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(photo credit:Ammar Awad/Reuters)
The United Nations Human Rights Council will on Monday debate a report
by its fact-finding mission on West Bank settlements, which concluded
that Israel could be culpable for building over the pre-1967 lines before the International Criminal Court, if the Palestinians become party to the Rome Statute.
report was first published in January, but the debate on the document
takes place during the council’s 22nd session from February 25 to March
On the same day, the council will also debate two other
reports and six resolutions on Israeli actions in areas over the
pre-1967 lines: east Jerusalem, the Golan Heights and the West Bank.
includes a report and a resolution calling on Israel to withdraw from
the Golan Heights, which it captured in 1967 during the Six Day War and
annexed in 1981.
Neither the report nor the resolution on the
Golan Heights took into account the civil war raging in Syria that has
led to the deaths of thousands of civilians, or the danger posed to
Israel by the rebel forces.
The council will also hear a report
on the most recent serious outbreak of violence between Israel and Hamas
in Gaza last November, known as Operation Pillar of Defense.
That report states that it is possible that one of the more publicized incidents from the war, the death of the 11-month old son of a BBC reporter
, may have been caused by a Palestinian-launched rocket that fell short of its Israeli target.
the council is weighing censuring a number of other countries,
including Syria and Iran, Israel is the only country with multiple
resolutions filed against it.
The resolutions against Israel are
part of Agenda Item 7, which mandates that the council scrutinize
Israel’s actions over the pre-1967 lines at every session. The Geneva-based non governmental group UN Watch provided The Jerusalem Post
with copies of the draft resolutions.
the council has consistently focused more on Israeli action than those
of any other country since its inception in 2006, Israel cut its ties
with the international body only last year to protest the fact-finding
mission on West Bank settlements.
The report, written by a
three-person legal team, appeared to take a stand in support of
boycotting West Bank settlement products by suggesting that businesses
cut their ties with those West Bank Jewish communities.
It warned that private companies could be liable in the future for breaking international law.
a draft resolution has already been circulated but not filed asking the
council to ratify the report. It spoke of the importance of ensuring
that private businesses uphold international law, including with respect
to the West Bank settlements, the security barrier and Jewish building
in east Jerusalem.
A separate draft resolution that is also
likely to be filed to the council on Monday, called on Israel to halt
all settlement activity and to rescind actions taken in the last year to
advance building projects in the West Bank and east Jerusalem,
including the E1 project located within the Ma’aleh Adumim settlement.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said that he expected the resolutions to pass, as they always do.
“There will be no surprises. They will make their outrageous statements as always,” Palmor said.
UN Watch executive director Hillel
Neuer said that the fact-finding mission was a “sham.”
claims to objectivity, the resolution creating the inquiry had
determined the verdict from the start, declaring that settlements
constituted ‘very serious violations’ of Palestinians’ human rights.
Fact finding was only to support this foregone conclusion,” he said.
report is maliciously one-sided and its conclusions extreme. Its
narrative omits any reference to terrorism from Palestinian areas,
making Israeli security measures appear malevolent. UN Watch’s
submission on highly relevant West Bank social, economic and security
matters – quoting UN and World Bank reports – was completely ignored.”
has long argued that the best way to deal with issues raised by the
council is through direct negotiations with the Palestinians that leads
to a final status solution.
The Palestinians, in turn, have
refused to talk directly with Israel until it halts all West Bank
settlement activity and Jewish building in east Jerusalem. They believe
that such resolutions show that they have international support and will
help ensure that Israel stops these activities.
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