46. In view of the worsening human rights situation in the occupied Palestinian territory, the protection of both Palestinian and Israeli civilians requires action by all parties and the international community. As such, all parties to the conflict should cease all actions violating international human rights and humanitarian law.
47. The Government of Israel should abide by its commitments as stated in the road map and reiterated in the Annapolis joint statement of November 2007, namely, to immediately dismantle settlement outposts erected since March 2001 and to freeze, consistent with the Mitchell report, all settlement activity (including natural growth of settlements).
48. The Government of Israel should take action to halt attacks by Israeli settlers against the civilian population of the occupied territory and ensure that a proper investigation is carried out in regard to incidents caused by such settlers and that redress is given to the victims of such violence.
49. The General Assembly and the international community should actively promote the implementation of its decisions, resolutions and recommendations and those of the Security Council, the International Court of Justice and the United Nations human rights mechanisms, including treaty bodies and special procedure mandate-holders.
1United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 75, No. 973.
2See, for example, Security Council resolutions 446 (1979), 465 (1980), 469 (1980) and 471 (1980) and General Assembly resolution 61/118.
3See, for example, Security Council resolution 465 (1980), in which the Security Council, taking note of the reports of the Commission of the Council established under resolution 446 (1979) to examine the situation relating to settlements in the Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem, expressed its concern and requested the Commission to continue to examine the situation relating to settlements in the Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem, to investigate the reported serious depletion of natural resources, particularly the water resources, with a view to ensuring the protection of those important natural resources of the territories under occupation.
4See paras. 102-113. The Court concluded that the protections offered by human rights conventions do not cease in cases of armed conflict and that the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child are applicable in respect of individuals within its jurisdiction of a State, even concerning those individuals under its jurisdiction outside its own territory.
5An examination of the concluding observations of various United Nations treaty bodies confirms this view. In its concluding observations on Israel of 2003 (CCPR/CO/78/ISR), the Human Rights Committee reiterated that the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights apply to the benefit of the population of the occupied territories for all conduct by the State party’s authorities or agents in those territories that affect the enjoyment of rights enshrined in the Covenant. Similarly, in its concluding observations on Israel of 2003 (E/C.12/1/Add.90), the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights reaffirmed its view that the State party’s obligations under the Covenant apply to all territories and populations under its effective control. The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination drew a similar conclusion in its concluding observations on Israel of 2007 (CERD/C/ISR/CO/13, para. 32).
6Data available from B’Tselem (http://www.btselem.org/english/settlements/).
7See http://www.reliefweb.int. The figure does not consider the approximately 200,000 settlers in East Jerusalem. According to the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, in 2007, there were more than 450,000 settlers living in 149 settlements in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem (“The Humanitarian Impact on Palestinians of Israeli Settlements and Other Infrastructure in the West Bank”, July 2007).
8Construction initiated by the Israeli Housing Ministry accounted for 64 per cent of all of the construction counted in the West Bank by the Central Bureau of Statistics in recent months (Peace Now, “Eliminating the Green Line”, August 2008, available at http://www.peacenow.org).
9See Peace Now, “Eliminating the Green Line”, August 2008.
10See Israeli High Court of Justice, Tabib et al. v. Minister of Defence (202/81) Piskei Din 36(2)622 and Ayub et al. v. Minister of Defence et al. (258/79), Piskei Din 33(2)113, 119, quoted in “Forbidden Roads: Israel’s Discriminatory Road Regime in the West Bank” B’Tselem, 2004, p. 7.
11Report of the Sharm el-Sheikh Fact-Finding Committee, 30 April 2001, available at www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/mideast/mitchell_plan.htm.
12Order Regarding Security Regulations (Judea and Samaria) (No. 378) (5730-1970), Declaration Concerning Closing an Area.
13World Bank, “Movement and Access Restrictions”, May 2007, available at http://domino.un.org/unispal.nsf/.
14Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, “The Humanitarian Impact on Palestinians of Israeli Settlements and Other Infrastructure in the West Bank”. The report states: “As violence escalated in September 2000, the closure regime focused on those West Bank roads mainly used by Israelis to severely restrict Palestinian movement. These continuing measures are justified by the Government of Israel as necessary to protect Israeli citizens from terrorist attacks. As this report demonstrates, these measures are also intimately linked to maintaining settler access and their quality of life. The roads have become corridors to link settlements to Israel. They have also fragmented the West Bank, into a series of enclaves, isolating Palestinian communities from each other” (p. 124).
15A clear example is the restrictions on the movement of Palestinians within the market area of Hebron, justified as part of the general operational plan that is designed to provide security to the Jewish settlement bloc in the city (World Bank, “Movement and Access Restrictions”).
16These restrictions are in violation of article 12 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, article 5 (d) of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and article 10(2) of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
17World Bank, “Movement and Access Restrictions”; “Breaking the Law in the West Bank: The Private Land Report”, Peace Now, November 2006.
18High Court of Justice, Arub et al. v. Minister of Defence et al. (258/79), Piskei Din 33(2)113, 119.
19High Court of Justice, Douykat v. Government of Israel, Piskei Din 34(1), 13 (1979) (“Elon Moreh Case”); see Palestine Yearbook of International Law, 1984, p. 134.
20B’Tselem, “Israeli Settlement in the Occupied Territories as a Violation of Human Rights: Legal and Conceptual Aspects”, 1997, available at www.btselem.org.
21In the early 1980s, the Government of Israel reinterpreted the Ottoman land code to permit the Commander of the Israeli Defense Forces in the West Bank to declare as “State land” uncultivated miri land that had not been registered during the British Mandate or Jordanian rule. Between 1980 and 1984, the Government of Israel declared some 80,000 hectares of the West Bank as State land — sometimes without formally notifying the farmers who had cultivated it for generations (B’Tselem, “Land Grab: Israel’s Settlement Policy in the West Bank”, 2002). Furthermore, lands enclosed within closed areas or closed military zones, when left uncultivated for three years are also declared State lands and the land largely apportioned for settlements (M. Benvenisti, The West Bank Data Project: A survey of Israel’s policies, American Enterprise Institute for Policy Research, Washington, D.C., 1984, p. 32). Some areas declared State land were not actually enclosed within closed zones immediately, and in some circumstances farmers continued to cultivate such land. However, with lands now enclosed within the seam zone, to which access has been denied to the owners, it appears that such land will be declared State lands and appropriated for further settlement construction or expansion.
22In Area C of the West Bank, the Government of Israel retains authority for zoning and construction planning permits. The Jordanian City, Village and Building Planning Law (No. 79) (1966) serves as the basis for all planning activities, and its provisions are used to determine the size, zoning and location of each unit of land. It determines three levels of plans — regional outline plans, general local outline plans and detailed plans — and corresponding institutional systems such as the Supreme Planning Council and district and local planning committees, and determines the mechanisms for consultations, public participation, publication and objections. The ambit of the law applies to housing, industry, roads and public institutions. The law was modified by military order in 1971, and subsequent amendments transferred the power from the Jordanian Ministry of the Interior to the Military Commander of the West Bank and introduced major changes, particularly to the planning system, by replacing Palestinians on the planning committees with Israeli security forces officials and settlers: Order Concerning the City, Village and Building Planning Law (Judea and Samaria) (No. 418) (5371-1971), sect. 2(2)(3). The Supreme Planning Council became a part of the Civil Administration, and all district planning committees and planning authorities of village councils were eliminated, their powers transferred to the Supreme Planning Council of the Civil Administration. See also World Bank, “Movement and access restrictions”.
23The division of the West Bank under the 1993 Oslo Accords resulted in the majority of the territory, Areas B and C, remaining under Israeli control, leaving Palestinian “A” areas in isolated, non-contiguous zones. Israeli settlements were located mostly in Area C in a contiguous area of territory linked to Israel itself. Most of the main roads fell into Area C. Travel between “A” areas necessitated passing through areas controlled by Israel and along Israeli-controlled roads.
24See “Land Grab: Israel’s Settlement Policy in the West Bank” B’Tselem, May 2002, p. 85.
25Maps are available at http://www.ochaopt.org/?module=displaysection§ion_id=130&static=0&format=html.
26See “The Humanitarian Impact on Palestinians of Israeli Settlements and Other Infrastructure in the West Bank”, Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, p. 124, which states: “The construction of the barrier since 2002 has further fragmented the West Bank and has reinforced the permanence of the settlements. The route of the barrier is determined by the settlements. The barrier cuts deep into the West Bank, looping around the settlements, stretching 22 km to encircle Ariel settlement at its most intrusive point. Without the settlements, the barrier could follow the Green Line with minimal disruption to Palestinian life.”
27Ariel Sharon, while addressing members of the Jewish community in Paris on 28 July 2005, stated that as a result of the wall “Israel has gained unprecedented political achievements”, including “a guarantee that the major population centres in Judea and Samaria (that is, the West Bank) will remain part of Israel in any final status agreement; and there will be no return to the 1967 borders” (E/CN.4/2006/29, para. 26). The Israeli Minister of Justice, Tzipi Livni, acknowledged on 30 November 2005 that “one does not have to be a genius to see that the fence will have implications for the future border. This is not the reason of its establishment, but it could have political implications”. (Ha’aretz, 1 December 2005).
28See High Court of Justice, Beit Sourik Village Council et al. v. Government of Israel et al. (2056/04), sect. 80.
29See “The Humanitarian Impact of the Barrier: Four Years After the Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice on the Barrier”, Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, July 2008, update No. 8.
30See “Humanitarian Impact on Palestinians of Israeli Settlements and Other Infrastructure in the West Bank”, Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
31See High Court of Justice, Tabib et al. v. Minister of Defence (202/81), Piskei Din 36(2) 622; High Court of Justice, Ayub et al. v. Minister of Defence et al. (258/79), Piskei Din 33(2) 113, 119. Quoted in “Forbidden Roads”, pp. 8-9.
32It seems that some of the roads in the West Bank were planned so as to place a physical barrier to inhibit Palestinian development, since their routes often cut through Palestinian areas to create fragmented enclaves. In fact, the Settlement Plan for 1983-1986 specifically stated that a primary consideration in choosing the route of a road and the placement of settlements should be to limit the expansion and construction of Palestinian villages; see “Land Grab: Israel’s Settlement Policy in the West Bank”, B’Tselem, May 2002, chap. 8; see also “Forbidden Roads”, p. 6.
33Waiting for Justice: Al-Haq: 25 Years of Defending Human Rights (1979-2004), p. 87; see also “Forbidden Roads”.
34See “The question of freedom of movement and the impact of the ‘separation barrier’ on it in the territories occupied by Israel”, European Union, 2006.
35See Waiting for Justice; “Forbidden Roads”; and “The Question of Freedom of Movement”.
36For example, routes 463, 466 and 443 (linking Jerusalem and the settlements surrounding it with Tel Aviv) and 557 (from Elon Moreh and Itamar settlements, effectively isolating 14,000 Palestinian villages from Nablus and the rest of the West Bank) are solely for use by Israeli citizens; see “The Question of Freedom of Movement”; see also “Forbidden Roads”.
37See “Forbidden Roads”.
38“Settler Violence Report: May and June 2008”, Alternative Information Centre, July 2008.
39Settler violence incidents are also reported in The Humanitarian Monitor.
40All documented attacks are available at http://www.btselem.org/english/OTA/?WebbTopicNumber=01&image.x=14&image.y=7.
42See Ha’aretz, 27 May 2008; http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/987462.html.
43See “The situation of workers of the occupied Arab territories”, International Labour Organization, at http://www.ilo.org.