On 4 June 2020, Al-Haq, BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights, and the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS) submitted a joint written statement to the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council calling on third States, including Member States of the Council, to abide by their responsibility to cooperate to bring Israel’s serious breaches of international law to an end and to uphold the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people.
Submitted under agenda item 7 on the human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories, the written statement to the 44th Regular Session of the Human Rights Council highlighted the Israeli government’s plan to annex large parts of the occupied West Bank starting 1 July 2020, in violation of the prohibition on the acquisition of territory by force, following years of de facto annexation of occupied Palestinian territory and de jure annexation of occupied East Jerusalem and the occupied Syrian Golan since 1967.
The submitting organisations argued that while the international community has repeatedly reiterated the illegality of Israeli annexation, it has failed to adopt effective measures, including sanctions, to reverse illegal facts on the ground. Accordingly, the organisations emphasized the need for justice and accountability to put an end to Israeli impunity and called on the Human Rights Council and on all UN Member States to:
- Abide by their responsibility of non-recognition and non-assistance with regards to Israeli annexation, colonisation, and apartheid, and cooperate to bring an end to the illegal situation;
- Denounce Israeli changes to the legal status, character, and demographic composition of occupied Palestinian and Arab territories and withdraw their embassies from Jerusalem;
- Adopt a resolution during the 44th Regular Session of the Human Rights Council to prevent Israel’s annexation of parts of the occupied West Bank;
- Reject the US “Peace to Prosperity” plan, and any other proposal seeking to undermine the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, including the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and the right of return of Palestinian refugees and displaced persons to their homes, lands, and property, as mandated by international law;
- Welcome the release of the UN database and commit to supporting its annual update, including by providing continuous financial resources to deliver the mandate of Human Rights Council resolution 31/36 (2016), as an important accountability tool for States, investors, companies, and civil society on direct and indirect business involvement in illegal Israeli settlements;
- Pursue international justice and accountability for suspected crimes committed against the Palestinian people by trying suspected perpetrators in their own jurisdictions and publicly supporting and cooperating with a full, thorough, and comprehensive investigation by the International Criminal Court into the Situation in Palestine.