A fresh report commissioned by the UN has highlighted that Israel’s occupation of the West Bank is in breach of international law. The report, part of the 2023 annual assessment, was unveiled on Wednesday, August 30, by the UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.
According to the report, Israel has contravened multiple international legal norms, thereby rendering its occupation of the territory illegal. These violations encompass actions like annexing portions of the occupied land, infringing upon the rights of the local populace, and establishing practices that amount to apartheid.
Michael Lynk, the UN’s former special rapporteur on Palestine, delivered the findings to the committee, asserting, “The study concludes that Israel is in gross violation of these laws and that the administration of the occupation has become illegal.”
Consequently, the report proposes a series of actions to address this illegal occupation. Lynk emphasized that due to the unlawful nature of the occupation, immediate steps should include “the immediate, unconditional complete withdrawal of Israel’s military forces, the withdrawal of colonial settlers, the repeal of all discriminatory laws and dismantling of the military administrative regime.”
The current Israeli government is carrying out an unprecedented wave of settlement activity through various projects, all aimed at significantly increasing the number of settlers residing in West Bank territories.
From the start of the present year, the occupation’s government has advanced proposals for the establishment of 12,885 settlement residences within the West Bank.
The report stated that Israel’s actions in governing occupied Palestine, marked by the protracted nature of the occupation and its policies of settlement construction, also demonstrate a violation of the right to self-determination.
“Israel is administering the Occupied Palestinian Territory under a regime of systematic racial discrimination and apartheid,” the report said.
The Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement Hamas welcomed the report issued by the UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.
In a statement, the Movement expressed appreciation for ‘the report’s call on the fascist Israeli occupation government to immediately and unconditionally withdraw from the occupied West Bank.’
The movement renewed its call for the international community to urgently put the outcomes of such reports into action, and take all measures needed to put an end to the Israeli occupation’s aggression against the defenseless Palestinian people.
Since 1967, the West Bank and East Jerusalem have been under Israeli occupation. In 1980, Israel made the unilateral move to annex East Jerusalem, a step that has since seen the entrenchment of its influence over the West Bank.
Notably, in 2023, during Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s rule, Israel approved an unprecedented number of settlements in the area. These settlements, deemed illegal under international law, have evoked significant concern from Palestinian perspectives.