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Palestinian Civil Society Reiterates Call for Immediate Targeted Sanctions to Stop Israel’s Annexation and Apartheid
01، Jul 2020

Israel’s extremist government decided today to keep everyone in the dark about if and how it will make use of the “golden opportunity” offered by the Trump administration to embark on de jure annexation of large swathes of the occupied Palestinian West Bank. No one should be misled, however. Israel will continue to quietly de facto annex occupied Palestinian territory, as it has done for decades, while trying to appease its Western allies. But as the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, said, “Annexation is illegal. Period. Any annexation.”

Hundreds of international law scholars agree. They write that Israeli annexations of occupied territory are “null and void, entail consequences of international wrongfulness, and – under certain circumstances –  lead to individual international criminal liability,” regardless whether such annexations are effected “through ‘extension of sovereignty,’ ‘extension of law, jurisdiction, and administration,’ or explicit annexation.” They concluded, “de facto annexation entails the same legal consequences as de jure annexation.”

For over a thousand European parliamentarians, “Failure to adequately respond [to Israeli annexation] would encourage other states with territorial claims to disregard basic principles of international law,” undermining “the most basic norms guiding international relations, including the UN Charter.”

The international community must therefore impose lawful, targeted and immediate sanctions on Israel in response to its ongoing annexation, illegal military occupation and apartheid regime of racial discrimination, segregation and territorial expansion that is enshrined in Israel’s domestic law.

With its silence, Israel hopes to silence global mobilizations that have compelled the international community to consider accountability measures and to safeguard its impunity. Israel, after all, is well aware that the climate of international complicity and lack of accountability is what has enabled its colonization, apartheid and de facto and de jure annexation of Palestinian territory to continue for decades.

Israel’s de jure annexation of occupied Palestinian territory, formalized in East Jerusalem in 1967 and later entrenched in the 1980 Basic Law, may now be replicated in other parts of the OPT. Such formal annexation crystallizes a “21st century apartheid,” according to dozens of United National human rights experts and constitutes a “most serious violation of international law,” as the UN General Secretary Antonio Guterres stated.

Already in 2004, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) warned that Israel’s de facto annexation of its illegal settlements by means of the Wall may become a fait accompli. Sixteen years later, this has indeed materialized. The ICJ called on all States and the United Nations to adopt measures to end these serious Israeli violations of the UN Charter-based international legal order and international humanitarian law and to meet their obligation of non-recognition and non-assistance. 

Now is the time for serious accountability measures, not just for the sake of defending Palestinian rights under international law, but crucially to safeguard the very credibility of and respect for international law itself. 

In response to Israel’s ongoing annexation and grave violations of Palestinian human rights, Palestinian civil society reiterates its unified call on all States and international organizations to respect their legal obligations to cooperate to end Israel’s illegal occupation, annexation and apartheid, and to withhold all recognition and assistance from it, by immediately implementing, as a matter of priority, the following measures:  

  1. A ban on arms trade and military-security cooperation with Israel. 
  2. Suspension of trade and cooperation agreements with Israel.
  3. Prohibition of trade with the illegal Israeli settlements and termination of corporate business with Israel’s illegal settlement enterprise.
  4. Investigation and prosecution of individuals and corporate actors responsible for war crimes/crimes against humanity in the context of Israel’s regime of illegal occupation and apartheid.
  5. Support efforts at the United Nations to reconstitute the UN Special Committee against Apartheid and the UN Centre against Apartheid to investigate Israeli apartheid.

Palestinian civil society signatories:

Palestinian Human Rights Organizations Council (PHROC) including:

Al-Haq – Law in the Service of Mankind

Al Mezan Center for Human Rights

Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association

Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR)

Defense for Children International Palestine (DCIP)

Jerusalem Legal Aid and Human Rights Center (JLAC)

Aldameer Association for Human Rights

Ramallah Center for Human Rights Studies (RCHRS)

Hurryyat – Center for Defense of Liberties and Civil Rights

The Independent Commission for Human Rights (Ombudsman Office) – Observer Member

Muwatin Institute for Democracy and Human Rights – Observer Member

Palestinian NGO Network (PNGO)

Global Palestine Right of Return Coalition

Palestinian Bar Association

Palestinian Medical Association

General Union of Palestinian Teachers

Palestinian Federation of Unions of University Professors and Employees (PFUUPE)

General Union of Palestinian Women

General Union of Palestinian Writers

Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI)

Council of National and Islamic Forces in Palestine

General Union of Palestinian Workers

Palestinian Union of Postal, IT and Telecommunication workers

Palestinian National Institute for NGOs (PNIN)

Federation of Independent Trade Unions

Union of Palestinian Farmers

Grassroots Palestinian Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign (STW)

Popular Struggle Coordination Committee (PSCC)

Civic Coalition for the Defense of Palestinian Rights in Jerusalem

Coalition for Jerusalem

National Committee to Commemorate the Nakba

General Union of Palestinian Peasants

Union of Palestinian Charitable Organizations

Union of Professional Associations

Women’s Campaign to Boycott Israeli Products

Union of Youth Activity Centers-Palestine Refugee Camps

Agricultural Cooperatives Union

National Committee for Grassroots Resistance

Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions PGFTU–Gaza

Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committee (PARC)

Palestinian Medical Relief Society (PMRS)

Women Study Center (WSC PAL)

Palestinian Feminist Center for Sexual and Gender Freedoms – Aswat, Haifa

Palestinian Working Woman Society for Development

Women’s Centre for Legal Aid and Counselling (WCLAC)

MADA - Palestinian Center for Development & Media Freedoms

Wasel Center for Youth Development

Youth Development Society

The Cultural Forum Center

Early Childhood Sources Association

Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC)

Human Rights & Democracy Media Center “SHAMS"

Rural Women Development Association

Khalil Sakakini Cultural Center

Arab Center for Agricultural Development (ACAD)

Health Work Committees

The National Union of Civil Society Organizations, Nablus

Burj Al-Luqluq Social Center Society, Jerusalem

Land Defense Coalition

Federation of New Trade Unions

Tamer Institute for Community Education

Palestinian Youth Union

Occupied Palestine and Syrian Golan Heights Initiative (OPGAI)

Popular Art Center (PAC)

Teacher Creativity Center

The Palestinian Center for Peace and Democracy (PCPD)

Arab Agronomists Association (AAA)

Seeds Association for Development and Culture

Palestinian House of Friendship

Palestine Friend’s Association

Yafa Cultural Center

Alrowwad Cultural and Arts Society

Young Women Christian Association (YWCA)-Palestine

Treatment and rehabilitation Center for Victims of Torture (TRC)

Palestinian Family Planning and Protection Association (PFPPA)

Joint Advocacy Initiative-The East Jerusalem YMCA-YWCA of Palestine

Kairos Palestine

Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs (PASSIA), Jerusalem

Ma’an Development Center

Al-Awda Center for Childhood and Youth, Tulkarem Refugee Camp

Land Research Center (LRC)

Early Childhood Resource Center (ECRC), Jerusalem

Thalassemia Palestinian Friends Society

Annajda Society for the Development of Palestinian Women

Arab Center for Agricultural Development (ACAD)

Psycho- Social Counseling Center for Women (PSCCW)

Palestinian Businesswomen’s Association (ASALA)

MADA - Palestinian Center For Development & Media Freedoms

AFKAR for Educational & Cultural Development

Palestinian Counseling Center (PCC)

Mothers’ School Society

Palestinian Working Women Society for Development (PWWSD)

Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), Palestine Section

Pen International-Palestinian Center