Israel expands settlements on occupied Palestinian territory. Photo credit: AFP
The United Nations General Assembly Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People has warned that Israel’s planned annexation of Occupied Palestinian territory threatens the two-state solution, calling for an urgent response from the international community.
“As the world’s attention is turned to fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, the Palestinian people under occupation face an additional crisis — the threat of annexation, said the Committee in a statement.
“Even during the unprecedented health emergency, Israel, the occupying Power, has continued to entrench the illegal occupation and openly announced its intention to annex large areas of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, while continuing the blockade of the Gaza Strip”, it added.
“It falls on the international community to rally our support and solidarity behind the Palestinian people to prevent annexation, which constitutes a grave breach of international law and flagrant violation of UN resolutions, including resolution 2334 (2016), which calls for an end to the Israeli occupation that began in 1967 and the fulfillment of the rights of the Palestinian people, including to self-determination and independence”, the committee further stated.
The UNGA committee said the prohibition on acquisition of territory by force is absolute in the UN Charter.
It added that the expansion of Israel’s control over the Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, is eroding the internationally agreed two-State solution.
The Committee called on Israel to heed to the Secretary-General’s recent call for a global ceasefire. It also called on Israel to heed the long-standing demand for a halt to its illegal actions and practices in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, including all measures aimed at entrenching the occupation and annexing territory.
The Committee also called on Israel, in accordance with its international law obligations, to ensure the full respect of the human rights of the Palestinian civilian population under its control and to provide humanitarian access and assistance, including to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“We in the United Nations have the tools to rein in violence and injustice, and seek peace, justice and security for all”, said the committee. “We are committed to leaving no one behind. Not unlike the fight against the pandemic, each of us — individually, and collectively — must do our part and prevent the gross injustice of occupation and annexation.”
The Committee called on the international community, particularly the Security Council, to shoulder its responsibilities and take urgent action to counteract the threat of annexation.