Translated and edited by: Committee for Justice
Geneva: December 26, 2021
The UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967, Michael Lynk, said that the international community must hold Israel accountable for its 54-year occupation of Palestine, five years after the UN Security Council passed a resolution calling for an end to all activities of settlements in the Palestinian territories.
There is no hope for peace without decisive international intervention:
“Without decisive international intervention to impose accountability upon an unaccountable occupation, there is no hope that the Palestinian right to self-determination and an end to the conflict will be realized anytime in the foreseeable future,” Lynk said.
Resolution 2334, adopted by the Security Council on December 23, 2016, stated that the Israeli settlements constitute “a flagrant violation under international law” and said that all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, must “immediately and completely cease.”
According to the resolution, settlement expansion threatens the viability of a two-state solution, and international law must govern the occupation and relations between Israel and the Palestinians. It also called on countries to distinguish between the territories of the State of Israel and the territories occupied by Israel since 1967.
Commenting on the resolution, Lynk said: “If this resolution had been actually enforced by the international community and obeyed by Israel, we would most likely be on the verge of a just and lasting peace.”
“Instead, Israel is in defiance of the resolution, its occupation is more entrenched than ever, the violence it employs against the Palestinians to sustain the occupation is rising, and the international community has no strategy to end the world’s longest military occupation.”
Israel does not comply with the directions of the Security Council:
The UN rapporteur noted that “in the 20 reports delivered to the Security Council since the Resolution was adopted, the Secretary-General or his representative have stated on each occasion that Israel has not complied with any of the directions of the Security Council.”
“Is it not clear by now that the Israeli political leadership has no interest, and no incentive, to end the occupation?” he added.
“One statistic above all illustrates the remarkable unwillingness of the international community to enforce its own directions respecting the Israeli occupation,” the UN expert said.
“In 2016, when Resolution 2334 was adopted, there were an estimated 400,000 Israeli settlers in the West Bank and 218,000 in East Jerusalem. Five years later, there are 475,000 settlers in the West Bank and 230,000 in East Jerusalem, an increase of 12 per cent. This dynamic reality on the ground is racing far ahead of the international community’s tepid criticism of Israel’s unlawful conduct,” Lynk added.
The UN rapporteur called on the international community to develop a rights-based approach to peacemaking in the Middle East, and to use the abundant tools of accountability measures to bring Israel back into compliance with international law.