Al-Haq welcomes the findings of the new UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of human rights in the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967, Francesca Albanese, in her landmark report on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian Territories occupied since 1967. The comprehensive report concentrates on exploring and raising the awareness of Israel’s settler-colonial practices in the occupied Palestinian territory (OPT) and offers the international community recommendations to help end Israel’s illegal occupation. Al-Haq has long advocated against Israel’s settler-colonial practices and welcomes the Special Rapporteur’s findings that will help raise international awareness of Israel’s continued criminal regime against the Palestinian people.
The report criticises the international community’s examinations of Israeli international law violations as individual actions, decontextualised from the system Israel imposes on Palestinians within the OPT, including apartheid. While discussing the need for holistic examination of Israel’s practices against the Palestinian people, the report also highlights the limitations of the much-advocated and well supported apartheid framework for contextualising Israeli oppression and supporting Palestinian liberation. Importantly, it acknowledges that while dismantling Israel’s apartheid against the Palestinian people is, at the very least, “necessary”, this would fail to be sufficient for the liberation of the Palestinian people, given the widespread practices committed against the Palestinian people. UNSR Albanese warns that: “Dismantling the Israeli apartheid… will not automatically address the question of Israeli domination over the Palestinians, restore permanent sovereignty over the lands Israel occupies and the natural resources therein, nor, on its own, fulfil Palestinian political aspirations”.
Al-Haq welcomes the acknowledgement of the scale of Israeli oppression and the need for it to be addressed holistically, in particular the practice of settler-colonialism, a war crime under international humanitarian law (IHL) and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. By concentrating on settler-colonialism and the “de-Palestinianization” of the OPT the report targets one of the most insidious and underdiscussed elements of Israel’s occupation by the international community.
The report widely discusses Israel’s settler-colonialial practices, including its historical context from 1967, noting that that it is largely “because of (Israel’s) settler-colonial endeavours” that it continues to prolong its occupation indefinitely, with Israel’s ultimate goal of illegally annexing the OPT. In particular, Ms. Albanese criticises and condemns the continued construction of Israeli settlements in the OPT, despite both UN Security Council and UN General Assembly resolutions recognising the violation of IHL. The Report further states that Israel’s occupation is not “merely belligerent, but settler-colonial in nature”.
Recommendations from the report include updating of the database of businesses operating in the illegal settlements, established to name and shame such practices, as well as offering full support to the Independent International Commission of Inquiry, and encouraging it to investigate “in more depth than the territorial and geographic limitations of her mandate allow”. Notably among the recommendations, Ms. Albanese endorses that the international community should “refrain[…] from making withdrawal (from the OPT) subject to negotiation between Israel and Palestine”. Al-Haq praises this position which recognises both the inherent illegality of the Israeli occupation and the inherent need to end it, as well as the right of Palestinian self-determination which cannot be fulfilled as long as the occupation persists.
In the 74 years since the Nakba, there has been a prolonged failure of the international community to operate against the now widely acknowledged Israeli apartheid regime in place against the Palestinian people, as well as Israel’s settler-colonial practices. The acknowledgement by the special rapporteur that “exercising the right to self-determination in the form of a politically independent State in all of the occupied Palestinian territory would be a minimum requirement of justice for the Palestinian people”, recognises the scale of the crimes that have been committed cannot be resolved through self-determination and political sovereignty alone. Al-Haq continues to call for the international community to act, in accordance with its obligations under international law, against these crimes perpetrated against the Palestinian people. We therefore hope that this report will spur the international community into action against Israel’s settler-colonialist apartheid regime that has operated with impunity for too long.
Find the full report here
 Paragraph 11. UN General Assembly ‘Situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967’ A/77/356 (21 September 2022).
Article 49, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War (Fourth Geneva Convention), 12 August 1949, 75 UNTS 287; Article 8(2)(a)(vii), Article 8(2)(b)(viii), Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (last amended 2010), 17 July 1998, ISBN No. 92-9227-227-6
 Paragraph 36.
 Paragraph 12.
 Paragraph 33.; UN General Assembly resolution 38/17 (1983); UN Security Council resolution 242 (1967); UN Security Council resolution 2334 (2016)
 Paragraph 36.
 Human Rights Council resolution 31/36; paragraph 79. UN General Assembly ‘Situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967’ A/77/356 (21 September 2022) available at: < https://documents-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N22/598/03/PDF/N2259803.pdf?OpenElement>
 Paragraph 80.
 Paragraph 78 (a)(i)
 Paragraph 12.