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Bulletin mensuel de la DDP - Vol.XXXV, No. 12 - bulletin Comité pour l’exercice des droits inaliénables du peuple palestinien, DDP (décembre 2012) - publication de la DDP Français

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Source: Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (CEIRPP)
Division for Palestinian Rights (DPR)
31 December 2012





December 2012

Volume XXXV, Bulletin No. 12

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








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 STATEMENT ON ISRAELI SETTLEMENT EXPANSION

The following statement (SG/SM/14694) was issued on 2 December 20012 by the Spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:

It was with grave concern and disappointment that the Secretary-General learned of Israel’s announcement of 3,000 new settlement units in East Jerusalem and other parts of the West Bank. This would include reported planning in the so-called E-1 envelope, which risks completely cutting off East Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank.

Settlements are illegal under international law and, should the E-1 settlement be constructed, it would represent an almost fatal blow to remaining chances of securing a two-State solution.

The Secretary-General repeats his call on all concerned to resume negotiations and intensify efforts towards a comprehensive, just and lasting peace and urges the parties to refrain from provocative actions. In the interests of peace, any plans for E-1 must be rescinded.


II. UN SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR ISSUES STATEMENT ON THE
CEASEFIRE AGREEMENT IN THE GAZA STRIP

After the conclusion of a week-long mission to the region, with the initial purpose of assessing the overall impact of Israel’s occupation and blockade against the Gaza Strip, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel since 1967, Richard Falk, on 5 December called on Israel to abide by and fully implement the cease fire agreement that ended the recent crisis with Gaza. Excerpts of his remarks are reproduced below:

“There arose an urgent need to investigate Israel’s seemingly deliberate attacks against civilian targets during recent hostilities.

We visited the sites of attacks and spoke with surviving family members. It is clear that some attacks killed and harmed civilians in a grossly disproportionate manner and thus appear to violate international law,” Mr. Falk said. “There is a widespread feeling among Palestinians that Israel is above the law, and that it is likely to continue to have the benefits of impunity even when it flagrantly and repeatedly violates international human rights and humanitarian laws.”

“Experience has shown that Israel fails to meet its international obligation to promptly and impartially investigate its own actions,” he noted. “Experience has also shown that Israel is not likely to carry out its obligations under the cease fire agreement; indeed during our visit we heard Israeli warplanes flying directly overhead and received reports of Israeli military incursions into the Gaza Strip.”

….

“Worldwide support for the recent General Assembly resolution that made Palestine a non-Member Observer State should serve as a starting point for more concerted international protection of Palestinian rights,” he said. “Every day Palestinian fishermen and farmers risk being shot at or detained by Israeli forces. Already since the agreement was reached, Israel has detained 13 fishermen, confiscated 4 fishing boats and sank another fishing boat,” he said. “Such actions signal an Israeli intention to maintain its coercive style of occupation rather to explore whether implementing the ceasefire agreement might lead toward a more hopeful future.”

“Palestinians and the international community are confronted with huge challenges to address underlying problems that have been severely aggravated by Israel’s occupation and blockade,” the independent expert said, underscoring the urgent need for access to clean water and sanitation, productive agricultural land, and new infrastructure….

“We received extensive briefs on what could be done if sufficient resources and political will are made available,” he said. “One example is the construction of a desalinization plant to meet urgent water and agricultural needs, but in many such cases funding is not forthcoming as donors are reluctant to invest in infrastructure projects that Israel is likely to bomb in one of its periodic large-scale attacks against Gaza.” According to the Special Rapporteur, “unless these underlying problems are addressed soon, it appears that Gaza will be uninhabitable by 2020, as predicted by a recent UN report. Some of the experts with whom we spoke actually believe that 2016 is a more reasonable assessment. This indicates the gravity of the human rights crisis in the Gaza Strip.”


III. BUREAU OF COMMITTEE ON EXERCISE OF INALIENABLE RIGHTS
OF PALESTINIAN PEOPLE ISSUES STATEMENT ON ISRAEL’S SETTLEMENT ACTIVITY
IN THE OCCUPIED PALESTINIAN TERRITORY


The following statement was issued on 6 December 2012 by the Bureau of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People:

On 29 November 2012, the General Assembly, by an overwhelming majority representing all regions, granted Palestine the status of a non-Member Observer State in the United Nations. This historic vote sent a strong message in favour of the two-State solution, the peace process and respect for international law.

Regrettably, the Israeli Government responded to this clear expression of the collective will of the international community by adopting illegal reprisal measures against the Palestinians, which, if fully implemented, will cause fundamental and irreversible changes on the ground dealing a mortal blow to the two-State solution. Israel authorized the construction of 3,000 units in the settlements of Gilo, Pisgat Ze’ev, Ariel and Gush Etzion. With this announcement, according to Peace Now, the Israeli settlement monitoring group, building tenders this year could total more than 6,000, far exceeding the previous record of the decade — 2,512 set under Prime Minister Sharon.

In an extremely dangerous, qualitative escalation of its illegal settlement campaign, Israel today gave the initial approval to construction plans within the strategic “E-1” area, which would isolate Ramallah and Bethlehem from East Jerusalem and from each other, destroying the territorial contiguity of the Palestinian State. By allowing the plans for some 3,500 units in “E-1” to move forward, Israel is crossing all red lines and signalling its rejection of the two-State solution on the basis of the pre-1967 borders and relevant United Nations resolutions. Additionally, Israel has seized approximately $100 million of Palestinian revenues, aggravating the already precarious socio-economic and humanitarian situation and threatening stability.

The Bureau forcefully condemns these acts and calls for them to be reversed immediately. The Bureau reminds Israel, the occupying Power, that all settlement activities are illegal under the Fourth Geneva Convention, the applicability of which has been confirmed in numerous Security Council and General Assembly resolutions, as well as by the International Court of Justice. Settlement activities constitute war crimes under article 8 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

The international community should mobilize urgently to stop these destructive plans in their tracks. The Bureau is encouraged by the strong international diplomatic response, and calls on all Member States to fully apply their domestic legislation and responsibility under international law and relevant resolutions as they relate to settlements without further delay. The Bureau urges the Security Council to act decisively against the continuing disrespect by Israel for its resolutions and the systematic obstruction of international efforts towards the resumption of the peace process and the achievement of its goals. The Bureau also calls for the reconvening of the Conference of the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention in order to address Israel’s continued violation of its provisions. The Bureau stands ready to support all initiatives in various international bodies to bring Israel into compliance with international law and end impunity.


IV. GENERAL ASSEMBLY ADOPTS RESOLUTION ON ASSISTANCE TO THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE

The following resolution on assistance to the Palestinian people (A/RES/67/86) was adopted by acclamation by the UN General Assembly on 13 December 2012:

The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolution 66/118 of 15 December 2011, as well as its previous resolutions on the question,

Recalling also the signing of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements in Washington, D.C., on 13 September 1993, by the Government of the State of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, the representative of the Palestinian people,1 and the subsequent implementation agreements concluded by the two sides,

Recalling further all relevant international law, including humanitarian and human rights law, and, in particular, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,2 the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights,2 the Convention on the Rights of the Child3 and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women,4

Gravely concerned at the difficult living conditions and humanitarian situation affecting the Palestinian people, in particular women and children, throughout the occupied Palestinian territory,

Conscious of the urgent need for improvement in the economic and social infrastructure of the occupied territory,

Welcoming, in this context, the development of projects, notably on infrastructure, to revive the Palestinian economy and improve the living conditions of the Palestinian people, stressing the need to create the appropriate conditions to facilitate the implementation of these projects, and noting the contribution of partners in the region and of the international community,

Aware that development is difficult under occupation and is best promoted in circumstances of peace and stability,

Noting the great economic and social challenges facing the Palestinian people and their leadership,

Emphasizing the importance of the safety and well-being of all people, in particular women and children, in the whole Middle East region, the promotion of which is facilitated, inter alia, in a stable and secure environment,

Deeply concerned about the negative impact, including the health and psychological consequences, of violence on the present and future well-being of children in the region,

Conscious of the urgent necessity for international assistance to the Palestinian people, taking into account the Palestinian priorities,

Expressing grave concern about the humanitarian situation in Gaza, and underlining the importance of emergency and humanitarian assistance,

Welcoming the results of the Conference to Support Middle East Peace, convened in Washington, D.C., on 1 October 1993, the establishment of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee for the Coordination of the International Assistance to Palestinians and the work being done by the World Bank as its secretariat and the establishment of the Consultative Group, as well as all follow-up meetings and international mechanisms established to provide assistance to the Palestinian people,

Underlining the importance of the International Conference in Support of the Palestinian Economy for the Reconstruction of Gaza, held in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, on 2 March 2009, in addressing the immediate humanitarian situation in Gaza and in mobilizing donors to provide financial and political support for the Palestinian Authority in order to alleviate the socioeconomic and humanitarian situation being faced by the Palestinian people,

Recalling the International Donors’ Conference for the Palestinian State, held in Paris on 17 December 2007, the Berlin Conference in Support of Palestinian Civil Security and the Rule of Law, held on 24 June 2008, and the Palestine Investment Conferences, held in Bethlehem from 21 to 23 May 2008 and on 2 and 3 June 2010,

Welcoming the latest meetings of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee for the Coordination of the International Assistance to Palestinians, held in Brussels on 21 March and in New York on 23 September 2012,

Welcoming also the activities of the Joint Liaison Committee, which provides a forum in which economic policy and practical matters related to donor assistance are discussed with the Palestinian Authority,

Welcoming further the implementation of the Palestinian National Development Plan 2011-2013 on governance, economy, social development and infrastructure, and stressing the need for continued international support for the Palestinian State-building process, as outlined in the summary of the Chair of the meeting of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee held on 23 September 2012,

Stressing the need for the full engagement of the United Nations in the process of building Palestinian institutions and in providing broad assistance to the Palestinian people,

Welcoming recent steps to ease the restrictions on movement and access in the West Bank, while stressing the need for further steps to be taken in this regard, and recognizing that such steps would improve living conditions and the situation on the ground and could promote further Palestinian economic development,

Acknowledging the measures announced by Israel regarding access to the Gaza Strip, while calling for full implementation and complementary measures that address the need for a fundamental change in policy that allows for the sustained and regular opening of the border crossings for the movement of persons and goods, including for the reconstruction and economic recovery of Gaza,

Welcoming the action of the Special Representative of the Quartet, Tony Blair, charged with developing, with the Government of the Palestinian Authority, a multi-year agenda to strengthen institutions, promote economic development and mobilize international funds,

Stressing the urgency of reaching a durable solution to the crisis in Gaza through the full implementation of Security Council resolution 1860 (2009) of 8 January 2009,

Stressing also the importance of the regular opening of the crossings for the movement of persons and goods, for both humanitarian and commercial flows,

Noting the active participation 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 in the activities of the Special Envoys of the Quartet,

Welcoming the endorsement by the Security Council, in resolution 1515 (2003) of 19 November 2003, of the performance-based road map to a permanent two-State solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,5 and stressing the need for its implementation and compliance with its provisions,

Commending the efforts within the Quartet by the United States of America, the European Union, the United Nations and the Russian Federation in pursuing vigorously a two-State solution, noting the commitment of the Quartet to remain actively involved and the need for strong international support to promote the peace process, and calling for the resumption and acceleration of negotiations between the Israeli and Palestinian sides towards a comprehensive resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict, on the basis of relevant Security Council resolutions and the terms of reference of the Madrid Conference, in order to ensure a political solution, with two States — Israel and an independent, democratic, contiguous and viable Palestinian State — living side by side in peace and security,

Having considered the report of the Secretary-General,6

Expressing grave concern about continuing violence against civilians,

1. Takes note of the report of the Secretary-General;

2. Expresses its appreciation to the Secretary-General for his rapid response and efforts regarding assistance to the Palestinian people;

3. Also expresses its appreciation to the Member States, United Nations bodies and intergovernmental, regional and non-governmental organizations that have provided and continue to provide assistance to the Palestinian people;

4. Stresses the importance of the work 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 and of the steps taken under the auspices of the Secretary-General to ensure the achievement of a coordinated mechanism for United Nations activities throughout the occupied territories;

5. Urges Member States, international financial institutions of the United Nations system, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations and regional and interregional organizations to extend, as rapidly and as generously as possible, economic and social assistance to the Palestinian people, in close cooperation with the Palestine Liberation Organization and through official Palestinian institutions;

6. Welcomes, in this regard, the meetings of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee for the Coordination of the International Assistance to Palestinians of 21 March and 23 September 2012 and the outcome of the International Conference in Support of the Palestinian Economy for the Reconstruction of Gaza, at which donors pledged approximately 4.5 billion United States dollars to support the needs of the Palestinian people;

7. Recalls the International Donors’ Conference for the Palestinian State, the Berlin Conference in Support of Palestinian Civil Security and the Rule of Law, and the Palestine Investment Conferences;

8. Stresses the importance of following up on the results of the International Conference in Support of the Palestinian Economy for the Reconstruction of Gaza;

9. Calls upon donors that have not yet converted their budget support pledges into disbursements to transfer funds as soon as possible, encourages all donors to increase their direct assistance to the Palestinian Authority in accordance with its government programme in order to enable it to build a viable and prosperous Palestinian State, underlines the need for equitable burden-sharing by donors in this effort, and encourages donors to consider aligning funding cycles with the Palestinian Authority’s national budget cycle;

10. Calls upon relevant organizations and agencies of the United Nations system to intensify their assistance in response to the urgent needs of the Palestinian people in accordance with priorities set forth by the Palestinian side;

11. Expresses its appreciation for the work of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, and recognizes the vital role of the Agency in providing humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian people, particularly in the Gaza Strip;

12. Calls upon the international community to provide urgently needed assistance and services in an effort to alleviate the difficult humanitarian situation being faced by Palestinian women, children and their families and to help in the reconstruction and development of relevant Palestinian institutions;

13. Stresses the role that all funding instruments, including the European Commission’s Palestinian-European Mechanism for the Management of Socio-Economic Aid and the World Bank trust fund, have been playing in directly assisting the Palestinian people;

14. Urges Member States to open their markets to exports of Palestinian products on the most favourable terms, consistent with appropriate trading rules, and to implement fully existing trade and cooperation agreements;

15. Calls upon the international donor community to expedite the delivery of pledged assistance to the Palestinian people to meet their urgent needs;

16. Stresses, in this context, the importance of ensuring free humanitarian access to the Palestinian people and the free movement of persons and goods;

17. Also stresses the need for the full implementation by both parties of the Agreement on Movement and Access and of the Agreed Principles for the Rafah Crossing, of 15 November 2005, to allow for the freedom of movement of the Palestinian civilian population, as well as for imports and exports, within and into and out of the Gaza Strip;

18. Further stresses the need to ensure the safety and security of humanitarian personnel, premises, facilities, equipment, vehicles and supplies, as well as the need to ensure safe and unhindered access by humanitarian personnel and delivery of supplies and equipment, in order to allow such personnel to efficiently perform their task of assisting affected civilian populations;

19. Urges the international donor community, United Nations agencies and organizations and non-governmental organizations to extend to the Palestinian people, as rapidly as possible, emergency economic assistance and humanitarian assistance, particularly in the Gaza Strip, to counter the impact of the current crisis;

20. Stresses the need for the continued implementation of the Paris Protocol on Economic Relations of 29 April 1994, fifth annex to the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, signed in Washington, D.C., on 28 September 1995,7 including with regard to the full, prompt and regular transfer of Palestinian indirect tax revenues;

21. Requests the Secretary-General to submit a report to the General Assembly at its sixty-eighth session, through the Economic and Social Council, on the implementation of the present resolution, containing:

(a) An assessment of the assistance actually received by the Palestinian people;

(b) An assessment of the needs still unmet and specific proposals for responding effectively to them;

22. Decides to include in the provisional agenda of its sixty-eighth session, under the item entitled “Strengthening of the coordination of humanitarian and disaster relief assistance of the United Nations, including special economic assistance”, the sub-item entitled “Assistance to the Palestinian people”.


V. GENERAL ASSEMBLY ADOPTS FOUR RESOLUTIONS ON PALESTINE REFUGEES

On 18 December 2012, the General Assembly adopted four resolutions (67/114 - 117) on Palestine refugees. For the voting record please see (A/67/PV.59). The texts of the resolutions are reproduced below.

67/114. Assistance to Palestine refugees

The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolution 194 (III) of 11 December 1948 and all its subsequent resolutions on the question, including resolution 66/72 of 9 December 2011,

Recalling also its resolution 302 (IV) of 8 December 1949, by which, inter alia, it established the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East,

Recalling further the relevant resolutions of the Security Council,

Aware of the fact that, for more than six decades, the Palestine refugees have suffered from the loss of their homes, lands and means of livelihood,

Affirming the imperative of resolving the problem of the Palestine refugees for the achievement of justice and for the achievement of lasting peace in the region,

Acknowledging the essential role that the Agency has played for over 60 years since its establishment in ameliorating the plight of the Palestine refugees through the provision of education, health, relief and social services and ongoing work in the areas of camp infrastructure, microfinance, protection and emergency assistance,

Taking note of the report of the Commissioner-General of the Agency covering the period from 1 January to 31 December 2011,8

Aware of the continuing needs of the Palestine refugees throughout all the fields of operation, namely, Jordan, Lebanon, the Syrian Arab Republic and the Occupied Palestinian Territory,

Expressing grave concern at the especially difficult situation of the Palestine refugees under occupation, including with regard to their safety, well-being and socioeconomic living conditions,

Expressing grave concern in particular at the critical humanitarian situation and socioeconomic conditions of the Palestine refugees in the Gaza Strip, and underlining the importance of emergency and humanitarian assistance and urgent reconstruction efforts,

Noting the signing of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements on 13 September 1993,9 by the Government of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization and the subsequent implementation agreements,

1. Notes with regret that repatriation or compensation of the refugees, as provided for in paragraph 11 of General Assembly resolution 194 (III), has not yet been effected, and that, therefore, the situation of the Palestine refugees continues to be a matter of grave concern and the Palestine refugees continue to require assistance to meet basic health, education and living needs;

2. Also notes with regret that the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine has been unable to find a means of achieving progress in the implementation of paragraph 11 of General Assembly resolution 194 (III), and reiterates its request to the Conciliation Commission to continue exerting efforts towards the implementation of that paragraph and to report to the Assembly on the efforts being exerted in this regard as appropriate, but no later than 1 September 2013;

3. Affirms the necessity for the continuation of the work of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East and the importance of its unimpeded operation and its provision of services for the well-being and human development of the Palestine refugees and for the stability of the region, pending the just resolution of the question of the Palestine refugees;

4. Calls upon all donors to continue to strengthen their efforts to meet the anticipated needs of the Agency, including with regard to increased expenditures arising from the serious socioeconomic and humanitarian situation and instability in the region, particularly in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, and those needs mentioned in recent emergency appeals and in the consolidated humanitarian response plan for the Syrian Arab Republic;

5. Commends the Agency for its provision of vital assistance to the Palestine refugees and its role as a stabilizing factor in the region and the tireless efforts of the staff of the Agency in carrying out its mandate.

67/115. Persons displaced as a result of the June 1967 and subsequent hostilities

The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolutions 2252 (ES-V) of 4 July 1967, 2341 B (XXII) of 19 December 1967 and all subsequent related resolutions,

Recalling also Security Council resolutions 237 (1967) of 14 June 1967 and 259 (1968) of 27 September 1968,

Taking note of the report of the Secretary-General submitted in pursuance of its resolution 66/73 of 9 December 2011,10

Taking note also of the report of the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East covering the period from 1 January to 31 December 2011,11

Concerned about the continuing human suffering resulting from the June 1967 and subsequent hostilities,

Taking note of the relevant provisions of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements of 13 September 199312 with regard to the modalities for the admission of persons displaced in 1967, and concerned that the process agreed upon has not yet been effected,

1. Reaffirms the right of all persons displaced as a result of the June 1967 and subsequent hostilities to return to their homes or former places of residence in the territories occupied by Israel since 1967;

2. Stresses the necessity for an accelerated return of displaced persons, and calls for compliance with the mechanism agreed upon by the parties in article XII of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements of 13 September 199310 on the return of displaced persons;

3. Endorses, in the meantime, the efforts of the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East to continue to provide humanitarian assistance, as far as practicable, on an emergency basis, and as a temporary measure, to persons in the area who are currently displaced and in serious need of continued assistance as a result of the June 1967 and subsequent hostilities;

4. Strongly appeals to all Governments and to organizations and individuals to contribute generously to the Agency and to the other intergovernmental and non governmental organizations concerned for the above-mentioned purposes;

5. Requests the Secretary-General, after consulting with the Commissioner-General, to report to the General Assembly before its sixty-eighth session on the progress made with regard to the implementation of the present resolution.

67/116. Operations of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East

The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolutions 194 (III) of 11 December 1948, 212 (III) of 19 November 1948, 302 (IV) of 8 December 1949 and all subsequent related resolutions, including its resolution 66/74 of 9 December 2011,

Recalling also the relevant resolutions of the Security Council,

Having considered the report of the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East covering the period from 1 January to 31 December 2011,13

Taking note of the letter dated 19 June 2012 from the Chair of the Advisory Commission of the Agency to the Commissioner-General,14

Deeply concerned about the extremely critical financial situation of the Agency, caused in part by the structural underfunding of the Agency, as well as its rising expenditures resulting from the deterioration of the socioeconomic and humanitarian conditions and the rising instability in the region and their significant negative impact on the provision of necessary Agency services to the Palestine refugees, including its emergency-related and development programmes in all fields of operation,

Recalling Articles 100, 104 and 105 of the Charter of the United Nations and the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations,15

Recalling also the Convention on the Safety of United Nations and Associated Personnel,16.

Affirming the applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949,17 to the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem,

Aware of the continuing needs of the Palestine refugees in all fields of operation, namely, Jordan, Lebanon, the Syrian Arab Republic and the Occupied Palestinian Territory,

Gravely concerned about the extremely difficult socioeconomic conditions being faced by the Palestine refugees in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, particularly in the refugee camps in the Gaza Strip, as a result of the continuing prolonged Israeli closures, the construction of settlements and the wall, and the severe economic and movement restrictions that in effect amount to a blockade, which have deepened unemployment and poverty rates among the refugees with potentially lasting, long-term negative effects,

Gravely concerned also about the continuing negative repercussions of the military operations in the Gaza Strip between December 2008 and January 2009, which caused extensive loss of life and injury, particularly among Palestinian civilians, including children and women; widespread destruction and damage to Palestinian homes, properties, vital infrastructure and public institutions, including hospitals, schools and United Nations facilities; and internal displacement of civilians, including refugees,

Commending the extraordinary efforts by the Agency to provide emergency relief, medical, food, shelter and other humanitarian assistance to needy and displaced families in the Gaza Strip,

Recalling, in this regard, its resolution ES-10/18 of 16 January 2009 and Security Council resolution 1860 (2009) of 8 January 2009,

Expressing regret over the continued restrictions that impede the Agency’s efforts to repair and rebuild thousands of damaged or destroyed refugee shelters, and calling upon Israel to ensure the unimpeded import of essential construction materials into the Gaza Strip, while taking note of recent developments regarding the situation of access there,

Expressing concern about the severe classroom shortage in the Gaza Strip and the consequent negative impact on the right to education of refugee children as a result of the constraints on the ability of the Agency to construct new schools due to Israel’s ongoing restrictions impeding the entry of necessary construction materials into the Gaza Strip,

Stressing the urgent need for the advancement of reconstruction in the Gaza Strip, including by ensuring the timely facilitation of construction projects as well as the swift entry of construction materials needed for projects managed by the Agency, and the need for the accelerated implementation of other urgent United Nations-led civilian reconstruction activities,

Urging the timely disbursement of remaining pledges made at the International Conference in Support of the Palestinian Economy for the Reconstruction of Gaza, held in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, on 2 March 2009, to accelerate the reconstruction process,

Noting with appreciation the completion of the first phase and near-completion of the second phase of the project to rebuild the Nahr el-Bared refugee camp, commending the Government of Lebanon, donors, the Agency and other concerned parties for the important progress made and for the continuing efforts to assist affected and displaced refugees, and emphasizing the need for additional funding to complete the reconstruction of the camp and end the displacement of its 27,000 residents without delay,

Expressing deep concern at the situation of Palestine refugees in the Syrian Arab Republic, and regretting profoundly the loss of life among refugees and the staff members of the Agency,

Emphasizing the need for increased assistance to Palestine refugees in the Syrian Arab Republic as well as those who have fled to neighbouring countries,

Aware of the valuable work done by the Agency in providing protection to the Palestinian people, in particular Palestine refugees,

Deploring the endangerment of the safety of the Agency’s staff and the damage and destruction caused to the facilities and properties of the Agency during the period covered by the report of the Commissioner-General,

Deploring also, in particular, the extensive damage and destruction of Agency facilities in the Gaza Strip caused during the military operations between December 2008 and January 2009, including schools where civilians were sheltered and the Agency’s main compound and warehouse, as reported in the summary by the Secretary-General of the report of the Board of Inquiry18 and in the report of the United Nations Fact-finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict,19

Deploring further, in this regard, the breaches of the inviolability of United Nations premises, the failure to accord the property and assets of the Organization immunity from any form of interference and the failure to protect United Nations personnel, premises and property,

Deploring the killing and injury of Agency staff members by the Israeli occupying forces in the Occupied Palestinian Territory since September 2000,

Deploring also the killing and wounding of refugee children in the Agency schools by the Israeli occupying forces during the military operations between December 2008 and January 2009,

Deeply concerned about the continuing imposition of restrictions on the freedom of movement and access of the Agency’s staff, vehicles and goods, and the injury, harassment and intimidation of the Agency’s staff, which undermine and obstruct the work of the Agency, including its ability to provide essential basic and emergency services,

Aware of the agreement between the Agency and the Government of Israel,

Taking note of the agreement reached on 24 June 1994, embodied in an exchange of letters between the Agency and the Palestine Liberation Organization,20

1. Reaffirms that the effective functioning of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East remains essential in all fields of operation;

2. Expresses its appreciation to the Commissioner-General of the Agency, as well as to all the staff of the Agency, for their tireless efforts and valuable work, particularly in the light of the difficult conditions, instability and crises faced during the past year;

3. Expresses special commendation to the Agency for the essential role that it has played for over 60 years since its establishment in providing vital services for the well-being, human development and protection of the Palestine refugees and the amelioration of their plight;

4. Expresses its appreciation for the important support and cooperation provided by the host Governments to the Agency in the discharge of its duties;

5. Also expresses its appreciation to the Advisory Commission of the Agency, and requests it to continue its efforts and to keep the General Assembly informed of its activities;

6. Takes note with appreciation of the report of the Working Group on the Financing of the Agency21 and the efforts to assist in ensuring the financial security of the Agency, and requests the Secretary-General to provide the necessary services and assistance to the Working Group for the conduct of its work;

7. Commends the Agency’s six-year Medium-Term Strategy, which commenced in January 2010, and the continuing efforts of the Commissioner-General to increase the budgetary transparency and efficiency of the Agency, as reflected in the Agency’s programme budget for the biennium 2012–2013;22

8. Also commends the Agency for sustaining its reform efforts, despite difficult operational circumstances, and urges it to continue to apply maximum efficiency procedures to reduce operational and administrative costs and to maximize the use of resources;

9. Takes note with appreciation of the report of the Secretary-General on the strengthening of the management capacity of the Agency,23 and further urges all Member States to carefully consider its conclusions and recommendations, including the continued provision of financial resources from the regular budget of the United Nations;

10. Endorses the efforts of the Commissioner-General to continue to provide humanitarian assistance, as far as practicable, on an emergency basis, and as a temporary measure, to persons in the area who are internally displaced and in serious need of continued assistance as a result of recent crises in the Agency’s fields of operation;

11. Encourages the Agency to provide increased assistance, in accordance with its mandate, to affected Palestine refugees in the Syrian Arab Republic as well as those who have fled to neighbouring countries, as detailed in the consolidated humanitarian response plan for the Syrian Arab Republic, and calls upon donors to urgently support the Agency in this regard;

12. Welcomes the progress made thus far by the Agency in rebuilding the Nahr el-Bared refugee camp in northern Lebanon, and calls for the expeditious completion of its reconstruction, for the continued provision of relief assistance to those displaced following its destruction in 2007 and for the alleviation of their ongoing suffering through the timely fulfilment of pledges made at the International Donor Conference for the Recovery and Reconstruction of the Nahr el-Bared Palestine Refugee Camp and Conflict-affected Areas of Northern Lebanon, held in Vienna on 23 June 2008;

13. Encourages the Agency, in close cooperation with other relevant United Nations entities, to continue making progress in addressing the needs and rights of children, women and persons with disabilities in its operations in accordance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child,24 the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women25 and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities,26 respectively;

14. Commends, in this regard, the Agency’s “Summer Games” initiative providing recreational, cultural and educational activities for children in the Gaza Strip and, recognizing its positive contribution, calls for full support of the initiative, expressing regret that financial constraints led to the cancellation of the Games in 2012;

15. Calls upon Israel, the occupying Power, to comply fully with the provisions of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949;17

16. Also calls upon Israel to abide by Articles 100, 104 and 105 of the Charter of the United Nations and the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations15 in order to ensure the safety of the personnel of the Agency, the protection of its institutions and the safeguarding of the security of its facilities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem;

17. Urges the Government of Israel to expeditiously reimburse the Agency for all transit charges incurred and other financial losses sustained as a result of delays and restrictions on movement and access imposed by Israel;

18. Calls upon Israel particularly to cease obstructing the movement and access of the staff, vehicles and supplies of the Agency and to cease the levying of taxes, extra fees and charges, which affect the Agency’s operations detrimentally;

19. Reiterates its call upon Israel to fully lift the restrictions impeding or delaying the import of necessary construction materials and supplies for the reconstruction and repair of thousands of damaged or destroyed refugee shelters, and for the implementation of suspended civilian infrastructure projects in refugee camps in the Gaza Strip, while noting the commencement of several projects in this regard;

20. Requests the Commissioner-General to proceed with the issuance of identification cards for Palestine refugees and their descendants in the Occupied Palestinian Territory;

21. Notes with appreciation the completion of the Palestine Refugee Records Project and its contribution to the modernization of the Agency’s archives;

22. Also notes with appreciation the success of the Agency’s microfinance programme, and calls upon the Agency, in close cooperation with the relevant agencies, to continue to contribute to the development of the economic and social stability of the Palestine refugees in all fields of operation;

23. Reiterates its appeals to all States, the specialized agencies and non governmental organizations to continue and to augment the special allocations for grants and scholarships for higher education to Palestine refugees in addition to their contributions to the regular budget of the Agency and to contribute to the establishment of vocational training centres for Palestine refugees, and requests the Agency to act as the recipient and trustee for the special allocations for grants and scholarships;

24. Urges all States, the specialized agencies and non-governmental organizations to urgently increase their contributions to the Agency in order to address the persistent, growing and serious financial constraints and underfunding, especially with respect to the Agency’s regular budget deficit, noting that financial shortfalls have been exacerbated by the current humanitarian situation and instability on the ground that have resulted in rising expenditures, in particular with regard to emergency services, and to support the Agency’s valuable and necessary work in assisting the Palestine refugees in all fields of operation.

67/117. Palestine refugees’ properties and their revenues

The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolutions 194 (III) of 11 December 1948 and 36/146 C of 16 December 1981 and all its subsequent resolutions on the question,

Taking note of the report of the Secretary-General submitted pursuant to its resolution 66/75 of 9 December 2011,27 as well as that of the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine for the period from 1 September 2011 to 31 August 2012,28

Recalling that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights Resolution29 and the principles of international law uphold the principle that no one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his or her property,

Recalling in particular its resolution 394 (V) of 14 December 1950, in which it directed the Conciliation Commission, in consultation with the parties concerned, to prescribe measures for the protection of the rights, property and interests of the Palestine refugees,

Noting the completion of the programme of identification and evaluation of Arab property, as announced by the Conciliation Commission in its twenty-second progress report,30 and the fact that the Land Office had a schedule of Arab owners and a file of documents defining the location, area and other particulars of Arab property,

Expressing its appreciation for the preservation and modernization of the existing records, including the land records, of the Conciliation Commission, and stressing the importance of such records for a just resolution of the plight of the Palestine refugees in conformity with resolution 194 (III),

Recalling that, in the framework of the Middle East peace process, the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Government of Israel agreed, in the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements of 13 September 1993,31 to commence negotiations on permanent status issues, including the important issue of the refugees,

1. Reaffirms that the Palestine refugees are entitled to their property and to the income derived therefrom, in conformity with the principles of equity and justice;

2. Requests the Secretary-General to take all appropriate steps, in consultation with the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine, for the protection of Arab property, assets and property rights in Israel;

3. Calls once again upon Israel to render all facilities and assistance to the Secretary-General in the implementation of the present resolution;

4. Calls upon all the parties concerned to provide the Secretary-General with any pertinent information in their possession concerning Arab property, assets and property rights in Israel that would assist him in the implementation of the present resolution;

5. Urges the Palestinian and Israeli sides, as agreed between them, to deal with the important issue of Palestine refugees’ properties and their revenues within the framework of the final status negotiations of the Middle East peace process;

6. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the General Assembly at its sixty-eighth session on the implementation of the present resolution.


VI. GENERAL ASSEMBLY ADOPTS FIVE RESOLUTIONS
ON ISRAELI PRACTICES AFFECTING HUMAN RIGHTS

On 18 December 2012, the General Assembly adopted five resolutions (67/118 - 122) on Israeli practices affecting human rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories. For the voting record, please see A/67/PV.59. The texts of the resolutions are reproduced below.

67/118. Work of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories

The General Assembly,

Guided by the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations,

Guided also by international humanitarian law, in particular the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949,32 as well as international standards of human rights, in particular the Universal Declaration of Human Rights33 and the International Covenants on Human Rights,34

Recalling its relevant resolutions, including resolutions 2443 (XXIII) of 19 December 1968 and 66/76 of 9 December 2011, and the relevant resolutions of the Commission on Human Rights and the Human Rights Council, including resolution S-12/1, adopted by the Council at its twelfth special session on 16 October 2009,35

Recalling also the relevant resolutions of the Security Council,

Taking into account 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,36 and recalling in this regard its resolution ES-10/15 of 20 July 2004,

Recalling its resolution 58/292 of 6 May 2004,

Convinced that occupation itself represents a gross and grave violation of human rights,

Gravely concerned about the continuing detrimental impact of ongoing unlawful Israeli practices and measures in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, including the excessive use of force by the Israeli occupying forces against Palestinian civilians, resulting in the death and injury of civilians, the widespread destruction of property and vital infrastructure, ongoing settlement activities and construction of the wall, the internal displacement of civilians, the imposition of collective punishment measures, particularly against the civilian population in the Gaza Strip, where continuing severe restrictions on movement amount to a blockade, and the detention and imprisonment of thousands of Palestinians,

Gravely concerned also about acts of violence, intimidation and provocation by Israeli settlers against Palestinian civilians and properties, including homes, mosques, churches and agricultural lands,

Gravely concerned in particular by reports regarding serious human rights violations and grave breaches of international humanitarian law committed during the military operations in the Gaza Strip between December 2008 and January 2009, including the findings in the summary by the Secretary-General of the report of the Board of Inquiry37 and in the report of the United Nations Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict,38 and reiterating the necessity for serious follow-up by all parties to the recommendations addressed to them towards ensuring accountability and justice,

Having considered 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,39 and the relevant reports of the Secretary-General,40

Recalling the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements of 13 September 199341 the subsequent implementation agreements between the Palestinian and Israeli sides,

Stressing the urgency of bringing a complete end to the Israeli occupation that began in 1967 and thus an end to the violation of the human rights of the Palestinian people, and of allowing for the realization of their inalienable human rights, including their right to self-determination and their independent State,

Taking note of the application of Palestine for admission to membership in the United Nations, submitted on 23 September 2011,42

1. Commends the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories for its efforts in performing the tasks assigned to it by the General Assembly and for its impartiality;

2. Reiterates its demand that Israel, the occupying Power, cooperate, in accordance with its obligations as a State Member of the United Nations, with the Special Committee in implementing its mandate;

3. Deplores those policies and practices of Israel that violate the human rights of the Palestinian people and other Arabs of the occupied territories, as reflected in the report of the Special Committee covering the reporting period;39

4. Expresses grave concern about the critical situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, particularly in the Gaza Strip, as a result of unlawful Israeli practices and measures, and especially condemns and calls for the immediate cessation of all illegal Israeli settlement activities and the construction of the wall, as well as the excessive and indiscriminate use of force against the civilian population, the destruction and confiscation of properties, all measures of collective punishment, and the detention and imprisonment of thousands of civilians;

5. Requests the Special Committee, pending complete termination of the Israeli occupation, to continue to investigate Israeli policies and practices in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967, especially Israeli violations of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949,32 and to consult, as appropriate, with the International Committee of the Red Cross according to its regulations in order to ensure that the welfare and human rights of the peoples of the occupied territories are safeguarded and to report to the Secretary-General as soon as possible and whenever the need arises thereafter;

6. Also requests the Special Committee to submit regularly to the Secretary-General periodic reports on the current situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem;

7. Further requests the Special Committee to continue to investigate the treatment and status of the thousands of prisoners and detainees, including children and women, in Israeli prisons and detention centres in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967, and expresses grave concern about harsh conditions and ill-treatment of prisoners and recent hunger strikes, while taking note of the agreement reached on May 2012 concerning conditions of detention in Israeli prisons and calling for its full and immediate implementation;

8. Requests the Secretary-General:

(a) To provide the Special Committee with all necessary facilities, including those required for its visits to the occupied territories, so that it may investigate the Israeli policies and practices referred to in the present resolution;

(b) To continue to make available such staff as may be necessary to assist the Special Committee in the performance of its tasks;

(c) To circulate regularly to Member States the periodic reports mentioned in paragraph 6 above;

(d) To ensure the widest circulation of the reports of the Special Committee and of information regarding its activities and findings, by all means available, through the Department of Public Information of the Secretariat and, where necessary, to reprint those reports of the Special Committee that are no longer available;

(e) To report to the General Assembly at its sixty-eighth session on the tasks entrusted to him in the present resolution;

9. Decides to include in the provisional agenda of its sixty-eighth session the item entitled “Report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories”.

67/119. 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 the other occupied Arab territories

The General Assembly,

Recalling its relevant resolutions, including resolution 66/77 of 9 December 2011,

Bearing in mind the relevant resolutions of the Security Council,

Recalling the Regulations annexed to the Hague Convention IV of 1907,43 the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949,44 and relevant provisions of customary law, including those codified in Additional Protocol I45 to the four Geneva Conventions,46

Having considered the report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories47 and the relevant reports of the Secretary-General,48

Considering that the promotion of respect for the obligations arising from the Charter of the United Nations and other instruments and rules of international law is among the basic purposes and principles of the United Nations,

Recalling the advisory opinion rendered on 9 July 2004 by the International Court of Justice,49 and also recalling General Assembly resolution ES-10/15 of 20 July 2004,

Noting in particular the Court’s reply, including that the Fourth Geneva Convention44 is applicable in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and that Israel is in breach of several of the provisions of the Convention,

Recalling the Conference of High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention on measures to enforce the Convention in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, held on 15 July 1999, as well as the Declaration adopted by the reconvened Conference on 5 December 2001 and the need for the parties to follow up the implementation of the Declaration,

Welcoming and encouraging the initiatives by States parties to the Convention, both individually and collectively, according to article 1 common to the four Geneva Conventions, aimed at ensuring respect for the Convention, as well as the continuing efforts of the depositary State of the Geneva Conventions in this regard,

Stressing that Israel, the occupying Power, should comply strictly with its obligations under international law, including international humanitarian law,

1. Reaffirms that the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949,46 is applicable to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967;

2. Demands that Israel accept the de jure applicability of the Convention in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967, and that it comply scrupulously with the provisions of the Convention;

3. Calls upon all High Contracting Parties to the Convention, in accordance with article 1 common to the four Geneva Conventions44 and as mentioned in the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice of 9 July 2004,49 to continue to exert all efforts to ensure respect for its provisions by Israel, the occupying Power, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967;

4. Reiterates the need for speedy implementation of the relevant recommendations contained in the resolutions adopted by the General Assembly, including at its tenth emergency special session and including resolution ES-10/15, with regard to ensuring respect by Israel, the occupying Power, for the provisions of the Convention;

5. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the General Assembly at its sixty-eighth session on the implementation of the present resolution.

67/120. Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the occupied Syrian Golan

The General Assembly,

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

Recalling its relevant resolutions, including resolution 66/78 of 9 December 2011, as well as those resolutions adopted at its tenth emergency special session,

Recalling also the relevant resolutions of the Security Council, including resolutions 242 (1967) of 22 November 1967, 446 (1979) of 22 March 1979, 465 (1980) of 1 March 1980, 476 (1980) of 30 June 1980, 478 (1980) of 20 August 1980, 497 (1981) of 17 December 1981 and 904 (1994) of 18 March 1994,

Reaffirming the applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949,50 to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and to the occupied Syrian Golan,

Affirming 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 Convention50 and relevant provisions of customary law, including those codified in Additional Protocol I51 to the four Geneva Conventions,52

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,53 and recalling also General Assembly resolutions ES-10/15 of 20 July 2004 and ES-10/17 of 15 December 2006,

Noting that the International Court of Justice concluded that “the Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (including East Jerusalem) have been established in breach of international law”,54

Taking note of the recent reports of the Special Rapporteur of the Human Rights Council on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967,55

Recalling the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements of 13 September 199356 and the subsequent implementation agreements between the Palestinian and Israeli sides,

Recalling also the Quartet road map to a permanent two-State solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,57 emphasizing specifically its call for a freeze on all settlement activity, including so-called natural growth, and the dismantlement of all settlement outposts erected since March 2001, and the need for Israel to uphold its obligations and commitments in this regard,

Aware that Israeli settlement activities involve, inter alia, the transfer of nationals of the occupying Power into the occupied territories, the confiscation of land, the displacement of Palestinian families, the exploitation of natural resources and other actions against the Palestinian civilian population and the civilian population in the occupied Syrian Golan that are contrary to international law,

Bearing in mind the extremely detrimental impact of Israeli settlement policies, decisions and activities on the efforts to resume and advance the peace process, on the credibility of the peace process and on the prospects for the achievement of peace in the Middle East in accordance with the two-State solution of Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security within recognized borders, on the basis of the pre-1967 borders,

Expressing grave concern about the continuation by Israel, the occupying Power, of settlement activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, in violation of international humanitarian law, relevant United Nations resolutions, the agreements reached between the parties and obligations under the Quartet road map, and in defiance of the calls by the international community to cease all settlement activities,

Expressing grave concern in particular about Israel’s construction and expansion of settlements in and around occupied East Jerusalem, including its so-called E-1 plan that aims to connect its illegal settlements around and further isolate occupied East Jerusalem, the continuing demolition of Palestinian homes and eviction of Palestinian families from the city, the revocation of Palestinian residency rights in the city, and ongoing settlement activities in the Jordan Valley,

Expressing grave concern about the continuing unlawful construction 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 is causing humanitarian hardship and a serious decline of socioeconomic conditions for the Palestinian people, is fragmenting the territorial contiguity of the Territory and undermining its viability, and could prejudge future negotiations and make the two-State solution physically impossible to implement,

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,

Deploring settlement activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan and any activities involving the confiscation of land, the disruption of the livelihood of protected persons and the de facto annexation of land,

Recalling the need to end all acts of violence, including acts of terror, provocation, incitement and destruction,

Gravely concerned about the rising incidents of violence, destruction, harassment, provocation and incitement by illegal armed Israeli settlers in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, against Palestinian civilians, including children, and their properties, including historic and religious sites, and agricultural lands,

Taking note of the relevant reports of the Secretary-General,58

Noting the special meeting of the Security Council convened on 26 September 2008, as well as the meeting of the Council of 18 February 2011,

1. Reaffirms that the Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan are illegal and an obstacle to peace and economic and social development; `

2. Calls upon Israel to accept the de jure applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949,1 to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and to the occupied Syrian Golan and to abide scrupulously by the provisions of the Convention, in particular article 49, and to comply with all of its obligations under international law and cease immediately all actions causing the alteration of the character, status and demographic composition of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and of the occupied Syrian Golan;

3. Reiterates its demand for the immediate and complete cessation of all Israeli settlement activities in all of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan, and calls in this regard for the full implementation of all the relevant resolutions of the Security Council, including, inter alia, resolutions 446 (1979), 452 (1979) of 20 July 1979, 465 (1980), 476 (1980) and 1515 (2003) of 19 November 2003;

4. Demands that Israel, the occupying Power, comply with its legal obligations, as mentioned in the advisory opinion rendered on 9 July 2004 by the International Court of Justice;4

5. Reiterates its call for the prevention of all acts of violence, destruction, harassment and provocation by Israeli settlers, especially against Palestinian civilians and their properties, including historic and religious sites, and agricultural lands, and stresses the need for the implementation of Security Council resolution 904 (1994), in which the Council called upon Israel, the occupying Power, to continue to take and implement measures, including confiscation of arms, aimed at preventing illegal acts of violence by Israeli settlers, and called for measures to be taken to guarantee the safety and protection of the Palestinian civilians in the occupied territory;

6. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the General Assembly at its sixty-eighth session on the implementation of the present resolution.

67/121. Israeli practices affecting the human rights of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem

The General Assembly,

Recalling the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,59

Recalling also the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,60 the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights60 and the Convention on the Rights of the Child,61 and affirming that these human rights instruments must be respected in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem,

Reaffirming its relevant resolutions, including resolution 66/79 of 9 December 2011 as well as those adopted at its tenth emergency special session,

Recalling the relevant resolutions of the Human Rights Council,

Recalling also the relevant resolutions of the Security Council, and stressing the need for their implementation,

Having considered the report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories62 and the report of the Secretary-General,63

Taking note of the recent reports of the Special Rapporteur of the Human Rights Council on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967,64 as well as of other relevant recent reports of the Human Rights Council,

Aware of the responsibility of the international community to promote human rights and ensure respect for international law, and recalling in this regard its resolution 2625 (XXV) of 24 October 1970,

Recalling the advisory opinion rendered on 9 July 2004 by the International Court of Justice,65 and recalling also General Assembly resolutions ES-10/15 of 20 July 2004 and ES-10/17 of 15 December 2006,

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,

Reaffirming the principle of the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force,

Reaffirming also the applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949,66 to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967,

Reaffirming further the obligation of the States parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention66 under articles 146, 147 and 148 with regard to penal sanctions, grave breaches and responsibilities of the High Contracting Parties,

Reaffirming that all States have the right and the duty to take actions in conformity with international law and international humanitarian law to counter deadly acts of violence against their civilian population in order to protect the lives of their citizens,

Stressing the need for full compliance with the Israeli-Palestinian agreements reached within the context of the Middle East peace process, including the Sharm el-Sheikh understandings, and the implementation of the Quartet road map to a permanent two-State solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,67

Stressing also the need for the full implementation of the Agreement on Movement and Access and the Agreed Principles for the Rafah Crossing, both of 15 November 2005, to allow for the freedom of movement of the Palestinian civilian population within and into and out of the Gaza Strip,

Expressing grave concern about the continuing systematic violation of the human rights of the Palestinian people by Israel, the occupying Power, including that arising from the excessive use of force and military operations causing death and injury to Palestinian civilians, including children, women and non-violent, peaceful demonstrators; the arbitrary imprisonment and detention of Palestinians; the use of collective punishment; the closure of areas; the confiscation of land; the establishment and expansion of settlements; the construction of a wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory in departure from the Armistice Line of 1949; the destruction of property and infrastructure; and all other actions by it designed to change the legal status, geographical nature and demographic composition of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem,

Gravely concerned in particular about the critical humanitarian, socioeconomic and security situation in the Gaza Strip, including that resulting from the prolonged closures and severe economic and movement restrictions that in effect amount to a blockade and from the continuing negative repercussions of the military operations between December 2008 and January 2009, which caused extensive loss of life and injury, particularly among Palestinian civilians, including children and women, widespread destruction and damage to Palestinian homes, properties, vital infrastructure and public institutions, including hospitals, schools and United Nations facilities, and the internal displacement of civilians, as well as about the firing of rockets into Israel,

Stressing the need for the full implementation by all parties of Security Council resolution 1860 (2009) of 8 January 2009 and General Assembly resolution ES-10/18 of 16 January 2009,

Gravely concerned by reports regarding serious human rights violations and grave breaches of international humanitarian law committed during the military operations in the Gaza Strip between December 2008 and January 2009, including the findings in the summary by the Secretary-General of the report of the Board of Inquiry68 in the report of the United Nations Fact-finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict,69 and reiterating the necessity for serious follow-up by all parties of the recommendations addressed to them towards ensuring accountability and justice,

Expressing deep concern about the short- and long-term detrimental impact of such widespread destruction and the continued impeding of the reconstruction process by Israel, the occupying Power, on the human rights situation and on the socioeconomic and humanitarian conditions of the Palestinian civilian population,

Also expressing deep concern about the Israeli policy of closures and the imposition of severe restrictions, checkpoints, several of which have been transformed into structures akin to permanent border crossings, and a permit regime, all of which obstruct the freedom of movement of persons and goods, including medical and humanitarian goods, throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and impair the Territory’s contiguity, consequently violating the human rights of the Palestinian people and negatively impacting their socioeconomic situation and the efforts aimed at rehabilitating and developing the Palestinian economy, which remains that of a critical humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip, while taking note of recent developments with regard to the situation of access there,

Expressing grave concern that thousands of Palestinians, including many children and women, continue to be held in Israeli prisons or detention centres under harsh conditions, including, inter alia, unhygienic conditions, solitary confinement, the extensive use of administrative detention of excessive duration without charge and denial of due process, lack of proper medical care, denial of family visits and denial of due process, that impair their well-being, and expressing grave concern also about the ill-treatment and harassment of any Palestinian prisoners and all reports of torture,

Expressing deep concern about the recent hunger strikes by numerous Palestinian prisoners in protest of the harsh conditions of their imprisonment and detention by the occupying Power, while taking note of the agreement reached in May 2012 on conditions of detention in Israeli prisons and calling for its full and immediate implementation,

Expressing concern about the possible consequences of the enactment by Israel, the occupying Power, of military orders regarding the detention, imprisonment and deportation of Palestinian civilians from the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and recalling in this regard the prohibition under international humanitarian law of the deportation of civilians from occupied territories,

Convinced of the need for an international presence to monitor the situation, to contribute to ending the violence and protecting the Palestinian civilian population and to help the parties implement the agreements reached, and in this regard recalling the positive contribution of the Temporary International Presence in Hebron,

Taking note of the continued efforts and tangible progress made in the security sector by the Palestinian Authority, calling upon the parties to continue cooperation that benefits both Palestinians and Israelis, in particular by promoting security and building confidence, and expressing the hope that such progress will be extended to all major population centres,

Emphasizing the right of all people in the region to the enjoyment of human rights as enshrined in the international human rights covenants,

1. Reiterates that all measures and actions 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 1949,66 and contrary to the relevant resolutions of the Security Council, are illegal and have no validity;

2. Demands that Israel, the occupying Power, cease all practices and actions that violate the human rights of the Palestinian people, including the killing and injury of civilians, the arbitrary detention and imprisonment of civilians and the destruction and confiscation of civilian property, and that it fully respect human rights law and comply with its legal obligations in this regard, including in accordance with relevant United Nations resolutions;

3. Also demands that Israel, the occupying Power, comply fully with the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 194966 and cease immediately all measures and actions taken in violation and in breach of the Convention;

4. Calls upon Israel to resume full cooperation with the Human Rights Council and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights;

5. Demands that Israel, the occupying Power, cease all of its settlement activities, the construction of the wall and any other measures aimed at altering the character, status and demographic composition of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, all of which, inter alia, gravely and detrimentally impact the human rights of the Palestinian people and the prospects for a peaceful settlement;

6. Calls for urgent attention to the plight of Palestinian prisoners and detainees in Israeli jails, and calls for efforts between the two sides for the further release of prisoners and detainees;

7. Condemns all acts of violence, including all acts of terror, provocation, incitement and destruction, especially the excessive use of force by the Israeli occupying forces against Palestinian civilians, particularly in the Gaza Strip, which have caused extensive loss of life and vast numbers of injuries, including among children, massive damage and destruction to homes, properties, vital infrastructure and public institutions, including hospitals, schools and United Nations facilities, and agricultural lands, and internal displacement of civilians;

8. Expresses grave concern at the firing of rockets against Israeli civilian areas resulting in loss of life and injury;

9. Reiterates its demand for the full implementation of Security Council resolution 1860 (2009);

10. 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 Justice65 and as demanded in General Assembly resolutions ES-10/15 and ES-10/13 of 21 October 2003, and that it immediately 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, which has gravely impacted the human rights and the socioeconomic living conditions of the Palestinian people;

11. Reiterates the need for respect for the territorial unity, contiguity and integrity of all of the Occupied Palestinian Territory and for guarantees of the freedom of movement of persons and goods within the Palestinian territory, including movement into and from East Jerusalem, into and from the Gaza Strip, between the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and to and from the outside world;

12. Calls upon Israel, the occupying Power, to cease its imposition of prolonged closures and economic and movement restrictions, including those amounting to a blockade on the Gaza Strip, and in this regard to fully implement the Agreement on Movement and Access and the Agreed Principles for the Rafah Crossing, both of 15 November 2005, in order to allow for the sustained and regular movement of persons and goods and for the acceleration of long overdue reconstruction in the Gaza Strip;

13. Urges Member States to continue to provide emergency assistance to the Palestinian people to alleviate the financial crisis and the dire socioeconomic and humanitarian situation, particularly in the Gaza Strip;

14. Emphasizes the need to preserve and develop the Palestinian institutions and infrastructure for the provision of vital public services to the Palestinian civilian population and the promotion of human rights, including civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights;

15. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the General Assembly at its sixty-eighth session on the implementation of the present resolution.

67/122. The occupied Syrian Golan

The General Assembly,

Having considered 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,70

Deeply concerned that the Syrian Golan, occupied since 1967, has been under continued Israeli military occupation,

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

Recalling also its previous relevant resolutions, the most recent of which was resolution 66/80 of 9 December 2011,

Having considered the report of the Secretary-General submitted in pursuance of resolution 66/80,71

Recalling its previous relevant resolutions in which, inter alia, it called upon Israel to put an end to its occupation of the Arab territories,

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

Reaffirming that the acquisition of territory by force is inadmissible under international law, including the Charter of the United Nations,

Reaffirming also the applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949,72 to the occupied Syrian Golan,

Bearing in mind Security Council resolution 237 (1967) of 14 June 1967,

Welcoming the convening at Madrid of the Peace Conference on the Middle East on the basis of Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) of 22 November 1967 and 338 (1973) of 22 October 1973 aimed at the realization of a just, comprehensive and lasting peace, and expressing grave concern about the stalling of the peace process on all tracks,

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

2. Also calls upon Israel to desist from changing the physical character, demographic composition, institutional structure and legal status of the occupied Syrian Golan and in particular to desist from the establishment of settlements;

3. 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, of 12 August 1949,72 and have no legal effect;

4. Calls upon Israel to desist from imposing Israeli citizenship and Israeli identity cards on the Syrian citizens in the occupied Syrian Golan, and from its repressive measures against the population of the occupied Syrian Golan;

5. Deplores the violations by Israel of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949;

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

7. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the General Assembly at its sixty-eighth session on the implementation of the present resolution.


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

On 19 December 2012, Under Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman briefed the Security Council on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question. Excerpts of the briefing are reproduced below (S/PV.6894):

This is the final briefing on the Middle East for 2012. While I spoke to the Council with concern a few months ago about how the world’s gaze was shifting away from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it is fair to say that recent events have forced it right back into focus. What has transpired in the closing months of this year should remind us, at the very least, just how much the momentum for the two-State solution has slipped and just how hard we should be working in the year ahead to reverse this trend while there is still time to do so.

As Council members are well aware, on 29 November the General Assembly accorded Palestine non-member observer State status in the United Nations, which was greeted by peaceful celebrations across the West Bank and Gaza. Following that important vote, the Secretary-General underlined that the Palestinians have a legitimate right to their own independent State, and that Israel has the right to live in peace and security with its neighbours. There remains no substitute for negotiations to that end, and the vote underscores the urgent need to resume meaningful talks. The Secretary-General, dismayed by some of the language used by various parties on the occasion of that vote, also appealed to all concerned to act responsibly.

Following the adoption of resolution 67/19, the Israeli Government announced that it would approve plans for settlement construction of 3,000 housing units in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and, most alarmingly, indicated that planning would proceed on several thousand housing units in the E-1 area of the West Bank between Jerusalem and the settlement of Ma’ale Adumim. The Secretary-General has expressed his grave concern and disappointment over those announcements. Many international leaders have done the same. In addition, the Israeli Government decided to expedite the construction of some 6,500 housing units in East Jerusalem that have already been approved, including in Givat Hamatos. Settlement construction in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, violates international law and is an obstacle to peace. If implemented, the plans would represent an almost fatal blow to the remaining chances of securing a two-State solution.

These developments add to an increasing number of settlement approvals in recent months. According to reports from non-governmental organizations, there has been a threefold increase in the number of new settler housing units issued for tender in 2012 compared to 2011. Given the clear history of how settlements have developed and expanded since the signing of the Oslo Accords, we are not reassured by comments by some Israeli officials to the effect that the announcements are in part only symbolic in nature. We strongly urge the Israeli Government to heed the wide international calls to rescind those plans.

On 12 December, Israel’s Minister of Finance signed the forfeiture of Palestinian funds in the amount of 435 million shekels — approximately $115 million — which were transferred to the Israel Electric Corporation. While the Secretary-General has noted his appreciation of Israel’s willingness in recent months to advance clearance revenues to the Palestinians to address fiscal needs, we believe that this unilateral Israeli decision on the use of Palestinian funds undermines the integrity of the Palestinian Authority.

Moreover, the decision of the Government of Israel to withhold Palestinian revenues casts doubt upon Israeli compliance with Paris Protocol provisions related to the full, timely, predictable and transparent transfer of tax and customs revenues. It comes while the Palestinians already face a dire fiscal situation that puts at risk the considerable achievements made by the Palestinian Authority in recent years under the leadership of President Abbas and Prime Minister Fayyad. The Palestinian Government has been unable to pay the salaries of its employees. Demonstrations by Palestinian teachers to protest such non-payment took place in the West Bank on 16 December and on the following days. We call on Israel to reconsider its decision and to resume the transfer of revenues without delay. We also stress the importance of Israel and the Palestinian Authority determining through direct talks the resolution of any outstanding financial claims.

On 9 December, the Follow-up Committee on the Arab Peace Initiative of the League of Arab States met in Doha. Its final communiqué outlined intended next steps, including transferring additional funds to the Palestinian Authority to compensate for revenue lost as a result of retaliatory measures related to the General Assembly vote. The Secretary-General hopes that the Arab States and others that expressed their support for the Palestinian vote in the General Assembly will indeed follow through with tangible, rapid and generous disbursements to help the Palestinian Authority address the needs of the Palestinian people on the ground. The Arab League also expressed doubt about the international architecture for the peace process and announced future consultations with stakeholders in the international community.

Palestinian leaders have discussed going beyond the General Assembly vote to approach additional international bodies. In particular, President Abbas has stated that the Israeli announcement related to E-l has crossed what he describes as a “red line”. A dangerous stand-off has emerged as a result. Confrontational statements from both sides will only lead the parties further away from achieving the two-State solution that remains their stated commitment. It is vital that the parties avoid negative steps that undermine the situation on the ground and complicate a return to negotiations.

In that context, Quartet envoys met in Brussels on 12 December. They discussed ways to help the parties avoid escalation diplomatically and on the ground in the short-term, while also finding a way back to negotiations. It is clear that new impetus must be found for substantial peace efforts early in 2013. To that end, the United Nations will continue its active engagement with all concerned.

Regional actors and Quartet partners have an important role to play. On 10 December, the Foreign Ministers of the European Union (EU) reaffirmed the EU positions, including on parameters for negotiations, and reiterated that ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a strategic priority. The Arab Peace Initiative also remains a critical supportive framework that should be encouraged and nurtured.

The backdrop to those developments is a worsening security situation in the West Bank, a fragile calm in Gaza after last month’s round of hostilities, and a shifting geopolitical landscape in the region. In the West Bank, the effectiveness of the Palestinian security forces and their coordination with Israeli security forces were repeatedly tested during the reporting period. Citing security concerns, Israeli security forces increased operations and arrests in the occupied West Bank.

From 27 November to 17 December, a total of 182 operations resulted in two Palestinians killed, 159 Palestinians injured and 182 Palestinians arrested, while seven Israeli soldiers were also injured. It is of particular concern that Israeli forces reportedly arrested several members of the Palestinian security forces and intelligence. On 6 December in central Hebron, a confrontation between Israeli soldiers and Palestinian police officers reportedly resulted in injuries to nine Palestinians and the arrest of over 20 Palestinians.

In another incident, on 3 December near Nablus, a Palestinian allegedly rammed his vehicle into another vehicle carrying Israeli security personnel. According to Israeli reports, the Palestinian then attacked the soldiers with an axe, injuring two. Israeli security forces shot and killed the Palestinian. On 12 December in central Hebron, a Palestinian teenager was shot dead by Israeli forces as he allegedly threatened soldiers. Riots followed and more than 20 Palestinians were injured.

Confrontations between Palestinians and Israeli settlers occurred on an almost daily basis, mostly consisting of stone throwing on both sides, resulting in injuries and material damage. So-called price tag attacks vandalized Palestinian assets near Ramallah and Hebron and desecrated a Christian monastery in West Jerusalem. Prime Minister Netanyahu publicly expressed revulsion at those events. On 4 December, Israeli security forces detained three Israelis near Hebron suspected of carrying out such attacks.

Israeli security forces demolished 14 structures in the occupied West Bank, including the mosque in Al-Mafkara near Hebron. These demolitions resulted in the displacement of 41 Palestinians. In another worrisome development, in the early hours of 11 December, Israeli security forces, in another incursion into the Palestinian-controlled Area A, raided the Ramallah headquarters of three Palestinian non-governmental organizations and reportedly confiscated sensitive materials, including computers and cameras.

Three recently arrested members of the Palestinian Legislative Council were sentenced to a six-month administrative detention. We are alarmed by the news of the arrest of more than 500 Palestinians in November in the West Bank, which is more than double the number of arrests reported in the September and October briefings.

We continue to be concerned about the approximately 4,400 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli detention centres. Their situation was discussed at an Arab League conference on Palestinian prisoners, which was held in Baghdad from 11 to 12 December. We are particularly worried by indications that some detainees have continued their hunger strikes, despite initial progress after the agreement to end hunger strikes in May. On 2 December, Israeli authorities resumed family visits for Gazan prisoners jailed in Israel.

On 12 December, the Palestinian Cabinet announced that the second round of local elections will take place on 22 December, after being postponed owing to the outbreak of violence in Gaza.

The calm in Gaza, brokered by Egypt on 21 November, has largely held, but it remains tenuous. Since the last briefing, one rocket has been fired from Gaza into Israel and one Israeli tank shell has landed in Gaza. Israeli security forces conducted two incursions into Gaza. One Palestinian civilian was killed and 37 Palestinian civilians were injured by Israeli fire, mostly while attempting to approach the border fence. A number of Gaza fishermen were also attacked by Israeli forces while navigating in the vicinity of the new fishing limit of six nautical miles, resulting in one fisherman being shot and injured, over 30 briefly arrested and the damage to, and confiscation of, some Palestinian fishing boats.

More generally, the impact of last month’s violence has exacerbated the vulnerabilities of some of the Gaza Strip’s poorest people and left up to 3,000 people in need of emergency shelter support. In terms of humanitarian funding requirements identified by the United Nations and non-governmental organizations partners, $12 to $13 million are required to meet immediate needs just for the remainder of 2012. Moreover, at least $70 million are required to kick-start the humanitarian response in the first months of 2013.

The Hamas leader, Khaled Mashaal, visited Gaza for the first time from 7 to 10 December. His visit coincided with the twenty-fifth anniversary of the founding of Hamas, an event that was attended by a number of foreign delegations and Fatah. Khaled Mashaal expressed support for an end to the division of Palestinian. The United Nations supports Palestinian reconciliation in the context of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s commitments, which remain a central and yet unimplemented element of resolution 1860 (2009). But the United Nations condemns the inflammatory remarks made by Khaled Mashaal with regard to Israel in his main speech and rejects any attempt to promote violence as a way to achieve political goals or deny Israel’s right to exist. Israel has legitimate security concerns, which must be respected, and ignoring or dismissing Israel’s legitimate security concerns undermines the prospects for a two-State solution.

I would like to reiterate that the ceasefire provides an opportunity to address the underlying causes of conflict captured in resolution 1860 (2009). While talks continue in the effort to implement the understanding with regard to the ceasefire, we strongly urge all parties to strictly abide by the understanding, starting with security. The parties must agree on policy changes that address the causes of instability in Gaza and the recurrent eruptions of violence. Such changes must include an end to weapons smuggling and a full opening of crossings.

The Office of the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process remains in close contact with Egyptian authorities, with a view to encouraging progress on all aspects of the understanding with regard to the ceasefire. In particular, we advocate for a further extension of the maritime boundary; unrestricted entry of aggregate, iron bar and cement; and transfers of goods between Gaza and the West Bank, as well as exports to Israel and beyond. In parallel, it is important that tangible means be identified and implemented so as to end weapons smuggling. The United Nations stands ready to assist the parties in all aspects of those issues.

….

The situation in the area of operations of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) remained generally quiet. There was, however, an explosion on 17 December near the southern village of Tayr Haifa. The nature and circumstances of the explosion are being investigated by UNIFIL in coordination with the Lebanese Armed Forces. The increased operational tempo of UNIFIL and the Lebanese Armed Forces during the recent hostilities between Israel and Hamas in Gaza has since reverted to previous levels. UNIFIL maintained its enhanced presence across its area of operations as the Lebanese Armed Forces continued to operate at a lower strength of approximately two brigades and one battalion. Israeli violations of the Lebanese airspace continued on an almost daily basis.

On both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, there is too much pain and anguish, disillusionment and dismay and — as we saw in the recent violence between Gaza and Israel — genuine fear and frustration. As fellow human beings, I hope we can all feel empathy for both the Palestinians and Israelis, who, in wanting to raise their children to live normal, happy, peaceful lives in viable independent States, are not seeking unreasonable goals. At the same time, we must not allow the airing of bitterness and grievances, however strongly felt, to be a substitute for the constructive, hard work of practical, tangible conflict resolution.

With the New Year nearly upon us, we believe that it is important to look forward in the hope that we can work collectively to change the dynamic of impasse to one of real momentum towards a two-State solution. Whatever it may mean in a practical sense, the General Assembly vote last month symbolizes the growing international impatience with the longstanding occupation and a resounding endorsement of Palestinian aspirations to live in freedom and dignity in an independent State of their own, side by side with Israel in peace and security.

The year 2013 will be decisive to the peace process. It is incumbent upon all of us to support the parties in stabilizing the situation and then permitting progress towards the goal of achieving a two-State solution that is so critical for regional peace and security.

….


VIII. GENERAL ASSEMBLY ADOPTS RESOLUTION ON RIGHT
OF THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE TO SELF-DETERMINATION.

On 20 December 2012, the General Assembly adopted a resolution (A/RES/67/158) on the right of the Palestinian People to self-determination. The following is the text of the resolution:

The right of the Palestinian people to self-determination

The General Assembly,

Aware that the development of friendly relations among nations, based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, is among the purposes and principles of the United Nations, as defined in the Charter,

Recalling, in this regard, its resolution 2625 (XXV) of 24 October 1970 entitled “Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation among States in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations”,

Bearing in mind the International Covenants on Human Rights,73 the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,74 the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples75 and the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action adopted at the World Conference on Human Rights on 25 June 1993,76

Recalling the Declaration on the Occasion of the Fiftieth Anniversary of the United Nations, See resolution 50/6.

Recalling also the United Nations Millennium Declaration, Resolution 55/2.

Recalling further 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,77 and noting in particular the reply of the Court, including on the right of peoples to self-determination, which is a right erga omnes,78

Recalling the conclusion of the Court, in its advisory opinion of 9 July 2004, that the construction of the wall by Israel, the occupying Power, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, along with measures previously taken, severely impedes the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination,79

Expressing the urgent need for the resumption and accelerated advancement of negotiations within the Middle East peace process, based on the relevant resolutions of the United Nations, the Madrid terms of reference, including the principle of land for peace, the Arab Peace Initiative80 and the Quartet road map to a permanent two-State solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,81 and for the speedy achievement of a just, lasting and comprehensive peace settlement between the Palestinian and Israeli sides,

Stressing the need for respect for and preservation of the territorial unity, contiguity and integrity of all of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and recalling in this regard its resolution 58/292 of 6 May 2004,

Recalling its resolution 66/146 of 19 December 2011,

Affirming the right of all States in the region to live in peace within secure and internationally recognized borders,

1. Reaffirms the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, including the right to their independent State of Palestine;

2. Urges all States and the specialized agencies and organizations of the United Nations system to continue to support and assist the Palestinian people in the early realization of their right to self-determination.


IX. QUARTET REPRESENTATIVE ISSUES STATEMENT ON ISRAELI SETTLEMENTS

The following statement was issued on 20 December 2012 by the Quartet Representative Tony Blair with regard to Israeli decisions to accelerate plans to construct new housing units in E1 and East Jerusalem:

“The problem is not only the building of such settlements itself but also that this is a moment when it is vital to re-start a proper negotiation and all such announcements do is to put new obstacles in the way of progress and undermine the prospects for a negotiated peace leading to a viable Palestinian state living side by side with a safe and secure Israel. All parties should refrain from unilateral actions that harm efforts to achieve peace.”


X. GENERAL ASSEMBLY ADOPTS RESOLUTION ON PERMANENT SOVEREIGNTY
OF THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE IN THE OCCUPIED PALESTINIAN TERRITORY,
INCLUDING EAST JERUSALEM, AND OF THE ARAB POPULATION IN THE
OCCUPIED SYRIAN GOLAN OVER THEIR NATURAL RESOURCES

On 21 December 2013 the General Assembly adopted a resolution on the “Permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and of the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources” (A/RES/67/229). The text of the resolution is reproduced below.

The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolution 66/225 of 22 December 2011, and taking note of Economic and Social Council resolution 2012/23 of 26 July 2012,

Recalling also its resolutions 58/292 of 6 May 2004 and 59/251 of 22 December 2004,

Reaffirming the principle of the permanent sovereignty of peoples under foreign occupation over their natural resources,

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, 465 (1980) of 1 March 1980 and 497 (1981) of 17 December 1981,

Recalling its resolution 2625 (XXV) of 24 October 1970,

Reaffirming the applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949,82 to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967,

Recalling, in this regard, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights83 and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights,84 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,

Recalling also 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,85 and recalling further its resolutions ES-10/15 of 20 July 2004 and ES-10/17 of 15 December 2006,

Expressing its concern about the exploitation by Israel, the occupying Power, of the natural resources of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967,

Expressing its grave concern about the extensive destruction by Israel, the occupying Power, of agricultural land and orchards in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including the uprooting of a vast number of fruit-bearing trees and the destruction of farms and greenhouses, and the grave environmental and economic impact in this regard,

Expressing its concern about the widespread destruction caused by Israel, the occupying Power, to vital infrastructure, including water pipelines and sewage networks, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, in particular in the Gaza Strip in the recent period, which, inter alia, pollutes the environment and negatively affects the water supply and other natural resources of the Palestinian people,

Taking note, in this regard, of the 2009 report by the United Nations Environment Programme regarding the grave environmental situation in the Gaza Strip,86 and stressing the need for follow-up to the recommendations contained therein,

Aware of the detrimental impact of the Israeli settlements on Palestinian and other Arab natural resources, especially as a result of the confiscation of land and the forced diversion of water resources, including the destruction of orchards and crops and the seizure of water wells by Israeli settlers, and of the dire socioeconomic consequences in this regard,

Aware also of the detrimental impact on Palestinian natural resources being caused by the unlawful construction of the wall by Israel, the occupying Power, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, and of its grave effect as well on the economic and social conditions of the Palestinian people,

Reaffirming the need for the resumption and accelerated advancement of negotiations within the Middle East peace process, on the basis of Security Council resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973) of 22 October 1973, 425 (1978) of 19 March 1978 and 1397 (2002) of 12 March 2002, the principle of land for peace, the Arab Peace Initiative87 and the Quartet performance-based road map to a permanent two-State solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,88 as endorsed by the Security Council in its resolution 1515 (2003) of 19 November 2003 and supported by the Council in its resolution 1850 (2008) of 16 December 2008, for the achievement of a final peace settlement on all tracks,

Stressing in this regard the need for respect for the obligation upon Israel under the road map to freeze settlement activity, including so-called “natural growth”, and to dismantle all settlement outposts erected since March 2001,

Stressing also the need for respect and preservation of the territorial unity, contiguity and integrity of all of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem,

Recalling the need to end all acts of violence, including acts of terror, provocation, incitement and destruction,

Taking note of the note by the Secretary-General transmitting the report prepared by the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia on the 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 of the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan,89

1. Reaffirms the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and of the population of the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources, including land, water and energy resources;

2. Demands that Israel, the occupying Power, cease the exploitation, damage, cause of loss or depletion, and endangerment of the natural resources in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan;

3. Recognizes the right of the Palestinian people to claim restitution as a result of any exploitation, damage, loss or depletion, or endangerment of their natural resources resulting from illegal measures taken by Israel, the occupying Power, and Israeli settlers in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and expresses the hope that this issue will be dealt with within the framework of the final status negotiations between the Palestinian and Israeli sides;

4. Stresses that the wall and settlements being constructed by Israel in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, are contrary to international law and are seriously depriving the Palestinian people of their natural resources, and calls in this regard for full compliance with the legal obligations affirmed in the 9 July 2004 advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice 3 and in relevant United Nations resolutions, including General Assembly resolution ES-10/15;

5. Calls upon Israel, the occupying Power, to comply strictly with its obligations under international law, including international humanitarian law, with respect to the alteration of the character and status of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem;

6. Also calls upon Israel, the occupying Power, to cease all actions harming the environment, including the dumping of all kinds of waste materials in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan, which gravely threaten their natural resources, namely water and land resources, and which pose an environmental, sanitation and health threat to the civilian populations;

7. Further calls upon Israel to cease its destruction of vital infrastructure, including water pipelines and sewage networks, which, inter alia, has a negative impact on the natural resources of the Palestinian people;

8. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the General Assembly at its sixty-eighth session on the implementation of the present resolution, including with regard to the cumulative impact of the exploitation, damage and depletion by Israel of natural resources in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan, and decides to include in the provisional agenda of its sixty-eighth session the item entitled “Permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and of the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources”.


XI. UNICEF ISSUES REPORT ON IMPACT OF HOSTILITIES ON CHILDREN IN GAZA

UNICEF coordinated a rapid psychosocial assessment on the impact the hostilities between Hamas and the Israeli military (during the period of 14 to 21 November 2012) had on children. The assessment, carried out four days after declaration of the ceasefire, was a rapid evaluation of the situation of children in the most affected areas in Gaza. It does not represent the overall situation of children in Gaza. The following is the conclusion of the report:

The assessment showed associations between symptoms and exposure to violence. The findings showed that physical and emotional symptoms were associated with being exposed to or witnessing violence. Thus, children who have been injured, have had their homes bombed or who have witnessed several violent events are a priority for action. These children live in north Gaza, Gaza City and Khan Younis.

There were also important associations between symptoms and feelings of fear, which should also be addressed, especially among boys. However, the assessment showed that emotional symptoms were linked to the child’s age, with more symptoms among older children, pointing to the need for support for the adolescent age group.

While the assessment has its limitations and cannot be generalized to all of the children of Gaza, it nevertheless provides the humanitarian sector with the basic tools and directions for immediate intervention.

It is well known that many of the symptoms related to exposure to violence disappear over time as children get back to normal life. Thus, bringing children back to normality is a priority for action.

The interim findings were presented to a combined meeting of the Child Protection Working Group and Mental Health and Psychosocial Working Group on 6 December 2012.

Endnotes
1A/48/486-S/26560, annex.
2See resolution 2200 A (XXI), annex.
3United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 1577, No. 27531.
4Ibid., vol. 1249, No. 20378.
5S/2003/529, annex.
6A/67/84-E/2012/68.
7A/51/889-S/1997/357, annex.
8Official Records of the General Assembly, Sixty-seventh Session, Supplement No. 13 (A/67/13).
9A/48/486-S/26560, annex.
10A/67/331.
11Official Records of the General Assembly, Sixty-seventh Session, Supplement No. 13 (A/67/13).
12A/48/486-S/26560, annex.
13Official Records of the General Assembly, Sixty-seventh Session, Supplement No. 13 (A/67/13).
14Ibid., pp. vi to viii.
15Resolution 22 A (I).
16United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 2051, No. 35457
17Ibid., vol. 75, No. 973.
18See A/63/855-S/2009/250.
19A/HRC/12/48.
20Official Records of the General Assembly, Forty-ninth Session, Supplement No. 13 (A/49/13), annex I.., pp. vi to viii.
21A/67/382.
22Official Records of the General Assembly, Sixty-sixth Session, Supplement No. 13A (A/66/13/Add.1).
23A/65/705.
24United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 1577, No. 27531.
25Ibid., vol. 1249, No. 20378.
26Ibid., vol. 2515, No. 44910.
27A/67/334.
28A/67/343, annex.
29217 A (III).
30Official Records of the General Assembly, Nineteenth Session, Annexes, Annex No. 11, document A/5700.
31United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 75, No. 973.
32Resolution 217 A (III).
33Resolution 2200 A (XXI), annex.
34See Official Records of the General Assembly, Sixty-fourth Session, Supplement No. 53A (A/64/53/Add.1), chap. I.
35See A/ES-10/273 and Corr.1.
36See A/63/855-S/2009/250.
37A/HRC/12/48.
38A/67/550.
39A/67/332, A/67/338, A/67/372, A/67/375 and A/67/511.
40A/48/486-S/26560, annex.
41A/66/371-S/2011/592.
42See Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, The Hague Conventions and Declarations of 1899 and 1907 (New York, Oxford University Press, 1915).
43United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 75, No. 973.
44Ibid., vol. 1125, No. 17512.
45Ibid., vol. 75, Nos. 970-973.
46See A/67/550.
47A/67/332, A/67/338, A/67/372, A/67/375 and A/67/511.
48See A/ES-10/273 and Corr.1.
49United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 75, No. 973.
50Ibid., vol. 1125, No. 17512.
51Ibid., vol. 75, Nos. 970-973.
52See A/ES-10/273 and Corr.1.
53Ibid., advisory opinion para. 120.
54A/HRC/20/32; see also A/67/379.
55A/48/486-S/26560, annex.
56S/2003/529, annex.
57A/67/332, A.67/337, A/67/372, A/67/375 and A/67/511.
58Resolution 217 A (III).
59See resolution 2200 A (XXI), annex.
60United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 1577, No. 27531.
61See A/67/550.
62A/67/372.
63A/HRC/20/32; see also A/67/379.
64See A/ES-10/273 and Corr.1.
65United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 75, No. 973.
66S/2003/529, annex.
67See A/63/855-S/2009/250.
68A/HRC/12/48.
69See A/67/550.
70A/67/338.
71United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 75, No. 973.
72Resolution 2200 A (XXI), annex.
73Resolution 217 A (III).
74Resolution 1514 (XV).
75A/CONF.157/24 (Part I), chap. III.
76see Resolution 50/6.
77Resolution 55/2.
78See A/ES-10/273 and Corr.1; see also Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Advisory Opinion, I.C.J. Reports 2004, p. 136.
79See A/ES-10/273 and Corr.1, advisory opinion, para. 88; see also Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Advisory Opinion, I.C.J. Reports 2004, p. 136.
80See A/ES-10/273 and Corr.1, advisory opinion, para. 122; see also Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Advisory Opinion, I.C.J. Reports 2004, p. 136.
81A/56/1026-S/2002/932, annex II, resolution 14/221.
82S/2003/529, annex.
83United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 75, No. 973.
84See resolution 2200 A (XXI), annex.
85See A/ES-10/273 and Corr.1; see also Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Advisory Opinion, I.C.J. Reports 2004, p. 136.
86Environmental Assessment of the Gaza Strip following the Escalation of Hostilities in December 2008-January 2009 (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.09.III.D.30).
87A/56/1026-S/2002/932, annex II, resolution 14/221.
88S/2003/529, annex.
89A/67/91-E/2012/13.


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