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1. A full and immediate ceasefire of all sides of the Lebanon and Gaza conflicts;
2. The full and immediate withdrawal of all foreign forces on the respective territories, in particular, Israel’s immediate withdrawal from all Lebanese waters and territories, including Mazra`a Shaba`;
3. The rapid creation of a demilitarised zone over a significant depth inside Galilee (northern Israel) and Jabal `Amil (southern Lebanon), with each State otherwise exercising full sovereignty within their territory;
4. Increased UN international observer presence with jurisdiction to monitor and report in both demilitarised zones;
5. A competent and effective investigative process to register and evaluate material and moral damages, costs and losses subject to reparations;
6. The complete return of Lebanese civilians to their homes in all Israeli-affected areas of Lebanon with full reparations (including return, restitutions, resettlement, rehabilitation, compensation and pledge of nonrepetition);9
7. Palestinian refugees exercising their right of return to their former homes and properties in that demilitarized zone in the Galilee, with full reparations and with equal citizenship and nationality rights;
8. A complete hostage/prisoner exchange between Israel and Lebanon, as well as between Israel and Palestine;10
9. A full accounting of the persons killed and/or disappeared during the various stages of Israel’s occupation of Lebanon, 1978–82, 1982–2000, and 2006;
10. Establishment of a war crimes tribunal with jurisdiction to prosecute any party reasonably suspected of ordering or conducting war crimes or crimes against humanity in the occupied Palestinian territory, Israel or Lebanon a relevant date (1978?) forward.
Difficult though these requisites seem, each is essential. They arise from binding law codified for the very purpose at hand. The Commission would do well to assert the legally obvious, finally to address the impunity that permeates and perpetuates this regional conflict. Anything less surely will compound the human deprivation we are now witnessing.
1 See “The Human Rights Dimensions of Population Transfer, including the Implantation of Settlers and Settlements,” E/CN.4/Sub.2/1993/17. It is indeed an old story in the sense that even the early white settlers in North America called themselves the “New Israelites” and the indigenous peoples “New Canaanites,” with settlers re-enacting genocidal episodes portrayed in ancient scriptures. By the 19th Century, preachers in pulpits across the United States referred to their country, increasingly cleansed of its indigenous peoples, as the “New Israel.”
2 These countries include: Argentina, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Mexico, Netherlands, Peru, Romania, Russian Federation, South Africa, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Kingdom and Uruguay, as provided by the Jewish Agency for Israel, at: http://www.jewishagency.org/JewishAgency/English/Home/Jewish+Agency+Resources/JAFI+WZO+Related+Sites/WZO/Federations.
3 Called “Operation Accountability,” in Israel, and “the Seven-day War,” in Lebanon, in which Israel created three columns of civilian displaced persons, totalling 450,000.
4 In the infamous “Grapes of Wrath” operation, whereby Israel concentrated displaced civilians and targeted them with aircraft fire and bombs, as exemplified in the massacre at the UN compound at Qana.
5 Israeli soldiers’ under-reported kidnapping of a Gaza doctor and his brother, as cited in Tariq Ali, John Berger, Noam Chomsky, Eduardo Galeano, Naomi Klein, Harold Pinter, Arundhati Roy, José Saramago & Howard Zinn, “Israel, Lebanon, and Palestine,” at: http://www.chomsky.info/letters/20060719.htm.
6 Israel kidnapped Lebanese nationals Sheikh `Abd al-Karim `Ubaid and Mustafa al-Dirani from Lebanon in 1989 and 1994, respectively. Israeli officials admit that the two are being held for future use in negotiations to gain the release of Israeli nationals gone missing in Lebanon. As such, their detention is both a grave breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention and a violation of Israel's legal obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Human Rights Watch, “Israel Seeks to Legalize War Crimes: Hostage Law Strips Civilians of Rights Guaranteed by Laws of War,” press release (22 June 2000).
7 B’Tselem, Captive Corpses (Jerusalem: B’Tselem, 1999).
8 As in statements by Environment Minister Gideon Ezra. See Gideon ALon, “Who would miss a chance to liquidate Nasrallah?,” Ha’aretz (7 August 2006), at: http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/747065.html. On Israel’s prospectus of a depopulated southern Lebanon as a “killing box,” see Bahman Baktiari and Augustus Richard Norton, “Beyond the war in Lebanon,” Christian Science Monitor (19 July 2006), at: http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/0719/p09s01-coop.html; see also Donald Sensing, Ìsrael’s Strategy Redux,” Winds of Change.net (3 Aigust 2006), at: http://www.windsofchange.net/archives/israel_strategy_redux-print.php.
9 See “Principles on Housing and Property Restitution for Refugees and Displaced Persons,” in Final Report of the Special Rapporteur Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro, submitted in accordance with Sub-Commission resolution 2004/2, E/CN.4/Sub.2/2005/17 (2 May 2005); “Basic principles and guidelines on the right to a remedy and reparation for victims of gross violations of international human rights law and serious violations of international humanitarian law,” UN Commission on Human Rights resolution 2005/35 (19 April 2005); “Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement,” E/CN.4/1998/53/Add.2 (11 February 1998); “Basic principles and guidelines on development-based evictions and displacement,” in Report of the Special Rapporteur on adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living, E/CN.4/2006/41 (14 March 2006).
10 The number of Palestinian prisoners is estimated at 9,400, including over 300 children and some 125 women.