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Bulletin mensuel de la DDP - Vol. XXVIII, No.4 - Bulletin du Comité pour l’exercice des droits inaliénables du peuple palestinien/DDP (avril 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)
30 April 2005


April 2005


Volume XXVIII, Bulletin No. 4



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


Contents
Page
I.
    Commission on Human Rights adopts resolutions
1
II.
    Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People sends letter to Secretary-General on recent settlement expansion

8
III.
    Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs briefs Security Council on situation in Middle East, including Palestinian question

9
IV.
    Quartet appoints Special Envoy for Gaza Disengagement
10






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
, as well as at:
http://www.un.org/Depts/dpa/qpal/pub_bltn.htm.




I. COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS ADOPTS RESOLUTIONS

During the 61st session held from 14 March to 22 April 2005, the Commission on Human Rights adopted resolution 2005/1 on 7 April 2005 under agenda item 5 entitled “The right of peoples to self-determination and its application to peoples under colonial or alien domination or foreign occupation,” and resolutions 2005/6, 2005/7 and 2005/8 on 14 April 2005 under agenda item 8 entitiled “Question of the violation of human rights in the occupied Arab territories, including Palestine.” The four resolutions are reproduced below:

Situation in occupied Palestine

Human Rights Resolution 2005/1

The Commission on Human Rights,

Guided by the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations,
in particular the provisions of Articles 1 and 55 thereof, which affirm the right of peoples to self-determination, and reaffirming the need for the scrupulous respect of the principle of refraining in international relations from the threat or use of force, as specified in the Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation among States in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, adopted by the General Assembly in its resolution 2625 (XXV) of 24 October 1970,

Guided also by the provisions of article 1 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and article 1 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which affirm that all peoples have the right to self-determination,

Guided further by the provisions of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, adopted in June 1993 by the World Conference on Human Rights (A/CONF.157/23), and in particular Part I, paragraphs 2 and 3, relating to the right of self-determination of all peoples and especially those subject to foreign occupation,

Recalling General Assembly resolutions 181 A and B (II) of 29 November 1947 and 194 (III) of 11 December 1948, as well as all other resolutions which confirm and define the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, particularly their right to self-determination,

Recalling also Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) of 22 November 1967, 338 (1973) of 22 October 1973, 1397 (2002) of 12 March 2002 and 1402 (2002) of 30 March 2002,

Recalling further its previous resolutions in this regard, the latest of which is resolution 2004/3 of 8 April 2004,

Reaffirming the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination in accordance with the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations, the relevant United Nations resolutions and declarations, and the provisions of international covenants and instruments relating to the right to self-determination as an international principle and as a right of all peoples in the world,
as it is a jus cogens in international law and a basic condition for achieving a just, lasting and comprehensive peace in the region of the Middle East,

1. Reaffirms the inalienable, permanent and unqualified right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, including their right to live in freedom, justice and dignity and to establish their sovereign and independent State;

2. Reaffirms its support for the solution of two States living side by side in peace and security, Israel and a viable, democratic, sovereign and territorially contiguous Palestine;

3. Urges all Member States and relevant bodies of the United Nations system to supportand assist the Palestinian people in the early realization of their right to self-determination;

4. Decides to include in the provisional agenda of its sixty-second session the item entitled “The right of peoples to self-determination and its application to peoples under colonial or alien domination or foreign occupation” and to consider the situation in occupied Palestine under that agenda item.

38th meeting
7 April 2005
[Adopted by a recorded vote of 49 to 1,
with 2 abstentions. See chap. V, E/CN.4/2005/L.10/Add.5]


Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the occupied Syrian Golan

Human Rights Resolution 2005/6

The Commission on Human Rights,

Guided by the principles of the Charter of the United Nations, and affirming the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force,

Reaffirming that all States have an obligation to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms, as stated in the Charter of the United Nations and as elaborated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenants on Human Rights and other applicable instruments,

Recalling relevant resolutions of the Commission, the Security Council and the General Assembly, most recently General Assembly resolution 59/123 of 10 December 2004 in which it reaffirmed, inter alia, the illegality of the Israeli settlements in the occupied territories,

Mindful that Israel is a party to the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, which is applicable de jure to Palestinian and all Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967, including East Jerusalem and the Syrian Golan, and recalling the declaration adopted by the Conference of High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention, held in Geneva on
5 December 2001,

Considering that the transfer by the occupying Power of parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies constitutes a breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention and relevant provisions of customary law, including those codified in Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions,

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 its conclusion that the Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (including East Jerusalem) have been established in breach of international law,

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

Recalling further its attachment to the implementation by both parties of their obligations under the Quartet road map to a permanent two-State solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (S/2003/529), which was endorsed by the Security Council in resolution 1515 (2003) of 19 November 2003, and noting in particular its call for a freeze on all settlement activity,

Expressing its concern that continuing Israeli settlement activity undermines the realization of a two-State solution,

Noting the potential of the announced withdrawals by Israel, the occupying Power, from the Gaza Strip and from certain parts of the northern West Bank, which can represent a step towards the implementation of the Quartet road map and a two-State solution, provided that they take place within the context of the road map and that they should not involve transfer of settlement activity to the West Bank, that there should be an organized and negotiated handover of responsibility to the Palestinian Authority and that Israel should facilitate the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the Gaza Strip,

Expressing grave concern about the continuing construction, contrary to international law, by Israel of the wall inside the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, and expressing its concern in particular about the route of the wall in departure from the Armistice Line of 1949, which could prejudge future negotiations and make the two-State solution physically impossible to implement and which is causing the Palestinian people further humanitarian hardship,

Deeply concerned that the wall’s route has been traced in such a way as to include the great majority of the Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem,

Expressing its concern at the failure of the Government of Israel to cooperate fully with the relevant United Nations mechanisms, in particular the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967,

1. Welcomes the report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967 (E/CN.4/2005/29 and Add.1) and calls upon the Government of Israel to cooperate with the Special Rapporteur to allow him fully to discharge his mandate;

2. Welcomes the understandings by both parties at the Sharm el-Sheikh Summit, held on 8 February 2005, to stop all acts of violence as well as the positive steps taken by them in fulfilment of these understandings and urges them to enhance a new spirit of cooperation and to promote an atmosphere conducive to the establishment of peace and coexistence;
3. Expresses its grave concern at:

(a) The continuing Israeli settlement and related activities, in violation of international law, including the expansion of settlements, the expropriation of land, the demolition of houses, the confiscation and destruction of property, the expulsion of Palestinians and the construction of bypass roads, which change the physical character and demographic composition of the occupied territories, including East Jerusalem and the Syrian Golan, and constitute a violation of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, and in particular article 49 of that Convention; settlements are a major obstacle to the establishment of a just and comprehensive peace and to the creation of an independent, viable, sovereign and democratic Palestinian State;

(b) The new construction plan by the Government of Israel announced on 21 March 2005 for a project of 3,500 additional housing units in Maale Adumim and the planned expansion of two other settlement blocks in the West Bank, and deplores the negative impact of these plans on the confidence between the two parties at a time when a genuine window of opportunity exists to relaunch the peace process, as the continuation of settlement activities by Israel, the occupying Power, would be a violation of international humanitarian law, the relevant United Nations resolutions and Israeli commitments in the context of the road map;

(c) The continued closures of and within the Occupied Palestinian Territory and the restriction of the freedom of movement of people and goods, including the extensive curfews imposed for long periods of time, which do not contribute to restoring confidence and reinforcing the ongoing dialogue between the two parties, and have caused an extremely precarious humanitarian situation for the civilian population as well as impaired the economic and social rights of the Palestinian people;(d) The continued construction, contrary to international law, of the wall inside the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem;

4. Takes note with satisfaction of the resumption of the dialogue between the parties and the steps forward taken, and urges the Government of Israel:

(a) To reverse the settlement policy in the occupied territories, including East Jerusalem and the Syrian Golan and, as a first step towards their dismantlement, to stop immediately the expansion of the existing settlements, including “natural growth” and related activities;

(b) To prevent any new installation of settlers in the occupied territories;

5. Demands that Israel implement the recommendations regarding the settlements made by the then United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in her report to the Commission at its fifty-seventh session on her visit to the occupied Palestinian territories, Israel, Egypt and Jordan (E/CN.4/2001/114);

6. Calls upon Israel to take and implement serious measures, including confiscation of arms and enforcement of criminal sanctions, with the aim of preventing acts of violence by Israeli settlers, and other measures to guarantee the safety and protection of the Palestinian civilians and Palestinian properties in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem;

7. Demands that Israel, the occupying Power, comply fully with its legal obligations, as mentioned in the advisory opinion rendered on 9 July 2004 by the International Court of Justice;

8. Urges the parties to seize the opportunity offered by the current political context to give renewed impetus to the peace process and to implement fully the road map endorsed by the Security Council in resolution 1515 (2003), with the aim of reaching a comprehensive political settlement in accordance with the resolutions of the Council, including resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), and other relevant United Nations resolutions, the principles of the Peace Conference on the Middle East, held in Madrid on 30 October 1991, the Oslo Accords and subsequent agreements, which will allow two States, Israel and Palestine, to live in peace and security;

9. Decides to continue its consideration of this question at its sixty-second session.

49th meeting
14 April 2005
[Adopted by a recorded vote of 39 to 2,
with 12 abstentions. See chap. VIII, E/CN.4/2005/L.10/Add.8]


Israeli practices affecting the human rights of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem

Human Rights Resolution 2005/7

The Commission on Human Rights,

Recalling the applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civil Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the relevant resolutions of the Security Council and the Commission on Human Rights,

Taking note of the recent reports of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel since 1967 (A/59/256 and E/CN.4/2005/29 and Add.1),

Expressing grave concern about the extrajudicial executions and the use of force by Israel against the Palestinian civil population, inflicting heavy casualties, and the continued targeting of schoolchildren, which led to loss of lives and fatal injuries,

Condemning the denial by Israel of access to hospitals for Palestinian pregnant women, which forces them to give birth at checkpoints under hostile, inhumane and humiliating conditions,

Asserting that the punitive measures imposed by Israel, the occupying Power, on the Palestinian civil population, including collective punishment, border closures and severe restrictions on the movement of people and goods, arbitrary arrests and detentions, destruction of homes and vital infrastructure, including religious, educational, cultural and historical sites, led to a steep deterioration in the socio-economic conditions, perpetuating a dire humanitarian crisis throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and affirming that these punitive measures violate the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights,

Recalling the advisory opinion rendered on 9 July 2004 by the International Court of Justice and General Assembly resolution ES-10/15 of 20 July 2004, and reaffirming the principle of the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force,

Noting in particular the court’s reply, including that the construction of the wall being built by Israel, the occupying Power, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, and its associated regime, are contrary to international law,

Welcoming the decision of the Secretary-General to establish a register of damage caused by the construction of the wall and its associated regime in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem,

Condemning the continued systematic violations of the human rights of the Palestinian people by Israel, the occupying Power, arising from the settlements, the construction of the wall inside the Occupied Palestinian Territory in departure from the Armistice Line of 1949, the destruction of property and all other actions designed to change the legal status, geographical nature and demographic composition of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem,

Welcoming the recent free and democratic Palestinian presidential election in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem,

Affirming that the obstructive measures taken by Israel, the occupying Power, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, during the Palestinian presidential campaign and election, including arbitrary arrest, detention of candidates and denying access to polling stations, constitute a breach of the principles and provisions of international covenants and instruments related to the right to self-determination,1

Expressing deep concern that thousands of Palestinians, including children, continue to be held in Israeli prisons and detention centres under harsh conditions impairing their well-being, and also expressing deep concern about their ill-treatment, harassment and reports of torture,

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

Stressing the need for full compliance with the Israeli-Palestinian agreements reached within the context of the Middle East peace process and the implementation of the Quartet road map to a permanent two-State solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,

Stressing the necessity for the full implementation of all relevant United Nations resolutions,

1. Reiterates that all actions and punitive measures taken by Israel, the occupying Power, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, in violation of the relevant provisions of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, and contrary to the relevant resolutions of the Security Council, are illegal and have no validity, and thereby demands that Israel, the occupying Power, comply fully with its provisions and cease immediately all measures and actions taken in violation and in breach of the Convention, including extrajudicial executions;

2. Condemns the use of force by the Israeli occupying forces against Palestinian civilians, resulting in extensive loss of life, vast numbers of injuries and massive destruction of homes, properties, agricultural lands and vital infrastructure;

3. Urges all Member States signatories to the Fourth Geneva Convention to express the inadmissibility of the ongoing violation of the rights of Palestinian civilians, especially women and children, stipulated in these instruments, and to demand their effective observance by Israel, the occupying Power;

4. Requests the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to address the issue of Palestinian pregnant women giving birth at Israeli checkpoints owing to denial of access by Israel to hospitals, with a view to ending this inhumane Israeli practice, and to report thereon to the General Assembly at its sixtieth session and the Commission at its sixty-second session;

5. Calls upon Member States to take the necessary measures that fulfil their obligations under the instruments of international human rights law and international humanitarian law to ensure that Israel ceases killing, targeting, arresting and harassing Palestinians, particularly women and children;

6. Requests the High Commissioner for Human Rights to demand, in accordance with her mandate, the immediate release of the Palestinian detainees, including women, children and the sick, and the investigation of reported cases of torture, harassment or ill-treatment and the bringing to justice of Israeli officers involved in the abuse of detainees;

7. Requests Israel, the occupying Power, to facilitate the forthcoming Palestinian legislative elections in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and demands that it refrain from all acts that interfere in, obstruct or impede these elections;

8. Demands that Israel, the occupying Power, comply with its legal obligations under international law, as mentioned in the advisory opinion rendered on 9 July 2004 by the International Court of Justice and as demanded in resolution ES-10/15 and resolution ES-10/13 of 21 October 2003, and that it cease the construction of the wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, dismantle forthwith the structure situated therein, repeal or render ineffective all legislative and regulatory acts relating thereto, and make reparation for all damage caused by the construction of the wall;

9. Calls for the boycott of firms involved in the construction of the wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem;

10. Stresses the need to preserve the territorial integrity of all the Occupied Palestinian Territory and to guarantee the freedom of movement of persons and goods within the Palestinian territory, including the removal of restrictions on movement into and from East Jerusalem, and the freedom of movement to and from the outside world as a sine qua non for resolving the humanitarian crisis throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, restoring the livelihoods of the Palestinian people and rebuilding their ravaged institutions and economy;

11. Requests the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967 to report to the General Assembly at its sixtieth session and to the Commission at its sixty-second session, in compliance with his mandate;

12. Decides to continue its consideration of this question at its sixty-second session.

49th meeting
14 April 2005
[Adopted by a recorded vote of 29 to 10,
with 14 abstentions. See chap. VIII, E/CN.4/2005/L.10/Add.8]


____________
1 See Articles 1 and 55 of the Charter of the United Nations; article 1 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and article 1 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Political Rights; General Assembly resolutions 181 A and B (II) of 29 November 1947 and 194 (III) of 11 December 1948; Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) of 22 November 1967, 338 (1973) of 22 October 1973, 1397 (2002) of 12 March 2002 and 1402 (2002) of 30 March 2002; Commission resolution 2003/3 of 14 April 2003 and paragraphs 2 and 3 of Part I of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, adopted in June 1993 by the World Conference on Human Rights.



Human rights in the occupied Syrian Golan

Human Rights Resolution 2005/8

The Commission on Human Rights ,

Deeply concerned at the suffering of the Syrian citizens in the occupied Syrian Golan due to the violation of their fundamental and human rights since the Israeli military occupation of 1967,

Recalling Security Council resolution 497 (1981) of 17 December 1981,

Recalling also all relevant General Assembly resolutions, including the latest, resolution 59/33 of 1 December 2004, in which the Assembly declared that Israel had failed to comply with Security Council resolution 497 (1981) and demanded that Israel withdraw from all the occupied Syrian Golan,

Reaffirming once more the illegality of Israel’s decision of 14 December 1981 to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the occupied Syrian Golan, which has resulted in the effective annexation of that Syrian territory,

Reaffirming the principle of non-acquisition of territory by force in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, the principles of international law and Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) of 22 November 1967 and 338 (1973) of 22 October 1973,

Taking note with deep concern of the report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories (A/59/381) and, in this connection, deploring the Israeli settlement in the occupied Arab territories, including in the occupied Syrian Golan, and regretting Israel’s constant refusal to cooperate with and to receive the Special Committee,

Guided by the relevant provisions of the Charter of the United Nations, international law and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and reaffirming the applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, and the relevant provisions of the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907 to the occupied Syrian Golan,

Reaffirming the importance of the peace process which started in Madrid on the basis of Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) and the principle of land for peace, and expressing its grave concern over the halt in the peace process in the Middle East, and its hope that peace talks will be resumed on the basis of the full implementation of Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) for the establishment of a just and comprehensive peace in the region,

Reaffirming also its previous relevant resolutions, the most recent being resolution 2004/8 of 15 April 2004,

1. Calls upon Israel, the occupying Power, to comply with the relevant resolutions of the General Assembly and of the Security Council, in particular resolution 497 (1981), in which the Council, inter alia, decided that the Israeli decision to impose its laws, jurisdictionand administration on the occupied Syrian Golan is null and void and without international legal effect, and demanded that Israel should rescind forthwith its decision;

2. Also cal s upon Israel to desist from changing the physical character, demographic composition, institutional structure and legal status of the occupied Syrian Golan, and emphasizes that the displaced persons of the population of the occupied Syrian Golan must be allowed to return to their homes and to recover their properties;

3. Further calls upon Israel, the occupying Power, to desist from imposing Israeli citizenship and Israeli identity cards on the Syrian citizens in the occupied Syrian Golan, to release all detained citizens in the occupied Syrian Golan, to desist from its repressive measures against them and from all other practices mentioned in the report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories;

4. Determines that all legislative and administrative measures and actions taken or to be taken by Israel, the occupying Power, that purport to alter the character and legal status of the occupied Syrian Golan are null and void, constitute a flagrant violation of international law and of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War and have no legal effect;

5. Calls once again upon Member States not to recognize any of the legislative or administrative measures and actions referred to above;

6. Requests the Secretary-General to bring the present resolution to the attention of all Governments, the competent United Nations organs, the specialized agencies, regional intergovernmental organizations and international humanitarian organizations and to give it the widest possible publicity, and to report to the Commission at its sixty-second session;

7. Decides to include in the provisional agenda of its sixty-second session, as a matter of high priority, the item entitled “Question of the violation of human rights in the occupied Arab territories, including Palestine”.

49th meeting
14 April 2005
[Adopted by a recorded vote of 32 to 2,
with 19 abstentions. See chap. VIII]



II. CHAIRMAN OF THE COMMITTEE ON THE EXERCISE OF THE INALIENABLE RIGHTS
OF THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE SENDS LETTER TO SECRETARY-GENERAL ON
RECENT SETTLEMENT EXPANSION

The following letter was sent to Secretary-General Kofi Annan on 20 April 2005 by the Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, H.E. Mr. Paul Badji, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Senegal to the United Nations (A/ES-10/301; S/2005/262):

In my capacity as the Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, I wish to express the Committee’s deep concern at Israel’s recent activities aimed at expanding its settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

On 18 April 2005, the Israel Lands Authority announced that tenders had been issued for the construction of 50 homes in the West Bank settlement of “Elkana”, south of Qalqilya. Last month, the Israeli Government had made public its intention to construct some 3,500 homes in the area between East Jerusalemand the “Ma’ale Adumim” settlement, effectively cutting off East Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank. In mid-April, despite international criticism of the renewed settlement activity, construction in “Ma’ale Adumim” was proceeding.

The Committee affirms that, in accordance with Security Council resolution 465 (1980), all measures taken by Israel to change the physical character, demographic composition, institutional structure or status of the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem, or any part thereof, have no legal validity. The Committee also stresses that Israel’s policy and practices of transferring parts of its population into the territory it occupies constitutes a clear violation of article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War. Furthermore, this policy precludes the possibility of establishing a viable and contiguous Palestinian State, prejudges the outcome of the final status negotiations and undermines international efforts at achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East.

The Committee also reiterates that the continued creation by Israel of facts on the ground contradicts the road map, which obligates the Government of Israel to dismantle settlement outposts and freeze all settlement activity, including the natural growth of settlements. The Committee calls on the Quartet and all other parties concerned to urgently intervene in this matter and demand that the Government of Israel immediately comply with its obligations.

I should be grateful if you would have the present letter circulated as a document of the tenth emergency special session of the General Assembly and of the Security Council.

(Signed) Paul Badji
Chairman
Committee on the Exercise of the
Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People


III. UNDER-SECRETARY-GENERAL FOR POLITICAL AFFAIRS BRIEFS
SECURITY COUNCIL ON THE SITUATION IN THE MIDDLE EAST,
INCLUDING THE PALESTINIAN QUESTION

On 21 April 2005, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Kieran Prendergast briefed the Security Council on the item entitled “The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question.” The following are excerpts from his statement (S/PV.5166):



There is no quick fix to this conflict. We can and should, however, reiterate the need for the parties to implement their commitments under the road map and the more recent Sharm el-Sheikh understandings.

Israel justifies its continuation of military incursions, arrest campaigns, curfews and movement restrictions as necessary to confront and pre-empt security threats. It charges the Palestinian Authority with not taking serious action against violence and militants. Palestinian leaders, for their part, claim that they are taking action but acknowledge that the process is slow and difficult. They believe that the ongoing Israeli military operations are counterproductive, in that they make it more difficult for the Palestinian Authority to disarm or arrest militants and in that they threaten the viability of the ceasefire.

Internally, Al-Aqsa militants have become the main disrupters of law and order, threatening Palestinian Authority officials and ordinary citizens alike. In response to those violent incidents, President Abbas declared a state of alert and began reshuffling the security forces in the West Bank. He subsequently announced his intention to disarm those Fatah militants who are on Israel’s wanted list and proposed that the wanted persons be integrated into the Palestinian Authority’s security agencies. President Abbas also appointed an interim chief of the Palestinian National Forces to replace Haj Ismail Jaber, who had been forced to resign.

In addition, President Abbas issued a presidential decree enforcing the security forces pension bill, which will lead to the retirement of some 2,000 security staff. Moreover, he announced that the Palestinian Authority will shortly reorganize and unify its security forces into three agencies operating under the direct command of the Minister of the Interior, a step that is required in the road map. We expect those new appointments to be made shortly.

Those actions and announcements are positive and welcome, but they are clearly not enough. Security reform and a visible and sustained effort to stop all violent activity are basic requirements of the road map. As such, they cannot be a matter for compromise. The will to act must come from the Palestinian Authority.

However, there is also much that Israel could do to support, rather than hinder, President Abbas’s ability to take difficult steps. The relevant confidence-building measures are clearly laid out in the Sharm el-Sheikh understandings and in phase one of the road map. Against the background of unmet obligations under the road map and insufficient progress on the Sharm el-Sheikh understandings, the joint Israeli-Palestinian committees dealing with fugitives, prisoners and the transfer of major urban centres in the West Bank did not meet in the past month. Security control was not transferred in any of the Palestinian cities during that period; nor were any prisoners released. Such steps are part and parcel of the wider process to coordinate and move forward together. We welcome General Ward’s continued efforts to help reform the Palestinian security services and to assist in resolving outstanding issues between the parties related to security.

One of Israel’s primary obligations under the road map, and an important confidence-building measure, is the requirement to halt all settlement activity, including natural growth, and to dismantle settlement outposts erected since March 2001. We have repeatedly expressed our concern over the fact that Israel has not yet lived up to its obligations in that respect.

We have therefore noted with great concern that, despite strong international objections, Prime Minister Sharon has publicly reiterated his commitment to the eventual implementation of the E1 plan aimed at connecting Jerusalem with the largest West Bank settlement, Maale Adumim. In addition, the Israeli Lands Authority announced on 18 April that it was inviting bids for the construction of 50 housing units in the West Bank settlement of Elkana.

In that connection, the Council will recall that President George W. Bush, after his recent meeting with Prime Minister Sharon, said that Israel should “not undertake any activity that contravenes road map obligations or prejudice final status negotiations”.

President Bush added that “Israel should meet its road map obligations regarding settlements in the West Bank and remove unauthorized outposts”. I believe, if I may say so, that this very much represents the position of all four members of the Quartet.




IV. QUARTET APPOINTS SPECIAL ENVOY FOR GAZA DISENGAGEMENT

On 14 April 2005, the Quartet principals appointed World Bank President James D. Wolfensohn as its Special Envoy for Gaza Disengagement. The Secretary-General warmly welcomed the appointment (SG/SM/9820). On his part, Mr. Wolfensohn said, “I believe that there is no more important issue for global peace than an equitable and secure solution to this problem. I look forward to assisting the Israelis and the Palestinians as they strive to reach and implement a peaceful solution that restores hope and confidence to the people of the region” (2005/430/S). The following statement on the appointment was issued by the Quartet principals:

The Quartet Principals (US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana, and UN Secretary General Kofi Annan) announce the appointment of Mr. James D. Wolfensohn as Special Envoy for Gaza Disengagement.

The Special Envoy is charged by the Quartet with leading, overseeing and coordinating the international community’s efforts in support of the disengagement initiative. He will report to the Quartet.

The Special Envoy will be the single international interlocutor at the political level on disengagement and the address for specific needs for assistance to support disengagement. The Special Envoy will work with the Palestinians on specific reforms and steps to promote economic recovery and growth, democracy, good governance and transparency, job creation and improved living standards.

The Special Envoy’s mission is to promote coordination and cooperation between the Government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority on implementation of Israel’s disengagement initiative from Gaza and parts of the northern West Bank. This mission does not extend to the military and security aspects of disengagement.

This will require close collaboration with both Israel and the Palestinians to identify and implement those actions and policies to ensure smooth and successful implementation of the disengagement initiative.

The Special Envoy will focus his efforts on two areas in particular:

The Special Envoy will assume his duties effective June 1 for a mission lasting no longer than December 31, 2005. In view of the urgency of this mission, and taking into consideration the role the World Bank already plays in this process, its Board has authorized Mr. Wolfensohn to conduct some preparatory work immediately.


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