Statement by Bureau of Committee on exercise of inalienable rights of Palestinian people on Israel’s settlement activity in Occupied Palestinian Territory
The Bureau of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People issued the following statement today, 6 December:
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.
For information media • not an official record