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UN Report on Human Rights Situation in the OPT / Richard Falk, 10 Sep 2013

UN Report on Human Rights Situation in the OPT / Richard Falk, 10 Sep 2013

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Published by Ronnie Barkan
UN report suggests UNGA seek ICJ advisory opinion on prolonged occupation of Palestine

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If current diplomacy fails to produce a solution to the underlying conflict, the Special Rapporteur recommends that the General Assembly request an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice as to the legal consequences of the prolonged occupation of Palestine.
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The Special Rapporteur hopes that consideration of international criminal law can advance the debate on businesses and human rights, in particular because of the tangible judicial mechanisms that exist, for example the International Criminal Court and universal jurisdiction exercised by domestic courts, and in this way help guide business leaders in their decision-making.
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What is clear is that prosecuting corporations for complicity at an international level offers a potential avenue for redress. Of course, jurisdictional requirements must be met. For example, the State from which the corporation and its employees are acting must be a party to the Rome Statute for the court to hear the case. The concept of complicity is not limited to international criminal law, however; other judicial mechanisms, such as national courts, could possibly prosecute corporations or their employees for involvement in international crimes.

source:
http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/0/296CF21249B48B5B85257C0D00684C44

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http://www.kuna.net.kw/ArticleDetails.aspx?id=2339885&Language=en
21/10/2013
NEW YORK, Oct 21 (KUNA) -- UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Monday transmitted a recommendation to the General Assembly during its 68th session seeking advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice (ICJ) over legal consequences of prolonged occupation of Palestine if diplomacy fails.
This was one of recommendations contained in a report by Richard Falk, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, in accordance with a Human Rights Council resolution.
Falk recommended that "if current diplomacy fails to produce a solution to the underlying conflict," the Assembly should "request an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice as to the legal consequences of the prolonged occupation of Palestine." The ICJ already ruled in 2004 that the Israeli separation wall in the West Bank was illegal and "tantamount to annexation." The ruling did not deter Israel from continuing with its construction.
Falk also recommended that Israel "cease expanding and creating settlements in occupied Palestine, start dismantling existing settlements and returning its citizens to the Israeli side of the Green Line and provide appropriate reparations for the damage due to settlement and related activity since 1967." He recommended, in this regard, that Belgium and France, owners of Dexia Group, a financial firm active in retail and commercial banking, asset management and investor services, compensate Palestinians who have been directly affected by the settlements to which subsidiary Dexia Israel has provided mortgages or grants to Israeli settlers. He urged the firm to act based on the "Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
"Belgium and France have an explicit duty to take appropriate action in the face of human rights abuses, including activities of its subsidiary, Dexia Israel, that support the growth of settlements. By failing to do so, these States are not fulfilling their duties under human rights treaties," Falk stressed.
He also recommended that Israel immediately end its discriminatory policies and practices that serve to deny Palestinians their rightful share of water resources in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
"In particular," he urged, "Israel must cease the demolition of water collection facilities, including wells and water tanks, on the pretext that they operate without valid permits."
UN report suggests UNGA seek ICJ advisory opinion on prolonged occupation of Palestine

====
If current diplomacy fails to produce a solution to the underlying conflict, the Special Rapporteur recommends that the General Assembly request an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice as to the legal consequences of the prolonged occupation of Palestine.
====
The Special Rapporteur hopes that consideration of international criminal law can advance the debate on businesses and human rights, in particular because of the tangible judicial mechanisms that exist, for example the International Criminal Court and universal jurisdiction exercised by domestic courts, and in this way help guide business leaders in their decision-making.
====
What is clear is that prosecuting corporations for complicity at an international level offers a potential avenue for redress. Of course, jurisdictional requirements must be met. For example, the State from which the corporation and its employees are acting must be a party to the Rome Statute for the court to hear the case. The concept of complicity is not limited to international criminal law, however; other judicial mechanisms, such as national courts, could possibly prosecute corporations or their employees for involvement in international crimes.

source:
http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/0/296CF21249B48B5B85257C0D00684C44

====
http://www.kuna.net.kw/ArticleDetails.aspx?id=2339885&Language=en
21/10/2013
NEW YORK, Oct 21 (KUNA) -- UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Monday transmitted a recommendation to the General Assembly during its 68th session seeking advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice (ICJ) over legal consequences of prolonged occupation of Palestine if diplomacy fails.
This was one of recommendations contained in a report by Richard Falk, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, in accordance with a Human Rights Council resolution.
Falk recommended that "if current diplomacy fails to produce a solution to the underlying conflict," the Assembly should "request an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice as to the legal consequences of the prolonged occupation of Palestine." The ICJ already ruled in 2004 that the Israeli separation wall in the West Bank was illegal and "tantamount to annexation." The ruling did not deter Israel from continuing with its construction.
Falk also recommended that Israel "cease expanding and creating settlements in occupied Palestine, start dismantling existing settlements and returning its citizens to the Israeli side of the Green Line and provide appropriate reparations for the damage due to settlement and related activity since 1967." He recommended, in this regard, that Belgium and France, owners of Dexia Group, a financial firm active in retail and commercial banking, asset management and investor services, compensate Palestinians who have been directly affected by the settlements to which subsidiary Dexia Israel has provided mortgages or grants to Israeli settlers. He urged the firm to act based on the "Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
"Belgium and France have an explicit duty to take appropriate action in the face of human rights abuses, including activities of its subsidiary, Dexia Israel, that support the growth of settlements. By failing to do so, these States are not fulfilling their duties under human rights treaties," Falk stressed.
He also recommended that Israel immediately end its discriminatory policies and practices that serve to deny Palestinians their rightful share of water resources in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
"In particular," he urged, "Israel must cease the demolition of water collection facilities, including wells and water tanks, on the pretext that they operate without valid permits."

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Published by: Ronnie Barkan on Oct 24, 2013
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02/12/2014

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United Nations
A
/68/376
 
General Assembly
Distr.: General10 September 2013Original: English
13-46994 (E) 111013
*1346994*
Sixty-eighth session
Item 69 (c) of the provisional agenda*
Promotion and protection of human rights: human rightssituations and reports of special rapporteursand representatives
Situation of human rights in the Palestinian territoriesoccupied since 1967
Note by the Secretary-General
The Secretary-General has the honour to transmit to the members of theGeneral Assembly the report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of humanrights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, Richard Falk, submitted inaccordance with Human Rights Council resolution 5/1.
 
A/68/376
13-46994
2/24
Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of humanrights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967
Summary
The present report develops arguments presented in the previous report of theSpecial Rapporteur to the sixty-seventh session of the General Assembly, whichfocused on businesses profiting from Israeli settlements and described theinvolvement of 13 businesses in the activities of Israel in the Occupied PalestinianTerritory with reference to the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business andHuman Rights. The present report delineates a model for legal analysis by focusingon two illustrative companies chosen for the specific ways in which their activities potentially implicate them in international crimes. The report also takes note of other issues, including the urgent matter of water and sanitation rights.
Contents
 Page
I. Introduction
...................................................................
3II. Methodology
..................................................................
5III. Normative frameworks
..........................................................
6A.
 
International humanitarian law
...............................................
7B.
 
International human rights law
...............................................
8C.
 
International criminal law
...................................................
9D.
 
Conclusions on a normative framework 
........................................
12IV. Case studies
...................................................................
13A.
 
Dexia Group
..............................................................
13B.
 
Re/Max International
.......................................................
18C.
 
Conclusions on case studies
..................................................
20V. Water and sanitation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip
.................................
21VI. Recommendations
..............................................................
23
 
 
 
A/68/376
 
3/24
13-46994
I. Introduction
1. As in all earlier reports during his period as Special Rapporteur, the SpecialRapporteur has been denied the benefits of cooperation with the Government of Israel, including permission to enter the territory of the State of Palestine. TheSpecial Rapporteur did benefit from a mission to Gaza in December 2012,facilitated by the then-Government of Egypt via entry at the Rafah crossing. Thevisit was extremely valuable in providing direct access to those living under occupation. There is no substitute for this kind of direct experience on the ground inassessing allegations of violations of human rights by Israel as the OccupyingPower. As the present report to the General Assembly is the final one of his tenure,the Special Rapporteur would like to stress the importance of not allowing this pattern of non-cooperation to become a precedent that will hamper the efforts of future Special Rapporteurs to be as effective as possible in investigating contentionsrelating to the human rights situation that prevails. It has been disappointing thatmore has not been done by the United Nations to induce compliance by Member States with their obligation under international law to cooperate with the Organization.2. This mandate was established in 1993 when it was still appropriate to refer tothe West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza as “occupied territories”. To continue suchusage at this time seems misleading. On 29 November 2012 the Palestinian presencewithin the United Nations system was upgraded by General Assembly resolution67/19, conferring the status of non-member observer State. It thus seems moreappropriate to refer to the territories administered by Israel as “Palestine” — but atthe same time confirm the continuing responsibilities of Israel under internationalhumanitarian law, in particular the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War (Fourth Geneva Convention), as the OccupyingPower. Beyond the matter of status are issues of substance. The cumulative processof unlawful settlement building and expansion has reached a point where a partiallyirreversible process of creeping annexation has taken place, which needs to berecognized as such, that undermines the core assumption of “belligerent occupation”as a temporary reality. This alteration of the occupied territories over time has been perversely acknowledged, even provisionally validated, by the widely heldassumption that Israeli “settlement blocs” will not be dismantled even in the eventthat a peace agreement is reached between the Palestinian Authority and Israel.3. It is more crucial than ever to insist upon the responsibilities of Israel as theOccupying Power under international law. The Geneva Conventions and AdditionalProtocols I and II, as well as a large number of obligatory international human rightsagreements, are indispensable in identifying and evaluating various allegations of  practices relating to the administration by Israel of daily life in the West Bank, EastJerusalem and Gaza. This legal framework is important in evaluating such policiesand practices as are associated with the construction of the wall on Palestinian land,the wrongful appropriation of Palestinian water resources, the confiscation of land,arrest and detention procedures, the violations of children’s rights, settler violencewith the complicity of Israeli security forces, house demolitions and collective punishment via blockades, curfews and restricted movements. While all those policies and practices deserve international attention, the Special Rapporteufocuses some attention in the present report on the wrongful appropriation of water resources, which has been a somewhat neglected aspect of the Israeli occupation.

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