The United Nations Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Occupied Palestinian Territory said yesterday that the global community must urgently explore new ways of ensuring Israel’s compliance with international law.
Former UN Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay addressed the Human Rights Council with the commission’s first report on the occupied Palestinian territories and Israel.
“It is our strong view too that the continued occupation of the Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem and Gaza, the 15-year blockade of Gaza, and longstanding discrimination within Israel are all linked and cannot be looked at in isolation,” she said.
Given a clear refusal by Israel to take concrete measures to implement the findings and recommendations of past commissions, the international community must urgently explore new ways of ensuring compliance with international law.
The former South African jurist said the international community had failed to take meaningful measures to ensure Israel’s compliance with international law and influence it to bring an end to the occupation.
Pillay said the state of “perpetual occupation” of Palestine and longstanding discrimination in both Israel and Palestine is a core underlying root cause of the ongoing violence.
“Threats of forced displacement, demolitions, settlement construction and expansion, settler violence and the blockade of Gaza have all contributed to and will continue to contribute to cycles of violence,” said the former rights chief.
She said the reality enduring for decades brings a general sense of despair and hopelessness within the Palestinian population in Palestine, Israel and the diaspora.
“They are left without hope of a better future that affords them their full range of human rights, without discrimination,” said Pillay.
The ongoing situation of occupation and discrimination, she explained, is used by Palestinian “duty-bearers” to justify their violations and abuses of international law, including the failure of the Palestinian Authority to hold legislative and presidential elections.