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UK architects, planners and other construction industry professionals campaigning for a just peace in Israel/Palestine.


UN Special Rapporteur on OPT - 2nd report - 23 Oct 2017 

by Michael Lynk
Special Rapporteur for the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967
[He argues that Israel’s prolonged occupation is itself become illegal under international law, not just the Wall and the settlements.]
64.          States who administer another territory under international supervision – whether as an occupier or a mandatory power – will cross the red line into illegality if they breach their fundamental obligations as alien rulers. The International Court of Justice in Namibia supports this conclusion. The Special Rapporteur submits that Israel’s role as occupant has crossed this red line. The challenge now facing the international community is to assess this analysis and, if accepted, to devise and employ the appropriate diplomatic and legal steps that, measure by measure, would completely and finally end the occupation. As Amos Schocken, the publisher of Ha’aretz, has written about his own country’s leadership: “…international pressure is precisely the force that will drive them to do the right thing.”
65.          A determination that Israel’s role as occupant is now illegal would serve several significant purposes. First, it would encourage member states to take all reasonable steps to prevent or discourage national institutions, organizations and corporations within their jurisdiction from engaging in activities that would invest in, or sustain, the occupation. Second, it would encourage national and international courts to apply the appropriate laws within their jurisdiction that would prevent or discourage cooperation with entities that invest in, or sustain, the occupation. Third, it would invite the international community to review its various forms of cooperation with the occupying power as long as it continues to administer the occupation unlawfully. Fourth, it would provide a solid precedent for the international community when judging other occupations of long duration. Most of all, such a determination would confirm the moral importance of upholding the international rule of law when aiding the besieged and the vulnerable.
V.            Recommendations
66.          The Special Rapporteur recommends that the Government of Israel bring a complete end to the 50 years of occupation of the Palestinian territories in as expeditious a time period as possible, under international supervision.
67.          The Special Rapporteur also recommends that the United Nations General Assembly:
(a)          Commission a United Nations study on the legality of Israel’s continued occupation of the Palestinian territory;
(b)          Consider the advantages of seeking an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice on the question of the legality of the occupation;
(c)           Consider commissioning a legal study on the ways and means that UN Member States can and must fulfill their obligations and duties to ensure respect for international law, including the duty of non-recognition, the duty to cooperate to bring to an end a wrongful situation and the duty to investigate and prosecute grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions.
(d)          Consider the adoption of a Uniting for Peace resolution with respect to the Question of Palestine, in the event that there is a determination that Israel’s role as occupier is no longer lawful.

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