Original HRC document

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Document Type: Final Resolution

Date: 2019 Apr

Session: 40th Regular Session (2019 Feb)

Agenda Item: Item7: Human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories

GE.19-06406(E)



Human Rights Council Fortieth session

25 February–22 March 2019

Agenda item 7

Resolution adopted by the Human Rights Council on 22 March 2019

40/23. Human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including

East Jerusalem

The Human Rights Council,

Recalling the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on

Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural

Rights, the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Optional Protocol thereto on the

involvement of children in armed conflict, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms

of Discrimination against Women, the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel,

Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and the International Convention on the

Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, and affirming that these human rights

instruments, among others, are applicable to and must be respected in the Occupied

Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem,

Recalling also relevant resolutions of the Human Rights Council,

Taking note of the recent reports of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human

rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967,1 and other relevant recent reports of

the Human Rights Council,

Stressing the urgent need for efforts to reverse the negative trends on the ground and

to restore a political horizon for advancing and accelerating meaningful negotiations aimed

at the achievement of a peace agreement that will bring a complete end to the Israeli

occupation that began in 1967 and the resolution of all core final status issues, without

exception, leading to a peaceful, just, lasting and comprehensive solution of the question of

Palestine,

Noting the accession by the State of Palestine to several human rights treaties and

the core humanitarian law conventions, and its accession on 2 January 2015 to the Rome

Statute of the International Criminal Court,

Recalling the advisory opinion rendered on 9 July 2004 by the International Court of

Justice, and recalling also General Assembly resolutions ES-10/15 of 20 July 2004 and ES-

10/17 of 15 December 2006,

1 A/73/447 and A/HRC/40/73.

United Nations A/HRC/RES/40/23

Noting in particular the Court’s reply, including that the construction of the wall

being built by Israel, the occupying Power, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including

in and around East Jerusalem, and its associated regime are contrary to international law,

Reaffirming the principle of the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by

force, and deeply concerned at the fragmentation of the Occupied Palestinian Territory,

including East Jerusalem, through the construction of settlements, settler roads, the wall and

other measures that are tantamount to de facto annexation of Palestinian land,

Emphasizing the 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, and reaffirming the obligation of the States parties to the Fourth

Geneva Convention under articles 146, 147 and 148 with regard to penal sanctions, grave

breaches and responsibilities of the High Contracting Parties and to ensure respect for

international humanitarian law,

Stressing the importance of accountability in preventing future conflicts and

ensuring that there is no impunity for violations and abuses, thereby contributing to peace

efforts and avoiding the recurrence of violations of international law, including

international humanitarian law and international human rights law,

Expressing grave concern at the continuing violations of international humanitarian

law and the systematic violation of the human rights of the Palestinian people by Israel, the

occupying Power, including that arising from the excessive use of force and military

operations causing death and injury to Palestinian civilians, including children and women,

and to non-violent, peaceful demonstrators and to journalists, including through the use of

live ammunition; the arbitrary detention of Palestinians, some of whom have been detained

for decades; the use of collective punishment; the closure of areas; the confiscation of land;

the establishment and expansion of settlements; the construction of a wall in the Occupied

Palestinian Territory in departure from the Armistice Line of 1949; the forcible

displacement of civilians, including of Bedouin communities; the policies and practices that

discriminate against and disproportionately affect the Palestinian population in the

Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem; the discriminatory allocation of

water resources between Israeli settlers, who reside illegally in the Occupied Palestinian

Territory, and the Palestinian population of the said Territory; the violation of the basic

right to adequate housing, which is a component of the right to an adequate standard of

living; the revocation of residency permits from Palestinians of East Jerusalem and their

eviction from their city; the destruction of property and infrastructure, inter alia, homes of

Palestinians; the hampering of humanitarian assistance and the destruction of, inter alia,

structures provided as humanitarian aid, contributing to a coercive environment that leads

to the forcible transfer of Palestinian civilians in the Occupied Palestinian Territory,

including when carried out as an act of collective punishment in violation of international

humanitarian law; incidents of harassment of and attacks on schoolchildren and attacks on

educational facilities by Israeli settlers and as a result of Israeli military action; and all other

actions designed to change the legal status, geographical nature and demographic

composition of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem,

Deploring all conflicts in and around the Gaza Strip and the civilian casualties

caused, including the killing and injury of thousands of Palestinian civilians, including

children, women and elderly persons, the widespread destruction of thousands of homes

and of civilian infrastructure, including schools, hospitals, water sanitation and electricity

networks, economic, industrial and agricultural properties, public institutions, religious sites

and United Nations schools and facilities, the internal displacement of hundreds of

thousands of civilians, and all violations of international law, including humanitarian and

human rights law, in this regard,

Gravely concerned in particular about the disastrous humanitarian situation and the

critical socioeconomic and security situations in the Gaza Strip, including that resulting

from the prolonged continuous closures and severe economic and movement restrictions

that in effect amount to a blockade, and from the continuing and vastly negative

repercussions of previous Israeli military operations, and about the firing of rockets into

Israel,

Expressing deep concern at the detrimental impact of continued impediments to the

reconstruction process on the human rights situation and on the socioeconomic and

humanitarian conditions of the Palestinian civilian population, and calling upon the

international community to step up its efforts to provide the Gaza Strip with the assistance

that it requires,

Stressing the need for all parties, in conformity with the relevant provisions of

international humanitarian law, to cooperate fully with the United Nations and other

humanitarian agencies and organizations and to ensure the rapid and unhindered access of

humanitarian personnel, and the delivery of supplies and equipment, in order to allow such

personnel to perform efficiently their task of assisting affected civilian populations,

including refugees and internally displaced persons,

Stressing also the need to end immediately the closure of the Gaza Strip and for the

full implementation of the Agreement on Movement and Access and the Agreed Principles

for the Rafah Crossing, both of 15 November 2005, to allow for the freedom of movement

of the Palestinian civilian population within and into and out of the Gaza Strip, while taking

into account Israeli concerns,

Expressing deep concern at the Israeli policy of closures and the imposition of

severe restrictions and checkpoints, several of which have been transformed into structures

akin to permanent border crossings, other physical obstacles and a permit regime, which are

applied in a discriminatory manner affecting the Palestinian population only and all of

which obstruct the freedom of movement of persons and goods, including medical and

humanitarian goods, throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East

Jerusalem, and impair the Territory’s contiguity, violating the human rights of the

Palestinian people,

Convinced that the Israeli occupation has gravely impeded the efforts made to

achieve sustainable development and a sound economic environment in the Occupied

Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and expressing grave concern at the

consequent deterioration of economic and living conditions,

Deploring all policies and practices whereby Israeli settlers, who reside illegally in

the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, are accorded preferential

treatment over the Palestinian population in terms of access to roads, infrastructure, land,

property, housing, natural resources and judicial mechanisms, resulting in widespread

human rights violations of Palestinians,

Expressing deep concern that thousands of Palestinians, including many children

and women and elected members of the Palestinian Legislative Council, continue to be

detained and held in Israeli prisons or detention centres under harsh conditions, including

unhygienic conditions, solitary confinement, lack of proper medical care, denial of family

visits and denial of due process, that impair their well-being, and expressing deep concern

also at the ill-treatment and harassment of Palestinian prisoners and all reports of torture,

Recalling the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of

Prisoners (the Nelson Mandela Rules) and the United Nations Rules for the Treatment of

Women Prisoners and Non-custodial Measures for Women Offenders (the Bangkok Rules),

and calling for respect for those rules,

Recalling also the prohibition under international humanitarian law of transfers and

deportations of civilians from or to occupied territories,

Deploring the practice of withholding the bodies of those killed, and calling for the

release of the bodies that have not yet been returned to their relatives, in accordance with

international humanitarian law and human rights law,

Stressing the need for the protection of human rights defenders engaged in the

promotion of human rights issues in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East

Jerusalem, to allow them to carry out their work freely and without fear of attack,

harassment, arbitrary detention or criminal prosecution,

Convinced of the need for an international presence to monitor the situation, to

contribute to ending the violence and protecting the Palestinian civilian population and to

help the parties to implement the agreements reached, and in this regard recalling the

positive contribution of the Temporary International Presence in Hebron, and regretting the

unilateral decision by Israel not to renew its mandate, thereby dispensing with one of the

few established mechanisms for conflict resolution between Israelis and Palestinians, which

may therefore have a negative impact on the situation,

Emphasizing the right of all people in the region to the enjoyment of human rights as

enshrined in the international human rights covenants,

1. Demands that Israel, the occupying Power, 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;

2. Reiterates that all measures and actions taken by Israel, the occupying Power,

in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, in violation of the relevant

provisions of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time

of War, of 12 August 1949, and contrary to the relevant resolutions of the Security Council

are illegal and have no validity;

3. 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;

4. Also demands that Israel, the occupying Power, cease all practices and

actions that violate the human rights of the Palestinian people, and that it fully respect

human rights law and comply with its legal obligations in this regard, including in

accordance with relevant United Nations resolutions;

5. Calls for urgent measures to ensure the safety and protection of the

Palestinian civilian population in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East

Jerusalem, in accordance with the relevant provisions of international humanitarian law and

as called for by the Security Council in its resolution 904 (1994) of 18 March 1994;

6. Deplores the persistent non-cooperation of Israel with special procedure

mandate holders and other United Nations mechanisms, and calls for full cooperation by

Israel with the Human Rights Council and all its special procedures, relevant mechanisms

and inquiries, and with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human

Rights;

7. Demands that Israel, the occupying Power, cease all of its settlement

activities, the construction of the wall and any other measures aimed at altering the

character, status and demographic composition of the Occupied Palestinian Territory,

including in and around East Jerusalem, all of which have, inter alia, a grave and

detrimental impact on the human rights of the Palestinian people and the prospects for a

peaceful settlement;

8. Also demands that Israel, the occupying Power, comply with its legal

obligations under international law, as mentioned in the advisory opinion rendered on 9

July 2004 by the International Court of Justice and as demanded by the General Assembly

in its resolutions ES-10/15 and ES-10/13, and that it immediately cease the construction of

the wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem,

dismantle forthwith the structure situated therein, repeal or render ineffective all legislative

and regulatory acts relating thereto, and make reparation for all damage caused by the

construction of the wall, which has had a grave impact on the human rights and the

socioeconomic living conditions of the Palestinian people;

9. Calls upon Israel to immediately cease any demolitions or plans for

demolitions that would result in the forcible transfer or forced eviction of Palestinians,

particularly in the vulnerable areas of the Jordan Valley, the periphery of Jerusalem and the

South Hebron Hills, to facilitate the return of those Palestinian communities already

subjected to forcible transfer or eviction to their original dwellings and to ensure adequate

housing and legal security of tenure;

10. Deplores the illegal Israeli actions in occupied East Jerusalem, including the

construction of settlements in various areas; the demolition of residential structures, the

forced eviction of Palestinian inhabitants and the application of the policy of punitive home

demolitions; the ongoing policy of revoking the residency permits of Palestinians living in

East Jerusalem through various discriminatory laws; the excavations in and around

religious and historic sites; and all other unilateral measures aimed at altering the character,

status and demographic composition of the city and of the territory as a whole, including

those stemming from attempts aimed at illegally changing the status quo of holy sites;

11. Expresses grave concern at the restrictions imposed by Israel that impede the

access of Christian and Muslim worshippers to holy sites in the Occupied Palestinian

Territory, including East Jerusalem, and calls upon Israel to include guarantees for non-

discrimination on grounds of religion or belief as well as for the preservation and peaceful

access to all religious sites;

12. Urges Israel to ensure that water resource allocation in the Occupied

Palestinian Territory is not discriminatory and does not result in water shortages

disproportionately affecting the Palestinian population of the West Bank, and to take urgent

steps to facilitate the restoration of the water infrastructure of the West Bank, including in

the Jordan Valley, affected by the destruction of the wells of local civilians, roof water

tanks and other water and irrigation facilities under military and settler operation since

1967;

13. Expresses concern about the so-called Basic Law: Israel as the Nation-State

of the Jewish People, adopted by the Knesset, currently under judicial review, which has

raised further concerns regarding compliance with international law, including the law of

occupation, insofar as it applies to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East

Jerusalem;

14. Also expresses concern at the Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law adopted

by the Knesset, which suspends the possibility, with certain rare exceptions, of family

reunification between Israeli citizens and persons residing in the Occupied Palestinian

Territory, including East Jerusalem, thus adversely affecting the lives of many families;

15. Reiterates the need for respect for the territorial unity, contiguity and

integrity of all of the Occupied Palestinian Territory and for guarantees of the freedom of

movement of persons and goods within the Palestinian territory, including movement into

and from East Jerusalem, into and from the Gaza Strip, between the West Bank and the

Gaza Strip, and to and from the outside world;

16. 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, which severely restricts the freedom of movement of

Palestinians within, into and out of Gaza and their access to basic utilities, housing,

education, work, health and an adequate standard of living via various measures, including

import and export restrictions, that have a direct impact on livelihoods, economic

sustainability and development throughout Gaza, aggravating the state of de-development

in Gaza, and in this regard calls upon Israel to implement fully the Agreement on

Movement and Access and the Agreed Principles for the Rafah Crossing in order to allow

for the sustained and regular movement of persons and goods and for the acceleration of

long overdue reconstruction in the Gaza Strip;

17. Condemns all acts of violence, including all acts of terror, provocation,

incitement and destruction, especially the excessive use of force by the Israeli occupying

forces against Palestinian civilians, particularly in the Gaza Strip, where the bombardment

of populated areas has caused extensive loss of life and a vast number of injuries, including

among thousands of children and women, massive damage and destruction to homes,

economic, industrial and agricultural properties, vital infrastructure, including water,

sanitation and electricity networks, religious sites and public institutions, including

hospitals and schools, United Nations facilities, and agricultural lands, the large-scale

internal displacement of civilians, and the excessive use of force by the Israeli occupying

forces against Palestinian civilians in the context of protests in the West Bank and in the

Gaza Strip;

18. Also condemns the firing of rockets against Israeli civilian areas resulting in

loss of life and injury;

19. Reiterates the responsibility of Israel, the occupying Power, to respect the

right to health of all persons within the Occupied Palestinian Territory and to facilitate the

immediate, sustained and unfettered passage of humanitarian relief, including the access of

medical personnel, their equipment, transport and supplies to all areas under occupation,

including the Gaza Strip, and the granting of exit permits for patients in need of medical

treatment outside the Gaza Strip, and stresses the need for the unhindered passage of

ambulances at checkpoints, especially in times of conflict;

20. Urges Member States to continue to provide emergency assistance to the

Palestinian people to alleviate the financial crisis and the dire socioeconomic and

humanitarian situation, particularly in the Gaza Strip;

21. Calls upon Israel to end all harassment, threats, intimidation and reprisals

against human rights defenders and civil society actors who peacefully advocate for the

rights of Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including by cooperating with

United Nations human rights bodies, and underscores the need to investigate all such acts,

to ensure accountability and effective remedies, and to take steps to prevent any further

such threats, attacks, reprisals or acts of intimidation;

22. Expresses deep concern at the conditions of the Palestinian prisoners and

detainees, including minors, in Israeli jails and detention centres, calls upon Israel to

explicitly prohibit torture, including psychological torture and other cruel, inhuman or

degrading treatment or punishment, demands that Israel, the occupying Power, fully respect

and abide by its international law obligations towards all Palestinian prisoners and

detainees in its custody, expresses its concern at the continued extensive use of

administrative detention, calls for the full implementation of the agreement reached in May

2012 for a prompt and independent investigation into all cases of death in custody, and calls

upon Israel to immediately release all Palestinian prisoners, including Palestinian

legislators, detained in violation of international law;

23. Calls for urgent attention to be paid to the plight and the rights, in accordance

with international law, of Palestinian prisoners and detainees in Israeli jails, and also calls

for respect for the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners

(the Nelson Mandela Rules) and the United Nations Rules for the Treatment of Women

Prisoners and Non-custodial Measures for Women Offenders (the Bangkok Rules);

24. Demands that Israel cease its policy of transferring prisoners from the

Occupied Palestinian Territory into the territory of Israel, and respect fully its obligations

under article 76 of the Fourth Geneva Convention;

25. Urges Israel to ensure that any arrest, detention and/or trial of Palestinian

children is in line with the Convention on the Rights of the Child, including by refraining

from holding criminal proceedings against them in military courts that, by definition, fall

short of providing the necessary guarantees to ensure respect for their rights and that

infringe upon their right to non-discrimination;

26. Emphasizes the need to preserve and develop Palestinian institutions and

infrastructure for the provision of vital public services to the Palestinian civilian population

and the promotion of human rights, including civil, political, economic, social and cultural

rights;

27. Urges all States and the specialized agencies and organizations of the United

Nations system to continue to support and assist the Palestinian people in the early

realization of their inalienable human rights, including their right to self-determination, as a

matter of urgency, in the light of the onset of the fiftieth year of the Israeli occupation and

the continued denial and violation of the human rights of the Palestinian people;

28. Decides to remain seized of the matter.

54th meeting

22 March 2019

[Adopted by a recorded vote of 39 to 3, with 5 abstentions. The voting was as follows:

In favour:

Afghanistan, Angola, Argentina, Austria, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh,

Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Chile, China, Croatia, Cuba, Czechia, Egypt,

Eritrea, Fiji, Iceland, India, Iraq, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Nepal, Nigeria,

Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Slovakia, Somalia,

South Africa, Spain, Tunisia, Ukraine, Uruguay

Against:

Australia, Denmark, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Abstaining:

Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Hungary, Rwanda, Togo]