Thursday 20 September 2018 
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Full Script of 5 UNSC mandate resolution over violations of Human Rights by Israel

United Nations Human Rights Council has adopted five mandatory resolutions on the situation of human rights violation by Israel in Palestinian region and other occupied Arab territories.

The Council adopted five resolutions concerning the human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories, including the resolution on human rights in the occupied Syrian Golan, adopted by a vote of 26 in favour, three against and 18 abstentions; the resolution on ensuring accountability and justice for all violations of international law in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, adopted by a vote of 30 in favour, two against and 15 abstentions; and the resolution on the inalienable, permanent and unqualified right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, adopted by a vote of 43 in favour, two against and two abstentions.

 

By a vote of 41 in favour, two against and four abstentions, the Council requested the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to present, at the thirty-seventh session of the Council, a report on the human rights situation in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, with a particular focus on the factors perpetuating the arbitrary detention of Palestinian prisoners and detainees in Israeli jails.

 

The Council decided, by a vote of 36 in favour, two against and nine abstentions to convene, at its thirty-sixth session, a panel discussion on “Israeli settlement activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem”, and requested the High Commissioner to present, at the thirty-seventh session, a report on the policies and practices linked to the settlement enterprise that discriminated against the Palestinian population in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem.

 

Introducing draft texts were United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, and Tunisia on behalf of the African Group.

 

Syria, Israel, and State of Palestine spoke as concerned countries.

 

Germany on behalf of the European Union, Switzerland, United States, Ecuador, and Brazil on behalf of a group of States, spoke in general comments.

 

Speaking in an explanation of the vote before or after the vote were Cuba, China, Ecuador, Egypt, Brazil, Iraq, Venezuela, Bolivia, Kyrgyzstan, Paraguay, Hungary, Germany on behalf of the European Union, Netherlands also on behalf of Germany, United Kingdom, and Belgium.

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Action on Resolutions under the Agenda Item on the Human Rights Situation in Palestine and Other Occupied Arab Territories

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Pakistan, introducing draft resolution L.11 on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, said that the draft resolution deplored the continued building of settlements in occupied Arab territories and made reference to relevant United Nations resolution and the provisions of international law. The draft resolution focused on the grave human rights situation of Syrian citizens in the occupied Syrian Golan and called upon the occupying power to comply with all United Nations and Human Rights Council resolutions, and expressed regret at the non-cooperation of the occupying power, Israel with the United Nations human rights mechanisms. It further called upon the occupying power to allow access to detainees by the International Committee of the Red Cross.

 

United States, in a general comment, strongly and unequivocally opposed the existence of the Human Rights Council agenda item seven and said that the continued existence of this agenda item was among the largest threats to the credibility of this body. All parties to this conflict had direct responsibilities for ending it, and the United States was disappointed that the Council continually singled out Israel for criticism without fully acknowledging the violent attacks directed against its people, nor the obligations and difficult steps required of both sides. The United States reiterated its firm opposition to the creation of a database related to businesses that operated in settlements and would not provide any information to it. The database fell outside of the Council’s mandate and drained precious resources that could be used to promote and protect human rights around the world.

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Syria, speaking as the country concerned, said that Israel continued its policies of building new settlements, expanding settlements and requisitioning water for their projects. The resolution rejected the settlement policy which aimed to change the demographic situation of Golan. Israel also aimed to restrict the rights of the inhabitants of Golan, monitoring and controlling their rights, including their right to make a living. The resolution rejected Israel’s arbitrary policy against settlements and denounced those practices. Israel therefore rejected the United Nations Charter and resolutions of the United Nations Security Council which stated that Israel was an occupying force. Israel was attempting not to shoulder its international responsibility.

 

Israel, speaking as the concerned country, said the resolutions were a repetitive manifestation of the absurdity and cynicism of the Council. The five resolutions were rejected in their entirety and the “abominable item 7” should be removed from the Human Rights Council agenda. It should not exist. The Human Rights Council continued to deepen the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. Despite the Council and not because of it, Israel would continue its efforts to achieve peace, security and prosperity. Israel thanked all countries that did not support the resolutions and in particular its great friend and ally, the United States.

 

Germany, in an explanation of the vote before the vote on behalf of the European Union, was deeply concerned about regional development and the ongoing widespread human rights violations over the past six years. In this context, it was disproportionate to have a separate human rights situation on the Syrian Golan. Any future text on the human rights situation in the occupied Syrian Golan should be negotiated in a wider context and the European Union could not support the draft resolution.

 

Paraguay, in an explanation of the vote before the vote, reiterated the legitimate right of Syrian, Israeli and Palestinian people to live peacefully within their internationally recognized borders. Paraguay recognized Israel and Palestine as independent States which should engage in dialogue to find a solution, and should also respect human rights and international humanitarian law. The draft resolution did not contribute to consolidating this dialogue between the parties because of its political bias. Paraguay would thus abstain.

 

Action on Resolution on Ensuring Accountability and Justice for All Violations of International Law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem

In a resolution (A/HRC/34/L.38) on ensuring accountability and justice for all violations of international law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, adopted by a vote of 30 in favour, two against and 15 abstentions, the Council calls upon all duty bearers and United Nations bodies to pursue the implementation of the recommendations contained in the reports of the independent commission of inquiry on the 2014 Gaza conflict, the United Nations independent international fact-finding mission to investigate the implications of Israeli settlements on the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of the Palestinian people throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the United Nations Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict; also calls upon the parties concerned to cooperate fully with the preliminary examination of the International Criminal Court and with any subsequent investigation that may be opened; and calls upon all States to promote compliance with international law, and all High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to respect, and to ensure respect for, international humanitarian law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem. The Council requests the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to report on the implementation of the present resolution to the Human Rights Council at its thirty-seventh session.

 

The result of the vote was as follows:

In favour (30): Bangladesh, Belgium, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Burundi, China, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ghana, Indonesia, Iraq, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Nigeria, Philippines, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Saudi Arabia, Slovenia, South Africa, Switzerland, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, and Venezuela.

Against (2): Togo, and United States of America.

 

Abstentions (15): Albania, Croatia, Ethiopia, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, India, Japan, Kenya, Latvia, Netherlands, Panama, Paraguay, Rwanda, and United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

 

Pakistan, introducing draft resolution L.38 on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, explained that the objective of the draft resolution was to ensure accountability and justice in all the occupied Palestinian territory, including in East Jerusalem. Impunity for all human rights abuses had to stop. The Organization of Islamic Cooperation called on all States to promote compliance with human rights obligations, and to show respect for international humanitarian law, and expressed hope that the resolution would be adopted by a broad consensus.

 

Ecuador, in a general comment, stated that the range of resolutions on the occupied Palestinian territory should establish useful tools to address the rights of civilians there and to protect them from abuses perpetrated by both State and non-State actors. It was important to pool efforts to ensure responsibilities of businesses in respecting human rights. Once information was gathered on companies working on settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory, the Council should take action to ensure that there were no human rights violations perpetrated by those companies.

 

State of Palestine, speaking as the concerned country, thanked the co-sponsors of the draft resolution and thanked the delegation of Pakistan for coordinating the efforts, as well as the European Union for its efforts which allowed a draft on which there was consensus among the States. Law was non-negotiable, not any more than the provisions of law, which were codified to regulate interactions between States and groups.

 

Some strange innovations had been introduced by some countries seeking to settle scores. When Israel was the topic of discussion, there was a change in nature. If the Council proceeded in that fashion, it would be contributing to chaos, and the Council should take care it was not turning itself into a politicized forum. Those responsible should bear the responsibility, and every person of Palestine who would be accused would take up their responsibilities, so why did that not apply to the opposite party? Self-determination was a right, and it should not be possible for any person denying that right to claim they were promoting human rights. Regarding the human rights situation in Palestine, Israel was the leading violator of human rights. All the Geneva Conventions were being violated. Ninety-three children had been killed in cold blood by the occupation forces. There was also confiscation of natural resources and the people of Gaza had now been besieged for 10 years. It was a topic which should give rise to reservations. 2017 was a year of changes for everyone, but wisdom had to be brought to bear. The resolution adopted by the United Nations Security Council in December was adopted unanimously. It declared that the settlements were illegal.

 

Netherlands, in an explanation of the vote before the vote on behalf of Germany and the Netherlands, recalled that respect for international humanitarian law and international human rights law was essential for peace and security in the region. Accountability should be upheld and all those responsible for human rights violations should be held accountable. The situation of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories should be discussed under item 4 or other items. The scope of item 7 should not be expanded.

 

The Council then adopted draft resolution L.38 by a vote of 30 in favour, two against and 15 abstentions.

 

Action on Resolution on the Right of the Palestinian People to Self-determination

In a resolution (A/HRC/34/L.39) on the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, adopted by a vote of 43 in favour, two against and two abstentions, the Council reaffirms the inalienable, permanent and unqualified right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, including their right to live in freedom, justice and dignity and the right to their independent State of Palestine; calls upon all States to ensure their obligations of non-recognition, non-aid or assistance with regard to the serious breaches of peremptory norms of international law by Israel, and also calls upon them to cooperate further to bring, through lawful means, an end to these serious breaches and a reversal of Israel’s illegal policies and practices; and urges all States to adopt measures as required to promote the realization of the right to self-determination of the Palestinian people, and to render assistance to the United Nations in carrying out the responsibilities entrusted to it by the Charter regarding the implementation of this right.

 

The result of the vote was as follows:

In favour (43): Albania, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Burundi, China, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Japan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Mongolia, Netherlands, Nigeria, Philippines, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Slovenia, South Africa, Switzerland, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and Venezuela.

Against (2): Togo, and United States of America.

Abstentions (2): Panama, and Paraguay.

 

Pakistan, speaking on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and other co-sponsors, introduced draft resolution L.39. The realization of the right to self-determination was crucial and the draft resolution focused on that right for the Palestinian people. In the operative part, it reaffirmed the right of the Palestinian people to live in freedom, justice and dignity, and their right to the independent State of Palestine. It reaffirmed support for a two-State solution. It urged the international community to support the Palestinian people and contained facts that were recognized and acknowledged by the international community.

 

The Council then adopted the draft resolution by a recorded vote of 43 in favour to 2 against with 2 abstentions.

 

Action on Resolution on the Human Rights Situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem

 

In a resolution (A/HRC/34/L.40) on the human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, adopted by a vote of 41 in favour, two against and four abstentions, the Council stresses the need for Israel, the occupying Power, to withdraw from the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, so as to enable the Palestinian people to exercise its universally recognized right to self-determination; demands that Israel, the occupying Power, comply fully with the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 and cease immediately all measures and actions taken in violation and in breach of the Convention; and demands that Israel, the occupying Power, cease all practices and actions that violate the human rights of the Palestinian people. The Council also demands that Israel, the occupying Power, cease immediately its imposition of prolonged closures and economic and movement restrictions, including those amounting to a blockade on the Gaza Strip; calls upon Israel to explicitly prohibit torture, including psychological torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment; and calls upon Israel to immediately cease any demolitions or plans for demolitions that would result in the forcible transfer or forced eviction of Palestinians. The Council requests the High Commissioner to report on the implementation of the present resolution to the Human Rights Council, with a particular focus on the factors perpetuating the arbitrary detention of Palestinian prisoners and detainees in Israeli jails in consultation with the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, at its thirty-seventh session.

 

The result of the vote was as follows:

In favour (41): Albania, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Burundi, China, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Japan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Mongolia, Netherlands, Nigeria, Philippines, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Saudi Arabia, Slovenia, South Africa, Switzerland, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and Venezuela.

 

Against (2): Togo, and United States of America.

Abstentions (4): Congo, Panama, Paraguay, and Rwanda.

Pakistan, introducing draft resolution L.40 on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, said that the text addressed the human rights violations in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, which included the use of excessive force against Palestinian civilians and violations of their rights to life, liberty, freedom of movement, education and to property. It reaffirmed the core principles and rules of international law and called on the occupying forces to comply with the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention and with its legal obligations under international humanitarian law. It also urged Member States to continue to provide emergency assistance to the Palestinian people to alleviate the financial crisis and the socio-economic and humanitarian situation, particularly in the Gaza Strip.

 

Germany, in a general comment on behalf of the European Union, voiced strong commitment to the two-State solution and Palestinian aspirations for self-determination. Jewish settlements were illegal under international law and jeopardized the two-State solution. The European Union condemned restrictions of movement and access, arbitrary detention and the building of the wall. Accountability was a corner stone for peace and stability in the region. The European Union would vote in favour of the draft resolution.

 

The Council then adopted the draft resolution L.40 by a vote of 41 in favour, two against and four abstentions.

 

Action on the Resolution L.41 Rev 1 on Israeli Settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem and in the Occupied Syrian Golan

In a resolution (A/HRC/34/L.41/Rev.1) on Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan, adopted as orally revised by a vote of 36 in favour, two against and nine abstentions, the Council calls upon Israel to accept the de jure applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem; demands that Israel, the occupying Power, immediately cease all settlement activities in all the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan; and also demands that Israel, the occupying Power, comply fully with its legal obligations, as mentioned in the advisory opinion rendered on 9 July 2004 by the International Court of Justice, including to cease forthwith the works of construction of the wall being built in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. The Council urges all States and international organizations to ensure that they are not taking actions that either recognize as lawful, aid or assist the expansion of settlements or the construction of the wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem; and calls upon all States to distinguish, in their relevant dealings, between the territory of the State of Israel and the territories occupied since 1967, including not to provide Israel with any assistance to be used specifically in connection with settlements in these territories. The Council decides to convene, at its thirty-sixth session, a panel discussion on “Israeli settlement activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem”, and requests the High Commissioner to report on the implementation of the provisions of the present resolution, with particular emphasis on the policies and practices linked to the settlement enterprise that discriminate against the Palestinian population in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, at its thirty-seventh session.

 

The result of the vote was as follows:

In favour (36): Bangladesh, Belgium, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Burundi, China, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Germany, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Japan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Netherlands, Nigeria, Philippines, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Saudi Arabia, Slovenia, South Africa, Switzerland, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, and Venezuela.

 

Against (2): Togo, and United States of America.

Abstentions (9): Albania, Croatia, Georgia, Hungary, Latvia, Panama, Paraguay, Rwanda, and United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Pakistan, introduced on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and other co-sponsors draft resolution L.41/Rev.1 and introduced an additional revision to operative paragraph 11. The draft text sought to address human rights challenges in the occupied territories, and affirmed that the transfer by the occupying power of its civilian population violated relevant provisions of customary law and the Geneva Conventions. Settlements including in East Jerusalem were an obstacle to peace and the resolution condemned settlement-related activities such as expansion. Israel was called on to fulfil its international obligations. In addressing that situation, the Council would keep its commitment to international humanitarian rights law.

 

Syria, speaking as the concerned country, recalled that the draft once again reasserted that the settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory and the Syrian Golan were illegal. It called on the occupying power to stop building illegal settlements and to live up to its obligations. Demolitions, seizure of land and deportation of Palestinians were illegal. Syria called on the Israeli authorities to do away with those settlement that had already been built. The draft resolution continued to be presented because the Security Council had declared that the occupation was a gross violation of human rights. Syria reminded that the United States handed down lessons on human rights and asked for a vote on some draft resolutions. The European Union had always spoken out against the occupation. Sincere defence of human rights required that Israel withdraw from the occupied territories.

 

Netherlands, in an explanation of vote before the vote on behalf of Germany and the Netherlands, expressed concern about efforts to include new elements in the resolutions. Germany and Netherlands were against a boycott of Israel. Settlements were a major threat to reaching a just and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians. The Netherlands and Germany had decided to support the resolution, but that did not imply a recognition of a State of Palestine by Germany or the Netherlands.

 

The Council then adopted the resolution, as orally revised, by a recorded vote of 36 in favour to 2 against with 9 abstentions.

 

Explanations of the Vote after the Vote after the Conclusion of Taking Action on Resolutions under the Agenda Item on the Human Rights Situation in Palestine and Other Occupied Arab Territories

United Kingdom, in an explanation of the vote after the vote, said that a just solution to deliver peace in Palestine and Israel was overdue. But, a bias against Israel undermined the Council’s credibility. There was a serious concern about the demolition of Palestinian homes and the use of arbitrary detention by Israel. The trend of Israel’s conduct in the occupied Palestinian territory had been negative, but there had also been terrorist attacks on Israelis. Israel was the only country permanently on the Council’s agenda. The United Kingdom could not vote for the draft resolution on the Syrian Golan because the resolution singled out Israel. If that trend continued, the United Kingdom would opt out.

 

Brazil, in an explanation of the vote after the vote, reminded that it had voted in favour of the resolutions on the human rights situation in the occupied Palestinian territory, and urged Israel to uphold the human rights of populations there, particularly of vulnerable groups. However, the repetition of the mechanical language in those resolutions did not reflect the situation on the ground. Some parts were not balanced. Brazil called on both parties to act in restraint. The concrete impact of repeated resolutions on the ground was questionable and it would not allow both parties to commit to a two-State solution and the establishment of a sovereign State of Palestine.

 

Egypt, speaking in an explanation of the vote after the vote, said it was not the case that Israel was singled out. What was being discussed was illegitimate practices under human rights law. All were invited to respect the Council members and the Human Rights Council itself, one could not doubt the credibility of the Council nor of resolutions passed within it.




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