Efrat settlement 370.
(photo credit: REUTERS/Baz Ratner )
A report that calls for boycotting West Bank settlement products and states that
Israel could be brought before the International Criminal Court for Jewish
building over the pre-1967 lines was approved Friday by the United Nations Human
Rights Council in Geneva.
Only the United States voted against the
report, which was penned by a three-member fact-finding mission.
before the vote the US said that it was troubled by the council’s biased and
disproportionate focus on Israel.
Although the status quo is not
sustainable and the US is committed to resolving the Israeli Palestinian
conflict, it does not believe that reports such as the one completed by the
fact-finding mission can help achieve that objective, the US said.
cut its ties with the council when it formed the fact-finding mission last
The report stated that Israel had an obligation under international
law not to transfer its population into the Palestinian territories, as it had
done by constructing West Bank settlements.
“The Rome Statute establishes
the ICC’s jurisdiction over the deportation or transfer, directly or indirectly,
by the occupying power of parts of its own population into the territory it
occupies, or the deportation or transfer of all or parts of the population of
the occupied territory within or outside this territory,” the report
The report explained that settlements violate international human
rights laws and International Humanitarian Law.
Private companies that do
business with the settlements also bear responsibility not to violate those
laws, the report said. It asked them to take “all necessary steps” to ensure
that they were respecting human rights, “including by terminating their business
interests in the settlements.”
The council also passed another five
resolutions against Israeli actions over the pre-1967 lines. These resolutions
were filed under Agenda Item 7, which mandates that the council debate Israeli
actions in the West Bank, east Jerusalem and the Golan Heights.
United States, which alongside Israel opposes Agenda Item 7, voted against all
Other resolutions dealt with Israel’s military incursion
into Gaza in December 2008 and January 2009, Israeli settlement building and
Palestinian human rights including the right to self-determination. All the
resolutions had near unanimous support in the council.
that members appeared to take issue with was one that called on Israel to
withdraw from the Golan Heights. It passed by 29 votes, but there were 17
Although the council dealt with human rights issues in
Syria, Iran and Myanmar, it adopted more resolutions against Israel than any of
those specified countries.