Jurists call for a Special Rapporteur on the Occupied Territories

The ICJ intervened at the 49th session of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights stressing the need for a Special Rapporteur to investigate the human rights situation in the Occupied Territories.

Commenting on the compromise to the deportation crisis proposed by the governments of Israel and the United States to allow the return of 101 of the over 400 Palestinian deportees, ICJ Secretary-General Adama Dieng stated that this apparent ease of tensions constitutes, even in the short-term, a defeat of the principles of international law. Similar to torture and genocide, the deportation of nationals from their homeland is absolutely prohibited in international law, specifically under articles 49 and 147 of the Fourth Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilians in Times of War.

The ICJ, therefore, regretted the attempt to compromise the absolute prohibition contained in the Geneva Convention, and reiterated in Security Council Resolution 799, that demands the immediate return of all deportees. Stating that grave breaches of the Geneva Convention cannot be the subject of any political deal, the ICJ explained that the proposed compromise negates the very promise contained in the Preamble of the United Nations Charter “[t]o establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations … of international law can be maintained.”

Noting that this proposed compromise to the deportation crisis is a patent example of how the international community has, for decades, handled Israeli gross violations of human rights and humanitarian law, the ICJ called upon the Security Council not to shy away from seeking the full implementation of its resolutions, and upon the Commission on Human Rights to appoint a Special Rapporteur to investigate the human rights situation in the Occupied Territories.

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