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Bulletin mensuel de la DDP - Vol.XXX, No.9 - Bulletin Comité pour l’exercice des droits inaliénables du peuple palestinien/DDP (septembre 2007) - publication de la Division des droits palestiniens Français

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Source: Division for Palestinian Rights (DPR)
Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (CEIRPP)
30 September 2007


September 2007

Volume XXX, Bulletin No. 9


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


Contents
Page
I.
    Secretary-General issues report on the peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine
1
II.
    Secretary-General concerned at Israeli decision declaring Gaza an ‘enemy entity’
6
III.
    Bureau of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People alarmed by Israel’s decision to declare Gaza Strip ‘hostile territory’
7
IV.
    Security Council hears a briefing on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question
11
V.
    Secretary-General designates Daniel Barenboim a United Nations Messenger of Peace
11
VI.
    Non-Aligned Movement issues statement on the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory
12
VII.
    Quartet issues statement
13
VIII.
    Non-Aligned Movement Committee on Palestine adopts declaration
14
IX.
    Human Rights Council calls for implementation of its resolutions S-1/1 and S-3/1
20
X.
    Human Rights Council adopts resolution on religious and cultural rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem
20




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. SECRETARY-GENERAL ISSUES REPORT ON THE PEACEFUL
SETTLEMENT OF THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE
The above-mentioned report (A/62/344-S/2007/553) was submitted by the Secretary-General in accordance with General Assembly resolution 61/25 and covered the period from September 2006 through September 2007. The observations of the Secretary-General on the current state of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and on international efforts to move the peace process forward are reproduced below.



5. During the reporting period, political turmoil, violence and the creation of facts on the ground further undermined efforts to achieve a peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine. However, in a positive development, bilateral dialogue between the Israeli Prime Minister and the Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization resumed, in a context of renewed regional and international engagement, to help realize the vision of two States living side by side in peace and security.

6. The reporting period was marked by intense rivalry between Palestinians loyal to Fatah and to Hamas in Gaza, with efforts to bridge differences undermined by episodes of heavy violence. In February 2007, following a year of isolation of the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority Government, an agreement to form a national unity Government which respected the signed agreements of the Palestine Liberation Organization, was reached under the auspices of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. President Abbas subsequently tasked Prime Minister Hanniyeh to form a national unity Government.

7. The Quartet, which had stated in January 2006 that it was inevitable that assistance to any Palestinian Government would be reviewed by donors against the commitment of that Government to the principles of non-violence, recognition of Israel, and acceptance of previous agreements and obligations, encouraged progress in the direction of these principles. Some donors engaged the new Government, but most maintained a “wait and see” approach.

8. Regrettably, the agreement did not lead to significant alterations in the behaviour of security elements and militias. Heavy intra-Palestinian fighting resumed in May 2007. On 15 June, Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip, in fighting that shocked many by its brutality. President Abbas declared a state of emergency, dismissed Prime Minister Hanniyeh, and appointed Salam Fayyad as Prime Minister of an emergency Government.

9. Hamas refused to accept the appointment of the new Government and continued to assume control over the Gaza Strip. As the Palestinian Legislative Council failed repeatedly to convene to confirm or dismiss the emergency Government, owing to boycotts by either Hamas or Fatah, Prime Minister Fayyad was reappointed by President Abbas on 13 July to lead a caretaker Government. I believe that the Palestinian Authority remains the only legitimate authority, and that Gaza and the West Bank continue to form one single Palestinian territory. Without the de facto reintegration of Gaza under the Palestinian Authority, efforts to revitalize the peace process will be difficult to sustain.

10. In Israel, the Government faced difficulties throughout the reporting period due to political scandals and investigations into the conduct of the July 2006 conflict with Hezbollah. Prime Minister Olmert broadened his coalition in October 2006 by including the party Israel Our Home, which favours transfer of Palestinian citizens of Israel. In June 2007, the Labour Party, a partner in the governmental coalition, elected Ehud Barak as its leader. On 13 June, Shimon Peres was elected by the Knesset as Israel’s ninth president.

11. Violence between Israelis and Palestinians, as well as among Palestinians, continued into the seventh year since the collapse of the Oslo process. Altogether, 11 Israelis and 1,053 Palestinians lost their lives in the reporting period. I deplore the heavy internecine violence in Gaza, which has brought about a major increase in the number of Palestinians killed and injured by fellow Palestinians. I condemn acts of terrorism, including a suicide bombing in Eilat and Palestinian rocket fire from the Gaza Strip, which have continued during the reporting period, causing civilian casualties and damage in Israel, and have also targeted crossings into the Strip. I also deplore the continuation of Israeli military operations into the Gaza Strip, which lead to civilian casualties. While fully acknowledging the right to self-defence of Israel, I recall that this right must be exercised in accordance with international law, that civilians must be protected, and that an appropriate mechanism of accountability must be in place. In this regard, I note with concern the continuation of the practice of extrajudicial killings of alleged Palestinian militants, which has often resulted in the deaths of innocent bystanders.

12. On 4 July, I was relieved when Alan Johnston, a British journalist who had been kidnapped by Palestinian militants in Gaza nearly four months before, was released. However, it is a matter of regret that Israeli Corporal Shalit, who was captured by Palestinian militants in June 2006, has not been released. I am grateful to the Government of Egypt for its efforts to secure his release and that of a number of the more than 10,000 Palestinian prisoners in Israel. I am also concerned by the continuing detention by Israel of nearly a third of all Palestinian legislators, and I call for their release.

13. The wide-ranging military operation initiated by the Israel Defence Forces in the Gaza Strip after the capture of Corporal Shalit continued until a ceasefire was reached in November 2006. This operation was marked by a deplorable incident on 8 November, when at least 18 Palestinians, nine of whom were children, were killed in their homes by Israeli fire in Beit Hanoun. The General Assembly, at its tenth emergency session, requested the Secretary-General to establish a fact-finding mission on the attack. In a letter to the President of the General Assembly dated 21 December, my predecessor informed her that the Israeli Government had not indicated that it would extend the necessary cooperation to the mission, and he regretted that he had been unable to dispatch the mission.

14. Israeli excavations surrounding a new link between the Mughrabi Gate to the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem led to incidents of civil disorder and tension both on the ground and regionally.

15. The continued Israeli creation of facts on the ground has also undermined the search for a peaceful settlement. The Government of Israel has continued to fail to meet its obligation under the road map calling for a comprehensive settlement freeze and the dismantling of outposts. I wish to emphasize that a halt to settlement expansion is a necessity for the creation of a contiguous and viable Palestinian State, and for the credibility of the process not to be undermined. During the reporting period, settlement development and construction has continued, with major construction taking place, and the number of settlers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem has increased by 5.5 per cent. Furthermore, none of the more than 100 outposts in the West Bank has been removed.

16. I continue to note with concern the route of the wall, particularly as it results in the confiscation of Palestinian land and cuts off the movement of people and goods, in contravention of Israel’s legal obligations as set forth in the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice of 9 July 2004. In accordance with the provisions of General Assembly resolution ES-10/17, I have continued efforts to establish the United Nations Register of Damage Caused by the Construction of the Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. On 10 May 2007, I appointed three international experts as members of the Board of the Register of Damage. The Secretariat is also in the process of completing the recruitment of qualified staff and the establishment of the Office of the Register of Damage at the United Nations Office at Vienna. As detailed by the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the route of the barrier and the nature of the closure regime in the West Bank are intimately related to the existence and continued expansion of settlements, in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

17. It remains a source of great concern that the Agreement on Movement and Access of November 2005 has not been implemented. Exports from Gaza have totalled only a fraction of the agreed targets. Even before the more severe closure of Gaza crossings following the Hamas takeover, many factories had closed and farmers were unable to export crops. No progress has been reported on bus or truck convoys between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, nor on plans to rebuild the Gaza seaport and airport. The number of the internal closures imposed by the Israeli authorities in the West Bank increased from approximately 400 at the time of the Agreement, to 532 in August 2007, severely impeding normal economic activity.

18. During the reporting period, the European Commission, in agreement with the Quartet, renewed and expanded the mandate of the temporary international mechanism. Total assistance to Palestinians in 2006, excluding funds channelled by donors not following the Quartet principles, reached approximately $1.2 billion, representing an increase of 10 per cent over 2005. Approximately €510 million, including a total European Union contribution of €485 million, was made available between June 2006 and August 2007 to the temporary international mechanism, thus helping the health and education sectors to continue to function, albeit with major disruptions. Humanitarian assistance also increased dramatically. In spite of this substantial effort, the deterioration of the situation made it clear that the temporary international mechanism could not be a substitute for the Palestinian Authority.

19. Consequently, the period before June 2007 was marked by an unprecedented fiscal crisis for the Palestinian Authority. As a result of the suspension of most direct international assistance and the withholding by Israel of the clearance revenue it collected on behalf of the Palestinian Authority, it faced a deficit of about 30 per cent of gross national product. This fiscal crisis in turn contributed to a serious decline in the delivery of public services. Most public schools in the West Bank remained closed for a prolonged period of time; public health facilities offered only limited services; and non-payment of the security services did not contribute to their effective functioning.

20. The takeover of Gaza by Hamas led to the absence of Palestinian Authority forces at the crossings, leaving the crossings mostly inoperable. I expressed my concern about the humanitarian and economic impact of this situation, and I reiterate my call on all parties to work constructively to operate the crossings. While humanitarian assistance is entering Gaza, it cannot suffice to stop the economic decline that results from the virtual inability to import raw materials essential for the production of industrial goods and construction, and export agricultural products and commercial goods. It is estimated that 90 per cent of Gaza’s industrial capacity has been suspended and more than 70,000 workers have been laid off since June. Eighty per cent of the population in Gaza relies on food assistance from the United Nations.

21. The decision of the international community to re-engage with the Palestinian Authority during the summer of 2007, and the transfer by the Israeli Government of Palestinian tax revenues to the Palestinian Authority helped to ameliorate the latter’s fiscal situation. As a result, Prime Minister Fayyad was able to pay full salaries to 160,000 Palestinian Authority employees for the first time in 15 months. In spite of this progress, the fiscal situation of the Palestinian Authority remains precarious, as its fiscal framework for 2007 shows a deficit for current operations of close to $1.6 billion.

22. I welcome the renewal of international diplomatic efforts in the reporting period to help the parties resume dialogue and overcome the many obstacles to peace. United States President Bush renewed his commitment to a two-State solution in a speech on 16 July 2007, and announced the intention of the United States to convene an international meeting in the autumn. This initiative built on the efforts of United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice from the start of 2007 to facilitate regular meetings between Palestinian President Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Olmert. The leaders have met on several occasions during the reporting period for substantive discussions.

23. I encourage the leaders to find genuine and substantive understandings on permanent status issues for the international meeting, together with an agenda on further steps, both diplomatic and on the ground. Such steps would build on those already taken, such as the transfer of withheld Palestinian tax revenues to the Palestinian Authority, the release of 256 Palestinian prisoners, and the agreement not to arrest 173 wanted persons. The additional steps must, inter alia, bring an end to settlement expansion and remove outposts, improve Palestinian Authority security performance, enhance security cooperation, ease the severe restrictions on freedom of Palestinian movement, and create new economic opportunities for Palestinians.

24. In helping to advance this agenda, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who was appointed as Quartet representative on 27 June, will have a vital role to play. He has taken up with admirable commitment his new functions to support Palestinian institutional reform and economic rejuvenation. The United Nations is committed to providing the necessary support to ensure the success of his mission.

25. I welcome the efforts of the League of Arab States and several Arab countries to advance regional efforts for peace. On 28 March in Riyadh, the League of Arab States reaffirmed the Arab Peace Initiative. A follow-up ministerial committee established working groups to engage international partners and Israel and create greater public awareness of the potential of the initiative, and in July the Ministers for Foreign Affairs of Egypt and Jordan travelled to Israel to engage the Government of Israel. I note also that the Syrian Arab Republic has continued to state its commitment to the Arab Peace Initiative.

26. I further welcome Norway’s proposal to reactivate the ad hoc liaison committee, which has not met since December 2005. The next meeting, to be held in New York on 24 September 2007, will be an opportunity to discuss management of assistance to the Palestinians, financial support to the Palestinian Authority, and Palestinian institutional reform, in consultation with the Quartet representative. It will be a stepping stone towards a donor pledging conference planned for December. In this context, the Palestinian Authority is expected to publish a three-year medium-term expenditure framework by November 2007. I hope that this strategy will take into account the needs of all Palestinians, in the West Bank and in Gaza.

27. The United Nations has remained engaged at a political level. The Secretariat has provided monthly briefings to the Security Council on developments in the Middle East, as well as whenever the situation on the ground has demanded that the Council be kept urgently apprised. I travelled three times to the region since becoming Secretary-General. I also attended four meetings of the Quartet, which has been re-energized, and I will host a meeting of the Quartet in New York on 23 September 2007. Members of the follow-up committee of the League of Arab States on the Arab Peace Initiative will also meet with the Quartet. I am confident that this round of consultations will be helpful in shaping the context for the international meeting this autumn and the intimately related work of Mr. Blair.

28. I take this opportunity to deplore any threat or violence exerted against United Nations staff and humanitarian workers operating in the Occupied Palestinian Territory in general. I am particularly concerned at the fact that Palestinian and international United Nations staff members have faced increasingly arbitrary treatment by Israeli authorities, and I am looking forward to improvements in this regard in the context of ongoing discussions with the Government of Israel. I am also concerned by Palestinian violence targeting United Nations personnel, as has occurred inside or in the immediate vicinity of United Nations installations, and elsewhere in Gaza. Two national staff members of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) were killed and others were injured while serving the Palestinian people. I pay tribute to their memory.

29. In this difficult and challenging context, I want to praise the courage and dedication of the United Nations personnel serving in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. In particular, I am grateful to the Director of UNRWA Operations in Gaza, his staff and the security personnel, who remained at their posts throughout the height of the fighting in June 2007. I also wish to express my deep appreciation to Alvaro de Soto and Michael Williams, the previous and outgoing United Nations Special Coordinators for the Middle East Peace Process and my successive Personal Representatives to the Palestinian Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority, and the staff of their Office, as well as to the Commissioner-General of UNRWA, Karen Koning AbuZayd, the staff of the Agency and all other United Nations agencies, funds and programmes, who continue to provide indispensable and remarkable service under demanding and sometimes dangerous circumstances.

30. At this juncture, I am encouraged by the renewed and substantive dialogue between the parties and the reaffirmed commitment of the international community, including regional partners, on the political and assistance aspects of the peace process. I am also reassured by the repeated polls that show that a majority of people on both sides support the realization of the two-State solution in a non-violent manner. However, I remain deeply conscious of the challenges, particularly in the light of the continued Israeli settlement policy, the de facto division of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, the challenge of improving Palestinian Authority security performance and rejuvenating its economy, and the potential for those who oppose progress in the peace process to try to derail it through violence. I stress that it is vital that Hamas cease any effort to establish separate rule in Gaza and that Palestinians find peaceful means to overcome their internal differences and unite towards peace under the Palestinian Authority.

31. As Secretary-General, I will continue to ensure that the United Nations works towards the creation of an independent, democratic, contiguous and viable Palestinian State living side by side in peace with a secure Israel, within the framework of a comprehensive regional settlement, consistent with Security Council resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973), 1397 (2002) and 1515 (2003), and in accordance with the road map, the Arab Peace Initiative and the principle of land for peace.
II. SECRETARY-GENERAL CONCERNED AT ISRAELI DECISION
DECLARING GAZA AN ‘ENEMY ENTITY’

Following is the text of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s statement issued on 19 September 2007 (UN Press Release SG/SM/11165):

I am very concerned at the decision taken today by the Israeli Government to declare the Gaza Strip an “enemy entity” and its announced intent to interrupt essential services such as electricity and fuel to the civilian population. Such a step would be contrary to Israel’s obligations towards the civilian population under international humanitarian and human rights law.

The United Nations has broad humanitarian responsibilities and is mandated to provide assistance to and meet the humanitarian needs of the civilian population of the Gaza Strip and West Bank. There are 1.4 million people in Gaza, including the old, the young and the sick, who are already suffering from the impact of prolonged closure. They should not be punished for the unacceptable actions of militants and extremists. I call for Israel to reconsider this decision.

The continued indiscriminate rocket fire from Gaza into Israel is unacceptable and I deplore it. I call for it to stop immediately. I understand Israel’s security concerns over this matter.

III. BUREAU OF THE COMMITTEE ON THE EXERCISE OF THE
INALIENABLE RIGHTS OF THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE
ALARMED BY ISRAEL’S DECISION TO DECLARE
GAZA STRIP ‘HOSTILE TERRITORY’

The following statement was issued on 20 September 2007 by the Bureau of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (UN Press Release GA/PAL/1064):

The Bureau of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People is greatly alarmed by yesterday’s decision of the Israeli Security Cabinet to consider the Gaza Strip a “hostile territory” and to apply additional sanctions to the Territory, in order to restrict the passage of various goods to the Gaza Strip and reduce the supply of such vital services as fuel and electricity. We consider this decision to be a violation of international law, including international humanitarian law, and yet another form of collective punishment of the Palestinian people, which, if implemented, is bound to substantially worsen the already deplorable living conditions of the civilian population in the occupied Gaza Strip.

The Bureau of the Committee is of the view that the decision clearly violates the obligations of Israel under the Fourth Geneva Convention, to which it is a High Contracting Party. As the occupying Power, Israel has an obligation to provide protection and essential services to the civilian population under its occupation. The Convention’s applicability to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, has been repeatedly confirmed by the General Assembly and the Security Council.

The Bureau of the Committee reiterates its position condemning the killing of innocent civilians by both sides, including Israeli military operations and the firing of rockets and mortar rounds by Palestinian groups. Such attacks by both sides must be stopped immediately, and those responsible must be brought to justice.

In addition, this decision of the Israeli Government may considerably complicate current efforts of the international community to revitalize the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and prevent the Palestinian Authority from promoting and marshalling public support for dialogue towards peace. Nobody, including the Israeli people, will benefit from such a scenario.

The Bureau of the Committee calls on the Government of Israel to reverse the decision. We also call on the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to live up to their responsibility to “undertake to respect and to ensure respect for the … Convention in all circumstances,” as specified in article 1 of the Convention.

IV. SECURITY COUNCIL HEARS A BRIEFING ON THE SITUATION
IN THE MIDDLE EAST, INCLUDING THE PALESTINIAN
QUESTION

On 20 September 2007, the Security Council heard a briefing by Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Lynn B. Pascoe on “The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question”, which is excerpted below. For the verbatim record of the meeting, see S/PV.5746).



Prime Minister Olmert and President Abbas continue their bilateral dialogue. They recently agreed to set up negotiating teams to assist them in transforming their discussions into an agreed text. A lot of work remains to be done if these talks are to produce a substantive agreement. United States Secretary of State Rice is currently in the region to take stock of progress and encourage further effort. She will brief the Quartet when it meets here in New York on Sunday.

Quartet representative Blair recently completed his second visit to the region to develop his agenda on economic revival and institutional reform. He will also brief the Quartet on Sunday. The United Nations continues to give Mr. Blair’s efforts its full support.

As these diplomatic efforts have proceeded, violence among Palestinians has killed 11 and injured 95, including 8 children. There have been several violent confrontations with heavy exchanges of fire, reflecting a deep and continuing political crisis.

In Gaza, Hamas has replaced senior personnel in ministries, while adopting increasingly repressive measures to solidify its control. I am particularly concerned at reports of mounting human rights abuses at the hands of paramilitary Hamas forces, including the violent dispersal of demonstrations and the illegal detention of other Palestinians.

In the West Bank, Palestinian Authority security forces have been arresting alleged Hamas members. The Palestinian Authority has closed over 100 charities and non-governmental organizations. In the absence of sessions of the Palestinian Legislative Council, President Abbas continues to rule by decree. A recent decree introduced major changes to the electoral law by adopting a full proportional system and requiring any party participating in future elections to be committed to the 1988 Declaration of Independence of the Palestine Liberation Organization as well as the Basic Law. Hamas has strongly attacked that decree.

The continued division of the occupied Palestinian territory is a matter of deep political, security and socioeconomic concern. Obviously, the longer it continues the harder it will be to overcome. President Abbas and Prime Minister Fayyad insist that Hamas apologize for its violent takeover of Gaza in June, reverse the steps it has taken, and recognize the Palestinian Authority. However, Hamas continues to reject those demands and to call for dialogue, while solidifying its de facto rule in Gaza.

Violence between Israelis and Palestinians has also continued. In the reporting period, 20 Palestinians were killed and 89 injured, while one Israeli was killed and 50 were injured. I condemn the continued indiscriminate rocket fire by Palestinian militants in Gaza against civilian population centres in southern Israel. Those attacks have caused casualties and damage, particularly in Sderot, at which 10 rockets were fired in the opening two days of the school year. A rocket fired by Islamic Jihad also struck an Israeli army base at Zikim on 11 September, injuring 44 soldiers, including one critically, while 23 others were treated for shock. Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit remains in captivity in Gaza and efforts to renew talks for his release appear to have made no headway.

Yesterday, the Israeli security cabinet declared Gaza an enemy entity and announced its intention to interrupt essential services, such as electricity and fuel, to the civilian population. Israel has also closed the Strip for the movement of Palestinians in and out and indicated that it will severely restrict the movement of internationals. As noted yesterday, while we fully understand Israel’s security concerns, the steps announced would, if implemented, violate Israel’s obligations towards the civilian population under international humanitarian and human rights law. There are 1.4 million people in Gaza, including the old, the young and the sick. They should not be punished for the unacceptable actions of militants and extremists. We believe that Israel should rethink that decision.

Israel Defense Forces (IDF) actions have also caused civilian casualties. On 22 August, Palestinian twins aged 10 and a 12-year old from the same family were killed by an IDF missile targeting northern Gaza. No satisfactory public investigation or action has been taken in similar incidents to give confidence that the IDF is making a maximum effort to prevent such casualties. In the West Bank, the IDF conducted 110 searches, detaining 175 Palestinians. The IDF claims that its security measures have prevented a number of planned suicide bombings and that earlier in the month it uncovered an explosives laboratory in Nablus. A raid into Nablus which began on 18 September and is continuing has left a 17-year old Palestinian and a disabled Palestinian man dead. An Israeli soldier has also been killed in the incursion.

Earlier steps to build confidence and improve conditions on the ground in the West Bank have not been built upon in the reporting period. For example, a welcome Israeli initiative to release a further number of Palestinian prisoners appears to have been slowed down. No action has been taken to ease obstacles to freedom of movement in the West Bank, which have risen to 563. This level of restriction is contrary to the Agreement on Movement and Access and to the goal of rejuvenating the Palestinian economy. Action on this matter is now critical.

Settlement construction is continuing on both sides of the barrier in the majority of settlements. No action has been taken against outposts. A new outpost is visible within 100 metres of an Israeli army post at the northern entrance to Ramallah. Continued settlement expansion is contrary to international law and the road map and discredits efforts to advance the peace process.

Construction of the barrier deep within the West Bank continues, contrary to the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice. On 4 September, the Israeli High Court ordered a section of the barrier rerouted where it deviates from the 1967 armistice line to incorporate the settlement bloc of Modiin. The Israeli army was unable to make a security case for the planned route in front of a judge, and the route was altered as a result.

The Palestinian Authority under Prime Minister Fayyad is working to impose law and order, institute reform and good governance, and improve living conditions. On security, more needs to be done to build confidence among Israelis and Palestinians alike that the Palestinian Authority security services will operate with professionalism and determination to prevail over militias. That is a key test for the Authority and meeting it is vital to the success of the political process. For example, further action is required to disarm militants Israel has agreed to remove from wanted lists.

With the resumption of Israeli transfers of Palestinian tax revenue, public sector salaries are being paid in the West Bank and Gaza, though in the case of Gaza most public sector employees are not reporting to work due to the dispute over who they report to.

The Government has embarked on an integrated budgeting and planning approach that will result in a Palestinian development and reform plan for 2008-2010. The plan aims to improve resource allocation to national priorities, increase the predictability of funding for services, and provide the basis for strengthened public expenditure management.



In that context, the continued closure of Gaza is a source of deep concern. While humanitarian supplies are reaching the population, the Karni and Rafah crossings have been closed since the Hamas takeover in mid-June. That has caused severe personal and economic hardship. Some $200-million-worth of United Nations and World Bank infrastructure programmes in the Gaza strip have been halted. A third of students have begun their school year without textbooks. Almost all exports from the Gaza Strip have ceased, though recently arrangements have been made to facilitate a limited amount of exports through Kerem Shalom. The inflow of foodstuffs into the Gaza Strip is slowly declining -approximately 27 fewer truckloads per day in August as compared to July. The World Food Programme reports that current levels of food imports only cover about 60 per cent of food import needs.

The Acting Special Coordinator is developing, in close consultation with many interested parties, a proposal to increase access through the crossings, including re-opening Karni. I call on all concerned to work with the United Nations to find a secure and satisfactory way to re-open the crossings.

I now turn to the regional situation. During the reporting period, a number of Arab League member States, as well as the Arab League Secretary-General, have stressed that the Israeli-Palestinian dialogue must produce substantive results if it is to receive Arab support and be the basis for a successful international meeting. They have also called for the meeting to be comprehensive.



As the Council is aware, the Quartet meets this Sunday, 23 September, followed by an iftar with a number of members of the League of Arab States. The Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC) meets the following day. The Secretary-General will host or co-host all of those events.

The Quartet will hear from Mr. Blair on his plans for the period ahead, take stock of progress in the bilateral talks and discuss the way ahead in preparation for the international meeting called by President Bush. The Secretary-General will also impress upon his colleagues his concern for the welfare of the Palestinian population in Gaza. The iftar is an opportunity for the Quartet to convey its determination to work closely with its Arab partners in an effort to realize the potential of the Arab Peace Initiative and to advance the cause of a comprehensive regional peace.

The AHLC meeting is the occasion for Prime Minister Fayyad to present his Government’s plan for Palestinian economic revival and for donors to signal their support in advance of a donor pledging conference before the end of the year.


V. SECRETARY-GENERAL DESIGNATES DANIEL BARENBOIM
A UNITED NATIONS MESSENGER OF PEACE

On 21 September 2007, the International Day of Peace, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon designated Israeli-Argentine conductor and pianist Daniel Barenboim a United Nations Messenger of Peace. Following is an excerpt from UN Note to Correspondents No. 6106:



Mr. Barenboim, acclaimed conductor and pianist, has been a musical virtuoso since his youth when he gave his international debut performance as a solo pianist at age 10 in Vienna and Rome. Well known as the Music Director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, a position he held from 1991 until June 2006, Mr. Barenboim has received worldwide praise for his work with a number of other orchestras, including the Orchestra of the Berlin State Opera.

In 1999, he founded together with the Palestinian literary scholar Edward Said the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, which brings together young musicians from Israel and the Arab countries to enable dialogue between the various cultures of the Middle East. This orchestra performed a ground-breaking concert in Ramallah in 2005, and played at the United Nations and Carnegie Hall in New York in 2006. Recently, Mr. Barenboim has initiated a project for music education in the Palestinian territories, including the foundation of a music kindergarten and a Palestinian youth orchestra. As a Messenger of Peace, he will continue to promote peace and tolerance through the shared language of music.

In his consideration of Mr. Barenboim’s service to humanity, the Secretary-General wrote, “I am convinced you would be a persuasive and powerful Messenger of Peace given your role as the co-founder of the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra.”


VI. NON-ALIGNED MOVEMENT ISSUES STATEMENT ON THE SITUATION
IN THE OCCUPIED PALESTINIAN TERRITORY

The following statement was adopted by the Coordinating Bureau of the Non-Aligned Movement on the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, on 21 September 2007 (A/62/367-S/2007/571):

In a dangerous development in the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, on 19 September 2007, Israel’s Security Cabinet declared the occupied Gaza Strip “hostile territory”, declaring its intention to cut off power and fuel supplies to the already isolated and imprisoned Palestinian civilian population in the Gaza Strip.

This cruel decision by Israel amounts to a violation of international law, including international humanitarian law, and the collective punishment of the entire Palestinian civilian population in the Gaza Strip. It is totally unjustifiable under any pretext and should be condemned.

Israel, the occupying Power, should comply with its legal obligations under the Fourth Geneva Convention, which is applicable to the entire Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem. In this connection, it must be emphasized that the Gaza Strip remains a part of the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

The Non-Aligned Movement calls upon Israel, the occupying Power, to halt all of its violations and grave breaches of international law and to scrupulously abide by its legal obligations under international humanitarian law as an occupying Power.

VII. QUARTET ISSUES STATEMENT
Following is the statement issued by the Quartet after its meeting at United Nations Headquarters on 23 September 2007 (SG/2132-PAL/2087).

The Quartet principals - Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, High Representative for European Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana, Portuguese Foreign Minister Luis Amado and European Commissioner for External Relations Benita Ferrero-Waldner - met today in New York to discuss the situation in the Middle East. They were joined by Quartet Representative Tony Blair.

The Quartet recognized the present opportunity for progress and the robust regional and international desire for peace in the Middle East. The Quartet expressed its strong support for the ongoing bilateral talks between Prime Minister [Ehud] Olmert and President [Mahmoud] Abbas, and welcomed the formation of Israeli and Palestinian teams to discuss the core issues that are essential to progress towards their shared goal of a negotiated two-State solution and establishment of a viable Palestinian State living side by side with a secure Israel. The Quartet welcomed parallel steps taken by the parties to build confidence and improve conditions on the ground. The Quartet underscored the need for immediate additional steps to meet previous commitments, including those under the road map and the Agreement on Movement and Access, so as to create a positive atmosphere conducive to progress towards a two-State solution.

The Quartet expressed support for the international meeting on Israeli-Palestinian peace called for by President [George W.] Bush in his 16 July statement. Principals discussed the meeting and agreed that it should be substantive and serious, providing support to the parties in their bilateral discussions and negotiations in order to move forward urgently on a successful path to a Palestinian State in the West Bank and Gaza that will unite all Palestinians. The goal of this meeting is to bring together key members of the international community in support of efforts between the Israelis and Palestinians to end their conflict and help bring a final peace in the Middle East. The Quartet expects the meeting to affirm its support for the two-State solution based on a rejection of violence and its support for progress by the parties in their bilateral discussions. The meeting should also review progress that has been made towards building Palestinian institutions and discuss innovative and effective ways to support further Palestinian reform. The Quartet will work for a successful international meeting and for the implementation of its conclusions.

Quartet Representative Tony Blair briefed the Quartet on his meetings and discussions in the region, and discussed the way forward on the development of a functioning Palestinian economy and the institutions of governance that will form the foundation of a Palestinian State. The Quartet agreed that Mr. Blair should work closely with the Palestinian Authority Government in developing a multi-year agenda for institutional and economic development, and looked forward to strong technical and financial support from the international community in support of these efforts, beginning with the 24 September Ad Hoc Liaison Committee meeting. In that context, the Quartet called upon all countries that are able to contribute to urgently provide financial support to the Palestinian Authority. The Quartet endorsed an extension of the Temporary International Mechanism until 31 December 2007, and expressed its hope that, during this period, a mechanism would be established to facilitate the transition to direct international assistance to this Palestinian Authority Government.

The Quartet expressed concern over conditions in Gaza. It agreed on the importance of continued emergency and humanitarian assistance without obstruction. The Quartet called for the continued provision of essential services. It expressed its urgent concern over the continued closure of major crossing points given the impact on the Palestinian economy and daily life. The Quartet further noted its grave concern over the continued rocket fire from Gaza into Israel, and recent efforts by Hamas to stifle freedom of speech and the press.

The Quartet discussed its forthcoming meeting with members of the Arab League follow-up committee to consult on next steps on the Arab Peace Initiative and regional support for bilateral talks between the parties.

The Quartet reaffirmed its commitment to a just, lasting and comprehensive peace in the Middle East based on United Nations Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973).
VIII. NON-ALIGNED MOVEMENT COMMITTEE ON PALESTINE
ADOPTS DECLARATION

On 25 September 2007, the Ministerial Committee of the Non-Aligned Movement on Palestine adopted the following declaration (A/62/368-S/2007/581):

Declaration on Palestine
1. The Ministers of the Non-Aligned Movement reviewed the continuing grave situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem. They considered approaches and strategies to be undertaken by the Movement as a whole to continue strongly supporting the Palestinian people and their leadership and for promoting a revival of the peace process towards the achievement of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace settlement and the exercise by the Palestinian people of their inalienable right to self-determination in their independent and sovereign State of Palestine, with East Jerusalem as its capital. The Ministers recalled in particular the Declaration on Palestine adopted by the Committee on Palestine on 16 September 2006, in Havana, Cuba, during the XIV Conference of Heads of State or Government, as well as the positions concerning Palestine adopted by the Movement in Durban in August 2004 and Putrajaya in May 2006, and affirmed their continued adherence to the views and principled positions expressed therein.

2. The Ministers expressed their deep regret that for 40 years the Palestinian people have suffered continuously under the brutal Israeli military occupation of their land since 1967, and that they continue to be denied their fundamental human rights, including the right to self-determination and the right of the Palestine refugees to return. The Ministers expressed their grave concern about the serious deterioration of the situation on the ground at the political, economic, social and humanitarian levels in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, as a result of the ongoing unlawful policies and practices being carried out by Israel, the occupying Power, against the Palestinian people, including continuing grave human rights violations and reported war crimes.

3. The Ministers strongly condemned the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land and the unrelenting aggression by Israel, the occupying Power, against the Palestinian people, which has resulted, inter alia, in the continued killing and injury of Palestinian civilians by use of excessive and indiscriminate force and extrajudicial executions and the vast destruction of properties, infrastructure and agricultural lands. The Ministers also condemned the arbitrary detention and illegal imprisonment of thousands of Palestinians, including children and women and numerous Palestinian officials, and called for their immediate release. They also condemned Israel's continued imposition of measures of collective punishment on the Palestinian people, particularly the imposition of severe restrictions on the movement of persons and goods via closures and a vast and discriminatory network of hundreds of checkpoints, some of which have been illegally transformed into structures similar to permanent border crossings in the middle of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, away from the 1967 border (Green Line), and which are physically severing the northern, central and southern parts of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, undermining its territorial integrity and contiguity, and destroying the Palestinian economy. The Ministers demanded that Israel, the occupying Power, immediately cease all of these grave violations of international law, including international humanitarian and human rights law.

4. The Ministers stressed in particular that, in addition to such grave breaches by the occupying Power, the main and core danger to the realization of the inalienable and national rights of the Palestinian people and the achievement of the two-State solution continued to be the relentless and unlawful campaign of settler colonialism and construction of the Wall being carried out by Israel in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in Occupied East Jerusalem. They reiterated their grave concern and strong condemnations regarding Israel's intensive colonization measures, including its continued vast land confiscations and the construction and expansion of settlements, and condemned Israel's illegal attempts to carry out its E-1 plan in and around East Jerusalem and to illegally annex the Jordan Valley. The Ministers reaffirmed the many relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions condemning and demanding the cessation of such illegal Israeli measures, including measures taken by the occupying Power to change the status, character and demographic composition of East Jerusalem, which are null and void, and called for the full implementation of those resolutions. In this regard, the Ministers also called for full compliance with the relevant provisions of the advisory opinion rendered by the International Court of Justice on 9 July 2004 on the Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

5. The Ministers thus considered in depth the continuing grave developments regarding the critical issue of the unlawful construction by Israel, the occupying Power, of the wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem. They condemned Israel's flagrant defiance of and disrespect for the advisory opinion of the Court and its continued violation of General Assembly resolution ES-10/15 of 20 July 2004. They expressed their deep concern at the grave breaches of international law, including of the Fourth Geneva Convention, that continue to be committed by Israel in this regard, including, inter alia, the destruction and requisition of land and properties, the violations of the Palestinian people's freedom of movement and their right to work, to health, to education and to an adequate standard of living, and the displacement of Palestinian civilians from their homes and lands. The Ministers stressed that the wall, which is causing extreme physical, economic and social devastation, is dissecting the Occupied Palestinian Territory into several walled and isolated cantons, destroying entire communities and severing Occupied East Jerusalem from the rest of the Territory. The Ministers stressed that such illegal and unilateral measures by Israel in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, are gravely threatening the prospects for achieving the two-State solution on the basis of the pre-1967 borders, and expressed their complete rejection of these Israeli measures and policies, stressing that they are unlawful and unacceptable and cannot alter the terms of reference of the peace process begun in Madrid or negate the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, as enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, international law and relevant United Nations resolutions.

6. The Ministers reiterated their demand that Israel, the occupying Power, scrupulously respect its legal obligations as mentioned in the advisory opinion and comply fully with resolution ES-10/15, and reiterated their call upon Member States and the United Nations as well to uphold their obligations in this regard. They recalled in specific the Court's determination that Israel is under an obligation to terminate its breaches of international law, to cease the construction of the wall being built in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, to dismantle the structure therein situated, to repeal or render ineffective all legislative and regulatory acts relating thereto, and to make reparations for all damage caused by the construction of the wall; that all States are under an obligation to recognize the illegal situation resulting from the construction of the wall and not to render aid or assistance in maintaining the situation created by such construction and that all States parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention have an additional obligation of ensuring compliance by Israel with the Convention; and that the United Nations, especially the General Assembly and the Security Council, should consider what further action is required to bring an end to the illegal situation resulting from the construction of the wall and the associated regime, taking due account of the advisory opinion.

7. The Ministers reiterated their firm conviction that such respect and compliance would positively influence the efforts for achieving a just, peaceful and political settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on the basis of the rules and principles of international law. However, in light of the fact that Israel, the occupying Power, is not in compliance with its legal obligations, the Ministers reiterated their call for the following specific actions aimed at bringing an end to the violations being committed by the occupying Power in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem:

(a) At the United Nations, the Ministers called for further measures to be taken, in accordance with paragraph 5 of resolution ES-10/15, and also called on the Security Council to fulfill its responsibilities by adopting a clear resolution on the issue and undertaking the necessary measures in this regard. Further in this regard, the Ministers welcomed the establishment by the United Nations Secretary-General of the United Nations Register of Damage Caused by the Construction of the Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, pursuant to the request made by the Assembly in the above resolution, called for the expeditious operation of the office of the Register of Damage, and stressed the need to ensure that the positions of the Secretariat are fully consistent with the advisory opinion.

(b) With regard to Member States, the Ministers called for measures to be undertaken by them, including by means of legislation, collectively, regionally and individually, to prevent any products of the illegal Israeli settlements from entering their markets, consistent with the obligations under international treaties, to decline entry
to Israeli settlers and to impose sanctions against companies and entities involved in the construction of the wall and other illegal colonization activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem.

(c) With regard to the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention, the Ministers called for them to adhere to article 1 common to the four Geneva Conventions and to undertake measures to ensure compliance by Israel with the Convention. They reaffirmed in this regard the obligations of the High Contracting Parties regarding penal sanctions, grave breaches and responsibilities of the High Contracting Parties. They affirmed further the importance and called for the application of legal remedies without impunity to war crimes committed in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem.

8. The Ministers expressed their alarm at the deepening economic, social and humanitarian crisis and isolation being endured by the Palestinian civilian population in the Gaza Strip. They strongly condemned Israel's continuation of its military aggression against the Palestinian civilian population in the Gaza Strip, which has caused death and injury to hundreds more civilians, including women and children, and the deliberate and wanton destruction of Palestinian property and vital infrastructure. They also condemned its continued imposition of unlawful policies and collective punishment, including via the prolonged closure of all crossings into and out of the Gaza Strip that are causing greater economic and social deprivation of the Palestinian people. They stressed that such unlawful actions by the occupying Power constitute grave breaches of international law for which the perpetrators must be held accountable and brought to justice. The Ministers called for the immediate cessation of Israel's military aggression and compliance with all of its legal obligations under international law, including under the Fourth Geneva Convention.

9. The Ministers reiterated their deep concern at the continuing hardships, including rising unemployment and poverty, being faced by the Palestinian people, particularly in the Gaza Strip, as a result of the international financial and political boycott that had been imposed on the Palestinian Authority. In this connection, they called upon Israel, the occupying Power, to release all remaining tax revenues due to the Palestinian Authority and to cease its imposition of closures on the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, which continue to cause extensive socioeconomic damage. In light of the continuing difficulties, the Ministers called upon the non-aligned countries to continue extending urgent assistance to the Palestinian people to ease the financial and humanitarian crisis.

10. The Ministers affirmed their support for the Palestine Liberation Organization, the sole and legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, and the Palestinian Authority under the leadership of President Mahmoud Abbas, and emphasized the importance of maintaining and protecting the national and democratic institutions of the Palestinian Authority, as they shall constitute the vital foundation for the future independent Palestinian State. They called for urgent efforts to rehabilitate and develop Palestinian institutions. In this connection, the Ministers condemned the criminal actions that were carried out in the Gaza Strip in June 2007, and called for the restoration of the situation in the Gaza Strip to that which existed prior to the events of June 2007 to pave the way for national Palestinian dialogue to achieve national reconciliation. They stressed the necessity for the mobilization of Palestinian capabilities to preserve the territorial unity and integrity of the Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, to end the occupation and to achieve the Palestinian national goal.

11. The Ministers reiterated their hope that the international community and the Quartet will exert all efforts during this critical period to revive the peace process and to salvage the road map and promote its implementation towards ending the occupation of the Palestinian Territory that was occupied in 1967, including East Jerusalem, and thus realizing the two-State solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the right of all states and peoples in the region to live in peace and security. They called on the Quartet specifically to remain actively engaged with the Palestinian and Israeli sides to bring about a resumption of direct and substantial negotiations between the two sides and to encourage immediate positive steps on the ground, on the basis of the road map, in order to promote a genuine resumption of the peace process towards the achievement of its stated aims and goals. In this regard, they welcomed the call by President Mahmoud Abbas for immediate negotiations on final status issues with Israel, the occupying Power.

12. Further in this connection, the Ministers stressed the continued relevance of the Arab Peace Initiative adopted by the Arab summit in Beirut in March 2002, emphasizing the importance of the decision by the Arab Summit in Riyadh in March 2007 to revive and reinvigorate the Arab Peace Initiative, including through the formation of a Follow-up Arab Ministerial Committee, and expressed support for the efforts being undertaken in that direction. Moreover, they welcomed the initiative to convene a conference in the fall of 2007 aimed at ending the occupation and actualizing the two-State solution. The Ministers also supported the call by President Abbas for the transformation of such a conference into an international conference under the auspices of the United Nations to achieve a comprehensive, just and lasting solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict, including its core, the question of Palestine, based on the relevant United Nations resolutions and principles of international law.

13. The Ministers also called upon the Security Council to assume its responsibilities and to act on the basis of its own resolutions to compel Israel to respect international law and put an end to Israel's occupation and all of its illegitimate and illegal practices in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem. The Ministers reiterated their appreciation to the members of the NAM Caucus of the Security Council for their continuous efforts concerning the question of Palestine and called upon them to remain actively involved. Moreover, they urged the Quartet to engage the Security Council, considering the Council's Charter authority and responsibility for the maintenance of peace and security. In this context, they reaffirmed the permanent responsibility of the United Nations, including the General Assembly and the Security Council, towards the question of Palestine until it is resolved in all its aspects on the basis of international law, including a just resolution to the plight of the Palestine refugees in accordance with General Assembly resolution 194 (III) of 11 December 1948.

14. The Ministers reiterated their conviction that a vital role should continue to be played by the Movement vis-à-vis the question of Palestine, and entrusted the Chair, assisted by the Committee on Palestine, to lead the efforts of the Movement with regard to the pursuit of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the region. They stressed the importance of ongoing contacts and dialogue by the Movement at the ministerial level with the members of the Quartet, the members of the Security Council and other relevant parties in the peace process in order to convey the principled positions of the Movement and to advance efforts aimed at promoting the peace process on the basis of its terms of reference and at ensuring respect for international law, the keys to a peaceful settlement of the conflict.

15. The Ministers also once again underscored the importance of the work of non-governmental organizations, civil society and peace groups in the region and encouraged them to continue their positive work, particularly on the Palestinian and Israeli sides.

16. The Ministers concluded by reaffirming their strong commitment to continue supporting the Palestinian people and their leadership to bring an end to the Israeli occupation that began in 1967, in accordance with the rules and principles of international law and relevant United Nations resolutions, and by accordingly reaffirming their commitment to a just and peaceful solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and to the right of the Palestinian people to exercise self-determination and sovereignty in their independent State of Palestine, on the basis of the pre-1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

IX. HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL CALLS FOR IMPLEMENTATION
OF ITS RESOLUTIONS S-1/1 AND S-3/1

On 28 September 2007, the Human Rights Council during the 21st meeting of its sixth session adopted without a vote resolution 6/18, reproduced below (A/HRC/6/L.11).

6/18.
Human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory: follow-up to Human Rights Council resolutions S-1/1 and S-3/1

The Human Rights Council,

Recalling its resolutions S-1/1 of 6 July 2006 and S-3/1 of 15 November 2006,

Noting with regret that Israel, the occupying Power, has not implemented to date these two resolutions and hindered the dispatching of the urgent fact-finding missions specified therein,

1. Calls for the implementation of its resolutions S-1/1 and S-3/1, including the dispatching of the urgent fact-finding missions;

2. Requests the President of the Human Rights Council and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to report to the Council at its next session on their efforts for the implementation of Council resolutions S-1/1 and S-3/1 and on the compliance of Israel, the occupying Power, with these two resolutions.

X. HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL ADOPTS RESOLUTION ON RELIGIOUS
AND CULTURAL RIGHTS IN THE OCCUPIED PALESTINIAN
TERRITORY, INCLUDING EAST JERUSALEM

On 28 September 2007, the Human Rights Council during the 21st meeting of its sixth session adopted, by 31 votes to 1, with 15 abstentions, resolution 6/19, reproduced below (A/HRC/6/L.11).

6/19.
Religious and cultural rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem

The Human Rights Council,

Recalling the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights,

Recalling also article 2 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which stipulates that everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in that Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status, and that no distinction should be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty,

Aware of the responsibility of the international community to promote human rights and ensure respect for international law,

Emphasizing the particularity of Occupied East Jerusalem in its rich religious and cultural heritage,

Recalling relevant Security Council resolutions on Occupied East Jerusalem,

Affirming the applicability of the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem,

Deeply concerned at the Israeli actions undermining the sanctity and inviolability of religious sites in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem,

Deeply concerned also at the Israeli policy of closures and the severe restrictions, including curfews and the permit regime, that continue to be imposed on the movement of Palestinians and their free access to their holy sites, including Al Aqsa Mosque,

1. Stresses that all policies and measures taken by Israel, the occupying Power, to limit access of Palestinians to their holy sites, particularly in Occupied East Jerusalem, on the basis of national origin, religion, birth, sex or any other status are in violation of the provisions of the above-mentioned instruments and resolutions and therefore must cease immediately;

2. Calls upon Israel, the occupying Power, to respect the religious and cultural rights enumerated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and to allow Palestinian worshippers unfettered access to their religious sites;

3. Requests the High Commissioner for Human Rights to report to the Council at its next session on the implementation of the present resolution.

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