UNHRC to call for boycott of Israeli settlements

Out of the 41 resolutions before the UNHRC, 12 deal with human rights situations in individual countries. Five of those resolutions are focused on Israeli actions.

March 19, 2017 21:15
2 minute read.

Abbas addresses UNHRC

Abbas addresses UNHRC


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The United Nations Human Rights Council is set to debate a resolution on Monday demanding that the international community boycott Israeli settlements.

It’s one of four pro-Palestinian resolutions the council will likely adopt at the end of this week when it wraps up its 34th session.

A fifth resolution condemning Israel for human-rights violations on the Golan Heights is also expected to be approved.

Out of the 41 resolutions before the UNHRC, 12 deal with human-rights situations in individual countries. Five of those resolutions are focused on Israeli actions. The other seven resolutions deal with Syria, Iran, Libya, Sri Lanka, North Korea, Myanmar and South Sudan.

The resolutions condemning Israeli activity will be debated Monday, under Agenda Item 7, as it is mandated to do at every UNHRC session. Israel is the only country against which there is such a mandate.

The resolutions call on Israel to end settlement activity and demand that Israel fully withdraw to the pre-1967 borders.

Resolution A_HRC_34_L.41, which mandates a boycott of Israeli settlements, calls on UN member states to “distinguish, in their relevant dealings, between the territory of the State of Israel and the territories occupied since 1967.”

This includes the West Bank, east Jerusalem and the Golan Heights.

The international community should be told “not to provide Israel with any assistance to be used specifically in connection with settlements in these territories, inter alia by withholding trade with settlements, consistent with their obligations under international law,” the resolution states.

It also warns “individuals and businesses” on the “possibility of liability for corporate involvement in gross human rights abuses of the rights of individuals, of being involved in settlement related activities,” the resolution states.

The problematic activity includes “financial transactions, investments, purchases, procurements, loans, the provision of services, as well as other economic and financial activities in or benefiting Israeli settlements,” the resolution states.

It called for a panel discussion to be held on Israeli settlement activity at the council’s 36th session later this year. It’s also expected that at a future session this year, the office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights will submit to the UNHRC a database – known as the black list – of international companies doing business with Jewish communities located over the pre-1967 lines.

The US, which is one of the 47 UNHRC members, is considering vacating its seat to protest the council’s biased treatment of Israel.

US State Department acting spokesman Mark Toner told reporters in Washington last week, “Our future engagements with the council will consider the council’s actions, with an eye toward reform.”

Israel, though not a UNHRC member, is engaged with the council, except for Agenda Item 7. It is expected to boycott Monday’s daylong debate.

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