53 years have passed since the Israeli illegal occupation the Palestinian West Bank, including eastern Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip, and the Palestinians’ demands for justice, freedom and self-determination still go largely unheard.
For the last 53 years of Israeli occupation and annexation, Israel has been implementing a systematic and will planed policies and practices of colonization and discrimination aiming to control Palestinian land and the transfer of the indigenous Palestinian population.
All High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Convention of 1949 must fulfill their obligations under Common Article 1 to respect and ensure respect for the provisions of the Convention under all circumstances by taking appropriate measures to compel the State party to abide by its obligations under international humanitarian and human rights law.
Read the full statement from the Civic Coalition for Palestinian Rights in Jerusalem
The call to the International Community
- Palestinian residents of Jerusalem exist under exceptionally difficult living conditions. This harsh reality – in which their rights to housing, residency, movement and education are attacked on a daily basis – exists as part of Israel’s demographic objective which openly seeks to create a Jewish majority, while minimizing and curtailing the Palestinian presence in East Jerusalem.
- Despite what Israel claims, East Jerusalem remains occupied territory and is therefore governed by the laws of armed conflict relating to occupation. Under these laws, Israel, as an occupying power, is prohibited from altering the ‘facts on the ground’ and imposing demographic and geographic restrictions through land confiscations, settlement construction, the ban on family unification and the refusal to grant building permits to Palestinians.
- In defiance of the stated will of the international community and the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, settlement development continues unabated throughout occupied East Jerusalem. While such actions may succeed in prejudicing final status negotiations by strengthening Israel’s claim to sovereignty over the divided city, the Palestinian people and particularly those families who have been displaced from their homes will bear the full brunt of actions taken by the State party.
- The United Nations and international community have yet to take serious action to support a Palestinian presence in East Jerusalem. As the largest and most influential actor in global politics, the UN is obligated to uphold the international humanitarian and human right law it espouses. Its position cannot be limited to statements of objection. Rather, it must include strong political and diplomatic action. All High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Convention of 1949 must fulfill their obligations under Common Article 1 to respect and ensure respect for the provisions of the Convention under all circumstances by taking appropriate measures to compel the State party to abide by its obligations under international humanitarian and human rights law.
- Holding Israel accountable for its Annexation policy.
- Refrain from directly or indirectly recognizing, or assisting Israel’s practices of unlawful annexation of Jerusalem;
- Take effective steps to end Israel’s annexation of Jerusalem and occupation of East Jerusalem and the rest of the occupied Palestinian territory, in line with their obligations as third states;
- Demand that the international community fulfil its obligations under international law to ensure that Israel respects international humanitarian law in the occupied Palestinian territory, notably under Common Article 1 to the Geneva Conventions, and take measures to end all forms of collective punishment, including punitive house demolitions, imposed on the protected Palestinian population therein;
- Intervene immediately to prevent Israel from applying the announced ‘land settlement of title and registration policy’, which will result in the permanent appropriation of Palestinian land by Israel in flagrant violation of international law; and
- Call on the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to make a continuance on update to the database of businesses illegally operating in and profiting from Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory, including in and around occupied East Jerusalem, as a step towards accountability and ending corporate complicity.
- Member States of the European Union should make effective use of the European Union Guidelines (2005/C327/04) on promoting compliance with international humanitarian and human rights law to ensure that the State party complies with the relevant standards of humanitarian and human rights.