By Richard Falk
The present report considers developments relevant to the obligations of Israel under international law, as well as the situation of people living in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Emphasis is given to the cumulative impact of Israeli policies in the West Bank and East Jerusalem arising from prolonged occupation, which exhibits features of colonialism and apartheid, as well as transforming a de jure condition of occupation into a circumstance of de facto annexation.
These developments encroach on the inalienable Palestinian right of self-determination in fundamentally detrimental ways. Attention is also devoted to habitual concerns involving settlement growth in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, the problems posed by the continued construction of the separation wall, issues of collective punishment, and a variety of other human rights concerns, including concern over the health-related and other adverse impacts of the continuing blockade of the 1.5 million residents of Gaza, consideration of the "Freedom Flotilla" incident of 31 May 2010 and the continuing effort to assess whether Israel and the responsible Palestinian authorities have carried out adequate investigations of war crimes allegations arising from the Gaza conflict of 2008-2009.