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  Politics
UN report suggests UNGA seek ICJ advisory opinion on prolonged occupation of Palestine
21/10/2013 | LOC23:40
20:40 GMT
| World News
تصغير الخطالشكل الأساسيتكبير الخط

NEW YORK, Oct 21 (KUNA) -- UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Monday transmitted a recommendation to the General Assembly during its 68th session seeking advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice (ICJ) over legal consequences of prolonged occupation of Palestine if diplomacy fails.
This was one of recommendations contained in a report by Richard Falk, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, in accordance with a Human Rights Council resolution.
Falk recommended that "if current diplomacy fails to produce a solution to the underlying conflict," the Assembly should "request an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice as to the legal consequences of the prolonged occupation of Palestine." The ICJ already ruled in 2004 that the Israeli separation wall in the West Bank was illegal and "tantamount to annexation." The ruling did not deter Israel from continuing with its construction.
Falk also recommended that Israel "cease expanding and creating settlements in occupied Palestine, start dismantling existing settlements and returning its citizens to the Israeli side of the Green Line and provide appropriate reparations for the damage due to settlement and related activity since 1967." He recommended, in this regard, that Belgium and France, owners of Dexia Group, a financial firm active in retail and commercial banking, asset management and investor services, compensate Palestinians who have been directly affected by the settlements to which subsidiary Dexia Israel has provided mortgages or grants to Israeli settlers. He urged the firm to act based on the "Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
"Belgium and France have an explicit duty to take appropriate action in the face of human rights abuses, including activities of its subsidiary, Dexia Israel, that support the growth of settlements. By failing to do so, these States are not fulfilling their duties under human rights treaties," Falk stressed.
He also recommended that Israel immediately end its discriminatory policies and practices that serve to deny Palestinians their rightful share of water resources in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
"In particular," he urged, "Israel must cease the demolition of water collection facilities, including wells and water tanks, on the pretext that they operate without valid permits." (end) sj

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