June 29, 2020

His Honorable \ Antonio Guterres

United Nations General Secretary

Subject: Taking punitive measures and procedures to deter the Israeli Occupation from continuing the annexation plan

 

London - Since 1948, Palestinians have been facing a continuous catastrophe of exoduses and displacement, as part of Israel's efforts to uproot indigenous Palestinian from their homes, land and property. For 72 years, Israel has deliberately divided, separated and strategically isolated the Palestinian people, deprived Palestinian refugees from their right to return, confiscated their residency rights, and banned their family reunification. Thus, expropriating apartheid on Palestinian people, as referred to in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

As a result of continued impunity, the Israeli government is seeking early next month to annex new large parts of the occupied West Bank and formally declare its continued sovereignty over the Palestinian territories. However, this would cancel the United Nations efforts over the past years to achieve peace, establish an independent Palestinian state, and end the Israeli occupation. Additionally, this will pave the way for the occupation to loot and confiscate more Palestinian land and forcibly displace Palestinian families and replace other residents. The annexation plan would also expand the Israeli sovereignty over most of the Jordan Valley, and all illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank, more than 235 settlements, which means that Israel would take over nearly 30% of the West Bank territories that was occupied in 1967.

The Israeli government's attempts to forcibly seize the Palestinian land in what is known as "annexation" are strictly prohibited under international law. The Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 banned any form of seizure of third-party land by prohibiting the deportation of indigenous people or the transfer of the inhabitants of the occupying state to the occupied territories. The 1998 Rome Charter also considered this kinds of act as a war crime, in addition to the UN General Assembly resolutions that banned annexation completely, including: Resolution (194) on the right of return of Palestinian refugees, resolution (242) concerning the withdrawal of the occupying power from the territories it occupied in 1967, the resolution (2851) on the illegality of Israeli settlements, security council resolution (446), which condemned the construction of settlements by the occupying Power, resolutions (452) and (465) on illegal Israeli settlements, and resolution (2334), which reiterated the call of the            occupying power to stop construction of settlements, including those of East Jerusalem, and other resolutions that guaranteed the rights of the Palestinian people.

 

Your Honorable – the General Secretary

We draw your attention to the fact that the United Nations Security Council has condemned, by official decisions, the annexation of occupied lands by the occupying power in 1980 and 1981. However, this has not taken any measures or sanctions to deter it from continuing these significant violations of international law, which prompted Israel given the world's preoccupation with fighting Corona virus, to continue its dark history of annexing and seizing lands. Therefore, we call on you, on behalf of the Palestinian civil society organizations, to take responsibility for ending this Israeli occupation, and to take punitive measures and measures to deter Israeli annexation plans.

In light of the approaching occupation state’s implementation of the annexation plan, we have received with great regret and condemnation the candidacy of Israel for the position of Vice-Chairman of the Sixth Committee at the United Nations at its 75th session, for the group (Western Europe and other countries). We hope that you will use your powers emanating from the internal charter of the United Nations and reject the candidacy of Israel for this position. This can be taken as a first step in the steps that must be taken towards what is happening in the Palestinian territories in contravention of the resolutions of the United Nations General Assembly and the Security Council related to the Palestinian issue, especially the alleged annexation plan. In addition to the extreme need to obligate Israel to implement your esteemed association’s decisions and ensure appropriate punishment for violating those decisions in the event that Israel does not comply for your council’s decisions.