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Bulletin mensuel de la DDP - Vol. XXVIII, No.7 - Bulletin du Comité pour l’exercice des droits inaliénables du peuple palestinien/DDP (juillet 2005) - Publié par 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)
31 July 2005




July 2005

Volume XXVIII, Bulletin No. 7




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




Contents


Page
I.
    World Bank hosts meeting to launch Red Sea-Dead Sea study
1
II.
    United Nations International Conference of Civil Society in Support of Middle East Peace convenes
1
III.
    Secretary-General alarmed by renewed violence
3
IV.
    Security Council discusses situation in Middle East, including Palestinian question, hears Special Coordinator briefing
4
V.
    Economic and Social Council adopts two resolutions
6
The Bulletin can be found in the United Nations Information System
on the Question of Palestine (UNISPAL) on the Internet at:
http://domino.un.org/UNISPAL.nsf, or at:
http://www.un.org/Depts/dpa/qpal/pub_bltn.htm.





I. WORLD BANK HOSTS MEETING TO LAUNCH RED SEA – DEAD SEA STUDY

At a meeting hosted by the World Bank on 5 July 2005 in Paris, high level-delegations from Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority and donor representatives from Europe, Japan and the United States of America launched a process of resource mobilization for a feasibility study and environmental and social assessment for Red Sea - Dead Sea water conveyance. The following are excerpts from a news release issued by the World Bank (2005/559/MNA):



This study will investigate the feasibility of transferring water from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea in order to address the declining level of the Dead Sea, which is currently falling at a rate of approximately one metre per year.

Over the past three years, Jordanian, Israeli and Palestinian specialists have worked together to prepare and finalize the terms of reference for the study. All three delegations stressed the importance of this partnership to address an environmental and water resource challenge of global interest and significance.

The study itself is expected to take approximately two years to complete at an estimated cost of $15.5 million. The World Bank will establish and administer a multi-donor trust fund to complete the study.


II. UNITED NATIONS INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE OF CIVIL SOCIETY
IN SUPPORT OF MIDDLE EAST PEACE CONVENES

The United Nations International Conference of Civil Society in Support of Middle East Peace was held at United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Headquarters in Paris on 12 and 13 July 2005, under the auspices of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and in accordance with the provisions of General Assembly resolutions 59/28 and 59/29 of 1 December 2004. The following is the text of the Plan of Action adopted by the participants at the close of the Conference:


2005 Plan of Action

We meet again, civil society organizations committed to ending the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories and to achieving the still unrealized rights, including the right of self-determination, of the Palestinian people. We anchor our work in human rights, international law, the United Nations Charter and resolutions, and a commitment to internationalism and the belief that the United Nations remains central to ending the occupation. We believe that these tools provide the only roadmap that can provide the basis for a comprehensive, just and lasting peace.

This week marks the first anniversary of the landmark advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice that determinedthe illegality of Israel’s annexationist apartheid wall, the settlements and occupation and the consequences of that illegality. We are joining our colleagues around the world in this week of special events to commemorate the significance of that ruling and to rededicate ourselves to the work of enforcing it and bringing down the wall.

However, events on the ground in the occupied territories continue to deteriorate. Despite the clarity of the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice and the overwhelming support for the General Assembly resolutions affirming that opinion, expansion of the wall continues. The wall has become the symbol of the continuing crisis of Israeli settlements, which stand in violation of international law and specific United Nations resolutions, being built, expanded and transformed into armed centres of anti-Palestinian violence. Occupation on the ground means land confiscation, house demolitions, escalating violence at checkpoints and on roads, closures, curfews, a renewed Israeli policy of assassination, and other violations of the Fourth Geneva Convention. Plans for new settlement projects in the Jordan Valley and especially in Jerusalem show the duplicity of Israel’s claimed commitments to a two-State solution, as Israel’s settlement-based seizure of land continues and a viable Palestinian State as part of a two-State solution grows less and less attainable. There is a danger that the current de facto apartheid conditions on the ground could be transformed into a normalized reality.

We are especially concerned about the consequences of Israel’s planned “disengagement” from Gaza, which will alter the form but not the essence of occupation and control. Certainly, as the Occupying Power, Israel bears a unilateral obligation to completely end its occupation of all the Palestinian territories. It is clear, however, that the “disengagement” from Gaza is not designed to end the occupation, but is a ploy to legitimize Israel’s annexation of wide swathes of territory in the West Bank as a quid-pro-quo backed by the United States of America in the letter from President George W. Bush to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in April 2004. It will have the effect of establishing even greater Israeli domination over Gaza’s economy and society.

The urgency of implementing international humanitarian law - which prohibits settlements, house demolitions and violence against an occupied population - and requiring the creation of an independent, viable, contiguous and sovereign Palestinian State with Jerusalem as its capital, remain our vital concerns. The need to pressure our Governments to enforce the decision of the International Court of Justice regarding the illegality of the Wall remains. The need to develop new strategies to provide international protection for Palestinians living under the brutality of Israel’s military occupation has never been greater.

Our work of building an international challenge to Israel’s occupation is strengthened and empowered by our support from, and our participation in, the broad global movement against occupation and for justice throughout the Middle East.

Our work to end the occupation of Palestine remains our solemn commitment. We will work with solidarity campaigns, with civil society organizations, with parliaments, with Governments and with the United Nations itself, especially the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and the Division for Palestinian Rights, to build a movement strong enough to end the Israeli occupation.

We note that our constituent organizations are working on a wide range of issues, including implementation of the International Court of Justice advisory opinion on the illegality of the apartheid wall and settlements, campaigning for international protection for Palestinians living under occupation, mobilizing support for the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes, strengthening the United Nations’ capacity to defend Palestinian rights, campaigning for the release of all Palestinian prisoners held by Israel and commemorating the annual International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People on 29 November We support all of these important campaigns.

A call to action

We recognize that, as an international network, our strength lies in our ability to work collectively in unified campaigns and actions. To that end, we urge international, national and regional social movements, organizations and coalitions to support the unified call of Palestinian civil society for a global campaign of boycotts, divestment and sanctions to pressure Israel to end the occupation and fully comply with international law and all relevant United Nations resolutions. We have identified the coming year to mobilize for and inaugurate this campaign. We call on our partner organizations to intensify all our activities, focusing on the campaign so that together, we will end the occupation.


III. SECRETARY-GENERAL ALARMED BY RENEWED VIOLENCE

The following statement was issued by the Spokesman for Secretary-General Kofi Annan on 16 July 2005 (SG/SM/10005). Earlier, the Spokesman had issued a statement concerning the suicide bombing in Netanya on 12 July 2005 (SG/SM/10001).

The Secretary-General views with alarm the renewed violence between Israel and the Palestinians in the past fortnight.

The recent suicide bombing in Netanya and rockets fired from Gaza killing innocent Israeli civilians are shocking and condemnable. There is a pressing need to put a stop to such actions. The recent move by the Palestinian Authority security forces to act to prevent them was a welcome development.

Israel has resumed forceful action in the face of the serious deterioration that has shattered the lull in violence of the past few months. There should be no doubt about Israel’s legitimate right to self-defence, but it must be exercised proportionately and in conformity with international law.

The Secretary-General strongly believes that at this critical moment a glimmer of a better future with two States living side by side in peace still exists. It is therefore essential that all committed to a negotiated settlement remain focused on this goal.



IV. SECURITY COUNCIL DISCUSSES SITUATION IN MIDDLE EAST,
INCLUDING PALESTINIAN QUESTION, HEARS
SPECIAL COORDINATOR BRIEFING

At the request of the chargé d’affaires of the Permanent Mission of Kuwait to the United Nations in his capacity as the Chairman of the Arab Group for the month of July 2005 (S/2005/469), the Security Council held a meeting on 21 July 2005 to consider “The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question.” In addition to the Council members, the representatives of 19 Member States, Palestine, 2 intergovernmental organizations and the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People participated in the meeting. The following are excerpts from the briefing by Alvaro de Soto, Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and Personal Representative of the Secretary-General to the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority (S/PV.5230):



Disengagement is an important step forward and withdrawal from occupied territory, albeit partial and on terms largely set by the occupier, is a positive, precedent-setting step and one that the entire international community cannot but support. Moreover, as stated repeatedly by the Quartet, it offers an opportunity to re-energize the road map. It is a moment pregnant with hope, but also fraught with peril.

With respect to the Quartet’s engagement and activities, the Quartet has met in recent weeks to review the situation at this critical time. In a statement released after its meeting in London on 24 June, the Quartet underscored its commitment to the broader implementation of the road map, which this Council endorsed in its resolution 1515 (2003), and to the vision of two States - Israel and a sovereign, viable, democratic and contiguous Palestine - living side by side in peace and security.

The Quartet continues to consider the road map and the two-State vision to be the best way to achieve a permanent peace and an end to the occupation that began in 1967. The Quartet condemned the upsurge in violence in Gaza and urged both parties to avoid and prevent any escalation in violence so that the Israeli withdrawal could proceed peacefully. It highlighted the importance of Israeli withdrawal and reiterated its full support for its Special Envoy for Gaza Disengagement, Mr. James Wolfensohn, and his efforts to assist with the non-security aspects of disengagement and the revival of the Palestinian economy. The Quartet is intensifying its monitoring of the situation. Envoys met in Jerusalem only last week and will meet again next month and in September. Mr. Wolfensohn has spent much time on the ground devoting his energy and ingenuity to restoring a sense of hope and security among Palestinians and Israelis following the apparent paucity of results of the much-anticipated meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Sharon and Palestinian President Abbas on 21 June.

Specifically, Mr. Wolfensohn’s efforts are focusing on a set of six key issues, which the parties are addressing jointly and urgently with his help and encouragement. They are, first, border crossings and trade corridors; secondly, connecting Gaza with the West Bank; thirdly, movement within the West Bank; fourthly, the Gaza airport and seaport; fifthly, the houses in Israeli settlements; and sixthly, the greenhouses and dairy industry in the settlements.

In addition, Mr. Wolfensohn has pointed out three essential areas the Palestinians should address, with the support of the international community. Those are, first, the Palestinian Authority’s fiscal crisis and development of a fiscal stabilization plan for incorporation into the 2006 budget; secondly, the creation of a broad development plan linked to a fiscally sound financial plan for 2006 to 2008; and thirdly, the design of a package of quick-impact economic programmes that would provide an adequate response to pressures and demands for employment generation in the short term. United Nations agencies operating in the occupied Palestinian territory remain committed to supporting Mr. Wolfensohn’s rapid action programme.



The unease, suspicion and even cynicism that bedevil Israeli-Palestinian relations can be attributed in large part to the fact that the disengagement is not taking place within an unequivocally agreed framework for the next steps towards the overall solution to which both sides claim adherence, that is, two States living alongside one another in peace. Israelis need to be assured of their security, and Palestinians need to be provided with hope. Beyond the tangible improvements in their daily lives, the intangible element of a perspective for the future would be critical to instilling that hope.

It is of paramount importance that stability be preserved and that the Palestinian Authority be empowered to successfully counter militancy and extremism. Such empowerment will also be an element of central significance in the preparations to take control of the areas that Israel is withdrawing from. As we have stated repeatedly in the Council in recent months, and as United States Security Coordinator Lieutenant General Ward has pointed out, Israel could and should do more to support the Palestinian Authority in its efforts to reign in the militants. Consequently, both the Palestinian Authority and Israel have homework to do: the Palestinian Authority has to continue to exert control and authority, while Israel has to strengthen the hand of moderate forces and enable the Authority to impose itself successfully.

One area in which Israel can and should take the initiative is meeting its parallel obligations under the road map, in accordance with which Israel should freeze all settlement activity, including natural growth, and immediately dismantle all settlement outposts erected since March 2001. The recent voluntary evacuation of the West Bank outpost of Amuna - after a petition had been filed against the settlers living there following the Government’s official adoption of the Sasson report’s recommendations - illustrates that it is possible to meet those obligations.

It is equally important that Israel take steps to meet its legal obligations related to the barrier. One senior Israeli cabinet minister recently stated that, among other things, the route of the barrier “also makes Jerusalem more Jewish.” While it would not be entirely fair to hold the Government to a perhaps inadvertent choice of words of an official in the heat of a radio interview, that and the revelation that some 55,000 Palestinian residents of Jerusalem will be shut out of the city as a result of the routing can only fuel the fear that the barrier is designed to prejudge the outcome of eventual permanent status negotiations. Those issues should be as much a part of the short-term action agenda as energetic Palestinian action against militants targeting Israelis.




V. ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL ADOPTS TWO RESOLUTIONS

At its substantive session of 2005 held in New York from 29 June to 27 July, the Economic and Social Council adopted a resolution on the “Situation of and assistance to Palestinian women,” as recommended in the report of the Commission on the Status of Women (E/2005/27). The Council also adopted a resolution on the “Economic and social repercussions of the Israeli occupation on the living conditions of the Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, and the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan.” The two resolutions are reproduced below:

2005/43. Situation of and assistance to Palestinian women

The Economic and Social Council,

Having considered with appreciation the report of the Secretary-General on the situation of and assistance to Palestinian women,

Recalling the Nairobi Forward-looking Strategies for the Advancement of Women, in particular paragraph 260 concerning Palestinian women and children, the Beijing Platform for Action adopted at the Fourth World Conference on Women 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”,

Recalling also its resolution 2004/56 of 23 July 2004 and other relevant United Nations resolutions,

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

Expressing the urgent need for the full resumption of negotiations within the Middle East peace process on its agreed basis and towards the speedy achievement of a final settlement between the Palestinian and Israeli sides,

Concerned about the grave situation of Palestinian women in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, resulting from severe impact of ongoing illegal Israeli settlement activities and the unlawful construction of the wall, as well as the severe consequences arising from Israeli military operations on and sieges of civilian areas, which have detrimentally impacted their social and economic conditions and deepened the humanitarian crisis faced by them and their families,

Recalling 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”, and recalling also General Assembly resolution ES-10/15 of 20 July 2004,

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

Expressing its condemnation of all acts of violence, including all acts of terror, provocation, incitement and destruction, especially the excessive use of force against Palestinian civilians, many of them women and children, resulting in injury and loss of human life,

1. Calls upon the concerned parties, as well as the international community, to exert all the necessary efforts to ensure the full resumption of the peace process on its agreed basis, taking into account the common ground already gained, and calls for measures for tangible improvement of the difficult situation on the ground and the living conditions faced by Palestinian women and their families;

2. Reaffirms that the Israeli occupation remains a major obstacle for Palestinian women with regard to their advancement, self-reliance and integration in the development planning of their society;

3. Demands that Israel, the occupying power, comply fully with the provisions and principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Regulations annexed to the Hague Convention IV of 18 October 1907 and the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 12 August 1949, 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 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;

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, in particular paragraph 260 concerning Palestinian women and children, the Beijing Platform for Action and the outcome documents of the special session of the General Assembly entitled “Women 2000: gender equality, development and peace for the twenty-first century”;

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 entitled “Situation of and assistance to Palestinian women” and to submit to the Commission on the Status of Women at its fiftieth 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.


2005/51. Economic and social repercussions of the Israeli occupation on the living conditions of the Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, and the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan

The Economic and Social Council,

Recalling General Assembly resolution 59/251 of 22 December 2004,

Also recalling its resolution 2004/54 of 23 July 2004,

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, 338 (1973) of 22 October 1973, 446 (1979) of 22 March 1979, 452 (1979) of 20 July 1979, 465 (1980) of 30 June 1980, 476 (1980) of 20 August 1980, 478 (1980) of 20 August 1980, 497 (1981) of 17 December 1981, 904 (1994) of 18 March 1994, 1073 (1996) of 28 September 1996, 1397 (2002) of 12 March 2002, 1515 (2003) of 19 November 2003 and 1544 (2004) of 19 May 2004,

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 and ES-10/15 of 20 July 2004,

Reaffirming the applicability of the 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, and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967,

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) and 1544 (2004) and the principle of land for peace 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,

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 the occupied Syrian Golan,

Gravely concerned about the deterioration of the economic and living conditions of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and of the Arab population of the occupied Syrian Golan and the exploitation by Israel, the occupying Power, of their natural resources,

Gravely concerned also by the grave impact 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 and to an adequate standard of living,

Recalling in this regard 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, 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,

Gravely concerned at the extensive destruction by Israel, the occupying Power, of agricultural land and orchards in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, during the recent period, including, and in particular, as a result of its unlawful construction of the wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem,

Recalling 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, recalling also General Assembly resolution ES-10/15, and stressing the need for full respect of the legal obligations mentioned therein,

Expressing concern at the recent escalation of violence that has been characteristic of recent years following a period of relative calm, and, in this context, expressing its concern about the tragic and violent events that have taken place since September 2000, which have led to many deaths and injuries,

Aware of the important work being done by the United Nations and the specialized agencies in support of the economic and social development of the Palestinian people, as well as the assistance being provided in the humanitarian field,

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,

Calling on both parties to fulfil their obligations under the road map in cooperation with the quartet,

1. Stresses the need to preserve the national unity and the territorial integrity of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and to guarantee the freedom of movement of persons and goods in the Territory, including the removal of restrictions on going into and from East Jerusalem, and the freedom of movement to and from the outside world;

2. Also stresses the vital importance of the construction and operation of the airport and the seaport in Gaza and the establishment
of the safe passage between the West Bank and Gaza for the economic and social development of the Palestinian people;

3. Demands the complete cessation of all acts of violence, including all acts of terror, provocation, incitement and destruction;

4. Calls upon Israel, the occupying Power, to end its occupation of Palestinian cities, towns and other populated centres, to cease its destruction of homes and properties, economic institutions and agricultural fields and to end the imposition of all forms of closure and curfew, which impede efforts aimed at the amelioration of the economic and social conditions and the development of the Palestinian people;

5. 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;

6. Also reaffirms that Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the occupied Syrian Golan, are illegal and an obstacle to economic and social development, and calls for the full implementation of the relevant Security Council resolutions;

7. Stresses that the wall being constructed by Israel in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, is contrary to international law and is seriously debilitating to 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 Justice4 and in General Assembly resolution ES-10/15;

8. Emphasizes the importance of the work of the organizations and agencies of the United Nations 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;

9. Urges Member States to encourage private foreign investment in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, in infrastructure, job-creation projects and social development in order to alleviate the hardships being faced by the Palestinian people and improve their living conditions;

10. Requests the Secretary-General to submit to the General Assembly at its sixtieth 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;

11. 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 2006.

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