Question of Palestine home || Permalink || About UNISPAL || Search

About the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People

Bulletin mensuel de la DDP - Vol.XXIII, No. 7 - bulletin ComitÚ pour l’exercice des droits inaliÚnables du peuple palestinien, DDP (juillet 2010) - publication de la DDP (31 juillet 2010) Franšais

Espa˝ol
Follow UNISPAL RSS Twitter

Source: Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (CEIRPP)
Division for Palestinian Rights (DPR)
31 July 2010





July 2010

Volume XXXIII, Bulletin No. 7


Bulletin
on action by the United Nations system and
intergovernmental organizations
relevant to the question of Palestine


Contents
Page
I.
United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process
expresses concern at forcible transfer of Palestinian Legislative Council members
1
II.
United Nations African Meeting on the Question of Palestine convenes in Rabat
1
III.
Secretary-General welcomes easing of Israeli blockade on Gaza
7
IV.
Secretary-General transmits report of United Nations Register of Damage
8
V.
United Nations Conference on Trade and Development issues report on assistance to the Palestinian people
10
VI.
United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process expresses concern about the situation in East Jerusalem
11
VII.
Security Council holds open debate on the situation in the Middle East
11
VIII.
United Nations convenes International Media Seminar on Peace in the Middle East
15
IX.
Economic and Social Council adopts resolutions on Palestinian women and living conditions
17
X.
Human Rights Council establishes fact-finding mission on Gaza flotilla incident
25
XI.
Secretary-General submits follow-up report to Goldstone report
26
XII.
United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process deplores settlers’ takeover of Palestinian building in Jerusalem
27
XIII.
United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process condemns Palestinian rocket attack
28
XIV.
Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs issues report on house demolition and displacement in the West Bank
28





The Bulletin can be found in the United Nations Information System
on the Question of Palestine (UNISPAL) on the Internet at:
http://unispal.un.org




I. UNITED NATIONS SPECIAL COORDINATOR EXPRESSES CONCERN
AT FORCIBLE TRANSFER OF PALESTINIAN LEGISLATIVE
COUNCIL MEMBERS

On 1 July 2010, the Spokesperson for United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Robert Serry issued the following statement concerning Israeli orders for the expulsion of four Hamas-affiliated members of the Palestinian Legislative Council from East Jerusalem:

We are closely following reports that four Palestinian legislators have received orders for their forcible transfer from East Jerusalem by the Israeli authorities. We are concerned at all measures which may heighten tension in the city and at the potentially broad consequences for Palestinian residents of occupied East Jerusalem. We call on Israel to respect its obligations under international law.


II. UNITED NATIONS AFRICAN MEETING ON THE QUESTION
OF PALESTINE CONVENES IN RABAT

The United Nations African Meeting on the Question of Palestine was held in Rabat, Morocco, on 1 and 2 July 2010 under the auspices of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, with the theme “Strengthening the support by African States for a just and lasting solution of the question of Jerusalem”. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message delivered by his representative at the Meeting, Bader Al-Dafa, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (SG/SM/12986-PAL/1170), as well as the concluding statement of the organizers, are reproduced below:

Secretary-General’s message

It is my pleasure to send greetings to the United Nations African Meeting on the Question of Palestine held under the auspices of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. I thank the Government of Morocco for hosting this gathering.

This meeting occurs at a time of tension and uncertainty in the region. Israeli-Palestinian proximity talks mediated by the United States continue - but they are complicated by ongoing crises on the ground. It is essential that all parties refrain from provocations and seize the opportunity presented by the talks. The coming months will be critical in determining whether we can move to direct negotiations, with more positive actions on the ground in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem.


I have long called for a different and more positive approach to Gaza. The 31 May flotilla crisis has illustrated that the situation in Gaza is unacceptable. I welcome Israel’s recent steps towards a new policy on Gaza, but full and swift implementation is crucial, as well as further measures beyond those announced.
1
The goal must be an end to the blockade so that humanitarian assistance, commercial goods and persons can flow through functioning land crossings. The United Nations will closely monitor developments, and will insist that the change in approach delivers real change on the ground. We must work together to meet the enormous needs in Gaza, while addressing all other issues cited in Security Council resolution 1860 (2009).

I also call on Hamas to show political responsibility by enforcing an extended ceasefire, and moving forward with the Egyptian reconciliation proposal. The continued captivity of Corporal Gilad Shalit serves no Palestinian interest. Access should be granted to him and he should be released.


I remain concerned about the situation in Jerusalem, where provocative announcements on new settlement construction continue to undermine trust and cause unrest. Settlement construction should stop, as should measures which discriminate against Palestinian residents of the city and the ability of Palestinians to access the city. Palestinian institutions in East Jerusalem should be reopened in accordance with the Road Map. Jerusalem remains a permanent status issue and a way should be found for the City to emerge as the capital of both Israel and a future State of Palestine, with arrangements for the holy sites acceptable to all.


Despite Israel’s restraint policy, settlement construction also continues in the rest of the West Bank based on approvals given prior to the announced restraint, or in its violation. This contravenes international law, Security Council resolutions and Israel’s Road Map obligations. I again call for an immediate freeze on all such activity.


I welcome the reduction of obstacles to movement over the past year. Nonetheless, hundreds of checkpoints and other obstacles continue to deprive Palestinian residents of access to their land, hospitals and schools, and stifle economic activity. More progress is necessary.

In spite of the occupation and challenging political and economic circumstances, the Palestinian Authority’s State-building initiative has shown remarkable progress. This includes the vital areas of security and rule of law, and must be carried forward. This initiative is an essential complement on the ground to the negotiations. It has the strong support of the international community, including the Quartet and, it is important to stress, Israel. The United Nations will continue to support this initiative.


As Secretary-General of the United Nations, I will continue to work to bring an end to the 1967 occupation and to the conflict, and to help achieve a comprehensive solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict. For that to happen, the Israeli-Palestinian proximity talks must, without delay, lead to direct negotiations that will tackle all permanent status issues. All of us are called upon to lend our support towards the realization of the two-State solution, with Jerusalem as the shared capital, in accordance with relevant United Nations resolutions and international law, supported by the Arab Peace Initiative.


In this spirit, I wish you fruitful discussions and a successful meeting.



The concluding statement of the organizers

1. The United Nations African Meeting on the Question of Palestine was convened by the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People in Rabat on 1 and 2 July 2010. Participants in the Meeting included internationally renowned experts, including Israeli and Palestinian, representatives of United Nations members and observers, parliamentarians, representatives of the United Nations system and other intergovernmental organizations, representatives of civil society, academic institutions and the media.

2. The objective of the Meeting, at this time of intensified efforts at resuming the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, was to promote broad international support, including by African States, for a solution of the conflict based on a shared vision of two States, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security. The Meeting discussed the current status of Jerusalem, including the religious and cultural significance of the Holy City, and its status in international law and United Nations resolutions as a city occupied since 5 June 1967. The Meeting considered the question of Jerusalem in the context of the permanent status negotiations. Participants in the Meeting also looked into the importance of building an international consensus on a just and viable solution of the question of Jerusalem and the role of African States and other actors in that regard.

3. The Meeting was opened by H.E. Mr. Ta´b Fassi-Fihri, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of the Kingdom of Morocco. In his statement, he underlined that the United Nations, in conformity with the text and spirit of its Charter, could not be just an international forum to follow up the development of the Palestinian cause or denounce the ongoing aggressions by the Israeli authorities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. It had to take full responsibility by playing a pioneering role for an effective and coherent mobilization of necessary efforts towards ending the tragic conflict that negatively affected the interests of all parties and represented a real threat to international security and stability. He also emphasized the active efforts made by His Majesty King Mohammed VI, Chairman of the Al-Quds Committee, to preserve the legal status of Al-Quds and maintain its spiritual identity, and to provide all kinds of support to the Makdesi population in order to promote their living conditions in the areas of housing, social work, health care and education, whether directly or by means of the Bayt Mal Al-Quds Al-Sharif Agency, where Morocco remained the major contributor and sponsor.

4. In the course of the Meeting, the participants reviewed the current status of the political efforts to revive a meaningful political process between Israelis and Palestinians. Speakers stressed the importance of a comprehensive peace on the basis of the relevant General Assembly and Security Council resolutions, the Madrid terms of reference, the principle of land for peace, the Arab Peace Initiative and the Road Map, and deplored recent developments on the ground, which were seriously complicating the ongoing efforts to advance negotiations. The participants examined the current situation in and around Jerusalem and underlined the imperative of a just and viable political solution of the question of Jerusalem as a permanent status issue. They discussed the support of African countries for a permanent settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by promoting the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people through the United Nations system as well as through regional mechanisms, including the African Union, the League of Arab States, the Organization of the Islamic Conference and various civil society initiatives in the region.

5. The organizers welcomed the support by the participants for the two-State solution, with the State of Israel living side by side in peace and security with an independent, democratic, contiguous and viable State of Palestine, with East Jerusalem as its capital. Hope was expressed for early progress in the negotiations, that would lead to consider all permanent status issues, including settlements, borders, Jerusalem, refugees, water and security. There was consensus that for any peace efforts to be successful, it was imperative to find a just and viable political solution of the question of Jerusalem.

6. Noting that the question of Jerusalem remained a key permanent status issue in any future Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations, the organizers note that Israel’s annexation of East Jerusalem has never been internationally recognized. In that context, the organizers concur with the 8 December 2009 conclusions by the Council of the European Union, as well as the 19 March 2010 statement by the Middle East Quartet, reaffirming that the annexation of East Jerusalem had not been recognized by the international community and that the status of Jerusalem was a permanent status issue that had to be resolved through negotiations between the parties.

47. The organizers reiterate that the presence of settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, is illegal under international law. They call on Israel to immediately cease settlement construction, including the so-called “natural growth”, and to dismantle settlement outposts. Of particular concern were plans for the expansion and consolidation of large settlement blocks in and around East Jerusalem, especially in the so-called “E-1” area, which cut off the City from the rest of the West Bank, thereby undermining and prejudging the outcome of permanent status negotiations. Pointing out that the moratorium on settlements announced by the Government of Prime Minister Netanyahu only provided for a temporary and partial freeze on settlement construction in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, the organizers join the participants in the Meeting in calling for a permanent and complete halt to all settlement activities, including in Occupied East Jerusalem, which has been excluded fromthe moratorium. The organizers emphasize that there will be no international recognition of any changes to the pre-1967 borders, including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed upon by the parties.

8. The organizers express serious concern about illegal Israeli practices aimed at altering the status and demographic character of East Jerusalem, including the continued house demolitions, eviction of Palestinian residents, revocation of Palestinian residency rights, settlement construction and transfer of settlers. They underline that such unilateral actions constitute violations of international law and impede all efforts at relaunching meaningful permanent status negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. Moreover, the organizers deplore all discriminatory Israeli practices against Palestinians in East Jerusalem, including restrictions on access to and residence in East Jerusalem, construction of the wall in and around East Jerusalem and the further isolation of the City from the rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territory. The continuation of such illegal and unhelpful practices calls into question the credibility of the stated Israeli commitment to negotiations towards a two-State solution. The organizers call upon Israel to ensure that provocative steps are not taken in the City, particularly at this delicate stage when the goal must be to build trust and support political negotiations. The organizers call upon the United Nations, in particular its Security Council, to take, as soon as possible, responsibility for the situation in East Jerusalem and to take the necessary decisions, in consultation with the interested political groupings, to prevent its further deterioration.

9. Drawing attention to the historical, cultural and religious significance of the Holy City, the organizers wish to remind about the importance of recognizing that religious sites in the West Bank have a special spiritual significance to many people worldwide, including Jews, Muslims and Christians. In that context, the organizers express regret at the inclusion, earlier this year, of a number of many sites in Jerusalem, including the Tomb of the Patriarchs (Al-Haram Al-Ibrahimi) and Rachel’s Tomb (Masjid Bilal or Qubbat Rakhil), in the list of Israel’s “National Heritage Infrastructures”. They also express serious concern at the continued Israeli excavations in and around the Al-Haram Al-Sharif compound in East Jerusalem and called for an end to all acts of provocation and incitement, in particular at or near the City’s holy sites, which are likely to fuel tensions in the entire region. They stress the need to find a solution to the question of Jerusalem that would take into account the concerns of both sides, while ensuring access to the City’s holy sites by the people of all religions.

10. The organizers join the participants in welcoming the recently renewed international efforts at relaunching the Middle East peace process, including the initiatives by United States Special Envoy George Mitchell. The Organizers are worried that these serious efforts can be undermined by recent developments on the ground, including the announcement by the Israeli Government of 1,600 new housing units in the “Ramat Shlomo” and the most recent case, involving the approval by a Jerusalem municipal planning body of a plan to demolish 22 Palestinian homes in the Al-Bustan area of the Silwan neighbourhood in East Jerusalem to make room for an Israeli tourist centre. These actions constitute clear violation of the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

11. The organizers have been deeply concerned about the fatal Israeli attack of 31 May on the international flotilla, heading towards Gaza with humanitarian aid. The organizers strongly condemn this attack in international waters, and consider it a violation of international law. They fully support the call of the United Nations Secretary-General for establishing an international investigative panel to look into the incident. At the same time, the organizers are of the view that the incident could have been avoided, had Israel lifted its blockade of Gaza, which for more than three years has been suffocating the 1.5 million people living in the Gaza Strip, while preventing them from rebuilding their lives in the aftermath of the comprehensive destruction caused by the Israeli attack on Gaza 18 months ago. The organizers deplore the continuing blockage of many items and materials vital for humanitarian relief and reconstruction efforts and the obstacles faced by patients trying to leave the Gaza Strip in search of treatment for serious and chronic illnesses. While noting the recent slight easing of the restrictions on Gaza, the organizers stress the need for concrete action to lift the siege completely and promptly to allow the flow of humanitarian aid, commercial goods and people through the crossings.

12. The organizers remind Israel, the occupying Power, of its responsibilities under international humanitarian law, in particular the Fourth Geneva Convention, which stipulates that Israel, as a High Contracting Party, is obliged to protect the Palestinian civilian population under its occupation and to act within the ambit of international law. The applicability of the Convention to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, has been repeatedly confirmed by the Conference of the High Contracting Parties, as well as by the United Nations General Assembly, Security Council and the International Court of Justice. Reiterating the need for a full implementation of Security Council resolution 1860 (2009), the organizers call on Israel, the occupying Power, to immediately lift the blockade and to open all crossings in accordance with the 2005 Agreement on Access and Movement and to completely implement the other provisions of the Agreement.

13. The organizers also urge the Palestinian leadership, the leaders of all factions and all Palestinians to strive for national reconciliation as an essential condition for ending the occupation, achieving a just and lasting solution of the question of Palestine and the establishment of a viable, contiguous, sovereign and democratic Palestinian State. The organizers express appreciation for the Egyptian efforts in achieving such reconciliation as soon as possible.

14. Despite the current stagnation in the peace process and the many negative developments on the ground, the organizers express firm belief that there is no alternative to continuing negotiations and to the two-State solution. But time is of the essence. The organizers also express their appreciation for the immediate and continued engagement of the United Nations General Assembly and Security Council, Governments, national parliaments and inter-parliamentary organizations, regional and international organizations, and civil society organizations, including from the African region, to achieve a just and lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. They emphasize that a critical condition for achieving a permanent settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is an end to the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, occupied since June 1967.

15. The organizers encourage the international community, including the countries of Africa, to strengthen their support for the peace process, in particular at a time when it faces unprecedented challenges. They reiterate the permanent responsibility of the United Nations towards the question of Palestine, until it is resolved in all its aspects based on the relevant United Nations resolutions. In that context, the participants commended the Committee for organizing meetings, like this one in Rabat, that mobilize Governments and public opinion in different regions in support of a comprehensive, just and lasting solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

16. The organizers commend the action of African Governments, intergovernmental organizations, and civil society in support of Israelis and Palestinians in their quest for a peaceful settlement of the conflict and urge them to continue their moral and political support of the Palestinian people. They encourage the African countries to continue to support action on these issues at the regional and international levels, including at the United Nations, the Non-Aligned Movement, the African Union, the League of Arab States, the Organization of the Islamic Conference and other intergovernmental mechanisms.

17. The organizers commend the active and constructive role played by Morocco, an Observer in the Committee, for its tireless efforts to assist the Palestinian people in achieving its inalienable rights. They express their deep appreciation to His Majesty King Mohammed VI of Morocco, Chairman of the Al-Quds Committee of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, for his tireless efforts and timely actions to preserve the religious and civilizational character of Al-Quds Al-Sharif. They also praised His Majesty’s constructive initiatives in support of Palestinian issues, including that of Jerusalem. Recalling the International Forum on Jerusalem, which was convened in October 2009 in Rabat by the Al-Quds Committee and the Yasser Arafat Foundation, the organizers applaud the Kingdom of Morocco for its constructive contribution to international efforts towards finding a solution to the question of Jerusalem, which would ensure the peaceful coexistence of peoples of various religions in the Holy City. They endorse the appeal made by His Majesty King Mohammed VI at the Forum for the establishment of an “international coalition” of Governments, international organizations and civil society actors in favour of preserving the legal status of Jerusalem as a space for dialogue and peaceful coexistence.

18. The organizers expressed their profound gratitude to the Government of Morocco and its Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation for hosting the Meeting, for the assistance and support extended to the Committee and the United Nations Secretariat in its preparation, and for the warm reception and generous hospitality extended to them.

III. SECRETARY-GENERAL WELCOMES EASING OF ISRAELI
BLOCKADE ON GAZA

On 6 July 2010, the Spokesperson for Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon issued the following statement (SG/SM/12998):

The Secretary-General welcomes the further measures announced by the Government of Israel in increasing the scope and quantity of materials entering the Gaza Strip from Israel. He also notes the agreement to facilitate the immediate start of construction of 12 United Nations education and health facilities. The Secretary-General has long called for a significant shift in strategy towards meeting the great needs of Gaza’s population. Further steps must now follow to meet those needs and to allow the United Nations to accelerate and expand its efforts.

The Secretary-General reiterates that the full recovery of Gaza cannot be addressed without a durable solution consistent with Security Council resolution 1860 (2009). The United Nations will continue to work towards this aim and will closely follow the implementation of the steps already agreed.

IV. SECRETARY-GENERAL TRANSMITS REPORT OF UNITED
NATIONS REGISTER OF DAMAGE

On 9 July 2010, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon transmitted to the President of the General Assembly a progress report of the Board of the United Nations Register of Damage Caused by the Construction of the Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. The report is reproduced below (A/ES-10/498):

The Board of the United Nations Register of Damage (the “Register of Damage”) Caused by the Construction of the Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory renders this progress report in accordance with paragraph 6 (h) of General Assembly resolution ES-10/17 covering the period from 10 April 2009 to 18 June 2010. The Board’s previous report was contained in document A/ES-10/455 of 4 May 2009.

Guided by provisions of General Assembly resolution ES-10/17, relevant findings of the International Court of Justice’s advisory opinion rendered on 9 July 2004 and general principles of international law and due process of law, the Board adopted revised Rules and Regulations Governing the Registration of Claims in June 2009, including eligibility criteria (summarized below). In addition, in May 2009 the Office of the Register of Damage established its website (www.unrod.org), with links to its basic documents, including the revised Rules and Regulations.

Since the Board’s last report, the work of collecting, processing and reviewing claim forms for registration of damage and considering them for inclusion in the Register was continued.

It is expected that, within the next month, claim intake will be completed in two out of nine governorates affected by the construction of the Wall - Jenin and Tubas - covering 36 communities. A team of claim intakers working in the West Bank has, as of 18 June 2010, collected 6,770 claim forms and over 50,000 supporting documents, which have been delivered to the Office of the Register of Damage in Vienna. The claim intake is currently proceeding in the Tulkarm and Qalqiliya governorates, as well as in some communities around East Jerusalem.

The Board has, as of 18 June 2010, reviewed 1,554 claim forms, which had been translated from Arabic into English, processed through the Register’s electronic database and reviewed by the staff of the Office. The Board has decided to include most or all of the losses in 1,551 claim forms in the Register, not to include 2 claim forms, in accordance with the eligibility criteria, and to defer action on 1 claim form.

During the reporting period, the Board held five meetings in Vienna to review 1,284 claim forms that had been translated, processed and reviewed by the Office staff. The Board met from 15 to 19 June 2009, from 28 September to 1 October 2009, from 14 to 17 December 2009, from 15 to 19 March 2010 and from 14 to 18 June 2010. At the five meetings, respectively, the Board reviewed and decided to include in the Register most or all of the losses set out in 135 claim forms (except for 1 claim form where none of the losses met the eligibility criteria), 261 claim forms (except for 1 claim form on which it decided to defer action), 112 claim forms, 287 claim forms and 489 claim forms.

In accordance with article 11 of the Rules and Regulations, claims are eligible for inclusion in the Register if: (a) the claimant is a natural or legal person; (b) the claimant has substantially met the technical requirements for submitting a claim; (c) the claim is within the jurisdiction of the Register of Damage; (d) the claimant has established a legal interest in the claimed damage; (e) the claimed damage is material; (f) the claimant has established a causal link between the claimed damage and the construction of the Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory; (g) the claimed damage was in fact sustained; (h) the documents and assertions in support of the claim are substantially consistent; and (i) the claim has been established prima facie, based on the information and documents submitted by the claimant, giving the claimant the benefit of the doubt in appropriate cases and bearing in mind the varying circumstances with regard to title and residency status of claimants.

In view of the number of claims presented to the Board at each of its meetings, in accordance with article 12 of its Rules and Regulations the Board employed sampling in conducting its review. The Board’s decisions with respect to inclusion of claims were based on information provided by claimants and others. In accordance with its mandate, the Board decided to include in the Register only losses or damage cause by the construction of the Wall within the Occupied Palestinian Territory and only to the extent of loss or damage sustained within that Territory. In addition, where it appeared that the asserted quantities for some or all of the losses in the claim might exceed the claimant’s apparent interest or share, the Board decided that the claims should be included in the Register only to the extent of each claimant’s interest or share. Further, where the claimant indicated that movable property, such as livestock, had to be sold as a result of the construction of the Wall, the loss of such property has been included in the Register and no determination has been made as to the price received or any corresponding offset, since this would be beyond the mandate of the Register of Damage. Similarly, some claims included in the Register list both the loss of an asset and the loss of income from that asset without regard as to whether future lost income might be considered as part of the value of the asset.

Despite the exceptionally diligent and dedicated work of the secretariat, there is a considerable gap between the number of claim forms collected and processed by the Vienna Office of the Register of Damage. This gap may grow unless the staffing of the Vienna Office is increased.

The activities of the claim intake team have been funded by generous contributions from Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the Philippines, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Switzerland and the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Fund for International Development. The Board would like to express its appreciation to them for funding resources and enabling the implementation of the provisions of General Assembly resolution ES-10/17.

The Board appreciates the cooperation with the Palestinian authorities and the Palestinian National Committee for the Register of Damage, as well as the support provided on many practical aspects by local mayors and members of village councils where outreach and claim intake activities have been undertaken. In April 2010, the Executive Director of the Office of the Register, Mr. Vladimir Goryayev, visited the Occupied Palestinian Territory and held in-depth consultations about Register activities with officials of the Palestinian Authority, including Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, who expressed his appreciation for the results achieved so far and his full support and cooperation with the implementation of the mandate of the Register in the months to come. The Chairman of the Palestinian National Committee for the Register of Damage and some of its members also visited the Office of the Register to discuss practical issues related to all aspects of the activities carried out by the Office.

The Government of Israel maintains its well known position of not cooperating with the Office of the Register and considering that any claims in relation to damage caused by the construction of the Wall should be addressed through the existing Israeli mechanism. At the same time, on a practical level, the Office of the Register has not experienced any difficulties in carrying out its activities as outlined in General Assembly resolution ES-10/17.

The Board of the Register of Damage will continue to render periodic reports in accordance with article 17 of its Rules and Regulations.

V. UNITED NATIONS CONFERENCE ON TRADE AND DEVELOPMENT
ISSUES REPORT ON ASSISTANCE TO THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE

On 13 July 2010, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development issued the “Report on UNCTAD assistance to the Palestinian people: Developments in the economy of the occupied Palestinian territory”. The executive summary of the report is reproduced below (TD/B/57/4):

The economy of the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) continued to perform well below potential in 2009. There were signs of improvement in GDP growth and other indicators, but these need to be interpreted cautiously in view of the wider context. Territorial fragmentation, inequalities and welfare divergence continued to grow, aid dependence deepened, and access to natural and economic resources shrank. Private investment continued to be hampered by mobility restrictions and the risk of introducing new restrictions at any moment. While the direct damage incurred by the 2008–2009 Israeli military operation in Gaza is estimated at one third of the economy’s output in 2006, before Gaza’s blockade, the indirect cost of the war has been greater. The economic and humanitarian situation in Gaza continued to worsen. Despite funds allocated for economic reconstruction, the blockade and closures imposed on the oPt ensures that these funds do not have a tangible economic impact. At the heart of the Palestinian economic development bottleneck is a weakened tradable goods sector suffocated by the use of inappropriate currency, closure, and atrophy of the productive base. Palestinian development stands to benefit by resuscitating the tradable goods sector and building the Palestinian trade and productive capacity within the framework of the United Nations “delivering as one”.


VI. UNITED NATIONS SPECIAL COORDINATOR EXPRESSES CONCERN
ABOUT THE SITUATION IN EAST JERUSALEM

On 13 July 2010, United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Robert Serry, issued the following statement:

I continue to follow with concern developments in East Jerusalem and continuing tensions in the city. The approval of new units in the settlement of Pisgat Zeev, in violation of Israel’s Road Map commitments, is wrong. I am also concerned at reports of house demolitions today. My office is monitoring closely the fate of four members of the Palestinian Legislative Council who face the threat of expulsion from the city. At the current juncture, it is essential for all parties to respect international law, refrain from provocative actions, and take positive steps to build confidence and create an environment conducive to successful negotiations.

VII. SECURITY COUNCIL HOLDS OPEN DEBATE ON THE SITUATION
IN THE MIDDLE EAST

On 21 July 2010, the Security Council held an open debate on “The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question”. The following are excerpts from the briefing given by Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs B. Lynn Pascoe (S/PV.6363):

We are once again at a critical juncture in the effort to move to serious Israeli-Palestinian negotiations aimed at achieving a two-State solution. These talks are essential for ending the 1967 occupation and the conflict and for resolving all core issues between the parties, including Jerusalem, borders, refugees, security, settlements and water, as prescribed in the resolutions of the Council and agreements between the parties.
11
Six rounds of proximity talks have now been facilitated by United States Envoy Mitchell, and both President Abbas and Prime Minister Netanyahu have visited Washington, D.C. President Abbas, Prime Minister Netanyahu and Special Envoy Mitchell each met Egyptian President Mubarak in Cairo on 18 July. The Secretary-General met Prime Minister Netanyahu in New York on 7 July, and Special Coordinator Serry saw President Abbas in Ramallah earlier today.

It remains the shared goal of the Quartet to bring about direct negotiations facilitated by the United States as soon as possible. This should take place in a framework of respect by the parties of their obligations as well as the requisite commitments regarding negotiations. Intensive discussions are continuing. I note that the Arab League follow-up committee is due to meet on 29 July to review progress. We urge the parties not to miss the current opportunity to make progress in these talks and to move to direct negotiations with active third-party involvement and close Quartet support.

On 20 June, the Government of Israel announced a package of measures aimed at easing the blockade on Gaza. The Quartet welcomed this announcement while restating its overall goals for Gaza and expressed the hope that the package would contribute to the fulfilment of resolution 1860 (2009), including for the unimpeded flow of humanitarian aid, commercial goods and persons to and from Gaza. The United Nations and the Quartet are following closely the implementation of these measures.

On 5 July 2010, as a first step - which the Secretary-General welcomed - the Government of Israel switched from a positive list of goods allowed into Gaza to a negative list of goods whose entry is prohibited or restricted. Under the new guidelines, anything that may be used as military material, including so-called dual-use goods and items, continues to be subject to specific, exceptional permission to enter Gaza. Construction items and materials are to be allowed entry only for projects authorized by the Palestinian Authority and implemented by the international community.

Since the announcement of the new policy, new food and productive items have entered Gaza and the volume of imports into Gaza has increased steadily. A weekly average of 780 truckloads entered during the reporting period - a 40 per cent increase compared to the weekly average in 2010 prior to the announcement. Approvals have also been given for a number of additional United Nations projects in the vital areas of education and health.

While these are positive steps, we hope they can be enhanced to address the deplorable conditions in the Strip. Further measures need to be taken to enable exports and movements of people and to streamline procedures for project approval. Our goal remains the full opening of land crossings, in the framework of the Agreement on Movement and Access.

The situation in Gaza has been compounded by the electricity crisis. Given the internal disputes over revenue collection and funding for fuel for the Gaza power plant, the plant’s output has declined steadily. The Office of the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process (UNSCO) is active between the Palestinian Authority and the de facto authorities in Gaza to urge a Palestinian solution to this problem.

The Rafah border crossing with Egypt has remained open since 2 June, and there has been a significant increase in the number of people allowed to cross for humanitarian purposes. Egypt continues its efforts to counter smuggling across the border with Gaza.

I am pleased to report that arrangements agreed by UNSCO to ensure that the cargo of the Turkish vessels in the 31 May convoy reaches its beneficiaries in Gaza are being implemented, and agreement has been reached to effect similar arrangements for the cargo of the Rachel Corrie. The Libyan-sponsored vessel that sailed on 12 July with aid for Gaza arrived in an Egyptian port without incident. Arrangements are being made by the Egyptian Government to transfer the material into Gaza. I would like to point out that such convoys are not helpful in resolving the basic economic problems in Gaza, and they needlessly carry the potential for escalation.

The Government of Israel has initiated investigations into the 31 May incident. A military investigative committee headed by former National Security Adviser Eiland has issued its report. A public commission headed by Justice Tirkel, in which two Israeli-nominated internationals are participating as observers, is under way. The Security Council has called for a prompt, impartial, credible and transparent investigation conforming to international standards. The Secretary-General continues to be in contact with the parties involved to gain agreement for his proposal for an international panel of inquiry that would be based on domestic inquiries.

Israeli Corporal Gilad Shalit has entered his fifth year in captivity. We call again for his immediate release. The fact that there has been no humanitarian access is inexcusable. We also note the detention of over 9,000 Palestinians in Israeli jails. We urge the completion of a prisoner exchange agreement, as well as releases of Palestinian prisoners to the Palestinian Authority.

The reporting period saw a lack of progress in intra-Palestinian reconciliation based on the Egyptian-mediated proposal. We restate our full support for unification of Gaza with the West Bank within the framework of the legitimate Palestinian Authority.

The Secretary-General condemned the cowardly attack on 28 June by militant elements in Gaza on a children’s camp run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). This is the second attack against such a facility in a month. It is crucial that there be respect for, and no interference with, United Nations operations on the ground, and we reiterate the responsibility of the de facto authorities in this regard. We are also concerned by reports of political arrests by the de facto Hamas authorities.

On 12 July, Special Coordinator Serry and the Executive Director of the United Nations Development Fund for Women visited Gaza to meet with representatives of women and reaffirm the importance of the implementation of resolution 1325 (2000).

During the reporting period, Palestinian militant groups fired 41 rockets and mortars into southern Israel, causing no injuries. The Israel Defense Forces conducted 6 air strikes and 21 incursions, killing 4 Gazans, including 1 alleged militant, and injuring 23. Citing security concerns, the Israeli security forces continue to restrict Palestinian access to areas close to the border with Israel by opening warning fire on people entering this area, killing 1 person and injuring 18, including 4 children, during the reporting period.

We continue to closely follow developments in Jerusalem. In 2006, four Jerusalemite lawmakers from the Hamas-affiliated Change and Reform bloc were charged with not fulfilling the minimum loyalty to the State of Israel, stripped of their Jerusalem resident status and handed prison sentences of up to four years, which they have now served. Following their recent release, they were given 30 days to leave East Jerusalem. Court proceedings are continuing. I wish to stress that the prospect of expulsion of Palestinian legislators from their home city would be a serious step backwards and would undermine the hopes of making political progress.

Notwithstanding comparative restraint on the ground in East Jerusalem in recent months, on 12 July the Jerusalem municipality approved the construction of 32 new apartments in an East Jerusalem settlement. On 13 July the municipality demolished six Palestinian structures in East Jerusalem, displacing 26 people, including 14 children. We have repeatedly stated that the international community does not recognize Israel’s annexation of East Jerusalem and that the Fourth Geneva Convention is applicable. The future of Jerusalem remains to be determined in final status negotiations, and a way must be found for the city to emerge as the capital of two States.

The 10-month moratorium on West Bank settlements construction is largely being observed, but it is set to expire on 26 September. We call for the moratorium to be extended and expanded to cover all settlement activity throughout the occupied Palestinian territory, including in East Jerusalem. No further steps have been taken towards dismantlement of settlement outposts erected since March 2001. During the reporting period, the Israeli authorities demolished a total of 106 structures in area C of the West Bank. We reiterate the Quartet’s call on 19 March in Moscow for the parties to implement their obligations under the Road Map and international law.

The barrier, constructed in deviation from the Green Line and in contravention of the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice, continues to pose significant challenges to movement of Palestinians in the West Bank. Despite efforts to ease restrictions on movement and access, the number of obstacles in the West Bank remained at 505 during the reporting period.

Palestinian security forces continued to maintain law and order and to fight extremism in the West Bank during the reporting period, in furtherance of Road Map commitments. During this period, the Israeli security forces conducted 376 incursions into the West Bank, resulting in 74 Palestinians injured and 322 arrested, while 11 members of the Israeli security forces were injured. In demonstrations against the barrier, dozens of Palestinians and peace activists were injured, arrested or suffered from gas inhalation.

There were 21 violent clashes between Israeli settlers and Palestinians in the West Bank during the reporting period, in which three Palestinians were injured and/or suffered damages to their property. In several separate incidents in the past two months, Israeli settlers used their vehicles to run over and injure or kill Palestinians. Settlers were also injured by stones thrown at their vehicles.

I am pleased to report that according to the preliminary growth figures for the first quarter of 2010 released by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, gross domestic product in the occupied Palestinian territory increased by 12.5 per cent, as compared to the first quarter of 2009. To ensure that the enabling reforms undertaken by the Palestinian Authority are not undermined, continued external financing to support the Authority’s recurrent budgetary needs is critical.



In the period ahead, we must work to bring the parties into direct talks without delay on a basis that gives confidence in the possibility of genuine progress on the core issues and on the ground, including restraint in Jerusalem, implementation of Road Map obligations on settlements and further measures to empower the Palestinian Authority. We must ensure that policy change towards Gaza is fully implemented and followed with further steps. And we must place these efforts in their larger regional context and reinvigorate the search for a just, lasting and comprehensive peace.

VIII. UNITED NATIONS CONVENES INTERNATIONAL MEDIA SEMINAR
ON PEACE IN THE MIDDLE EAST

On 22 and 23 July 2010, the Eighteenth International Media Seminar on Peace in the Middle East was held in Lisbon, Portugal, organized by the United Nations Department of Information. The following is Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message delivered at the Seminar by his representative, Kiyotaka Akasaka, Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information (SG/SM/13024-PAL/2133; PI/1947):

I thank the Government of Portugal for hosting this gathering. You meet as Israeli-Palestinian proximity talks have gotten under way. It is vital for the parties to refrain from provocations and seize this opportunity. The coming weeks will be critical in determining whether we can move to direct negotiations.

The two-State solution is the consensus position of the international community, Israelis and Palestinians. This is essential for Israel to maintain its democratic character and identity, and gain security and legitimacy throughout the region. And it is essential for Palestinians to achieve genuine freedom and national self-determination and to end the occupation. A negotiated solution to the refugee issue should also be found. But time is working against the two-State solution. Leaders on both sides must overcome their domestic political pressures and take bold steps for peace.

I welcome your focus at this meeting on the role of Israeli and Palestinian women in achieving peace and security in the Middle East. This year is the tenth anniversary of the adoption of Security Council resolution 1325 (2000), which called for higher levels of women’s engagement in peacemaking and peacebuilding, not least because the impacts of armed conflict fall disproportionately on women. The core message of that landmark text - sustainable peace is possible only with the perspectives, leadership and full participation of women - is one we must take to heart in all regions, including the Middle East. I hope negotiators on both sides will do more to address women’s many concerns and, above all, involve women in the search for peace.

I welcome Israel’s recent steps towards a new policy with respect to Gaza. Full and swift implementation is crucial, as are further measures beyond those announced. The goal must be an end to the blockade.

Hamas, for its part, should enforce an extended ceasefire and move forward with the Egyptian proposal for reconciliation with the legitimate Palestinian Authority of President [Mahmoud] Abbas. With respect to prisoners, I continue to urge the conclusion of a prisoner-exchange agreement. It serves no Palestinian interest to keep Corporal Gilad Shalit in captivity; access should be granted to him and he should be released.

Jerusalem is a permanent-status issue and a way should be found for the City to emerge as the capital of both Israel and a future State of Palestine, with arrangements for the holy sites acceptable to all. Although Israeli authorities have taken steps to freeze house demolitions and evictions in East Jerusalem, recent developments heighten tensions and may undermine the fragile progress in the proximity talks. Settlement activity in any part of the Occupied Palestinian Territory contravenes international law, Security Council resolutions and Israel’s Road Map obligations, and it should be frozen.

I welcome the reduction in obstacles to movement in the West Bank, but hundreds of checkpoints and other obstacles continue to stifle economic activity and deprive Palestinian residents of access to their land, hospitals and schools. Despite such challenges, the Palestinian Authority’s State-building initiative has shown remarkable progress in the areas of security and rule of law.

I also welcome the attention this Seminar is giving to the role of new media in advancing the peace process. The growing use of new media in the Middle East offers truly exciting opportunities to reach wider audiences, particularly young people. I encourage young Israelis and Palestinians to use these new tools to spread positive messages that will promote a culture of peace, coexistence and better understanding between their people.

In that spirit, I offer my best wishes for a successful meeting.


IX. ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL ADOPTS RESOLUTIONS ON PALESTINIAN WOMEN AND LIVING CONDITIONS

During its 2010 substantive session held in New York from 28 June to 23 July, the Economic and Social Council adopted resolution 2010/6 entitled “Situation of and assistance to Palestinian women” and resolution 2010/31 entitled “Economic and social repercussions of the Israeli occupation on the living conditions of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan”. The two resolutions are reproduced below (E/RES/2010/6 and E/RES/2010/31):

2010/6
Situation of and assistance to Palestinian women


The Economic and Social Council,

Having considered with appreciation the report of the Secretary-General,1

Recalling the Nairobi Forward-looking Strategies for the Advancement of Women,2 in particular paragraph 260 concerning Palestinian women and children, the Beijing Platform for Action adopted at the Fourth World Conference on Women3 and the outcomes of the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly, entitled “Women 2000: gender equality, development and peace for the twenty-first century”,4

Recalling also its resolution 2009/14 of 28 July 2009 and other relevant United Nations resolutions, including General Assembly resolution 57/337 of 3 July 2003, on the prevention of armed conflict, and Security Council resolution 1325 (2000) of 31 October 2000, on women and peace and security,

Recalling further the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women5 as it concerns the protection of civilian populations,

Recalling the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,6 the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights6 and the Convention on the Rights of the Child,7 and reaffirming that these human rights instruments must be respected in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem,

Expressing deep concern about the grave situation of Palestinian women in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, resulting from the severe impact of the ongoing illegal Israeli occupation and all of its manifestations,

Expressing grave concern also about the increased difficulties being faced by Palestinian women and girls living under Israeli occupation, including the continuation of home demolitions, sharp increase in poverty, soaring unemployment, increased food insecurity, incidents of domestic violence, and declining health, education and living standards, including the rising incidence of trauma and decline in their psychological well-being, and expressing grave concern about the deepening humanitarian crisis and rising insecurity and instability on the ground in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, in particular in the Gaza Strip,

Deploring the deteriorating economic and social conditions of Palestinian women and girls in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the systematic violation of their human rights resulting from the severe impact of ongoing illegal Israeli practices, including the construction and expansion of settlements and the Wall and the continued imposition of closures and restrictions on the movement of persons and goods, which have detrimentally affected their right to health care, including access for pregnant women to health services for antenatal care and safe delivery, education, employment, development and freedom of movement,

Gravely concerned, in particular, about the continuing deterioration in the socio-economic and humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip, including that resulting from the Israeli military operations and the imposition of a blockade consisting of the prolonged closure of border crossings and severe restrictions on the movement of all persons and goods, which has detrimentally affected every aspect of the lives of the civilian population, especially women and children, in the Gaza Strip,

18 Stressing the importance of providing assistance, especially emergency assistance, to alleviate the dire socio-economic and humanitarian situation being faced by Palestinian women and their families,

Emphasizing the importance of increasing the role of women in peacebuilding and decision-making with regard to conflict prevention and the peaceful resolution of conflicts as part of efforts to ensure the safety and well-being of all women in the region, and stressing the importance of their equal participation and involvement in all efforts for the achievement, maintenance and promotion of peace and security,

1. Urges the international community to continue to give special attention to the promotion and protection of the human rights of Palestinian women and girls and to intensify its measures to improve the difficult conditions being faced by Palestinian women and their families living under Israeli occupation;

2. Reaffirms that the Israeli occupation remains the major obstacle for Palestinian women with regard to their advancement, self-reliance and integration in the development of their society, and stresses the importance of efforts to increase their role in decision-making with regard to conflict prevention and resolution and to ensure their equal participation and involvement in all efforts for the achievement, maintenance and promotion of peace and security;

3. Demands that Israel, the occupying Power, comply fully with the provisions and principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,8 the Regulations annexed to The Hague Convention IV of 18 October 1907,9 the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 12 August 1949,10 and all other relevant rules, principles and instruments of international law, including the international human rights Covenants, in order to protect the rights of Palestinian women and their families;

4. Calls upon Israel to facilitate the return of all refugees and displaced Palestinian women and children to their homes and properties, in compliance with the relevant United Nations resolutions;

5. Calls upon the international community to continue to provide urgently needed assistance, especially emergency assistance, and services in an effort to alleviate the dire humanitarian crisis being faced by Palestinian women and their families and to help in the reconstruction of relevant Palestinian institutions, with the integration of a gender perspective into all of its international assistance programmes;

6. Requests the Commission on the Status of Women to continue to monitor and take action with regard to the implementation of the Nairobi Forward-looking Strategies for the Advancement of Women,2 in particular paragraph 260 concerning Palestinian women and children, the Beijing Platform for Action3 and the outcomes of the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly entitled “Women 2000: gender equality, development and peace for the twenty-first century”;4

7. Requests the Secretary-General to continue to review the situation, to assist Palestinian women by all available means, including those laid out in the report of the Secretary-General on the situation of and assistance to Palestinian women,1 and to submit to the Commission on the Status of Women at its fifty-fifth session a report, including information provided by the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, on the progress made in the implementation of the present resolution.

________________
1/ E/CN.6/2010/4
2/ Report of the World Conference to Review and Appraise the Achievements of the United Nations Decade for Women: Equality, Development and Peace, Nairobi, 15-26 July 1985 (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.85.IV.10), chap. 1, sect. A.
3/ Report of the Fourth World Conference on Women, Beijing, 4-15 September 1995 (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.96.IV.13), chap. 1, resolution 1, annex II.
4/ General Assembly resolution S-23/2, annex, and resolution S-23/3, annex.
5/ See General Assembly resolution 48/104.
6/ See General Assembly resolution 2200 A (XXI), annex.
7/ United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 1577, No. 27531.
8/ General Assembly resolution 217 A (III).
9/ See Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, The Hague Conventions and Declarations of 1899 and 1907 (New York, Oxford University Press, 1915).
10/ United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 75, No. 973.



2010/31
Economic and social repercussions of the Israeli occupation on the living conditions of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan

The Economic and Social Council,

Recalling General Assembly resolution 64/185 of 21 December 2009,

Recalling also its resolution 2009/34 of 31 July 2009,

Guided by the principles of the Charter of the United Nations affirming the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force, and recalling relevant Security Council resolutions, including resolutions 242 (1967) of 22 November 1967, 252 (1968) of 21 May 1968, 338 (1973) of 22 October 1973, 465 (1980) of 1 March 1980 and 497 (1981) of 17 December 1981,

Recalling the resolutions of the tenth emergency special session of the General Assembly, including ES-10/13 of 21 October 2003, ES-10/14 of 8 December 2003, ES-10/15 of 20 July 2004 and ES-10/17 of 15 December 2006,
Reaffirming the applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949,1 to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967,

Recalling the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,2 the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights2 and the Convention on the Rights of the Child3 and affirming that these human rights instruments must be respected in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, as well as in the occupied Syrian Golan,

Stressing the importance of the revival of the Middle East peace process on the basis of Security Council resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973), 425 (1978), 1397 (2002),
1515 (2003), 1544 (2004) and 1850 (2008), the principle of land for peace, and the Arab Peace Initiative,4 as affirmed in the Arab Summit in Sirte, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, and the Quartet road map,5 as well as compliance with the agreements reached between the Government of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, the representative of the Palestinian people,

Reaffirming the principle of the permanent sovereignty of peoples under foreign occupation over their natural resources, and expressing concern in this regard about the exploitation of natural resources by Israel, the occupying Power, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan,

Convinced that the Israeli occupation has gravely impeded the efforts to achieve sustainable development and a sound economic environment in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan, and expressing grave concern about the consequent deterioration of economic and living conditions,

Commending, in this regard, the efforts by the Palestinian Authority to improve the economic and social situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory,

Gravely concerned, in this regard, about Israel’s continuation of settlement activities and other related measures in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, particularly in and around occupied East Jerusalem, as well as in the occupied Syrian Golan, in violation of international humanitarian law and relevant United Nations resolutions,

Gravely concerned also by the serious repercussions on the economic and social conditions of the Palestinian people caused by Israel’s construction of the wall and its associated regime inside the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, and the resulting violation of their economic and social rights, including the right to work, to health, to education, to property and to an adequate standard of living,

Recalling, in this regard, 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,6 and General Assembly resolution ES-10/15, and stressing the need to comply with the obligations mentioned therein,

Expressing grave concern at the extensive destruction by Israel, the occupying Power, of properties, including homes, economic institutions, agricultural lands and orchards, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and, in particular, in connection with its construction of the wall, contrary to international law, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem,

Expressing grave concern also over the continued policy of home demolitions, evictions, revocation of residency rights and displacement of the population in and around occupied East Jerusalem, as well as measures to further isolate the city from its natural Palestinian environs, including through the accelerated construction of settlements, construction of the wall and imposition of checkpoints, which have seriously exacerbated the already dire socio-economic situation being faced by the Palestinian population,

Expressing grave concern further about Israeli military operations and the continuing Israeli policy of closures and severe restrictions on the movement of persons and goods, including humanitarian personnel as well as food, medical supplies, fuel, construction materials and other essential supplies, via the imposition of crossing closures, checkpoints and a permit regime throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the consequent negative impact on the socio-economic situation of the Palestinian people, which remains that of a dire humanitarian crisis,

Taking note of recent developments regarding the situation of access to the Gaza Strip, although grave hardships continue to prevail as a result of the prolonged Israeli closures and severe economic and movement restrictions that in effect amount to a blockade, and calling in this regard for the full implementation of Security Council resolution 1860 (2009) of 8 January 2009 with a view to ensuring the full opening of the border crossings for the sustained and regular movement of persons and goods, including humanitarian aid, commercial flows and construction materials,

Deploring the heavy casualties among civilians, including hundreds of children and women, the internal displacement of thousands of civilians and widespread damage to homes, vital civilian infrastructure, hospitals, schools, food supply installations, economic, industrial and agricultural properties and several United Nations facilities in the Gaza Strip, which gravely impact the provision of vital health and social services to Palestinian women and their families and their socio-economic living conditions and were all caused by the military operations carried out between December 2008 and January 2009,

Recalling, in this regard, the relevant United Nations reports, including those of the Economic and Social Council, the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia7 and the Human Rights Council,
21
Expressing deep concern about the short- and long-term detrimental impact of such widespread destruction and the hampering of the reconstruction process by Israel, the occupying Power, on the socio-economic and humanitarian conditions of the Palestinian civilian population in the Gaza Strip, and calling in this regard for the expeditious commencement of the reconstruction process in the Gaza Strip with the assistance of the donor countries, including the disbursement of funds pledged in the International Conference in Support of the Palestinian Economy for the Reconstruction of Gaza, held in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, in March 2009,

Gravely concerned by various reports of the United Nations and specialized agencies regarding the almost total aid dependency caused by prolonged border closures, inordinate rates of unemployment, widespread poverty and severe humanitarian hardships, including food insecurity and rising health-related problems, including high levels of malnutrition, among the Palestinian people, especially children, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem,

Expressing grave concern at the increasing number of deaths and injuries of civilians, including children and women, and emphasizing that the Palestinian civilian population must be protected in accordance with international humanitarian law,

Emphasizing the importance of the safety and well-being of all civilians, and calling for the cessation of all acts of violence, including all acts of terror, provocation, incitement and destruction, and all firing of rockets,

Conscious of the urgent need for the reconstruction and development of the economic and social infrastructure of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, as well as the urgent need to address the dire humanitarian crisis facing the Palestinian people, including by ensuring the unimpeded provision of humanitarian assistance and the sustained and regular flow of persons and goods into and out of the Gaza Strip,

Commending the important work being done by the United Nations, the specialized agencies and the donor community in support of the economic and social development of the Palestinian people in line with their national development and State-building plan, as well as the assistance being provided in the humanitarian field,

Recognizing the efforts being undertaken by the Palestinian Authority, with international support, to rebuild, reform and strengthen its damaged institutions and promote good governance, and emphasizing the need to preserve the Palestinian national institutions and infrastructure and to ameliorate economic and social conditions,

Welcoming in this regard and expressing strong support for the plan of the Palestinian Authority, “Palestine: Ending the Occupation, Establishing the State”, for constructing the institutions of a Palestinian State within a twenty-four month period,

Stressing the importance of national unity among the Palestinian people, and emphasizing the need for the respect and preservation of the territorial integrity and unity of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem,

Calling on both parties to fulfil their obligations under the road map5 in cooperation with the Quartet,

1. Calls for the full opening of the border crossings of the Gaza Strip, in line with Security Council resolution 1860 (2009), to ensure humanitarian access as well as the sustained and regular flow of persons and goods and the lifting of all movement restrictions imposed on the Palestinian people, including those restrictions arising from ongoing Israeli military operations and the multilayered closures system, and for other urgent measures to alleviate the desperate humanitarian situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, especially in the Gaza Strip, and calls for compliance by Israel, the occupying Power, with all of its legal obligations under international humanitarian law and United Nations resolutions in this regard;

2. Stresses the need to preserve the territorial contiguity, unity and integrity of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and to guarantee the freedom of movement of persons and goods throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, as well as to and from the outside world;

3. Also stresses the need to preserve and develop Palestinian national institutions and infrastructure for the provision of vital public services to the Palestinian civilian population and to contribute to the promotion and protection of human rights, including economic and social rights;

4. Demands that Israel comply with the Protocol on Economic Relations between the Government of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization signed in Paris on 29 April 1994;8

5. Calls upon Israel to restore and replace civilian properties, vital infrastructure, agricultural lands and governmental institutions that have been damaged or destroyed as a result of its military operations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory;

6. Reiterates the call for the full implementation of the Agreement on Movement and Access of 15 November 2005, particularly the urgent and uninterrupted reopening of all crossings into the Gaza Strip, including the Rafah and Karni crossings, which is crucial to ensuring the passage of foodstuffs and essential supplies, including construction materials and adequate fuel supplies, as well as to ensuring the unhindered access of the United Nations and related agencies and regular commercial flows necessary for economic recovery to and within the Occupied Palestinian Territory;

7. Calls upon all parties to respect the rules of international humanitarian law and to refrain from violence against the civilian population in accordance with the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949;9

8. Reaffirms the inalienable right of the Palestinian people and the Arab population of the occupied Syrian Golan to all their natural and economic resources, and calls upon Israel, the occupying Power, not to exploit, endanger or cause loss or depletion of these resources;

9. Calls upon Israel, the occupying Power, to cease its destruction of homes and properties, economic institutions and agricultural lands and orchards in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, as well as in the occupied Syrian Golan;

10. Also calls upon Israel, the occupying Power, to end immediately its exploitation of natural resources, including water and mining resources, and to cease 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, the water and land resources, and present a serious environmental hazard and health threat to the civilian populations, and also calls upon Israel, the occupying Power, to remove all obstacles that obstruct implementation of critical environmental projects, including the sewage treatment plants in the Gaza Strip;

11. Reaffirms that the construction and expansion of Israeli settlements and related infrastructure in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the occupied Syrian Golan, are illegal and constitute a major obstacle to economic and social development and to the achievement of peace, and calls for the full cessation of all settlement and settlement-related activity, including full cessation of all measures aimed at altering the demographic composition, legal status and character of the occupied territories, including, in particular, in and around Occupied East Jerusalem, in compliance with relevant Security Council resolutions and international law, including the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War;

12. Also reaffirms that Israel’s ongoing construction of the wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, is contrary to international law and is isolating East Jerusalem, fragmenting the West Bank and seriously debilitating the economic and social development of the Palestinian people, and calls in this regard for full compliance with the legal obligations mentioned in the 9 July 2004 advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice,6 in General Assembly resolution ES-10/15 and in subsequent relevant resolutions;

13. Calls upon Israel to comply with the provisions of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War and to facilitate visits of the Syrian citizens of the occupied Syrian Golan whose family members reside in their mother homeland, the Syrian Arab Republic, via the Qunaitra entrance;

14. Emphasizes the importance of the work of United Nations organizations and agencies and of the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and Personal Representative of the Secretary-General to the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority;

15. Reiterates the importance of the revival of the peace process on the basis of relevant United Nations resolutions, including Security Council resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973), 425 (1978), 1397 (2002), 1515 (2003), 1544 (2004) and 1850 (2008), and the Madrid Conference, the principle of land for peace, the Arab Peace Initiative,4 and the Quartet road map, as well as compliance with the agreements reached between the Government of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, the representative of the Palestinian people, in order to pave the way for the establishment of the independent Palestinian State and the achievement of a just, lasting and comprehensive peace settlement;

16. Requests the Secretary-General to submit to the General Assembly at its sixty-fifth session, through the Economic and Social Council, a report on the implementation of the present resolution and to continue to include in the report of the United Nations Special Coordinator an update on the living conditions of the Palestinian people, in collaboration with relevant United Nations agencies;

17. Decides to include the item entitled “Economic and social repercussions of the Israeli occupation on the living conditions of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan” in the agenda of its substantive session of 2011.

_______________
1/ United Nations, Treaty Series, vol.75, No. 973.
2/ See General Assembly resolution 2200 A (XXI), annex.
3/ United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 1577, No. 27531.
4/ A/56/1026-S/2002/932, annex II, resolution 14/221.
5/ S/2003/529, annex.
6/ See A/ES-10/273 and Corr.1; see also Legal Consequences of the construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian territory, Advisory Opinion, I.C.J. Reports 2004, p. 136.
7/ A/65/72-E/2010/13.
8/ See A/49/180-S/1994/727, annex, entitled “Agreement on the Gaza Strip and the Jericho Area”, annex IV.
9/ United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 75, No. 973.



X. HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL ESTABLISHES FACT-FINDING MISSION
ON GAZA FLOTILLA INCIDENT

On 23 July 2010, the President of the United Nations Human Rights Council, Ambassador Sihasak Phuangketkeow, appointed three preeminent experts, Judge Karl T. Hudson-Phillips, Sir Desmond de Silva and Mary Shanthi Dairiam, to an independent international fact-finding mission to “investigate violations of international law, including international humanitarian and human rights law, resulting from the Israeli attacks on the flotilla of ships carrying humanitarian assistance”, which took place on 31 May 2010. The following are excerpts from a related press release (HRC/10/087):

The establishment of this independent international fact-finding mission was decided on 2 June 2010 by the Council with its resolution 14/1. The Council had previously held an urgent debate on the raid on the flotilla by Israeli Defense Forces. This United Nations body deplored “the loss of life of innocent civilians” during that debate.

The experts will now define their plan of action and make contact with all relevant parties prior to travelling to the region. They are expected to report on their findings to the United Nations Human Rights Council at its fifteenth session in September 2010.


Judge Karl T. Hudson-Phillips, QC (Trinidad and Tobago), served as a Judge of the International Criminal Court from 2003 to 2007. He was Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs of Trinidad and Tobago between 1969 and 1973. He was appointed Queen’s Counsel (QC) in 1971. He has now returned to private practice with chambers in Trinidad and Tobago and Grenada, West Indies.


Sir Desmond de Silva, QC (United Kingdom), is a lawyer with extensive experience in human rights, war crimes, terrorism, business crime, espionage trials and sports law. He served as Chief Prosecutor of the United Nations backed Special Court for Sierra Leone in 2005 at the level of an Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations. He has been Queen’s Counsel since 1984.


Mary Shanthi Dairiam (Malaysia) was a member of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women from 2005 to 2008. Since 2007, she has been serving on the Gender Equality Task Force of the United Nations Development Programme. She is a founding member of the Board of Directors of the International Women’s Rights Action Watch Asia Pacific.
XI. SECRETARY-GENERAL SUBMITS FOLLOW-UP REPORT
TO GOLDSTONE REPORT

On 26 July 2010, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon submitted a second follow-up report to the report of the United Nations Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict, which is reproduced below (A/64/867):

1. The present report, submitted pursuant to paragraph 5 of General Assembly resolution 64/254 of 26 February 2010 (second follow-up to the report of the United Nations Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict), in which the Assembly requested the Secretary-General to report to the General Assembly, within a period of five months, on the implementation of the resolution. To fulfil that request, it was therefore necessary to ascertain what steps the parties named in paragraphs 2, 3 and 4 of the resolution had taken.

2. On 27 May 2010, the Secretary-General drew the attention of the Permanent Mission of Israel to the United Nations to resolution 64/254, with the request that the Mission provide the Secretariat with written information, by 12 July 2010, of any steps that the Government of Israel may have taken or was in the process of taking further to the call of the General Assembly in paragraph 2 of the resolution.

3. On 16 July 2010, the Secretariat received a document from the Government of Israel entitled “Gaza Operation Investigations: Second Update”.

4. On 27 May 2010, the Secretary-General drew the attention of the Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine to the United Nations to resolution 64/254, with the request that the Mission provide the Secretariat with written information, by 12 July 2010, of any steps that the Palestinian
side may have taken or was in the process of taking further to the exhortation of the General Assembly in paragraph 3 of the resolution.

5. On 12 July 2010, the Secretary-General received a letter of the same date from the Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine to the United Nations conveying a letter dated 11 July 2010 from President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority and the report of the Palestinian Independent Commission Investigating in Follow-up of the Goldstone Report, including a general introduction to the report.

6. On 27 May 2010, the Secretary-General drew the attention of the Permanent Mission of Switzerland to the United Nations to resolution 64/254, with the request that the Mission provide the Secretariat with written information, by 12 July 2010, of any steps that the Government of Switzerland may have taken or was in the process of taking further to the recommendation of the General Assembly in paragraph 4 of the resolution.

7. On 12 July 2010, the Secretary-General received a note verbale of the same date from the Permanent Mission of Switzerland conveying a report entitled “Status of the talks on follow-up to paragraph 4 of General Assembly resolution 64/254”.

8. The submissions received from the above-mentioned parties total approximately 382 pages. For technical reasons, I am unable to issue the documents or my observations at the present time. I will report further as soon as the technical process of translation is completed.


XII. UNITED NATIONS SPECIAL COORDINATOR DEPLORES
SETTLERS’ TAKEOVER OF PALESTINIAN BUILDING
IN JERUSALEM

On 29 July 2010, United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Robert Serry, issued the following statement:

I deplore today’s unacceptable action by armed Israeli settlers who forcibly took over a building, which is home to nine Palestinian families, in the Muslim Quarter of the Old City. I call on the Israeli authorities to remove the settlers from the property and restore the status quo ante.

Moreover, yesterday, the Israeli authorities destroyed a number of Palestinian commercial structures on the outskirts of East Jerusalem.


These provocative acts come at a critical time in the international community’s efforts to move the peace process forward. I call on the Government of Israel to heed the Quartet’s call to refrain from provocative actions in East Jerusalem, including house demolitions and evictions.


XIII. UNITED NATIONS SPECIAL COORDINATOR FOR THE MIDDLE EAST
PEACE PROCESS CONDEMNS PALESTINIAN ROCKET ATTACK

On 30 July 2010, United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Robert Serry issued the following statement on a Palestinian rocket attack on southern Israel:

We condemn the attack on Ashkelon earlier today, in which a rocket struck a residential area. Indiscriminate rocket fire against civilians is completely unacceptable and constitutes a terrorist attack.

We call on the de-facto authorities in Gaza to ensure that these kinds of actions do not occur.


Violent actions must not be allowed to undermine progress in the ongoing talks between Israel and the Palestinians. We urge all parties to exercise restraint and abide by the Fourth Geneva Convention and international law.


XIV. OFFICE FOR THE COORDINATION OF HUMANITARIAN AFFAIRS
ISSUES REPORT ON HOUSE DEMOLITION AND
DISPLACEMENT IN THE WEST BANK

On 31 July 2010, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs issued a report entitled “Sharp Increase in Demolition and Displacement in the West Bank”. The following are excerpts from the report:

According to OCHA records, at least 230 Palestinian structures have been demolished in East Jerusalem and Area C in over 40 separate incidents since the beginning of this year. As a result, more than 1100 Palestinians, including over 400 children, have been forcibly displaced or otherwise affected owing to extensive damage of property or destruction of livelihood.

More than two thirds of this year’s demolitions took place in July. During the month, Israeli authorities demolished over 140 Palestinian structures, including homes, tents, animal shelters, barracks, water cisterns, sanitation units, shops and other commercial enterprises. On 13 July, 7 Palestinian homes, 5 of them inhabited, were demolished in East Jerusalem, leaving 25 people, including 14 children - one of them only 2 months old - forcibly displaced. Similarly, nearly an entire Palestinian village, Al Farisiye in the Jordan Valley, was forcibly displaced on 19 July.


In addition, there has been a marked increase in the number of stop-work and demolition orders being issued by Israeli authorities in Area C in recent months. According to NGOs that provide legal aid to those affected, requests for legal assistance quadrupled in June and July.


Among those most at risk are communities that reside in areas designated by Israeli authorities as closed military or firing zones, which currently cover over 18% of the West Bank, in particular if located in close proximity to Israeli settlements.



_______________

Complete document in PDF format (Requires Acrobat Reader)

Follow UNISPAL RSS Twitter