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[on the report of the Special Political and Decolonization Committee
(Fourth Committee) (A/71/494)]
71/98. Israeli practices affecting the human rights of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian
Territory, including East Jerusalem
Recalling the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,1
Recalling also the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,2 the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights2 and the Convention on the Rights of the Child,3 and affirming that these human rights instruments must be respected in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem,
Reaffirming its relevant resolutions, including resolution 70/90 of 9 December 2015 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 Territories4 and the report of the Secretary-General on the work of the Special Committee,5
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 1967,6 as well as of other relevant recent reports of the Human Rights Council,
Taking note also of the recent report 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 the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan,7
Deeply regretting the onset of the fiftieth year of the Israeli occupation, and stressing the urgent need for efforts to reverse the negative trends on the ground and to restore a political horizon for advancing and accelerating meaningful negotiations aimed at the achievement of a peace agreement that will bring a complete end to the Israeli occupation that began in 1967 and the resolution of all core final status issues, without exception, leading to a peaceful, just, lasting and comprehensive solution of the question of Palestine,
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,8 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,
Taking note of its resolution 67/19 of 29 November 2012,
Noting the accession by Palestine to several human rights treaties and the core humanitarian law conventions, as well as other international treaties,
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, United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 75, No. 973. 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 Convention9 under articles 146, 147 and 148 with regard to penal sanctions, grave breaches and responsibilities of the High Contracting Parties,
Recalling the statement of 15 July 1999 and the declarations adopted on 5 December 2001 and on 17 December 201410 by 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, aimed at ensuring respect for the Convention in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem,
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,11
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,
Gravely concerned by the tensions and violence in the recent period throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem and including with regard to the holy places of Jerusalem, including the Haram al-Sharif, and deploring the loss of innocent civilian life,
Recognizing that security measures alone cannot remedy the escalating tensions, instability and violence, and calling for full respect for international law, including humanitarian and human rights law, including for the protection of civilian life, as well as for the promotion of human security, the de-escalation of the situation, the exercise of restraint, including from provocative actions and rhetoric, and the establishment of a stable environment conducive to the pursuit of peace,
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, some of whom have been imprisoned for decades; 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; the forced displacement of civilians, including attempts at forced transfers of Bedouin communities; 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 by the ongoing demolition of Palestinian homes, as well as of structures provided as humanitarian aid, by Israel, the occupying Power, in particular in Occupied East Jerusalem, including if carried out as an act of collective punishment in violation of international humanitarian law, which has escalated at unprecedented rates, and by the revocation of residence permits and eviction of Palestinian residents of the City,
Deploring the conflict in and around the Gaza Strip in July and August 2014 and the civilian casualties caused, including the killing and injury of thousands of Palestinian civilians, including children, women and the elderly, the widespread destruction of thousands of homes and civilian infrastructure, including schools, hospitals, water, sanitation and electricity networks, economic, industrial and agricultural properties, public institutions, religious sites, and United Nations schools and facilities, the internal displacement of hundreds of thousands of civilians, and any violations of international law, including humanitarian and human rights law, in this regard,
Gravely concerned about the disastrous humanitarian situation and the critical 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 deepen poverty and despair among the Palestinian civilian population, and from the continuing and vastly negative repercussions of the military operations between December 2008 and January 2009, in November 2012 and in July and August 2014, as well as about the firing of rockets into Israel,
Recalling the statement by the President of the Security Council of 28 July 2014,12
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,
Stressing also that the situation in the Gaza Strip is unsustainable and that a durable ceasefire agreement must lead to a fundamental improvement in the living conditions of the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip, including through the sustained and regular opening of crossing points, and ensure the safety and well-being of civilians on both sides, and regretting the lack of progress made in this regard,
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 Inquiry13 and in the report of the United Nations Fact-finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict,14 and the findings of the United Nations Headquarters Board of Inquiry into certain incidents that occurred in the Gaza Strip between 8 July and 26 August 201415 and of the independent commission of inquiry established pursuant to Human Rights Council resolution S-21/1,16 and reiterating the necessity for serious follow-up by all parties of the recommendations addressed to them towards ensuring accountability and justice,
Stressing the need for protection of human rights defenders engaged in the promotion of human rights issues in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, to allow them to carry out their work freely and without fear of attacks and harassment,
Expressing deep concern about the short- and long-term detrimental impact of 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,
Taking note, in this regard, of the United Nations country team report of 26 August 2016, entitled “Gaza: two years after”, and the alarming figures therein,
Expressing deep concern about the Israeli policy of closures and the imposition of severe restrictions, including through hundreds of obstacles to movement, checkpoints and a permit regime, all of which obstruct the freedom of movement of persons and goods, including medical and humanitarian goods, and the follow-up and access to donor-funded projects of development cooperation and humanitarian assistance, 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 and humanitarian situation, which remains dire in the Gaza Strip, and the efforts aimed at rehabilitating and developing the Palestinian economy, while taking note of developments with regard to the situation of access there and the resumption of some trade from Gaza to the West Bank for the first time since 2007, and calling for the full lifting of restrictions,
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 and widespread medical neglect, including for prisoners who are ill, with the risk of fatal consequences, and denial of family visits, that impair their well-being, and expressing grave concern also about the ill-treatment and harassment and all reports of torture of any Palestinian prisoners,
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,
Recalling the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (the Nelson Mandela Rules)17 and the United Nations Rules for the Treatment of Women Prisoners and Non-custodial Measures for Women Offenders (the Bangkok Rules),18 and calling for respect for those Rules,
Recalling also the prohibition under international humanitarian law of the deportation of civilians from occupied territories,
Deploring the practice of withholding the bodies of those killed, and calling for the release of the bodies that have not yet been returned to their relatives, in line with international humanitarian law and human rights law, in order to ensure dignified closure in accordance with their religious beliefs and traditions,
Stressing the need for the prevention of all acts of violence, harassment, provocation and incitement by extremist Israeli settlers and groups of armed settlers, especially against Palestinian civilians, including children, and their properties, including homes, agricultural lands and historic and religious sites, including in Occupied East Jerusalem, and deploring the violation of the human rights of Palestinians in this regard, including acts of violence leading to death and injury among civilians,
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 to implement the agreements reached, and in this regard recalling the positive contribution of the Temporary International Presence in Hebron,
Noting the continued efforts and tangible progress made in the Palestinian security sector, and noting also the continued 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,
Urging the parties to observe calm and restraint and to refrain from provocative actions, incitement and inflammatory rhetoric, especially in areas of religious and cultural sensitivity, including in East Jerusalem, and to take every possible step to defuse tensions and promote conditions conducive to the credibility and success of the peace negotiations,
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 1949,9 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, the forced displacement of civilians, including attempts at forced transfers of Bedouin communities, the destruction and confiscation of civilian property, including home demolitions, including if carried out as collective punishment in violation of international humanitarian law, and any obstruction of humanitarian assistance, 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 19499 and cease immediately all measures and actions taken in violation and in breach of the Convention;
4. Calls for urgent measures to ensure the safety and protection of the Palestinian civilian population in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, in accordance with the relevant provisions of international humanitarian law and as called for by the Security Council in its resolution 904 (1994) of 18 March 1994;
5. Also calls for full cooperation by Israel with the relevant special rapporteurs and other relevant mechanisms and inquiries of the Human Rights Council, including the facilitation of entry to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, for monitoring and reporting on the human rights situation therein according to their respective mandates;
6. 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 achieving without delay an end to the Israeli occupation that began in 1967 and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace settlement between the Palestinian and Israeli sides;
7. Calls for urgent attention to the plight and the rights, in accordance with international law, of Palestinian prisoners and detainees in Israeli jails, including those on hunger strike, calls for efforts between the two sides for the further release of prisoners and detainees, and also calls for respect for the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (the Nelson Mandela Rules)17 and the United Nations Rules for the Treatment of Women Prisoners and Non-custodial Measures for Women Offenders (the Bangkok Rules);18
8. 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 thousands of children and women, massive damage and destruction to homes, economic, industrial and agricultural properties, vital infrastructure, including water, sanitation and electricity networks, religious sites and public institutions, including hospitals and schools, and United Nations facilities, and agricultural lands, and large-scale internal displacement of civilians;
9. Expresses grave concern at the firing of rockets against Israeli civilian areas resulting in loss of life and injury;
10. Reiterates its demand for the full implementation of Security Council resolution 1860 (2009);
11. 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 Justice8 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 reparations 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;
12. 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 the Gaza Strip, and to and from the outside world;
13. 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 and massive reconstruction needs and economic recovery in the Gaza Strip, while noting the recent tripartite agreement facilitated by the United Nations in this regard;
14. 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;
15. 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, and welcomes in this regard the formation of the Palestinian national consensus government under the leadership of President Mahmoud Abbas, consistent with the Palestine Liberation Organization commitments and the Quartet principles;
16. 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 inalienable human rights, including their right to self-determination, as a matter of urgency, in the light of the onset of the fiftieth year of the Israeli occupation and the continued denial and violation of the human rights of the Palestinian people;
17. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the General Assembly at its seventy-second session on the implementation of the present resolution.
1 Resolution 217 A (III).
2 See resolution 2200 A (XXI), annex.
3 United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 1577, No. 27531.
6 A/HRC/28/78 and A/HRC/31/73; see also A/71/554.
8 See A/ES-10/273 and Corr.1.
9 United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 75, No. 973.
10 A/69/711-S/2015/1, annex.
11 S/2003/529, annex.
12 S/PRST/2014/13; see Resolutions and Decisions of the Security Council, 1 August 2013–31 July 2014 (S/INF/69).
13 See A/63/855-S/2009/250.
15 See S/2015/286, annex.
17 Resolution 70/175, annex.
18 Resolution 65/229, annex.