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Bulletin mensuel de la DDP - Vol.XXXVII, No. 1 - bulletin Comité pour l’exercice des droits inaliénables du peuple palestinien, DDP (janvier 2014) - 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 January 2014
January 2014
Volume XXXVII, Bulletin No. 1

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



Contents
I.
High Commissioner for Human Rights submits report on implications of Israeli settlements
II.
Secretary-General saddened by death of Ariel Sharon
III.
High Commissioner for Human Rights submits periodic report on Palestinian human rights
IV.
Special Rapporteur on Palestinian human rights submits report
V.
Palestinian Rights Committee launches International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People
VI.
Security Council holds open debate on situation in Middle East, including Palestinian question
VII.
Bureau of Palestinian Rights Committee issues statement on humanitarian situation in Yarmouk refugee camp
VIII.
Humanitarian Coordinator expresses concern over demolitions in Jordan Valley




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. BUREAU I. HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS SUBMITS
REPORT ON IMPLICATIONS OF ISRAELI SETTLEMENTS


Pursuant to Human Rights Council resolution 22/29, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay submitted a report on 10 January 2014 to the 25th session of the Human Rights Council on the status of implementation of the recommendations contained in the report of the independent international fact-finding mission on the implications of Israeli settlements on the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of the Palestinian people throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem (A/HRC/25/39). Excerpts from the report are reproduced below:

A. Israeli settlement activity and recourse to remedy for Palestinians

6. As noted in the report of the Secretary-General on Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, submitted to the General Assembly at its sixty-eighth session (A/68/513), Israel has continued to play a leading role in the creation and expansion of settlements in violation of international law. Notwithstanding the recommendations made to Israel by the fact-finding mission in its report and the renewal of peace negotiations mediated by the United States of America, Israel has continued to promote settlement expansion. As affirmed by the Human Rights Council in its resolution 22/29, Israeli settlement activities undermine international efforts with respect to the peace process and the realization of a two-State solution.

7. From March to November 2013, plans for at least 8,943 new settlement units were promoted by the Government of Israel in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.2 Israel has also made a number of public announcements regarding settlement construction, for example on 30 October, when it announced the construction of 5,000 new units in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, a day after the release of 26 Palestinian prisoners in the context of the peace process. The Secretary-General publicly deplored the continuing expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, on a number of occasions, and has repeatedly stated that settlements are in violation of international law, and that all settlement activity in the West Bank and East Jerusalem must cease.3 He urged Israel to heed the calls of the international community and abide by its commitments under international law and the Quartet road map.4

8. The continued fragmentation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, through Israeli settlement expansion has gone hand-in-hand with the construction of the wall, the destruction of Palestinian-owned property and the forcible displacement of Palestinian civilians, including Bedouin communities. These acts violate Israel's obligation to protect the population under occupation and run counter to the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice on the Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory of 4 July 2004, and may have further undermined the possibility for the Palestinian people to

9. As at November 2013, Israel had not provided remedy for Palestinian victims for the harm suffered as a consequence of human rights violations resulting from settlements. The United Nations Register of Damage Caused by the Construction of the Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, established in 2007, collected more than 38,500 claims and more than half a million supporting documents in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. Of these claims, to date 8,994 cases have been reviewed by the Board of the Register and deemed valid for inclusion in the Register.6

B. Settler violence and accountability

10. With regard to settler violence, in her most recent report submitted to the Human Rights Council on the implementation of resolution 22/26,7 the High Commissioner highlighted the failure of Israel to maintain public order, contain settler violence, address the lack of meaningful accountability and afford protection from the said violence. Since February 2013, Israeli settlers have continued to attack Palestinians and their property in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, despite Israel's obligation under international law to protect Palestinians and their property from acts of violence by settlers, to ensure accountability for crimes committed and to provide remedy for violations suffered by Palestinians. Between 2005 and 2013, only 8.5 per cent of the investigations opened in relation to settler violence incidents in the West Bank resulted in indictments, and some 84 per cent of the investigations were closed, owing mainly to

C. Palestinian detainees, including children in Israeli custody

11. The fact-finding mission called for Israel to put an end to arbitrary arrests and detention of Palestinians, especially children. As at 1 October 2013, 5,046 Palestinians were in Israeli detention. A total ofl35 of them were in administrative detention on security grounds, without charge or trial; well over half of them had been held for more than six months, and some for more than three years.9 In this connection, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967,the Secretary-General, the High Commissioner, and the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories have documented the treatment of Palestinian detainees, including children in Israeli custody.1°

12. In February 2013, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) issued a report in which it documented significant alleged violations of children's rights in the West Bank, noting that the ill-treatment of Palestinian children who come in contact with the Israeli military detention system appeared to be widespread, systematic and institutionalized throughout the process, from the moment of arrest until the child's prosecution and eventual conviction and sentencing.

13. UNICEF issued an update report in October 2013 concerning progress made by the Israeli authorities towards implementing some of the 38 recommendations contained in its previous report. The actions taken by the Israeli Military Advocate General included, inter alia, an agreement by the Israeli Defense Forces Central Command for the West Bank to pilot a test summons of children in certain areas of the West Bank, in lieu of night arrests, and the issuance of military orders reducing the time that a Palestinian child could be detained prior to appearing before a military court judge for the first time, as well as regulating the duration of remand prior to indictment.12

D. Business and human rights in relation to the settlements

14. In its resolution 22/29, the Human Rights Council called upon the relevant United Nations bodies to take all necessary measures and actions within their mandates to ensure full respect for and compliance with Council resolution 17/4 on the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and other relevant international laws and standards, and to ensure the implementation of the United Nations Protect, Respect and Remedy Framework, which provides a global standard for upholding human rights in relation to business activities that are connected with Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem. Pursuant to resolution 22/29, the Working Group on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises discussed the Council's request to fulfil its mandate accordingly during its fifth session, and decided to issue a statement thereon before the twenty-sixth session of the Counci1.13

15. The Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967 reported on the involvement of companies that profit from the construction and maintenance of settlements as well as other activities related to settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.14 In his most recent report (A/68/376), the Special Rapporteur explored the implications of corporate involvement by way of a model of legal analysis to assess the probability of liability, including international criminal liability, for corporate complicity in breaches of international law related to illegal settlements.

16. In this context, the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories also reported on the involvement of companies profiting from the settlements, and noted that businesses need to exercise due diligence in the light of the potential legal and reputational consequences for businesses associated with Israel's settlement enterprise.15


II. SECRETARY-GENERAL SADDENED BY DEATH OF ARIEL SHARON

On 11 January 2014, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon issued a statement on the death of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon (SG/SM/15578). The following are excerpts from the statement:

Prime Minister Sharon will be remembered for his political courage and determination to carry through with the painful and historic decision to withdraw Israeli settlers and troops from the Gaza Strip. His successor faces the difficult challenge of realizing the aspirations of peace between the Israeli and Palestinian people.

The Secretary-General calls on Israel to build on the late Prime Minister's legacy of pragmatism to work towards the long overdue achievement of an independent and viable Palestinian State, next to a secure Israel. At this time of national mourning, the Secretary-General renews the commitment of the United Nations to work alongside the Government and the people of Israel for peace and security.


III. HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS SUBMITS
PERIODIC REPORT ON PALESTINIAN HUMAN RIGHTS

On 13 January 2014, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navy Pillay submitted a periodic report on the human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory to the Human Rights Council (A/HRC/25/40), pursuant to resolutions S-9/1 and S-12/1. Following are the recommendations of the report:

A. Recommendations to the Government of Israel

75. Lift the blockade of Gaza to remedy the ongoing punitive measures against the civilian population, and ensure that any measures restricting the freedom of movement of civilians and the transfer of goods from, into and within Gaza are consistent with international law.

76. Ensure that the use of force by its security forces, including in the access restricted areas, in situations other than hostilities is in compliance with the Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials, including by carrying out an independent review and any necessary revisions of rules of engagement or regulations on opening fire to ensure their consistency with international law.

77. Carry out prompt, thorough, effective, independent and impartial investigations into allegations of unlawful killing or injury, torture and ill-treatment and ensure that the investigations are subject to public scrutiny and allow for meaningful victim participation. Prosecute individuals responsible for violations and provide victims with an effective remedy. As an initial step to reforming the investigative system, implement the recommendations contained in the second report of the Turkel Commission.

78. Immediately cease any demolitions or plans for demolitions that would result in the forcible transfer or forced eviction of Palestinians, particularly in the vulnerable areas of the Jordan Valley, the periphery of Jerusalem and the South Hebron Hills, including Massafer Yatta. Permit and facilitate the return of those communities already subjected to forcible transfer or eviction to the their original dwellings and ensure adequate housing and legal security of tenure.

79. Charge or release any detainees held in administrative detention and bring to an end the administrative detention regime.

80. Implement the recommendations made by UNICEF and the Committee on the Rights of the Child1041 regarding the treatment of Palestinian children in detention.

B. Recommendations to the Government of the State of Palestine

81. Ensure that the use of force and treatment of detainees by all security forces is in compliance with international human rights law and principles, including the Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials, and that the new PPS Code of Conduct is applied in practice. Conduct regular training on international human rights law, the Basic Principles and the PPS Code of Conduct for security officers, and investigate and review operations to ensure regular compliance.

82. Conduct prompt, thorough, effective, independent and impartial investigations into allegations of unlawful killing, injury, torture and ill-treatment by security forces, including, for example, the killing of Amjad Odeh at Askar refugee camp. Ensure that such investigations are transparent, that the results are made public and that those responsible are brought to justice in fair trials.

83. Publish in full the reports of investigative committees.105

84. Ensure that court decisions ordering the release of detainees are respected and promptly enforced and take appropriate measures against those institutions and individuals not respecting such orders.

85. Ensure that journalists and political activists are able to carry out their work without hindrance, in particular, ensure that security services refrain from arresting or harassing people for distributing or publishing materials that are critical of the Palestinian Authority.

86. Officially declare a formal moratorium on the death penalty, pending abolition.

87. Adopt necessary measures to effectively investigate, prosecute and bring to justice perpetrators of all acts involving violence against women and, in particular, amend the criminal legislation in order to prevent impunity and reduced penalties for so-called honour crimes.

C. Recommendations to the de facto authorities and Palestinian armed groups in Gaza

88. The de facto authorities in Gaza must respect international humanitarian law, especially in relation to the principle of distinction, and ensure accountability for violations.

89. Palestinian armed groups in Gaza must respect international humanitarian law.

90. The de facto authorities must refrain from unlawful restrictions on free speech and peaceful assembly, including closing entire media outlets, and must allow journalists, political activists, social media activists, academics and others to carry out their work and exercise their public freedoms without hindrance, including freedom from arbitrary arrest, torture and ill-treatment. The authorities must investigate any violations against such persons.

91. The de facto authorities must take all necessary measures to ensure that detentions are in line with international human rights norms and standards, and must ensure the immediate end of the use of torture and ill-treatment by its security forces. They must promptly, thoroughly, effectively, independently, impartially and transparently investigate all allegations of torture and ill-treatment, as well as impose appropriate sanctions against those responsible based on fair trials, and provide victims with adequate, effective and prompt reparations for the harm suffered.

92. The de facto authorities in Gaza should impose an immediate moratorium on executions, and cease the use of military tribunals to try civilians.


IV. SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR ON PALESTINIAN HUMAN RIGHTS SUBMITS REPORT

On 13 January 2014, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, Richard Falk submitted his last report (A/HRC/25/67) in accordance with Commission on Human Rights resolution 1993/2 A and Human Rights Council decision 2/102. The following are the concluding remarks and recommendations contained in the report:

VI. Concluding remarks

78. Through prolonged occupation, with practices and policies which appear to constitute apartheid and segregation, ongoing expansion of settlements, and continual construction of the wall arguably amounting to de facto annexation of parts of the occupied Palestinian territory, the denial by Israel of the right to self-determination of the Palestinian people is evident. The Draft Articles on Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts provide guidance as to the consequences of serious breaches of peremptory norms under international law. In this respect there is authority89 to suggest that the following prohibitions have attained the status of peremptory norms: aggression through military occupation and imposition of military blockades on ports and coasts,9° racial discrimination and apartheid, and torture. In addition, the right to self-determination itself has been recognized as a peremptory norm which applies erga omnes.91

79. Under article 40, paragraph 2, of the Draft Articles, for breaches of peremptory norms to be serious they must involve a gross or systematic failure of the responsible State to fulfil the obligation. Without prejudice to an authoritative determination of whether the breaches of the discussed peremptory norms qualify as serious, it is noted that the violations discussed in the context of the prolonged occupation appear deliberate, organized, institutionalized and longstanding. In the commentary, the International Law Commission considers it likely that

competent international organizations, including the Security Council and the General Assembly will address such serious breaches. The implications for Member States for serious breaches of this nature include an obligation to cooperate to bring an end to breaches, and an obligation not to recognize or maintain the illegal situation.92

80. Finally, from the point of view of international criminal law, with the General Assembly's recognition of Palestinian statehood, the opportunity for Palestine to accept the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court is now clear. While a declaration was lodged by the Palestinian Minister of Justice in 2009 purporting to accept its jurisdiction for acts committed on the territory of Palestine since 1 July 2002,93 it seems the Court's decision of 3 April 2012 on the question of jurisdiction94 had the effect of closing the preliminary examination.95 An acceptance of jurisdiction would potentially bring a measure of accountability for key individuals, and address violations related to the crime of apartheid and other issues flowing from the more than 400 communications on crimes allegedly committed in Palestine, received by the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court since 2009.96

VII. Recommendations

81. In this, his final report, the Special Rapporteur takes the opportunity to reiterate some past recommendations and add several new ones, namely that:

V. PALESTINIAN RIGHTS COMMITTEE LAUNCHES INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF SOLIDARITY WITH PALESTINIAN PEOPLE

On 16 January 2014, the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People held its 2014 opening session at United Nations Headquarters, during which the Committee officially launched the International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People as proclaimed by the General Assembly in its resolution 68/12 of 26 November 2013. Following are the remarks made during the meeting by Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliason on behalf of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (DSG/SM/737, GA/PAL/1285):

Let me, first of all, on behalf of the Secretary-General, congratulate you, Mr. Chairman, and your distinguished colleagues, on your election to the Bureau of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.

Let me also welcome the proclamation of 2014 as the International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. This is a recognition of the commitment of the international community to durable peace between Israel and Palestine.

The coming year will be crucial to achieving the two-State solution. Israeli and Palestinian negotiators are working hard towards a peaceful, comprehensive settlement of all permanent status issues.

That means a settlement that ends the occupation that started in 1967 and which would end the conflict. It means securing an independent, viable and sovereign State of Palestine living alongside a secure State of Israel where each side recognizes the other's legitimate rights. It means accepting Jerusalem as the capital of the two States, with arrangements for Holy Sites acceptable to all. And it means a just solution for millions of Palestinian refugees around the region.

This is the essence of the United Nations' vision of the two-State solution. The international community is ready to renew its collective engagement towards these goals. But, the parties themselves need to make courageous commitments to advance the peace process.

All parties must act responsibly and refrain from actions that can undermine the negotiations. The Secretary-General and I are concerned by recent developments on the ground.

Last year saw an increase in violence and incitement from all sides. We deplore the killing of Israeli citizens and soldiers due to cross-border and terrorist attacks, as well as the killings of Palestinians as a result of Israeli raids. We reject all actions targeting civilians and call on all concerned to exert maximum restraint to prevent further loss of lives.

We are particularly concerned with escalating extremist and settler violence. This is seriously affecting the safety, livelihood and dignity of Palestinian civilians.

We urge the Israeli authorities to stop and punish the ongoing violence by Israeli extremists. We welcome Israel's release of Palestinian prisoners. But, at the same time, we know Israeli settlement activity in the Occupied Palestinian Territory continues.

Announcements of new settlements jeopardize the negotiations. They cannot be reconciled with the goal of a two-State solution. All settlements in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, are illegal under international law and prejudge the outcome of final status negotiations.

We are also concerned by continued displacement of Palestinians through house demolitions in Area C of the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Such action causes human suffering and is in conflict with Israel's obligations under international human rights and humanitarian law. The effects on Palestinian children can be particularly devastating.

The United Nations has called for a comprehensive halt to the demolition of Palestinian structures and to the displacement of Palestinian residents of the West Bank. A fair planning system with Palestinian participation must be put in place to support the development of these vulnerable communities.

The removal of Palestinian communities from their homes located in so-called firing zones also raises serious concerns. It amounts to individual and mass forcible transfer, contrary to Israel's obligations under international humanitarian law.

The situation in Gaza is also deeply troubling. We condemn all rocket fire into Israel, as well as the construction of tunnels into Israel, which has led to Israel suspending the transfer of construction material into Gaza. We welcome the recent resumption of the transports for United Nations projects. We call on Israel to expand this to include all United Nations and private sector projects.

We recognize Israel's legitimate security concerns, while urging Israel to ensure that the needs of the civilian population in Gaza are met. We hope that the Rafah crossing will resume normal operations expeditiously to help address the difficult humanitarian situation.

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency [for Palestine Refugees in the Near East], UNRWA, which is a lifeline for millions of Palestinians in Gaza, the West Bank and the region, continues to face serious financial difficulties. We call on all donors, including new ones, to make or increase contributions to sustain UNRWA's vital and indispensable operations. We particularly urge support for UNRWA's Core Budget, through which it implements its critical General Assembly-mandated activities.

Finally, we urge the Palestinians to do everything to overcome their divisions without delay in the interest of unity. Palestinian unity based on the commitments of the Palestine Liberation Organization and the positions of the Arab Peace Initiative is essential for the two-State solution.

We cannot afford to lose the current moment of opportunity. The Secretary-General and I urge all in the international community to work together to translate the solidarity and desire for peace expressed on this occasion into positive action for security and for justice.

Israel and Palestine need to live up to their commitment to a negotiated two-State solution consistent with Security Council resolutions. They need to resolve all core issues related to territory, security, Jerusalem, refugees, settlements and water.

Parameters for an agreement have long been clear, laid out in UN Security Council resolutions, the Madrid principles, the road map, the 2002 Arab Peace initiative and existing agreements between the parties. What is needed now is political will and courage, as well as recognition of historic responsibility and inspiring vision for younger generations.

This Committee can make important contributions to the shared goal of a durable peace between Israelis and Palestinians. The Secretary-General and I will continue to do everything in our power to support you. Thank you.


VI. SECURITY COUNCIL HOLDS OPEN DEBATE ON SITUATION IN MIDDLE EAST,
INCLUDING PALESTINIAN QUESTION

On 20 January 2014, the Security Council held an open debate on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question. Following are excerpts from the briefing by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as well as the statement delivered by the Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, Ambassador Abdou Salam Diallo of Senegal (S/PV. 7096):

Briefing by Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon has worked diligently to lay out a framework on all core issues to address Israeli and Palestinian aspirations in a fair and balanced manner and to allow for continued negotiations towards a final status agreement. I also pay special tribute to Jordan for its essential role.

Israeli and Palestinian leaders will be required to make bold decisions and painful compromises for peace. They must prepare their peoples for these necessary steps. The failure of political progress could fuel a downward spiral on the ground. I am alarmed by recurrent violence and incitement on all sides, as well as by continued settlement activity, which is illegal under international law. Building settlements is not consistent with building a long-lasting peace agreement. Both parties must act responsibly and with restraint. Gaza also remains a cause for concern. Ultimately, a sustainable two-State solution will require Palestinians to overcome their divisions.

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) will begin 2014 with an expected end-of-year shortfall of $67 million under its regular budget. I encourage all Member States to explore ways to strengthen their cooperation with UNRWA and provide additional funding, in particular to its regular budget.

I hope that the parties will reach a framework understanding. It must be fair and consistent with principles on all core issues outlined in Security Council resolutions, the Madrid principles —including land for peace — the road map and the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative. Palestinians must be able to realize their legitimate aspirations to statehood, self-determination, dignity and freedom, including an end to the occupation that began in 1967, with a just solution to the plight of refugees and a resolution of the status of Jerusalem. Israelis must be able to live in peace and security within recognized borders, paving the way or their increasing integration in a stable and secure region.

The realization of the Arab Peace Initiative will yield socioeconomic, trade, and security benefits for all the peoples of the Middle East. For Palestinians, a comprehensive peace settlement holds the promise of becoming a fully recognized Member State of equal standing. There is no substitute for negotiations to achieve this end. Only then can the United Nations relationship with Palestine be truly transformed so as to fully implement and complete the Palestinian state-building agenda.

For Israel, too, only a negotiated solution will bring security and recognition in the region and beyond. Israel would be in a position to reap the full benefits of all forms of cooperation within the United Nations system. The United Nations and its Members would, in turn, greatly benefit from what Israel has to offer. I do not underestimate the difficulties, but the risks of inaction or surrender are far greater. We face possibly the last attempt to salvage the two-State solution. Quite simply, this is too important to fail.

My message to President Abbas and Prime Minister Netanyahu is clear. If they are prepared to take the bold decisions required, I will push ahead on the positive agenda of peace dividends for both sides and ensure that the United Nations works towards realizing the legitimate aspirations of the Israeli and Palestinian peoples within the framework of a comprehensive regional settlement. We must make the most of the prospect that Secretary Kerry has unlocked in order to see the creation of two States living side by side in peace and security that their peoples so desperately desire and deserve.

Statement by Chairman Abdou Salam Diallo

Our Committee is grateful for the continued diplomatic efforts of the international community, and first and foremost for the steadfast efforts of United States Secretary of State Kerry to encourage the parties to reach a comprehensive agreement.

The Committee calls on all parties to act responsibly so as to create a climate conducive to productive negotiations that will allow for a solution of all final status issues and bring an end to the Israeli occupation, a total Israeli military withdrawal from the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, as well as the realization of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, including the right to self-determination.

As we approach the April deadline, prospects for peace continue to be undermined by the occupying Power's actions on the ground, in particular the expansion of settlements. Israel has announced the construction of thousands of new settlement units since the start of negotiations in July, the latest of which, concerning more than 1,400 units, was announced 10 days ago. The 144 settlements, scattered throughout the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem and connected with each other by roads built for the exclusive use of Israeli settlers, are totally inconsistent with the two-State solution. Their continued expansion undermines the Palestinians' trust in Israel's commitment to achieving that solution. Peace will be possible only when the occupation is brought to an end and the State of Palestine is truly independent, sovereign and viable.

Moreover, settlement activities constitute grave breaches of international law. The Committee calls on the Council, as the guarantor of international peace and security, to uphold international law and its own resolutions, including resolution 446 (1979), which determined that settlements have no legal validity and called on Israel to abide by the Fourth Geneva Convention.

The Committee is also troubled by the recent tensions on the border between Gaza and Israel, the rockets fired from Gaza into Israel and the Israeli air strikes on Gaza, all of which could undermine the fragile ceasefire between the two sides and have devastating consequences for the Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations.

The General Assembly has proclaimed 2014 the International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People and requested the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People to organize activities in cooperation with Governments, United Nations organizations, intergovernmental organizations and civil society. The objective of the International Year, which was officially launched last Thursday, is to promote the key theme of solidarity with the Palestinian people as a contribution to international awareness of the question of Palestine and of the obstacles to the ongoing peace process, including the illegal settlements. A wide range of activities is being organized, and we count on the entire membership, including Council members, for their cooperation and engagement to make 2014 a historic year for the long-overdue two-State solution.


VII. BUREAU OF PALESTINIAN RIGHTS COMMITTEE ISSUES STATEMENT
ON HUMANITARIAN SITUATION IN YARMOUK REFUGEE CAMP

On 20 January 2014, the Bureau of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People issued the following statement on the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the Yarmouk refugee camp in Syria (GA/PAL/1286):

The Bureau of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People expresses the Committee's deep concern about the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the Yarmouk refugee camp in Syria.

Approximately, 18,000 persons, mainly Palestine refugees, have been trapped for over four months in the camp and are enduring extremely difficult conditions. There are now credible reports that a significant number of people in the camp are experiencing acute malnutrition, including infants and children who are suffering from diseases including anaemia, rickets and kwashiorkor. The lack of electricity, heating and regular water supplies are also contributing to the rapidly deteriorating health of residents and the humanitarian crisis in the camp.

The Bureau welcomes the continuing efforts of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) to provide assistance to Palestine refugees in all fields of operation, including in Syria, despite widespread instability, as well as the ongoing attempts to supply urgently needed food and medicines to Yarmouk, which has received no supplies since September 2013. The Bureau shares UNRWA's concerns that its attempt last week to provide food for 6,000 people and other medical supplies had to be aborted due to indirect fire in the proximity of the camp, preventing the delivery of vital aid. While welcoming the reports that limited food aid reached the camp and critically ill residents started to be evacuated over the weekend, the Bureau expresses its grave concern that, of the total 540,000 Palestine refugees in Syria, almost all now require emergency assistance and more than half of them have been again displaced.

The Bureau urgently calls for respect of international humanitarian law to ensure the protection of all civilians in this tragic conflict, and also calls for measures to ensure immediate, safe, open and continuous humanitarian access to the Yarmouk camp so that the civilians trapped therein can be provided with critical relief and assistance. The Committee stresses the need for a just solution to the Palestine refugee question in accordance with the relevant United Nations resolutions, including General Assembly resolution 194 (III), and in the context of lasting Palestinian-Israeli peace and comprehensive regional peace.


VIII. HUMANITARIAN COORDINATOR EXPRESSES CONCERN OVER DEMOLITIONS IN JORDAN VALLEY

On 31 January 2014, the United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator for the Occupied Palestinian Territory, James W. Rawley, expressed concern over the demolition by Israel of 36 Palestinian-owned structures in the Jordan Valley community of Ein al Hilwe on 30 January 2014, which resulted in the displacement of 66 people, including 36 children. The press release is reproduced below:

I am deeply concerned about the ongoing displacement and dispossession of Palestinians in Area C, particularly along the Jordan Valley where the number of structures demolished more than doubled in the last year. This activity not only deprives Palestinians of access to shelter and basic services, it also runs counter to international law, said Mr. Rawley. The destruction of Palestinian-owned property and forced eviction of Palestinians must be brought to an immediate halt until Palestinians have access to a fair planning and zoning regime that meets their needs.

Humanitarian partners are providing the necessary emergency assistance to families that are currently without shelter and suffering impaired livelihoods.

Humanitarian agencies are facing increasing difficulties responding to emergency needs in Area C of the Jordan Valley due to restrictions from the Israeli authorities. In several cases, humanitarian assistance has been seized, confiscated or destroyed.

Displacement rose 25 per cent in 2013, with over 1,100 displaced in the West Bank, both in Area C and East Jerusalem, following the demolition of structure built without an Israeli-issued building permit, which is virtually impossible to obtain. Since the beginning of 2014, over 100 Palestinian-owned structures have been demolished in these areas, forcibly displacing more than 180 Palestinians, including nearly 100 children.

Endnotes
2 See A/HRC/25/38.
3 See www.un.org/sg/statements/index.asp?nid=7314 and www.un.org/News/Pres s/doc s/2013/s gsm15427. do c.htm.
4 See www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2013/sgsm15108.doc.htm and www.un.orgiNews/Press/docs/2013/sgsm15427.doc.htm.
5 See A/HRC/24/30.
6 A/ES-10/599, annex. See also www.unrod.org.
7 A/HRC/25/38.
8 A/68/513, para. 52. See also A/68/502.
9 A/HRC/25/40.
10 A/HRC/23/21, A/HRC/24/30, A/HRC/25/40 and A/68/379.
11 Children in Israeli Military Detention, available from http://unispal.un.org/UNISPALNSF/3822b5e39951876a852 56b6e0058a478/1ee6b43ba346341885257b260051c8ff?Ope nDocument.
12 See www.unicef.org/media/media_70666.htm1.
13 A/HRC/WG.12/5/1.
14 See A/67/379, A/68/376and A/HRC/23/21. 13 A/68/379, para. 38.
________
104 UNICEF, Children in Israeli Military Detention: Observations and Recommendations, February 2013;CRC/C/ISR/CO/2-4, especially paras. 35 and 36.
105 See para. 56 above.
____
89 Draft Articles, chap. III.
90 General Assembly resolution 3314(XXIX).
91 Draft Articles, chap. III, commentary.
92 Ibid., art. 41.
93 See www.icc-cpi.int/NR/rdonlyres/74EEE201-0FED-4481-95D4-C8071087102C/279777/ 20090122PalestinianDeclaration2.pdf.
94 See www.icc-cpi.int/NR/rdonlyres/C6162BBF-FEB9-4FAF-AFA9-836106D2694A/284387/SiluationinPalestine030412ENG.pdf.
95 See www.icc-cpi.int/en_ menus/icc/press%20and%20 media/press %20 releases/Documents/OTP%20 Preliminary %20Examinations /0TP%20-%20Report %20%20 Preliminary%20Examination %20 Activities%202013.PDF.
96 See www.icc-cpi.int/en menus/icc/structure%20o1%2Othe%20court/office%2 Oor/020the%20 prosecutor/comm%20and%2Oref/pe-cdnp/palestine/Pages/palestine.aspx.
97 In 2013, the Special Rapporteur joined 71 other independent experts in an appeal to Member States toCooperate with their mandates (www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx? NewsID=14083&LangID=E).


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