary situation and does not deprive the Occupied power of its statehood nor Its sovereignty”.
Recent statements by the Secretary-General and numerous member States have clearly indicated that any attempt at unilateral annexation of a State’s territory by another State is a violation of international law and is null and void; 143 member States including Israel last week voted in favour of a General Assembly resolution reaffirming this”, stated Navi Pillay, Chair of the Commission.
“Unless universally applied, including to the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, this core principle of the United Nations Charter will become meaningless”, she added.
The prolonged report highlighted the rapid settlement growth in the occupied West Bank and referred to the Israeli officials’ intentions to maintain total control over the Palestinians’ lands in violation of international law.
“By ignoring international law in establishing or facilitating the establishment of settlements, and directly or indirectly transferring Israeli civilians into these settlements, successive Israel governments have set facts on the ground to ensure permanent Israeli control in the West Bank”, Ms Pillay stated a member of the UN commission.
The exploitation of Natural Resources
The commission pointed out that the Israeli Occupation is imposing restrictive urban planning and zoning policies in the occupied West Bank in which Palestinian construction is seen as an impediment to Israeli settlements, issuing confiscation, demolition and eviction orders. Similar policies are also observed in East Jerusalem.
Rights such as access to clean and affordable water, which impacts the Palestinian agriculture sector, have been violated as well by Israeli Occupation.
“There is so much ‘silent harm’ and psychological trauma, that may not be immediately apparent, resulting from the erosion of economic, social and cultural rights. These debilitating processes have severe short and long-term consequences and must be urgently addressed”, said Commissioner Miloon Kothari.
The report concluded that Israeli Occupation is developing war crimes in Palestine by transforming directly or indirectly parts of one’s own civilian population into occupied territory and the crime against humanity of deportation and forcible transfer
“The actions of Israeli Governments reviewed in our report constitute an illegal occupation and annexation regime that must be addressed”, stated Commissioner Chris Sidoti. “The international system and individual States must act and uphold their obligations under international law. That must begin at this session of the General Assembly with a referral to the International Court of Justice”, the report concluded.