Statement by Dr. Nabil Shaath, Adviser to the President for International Relations, on the Human Rights Council, Item 7 and the Database of Companies

July 04, 2019

The Question of Palestine has remained a failed test for the international community. In this sense, the United Nations has a special responsibility and we look at the discussions taking place under Item 7 of the Human Rights Council as an important opportunity to emphasize the necessity of putting an end to the over half a century of systematic Israeli violations of human rights and international law in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories.  

At a moment where Israel is advancing plans for further annexation of occupied territory and the Trump Administration is blatantly endorsing Israel’s colonial-settlement projects, a war crime under international law, the international community must take responsibility and adopt concrete measures to hold Israel accountable, protect the Palestinian people and preserve the prospects of a negotiated two-state solution on the 1967 border. The time is now. If Israel, supported by the United States and unchecked by the international community, continues on its path of colonial-settler expansion, the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination will be irreversibly denied.

We reiterate our call upon UN member states to engage in discussions under Item 7 and to make a public call for the implementation of HRC resolution 31/36, which includes the release of a database of companies involved with the Israeli occupation. While the documentation and condemnation of Israel’s abuses are certainly necessary, it is not enough. Action in the form of support for the database, and other measures in line with third state responsibility under international law, is a step in the direction of accountability.

Those who oppose Item 7 have not advanced the cause of peace, but rather have strengthened Israel, the occupying power, in its ongoing policies to deny the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. In other words, opposition to diplomatic action seeking accountability has transformed into collaboration with the perpetuation of the Israeli occupation and colonization of Palestinian land and the implementation of Apartheid.  

For those in the international community that claim a commitment to the two-state solution on the 1967 border, your commitment holds no weight without action.

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