World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Israel must face new international legal push

Israel must face new international legal push to end illegal occupation of Palestine, UN expert says

NEW YORK (26 October 2017) – A United Nations human rights expert has called on the international community to hold Israel accountable for fundamental violations of international law during 50 years of occupation.

“This is the longest-lasting military occupation in the modern world, and shows no signs of ending,” said Michael Lynk, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

“Israel’s role as occupier in the Palestinian Territory – the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Gaza – has crossed a red line into illegality,” the Special Rapporteur said, presenting a report on Israel’s conduct to the UN General Assembly in New York.

In a series of recommendations, Mr. Lynk proposed a UN study to assess the legality of Israel’s role as occupying power, paving the way for international legal processes to be triggered and the occupation to be ended.

“The laws of occupation are very clear that the occupying power cannot treat the territory as its own, nor can it make claims of sovereignty. Yet this has been Israel’s pattern of governing the occupied Palestinian territory for most of its 50 years of rule,” said the Special Rapporteur.

“International law is the promise that states make to one another, and to their people, that rights will be respected, protections will be honoured, agreements and obligations will be satisfied, and peace with justice will be pursued,” the Rapporteur emphasized.

Israel, he said, had failed to comply with any of the four main requirements in international law that he set out for an occupation to be considered lawful – that no territory should be annexed, that occupations should be temporary, and that the occupying power had to act in good faith and in the best interests of the protected population.

“The international community has recoiled from answering Israel’s splintering of the Palestinian territory and disfiguring of the laws of occupation with the robust tools that international law and diplomacy provide. International law, along with the peoples of Palestine and Israel, have all suffered in the process,” Mr. Lynk said.

Israel was also in non-compliance with more than 40 resolutions of the United Nations Security Council, and with more than 100 resolutions of the General Assembly, he added.

“In recent months, the Prime Minister of Israel has stated on various occasions that East Jerusalem will be part of Israel forever, no more Jewish settlements will be uprooted, and Israel will stay permanently in the Jordan Valley in any peace agreement,” said Mr. Lynk. “Should we not take him at his word?”

The Special Rapporteur pointed out that pleas for the international community to act had also come from within Israel.

“Prominent Israelis of conscience have called upon the international community to exert effective pressure on the occupying power to bring the occupation to an end,” said Mr. Lynk. “As Amos Schocken, the publisher of Ha’aretz, has written about his own country’s leadership: ‘International pressure is precisely the force that will drive them to do the right thing’.”

The Special Rapporteur said it was possible to compel Israel to end the occupation and give Palestinians the right to self-determination if the international community determined that Israel’s role as the occupying power was now illegal, triggering the relevant international legal processes.

Alongside the proposed UN study on legality, the Special Rapporteur recommended that the UN General Assembly should request an opinion from the International Court of Justice regarding the legality of the occupation. A previous opinion from the Court in 2004 said Israel’s wall on and through the occupied Palestinian territory was contrary to international law.

Mr. Lynk also recommended that the UN should commission a study to determine how States should fulfil their obligations and duties to ensure respect for international law.

“I call upon the international community to assess my analysis and, if accepted, to employ the appropriate diplomatic and legal strategies that would completely and finally end the occupation,” the Special Rapporteur said.


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


IPPPR: The Independent Panel Calls For Urgent Reform Of Pandemic Prevention And Response Systems

Expert independent panel calls for urgent reform of pandemic prevention and response systems The Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response is today calling on the global community to end the COVID-19 pandemic and adopt a series of bold and ... More>>

NGO Coalition On Human Rights: Call For A Stop To Police Brutality In Fiji

A viral video has circulated online showing two police officers utilising disproportionate and excessive force in detaining the suspect, an individual half their size. In the video it shows the man’s head being pressed down on the ground, his arms being ... More>>

UN: India’s New COVID-19 Wave Is Spreading Like ‘Wildfire’, Warns UN Children’s Fund

7 May 2021 A new wave of COVID-19 infections is spreading like “wildfire” across India, leaving many youngsters destitute, the UN Children’s Fund UNICEF said on Friday. In the last 24 hours, India registered 3,915 coronavirus deaths and 414,188 ... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs

UN: Economic Recovery Under Threat Amid Surging COVID Cases And Lagging Vaccination In Poorer Countries

New York, 11 May — While the global growth outlook has improved, led by robust rebound in China and the United States, surging COVID-19 infections and inadequate vaccination progress in many countries threaten a broad-based recovery of the world ... More>>

Study: Cut Methane Emissions To Avert Global Temperature Rise

6 May 2021 Methane emissions caused by human activity can be reduced by up to 45 per cent this decade, thus helping to keep global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius in line with the Paris Agreement on climate change, according to a UN-backed ... More>>

UN: Learning From COVID-19, Forum To Highlight Critical Role Of Science, Technology And Innovation In Global Challenges

New York, 4 May —To build on the bold innovations in science, technology and innovations that produced life-saving solutions during the COVID-19 pandemic, the UN will bring together experts to highlight measures that can broaden the development and deployment ... More>>