Question of Palestine home
6 December 2007
HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL
Item 3 of the agenda
PROMOTION AND PROTECTION OF ALL HUMAN RIGHTS, CIVIL,
POLITICAL, ECONOMIC, SOCIAL AND CULTURAL RIGHTS,
INCLUDING THE RIGHT TO DEVELOPMENT
Written statement* submitted by Badil Resource Center for
Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights, a non-governmental
organization in special consultative status
The Secretary-General has received the following written statement which is circulated in accordance with Economic and Social Council resolution 1996/31.
[30 November 2007]
* This written statement is issued, unedited, in the language(s) received from the submitting non-governmental organization(s).
Internal Displacement of Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territory
Between September and October 2007, 17 housing units in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip were destroyed. In total, 51 Palestinians were displaced. In addition to these homes demolitions, the entire Qassa community in the southern West Bank, totalling close to 200 persons, was displaced by the Israeli army. In the West Bank southern Hebron district only, close to 500 persons living in three villages (Zanuta, Susiya and Abu Qbeita
are at immediate risk of displacement.
On 29 October, the Israeli army forcibly displaced 25 families from Qassa, a village located between the Wall and the armnistice line (Green Line) in the southern Hebron district. People were physically removed and dumped at Tarqumiya commercial checkpoint. In total, over 180 persons, including at least 47 children, were displaced.
According to the Israeli army, Qassa residents were displaced because they were illegally present on the land and had built without permits. However, after being present in the area for some 40 years, residents, most of whom are 1948 refugees, only received an order to evacuate after the Wall was constructed in the area. A second evacuation order arrived once new construction of Tarqumiya checkpoint was completed. The displacement occurred the day after the checkpoint became operational.
The Qassa community has thus been displaced by the Wall and its associated regime, which was found illegal by the International Court of Justice because it affects the demographic composition of the OPT and violates the right to self-determination of the Palestinian people. Israel's ongoing policy of home demolition and eviction in the OPT lead to forced displacement and amount to forcible population transfer, a war crime and crime against humanity under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
Moreover, the land from which the inhabitants were displaced will likely be used to build an industrial park for Palestinians. Indeed, as part of the economic development plans announced by the international Quartet's Special Envoy Tony Blair construction is planned of an industrial park at the Tarqumiya checkpoint in the southern Hebron district. The construction of this industrial park, insofar as it enables Israel to maintain the restrictions on movement and access created by the construction of the Wall and it associated regime and annex land, would contravene the international court's ruling calling upon states to refrain from rendering aid or assistance that maintains the illegal situation created by the construction of the Wall and its associated regime.
Badil recommends to:
Members of the Human Rights Council:
Refrain from actions which
render aid or assistance in maintaining the illegal situation created by the construction of the Wall and its associated regime in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.
Consider urging state members of the UN to take measures such as economic sanctions and diplomatic boycott against Israel for its breach of international law and non-implementation of UN Resolutions, as well as the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice on
The Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory
The Representative of the Sevretary-General on Internally Displaced Persons:
Study the situation of Palestinian IDPs
and advocate in favor of the protection and respect of the human rights of Palestinian IDPs;
Undertake a country mission to the occupied Palestinian territory
to inquire into the human rights and protection issues of IDPs with relevant authorities, civil society, international actors and IDPs themselves and to develop recommendations for solving ongoing problems.