Tagarchief: Human Rights Watch

CIDI ONTKENT ISRAELISCHE APARTHEID/ASTRID ESSED GEEFT CIDI VIRTUEEL PAK SLAAG

Image result for Destruction of Gaza/Images

MISDADEN VAN DE ISRAELISCHE BEZETTINGVERWOESTING VAN GAZA

BEZETTINGSTERREUR
foto Oda Hulsen Hebron 2 mei 2017/Verwijst naar foto van een Palestijnse jongen, die tegen de muur wordt gezet doorIsraelische soldaten, die hem toeriepen ”Where is your knife!”/Later vrijgelaten

NB Het is dus NIET de foto van een Palestijnse jongen, die bij de kraag wordt gegrepen

Foto van Oda Hulsen valt soms weg

Since late 2015, 249 Palestinians have been killed in Israel and the Palestinian territories [File: EPA]http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/01/palestinian-teen-killed-israeli-army-clashes-170116155810513.html

Image result for settlements/Images

BITTEREBIJPRODUCTEN VAN DE ISRAELISCHE BEZETTING:

ISRAELISCHE NEDERZETTINGEN IN DE BEZETTE PALESTIJNSEGEBIEDENILLEGAAL VOLGENS HET INTERNATIONAAL RECHT

An aerial shot of a housing community

The Israeli settlement of Maale Adumim in the occupied West Bank, with the Palestinian neighborhoods of occupied East Jerusalem in the background. © 2020 Reuters
https://www.hrw.org/news/2021/04/27/qa-threshold-crossed

CIDI ONTKENT ISRAELISCHE APARTHEID/ASTRID ESSED GEEFT CIDI VIRTUEEL PAK SLAAG

AANREDACTIE HET PAROOLOnderwerp: Cidi artikel ”Tendentieuze apartheidskritiek brengt Palestijnennergens”

Geachte Redactie,De walrus sprak:De tijd is daar
Om over allerlei te praten”Een schoen, een schip, een kandelaar,Of koningen ook liegenEn of de zee soms koken kanEn een biggetje kan vliegen.
Uit het Engels vertaald uit: THE WALRUS AND THE CARPENTERLEWIS CARROLL: ALICE IN WONDERLAND
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Walrus_and_the_Carpenter
[Vooraf:Zoals de Parool redactie kan zien, is mijn onderstaande commentaar cc aan het Cidi gemaild]

Geachte Redactie,
Zoals de Walrus in het onvergetelijke ”Alice in Wonderland”[1]  sprak,zeg ik:”Het is tijd.”
Meer dan tijd:Te ontmaskeren de wijze waarop het Cidi  tracht de misdadigheid van de Israelische bezettingsmacht tegenover het Palestijnse volk toe te dekken.Te ontmaskeren de manier waarop Cidi tracht de aandacht af te leiden van waarom het hier gaat:De Israelische apartheidspolitiek.En vooral te ontmaskeren datgene waarin het Cidi kampioen is:Niet ingaan op de inhoudelijke Israel kritiek.
De aanleiding van mijn schrijven?Het Cidi artikel in uw krant dd 7 mei 2021 van Cidi’s voorzittermevrouw H Luden, getiteld:”Tendentieuze apartheidskritiek brengt Palestijnen nergens” [2]Dit Cidi artikel is een kritiek op een op 20 april anno Domini doormevrouw D. Ball, voorzitter van DOCP geschreven artikel ”Nederland ismedeplichtig aan Israelische apartheid jegens Palestijnen. [3]
En begrijp mij niet verkeerd redactie:Iedereen mag kritiek hebben op dat artikel van mevrouw Ball,ook het Cidi:Maar het moet dan wel eerlijk, ter zake doend en goed beargumenteerd zijn.Dat is het Cidi stuk NIET!Het is tendentieus, onder de gordel, verdedigt Israel’s misdadenimpliciet en gaat niet serieus op argumentatie in.

AANDACHT AFLEIDEN:
In de inleiding tot het artikel schrijft Het Parool”Israël vergelijken met het apartheidsregime dat Zuid-Afrika ooit had, is misplaatst, stelt Hanna Luden, directeur van het Centrum Informatie en Documentatie Israël.”
Welnu, dat mag mevrouw Luden misplaatst vinden, maar waar zijn haar argumenten?

Wat Luden onder ”argumenten” tegen apartheidskarakter verstaat, zijn onder andere [ik citeer haar]t:”Een man schiet en verdwijnt in de menigte. Drie mensen raken gewond. De politie zoekt de dader, die een geladen wapen draagt. Drones worden ingezet voor de zoektocht.

Dit gebeurde begin deze week op de Westelijke Jordaanoever. De dader is vermoedelijk Palestijns, de slachtoffers zijn Joods. Gaat het hier om ‘onderdrukking’? [4]

De reactie van de Israelische politie op zich  heeft niets met apartheid te maken, dat weet het Cidi heel goed en is dan ook ridicuul te noemen als ontkrachting van Israel als apartheidsstaat.

Evenals de nonsens, dat er geen apartheid zou zijn, omdat Israelische mensenrechtenorganisaties die in Israel kunnen benoemen. [5]

Twee [bovenstaande] citaten met als doel:

De aandacht af te leiden van de 

echte apartheid waaraan Israel zich schuldig maakt.

Verder schrijft Luden:

”De Arabische Israëli’s schromen niet in het openbaar de staat te bekritiseren of zelfs hun afwijzing van het Joodse karakter van Is­raël te uiten. Hoezo apartheid?” [6]

Denkt Cidi zo slim te zijn?

Lukt niet

Want dat heeft Human Rights Watch ook niet beweerd!

Ik citeer HRW [Human Rights Watch] in haar

”Q & A: A Treshold Crossed”

”There is no question that, within the Green Line, Palestinians have more rights. These rights are a major difference between the plight of Palestinians in Israel and the OPT.” [7]

Hier dus geen beschuldiging van apartheid,

wat Israel zelf aangaat.

Wel benoemt Human Rights de aangetoonde

discriminatie van ”Israelische Arabieren” in

Israel zelf:

Ik citeer:

”Even in Israel, Palestinians face systematic discrimination, including on where they can live and in the quality of the schools they attend” [8]

Binnen Israel zelf [zonder de Bezette Gebieden dus] is er wel dus degelijk sprake van discriminatie, maar apartheid wordt niet genoemd.

Ik citeer HRW opnieuw voor het hardleerse Cidi:

”We found the three elements of the crime of apartheid all come together in the OPT, pursuant to a single Israeli government policy. That policy is to maintain the domination of Jewish Israelis over Palestinians from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. In the OPT, that intent has been coupled with systematic oppression and inhumane acts committed against Palestinians living there.” [9]

Apartheid in de Bezette Palestijnse Gebieden dus.

Niets over ”Israelische Arabieren” [idiote term, het zou juist ”Arabische Israeli’s moeten zijn, gezien het feit, dat ”historisch Palestina” er eerder was dan Israel [10]

Een nul dus voor Astrid Essed versus het Cidi [HAHAHA]

BAGATELLISERING BEZETTING EN ONDERDRUKKING:

Waarom schrijft Luden trouwens ”Westelijke Jordaanoever” en niet wat het in werkelijkheid is?

BEZETTE Westelijke Jordaanoever?

Maar dan zou ze moeten refereren aan de systematische onderdrukking en mensenrechtenschendingen, waaraan het

Palestijnse volk in de Bezette Gebieden al vanaf 1967 blootstaat [11]

Niets over de illegaliteit van de in de Bezette Gebieden

gebouwde nederzettingen, niets over de settlerterreur [12]

Niets over de systematische folteringen [13]

Dit alles wordt afgedaan met het zinnetje van mevrouw Luden

”De situatie van de Palestijnen op de Westelijke Jordaanoever is lastig en wordt vaak simplistisch weergegeven…” [14]

DAT bedoel ik nu met de toedekking van de misdadigheid

van de Israelische bezettingsmacht door het Cidi!

Trouwens, Israel is weer lekker bezig he?

Bij de ”confrontaties” [lees: Israelische politie, die

het vuur opent op ongewapenden] tussen de Israelische politie en gelovigen [je kunt in bezet Oost-Jeruzalem tijdens je Heilige Maand Ramadan niet eens rustig bidden] zijn er 205 gewonden gevallen!

Aanleiding:

De zoveelste etnische zuivering van Palestijnse families,

die plaats moeten maken voor kolonisten-dieven [huis en

landroof is immers diefstal!] [15]

Maar laten we niet afdwalen, want we hebben het hier over die Israelische apartheid, die volgens het Cidi niet bestaat:

Want mevrouw Luden schrijft hierover o.a.

”Met grote woorden emotie opwekken is een beproefde techniek. Zo wordt Israël herhaaldelijk beschuldigd van apartheid, nu door HRW. De macht kritisch volgen is van groot belang, zeker in situaties van oorlog en bezetting. Ook Israël moet worden onderworpen aan pittige inhoudelijke kritiek. Maar door het geheel te ‘verpakken’ onder de term ‘apartheid’ is HRW uit op sensatie, niet op oplossingen.”

Het leuke aan het Cidi [hier voorzitter mevrouw Luden] is, dat de grote woorden, die zij zelf gebruikt, de sensatie waar zij zelf op uit is, op anderen worden geprojecteerd, in casu [Latijn: in dit geval] Human Rights Watch.

Want duidelijk is, dat het bij Cidi bij ”grote woorden” blijft:

Want natuurlijk mag mevrouw Luden dat beweren, maar waar is haar inhoudelijke onderbouwing, waaruit blijkt, dat Human Rights Watch ”’grote woorden” gebruikt en ”op sensatie” uit is?

Nergens uit haar stuk blijkt dat.

Mevrouw Luden schijnt zich niet te realiseren, dat Human Rights Watch niet uit een stel kleuters bestaat, die net leren praten en hun omgeving verkennen en de portee [draagwijdte] van hun woorden en daden nog niet begrijpen.

Human Rights Watch is een gerennommeerde mensenrechtenorganisatie, die een 217 tellend gedegen rapport over de Israelische apartheidspolitiek geschreven heeft [16], compleet met definities, internationale verdragen en wat dies meer zij.

Mevrouw Luden mag daar best kritiek op hebben, maar dan 

onderbouwd.

En dat wordt hier [Cidi like] niet gedaan!

APARTHEID/MILITAIRE RECHTBANK IN DE BEZETTE GEBIEDEN

Een van de beruchtste voorbeelden van de Israelische

apartheid in de Bezette Gebieden is het feit, dat er twee soorten rechtssystemen zijn:

Voor de Palestijnen in de Bezette Gebieden de Militaire Rechtbank, Joodse Israeli’s, inclusief de kolonisten in

bezet gebied, vallen onder de burgerlijke rechtbank. 

Uitgebreid gedocumenteerd

Lees maar [17]

Nu is het sowieso absurd, burgers voor een militaire rechtbank te brengen, maar dit verschil tussen bevolkingsgroepen is discriminerend en ronduit apartheid.

Want natuurlijk hebben Palestijnse burgers voor de Militaire Rechtbank minder rechten dan Joden bij de burgerlijke rechtbank.

Zie de oprechte Israelische mensenrechtenorganisatie

Btselem en anderen [18]

Ik kan meer voorbeelden van de Israelische apartheid noemen.

Ik laat het hierbij.

Wel verwijs ik naar het artikel van mevrouw Ballout, dat daar uitgebreider op in gaat. [19]

TENSLOTTE

Zo gaat het Cidi dus te werk:

Het aanhalen van voorbeelden, die kant noch wal raken,

omdat ze [zoals Cidi heel goed weet] niets met apartheid te maken hebben.

Niet inhoudelijk ingaan op de uitgebreid gedocumenteerde kritiek van Human Rights Watch, niet inhoudelijk ingaan op

het artikel van mevrouw Ballout, maar ondertussen wel met

modder gooien:

Human Rights zou ”grote woorden” gebruiken, terwijl ze

het begrip ”apartheid” helder definieert in haar rapport, zij

zou op ”sensatie” uit zijn, allemaal zaken, die aan het Cidi kunnen worden toegeschreven.

In een woord:

Kwaadaardige politieke projectie

Een zin van mevrouw Luden wekte bij mij vooral de

lachlust op:

Ik citeer haar

”Maar door het geheel te ‘verpakken’ onder de term ‘apartheid’ is HRW uit op sensatie, niet op oplossingen.” [20]

HAHAHA!

Redactie, het is niet Human Rights Watch, die voor oplossingen moet zorgen, maar bezettings en roofstaat

Israel, die zowat alles gedaan heeft, dat internationaalrechtelijk fout is.

Ik roep het Cidi dan ook op, als Fans van bezettingsstaat

Israel, Israel eraan te herinneren, dat het tijd wordt het

Internationaal Recht na te leven:

Opheffing bezetting van de Palestijnse gebieden

Ontmanteling van alle in bezet gebied gestichte nederzettingen, die allemaal in strijd zijn met het Internationaal Recht.

Het afbreken van de Muur, volgens de Advisory Opinion

van het Internationaal Gerechtshof [21]

Erkenning van het Recht op Terugkeer van de Palestijnse

vluchtelingen, ooit verdreven door Israel in  de oorlog van 1948 [22]

Zolang aan deze eisen niet is voldaan, is geen oplossing

van vreedzaam samenleven mogelijk.

En zullen de Palestijnen zich al dan niet gewapend [hun recht volgens het Internationaal Recht] [23] blijven

verzetten tegen Israel’s onderdrukking en bezettingsterreur.

Tot zover mijn commentaar op het door mij gewraakte

Cidi artikel.

AAN DE PAROOL REDACTIE

Nog even dit:

Het Parool heeft een artikel van mevrouw Ballout gepubliceerd en natuurlijk heeft de pro Israel Partij, het

Cidi, het recht om te reageren, zoals ze ook hebben gedaan.’

Toch wil ik de Parool redactie oproepen, in de toekomst geen Cidi stukken te plaatsen, die kant noch wal raken, omdat zij niet inhoudelijk ingaan op wat zij willen

bekritiseren.

Dan wordt het moddergooierij en onsportieve kritiek.

Dat zal het niveau van journalistiek alleen maar ten goede komen.

Vriendelijke groeten

Astrid Essed

Amsterdam 

NOTEN

ZIE IN VERBAND MET DE LENGTE VAN DE NOTEN

NOTEN 1 T/M 23

OF

https://www.dewereldmorgen.be/community/noten-1-t-m-23-bij-brief-aan-het-parool-over-artikel-cidi/

ZIE OOK

UITGESCHREVEN NOTEN, DEZELFDE ALS IN 

DE LINKS HIERBOVEN [1]

WIKIPEDIAALICE’S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alice%27s_Adventures_in_Wonderland

[2]
HET PAROOLTENDENTIEUZE APARTHEIDSKRITIEK BRENGT PALESTIJNEN NERGENS
https://www.parool.nl/columns-opinie/opinie-tendentieuze-apartheidskritiek-brengt-palestijnen-nergens~b936d7fe/

Israël vergelijken met het apartheidsregime dat Zuid-Afrika ooit had, is misplaatst, stelt Hanna Luden, directeur van het Centrum Informatie en Documentatie Israël.

Een man schiet en verdwijnt in de menigte. Drie mensen raken gewond. De politie zoekt de dader, die een geladen wapen draagt. Drones worden ingezet voor de zoektocht.

Dit gebeurde begin deze week op de Westelijke Jordaanoever. De dader is vermoedelijk Palestijns, de slachtoffers zijn Joods. Gaat het hier om ‘onderdrukking’? Volgens Human Rights Watch (HRW) wel. Ook wordt Israël verweten wapens te verkopen ‘die uitgetest zijn op Palestijnen’, zo stond in het opiniestuk van Dorien Ballout van afgelopen zaterdag. Het gaat hier om wapens zoals de Iron Dome (IJzeren Koepel) – het miljoenenwapen dat door Israël is ontworpen om raketten vanuit de Gazastrip te onderscheppen voordat ze schade kunnen aanrichten. Nog afgelopen week was Israël doelwit van een rakettenregen.

Het zijn slechts twee voorbeelden van de Isra­elische wapenindustrie die overheden in staat stellen de veiligheid te garanderen met minder machtsvertoon van politie en militairen.

Met grote woorden emotie opwekken is een beproefde techniek. Zo wordt Israël herhaaldelijk beschuldigd van apartheid, nu door HRW. De macht kritisch volgen is van groot belang, zeker in situaties van oorlog en bezetting. Ook Israël moet worden onderworpen aan pittige inhoudelijke kritiek. Maar door het geheel te ‘verpakken’ onder de term ‘apartheid’ is HRW uit op sensatie, niet op oplossingen.

Godsdienstvrijheid

Ironisch genoeg baseert HRW haar rapport op materiaal van mensenrechtenorganisaties in Israël zelf die terecht problemen aankaarten, maar die in een apartheidsstaat – zoals in Zuid-Afrika het geval was – niet hadden kunnen bestaan. Hetzelfde geldt voor de godsdienstvrijheid voor de vele religieuze richtingen in een land dat is opgericht door en voor het Joodse volk, een eiland in een regio die onder intolerantie en onderdrukking gebukt gaat.

Neem bijvoorbeeld de bewering dat de Israëlische Arabieren onder apartheid leven. Na de twee bloedige jaren van oorlog in 1947-1948, die tot de stichting van de Joodse staat hebben geleid, werden ze onder militair bewind gesteld, een logische maatregel na die oorlog. Inmiddels zijn zij zelfbewuste Israëlische burgers met alle burgerrechten, en met een stevige vertegenwoordiging in het Israëlische parlement – de Knesset.

De Arabische Israëli’s schromen niet in het openbaar de staat te bekritiseren of zelfs hun afwijzing van het Joodse karakter van Is­raël te uiten. Hoezo apartheid? Saillant detail: de islamitische partij Ra’am is nu kingmaker in de coalitieonderhandelingen in Israël.

De situatie van de Palestijnen op de Westelijke Jordaanoever is lastig en wordt vaak simplistisch weergegeven. Sinds de Osloakkoorden draagt de Palestijnse Autoriteit alle verantwoordelijkheid voor het besturen van de Palestijnen. Zij bepalen wie er in hun gebieden mag komen en er mag wonen.

Bloedig intern confict

Israëlische Joden mogen bijvoorbeeld niet in gebieden van de Palestijnse Autoriteit komen en Palestijnen die vastgoed aan Israëli’s verkopen riskeren zelfs de doodstraf. In Gaza is de situatie na een bloedig intern conflict nóg moeilijker. Terreurgroep Hamas is daar de baas en voert oorlog met Israël, dat net als Egypte de grenzen met Gaza streng bewaakt.

De meeste Palestijnen steunen de gratuite oproepen tot boycot niet. Zij willen voor hun gezinnen zorgen en een vredig leven leiden. Net als wij verwachten zij dat hun leiders hiervoor zorgen. Helaas zien ook zij dat hun leiders niet worden gedreven door de economische ontwikkelingen en hun welzijn, maar door machtshonger en geldzucht.

De problemen rond het conflict tussen Israël en de Palestijnen zijn een serieuze kwestie en mogen niet worden gereduceerd tot oneliners. De belangen van de inwoners worden alleen gediend door serieuze onderhandelingen, uitgaande van bereidheid aan beide zijden tot pijnlijke compromissen te komen. Israël als enige boosdoener aanwijzen, zal de Palestijnen het minst helpen.

EINDE ARTIKEL

[3]HET PAROOLOPINIE: NEDERLAND IS MEDEPLICHTIG AAN APARTHEID JEGENS PALESTIJNEN20 APRIL 2021
https://www.parool.nl/columns-opinie/opinie-nederland-is-medeplichtig-aan-israelische-apartheid-jegens-palestijnen~b306f2fe/

Israël maakt zich schuldig aan apartheid, zegt Human Rights Watch. Dorien Ballout schrijft dat het tijd wordt dat Nederland Israël gaat boycotten zoals bij Zuid-Afrika is gebeurd.

Palestijnen proberen het ons al decennialang duidelijk te maken. Juridische experts en mensenrechtenorganisaties zijn het er ook al geruime tijd over eens. En nu noemt ook het toonaangevende Human Rights Watch het beestje bij de naam: Israël maakt zich jegens Palestijnen schuldig aan apartheid.

En niet alleen in de bezette gebieden, maar in het gehele gebied van de Jordaan tot aan de Middellandse Zee, inclusief Gaza. Daarmee begaat Israël volgens het internationaal recht misdaden tegen de menselijkheid.

Made in Israel

In 1948 voerde de regering van Zuid-Afrika officieel de Apartheid in – na een geschiedenis van eeuwen kolonisatie, slavenhandel en slavernij met een hoofdrol voor Nederland, waar het woord apartheid vandaan komt. De Zuid-Afrikaanse apartheid kenmerkte zich onder meer door vestigingskolonialisme en de gedwongen verplaatsing van de oorspronkelijke bevolking, de opdeling van gekoloniseerden in verschillende groepen met verschillende rechten, ernstige bewegingsbeperkingen en gewelddadige onderdrukking.

Dit zijn allemaal kenmerken die ook opgaan voor het hedendaagse Israëlische regime en hun omgang met het Palestijnse volk, zowel in Israël zelf als in de bezette gebieden.

In 1962 stelde de Verenigde Naties de internationale boycot van Zuid-Afrika in. Na een diplomatieke en economische boycot, volgde ook een wapenembargo. Een aantal landen stelde ook een culturele en academische boycot in.

Israël speelde een rol bij het ontduiken van de boycot. Zuid-Afrikaanse producten werden naar Israël verscheept, daar minimaal bewerkt en vervolgens met een ‘made in Israel’-label verkocht aan Europa en de VS. Beide landen werkten nauw samen op het gebied van veiligheid, nucleaire zaken, geheime diensten en de handel in wapens en wapensystemen.

In 1994 schafte Zuid-Afrika onder druk van de boycot en het daarmee gepaard gaande isolement apartheid af, waarna de internationale sancties werden opgeheven.

Afkeurende woorden

In 1948 werd de staat Israël gesticht en werden de Palestijnen die niet waren vermoord of verdreven (minder dan 20 procent) onder militair bewind gesteld. Dat omvatte strikte controle van beweging en organisatie van de Palestijnen, onderdrukking van alle pogingen tot verzet en discriminatie op alle gebieden van het leven. De resterende 22 procent van Palestina (Westoever en Gazastrook) werd in juni 1967 onderworpen aan de militaire bezetting door Israël.

In schril contrast met de houding jegens apartheid in Zuid-Afrika, heeft de internationale gemeenschap het totaal laten afweten als het gaat om de ontmanteling van apartheid in Israël. De VS steunt Israël door dik en dun en de Europese Unie neemt grotendeels de (financiële) plichten van de bezettende macht op de Westelijke Jordaanoever van Israël over. Daarnaast zijn de banden met Israël op het gebied van handel, militaire samenwerking en de zogenaamde veiligheidsindustrie zeer nauw. Behalve wat afkeurende woorden en vrijblijvende regels omtrent etikettering van nederzettingenproducten, legt de Europese Unie Israël geen strobreed in de weg.

Booking.com

En zo kan het dat vluchtelingen bij de Europese grenzen worden tegengehouden door Israëlische drones, uitgetest op Palestijnen. En dat een bedrijf als Palm Fruits BV doodleuk de Europese regelgeving ontduikt en een Nederlandse streepjescode plakt op dadels uit illegale nederzettingen. En dat een Nederlands bedrijf als Booking.com op de zwarte lijst van de VN komt te staan van bedrijven die bijdragen aan het voortduren van de bezetting. En dat PFZW de pensioenpremies van Nederlands zorgpersoneel belegt in Israëlische banken die geld verdienen aan de bouw van illegale nederzettingen. Of dat het Nederlandse leger Israëlische wapens koopt die zijn uitgetest op Palestijnen.

In de regio Amsterdam mogen bussen rondrijden van het bedrijf Egged/EBS dat openbaar vervoer verzorgt exclusief voor illegale kolonisten, maar verboden voor Palestijnen. En de voormalige burgemeester moest concluderen dat niet gegarandeerd kan worden dat projecten in het kader van de samenwerking met Tel Aviv niet ten gunste komen van Israëls nederzettingenbeleid, ondanks de strikte voorwaarden.

Geconfronteerd met het systeem van verstikkende apartheid, de almaar afnemende beweegruimte, de toenemende onderdrukking, het nimmer aflatende geweld, en het uitblijven van optreden door de internationale gemeenschap daartegen, hebben 171 Palestijnse maatschappelijke organisaties in 2005 een oproep aan de wereld gedaan tot vreedzaam verzet tegen Israël middels een omvattende campagne van boycot, desinvesteren en sancties.

Human Rights Watch doet nu in zijn rapport ook een aantal aanbevelingen voor gerichte sancties en het afhankelijk stellen van investeringen, handel en samenwerking van concrete stappen door Israël om de misdaden tegen de menselijkheid te beëindigen. Dat is precies waar wij, de BDS-beweging, al jaren voor pleiten. Het wordt tijd dat Nederland en de internationale gemeenschap hun medeplichtigheid beëindigen en de voorgestelde maatregelen gaan toepassen.

EINDE ARTIKEL

[4]
HET PAROOLTENDENTIEUZE APARTHEIDSKRITIEK BRENGT PALESTIJNEN NERGENS
https://www.parool.nl/columns-opinie/opinie-tendentieuze-apartheidskritiek-brengt-palestijnen-nergens~b936d7fe/

[5]
HET PAROOLTENDENTIEUZE APARTHEIDSKRITIEK BRENGT PALESTIJNEN NERGENS
https://www.parool.nl/columns-opinie/opinie-tendentieuze-apartheidskritiek-brengt-palestijnen-nergens~b936d7fe/

[6]
HET PAROOLTENDENTIEUZE APARTHEIDSKRITIEK BRENGT PALESTIJNEN NERGENS
https://www.parool.nl/columns-opinie/opinie-tendentieuze-apartheidskritiek-brengt-palestijnen-nergens~b936d7fe/

[7]
[QUESTION] 6 
HOW CAN YOU ACCUSE ISRAEL OF APARTHEID WHEN ISRAELIVOTE IN NATIONAL ELECTIONS, HAVE PASSPORTS, MOVE FREELY,AND SERVE IN THE KNESSET?
HUMAN RIGHTS WATCHQ & A: A TRESHOLD CROSSEDISRAELI AUTHORITIES AND THE CRIME OF APARTHEIDAND PERSECUTION
https://www.hrw.org/news/2021/04/27/qa-threshold-crossed#How_can_you

ORIGINELE BRON

HUMAN RIGHTS WATCHQ & A: A TRESHOLD CROSSEDISRAELI AUTHORITIES AND THE CRIME OF APARTHEIDAND PERSECUTION
https://www.hrw.org/news/2021/04/27/qa-threshold-crossed

[8]

[QUESTION] 6 
HOW CAN YOU ACCUSE ISRAEL OF APARTHEID WHEN ISRAELIVOTE IN NATIONAL ELECTIONS, HAVE PASSPORTS, MOVE FREELY,AND SERVE IN THE KNESSET?
HUMAN RIGHTS WATCHQ & A: A TRESHOLD CROSSEDISRAELI AUTHORITIES AND THE CRIME OF APARTHEIDAND PERSECUTION
https://www.hrw.org/news/2021/04/27/qa-threshold-crossed#How_can_you

ORIGINELE BRON

HUMAN RIGHTS WATCHQ & A: A TRESHOLD CROSSEDISRAELI AUTHORITIES AND THE CRIME OF APARTHEIDAND PERSECUTION
https://www.hrw.org/news/2021/04/27/qa-threshold-crossed

[9]

”We found the three elements of the crime of apartheid all come together in the OPT, pursuant to a single Israeli government policy. That policy is to maintain the domination of Jewish Israelis over Palestinians from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. In the OPT, that intent has been coupled with systematic oppression and inhumane acts committed against Palestinians living there.”

[QUESTION] 7ARE YOU SAYING THAT THERE IS APARTHEIDWITHIN THE GREEN LINE , THE INTERNATIONALLY RECOGNIZED BORDERS OFTHE STATE OF ISRAEL?OR ONLY IN THE WEST BANK AND GAZA?
HUMAN RIGHTS WATCHQ & A: A TRESHOLD CROSSEDISRAELI AUTHORITIES AND THE CRIME OF APARTHEIDAND PERSECUTION

https://www.hrw.org/news/2021/04/27/qa-threshold-crossed#Are_you_saying

[10]

CIVIS MUNDI

ZWEEDSE FOTOGRAAF WINT WORLD PRESS PHOTO 2012.

MISDADEN ISRAELISCHE POLITIEK IN BEELD GEBRACHT

ASTRID ESSED

https://www.civismundi.nl/?p=artikel&aid=2024

[11]

https://www.btselem.org/

CIVIS MUNDI

ZWEEDSE FOTOGRAAF WINT WORLD PRESS PHOTO 2012.

MISDADEN ISRAELISCHE POLITIEK IN BEELD GEBRACHT

ASTRID ESSED

https://www.civismundi.nl/?p=artikel&aid=2024

[12]

ILLEGALITEIT VAN DE NEDERZETTINGEN EN KOLONISTENTERREUR

ZIE NOTEN 5 EN 6 UIT ARTIKEL:

OV UTRECHT STEUNT ILLEGALE ISRAELISCHE NEDERZETTINGEN/

SAMENWERKING MET CAF

ASTRID ESSED

19 APRIL 2021

[13]

BTSELEM.ORG

TORTURE AND ABUSE IN INTERROGATION

https://www.btselem.org/topic/torture[14]

HET PAROOLTENDENTIEUZE APARTHEIDSKRITIEK BRENGT PALESTIJNEN NERGENS
https://www.parool.nl/columns-opinie/opinie-tendentieuze-apartheidskritiek-brengt-palestijnen-nergens~b936d7fe/

[15]

NOSGEWONDEN BIJ CONFRONTATIES TUSSEN ISRAELISCHEPOLITIE EN GELOVIGEN BIJ MOSKEE JERUZALEM
https://nos.nl/artikel/2379817-gewonden-bij-confrontaties-tussen-israelische-politie-en-gelovigen-bij-moskee-jeruzalem

In Jeruzalem is het na het laatste vrijdaggebed van de ramadan tot confrontaties gekomen tussen de Israëlische politie en gelovigen. Daarbij zijn volgens de hulporganisatie Rode Halve Maan 205 Palestijnen gewond geraakt, van wie er 108 in het ziekenhuis behandeld zijn. Volgens Israël hebben ook 17 agenten verwondingen opgelopen.

Tienduizenden moslims waren voor het vrijdaggebed naar de Al-Aqsamoskee gekomen, die geldt als een van de heiligste plekken voor moslims. De Tempelberg waarop de moskee ligt is in het jodendom de heiligste plaats.

Na de gebeden begon een demonstratie tegen de uitzetting van Palestijnse families in een wijk in Oost-Jeruzalem. In de avond keerden betogers zich tegen de politie en gooiden onder meer met stenen en flessen.

De meeste Palestijnse gewonden hebben verwondingen aan hun gezicht en ogen door de rubberkogels en de scherven van flitsgranaten. Volgens de Rode Halve Maan verloor iemand een oog, en hebben twee mensen ernstige hoofdwonden.

Van de 17 gewonde Israëlische agenten moest ongeveer de helft naar het ziekenhuis voor behandeling, aldus een woordvoerster. Ze zei dat Israël met harde hand zou reageren op verdere ongeregeldheden en rellen.

Eerder op de dag demonstreerden naar schatting 70.000 Palestijnen bij de Al-Aqsamoskee tegen de huisuitzettingen in Oost-Jeruzalem. Na het avondgebed sloeg de vlam in de pan. Ook op andere plekken in de stad kwam het tot botsingen.

‘Niet met vuur spelen”

De Palestijnse president Mahmoud Abbas zegt Israël verantwoordelijk te houden voor de escalatie en roept de VN-Veiligheidsraad op bijeen te komen over de kwestie. De leider van Hamas, Ismael Haniyeh, waarschuwt de Israëlische premier Benjamin Netanyahu “niet met vuur te spelen”.

Hamas, een organisatie die door het Westen als terreurgroep wordt gezien, mengde zich de afgelopen weken al meermaals in de oplopende spanningen. Volgens de rivaliserende Palestijnse beweging Islamitische Jihad kan Israël elk moment een reactie verwachten op de gebeurtenissen van gisteren.

Nieuwe demonstraties

Vanuit de de rest van de wereld wordt ook gereageerd op de escalatie in Jeruzalem. De Verenigde Staten zeggen ernstig bezorgd te zijn over de verhoogde spanningen en roepen op tot kalmte. Onder meer de Europese Unie en verschillende Arabische landen uitten hun verontrusting over de mogelijke huisuitzettingen in de stad.

Het is al wekenlang onrustig in Jeruzalem en op de bezette Westelijke Jordaanoever. Gisterochtend meldde Israël nog dat bij een aanval op een Israëlische post twee Palestijnse mannen werden gedood. Volgens de autoriteiten hadden ze het vuur geopend op Israëlische ordetroepen.

Vandaag worden op verschillende plekken nieuwe demonstraties verwacht. Ook zetten Israëliërs en Palestijnen zich schrap voor morgenavond, als de heiligste avond van de ramadan samenvalt met de Israëlische feestdag Jeruzalemdag. Maandag doet de Israëlische rechtbank naar verwachting uitspraak over de huisuitzettingen.

EINDE NOS ARTIKEL
THE RIGHTS FORUMESCALATIE IN OOST JERUZALEM HOUDT GROTE RISICO’S IN
https://rightsforum.org/nieuws/escalatie-in-oost-jeruzalem-houdt-grote-risicos-in/

De verdrijving van Palestijnse inwoners, het permanente Israëlisch geweld en andere factoren hebben in Oost-Jeruzalem geleid tot een explosieve situatie, die zich inmiddels tot ver buiten de stad uitstrekt. Decennia van kolonisering hebben een rampzalige situatie opgeleverd.

De afgelopen dagen is in Oost-Jeruzalem de spanning geëscaleerd die zich afgelopen weken heeft opgebouwd tussen de Israëlische autoriteiten, politie, groepen rechtse nationalisten en kolonisten enerzijds, en de lokale Palestijnse bevolking anderzijds. Vrijdag-, zaterdag- en zondagavond, en ook al daarvoor, vonden harde botsingen plaats in de wijk Sheikh Jarrah, bij de Damascuspoort en in andere delen van de Oude Stad.

Op media zoals Middle East Eye, dat eigen verslaggevers ter plaatse heeft, is een aaneenschakeling te zien van video’s waarin zwaar bewapende Israëlische troepen grof geweld gebruiken tegen Palestijnen, die vanwege het einde van de vastenmaand Ramadan juist massaal bijeenkomen. Vrijdag bestormden Israëlische troepen zelfs de voor moslims heilige Al-Aqsa-moskee. Aan Palestijnse zijde werden circa 290 gewonden gemeld, van wie er ruim honderd in ziekenhuizen moesten worden opgenomen. Ook 18 Israëlische politieagenten raakten gewond. Die aantallen liepen zondagavond verder op.

Sheikh Jarrah

De belangrijkste aanleiding tot de onlusten ligt in de wijk Sheikh Jarrah, even ten noorden van de Oude Stad, waar vier Palestijnse families acuut op straat dreigen te worden gezet ten gunste van Israëlische kolonisten. In de wijk wacht in totaal 78 families dit lot. Simultaan vindt hetzelfde proces van huisuitzettingen plaats in andere wijken van Oost-Jeruzalem, waaronder Silwan. In een eerder artikel beschreven wij een aantal concrete voorbeelden, onder meer in Sheikh Jarrah.

De Palestijnse families in Sheikh Jarrah maken deel uit van (nazaten van) de circa 750 duizend Palestijnen die in 1947-48 door Joodse milities op de vlucht werden gejaagd of verdreven uit hun woonplaatsen binnen het huidige Israël. Nadat Israël hen het recht van terugkeer naar hun woonplaatsen en bezittingen ontzegde, werden 28 families in 1956 gehuisvest in het onder Jordaans gezag staande Palestijnse Oost-Jeruzalem, waar de VN-organisatie UNRWA de bouw van woningen faciliteerde op door Jordanië beschikbaar gesteld land. Het is deze, sindsdien toegenomen, gemeenschap die nu in Sheikh Jarrah uit haar huizen dreigt te worden gezet.

Joodse meerderheid

Cruciaal hierin was de bezetting van Oost-Jeruzalem, samen met de Westoever en Gaza, door Israël in 1967. Die vormde het startschot van de Israëlische politiek om in Oost-Jeruzalem een ‘Joodse meerderheid’ tot stand te brengen. Sindsdien wordt het stadsdeel agressief gekoloniseerd. Israël heeft intussen ruim 225 duizend burgers naar Oost-Jeruzalem overgebracht (cijfers 2019).

Daarnaast worden Palestijnse inwoners door Israël op alle denkbare manieren de stad uitgedreven: door het intrekken van vergunningen, landconfiscatie, huisuitzettingen, afbraak van woningen, en de aanleg van parken en archeologische zones op Palestijns land of tussen Palestijnse gemeenschappen, die zich daardoor niet kunnen uitbreiden. Per 2017 was ruim 14 duizend Palestijnen het inwonerschap van Oost-Jeruzalem ontnomen, en waren ruim tweeduizend Palestijnse woningen gesloopt. Het huidige aantal Palestijnse inwoners van Oost-Jeruzalem bedraagt circa 350 duizend.

De huisuitzetttingen in Sheikh Jarrah, Silwan en andere wijken passen in deze praktijk van etnische zuivering, die tot doel heeft het Palestijnse deel van de bevolking van Jeruzalem te vervangen door Joods-Israëlische kolonisten. Daarover wordt niet geheimzinnig gedaan: in een video legt een woordvoerder van de Israëlische kolonisten in Sheikh Jarrah uit hoe dat proces in zijn werk gaat, en erkent hij volmondig dat dit neerkomt op verdrijving van de Palestijnen. Een andere video toont een kolonist die het stelen van een Palestijns huis legitimeert met de opmerking dat anders een ander dat wel zal doen.

Israëlisch ‘recht’

Daartoe wordt gebruik gemaakt van Israëlische wetgeving, die buiten de eigen grenzen wordt toegepast op bezet Palestijns gebied. Zaterdag werd Israël door de Hoge VN-Commissaris voor de Mensenrechten gewezen op de ondeugdelijkheid van die constructie, en gewaarschuwd dat op Oost-Jeruzalem het internationaal recht van toepassing is, waarbinnen de Israëlische kolonisering als mogelijke oorlogsmisdaad geldt, en acties als huisuitzettingen strikt verboden zijn. Als bezettingsmacht is Israël verantwoordelijk voor het welzijn van de lokale bevolking.

De door Israël gebruikte wetgeving is een amendement op de zogenoemde Absentee Property Law, waarmee Israël in 1950 al het land en de bezittingen confisqueerde van de ‘absente’ Palestijnse eigenaren – de 750 duizend verdreven en gevluchte Palestijnen die tegelijkertijd het recht van terugkeer werd onthouden. Dit nadat de bezittingen van 600 duizend Palestijnen al in 1948 in een nationale plundertocht door Joden geroofd waren, zoals verleden jaar na Israëlisch onderzoek kwam vast te staan.

Nadat Israël in 1967 Oost-Jeruzalem en de overige Palestijnse gebieden bezette, werd de Israëlische wet in 1970 uitgebreid met een amendement dat (uitsluitend) Joden het recht geeft om in bezet Oost-Jeruzalem land en onroerend goed op te eisen dat voor 1948 Joods bezit was. De wet wordt vervolgens afgedwongen door het Israëlische juridische systeem van toepassing te verklaren op bezet gebied, wat de Palestijnen kansloos maakt, zelfs al kunnen die hun eigendomsrecht aantonen.

Kapot geprocedeerd

Met toepassing van het amendement kende Israël het eigendom van het land waarop de bedreigde families in Sheikh Jarrah wonen in 1972 toe aan twee Joodse organisaties, die het in de jaren negentig doorverkochten aan de private kolonistenorganisatie Nahalat Shimon International, een in de VS geregistreerd bedrijf met onbekende geldschieters. Het bedrijf diende al in 2009 een plan in bij het Israëlische gemeentebestuur van Jeruzalem voor de vestiging van een nieuwe Joodse kolonie van tweehonderd woningen in Sheikh Jarrah, waarvoor tenminste vijfhonderd Palestijnen het veld dienen te ruimen.

De door de kolonisten van Nahalat Shimon gevolgde strategie loopt via de Israëlische rechter. De Palestijnse eigenaren worden jaren achtereen letterlijk kapot geprocedeerd, tot aan het Israëlische Hooggerechtshof toe. Dat gaf de vier bedreigde Palestijnse families op 2 mei jl. vier dagen de tijd om met de kolonisten tot een vergelijk te komen, wat door de Palestijnen rigoreus werd afgewezen. Daarop wees het hof vandaag aan voor een besluit, waarop het echter zondag terugkwam: de zaak is voorlopig uitgesteld.

Wereldwijde protesten

Reden voor het uitstel is dat de woede en frustratie onder de Palestijnen zich heeft verspreid over de Westoever, Gaza en steden binnen Israël zelf. In Haifa werd zondagavond massaal gedemonstreerd, waarbij door de politie geweld werd gebruikt en 18 arrestaties werden verricht. Ook in onder meer Nazareth en Ramallah werd gedemonstreerd.

Maar ook internationaal is de maat vol. Wereldwijd werden zondag protestacties gehouden, waaronder in Amsterdam, Londen, Berlijn en Chicago. Talloze landen, waaronder de VS en Israëls nieuwe Arabische vrienden Bahrein en de VAE, hebben Israël aangesproken op zijn politiek in Oost-Jeruzalem en de dreigende gevolgen. Deze maandag komt de VN-Veiligheidsraad bijeen op verzoek van onder meer Frankrijk, Ierland en Noorwegen.

Grote risico’s

Intussen neemt het risico op complete ontsporing toe. Juist deze maandag viert Israël ‘Jeruzalemdag’, ter ere van de ‘hereniging’ van West- en Oost-Jeruzalem in 1967. Het is gebruikelijk dat ‘s avonds een vlaggenparade plaatsvindt, waarbij duizenden nationalistische Israëli’s provocatief door het bezette Oost-Jeruzalem marcheren. Gezien de explosieve situatie, die bovendien samenvalt met het einde van de vastenmaand Ramadan, ligt een verbod van de parade voor de hand.

Van Israëlische politici en bestuurders valt zo’n verbod echter niet te verwachten, vervlochten als de meesten zijn met de kolonistenbeweging. Symbool van die cultuur is locoburgemeester Aryeh King van Jerusalem, die vrijdag aan de New York Times in alle openheid uitlegde dat de huisuitzettingen deel uitmaken van de strategie om ‘de vijand’ (de Palestijnen en andere niet-Joden) te vervangen door ‘Joden’.

De Israëlische regering heeft elke verantwoordelijkheid voor de huidige escalatie van de hand gewezen met de bizarre redenering dat rond de huisuitzettingen sprake is van een ‘privaat geschil’, dat door de Palestijnen wordt gebruikt om herrie te schoppen. Zondag paaide premier Netanyahu zijn rechtse bondgenoten met de belofte dat Israël zal doorgaan met het koloniseren van Oost-Jeruzalem.

‘Pogrom’ als voorproefje

Diezelfde houding leidde minder dan drie weken geleden tot een voorproefje van wat de Palestijnen vanavond mogelijk te wachten staat, toen de ultra rechts-nationalistische organisatie Lehava toestemming kreeg voor een massale demonstratie in Oost-Jeruzalem onder het motto ‘herstel van Joodse waardigheid’. Locoburgemeester King zette de toon met de oproep aan de politie om Palestijnse demonstranten die ‘s nachts op straat waren dood te schieten.

Aldus zette zich op 22 april een horde aan extremistische Israëli’s in beweging onder uitroepen als ‘Dood aan de Arabieren’ en ‘We branden je dorp af’. Ondanks pogingen van de Israëlische politie om hen tegen te houden, werden op talloze plaatsen Palestijnen aangevallen, huizen binnengedrongen, en keerde ook de politie zich met grof geweld tegen de Palestijnen. Gevolg: 105 gewonde Palestijnen, van wie er 22 moesten worden opgenomen, en twee gewonde Israëli’s. Vijftig personen werden gearresteerd, de meesten Palestijn. Diverse media berichtten over de Lehava-actie als een ‘pogrom’.

In de avonden daaraan voorafgaand liepen groepen Israëlische Joden ook al door het stadscentrum, ‘Dood aan de Arabieren’ scanderend, en Palestijnse voorbijgangers bekogelend met stenen en traangas. Een getuige zag een groep van zestig Joden die ‘op zoek waren naar Arabieren’ en willekeurige Palestijnen aanvielen. Binnen de groep werd met trots verteld dat ‘ze acht Arabieren hebben gegrepen’ en er ‘één bijna hebben vermoord’.

In deze traditie zal deze maandag dus een Israëlische vlaggenparade plaatsvinden door de Oude Stad, waarbij ook een bezoek aan de Al-Haram al-Sharif (Tempelberg) op het programma staat – de locatie van de Al-Aqsa-moskee, waar tienduizenden Palestijnen deze week de rituelen rond het einde van de Ramadan volbrengen. Vijf dagen later gedenken de Palestijnen de Nakba, de ‘Catastrofe’ waarbij in 1947-48 circa 750 duizend Palestijnen werden verdreven. Voor veel Palestijnen in Oost-Jeruzalem, waaronder in Sheikh Jarrah, gebeurt dat in het vooruitzicht van een nieuwe verdrijving. In alle opzichten reden om het ergste te vrezen.
EINDE ARTIKEL

[16]
”The 213-page report, “A Threshold Crossed: Israeli Authorities and the Crimes of Apartheid and Persecution,” examines Israel’s treatment of Palestinians. It presents the present-day reality of a single authority, the Israeli government, ruling primarily over the area between the Jordan River and Mediterranean Sea, populated by two groups of roughly equal size, and methodologically privileging Jewish Israelis while repressing Palestinians, most severely in the occupied territory.”

HUMAN RIGHTS WATCHABUSIVE ISRAELI POLICIES CONSTITUTE CRIMES OFAPARTHEID, PERSECUTIONCRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY SHOULD TRIGGER ACTION TO END REPRESSION AGAINST PALESTINIANS
https://www.hrw.org/news/2021/04/27/abusive-israeli-policies-constitute-crimes-apartheid-persecution

(Jerusalem) – Israeli authorities are committing the crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The finding is based on an overarching Israeli government policy to maintain the domination by Jewish Israelis over Palestinians and grave abuses committed against Palestinians living in the occupied territory, including East Jerusalem.

The 213-page report, “A Threshold Crossed: Israeli Authorities and the Crimes of Apartheid and Persecution,” examines Israel’s treatment of Palestinians. It presents the present-day reality of a single authority, the Israeli government, ruling primarily over the area between the Jordan River and Mediterranean Sea, populated by two groups of roughly equal size, and methodologically privileging Jewish Israelis while repressing Palestinians, most severely in the occupied territory.April 27, 2021

Q&A: A Threshold Crossed

Israeli Authorities and the Crimes of Apartheid and Persecution


“Prominent voices have warned for years that apartheid lurks just around the corner if the trajectory of Israel’s rule over Palestinians does not change,” said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch. “This detailed study shows that Israeli authorities have already turned that corner and today are committing the crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution.”

The finding of apartheid and persecution does not change the legal status of the occupied territory, made up of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Gaza, or the factual reality of occupation.

Originally coined in relation to South Africa, apartheid today is a universal legal term. The prohibition against particularly severe institutional discrimination and oppression or apartheid constitutes a core principle of international law. The 1973 International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid and the 1998 Rome Statute to the International Criminal Court (ICC) define apartheid as a crime against humanity consisting of three primary elements:

  1. An intent to maintain domination by one racial group over another.
  2. A context of systematic oppression by the dominant group over the marginalized group.
  3. Inhumane acts.

The reference to a racial group is understood today to address not only treatment on the basis of genetic traits but also treatment on the basis of descent and national or ethnic origin, as defined in the International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination. Human Rights Watch applies this broader understanding of race.

The crime against humanity of persecution, as defined under the Rome Statute and customary international law, consists of severe deprivation of fundamental rights of a racial, ethnic, or other group with discriminatory intent.

Human Rights Watch found that the elements of the crimes come together in the occupied territory, as part of a single Israeli government policy. That policy is to maintain the domination by Jewish Israelis over Palestinians across Israel and the occupied territory. It is coupled in the occupied territory with systematic oppression and inhumane acts against Palestinians living there.

Drawing on years of human rights documentation, case studies, and a review of government planning documents, statements by officials, and other sources, Human Rights Watch compared policies and practices toward Palestinians in the occupied territory and Israel with those concerning Jewish Israelis living in the same areas. Human Rights Watch wrote to the Israeli government in July 2020, soliciting its perspectives on these issues, but has received no response.

Across Israel and the occupied territory, Israeli authorities have sought to maximize the land available for Jewish communities and to concentrate most Palestinians in dense population centers. The authorities have adopted policies to mitigate what they have openly described as a “demographic threat” from Palestinians. In Jerusalem, for example, the government’s plan for the municipality, including both the west and occupied east parts of the city, sets the goal of “maintaining a solid Jewish majority in the city” and even specifies the demographic ratios it hopes to maintain.

To maintain domination, Israeli authorities systematically discriminate against Palestinians. The institutional discrimination that Palestinian citizens of Israel face includes laws that allow hundreds of small Jewish towns to effectively exclude Palestinians and budgets that allocate only a fraction of resources to Palestinian schools as compared to those that serve Jewish Israeli children. In the occupied territory, the severity of the repression, including the imposition of draconian military rule on Palestinians while affording Jewish Israelis living in a segregated manner in the same territory their full rights under Israel’s rights-respecting civil law, amounts to the systematic oppression required for apartheid.

Israeli authorities have committed a range of abuses against Palestinians. Many of those in the occupied territory constitute severe abuses of fundamental rights and the inhumane acts again required for apartheid, including: sweeping movement restrictions in the form of the Gaza closure and a permit regime, confiscation of more than a third of the land in the West Bank, harsh conditions in parts of the West Bank that led to the forcible transfer of thousands of Palestinians out of their homes, denial of residency rights to hundreds of thousands of Palestinians and their relatives, and the suspension of basic civil rights to millions of Palestinians.

Many of the abuses at the core of the commission of these crimes, such as near-categorical denial of building permits to Palestinians and demolition of thousands of homes on the pretext of lacking permits, have no security justification. Others, such as Israel’s effective freeze on the population registry it manages in the occupied territory, which all but blocks family reunification for Palestinians living there and bars Gaza residents from living in the West Bank, use security as a pretext to further demographic goals. Even when security forms part of the motivation, it no more justifies apartheid and persecution than it would excessive force or torture, Human Rights Watch said.

“Denying millions of Palestinians their fundamental rights, without any legitimate security justification and solely because they are Palestinian and not Jewish, is not simply a matter of an abusive occupation,” Roth said. “These policies, which grant Jewish Israelis the same rights and privileges wherever they live and discriminate against Palestinians to varying degrees wherever they live, reflect a policy to privilege one people at the expense of another.”

Statements and actions by Israeli authorities in recent years, including the passage of a law with constitutional status in 2018 establishing Israel as the “nation-state of the Jewish people,” the growing body of laws that further privilege Israeli settlers in the West Bank and do not apply to Palestinians living in the same territory, as well as the massive expansion in recent years of settlements and accompanying infrastructure connecting settlements to Israel, have clarified their intent to maintain the domination by Jewish Israelis. The possibility that a future Israeli leader might someday forge a deal with Palestinians that dismantles the discriminatory system does not negate that reality today.

Israeli authorities should dismantle all forms of repression and discrimination that privilege Jewish Israelis at the expense of Palestinians, including with regards to freedom of movement, allocation of land and resources, access to water, electricity, and other services, and the granting of building permits.

The ICC Office of the Prosecutor should investigate and prosecute those credibly implicated in the crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution. Countries should do so as well in accordance with their national laws under the principle of universal jurisdiction, and impose individual sanctions, including travel bans and asset freezes, on officials responsible for committing these crimes.

The findings of crimes against humanity should prompt the international community to reevaluate the nature of its engagement in Israel and Palestine and adopt an approach centered on human rights and accountability rather than solely on the stalled “peace process.” Countries should establish a UN commission of inquiry to investigate systematic discrimination and repression in Israel and Palestine and a UN global envoy for the crimes of persecution and apartheid with a mandate to mobilize international action to end persecution and apartheid worldwide.

Countries should condition arms sales and military and security assistance to Israel on Israeli authorities taking concrete and verifiable steps toward ending their commission of these crimes. Countries should vet agreements, cooperation schemes, and all forms of trade and dealing with Israel to screen for those directly contributing to committing the crimes, mitigate the human rights impacts and, where not possible, end activities and funding found to facilitate these serious crimes.

“While much of the world treats Israel’s half-century occupation as a temporary situation that a decades-long ‘peace process’ will soon cure, the oppression of Palestinians there has reached a threshold and a permanence that meets the definitions of the crimes of apartheid and persecution,” Roth said. “Those who strive for Israeli-Palestinian peace, whether a one or two-state solution or a confederation, should in the meantime recognize this reality for what it is and bring to bear the sorts of human rights tools needed to end it.”

[17]

””Israel has maintained military rule over some portion of the Palestinian population for all but six months of its 73-year history. It did so over the vast majority of Palestinians inside Israel from 1948 and until 1966. From 1967 until the present, it has militarily ruled over Palestinians in the OPT, excluding East Jerusalem. By contrast, it has since its founding governed all Jewish Israelis, including settlers in the OPT since the beginning of the occupation in 1967, under its more rights-respecting civil law.”RAPPORT HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH:
HUMAN RIGHTS WATCHA TRESHOLD CROSSEDISRAELI AUTHORITIES AND THE CRIME OF APARTHEID AND PERSECUTION27 APRIL 2021
https://www.hrw.org/report/2021/04/27/threshold-crossed/israeli-authorities-and-crimes-apartheid-and-persecution

[18]

BTSELEM.ORGMILITARY COURTS
https://www.btselem.org/military_courts

Military courts have operated in the Occupied Territories since the Israeli occupation began in 1967. Over the years, they have come to be one of the main apparatuses serving the regime of occupation. To date, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians have been brought before these courts. Military courts ceased operating in Gaza after Israel withdrew its military forces from the Gaza Strip in 2005, but continue to operate in the West Bank, with the exception of East Jerusalem – an area Israel annexed.

Today, the military court system includes several courts of different instances. Two courts operate in the West Bank as courts of first instance: The Judea Court is located in the Ofer military base (northwest of Jerusalem) and the Samaria Court is located at the Salem military base (in the northern West Bank). Four more branches of the military courts operate inside Israel, adjacent to Israel Security Agency (ISA, or Shabak) interrogation facilities. In these courts, military judges preside over hearing on extending the detention of interrogates. As of 2009, a Military Juvenile Court has been operating at the Ofer military base. The base is also home to the Military Court of Appeals, the Military Court for Administrative Detention and the Military Court of Appeals regarding Administrative Detention.

The military courts’ jurisdiction has hardly been affected by the division of the West Bank into Areas A, B and C under the Oslo Accords or the transfer of certain civil and security responsibilities to the Palestinian Authority (PA). Palestinians from all over the West Bank continue to be prosecuted in these courts for violations of the military’s body of law.

The military courts have jurisdiction over two types of offenses. The first is known as “security offenses”, and includes “any offense enumerated in the security legislation and in statute” – whether committed in areas under control of the Israeli military, outside the West Bank, or in areas A and B, which have been transferred to the PA – as long as it “breached or was intended to breach the security of the area”. The second type is offenses regarded as a threat to public order – particularly traffic violations, but also criminal offenses that are not defined as security offenses.

Every year, thousands of Palestinians are brought before military courts on various charges, including entering Israel without a permit, stone-throwing, membership in illegal association, violence, firearms-related offenses and traffic violations. The latter constitute, on average, about 40% of all indictments a year.

Officially, military courts are authorized to try anyone who commits an offense in the West Bank, including settlers, Israeli citizens residing in Israel, and foreign nationals. However, in the early 1980s, the Attorney General decided that Israeli citizens would be tried in the Israeli civilian court system according to Israeli penal laws, even if they live in the Occupied Territories and the offense was committed there, against residents of the Occupied Territories. That policy remains in effect to this day. This means that people are tried in different courts, under different laws, for the exact same offense committed in the exact same place: Palestinian defendants are tried in military courts, their guilt or innocence determined according to the evidence laws followed in this court system, and their sentences according to the provisions of military orders. Israeli defendants are tried in a civilian court in Israel, exonerated or convicted under Israeli evidence laws, and sentenced under Israeli law as well.

One of the most problematic practices of military courts is the use of remand in custody until the end of proceedings. This means that a person whose interrogation has been completed and who has already been formally charged is kept in detention until the legal proceedings are over. These individuals are not serving a prison sentence, have not even been sentenced, and should be presumed innocent until proven guilty. Yet, other than in cases involving traffic violations, this practice is the rule rather than the exception in the military court system. The military prosecution routinely asks for remand in custody of Palestinian defendants for the duration of the proceedings, and the courts grant the vast majority of the motions.

According to Israel’s Law of Arrests, in order for a judge to order a defendant’s remand in custody, the prosecution must prove the presence of all three conditions:

Military judges are supposed to rely on the three conditions stipulated in Israeli law for approving remand in custody: prima facie evidence to prove guilt, grounds for arrest and lack of a relevant alternative to detention which could achieve the purpose of detention in a manner that is less injurious to the defendant. However, the interpretation that military judges give these conditions renders them meaningless and nullifies their effectiveness as potent checks on the process of approving remand in custody. The bar for the evidence that the prosecution is required to present has been set so low that it, in fact, absolves the prosecution of the duty to present evidence to justify the detention; the requirement for “grounds for detention” has been replaced with a string of presumptions, and military courts have stipulated that, as a rule, Palestinian defendants cannot be released to an alternative to custody. Even in the few cases in which the judges agree to release defendants, they set high bail, reaching thousands of shekels.

A direct outcome of this policy is that the vast majority of military court cases end in plea bargains in which the defendants plead guilty (usually in return for the prosecution dropping some of the charges). Defendants prefer to avoid a lengthy evidentiary trial, knowing that in most probability, they would be held in remand for the duration of the trial, such that even if they are ultimately acquitted, their time in detention would exceed the sentence they would receive in the plea bargain. As a consequence, the prosecution is seldom required to go through a full evidentiary trial, in which it must present evidence to prove a person guilty. Instead, the outcome of the case is decided at the time remand is granted, rather than on the basis of evidence against the defendant. And so, a pretrial decision to remand a defendant in custody before conviction renders the judicial proceeding meaningless.

To all intents and purposes, the Israeli military court appears to be a court like any other. There are prosecutors and defense attorneys. There are rules of procedure, laws and regulations. There are judges who hand down rulings and verdicts couched in reasoned legal language. Nonetheless, this façade of propriety masks one of the most injurious apparatuses of the occupation. The military orders are all written by Israeli soldiers and reflect what they consider to be harmful to Israeli interests. Palestinians have no way of influencing the content of the military orders that rule their lives. The military judges and prosecutors are always Israeli soldiers in uniform. The Palestinians are always viewed as either suspects or defendants, and are almost always convicted. For all these reasons, military courts are not an impartial, neutral arbitrator – nor can they be. They are firmly entrenched on one side of this unequal balance, and serve as one of the central systems maintaining Israel’s control over the Palestinian people.

EINDE ARTIKEL

”A new report published by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) outlines the nature of the legal regime currently operating in the West Bank. Two systems of law are applied in a single territory: one – a civilian legal system for Israeli citizens, and a second – a military court system for Palestinian residents. The result: institutionalized discrimination.”

ACRI [ASSOCIATION FOR CIVIL RIGHTS IN ISRAEL]ONE RULE, TWO LEGAL SYSTEMS: 

ISRAEL’S REGIME OF LAWSIN THE WEST BANK

24 NOVEMBER 2014

[19]HET PAROOLOPINIE: NEDERLAND IS MEDEPLICHTIG AAN APARTHEID JEGENS PALESTIJNEN20 APRIL 2021
https://www.parool.nl/columns-opinie/opinie-nederland-is-medeplichtig-aan-israelische-apartheid-jegens-palestijnen~b306f2fe/
ZIE VOOR GEHELE TEKST, NOOT 3

[20]

HET PAROOLTENDENTIEUZE APARTHEIDSKRITIEK BRENGT PALESTIJNEN NERGENS
https://www.parool.nl/columns-opinie/opinie-tendentieuze-apartheidskritiek-brengt-palestijnen-nergens~b936d7fe/
ZIE VOOR GEHELE TEKST, NOOT 2

[21]

ICJ ADVISORY OPINION ON THE LEGAL CONSEQUENCES OFTHE CONSTRUCTION OF A WALL IN THE OPT-FULL TEXT
https://www.un.org/unispal/document/auto-insert-178825/

ICJ Advisory opinion on the Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the OPT – Full text

Advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice on the Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory

Note by the Secretary-General

1. At the 23rd meeting of its tenth emergency special session, on 8 December 2003, the General Assembly, by resolution ES-10/14, decided, in accordance with Article 96, paragraph 1, of the Charter of the United Nations, to request the International Court of Justice to urgently render an advisory opinion on the following question:

What are the legal consequences arising from the construction of the wall being built by Israel, the occupying Power, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, as described in the report of the Secretary-General, considering the rules and principles of international law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, and relevant Security Council and General Assembly resolutions?

2. On 9 July 2004, the International Court of Justice delivered its advisory opinion on the above question.

3. On 13 July 2004, I received the duly signed and sealed copy of this advisory opinion of the Court.

4. I hereby transmit to the General Assembly the advisory opinion given by the International Court of Justice on 9 July 2004, as well as the separate opinions and the declaration appended thereto, in the case concerning the legal consequences of the construction of a wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE

YEAR 200420049 JulyGeneral ListNo. 131

LEGAL CONSEQUENCES OF THE CONSTRUCTION OF A WALL

IN THE OCCUPIED PALESTINIAN TERRITORY

Jurisdiction of the Court to give the advisory opinion requested.

Article 65, paragraph 1, of the Statute  Article 96, paragraph 1, of the Charter  Power of General Assembly to request advisory opinions  Activities of Assembly.

Events leading to the adoption of General Assembly resolution ES-10/14 requesting the advisory opinion.

Contention that General Assembly acted ultra vires under the Charter  Article 12, paragraph 1, and Article 24 of the Charter  United Nations practice concerning the interpretation of Article 12, paragraph 1, of Charter  General Assembly did not exceed its competence.

Request for opinion adopted by the Tenth Emergency Special Session of the General Assembly  Session convened pursuant to resolution 377 A (V) (“Uniting for Peace”)  Conditions set by that resolution  Regularity of procedure followed.

Alleged lack of clarity of the terms of the question  Purportedly abstract nature of the question  Political aspects of the question  Motives said to have inspired the request and opinion’s possible implications  “Legal” nature of question unaffected.

Court having jurisdiction to give advisory opinion requested.

*        *

Discretionary power of Court to decide whether it should give an opinion.

Article 65, paragraph 1, of Statute  Relevance of lack of consent of a State concerned  Question cannot be regarded only as a bilateral matter between Israel and Palestine but is directly of concern to the United Nations  Possible effects of opinion on a political, negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict  Question representing only one aspect of Israeli-Palestinian conflict  Sufficiency of information and evidence available to Court  Useful purpose of opinion  Nullus commodum capere potest de sua injuria propria  Opinion to be given to the General Assembly, not to a specific State or entity.

No “compelling reason” for Court to use its discretionary power not to give an advisory opinion.

*        *

“Legal consequences” of the construction of a wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem  Scope of question posed  Request for opinion limited to the legal consequences of the construction of those parts of the wall situated in Occupied Palestinian Territory  Use of the term “wall”.

Historical background.

Description of the wall.

*        *

Applicable law.

United Nations Charter   General Assembly resolution 2625 (XXV)  Illegality of any territorial acquisition resulting from the threat or use of force  Right of peoples to self-determination.

International humanitarian law  Regulations annexed to the Fourth Hague Convention of 1907  Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949  Applicability of Fourth Geneva Convention in the Occupied Palestinian Territory  Human rights law  International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights  International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights  Convention on the Rights of the Child  Relationship between international humanitarian law and human rights law  Applicability of human rights instruments outside national territory  Applicability of those instruments in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

*        *

Settlements established by Israel in breach of international law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory  Construction of the wall and its associated régime create a “fait accompli” on the ground that could well become permanent  Risk of situation tantamount to de facto annexation  Construction of the wall severely impedes the exercise by the Palestinian people of its right to self-determination and is therefore a breach of Israel’s obligation to respect that right.

Applicable provisions of international humanitarian law and human rights instruments relevant to the present case  Destruction and requisition of properties  Restrictions on freedom of movement of inhabitants of the Occupied Palestinian Territory  Impediments to the exercise by those concerned of the right to work, to health, to education and to an adequate standard of living  Demographic changes in the Occupied Palestinian Territory  Provisions of international humanitarian law enabling account to be taken of military exigencies  Clauses in human rights instruments qualifying rights guaranteed or providing for derogation  Construction of the wall and its associated régime cannot be justified by military exigencies or by the requirements of national security or public order  Breach by Israel of various of its obligations under the applicable provisions of international humanitarian law and human rights instruments.

Self-defence  Article 51 of the Charter  Attacks against Israel not imputable to a foreign State  Threat invoked to justify the construction of the wall originating within a territory over which Israel exercises control  Article 51 not relevant in the present case.

State of necessity  Customary international law  Conditions  Construction of the wall not the only means to safeguard Israel’s interests against the peril invoked.

Construction of the wall and its associated régime are contrary to international law.

*        *

Legal consequences of the violation by Israel of its obligations.

Israel’s international responsibility  Israel obliged to comply with the international obligations it has breached by the construction of the wall  Israel obliged to put an end to the violation of its international obligations  Obligation to cease forthwith the works of construction of the wall, to dismantle it forthwith and to repeal or render ineffective forthwith the legislative and regulatory acts relating to its construction, save where relevant for compliance by Israel with its obligation to make reparation for the damage caused  Israel obliged to make reparation for the damage caused to all natural or legal persons affected by construction of the wall.

Legal consequences for States other than Israel  Erga omnes character of certain obligations violated by Israel  Obligation for all States not to recognize the illegal situation resulting from construction of the wall and not to render aid or assistance in maintaining the situation created by such construction  Obligation for all States, while respecting the Charter and international law, to see to it that any impediment, resulting from the construction of the wall, to the exercise by the Palestinian people of its right to self-determination is brought to an end  Obligation for all States parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention, while respecting the Charter and international law, to ensure compliance by Israel with international humanitarian law as embodied in that Convention  Need for the United Nations, and especially the General Assembly and the Security Council, to consider what further action is required to bring to an end the illegal situation resulting from the construction of the wall and its associated régime, taking due account of the Advisory Opinion.

*        *

Construction of the wall must be placed in a more general context  Obligation of Israel and Palestine scrupulously to observe international humanitarian law  Implementation in good faith of all relevant Security Council resolutions, in particular resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973)  “Roadmap”  Need for efforts to be encouraged with a view to achieving as soon as possible, on the basis of international law, a negotiated solution to the outstanding problems and the establishment of a Palestinian State, with peace and security for all in the region. 


ADVISORY OPINION

Present: President Shi;  Vice-President Ranjeva;  Judges Guillaume, Koroma, Vereshchetin, Higgins, Parra-Aranguren, Kooijmans, Rezek, Al-Khasawneh, Buergenthal, Elaraby, Owada, Simma, Tomka;  Registrar Couvreur.

On the legal consequences of the construction of a wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory,

The Court,

Composed as above,

Gives the following Advisory Opinion:

1. The question on which the advisory opinion of the Court has been requested is set forth in resolution ES-10/14 adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations (hereinafter the “General Assembly”) on 8 December 2003 at its Tenth Emergency Special Session.  By a letter dated 8 December 2003 and received in the Registry by facsimile on 10 December 2003, the original of which reached the Registry subsequently, the Secretary-General of the United Nations officially communicated to the Court the decision taken by the General Assembly to submit the question for an advisory opinion.  Certified true copies of the English and French versions of resolution ES-10/14 were enclosed with the letter.  The resolution reads as follows:

The General Assembly,

Reaffirming its resolution ES-10/13 of 21 October 2003,

Guided by the principles of the Charter of the United Nations,

Aware of the established principle of international law on the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force,

Aware also that developing friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples is among the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations,

Recalling relevant General Assembly resolutions, including resolution 181 (II) of 29 November 1947, which partitioned mandated Palestine into two States, one Arab and one Jewish,

Recalling also the resolutions of the tenth emergency special session of the General Assembly,

Recalling further relevant Security Council resolutions, including resolutions 242 (1967) of 22 November 1967, 338 (1973) of 22 October 1973, 267 (1969) of 3 July 1969, 298 (1971) of 25 September 1971, 446 (1979) of 22 March 1979, 452 (1979) of 20 July 1979, 465 (1980) of 1 March 1980, 476 (1980) of 30 June 1980, 478 (1980) of 20 August 1980, 904 (1994) of 18 March 1994, 1073 (1996) of 28 September 1996, 1397 (2002) of 12 March 2002 and 1515 (2003) of 19 November 2003,

Reaffirming the applicability of the Fourth Geneva Convention 1/ as well as Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions 2/ to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem,

Recalling the Regulations annexed to the Hague Convention Respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land of 1907 3/,

Welcoming the convening of the Conference of High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention on measures to enforce the Convention in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, at Geneva on 15 July 1999,

Expressing its support for the declaration adopted by the reconvened Conference of High Contracting Parties at Geneva on 5 December 2001,

Recalling in particular relevant United Nations resolutions affirming that Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, are illegal and an obstacle to peace and to economic and social development as well as those demanding the complete cessation of settlement activities,

Recalling relevant United Nations resolutions affirming that actions taken by Israel, the occupying Power, to change the status and demographic composition of Occupied East Jerusalem have no legal validity and are null and void,

Noting the agreements reached between the Government of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization in the context of the Middle East peace process,

Gravely concerned at the commencement and continuation of construction by Israel, the occupying Power, of a wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, which is in departure from the Armistice Line of 1949 (Green Line) and which has involved the confiscation and destruction of Palestinian land and resources, the disruption of the lives of thousands of protected civilians and the de facto annexation of large areas of territory, and underlining the unanimous opposition by the international community to the construction of that wall,

Gravely concerned also at the even more devastating impact of the projected parts of the wall on the Palestinian civilian population and on the prospects for solving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and establishing peace in the region,

Welcoming the report of 8 September 2003 of the Special Rapporteur of the Commission on Human Rights on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel since 1967 4/, in particular the section regarding the wall,

Affirming the necessity of ending the conflict on the basis of the two-State solution of Israel and Palestine living side by side in peace and security based on the Armistice Line of 1949, in accordance with relevant Security Council and General Assembly resolutions,

Having received with appreciation the report of the Secretary-General, submitted in accordance with resolution ES-10/13 5/,

Bearing in mind that the passage of time further compounds the difficulties on the ground, as Israel, the occupying Power, continues to refuse to comply with international law vis-à-vis its construction of the above-mentioned wall, with all its detrimental implications and consequences,

Decides, in accordance with Article 96 of the Charter of the United Nations, to request the International Court of Justice, pursuant to Article 65 of the Statute of the Court, to urgently render an advisory opinion on the following question:

What are the legal consequences arising from the construction of the wall being built by Israel, the occupying Power, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, as described in the report of the Secretary-General, considering the rules and principles of international law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, and relevant Security Council and General Assembly resolutions?

_______________

1/United Nations, Treaty Series, Vol. 75, No. 973.

2/  Ibid., Vol. 1125, No. 17512.

3/ See Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, The Hague Conventions and Declarations of 1899 and 1907 (New York, Oxford University Press, 1915).

4/ E/CN.4/2004/6.

5/ A/ES-10/248.”

Also enclosed with the letter were the certified English and French texts of the report of the Secretary-General dated 24 November 2003, prepared pursuant to General Assembly resolution ES-10/13 (A/ES-10/248), to which resolution ES-10/14 makes reference.

2. By letters dated 10 December 2003, the Registrar notified the request for an advisory opinion to all States entitled to appear before the Court, in accordance with Article 66, paragraph 1, of the Statute.

3. By a letter dated 11 December 2003, the Government of Israel informed the Court of its position on the request for an advisory opinion and on the procedure to be followed.  

4. By an Order of 19 December 2003, the Court decided that the United Nations and its Member States were likely, in accordance with Article 66, paragraph 2, of the Statute, to be able to furnish information on all aspects raised by the question submitted to the Court for an advisory opinion and fixed 30 January 2004 as the time-limit within which written statements might be submitted to it on the question in accordance with Article 66, paragraph 4, of the Statute.  By the same Order, the Court further decided that, in the light of resolution ES-10/14 and the report of the Secretary-General transmitted with the request, and taking into account the fact that the General Assembly had granted Palestine a special status of observer and that the latter was co-sponsor of the draft resolution requesting the advisory opinion, Palestine might also submit a written statement on the question within the above time-limit.  

5. By the aforesaid Order, the Court also decided, in accordance with Article 105, paragraph 4, of the Rules of Court, to hold public hearings during which oral statements and comments might be presented to it by the United Nations and its Member States, regardless of whether or not they had submitted written statements, and fixed 23 February 2004 as the date for the opening of the said hearings.  By the same Order, the Court decided that, for the reasons set out above (see paragraph 4), Palestine might also take part in the hearings.  Lastly, it invited the United Nations and its Member States, as well as Palestine, to inform the Registry, by 13 February 2004 at the latest, if they were intending to take part in the above-mentioned hearings.  By letters of 19 December 2004, the Registrar informed them of the Court’s decisions and transmitted to them a copy of the Order.

6. Ruling on requests submitted subsequently by the League of Arab States and the Organization of the Islamic Conference, the Court decided, in accordance with Article 66 of its Statute, that those two international organizations were likely to be able to furnish information on the question submitted to the Court, and that consequently they might for that purpose submit written statements within the time-limit fixed by the Court in its Order of 19 December 2003 and take part in the hearings.

7. Pursuant to Article 65, paragraph 2, of the Statute, the Secretary-General of the United Nations communicated to the Court a dossier of documents likely to throw light upon the question.

8. By a reasoned Order of 30 January 2004 regarding its composition in the case, the Court decided that the matters brought to its attention by the Government of Israel in a letter of 31 December 2003, and in a confidential letter of 15 January 2004 addressed to the President pursuant to Article 34, paragraph 2, of the Rules of Court, were not such as to preclude Judge Elaraby from sitting in the case.

9. Within the time-limit fixed by the Court for that purpose, written statements were filed by, in order of their receipt:  Guinea, Saudi Arabia, League of Arab States, Egypt, Cameroon, Russian Federation, Australia, Palestine, United Nations, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Canada, Syria, Switzerland, Israel, Yemen, United States of America, Morocco, Indonesia, Organization of the Islamic Conference, France, Italy, Sudan, South Africa, Germany, Japan, Norway, United Kingdom, Pakistan, Czech Republic, Greece, Ireland on its own behalf, Ireland on behalf of the European Union, Cyprus, Brazil, Namibia, Malta, Malaysia, Netherlands, Cuba, Sweden, Spain, Belgium, Palau, Federated States of Micronesia, Marshall Islands, Senegal, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.  Upon receipt of those statements, the Registrar transmitted copies thereof to the United Nations and its Member States, to Palestine, to the League of Arab States and to the Organization of the Islamic Conference.

10. Various communications were addressed to these latter by the Registry, concerning in particular the measures taken for the organization of the oral proceedings.  By communications of 20 February 2004, the Registry transmitted a detailed timetable of the hearings to those of the latter who, within the time-limit fixed for that purpose by the Court, had expressed their intention of taking part in the aforementioned proceedings.

11. Pursuant to Article 106 of the Rules of Court, the Court decided to make the written statements accessible to the public, with effect from the opening of the oral proceedings.

12. In the course of hearings held from 23 to 25 February 2004, the Court heard oral statements, in the following order, by:

*

*         *

13. When seised of a request for an advisory opinion, the Court must first consider whether it has jurisdiction to give the opinion requested and whether, should the answer be in the affirmative, there is any reason why it should decline to exercise any such jurisdiction (see Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons, Advisory Opinion, I.C.J. Reports 1996 (I), p. 232, para. 10).

*        *

14. The Court will thus first address the question whether it possesses jurisdiction to give the advisory opinion requested by the General Assembly on 8 December 2003.  The competence of the Court in this regard is based on Article 65, paragraph 1, of its Statute, according to which the Court “may give an advisory opinion on any legal question at the request of whatever body may be authorized by or in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations to make such a request”.  The Court has already had occasion to indicate that:

“It is . . . a precondition of the Court’s competence that the advisory opinion be requested by an organ duly authorized to seek it under the Charter, that it be requested on a legal question, and that, except in the case of the General Assembly or the Security Council, that question should be one arising within the scope of the activities of the requesting organ.”  (Application for Review of Judgement No. 273 of the United Nations Administrative Tribunal, Advisory Opinion, I.C.J. Reports 1982, pp. 333-334, para. 21.)

15. It is for the Court to satisfy itself that the request for an advisory opinion comes from an organ or agency having competence to make it.  In the present instance, the Court notes that the General Assembly, which seeks the advisory opinion, is authorized to do so by Article 96, paragraph 1, of the Charter, which provides:  “The General Assembly or the Security Council may request the International Court of Justice to give an advisory opinion on any legal question.”

16. Although the above-mentioned provision states that the General Assembly may seek an advisory opinion “on any legal question”, the Court has sometimes in the past given certain indications as to the relationship between the question the subject of a request for an advisory opinion and the activities of the General Assembly (Interpretation of Peace Treaties with Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania, I.C.J. Reports 1950, p. 70; Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons, I.C.J. Reports 1996 (I), pp. 232 and 233, paras. 11 and 12).

17. The Court will so proceed in the present case.  The Court would observe that Article 10 of the Charter has conferred upon the General Assembly a competence relating to “any questions or any matters” within the scope of the Charter, and that Article 11, paragraph 2, has specifically provided it with competence on “questions relating to the maintenance of international peace and security brought before it by any Member of the United Nations . . .” and to make recommendations under certain conditions fixed by those Articles.  As will be explained below, the question of the construction of the wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory was brought before the General Assembly by a number of Member States in the context of the Tenth Emergency Special Session of the Assembly, convened to deal with what the Assembly, in its resolution ES-10/2 of 25 April 1997, considered to constitute a threat to international peace and security.  

*

18. Before further examining the problems of jurisdiction that have been raised in the present proceedings, the Court considers it necessary to describe the events that led to the adoption of resolution ES-10/14, by which the General Assembly requested an advisory opinion on the legal consequences of the construction of the wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

19. The Tenth Emergency Special Session of the General Assembly, at which that resolution was adopted, was first convened following the rejection by the Security Council, on 7 March and 21 March 1997, as a result of negative votes by a permanent member, of two draft resolutions concerning certain Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (see, respectively, S/1997/199 and S/PV.3747, and S/1997/241 and S/PV.3756).  By a letter of 31 March 1997, the Chairman of the Arab Group then requested “that an emergency special session of the General Assembly be convened pursuant to resolution 377 A (V) entitled ‘Uniting for Peace’” with a view to discussing “Illegal Israeli actions in occupied East Jerusalem and the rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territory” (letter dated 31 March 1997 from the Permanent Representative of Qatar to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General, A/ES-10/1, 22 April 1997, Annex).  The majority of Members of the United Nations having concurred in this request, the first meeting of the Tenth Emergency Special Session of the General Assembly took place on 24 April 1997 (see A/ES-10/1, 22 April 1997).  Resolution ES-10/2 was adopted the following day;  the General Assembly thereby expressed its conviction that:

“the repeated violation by Israel, the occupying Power, of international law and its failure to comply with relevant Security Council and General Assembly resolutions and the agreements reached between the parties undermine the Middle East peace process and constitute a threat to international peace and security”,

and condemned the “illegal Israeli actions” in occupied East Jerusalem and the rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, in particular the construction of settlements in that territory.  The Tenth Emergency Special Session was then adjourned temporarily and has since been reconvened 11 times (on 15 July 1997, 13 November 1997, 17 March 1998, 5 February 1999, 18 October 2000, 20 December 2001, 7 May 2002, 5 August 2002, 19 September 2003, 20 October 2003 and 8 December 2003).

20. By a letter dated 9 October 2003, the Chairman of the Arab Group, on behalf of the States Members of the League of Arab States, requested an immediate meeting of the Security Council to consider the “grave and ongoing Israeli violations of international law, including international humanitarian law, and to take the necessary measures in this regard” (letter of 9 October 2003 from the Permanent Representative of the Syrian Arab Republic to the United Nations to the President of the Security Council, S/2003/973, 9 October 2003).  This letter was accompanied by a draft resolution for consideration by the Council, which condemned as illegal the construction by Israel of a wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory departing from the Armistice Line of 1949.  The Security Council held its 4841st and 4842nd meetings on 14 October 2003 to consider the item entitled “The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestine question”.  It then had before it another draft resolution proposed on the same day by Guinea, Malaysia, Pakistan and the Syrian Arab Republic, which also condemned the construction of the wall.  This latter draft resolution was put to a vote after an open debate and was not adopted owing to the negative vote of a permanent member of the Council (S/PV.4841 and S/PV.4842).

On 15 October 2003, the Chairman of the Arab Group, on behalf of the States Members of the League of Arab States, requested the resumption of the Tenth Emergency Special Session of the General Assembly to consider the item of “Illegal Israeli actions in Occupied East Jerusalem and the rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territory” (A/ES-10/242);  this request was supported by the Non-Aligned Movement (A/ES-10/243) and the Organization of the Islamic Conference Group at the United Nations (A/ES-10/244).  The Tenth Emergency Special Session resumed its work on 20 October 2003.

21. On 27 October 2003, the General Assembly adopted resolution ES-10/13, by which it demanded that “Israel stop and reverse the construction of the wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, which is in departure of the Armistice Line of 1949 and is in contradiction to relevant provisions of international law” (para. 1).  In paragraph 3, the Assembly requested the Secretary-General “to report on compliance with the . . . resolution periodically, with the first report on compliance with paragraph 1 [of that resolution] to be submitted within one month . . .”.  The Tenth Emergency Special Session was temporarily adjourned and, on 24 November 2003, the report of the Secretary-General prepared pursuant to General Assembly resolution ES-10/13 (hereinafter the “report of the Secretary-General”) was issued (A/ES-10/248).

22. Meanwhile, on 19 November 2003, the Security Council adopted resolution 1515 (2003), by which it “Endorse[d] the Quartet Performance-based Roadmap to a Permanent Two-State Solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict”.  The Quartet consists of representatives of the United States of America, the European Union, the Russian Federation and the United Nations.  That resolution

Call[ed] on the parties to fulfil their obligations under the Roadmap in cooperation with the Quartet and to achieve the vision of two States living side by side in peace and security.”

Neither the “Roadmap” nor resolution 1515 (2003) contained any specific provision concerning the construction of the wall, which was not discussed by the Security Council in this context.

23. Nineteen days later, on 8 December 2003, the Tenth Emergency Special Session of the General Assembly again resumed its work, following a new request by the Chairman of the Arab Group, on behalf of the States Members of the League of Arab States, and pursuant to resolution ES-10/13 (letter dated 1 December 2003 to the President of the General Assembly from the Chargé d’affaires a.i. of the Permanent Mission of Kuwait to the United Nations, A/ES-10/249, 2 December 2003).  It was during the meeting convened on that day that resolution ES-10/14 requesting the present Advisory Opinion was adopted.

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24. Having thus recalled the sequence of events that led to the adoption of resolution ES-10/14, the Court will now turn to the questions of jurisdiction that have been raised in the present proceedings.  First, Israel has alleged that, given the active engagement of the Security Council with the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question, the General Assembly acted ultra vires under the Charter when it requested an advisory opinion on the legal consequences of the construction of the wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

25. The Court has already indicated that the subject of the present request for an advisory opinion falls within the competence of the General Assembly under the Charter (see paragraphs 15-17 above).  However, Article 12, paragraph 1, of the Charter provides that:

“While the Security Council is exercising in respect of any dispute or situation the functions assigned to it in the present Charter, the General Assembly shall not make any recommendation with regard to that dispute or situation unless the Security Council so requests.”

A request for an advisory opinion is not in itself a “recommendation” by the General Assembly “with regard to [a] dispute or situation”.  It has however been argued in this case that the adoption by the General Assembly of resolution ES-10/14 was ultra vires as not in accordance with Article 12.  The Court thus considers that it is appropriate for it to examine the significance of that Article, having regard to the relevant texts and the practice of the United Nations.

26. Under Article 24 of the Charter the Security Council has “primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security”.  In that regard it can impose on States “an explicit obligation of compliance if for example it issues an order or command . . . under Chapter VII” and can, to that end, “require enforcement by coercive action” (Certain Expenses of the United Nations (Article 17, paragraph 2, of the Charter), Advisory Opinion of 20 July 1962, I.C.J. Reports 1962, p. 163).  However, the Court would emphasize that Article 24 refers to a primary, but not necessarily exclusive, competence.  The General Assembly does have the power, inter alia, under Article 14 of the Charter, to “recommend measures for the peaceful adjustment” of various situations (Certain Expenses of the United Nations, ibid., p. 163).  “[T]he only limitation which Article 14 imposes on the General Assembly is the restriction found in Article 12, namely, that the Assembly should not recommend measures while the Security Council is dealing with the same matter unless the Council requests it to do so.”  (Ibid.).

27. As regards the practice of the United Nations, both the General Assembly and the Security Council initially interpreted and applied Article 12 to the effect that the Assembly could not make a recommendation on a question concerning the maintenance of international peace and security while the matter remained on the Council’s agenda.  Thus the Assembly during its fourth session refused to recommend certain measures on the question of Indonesia, on the ground, inter alia, that the Council remained seised of the matter (Official Records of the General Assembly, Fourth Session, Ad Hoc Political Committee, Summary Records of Meetings, 27 September-7 December 1949, 56th Meeting, 3 December 1949, p. 339, para. 118).  As for the Council, on a number of occasions it deleted items from its agenda in order to enable the Assembly to deliberate on them (for example, in respect of the Spanish question (Official Records of the Security Council, First Year:  Second Series, No. 21, 79th Meeting, 4 November 1946, p. 498), in connection with incidents on the Greek border (Official Records of the Security Council, Second Year, No. 89, 202nd Meeting, 15 September 1947, pp. 2404-2405) and in regard to the Island of Taiwan (Formosa) (Official Records of the Security Council, Fifth Year, No. 48, 506th Meeting, 29 September 1950, p. 5)).  In the case of the Republic of Korea, the Council decided on 31 January 1951 to remove the relevant item from the list of matters of which it was seised in order to enable the Assembly to deliberate on the matter (Official Records of the Security Council, Sixth Year, S/PV.531, 531st Meeting, 31 January 1951, pp. 11-12, para. 57).

However, this interpretation of Article 12 has evolved subsequently.  Thus the General Assembly deemed itself entitled in 1961 to adopt recommendations in the matter of the Congo (resolutions 1955 (XV) and 1600 (XVI)) and in 1963 in respect of the Portuguese colonies (resolution 1913 (XVIII)) while those cases still appeared on the Council’s agenda, without the Council having adopted any recent resolution concerning them.  In response to a question posed by Peru during the Twenty-third session of the General Assembly, the Legal Counsel of the United Nations confirmed that the Assembly interpreted the words “is exercising the functions” in Article 12 of the Charter as meaning “is exercising the functions at this moment” (Twenty-third General Assembly, Third Committee, 1637th meeting, A/C.3/SR.1637, para. 9).  Indeed, the Court notes that there has been an increasing tendency over time for the General Assembly and the Security Council to deal in parallel with the same matter concerning the maintenance of international peace and security (see, for example, the matters involving Cyprus, South Africa, Angola, Southern Rhodesia and more recently Bosnia and Herzegovina and Somalia).  It is often the case that, while the Security Council has tended to focus on the aspects of such matters related to international peace and security, the General Assembly has taken a broader view, considering also their humanitarian, social and economic aspects.

28. The Court considers that the accepted practice of the General Assembly, as it has evolved, is consistent with Article 12, paragraph 1, of the Charter.

The Court is accordingly of the view that the General Assembly, in adopting resolution ES-10/14, seeking an advisory opinion from the Court, did not contravene the provisions of Article 12, paragraph 1, of the Charter.  The Court concludes that by submitting that request the General Assembly did not exceed its competence.

29. It has however been contended before the Court that the present request for an advisory opinion did not fulfil the essential conditions set by resolution 377 A (V), under which the Tenth Emergency Special Session was convened and has continued to act.  In this regard, it has been said, first, that “The Security Council was never seised of a draft resolution proposing that the Council itself should request an advisory opinion from the Court on the matters now in contention”, and, that specific issue having thus never been brought before the Council, the General Assembly could not rely on any inaction by the Council to make such a request.  Secondly, it has been claimed that, in adopting resolution 1515 (2003), which endorsed the “Roadmap”, before the adoption by the General Assembly of resolution ES-10/14, the Security Council continued to exercise its responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security and that, as a result, the General Assembly was not entitled to act in its place.  The validity of the procedure followed by the Tenth Emergency Special Session, especially the Session’s “rolling character” and the fact that its meeting was convened to deliberate on the request for the advisory opinion at the same time as the General Assembly was meeting in regular session, has also been questioned.

30. The Court would recall that resolution 377 A (V) states that:

“if the Security Council, because of lack of unanimity of the permanent members, fails to exercise its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security in any case where there appears to be a threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression, the General Assembly shall consider the matter immediately with a view to making appropriate recommendations to Members for collective measures . . .”

The procedure provided for by that resolution is premised on two conditions, namely that the Council has failed to exercise its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security as a result of a negative vote of one or more permanent members, and that the situation is one in which there appears to be a threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression.  The Court must accordingly ascertain whether these conditions were fulfilled as regards the convening of the Tenth Emergency Special Session of the General Assembly, in particular at the time when the Assembly decided to request an advisory opinion from the Court.

31. In the light of the sequence of events described in paragraphs 18 to 23 above, the Court observes that, at the time when the Tenth Emergency Special Session was convened in 1997, the Council had been unable to take a decision on the case of certain Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, due to negative votes of a permanent member; and that, as indicated in resolution ES-10/2 (see paragraph 19 above), there existed a threat to international peace and security.

The Court further notes that, on 20 October 2003, the Tenth Emergency Special Session of the General Assembly was reconvened on the same basis as in 1997 (see the statements by the representatives of Palestine and Israel, A/ES-10/PV.21, pp. 2 and 5), after the rejection by the Security Council, on 14 October 2003, again as a result of the negative vote of a permanent member, of a draft resolution concerning the construction by Israel of the wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.  The Court considers that the Security Council again failed to act as contemplated in resolution 377 A (V).  It does not appear to the Court that the situation in this regard changed between 20 October 2003 and 8 December 2003, since the Council neither discussed the construction of the wall nor adopted any resolution in that connection.  Thus, the Court is of the view that, up to 8 December 2003, the Council had not reconsidered the negative vote of 14 October 2003.  It follows that, during that period, the Tenth Emergency Special Session was duly reconvened and could properly be seised, under resolution 377 A (V), of the matter now before the Court.

32. The Court would also emphasize that, in the course of this Emergency Special Session, the General Assembly could adopt any resolution falling within the subject-matter for which the Session had been convened, and otherwise within its powers, including a resolution seeking the Court’s opinion.  It is irrelevant in that regard that no proposal had been made to the Security Council to request such an opinion.

33. Turning now to alleged further procedural irregularities of the Tenth Emergency Special Session, the Court does not consider that the “rolling” character of that Session, namely the fact of its having been convened in April 1997 and reconvened 11 times since then, has any relevance with regard to the validity of the request by the General Assembly.  The Court observes in that regard that the Seventh Emergency Special Session of the General Assembly, having been convened on 22 July 1980, was subsequently reconvened four times (on 20 April 1982, 25 June 1982, 16 August 1982 and 24 September 1982), and that the validity of resolutions or decisions of the Assembly adopted under such circumstances was never disputed.  Nor has the validity of any previous resolutions adopted during the Tenth Emergency Special Session been challenged.

34. The Court also notes the contention by Israel that it was improper to reconvene the Tenth Emergency Special Session at a time when the regular Session of the General Assembly was in progress.  The Court considers that, while it may not have been originally contemplated that it would be appropriate for the General Assembly to hold simultaneous emergency and regular sessions, no rule of the Organization has been identified which would be thereby violated, so as to render invalid the resolution adopting the present request for an advisory opinion.

35. Finally, the Tenth Emergency Special Session appears to have been convened in accordance with Rule 9 (b) of the Rules of Procedure of the General Assembly, and the relevant meetings have been convened in pursuance of the applicable rules.  As the Court stated in its Advisory Opinion of 21 June 1971 concerning the Legal Consequences for States of the Continued Presence of South Africa in Namibia (South West Africa) notwithstanding Security Council Resolution 276 (1970), a “resolution of a properly constituted organ of the United Nations which is passed in accordance with that organ’s rules of procedure, and is declared by its President to have been so passed, must be presumed to have been validly adopted” (I.C.J. Reports 1971, p. 22, para. 20).  In view of the foregoing, the Court cannot see any reason why that presumption is to be rebutted in the present case.

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36. The Court now turns to a further issue related to jurisdiction in the present proceedings, namely the contention that the request for an advisory opinion by the General Assembly is not on a “legal question” within the meaning of Article 96, paragraph 1, of the Charter and Article 65, paragraph 1, of the Statute of the Court.  It has been contended in this regard that, for a question to constitute a “legal question” for the purposes of these two provisions, it must be reasonably specific, since otherwise it would not be amenable to a response by the Court.  With regard to the request made in the present advisory proceedings, it has been argued that it is not possible to determine with reasonable certainty the legal meaning of the question asked of the Court for two reasons.

First, it has been argued that the question regarding the “legal consequences” of the construction of the wall only allows for two possible interpretations, each of which would lead to a course of action that is precluded for the Court.  The question asked could first be interpreted as a request for the Court to find that the construction of the wall is illegal, and then to give its opinion on the legal consequences of that illegality.  In this case, it has been contended, the Court should decline to respond to the question asked for a variety of reasons, some of which pertain to jurisdiction and others rather to the issue of propriety.  As regards jurisdiction, it is said that, if the General Assembly had wished to obtain the view of the Court on the highly complex and sensitive question of the legality of the construction of the wall, it should have expressly sought an opinion to that effect (cf. Exchange of Greek and Turkish Populations, Advisory Opinion, 1925, P.C.I.J., Series B, No. 10, p. 17).  A second possible interpretation of the request, it is said, is that the Court should assume that the construction of the wall is illegal, and then give its opinion on the legal consequences of that assumed illegality.  It has been contended that the Court should also decline to respond to the question on this hypothesis, since the request would then be based on a questionable assumption and since, in any event, it would be impossible to rule on the legal consequences of illegality without specifying the nature of that illegality.

Secondly, it has been contended that the question asked of the Court is not of a “legal” character because of its imprecision and abstract nature.  In particular, it has been argued in this regard that the question fails to specify whether the Court is being asked to address legal consequences for “the General Assembly or some other organ of the United Nations”, “Member States of the United Nations”, “Israel”, “Palestine” or “some combination of the above, or some different entity”.

37. As regards the alleged lack of clarity of the terms of the General Assembly’s request and its effect on the “legal nature” of the question referred to the Court, the Court observes that this question is directed to the legal consequences arising from a given factual situation considering the rules and principles of international law, including the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 12 August 1949 (hereinafter the “Fourth Geneva Convention”) and relevant Security Council and General Assembly resolutions.  The question submitted by the General Assembly has thus, to use the Court’s phrase in its Advisory Opinion on Western Sahara, “been framed in terms of law and raise[s] problems of international law”;  it is by its very nature susceptible of a reply based on law;  indeed it is scarcely susceptible of a reply otherwise than on the basis of law.  In the view of the Court, it is indeed a question of a legal character (see Western Sahara, Advisory Opinion, I.C.J. Reports 1975, p. 18, para. 15).

38. The Court would point out that lack of clarity in the drafting of a question does not deprive the Court of jurisdiction.  Rather, such uncertainty will require clarification in interpretation, and such necessary clarifications of interpretation have frequently been given by the Court.

In the past, both the Permanent Court and the present Court have observed in some cases that the wording of a request for an advisory opinion did not accurately state the question on which the Court’s opinion was being sought (Interpretation of the Greco-Turkish Agreement of 1 December 1926 (Final Protocol, Article IV), Advisory Opinion, 1928, P.C.I.J., Series B, No. 16 (I), pp. 14-16), or did not correspond to the “true legal question” under consideration (Interpretation of the Agreement of 25 March 1951 between the WHO and Egypt, Advisory Opinion, I.C.J. Reports 1980, pp. 87-89, paras. 34-36).  The Court noted in one case that “the question put to the Court is, on the face of it, at once infelicitously expressed and vague” (Application for Review of Judgement No. 273 of the United Nations Administrative Tribunal, Advisory Opinion, I.C.J. Reports 1982, p. 348, para. 46).

Consequently, the Court has often been required to broaden, interpret and even reformulate the questions put (see the three Opinions cited above;  see also Jaworzina, Advisory Opinion, 1923, P.C.I.J., Series B, No. 8;  Admissibility of Hearings of Petitioners by the Committee on South West Africa, Advisory Opinion, I.C.J. Reports 1956, p. 25;  Certain Expenses of the United Nations (Article 17, paragraph 2, of the Charter), Advisory Opinion, I.C.J. Reports 1962, pp. 157-162).

In the present instance, the Court will only have to do what it has often done in the past, namely “identify the existing principles and rules, interpret them and apply them . . ., thus offering a reply to the question posed based on law” (Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons, I.C.J. Reports 1996 (I), p. 234, para. 13).

39. In the present instance, if the General Assembly requests the Court to state the “legal consequences” arising from the construction of the wall, the use of these terms necessarily encompasses an assessment of whether that construction is or is not in breach of certain rules and principles of international law.  Thus, the Court is first called upon to determine whether such rules and principles have been and are still being breached by the construction of the wall along the planned route.

40. The Court does not consider that what is contended to be the abstract nature of the question posed to it raises an issue of jurisdiction.  Even when the matter was raised as an issue of propriety rather than one of jurisdiction, in the case concerning the Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons, the Court took the position that to contend that it should not deal with a question couched in abstract terms is “a mere affirmation devoid of any justification” and that “the Court may give an advisory opinion on any legal question, abstract or otherwise” (I.C.J. Reports 1996 (I), p. 236, para. 15,  referring to Conditions of Admission of a State to Membership in the United Nations (Article 4 of the Charter), Advisory Opinion, 1948, I.C.J. Reports 1947-1948, p. 61;  Effect of Awards of Compensation Made by the United Nations Administrative Tribunal, Advisory Opinion, I.C.J. Reports 1954, p. 51;  and Legal Consequences for States of the Continued Presence of South Africa in Namibia (South West Africa) notwithstanding Security Council Resolution 276 (1970), Advisory Opinion, I.C.J. Reports 1971, p. 27, para. 40).  In any event, the Court considers that the question posed to it in relation to the legal consequences of the construction of the wall is not an abstract one, and moreover that it would be for the Court to determine for whom any such consequences arise.

41. Furthermore, the Court cannot accept the view, which has also been advanced in the present proceedings, that it has no jurisdiction because of the “political” character of the question posed.  As is clear from its long-standing jurisprudence on this point, the Court considers that the fact that a legal question also has political aspects,

“as, in the nature of things, is the case with so many questions which arise in international life, does not suffice to deprive it of its character as a ‘legal question’ and to ‘deprive the Court of a competence expressly conferred on it by its Statute’(Application for Review of Judgement No. 158 of the United Nations Administrative Tribunal, Advisory Opinion, I.C.J, Reports 1973, p. 172, para. 14).  Whatever its political aspects, the Court cannot refuse to admit the legal character of a question which invites it to discharge an essentially judicial task, namely, an assessment of the legality of the possible conduct of States with regard to the obligations imposed upon them by international law (cf. Conditions of Admission of a State to Membership in the United Nations (Article 4 of the Charter), Advisory Opinion, 1948, I.C.J. Reports 1947-1948, pp. 61-62;  Competence of the General Assembly for the Admission of a State to the United Nations, Advisory Opinion, I.C.J. Reports 1950, pp. 6-7;  Certain Expenses of the United Nations (Article 17, paragraph 2, of the Charter), Advisory Opinion, I.C.J. Reports 1962, p. 155).”  (Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons, I.C.J. Reports 1996 (I), p. 234, para. 13.)

In its Opinion concerning the Interpretation of the Agreement of 25 March 1951 between the WHO and Egypt, the Court indeed emphasized that, “in situations in which political considerations are prominent it may be particularly necessary for an international organization to obtain an advisory opinion from the Court as to the legal principles applicable with respect to the matter under debate . . .” (I.C.J. Reports 1980, p. 87, para. 33).  Moreover, the Court has affirmed in its Opinion on the Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons that “the political nature of the motives which may be said to have inspired the request and the political implications that the opinion given might have are of no relevance in the establishment of its jurisdiction to give such an opinion” (I.C.J. Reports 1996 (I), p. 234, para. 13).  The Court is of the view that there is no element in the present proceedings which could lead it to conclude otherwise.

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42. The Court accordingly has jurisdiction to give the advisory opinion requested by resolution ES-10/14 of the General Assembly.

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43. It has been contended in the present proceedings, however, that the Court should decline to exercise its jurisdiction because of the presence of specific aspects of the General Assembly’s request that would render the exercise of the Court’s jurisdiction improper and inconsistent with the Court’s judicial function.

44. The Court has recalled many times in the past that Article 65, paragraph 1, of its Statute, which provides that “The Court may give an advisory opinion . . .” (emphasis added), should be interpreted to mean that the Court has a discretionary power to decline to give an advisory opinion even if the conditions of jurisdiction are met (Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons, Advisory Opinion, I.C.J. Reports 1996 (I), p. 234, para. 14).  The Court however is mindful of the fact that its answer to a request for an advisory opinion “represents its participation in the activities of the Organization, and, in principle, should not be refused” (Interpretation of Peace Treaties with Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania, First Phase, Advisory Opinion, I.C.J. Reports 1950, p. 71;  see also, for example, Difference Relating to Immunity from Legal Process of a Special Rapporteur of the Commission of Human Rights, Advisory Opinion, I.C.J. Reports 1999 (I), pp. 78-79, para. 29.)  Given its responsibilities as the “principal judicial organ of the United Nations” (Article 92 of the Charter), the Court should in principle not decline to give an advisory opinion.  In accordance with its consistent jurisprudence, only “compelling reasons” should lead the Court to refuse its opinion (Certain Expenses of the United Nations (Article 17, paragraph 2, of the Charter), Advisory Opinion, I.C.J. Reports 1962, p. 155;  see also, for example, Difference Relating to Immunity from Legal Process of a Special Rapporteur of the Commission of Human Rights, Advisory Opinion, I.C.J. Reports 1999 (I), pp. 78-79, para. 29.)

The present Court has never, in the exercise of this discretionary power, declined to respond to a request for an advisory opinion.  Its decision not to give the advisory opinion on the Legality of the Use by a State of Nuclear Weapons in Armed Conflict requested by the World Health Organization was based on the Court’s lack of jurisdiction, and not on considerations of judicial propriety (see I.C.J. Reports 1996 (I), p. 235, para. 14).  Only on one occasion did the Court’s predecessor, the Permanent Court of International Justice, take the view that it should not reply to a question put to it (Status of Eastern Carelia, Advisory Opinion, 1923, P.C.I.J., Series B, No. 5), but this was due to

“the very particular circumstances of the case, among which were that the question directly concerned an already existing dispute, one of the States parties to which was neither a party to the Statute of the Permanent Court nor a Member of the League of Nations, objected to the proceedings, and refused to take part in any way” (Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons, I.C.J. Reports 1996 (I), pp. 235-236, para. 14).

45. These considerations do not release the Court from the duty to satisfy itself, each time it is seised of a request for an opinion, as to the propriety of the exercise of its judicial function, by reference to the criterion of “compelling reasons” as cited above.  The Court will accordingly examine in detail and in the light of its jurisprudence each of the arguments presented to it in this regard.

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46. The first such argument is to the effect that the Court should not exercise its jurisdiction in the present case because the request concerns a contentious matter between Israel and Palestine, in respect of which Israel has not consented to the exercise of that jurisdiction.  According to this view, the subject-matter of the question posed by the General Assembly “is an integral part of the wider Israeli-Palestinian dispute concerning questions of terrorism, security, borders, settlements, Jerusalem and other related matters”.  Israel has emphasized that it has never consented to the settlement of this wider dispute by the Court or by any other means of compulsory adjudication; on the contrary, it contends that the parties repeatedly agreed that these issues are to be settled by negotiation, with the possibility of an agreement that recourse could be had to arbitration.  It is accordingly contended that the Court should decline to give the present Opinion, on the basis inter alia of the precedent of the decision of the Permanent Court of International Justice on the Status of Eastern Carelia.

47. The Court observes that the lack of consent to the Court’s contentious jurisdiction by interested States has no bearing on the Court’s jurisdiction to give an advisory opinion.  In an Advisory Opinion of 1950, the Court explained that:

“The consent of States, parties to a dispute, is the basis of the Court’s jurisdiction in contentious cases.  The situation is different in regard to advisory proceedings even where the Request for an Opinion relates to a legal question actually pending between States.  The Court’s reply is only of an advisory character:  as such, it has no binding force.  It follows that no State, whether a Member of the United Nations or not, can prevent the giving of an Advisory Opinion which the United Nations considers to be desirable in order to obtain enlightenment as to the course of action it should take.  The Court’s Opinion is given not to the States, but to the organ which is entitled to request it;  the reply of the Court, itself an ‘organ of the United Nations’, represents its participation in the activities of the Organization, and, in principle, should not be refused.”  (Interpretation of Peace Treaties with Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania, First Phase, Advisory Opinion, I.C.J. Reports 1950, p. 71;  see also Western Sahara, I.C.J. Reports 1975, p. 24, para. 31.)

It followed from this that, in those proceedings, the Court did not refuse to respond to the request for an advisory opinion on the ground that, in the particular circumstances, it lacked jurisdiction.  The Court did however examine the opposition of certain interested States to the request by the General Assembly in the context of issues of judicial propriety.  Commenting on its 1950 decision, the Court explained in its Advisory Opinion on Western Sahara that it had “Thus . . . recognized that lack of consent might constitute a ground for declining to give the opinion requested if, in the circumstances of a given case, considerations of judicial propriety should oblige the Court to refuse an opinion.”  The Court continued:

“In certain circumstances . . . the lack of consent of an interested State may render the giving of an advisory opinion incompatible with the Court’s judicial character.  An instance of this would be when the circumstances disclose that to give a reply would have the effect of circumventing the principle that a State is not obliged to allow its disputes to be submitted to judicial settlement without its consent.”  (Western Sahara, I.C.J. Reports 1975, p. 25, paras. 32-33.)

In applying that principle to the request concerning Western Sahara, the Court found that a legal controversy did indeed exist, but one which had arisen during the proceedings of the General Assembly and in relation to matters with which the Assembly was dealing.  It had not arisen independently in bilateral relations (ibid., p. 25, para. 34).

48. As regards the request for an advisory opinion now before it, the Court acknowledges that Israel and Palestine have expressed radically divergent views on the legal consequences of Israel’s construction of the wall, on which the Court has been asked to pronounce.  However, as the Court has itself noted, “Differences of views . . . on legal issues have existed in practically every advisory proceeding” (Legal Consequences for States of the Continued Presence of South Africa in Namibia (South West Africa) notwithstanding Security Council Resolution 276 (1970), Advisory Opinion, I.C.J. Reports 1971, p. 24, para. 34).

49. Furthermore, the Court does not consider that the subject-matter of the General Assembly’s request can be regarded as only a bilateral matter between Israel and Palestine.  Given the powers and responsibilities of the United Nations in questions relating to international peace and security, it is the Court’s view that the construction of the wall must be deemed to be directly of concern to the United Nations.  The responsibility of the United Nations in this matter also has its origin in the Mandate and the Partition Resolution concerning Palestine (see paragraphs 70 and 71 below).  This responsibility has been described by the General Assembly as “a permanent responsibility towards the question of Palestine until the question is resolved in all its aspects in a satisfactory manner in accordance with international legitimacy” (General Assembly resolution 57/107 of 3 December 2002).  Within the institutional framework of the Organization, this responsibility has been manifested by the adoption of many Security Council and General Assembly resolutions, and by the creation of several subsidiary bodies specifically established to assist in the realization of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people.  

50. The object of the request before the Court is to obtain from the Court an opinion which the General Assembly deems of assistance to it for the proper exercise of its functions.  The opinion is requested on a question which is of particularly acute concern to the United Nations, and one which is located in a much broader frame of reference than a bilateral dispute.  In the circumstances, the Court does not consider that to give an opinion would have the effect of circumventing the principle of consent to judicial settlement, and the Court accordingly cannot, in the exercise of its discretion, decline to give an opinion on that ground.

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51. The Court now turns to another argument raised in the present proceedings in support of the view that it should decline to exercise its jurisdiction.  Some participants have argued that an advisory opinion from the Court on the legality of the wall and the legal consequences of its construction could impede a political, negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  More particularly, it has been contended that such an opinion could undermine the scheme of the “Roadmap” (see paragraph 22 above), which requires Israel and Palestine to comply with certain obligations in various phases referred to therein.  The requested opinion, it has been alleged, could complicate the negotiations envisaged in the “Roadmap”, and the Court should therefore exercise its discretion and decline to reply to the question put.

This is a submission of a kind which the Court has already had to consider several times in the past.  For instance, in its Advisory opinion on the Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons, the Court stated:

“It has . . . been submitted that a reply from the Court in this case might adversely affect disarmament negotiations and would, therefore, be contrary to the interest of the United Nations.  The Court is aware that, no matter what might be its conclusions in any opinion it might give, they would have relevance for the continuing debate on the matter in the General Assembly and would present an additional element in the negotiations on the matter.  Beyond that, the effect of the opinion is a matter of appreciation.  The Court has heard contrary positions advanced and there are no evident criteria by which it can prefer one assessment to another.”  (I.C.J. Reports 1996 (I), p. 237, para. 17;  see also Western Sahara, I.C.J. Reports 1975, p. 37, para. 73.)

52. One participant in the present proceedings has indicated that the Court, if it were to give a response to the request, should in any event do so keeping in mind

“two key aspects of the peace process:  the fundamental principle that permanent status issues must be resolved through negotiations;  and the need during the interim period for the parties to fulfill their security responsibilities so that the peace process can succeed”.

53. The Court is conscious that the “Roadmap”, which was endorsed by the Security Council in resolution 1515 (2003) (see paragraph 22 above), constitutes a negotiating framework for the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  It is not clear, however, what influence the Court’s opinion might have on those negotiations:  participants in the present proceedings have expressed differing views in this regard.  The Court cannot regard this factor as a compelling reason to decline to exercise its jurisdiction.

54. It was also put to the Court by certain participants that the question of the construction of the wall was only one aspect of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which could not be properly addressed in the present proceedings.  The Court does not however consider this a reason for it to decline to reply to the question asked.  The Court is indeed aware that the question of the wall is part of a greater whole, and it would take this circumstance carefully into account in any opinion it might give.  At the same time, the question that the General Assembly has chosen to ask of the Court is confined to the legal consequences of the construction of the wall, and the Court would only examine other issues to the extent that they might be necessary to its consideration of the question put to it.

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55. Several participants in the proceedings have raised the further argument that the Court should decline to exercise its jurisdiction because it does not have at its disposal the requisite facts and evidence to enable it to reach its conclusions.  In particular, Israel has contended, referring to the Advisory Opinion on the Interpretation of Peace Treaties with Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania, that the Court could not give an opinion on issues which raise questions of fact that cannot be elucidated without hearing all parties to the conflict.  According to Israel, if the Court decided to give the requested opinion, it would be forced to speculate about essential facts and make assumptions about arguments of law.  More specifically, Israel has argued that the Court could not rule on the legal consequences of the construction of the wall without enquiring, first, into the nature and scope of the security threat to which the wall is intended to respond and the effectiveness of that response, and, second, into the impact of the construction for the Palestinians.  This task, which would already be difficult in a contentious case, would be further complicated in an advisory proceeding, particularly since Israel alone possesses much of the necessary information and has stated that it chooses not to address the merits.  Israel has concluded that the Court, confronted with factual issues impossible to clarify in the present proceedings, should use its discretion and decline to comply with the request for an advisory opinion.

56. The Court observes that the question whether the evidence available to it is sufficient to give an advisory opinion must be decided in each particular instance.  In its Opinion concerning the Interpretation of Peace Treaties with Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania (I.C.J. Reports 1950, p. 72) and again in its Opinion on the Western Sahara, the Court made it clear that what is decisive in these circumstances is “whether the Court has before it sufficient information and evidence to enable it to arrive at a judicial conclusion upon any disputed questions of fact the determination of which is necessary for it to give an opinion in conditions compatible with its judicial character” (Western Sahara, I.C.J. Reports 1975, pp. 28-29, para. 46).  Thus, for instance, in the proceedings concerning the Status of Eastern Carelia, the Permanent Court of International Justice decided to decline to give an Opinion inter alia because the question put “raised a question of fact which could not be elucidated without hearing both parties” (Interpretation of Peace Treaties with Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania, I.C.J. Reports 1950, p. 72;  see Status of Eastern Carelia, P.C.I.J., Series B, No. 5, p. 28).  On the other hand, in the Western Sahara Opinion, the Court observed that it had been provided with very extensive documentary evidence of the relevant facts (I.C.J. Reports 1975, p. 29, para. 47).

57. In the present instance, the Court has at its disposal the report of the Secretary-General, as well as a voluminous dossier submitted by him to the Court, comprising not only detailed information on the route of the wall but also on its humanitarian and socio-economic impact on the Palestinian population.  The dossier includes several reports based on on-site visits by special rapporteurs and competent organs of the United Nations.  The Secretary-General has further submitted to the Court a written statement updating his report, which supplemented the information contained therein.  Moreover, numerous other participants have submitted to the Court written statements which contain information relevant to a response to the question put by the General Assembly.  The Court notes in particular that Israel’s Written Statement, although limited to issues of jurisdiction and judicial propriety, contained observations on other matters, including Israel’s concerns in terms of security, and was accompanied by corresponding annexes;  many other documents issued by the Israeli Government on those matters are in the public domain.

58. The Court finds that it has before it sufficient information and evidence to enable it to give the advisory opinion requested by the General Assembly.  Moreover, the circumstance that others may evaluate and interpret these facts in a subjective or political manner can be no argument for a court of law to abdicate its judicial task.  There is therefore in the present case no lack of information such as to constitute a compelling reason for the Court to decline to give the requested opinion.

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59. In their written statements, some participants have also put forward the argument that the Court should decline to give the requested opinion on the legal consequences of the construction of the wall because such opinion would lack any useful purpose.  They have argued that the advisory opinions of the Court are to be seen as a means to enable an organ or agency in need of legal clarification for its future action to obtain that clarification.  In the present instance, the argument continues, the General Assembly would not need an opinion of the Court because it has already declared the construction of the wall to be illegal and has already determined the legal consequences by demanding that Israel stop and reverse its construction, and further, because the General Assembly has never made it clear how it intended to use the opinion.

60. As is clear from the Court’s jurisprudence, advisory opinions have the purpose of furnishing to the requesting organs the elements of law necessary for them in their action.  In its Opinion concerning Reservations to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, the Court observed:  “The object of this request for an Opinion is to guide the United Nations in respect of its own action.”  (I.C.J. Reports 1951, p. 19.)  Likewise, in its Opinion on the Legal Consequences for States of the Continued Presence of South Africa in Namibia (South West Africa) notwithstanding Security Council Resolution 276 (1970), the Court noted:  “The request is put forward by a United Nations organ with reference to its own decisions and it seeks legal advice from the Court on the consequences and implications of these decisions.”  (I.C.J. Reports 1971, p. 24, para. 32.)  The Court found on another occasion that the advisory opinion it was to give would “furnish the General Assembly with elements of a legal character relevant to its further treatment of the decolonization of Western Sahara” (Western Sahara, I.C.J. Reports 1975, p. 37, para. 72).

61. With regard to the argument that the General Assembly has not made it clear what use it would make of an advisory opinion on the wall, the Court would recall, as equally relevant in the present proceedings, what it stated in its Opinion on the Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons:

“Certain States have observed that the General Assembly has not explained to the Court for what precise purposes it seeks the advisory opinion.  Nevertheless, it is not for the Court itself to purport to decide whether or not an advisory opinion is needed by the Assembly for the performance of its functions.  The General Assembly has the right to decide for itself on the usefulness of an opinion in the light of its own needs.”  (I.C.J. Reports 1996 (I), p. 237, para. 16.)

62. It follows that the Court cannot decline to answer the question posed based on the ground that its opinion would lack any useful purpose.  The Court cannot substitute its assessment of the usefulness of the opinion requested for that of the organ that seeks such opinion, namely the General Assembly.  Furthermore, and in any event, the Court considers that the General Assembly has not yet determined all the possible consequences of its own resolution.  The Court’s task would be to determine in a comprehensive manner the legal consequences of the construction of the wall, while the General Assembly  and the Security Council  may then draw conclusions from the Court’s findings.

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63. Lastly, the Court will turn to another argument advanced with regard to the propriety of its giving an advisory opinion in the present proceedings.  Israel has contended that Palestine, given its responsibility for acts of violence against Israel and its population which the wall is aimed at addressing, cannot seek from the Court a remedy for a situation resulting from its own wrongdoing.  In this context, Israel has invoked the maxim nullus commodum capere potest de sua injuria propria, which it considers to be as relevant in advisory proceedings as it is in contentious cases.  Therefore, Israel concludes, good faith and the principle of “clean hands” provide a compelling reason that should lead the Court to refuse the General Assembly’s request.

64. The Court does not consider  this argument to be pertinent.  As was emphasized earlier, it was the General Assembly which requested the advisory opinion, and the opinion is to be given to the General Assembly, and not to a specific State or entity.

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65. In the light of the foregoing, the Court concludes not only that it has jurisdiction to give an opinion on the question put to it by the General Assembly (see paragraph 42 above), but also that there is no compelling reason for it to use its discretionary power not to give that opinion.  

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66. The Court will now address the question put to it by the General Assembly in resolution ES-10/14.  The Court recalls that the question is as follows:

“What are the legal consequences arising from the construction of the wall being built by Israel, the occupying Power, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, as described in the report of the Secretary-General, considering the rules and principles of international law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, and relevant Security Council and General Assembly resolutions?”

67. As explained in paragraph 82 below, the “wall” in question is a complex construction, so that that term cannot be understood in a limited physical sense.  However, the other terms used, either by Israel (“fence”) or by the Secretary-General (“barrier”), are no more accurate if understood in the physical sense.  In this Opinion, the Court has therefore chosen to use the terminology employed by the General Assembly.

The Court notes furthermore that the request of the General Assembly concerns the legal consequences of the wall being built “in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem”.  As also explained below (see paragraphs 79-84 below), some parts of the complex are being built, or are planned to be built, on the territory of Israel itself;  the Court does not consider that it is called upon to examine the legal consequences arising from the construction of those parts of the wall.

68. The question put by the General Assembly concerns the legal consequences of the construction of the wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.  However, in order to indicate those consequences to the General Assembly the Court must first determine whether or not the construction of that wall breaches international law (see paragraph 39 above).  It will therefore make this determination before dealing with the consequences of the construction.

69. To do so, the Court will first make a brief analysis of the status of the territory concerned, and will then describe the works already constructed or in course of construction in that territory.  It will then indicate the applicable law before seeking to establish whether that law has been breached.

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70. Palestine was part of the Ottoman Empire.  At the end of the First World War, a class “A” Mandate for Palestine was entrusted to Great Britain by the League of Nations, pursuant to paragraph 4 of Article 22 of the Covenant, which provided that:

“Certain communities, formerly belonging to the Turkish Empire have reached a stage of development where their existence as independent nations can be provisionally recognized subject to the rendering of administrative advice and assistance by a Mandatory until such time as they are able to stand alone.”

The Court recalls that in its Advisory Opinion on the International Status of South West Africa, speaking of mandates in general, it observed that “The Mandate was created, in the interest of the inhabitants of the territory, and of humanity in general, as an international institution with an international object  a sacred trust of civilization.”  (I.C.J. Reports 1950, p. 132.)  The Court also held in this regard that “two principles were considered to be of paramount importance:  the principle of non-annexation and the principle that the well-being and development of . . . peoples [not yet able to govern themselves] form[ed] ‘a sacred trust of civilization’” (ibid., p. 131).  

The territorial boundaries of the Mandate for Palestine were laid down by various instruments, in particular on the eastern border by a British memorandum of 16 September 1922 and an Anglo-Transjordanian Treaty of 20 February 1928.

71. In 1947 the United Kingdom announced its intention to complete evacuation of the mandated territory by 1 August 1948, subsequently advancing that date to 15 May 1948.  In the meantime, the General Assembly had on 29 November 1947 adopted resolution 181 (II) on the future government of Palestine, which “Recommends to the United Kingdom . . . and to all other Members of the United Nations the adoption and implementation . . . of the Plan of Partition” of the territory, as set forth in the resolution, between two independent States, one Arab, the other Jewish, as well as the creation of a special international régime for the City of Jerusalem.  The Arab population of Palestine and the Arab States rejected this plan, contending that it was unbalanced;  on 14 May 1948, Israel proclaimed its independence on the strength of the General Assembly resolution;  armed conflict then broke out between Israel and a number of Arab States and the Plan of Partition was not implemented.

72. By resolution 62 (1948) of 16 November 1948, the Security Council decided that “an armistice shall be established in all sectors of Palestine” and called upon the parties directly involved in the conflict to seek agreement to this end.  In conformity with this decision, general armistice agreements were concluded in 1949 between Israel and the neighbouring States through mediation by the United Nations.  In particular, one such agreement was signed in Rhodes on 3 April 1949 between Israel and Jordan.  Articles V and VI of that Agreement fixed the armistice demarcation line between Israeli and Arab forces (often later called the “Green Line” owing to the colour used for it on maps; hereinafter the “Green Line”).  Article III, paragraph 2, provided that “No element of the . . . military or para-military forces of either Party . . . shall advance beyond or pass over for any purpose whatsoever the Armistice Demarcation Lines . . .”  It was agreed in Article VI, paragraph 8, that these provisions would not be “interpreted as prejudicing, in any sense, an ultimate political settlement between the Parties”.  It was also stated that “the Armistice Demarcation Lines defined in articles V and VI of [the] Agreement [were] agreed upon by the Parties without prejudice to future territorial settlements or boundary lines or to claims of either Party relating thereto”.  The Demarcation Line was subject to such rectification as might be agreed upon by the parties.

73. In the 1967 armed conflict, Israeli forces occupied all the territories which had constituted Palestine under British Mandate (including those known as the West Bank, lying to the east of the Green Line).

74. On 22 November 1967, the Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 242 (1967), which emphasized the inadmissibility of acquisition of territory by war and called for the “Withdrawal of Israel armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict”, and “Termination of all claims or states of belligerency”.

75. From 1967 onwards, Israel took a number of measures in these territories aimed at changing the status of the City of Jerusalem.  The Security Council, after recalling on a number of occasions “the principle that acquisition of territory by military conquest is inadmissible”, condemned those measures and, by resolution 298 (1971) of 25 September 1971, confirmed in the clearest possible terms that:

“all legislative and administrative actions taken by Israel to change the status of the City of Jerusalem, including expropriation of land and properties, transfer of populations and legislation aimed at the incorporation of the occupied section, are totally invalid and cannot change that status”.

Later, following the adoption by Israel on 30 July 1980 of the Basic Law making Jerusalem the “complete and united” capital of Israel, the Security Council, by resolution 478 (1980) of 20 August 1980, stated that the enactment of that Law constituted a violation of international law and that “all legislative and administrative measures and actions taken by Israel, the occupying Power, which have altered or purport to alter the character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem . . . are null and void”.  It further decided “not to recognize the ‘basic law’ and such other actions by Israel that, as a result of this law, seek to alter the character and status of Jerusalem”.

76. Subsequently, a peace treaty was signed on 26 October 1994 between Israel and Jordan.  That treaty fixed the boundary between the two States “with reference to the boundary definition under the Mandate as is shown in Annex I (a) . . . without prejudice to the status of any territories that came under Israeli military government control in 1967” (Article 3, paragraphs 1 and 2).  Annex I provided the corresponding maps and added that, with regard to the “territory that came under Israeli military government control in 1967”, the line indicated “is the administrative boundary” with Jordan.

77. Lastly, a number of agreements have been signed since 1993 between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization imposing various obligations on each party.  Those agreements inter alia required Israel to transfer to Palestinian authorities certain powers and responsibilities exercised in the Occupied Palestinian Territory by its military authorities and civil administration.  Such transfers have taken place, but, as a result of subsequent events, they remained partial and limited.  

78. The Court would observe that, under customary international law as reflected (see paragraph 89 below) in Article 42 of the Regulations Respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land annexed to the Fourth Hague Convention of 18 October 1907 (hereinafter “the Hague Regulations of 1907”), territory is considered occupied when it is actually placed under the authority of the hostile army, and the occupation extends only to the territory where such authority has been established and can be exercised.

The territories situated between the Green Line (see paragraph 72 above) and the former eastern boundary of Palestine under the Mandate were occupied by Israel in 1967 during the armed conflict between Israel and Jordan.  Under customary international law, these were therefore occupied territories in which Israel had the status of occupying Power.  Subsequent events in these territories, as described in paragraphs 75 to 77 above, have done nothing to alter this situation.  All these territories (including East Jerusalem) remain occupied territories and Israel has continued to have the status of occupying Power.  

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79. It is essentially in these territories that Israel has constructed or plans to construct the works described in the report of the Secretary-General.  The Court will now describe those works, basing itself on that report.  For developments subsequent to the publication of that report, the Court will refer to complementary information contained in the Written Statement of the United Nations, which was intended by the Secretary-General to supplement his report (hereinafter “Written Statement of the Secretary-General”).

80. The report of the Secretary-General states that “The Government of Israel has since 1996 considered plans to halt infiltration into Israel from the central and northern West Bank . . .”  (Para. 4.)  According to that report, a plan of this type was approved for the first time by the Israeli Cabinet in July 2001.  Then, on 14 April 2002, the Cabinet adopted a decision for the construction of works, forming what Israel describes as a “security fence”, 80 kilometres in length, in three areas of the West Bank.

The project was taken a stage further when, on 23 June 2002, the Israeli Cabinet approved the first phase of the construction of a “continuous fence” in the West Bank (including East Jerusalem).  On 14 August 2002, it adopted the line of that “fence” for the work in Phase A, with a view to the construction of a complex 123 kilometres long in the northern West Bank, running from the Salem checkpoint (north of Jenin) to the settlement at Elkana.  Phase B of the work was approved in December 2002.  It entailed a stretch of some 40 kilometres running east from the Salem checkpoint towards Beth Shean along the northern part of the Green Line as far as the Jordan Valley.  Furthermore, on 1 October 2003, the Israeli Cabinet approved a full route, which, according to the report of the Secretary-General, “will form one continuous line stretching 720 kilometres along the West Bank”.  A map showing completed and planned sections was posted on the Israeli Ministry of Defence website on 23 October 2003.  According to the particulars provided on that map, a continuous section (Phase C) encompassing a number of large settlements will link the north-western end of the “security fence” built around Jerusalem with the southern point of Phase A construction at Elkana.  According to the same map, the “security fence” will run for 115 kilometres from the Har Gilo settlement near Jerusalem to the Carmel settlement south-east of Hebron (Phase D).  According to Ministry of Defence documents, work in this sector is due for completion in 2005.  Lastly, there are references in the case file to Israel’s planned construction of a “security fence” following the Jordan Valley along the mountain range to the west.

81. According to the Written Statement of the Secretary-General, the first part of these works (Phase A), which ultimately extends for a distance of 150 kilometres, was declared completed on 31 July 2003.  It is reported that approximately 56,000 Palestinians would be encompassed in enclaves.  During this phase, two sections totalling 19.5 kilometres were built around Jerusalem.  In November 2003 construction of a new section was begun along the Green Line to the west of the Nazlat Issa-Baqa al-Sharqiya enclave, which in January 2004 was close to completion at the time when the Secretary-General submitted his Written Statement.

According to the Written Statement of the Secretary-General, the works carried out under Phase B were still in progress in January 2004.  Thus an initial section of this stretch, which runs near or on the Green Line to the village of al-Mutilla, was almost complete in January 2004.  Two additional sections diverge at this point.  Construction started in early January 2004 on one section that runs due east as far as the Jordanian border.  Construction of the second section, which is planned to run from the Green Line to the village of Taysir, has barely begun.  The United Nations has, however, been informed that this second section might not be built.

The Written Statement of the Secretary-General further states that Phase C of the work, which runs from the terminus of Phase A, near the Elkana settlement, to the village of Nu’man, south-east of Jerusalem, began in December 2003.  This section is divided into three stages.  In Stage C1, between inter alia the villages of Rantis and Budrus, approximately 4 kilometres out of a planned total of 40 kilometres have been constructed.  Stage C2, which will surround the so-called “Ariel Salient” by cutting 22 kilometres into the West Bank, will incorporate 52,000 Israeli settlers.  Stage C3 is to involve the construction of two “depth barriers”;  one of these is to run north-south, roughly parallel with the section of Stage C1 currently under construction between Rantis and Budrus, whilst the other runs east-west along a ridge said to be part of the route of Highway 45, a motorway under construction.  If construction of the two barriers were completed, two enclaves would be formed, encompassing 72,000 Palestinians in 24 communities.

Further construction also started in late November 2003 along the south-eastern part of the municipal boundary of Jerusalem, following a route that, according to the Written Statement of the Secretary-General, cuts off the suburban village of El-Ezariya from Jerusalem and splits the neighbouring Abu Dis in two.

As at 25 January 2004, according to the Written Statement of the Secretary-General, some 190 kilometres of construction had been completed, covering Phase A and the greater part of Phase B.  Further construction in Phase C had begun in certain areas of the central West Bank and in Jerusalem.  Phase D, planned for the southern part of the West Bank, had not yet begun.

The Israeli Government has explained that the routes and timetable as described above are subject to modification.  In February 2004, for example, an 8-kilometre section near the town of Baqa al-Sharqiya was demolished, and the planned length of the wall appears to have been slightly reduced.  

82. According to the description in the report and the Written Statement of the Secretary-General, the works planned or completed have resulted or will result in a complex consisting essentially of:

(1) a fence with electronic sensors;

(2) a ditch (up to 4 metres deep);

(3) a two-lane asphalt patrol road;

(4) a trace road (a strip of sand smoothed to detect footprints) running parallel to the fence;

(5) a stack of six coils of barbed wire marking the perimeter of the complex.

The complex has a width of 50 to 70 metres, increasing to as much as 100 metres in some places.  “Depth barriers” may be added to these works.

The approximately 180 kilometres of the complex completed or under construction as of the time when the Secretary-General submitted his report included some 8.5 kilometres of concrete wall.  These are generally found where Palestinian population centres are close to or abut Israel (such as near Qalqiliya and Tulkarm or in parts of Jerusalem).

83. According to the report of the Secretary-General, in its northernmost part, the wall as completed or under construction barely deviates from the Green Line.  It nevertheless lies within occupied territories for most of its course.  The works deviate more than 7.5 kilometres from the Green Line in certain places to encompass settlements, while encircling Palestinian population areas.  A stretch of 1 to 2 kilometres west of Tulkarm appears to run on the Israeli side of the Green Line.  Elsewhere, on the other hand, the planned route would deviate eastward by up to 22 kilometres.  In the case of Jerusalem, the existing works and the planned route lie well beyond the Green Line and even in some cases beyond the eastern municipal boundary of Jerusalem as fixed by Israel.

84. On the basis of that route, approximately 975 square kilometres (or 16.6 per cent of the West Bank) would, according to the report of the Secretary-General, lie between the Green Line and the wall.  This area is stated to be home to 237,000 Palestinians.  If the full wall were completed as planned, another 160,000 Palestinians would live in almost completely encircled communities, described as enclaves in the report.  As a result of the planned route, nearly 320,000 Israeli settlers (of whom 178,000 in East Jerusalem) would be living in the area between the Green Line and the wall.

85. Lastly, it should be noted that the construction of the wall has been accompanied by the creation of a new administrative régime.  Thus in October 2003 the Israeli Defence Forces issued Orders establishing the part of the West Bank lying between the Green Line and the wall as a “Closed Area”.  Residents of this area may no longer remain in it, nor may non-residents enter it, unless holding a permit or identity card issued by the Israeli authorities.  According to the report of the Secretary-General, most residents have received permits for a limited period.  Israeli citizens, Israeli permanent residents and those eligible to immigrate to Israel in accordance with the Law of Return may remain in, or move freely to, from and within the Closed Area without a permit.  Access to and exit from the Closed Area can only be made through access gates, which are opened infrequently and for short periods.

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86. The Court will now determine the rules and principles of international law which are relevant in assessing the legality of the measures taken by Israel.  Such rules and principles can be found in the United Nations Charter and certain other treaties, in customary international law and in the relevant resolutions adopted pursuant to the Charter by the General Assembly and the Security Council.  However, doubts have been expressed by Israel as to the applicability in the Occupied Palestinian Territory of certain rules of international humanitarian law and human rights instruments.  The Court will now consider these various questions.

87. The Court first recalls that, pursuant to Article 2, paragraph 4, of the United Nations Charter:

“All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.”

On 24 October 1970, the General Assembly adopted resolution 2625 (XXV), entitled “Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Co-operation among States” (hereinafter “resolution 2625 (XXV)”), in which it emphasized that “No territorial acquisition resulting from the threat or use of force shall be recognized as legal.”  As the Court stated in its Judgment in the case concerning Military and Paramilitary Activities in and against Nicaragua (Nicaragua v. United States of America), the principles as to the use of force incorporated in the Charter reflect customary international law (see I.C.J. Reports 1986, pp. 98-101, paras. 187-190);  the same is true of its corollary entailing the illegality of territorial acquisition resulting from the threat or use of force.

88. The Court also notes that the principle of self-determination of peoples has been enshrined in the United Nations Charter and reaffirmed by the General Assembly in resolution 2625 (XXV) cited above, pursuant to which “Every State has the duty to refrain from any forcible action which deprives peoples referred to [in that resolution] . . . of their right to self-determination.”  Article 1 common to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights reaffirms the right of all peoples to self-determination, and lays upon the States parties the obligation to promote the realization of that right and to respect it, in conformity with the provisions of the United Nations Charter.

The Court would recall that in 1971 it emphasized that current developments in “international law in regard to non-self-governing territories, as enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, made the principle of self-determination applicable to all [such territories]”.  The Court went on to state that “These developments leave little doubt that the ultimate objective of the sacred trust” referred to in Article 22, paragraph 1, of the Covenant of the League of Nations “was the self-determination . . . of the peoples concerned” (Legal Consequences for States of the Continued Presence of South Africa in Namibia (South West Africa) notwithstanding Security Council Resolution 276 (1970), Advisory Opinion, I.C.J. Reports 1971, p. 31, paras. 52-53).  The Court has referred to this principle on a number of occasions in its jurisprudence (ibid.;  see also Western Sahara, Advisory Opinion, I.C.J. Reports 1975, p. 68, para. 162).  The Court indeed made it clear that the right of peoples to self-determination is today a right erga omnes (see East Timor (Portugal v. Australia), Judgment, I.C.J. Reports 1995, p. 102, para. 29).

89. As regards international humanitarian law, the Court would first note that Israel is not a party to the Fourth Hague Convention of 1907, to which the Hague Regulations are annexed.  The Court observes that, in the words of the Convention, those Regulations were prepared “to revise the general laws and customs of war” existing at that time.  Since then, however, the International Military Tribunal of Nuremberg has found that the “rules laid down in the Convention were recognised by all civilised nations, and were regarded as being declaratory of the laws and customs of war” (Judgment of the International Military Tribunal of Nuremberg, 30 September and 1 October 1946, p. 65).  The Court itself reached the same conclusion when examining the rights and duties of belligerents in their conduct of military operations (Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons, Advisory Opinion, I.C.J. Reports 1996 (I), p. 256, para. 75).  The Court considers that the provisions of the Hague Regulations have become part of customary law, as is in fact recognized by all the participants in the proceedings before the Court.

The Court also observes that, pursuant to Article 154 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, that Convention is supplementary to Sections II and III of the Hague Regulations.  Section III of those Regulations, which concerns “Military authority over the territory of the hostile State”, is particularly pertinent in the present case.

90. Secondly, with regard to the Fourth Geneva Convention, differing views have been expressed by the participants in these proceedings.  Israel, contrary to the great majority of the other participants, disputes the applicability de jure of the Convention to the Occupied Palestinian Territory.  In particular, in paragraph 3 of Annex I to the report of the Secretary-General, entitled “Summary Legal Position of the Government of Israel”, it is stated that Israel does not agree that the Fourth Geneva Convention “is applicable to the occupied Palestinian Territory”, citing “the lack of recognition of the territory as sovereign prior to its annexation by Jordan and Egypt” and inferring that it is “not a territory of a High Contracting Party as required by the Convention”.

91. The Court would recall that the Fourth Geneva Convention was ratified by Israel on 6 July 1951 and that Israel is a party to that Convention.  Jordan has also been a party thereto since 29 May 1951.  Neither of the two States has made any reservation that would be pertinent to the present proceedings.

Furthermore, Palestine gave a unilateral undertaking, by declaration of 7 June 1982, to apply the Fourth Geneva Convention.  Switzerland, as depositary State, considered that unilateral undertaking valid.  It concluded, however, that it “[was] not  as a depositary  in a position to decide whether” “the request [dated 14 June 1989] from the Palestine Liberation Movement in the name of the ‘State of Palestine’ to accede” inter alia to the Fourth Geneva Convention “can be considered as an instrument of accession”.

92. Moreover, for the purpose of determining the scope of application of the Fourth Geneva Convention, it should be recalled that under common Article 2 of the four Conventions of 12 August 1949:

“In addition to the provisions which shall be implemented in peacetime, the present Convention shall apply to all cases of declared war or of any other armed conflict which may arise between two or more of the High Contracting Parties, even if the state of war is not recognized by one of them.

The Convention shall also apply to all cases of partial or total occupation of the territory of a High Contracting Party, even if the said occupation meets with no armed resistance.

Although one of the Powers in conflict may not be a party to the present Convention, the Powers who are parties thereto shall remain bound by it in their mutual relations.  They shall furthermore be bound by the Convention in relation to the said Power, if the latter accepts and applies the provisions thereof.”

93. After the occupation of the West Bank in 1967, the Israeli authorities issued an order No. 3 stating in its Article 35 that:

“the Military Court . . . must apply the provisions of the Geneva Convention dated 12 August 1949 relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War with respect to judicial procedures.  In case of conflict between this Order and the said Convention, the Convention shall prevail.”  

Subsequently, the Israeli authorities have indicated on a number of occasions that in fact they generally apply the humanitarian provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention within the occupied territories.  However, according to Israel’s position as briefly recalled in paragraph 90 above, that Convention is not applicable de jure within those territories because, under Article 2, paragraph 2, it applies only in the case of occupation of territories falling under the sovereignty of a High Contracting Party involved in an armed conflict.  Israel explains that Jordan was admittedly a party to the Fourth Geneva Convention in 1967, and that an armed conflict broke out at that time between Israel and Jordan, but it goes on to observe that the territories occupied by Israel subsequent to that conflict had not previously fallen under Jordanian sovereignty.  It infers from this that that Convention is not applicable de jure in those territories.  According however to the great majority of other participants in the proceedings, the Fourth Geneva Convention is applicable to those territories pursuant to Article 2, paragraph 1, whether or not Jordan had any rights in respect thereof prior to 1967.

94. The Court would recall that, according to customary international law as expressed in Article 31 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties of 23 May 1969, a treaty must be interpreted in good faith in accordance with the ordinary meaning to be given to its terms in their context and in the light of its object and purpose.  Article 32 provides that:

“Recourse may be had to supplementary means of interpretation, including the preparatory work of the treaty and the circumstances of its conclusion, in order to confirm the meaning resulting from the application of article 31, or to determine the meaning when the interpretation according to article 31 . . . leaves the meaning ambiguous or obscure;  or . . . leads to a result which is manifestly obscure or unreasonable.”  (See Oil Platforms (Islamic Republic of Iran v. United States of America), Preliminary Objections, I.C.J. Reports 1996 (II), p. 812, para. 23;  see, similarly, Kasikili/Sedudu Island (Botswana/Namibia), I.C.J. Reports 1999 (II), p. 1059, para. 18, and Sovereignty over Pulau Ligitan and Pulau Sipadan (Indonesia/Malaysia), Judgment, I.C.J. Reports 2002, p. 645, para. 37.)

95. The Court notes that, according to the first paragraph of Article 2 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, that Convention is applicable when two conditions are fulfilled:  that there exists an armed conflict (whether or not a state of war has been recognized);  and that the conflict has arisen between two contracting parties.  If those two conditions are satisfied, the Convention applies, in particular, in any territory occupied in the course of the conflict by one of the contracting parties.

The object of the second paragraph of Article 2 is not to restrict the scope of application of the Convention, as defined by the first paragraph, by excluding therefrom territories not falling under the sovereignty of one of the contracting parties.  It is directed simply to making it clear that, even if occupation effected during the conflict met no armed resistance, the Convention is still applicable.

This interpretation reflects the intention of the drafters of the Fourth Geneva Convention to protect civilians who find themselves, in whatever way, in the hands of the occupying Power.  Whilst the drafters of the Hague Regulations of 1907 were as much concerned with protecting the rights of a State whose territory is occupied, as with protecting the inhabitants of that territory, the drafters of the Fourth Geneva Convention sought to guarantee the protection of civilians in time of war, regardless of the status of the occupied territories, as is shown by Article 47 of the Convention.

That interpretation is confirmed by the Convention’s travaux préparatoires. The Conference of Government Experts convened by the International Committee of the Red Cross (hereinafter, “ICRC”) in the aftermath of the Second World War for the purpose of preparing the new Geneva Conventions recommended that these conventions be applicable to any armed conflict “whether [it] is or is not recognized as a state of war by the parties” and “in cases of occupation of territories in the absence of any state of war” (Report on the Work of the Conference of Government Experts for the Study of the Conventions for the Protection of War Victims, Geneva, 14-26 April 1947, p. 8).  The drafters of the second paragraph of Article 2 thus had no intention, when they inserted that paragraph into the Convention, of restricting the latter’s scope of application.  They were merely seeking to provide for cases of occupation without combat, such as the occupation of Bohemia and Moravia by Germany in 1939.  

96. The Court would moreover note that the States parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention approved that interpretation at their Conference on 15 July 1999.  They issued a statement in which they “reaffirmed the applicability of the Fourth Geneva Convention to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem”.  Subsequently, on 5 December 2001, the High Contracting Parties, referring in particular to Article 1 of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, once again reaffirmed the “applicability of the Fourth Geneva Convention to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem”.  They further reminded the Contracting Parties participating in the Conference, the parties to the conflict, and the State of Israel as occupying Power, of their respective obligations.

97. Moreover, the Court would observe that the ICRC, whose special position with respect to execution of the Fourth Geneva Convention must be “recognized and respected at all times” by the parties pursuant to Article 142 of the Convention, has also expressed its opinion on the interpretation to be given to the Convention.  In a declaration of 5 December 2001, it recalled that “the ICRC has always affirmed the de jure applicability of the Fourth Geneva Convention to the territories occupied since 1967 by the State of Israel, including East Jerusalem”.

98. The Court notes that the General Assembly has, in many of its resolutions, taken a position to the same effect.  Thus on 10 December 2001 and 9 December 2003, in resolutions 56/60 and 58/97, it reaffirmed “that the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, is applicable to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967”.

99. The Security Council, for its part, had already on 14 June 1967 taken the view in resolution 237 (1967) that “all the obligations of the Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War . . . should be complied with by the parties involved in the conflict”.  Subsequently, on 15 September 1969, the Security Council, in resolution 271 (1969), called upon “Israel scrupulously to observe the provisions of the Geneva Conventions and international law governing military occupation”.  

Ten years later, the Security Council examined “the policy and practices of Israel in establishing settlements in the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since 1967”.  In resolution 446 (1979) of 22 March 1979, the Security Council considered that those settlements had “no legal validity” and affirmed “once more that the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, is applicable to the Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967, including Jerusalem”.  It called “once more upon Israel, as the occupying Power, to abide scrupulously” by that Convention.

On 20 December 1990, the Security Council, in resolution 681 (1990), urged “the Government of Israel to accept the de jure applicability of the Fourth Geneva Convention . . . to all the territories occupied by Israel since 1967 and to abide scrupulously by the provisions of the Convention”.  It further called upon “the high contracting parties to the said Fourth Geneva Convention to ensure respect by Israel, the occupying Power, for its obligations under the Convention in accordance with article 1 thereof”.

Lastly, in resolutions 799 (1992) of 18 December 1992 and 904 (1994) of 18 March 1994, the Security Council reaffirmed its position concerning the applicability of the Fourth Geneva Convention in the occupied territories.

100. The Court would note finally that the Supreme Court of Israel, in a judgment dated 30 May 2004, also found that:

“The military operations of the [Israeli Defence Forces] in Rafah, to the extent they affect civilians, are governed by Hague Convention IV Respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land 1907 . . . and the Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War 1949.”

101. In view of the foregoing, the Court considers that the Fourth Geneva Convention is applicable in any occupied territory in the event of an armed conflict arising between two or more High Contracting Parties.  Israel and Jordan were parties to that Convention when the 1967 armed conflict broke out.  The Court accordingly finds that that Convention is applicable in the Palestinian territories which before the conflict lay to the east of the Green Line and which, during that conflict, were occupied by Israel, there being no need for any enquiry into the precise prior status of those territories.

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102. The participants in the proceedings before the Court also disagree whether the international human rights conventions to which Israel is party apply within the Occupied Palestinian Territory.  Annex I to the report of the Secretary-General states:

“4. Israel denies that the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, both of which it has signed, are applicable to the occupied Palestinian territory.  It asserts that humanitarian law is the protection granted in a conflict situation such as the one in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, whereas human rights treaties were intended for the protection of citizens from their own Government in times of peace.”

Of the other participants in the proceedings, those who addressed this issue contend that, on the contrary, both Covenants are applicable within the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

103. On 3 October 1991 Israel ratified both the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights of 19 December 1966 and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of the same date, as well as the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child of 20 November 1989.  It is a party to these three instruments.

104. In order to determine whether these texts are applicable in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, the Court will first address the issue of the relationship between international humanitarian law and human rights law and then that of the applicability of human rights instruments outside national territory.

105. In its Advisory Opinion of 8 July 1996 on the Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons, the Court had occasion to address the first of these issues in relation to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.  In those proceedings certain States had argued that “the Covenant was directed to the protection of human rights in peacetime, but that questions relating to unlawful loss of life in hostilities were governed by the law applicable in armed conflict” (I.C.J. Reports 1996 (I), p. 239, para. 24).

The Court rejected this argument, stating that:

“the protection of the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights does not cease in times of war, except by operation of Article 4 of the Covenant whereby certain provisions may be derogated from in a time of national emergency.  Respect for the right to life is not, however, such a provision.  In principle, the right not arbitrarily to be deprived of one’s life applies also in hostilities.  The test of what is an arbitrary deprivation of life, however, then falls to be determined by the applicable lex specialis, namely, the law applicable in armed conflict which is designed to regulate the conduct of hostilities.”  (Ibid., p. 240, para. 25.)

106. More generally, the Court considers that the protection offered by human rights conventions does not cease in case of armed conflict, save through the effect of provisions for derogation of the kind to be found in Article 4 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.  As regards the relationship between international humanitarian law and human rights law, there are thus three possible situations:  some rights may be exclusively matters of international humanitarian law;  others may be exclusively matters of human rights law;  yet others may be matters of both these branches of international law.  In order to answer the question put to it, the Court will have to take into consideration both these branches of international law, namely human rights law and, as lex specialis, international humanitarian law.

107. It remains to be determined whether the two international Covenants and the Convention on the Rights of the Child are applicable only on the territories of the States parties thereto or whether they are also applicable outside those territories and, if so, in what circumstances.

108. The scope of application of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights is defined by Article 2, paragraph 1, thereof, which provides:  

“Each State Party to the present Covenant undertakes to respect and to ensure to all individuals within its territory and subject to its jurisdiction the rights recognized in the present Covenant, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.”

This provision can be interpreted as covering only individuals who are both present within a State’s territory and subject to that State’s jurisdiction.  It can also be construed as covering both individuals present within a State’s territory and those outside that territory but subject to that State’s jurisdiction.  The Court will thus seek to determine the meaning to be given to this text.

109. The Court would observe that, while the jurisdiction of States is primarily territorial, it may sometimes be exercised outside the national territory.  Considering the object and purpose of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, it would seem natural that, even when such is the case, States parties to the Covenant should be bound to comply with its provisions.

The constant practice of the Human Rights Committee is consistent with this. Thus, the Committee has found the Covenant applicable where the State exercises its jurisdiction on foreign territory.  It has ruled on the legality of acts by Uruguay in cases of arrests carried out by Uruguayan agents in Brazil or Argentina (case No. 52/79, López Burgos v. Uruguay;  case No. 56/79, Lilian Celiberti de Casariego v. Uruguay).  It decided to the same effect in the case of the confiscation of a passport by a Uruguayan consulate in Germany (case No. 106/81, Montero v. Uruguay).

The travaux préparatoires of the Covenant confirm the Committee’s interpretation of Article 2 of that instrument.  These show that, in adopting the wording chosen, the drafters of the Covenant did not intend to allow States to escape from their obligations when they exercise jurisdiction outside their national territory.  They only intended to prevent persons residing abroad from asserting, vis-à-vis their State of origin, rights that do not fall within the competence of that State, but of that of the State of residence (see the discussion of the preliminary draft in the Commission on Human Rights, E/CN.4/SR.194, para. 46;  and United Nations, Official Records of the General Assembly, Tenth Session, Annexes, A/2929, Part II, Chap. V, para. 4 (1955)).

110. The Court takes note in this connection of the position taken by Israel, in relation to the applicability of the Covenant, in its communications to the Human Rights Committee, and of the view of the Committee.

In 1998, Israel stated that, when preparing its report to the Committee, it had had to face the question “whether individuals resident in the occupied territories were indeed subject to Israel’s jurisdiction” for purposes of the application of the Covenant (CCPR/C/SR.1675, para. 21).  Israel took the position that “the Covenant and similar instruments did not apply directly to the current situation in the occupied territories” (ibid., para. 27).

The Committee, in its concluding observations after examination of the report, expressed concern at Israel’s attitude and pointed “to the long-standing presence of Israel in [the occupied] territories, Israel’s ambiguous attitude towards their future status, as well as the exercise of effective jurisdiction by Israeli security forces therein” (CCPR/C/79/Add.93, para. 10).  In 2003 in face of Israel’s consistent position, to the effect that “the Covenant does not apply beyond its own territory, notably in the West Bank and Gaza . . .”, the Committee reached the following conclusion:

“in the current circumstances, the provisions of the Covenant apply to the benefit of the population of the Occupied Territories, for all conduct by the State party’s authorities or agents in those territories that affect the enjoyment of rights enshrined in the Covenant and fall within the ambit of State responsibility of Israel under the principles of public international law” (CCPR/CO/78/ISR, para. 11).

111. In conclusion, the Court considers that the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights is applicable in respect of acts done by a State in the exercise of its jurisdiction outside its own territory.

112. The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights contains no provision on its scope of application.  This may be explicable by the fact that this Covenant guarantees rights which are essentially territorial.  However, it is not to be excluded that it applies both to territories over which a State party has sovereignty and to those over which that State exercises territorial jurisdiction.  Thus Article 14 makes provision for transitional measures in the case of any State which “at the time of becoming a Party, has not been able to secure in its metropolitan territory or other territories under its jurisdiction compulsory primary education, free of charge”.

It is not without relevance to recall in this regard the position taken by Israel in its reports to the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.  In its initial report to the Committee of 4 December 1998, Israel provided “statistics indicating the enjoyment of the rights enshrined in the Covenant by Israeli settlers in the occupied Territories”.  The Committee noted that, according to Israel, “the Palestinian population within the same jurisdictional areas were excluded from both the report and the protection of the Covenant” (E/C.12/1/Add. 27, para. 8).  The Committee expressed its concern in this regard, to which Israel replied in a further report of 19 October 2001 that it has “consistently maintained that the Covenant does not apply to areas that are not subject to its sovereign territory and jurisdiction” (a formula inspired by the language of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights).  This position, continued Israel, is “based on the well-established distinction between human rights and humanitarian law under international law”.  It added:  “the Committee’s mandate cannot relate to events in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, inasmuch as they are part and parcel of the context of armed conflict as distinct from a relationship of human rights” (E/1990/6/Add. 32, para. 5).  In view of these observations, the Committee reiterated its concern about Israel’s position and reaffirmed “its view that the State party’s obligations under the Covenant apply to all territories and populations under its effective control” (E/C.12/1/Add.90, paras. 15 and 31).

For the reasons explained in paragraph 106 above, the Court cannot accept Israel’s view.  It would also observe that the territories occupied by Israel have for over 37 years been subject to its territorial jurisdiction as the occupying Power.  In the exercise of the powers available to it on this basis, Israel is bound by the provisions of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.  Furthermore, it is under an obligation not to raise any obstacle to the exercise of such rights in those fields where competence has been transferred to Palestinian authorities.

113. As regards the Convention on the Rights of the Child of 20 November 1989, that instrument contains an Article 2 according to which “States Parties shall respect and ensure the rights set forth in the . . . Convention to each child within their jurisdiction . . .”.  That Convention is therefore applicable within the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

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114. Having determined the rules and principles of international law relevant to reply to the question posed by the General Assembly, and having ruled in particular on the applicability within the Occupied Palestinian Territory of international humanitarian law and human rights law, the Court will now seek to ascertain whether the construction of the wall has violated those rules and principles.

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115. In this regard, Annex II to the report of the Secretary-General, entitled “Summary Legal Position of the Palestine Liberation Organization”, states that “The construction of the Barrier is an attempt to annex the territory contrary to international law” and that “The de facto annexation of land interferes with the territorial sovereignty and consequently with the right of the Palestinians to self-determination.”  This view was echoed in certain of the written statements submitted to the Court and in the views expressed at the hearings.  Inter alia, it was contended that:  “The wall severs the territorial sphere over which the Palestinian people are entitled to exercise their right of self-determination and constitutes a violation of the legal principle prohibiting the acquisition of territory by the use of force.”  In this connection, it was in particular emphasized that “The route of the wall is designed to change the demographic composition of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, by reinforcing the Israeli settlements” illegally established on the Occupied Palestinian Territory.  It was further contended that the wall aimed at “reducing and parcelling out the territorial sphere over which the Palestinian people are entitled to exercise their right of self-determination”.

116. For its part, Israel has argued that the wall’s sole purpose is to enable it effectively to combat terrorist attacks launched from the West Bank.  Furthermore, Israel has repeatedly stated that the Barrier is a temporary measure (see report of the Secretary-General, para. 29).  It did so inter alia through its Permanent Representative to the United Nations at the Security Council meeting of 14 October 2003, emphasizing that “[the fence] does not annex territories to the State of Israel”, and that Israel is “ready and able, at tremendous cost, to adjust or dismantle a fence if so required as part of a political settlement” (S/PV.4841, p. 10).  Israel’s Permanent Representative restated this view before the General Assembly on 20 October and 8 December 2003.  On this latter occasion, he added:  “As soon as the terror ends, the fence will no longer be necessary.  The fence is not a border and has no political significance.  It does not change the legal status of the territory in any way.”  (A/ES-10/PV.23, p. 6.)  

117. The Court would recall that both the General Assembly and the Security Council have referred, with regard to Palestine, to the customary rule of “the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war” (see paragraphs 74 and 87 above).  Thus in resolution 242 (1967) of 22 November 1967, the Security Council, after recalling this rule, affirmed that:  

“the fulfilment of Charter principles requires the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East which should include the application of both the following principles:

(i) Withdrawal of Israel armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict;  

(ii) Termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgement of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force”.

It is on this same basis that the Council has several times condemned the measures taken by Israel to change the status of Jerusalem (see paragraph 75 above).

118. As regards the principle of the right of peoples to self-determination, the Court observes that the existence of a “Palestinian people” is no longer in issue.  Such existence has moreover been recognized by Israel in the exchange of letters of 9 September 1993 between Mr. Yasser Arafat, President of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and Mr. Yitzhak Rabin, Israeli Prime Minister.  In that correspondence, the President of the PLO recognized “the right of the State of Israel to exist in peace and security” and made various other commitments.  In reply, the Israeli Prime Minister informed him that, in the light of those commitments, “the Government of Israel has decided to recognize the PLO as the representative of the Palestinian people”.  The Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip of 28 September 1995 also refers a number of times to the Palestinian people and its “legitimate rights” (Preamble, paras. 4, 7, 8;  Article II, para. 2;  Article III, paras. 1 and 3;  Article XXII, para. 2).  The Court considers that those rights include the right to self-determination, as the General Assembly has moreover recognized on a number of occasions (see, for example, resolution 58/163 of 22 December 2003).

119. The Court notes that the route of the wall as fixed by the Israeli Government includes within the “Closed Area” (see paragraph 85 above) some 80 per cent of the settlers living in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.  Moreover, it is apparent from an examination of the map mentioned in paragraph 80 above that the wall’s sinuous route has been traced in such a way as to include within that area the great majority of the Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian Territory (including East Jerusalem).

120. As regards these settlements, the Court notes that Article 49, paragraph 6, of the Fourth Geneva Convention provides:  “The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.”  That provision prohibits not only deportations or forced transfers of population such as those carried out during the Second World War, but also any measures taken by an occupying Power in order to organize or encourage transfers of parts of its own population into the occupied territory.

In this respect, the information provided to the Court shows that, since 1977, Israel has conducted a policy and developed practices involving the establishment of settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, contrary to the terms of Article 49, paragraph 6, just cited.

The Security Council has thus taken the view that such policy and practices “have no legal validity”.  It has also called upon “Israel, as the occupying Power, to abide scrupulously” by the Fourth Geneva Convention and:

“to rescind its previous measures and to desist from taking any action which would result in changing the legal status and geographical nature and materially affecting the demographic composition of the Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem and, in particular, not to transfer parts of its own civilian population into the occupied Arab territories” (resolution 446 (1979) of 22 March 1979).

The Council reaffirmed its position in resolutions 452 (1979) of 20 July 1979 and 465 (1980) of 1 March 1980.  Indeed, in the latter case it described “Israel’s policy and practices of settling parts of its population and new immigrants in [the occupied] territories” as a “flagrant violation” of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

The Court concludes that the Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (including East Jerusalem) have been established in breach of international law.

121. Whilst the Court notes the assurance given by Israel that the construction of the wall does not amount to annexation and that the wall is of a temporary nature (see paragraph 116 above), it nevertheless cannot remain indifferent to certain fears expressed to it that the route of the wall will prejudge the future frontier between Israel and Palestine, and the fear that Israel may integrate the settlements and their means of access.  The Court considers that the construction of the wall and its associated régime create a “fait accompli” on the ground that could well become permanent, in which case, and notwithstanding the formal characterization of the wall by Israel, it would be tantamount to de facto annexation.  

122. The Court recalls moreover that, according to the report of the Secretary-General, the planned route would incorporate in the area between the Green Line and the wall more than 16 per cent of the territory of the West Bank.  Around 80 per cent of the settlers living in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, that is 320,000 individuals, would reside in that area, as well as 237,000 Palestinians.  Moreover, as a result of the construction of the wall, around 160,000 other Palestinians would reside in almost completely encircled communities (see paragraphs 84, 85 and 119 above).

In other terms, the route chosen for the wall gives expression in loco to the illegal measures taken by Israel with regard to Jerusalem and the settlements, as deplored by the Security Council (see paragraphs 75 and 120 above).  There is also a risk of further alterations to the demographic composition of the Occupied Palestinian Territory resulting from the construction of the wall inasmuch as it is contributing, as will be further explained in paragraph 133 below, to the departure of Palestinian populations from certain areas.  That construction, along with measures taken previously, thus severely impedes the exercise by the Palestinian people of its right to self-determination, and is therefore a breach of Israel’s obligation to respect that right.

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123. The construction of the wall also raises a number of issues in relation to the relevant provisions of international humanitarian law and of human rights instruments.  

124. With regard to the Hague Regulations of 1907, the Court would recall that these deal, in Section II, with hostilities and in particular with “means of injuring the enemy, sieges, and bombardments”.  Section III deals with military authority in occupied territories.  Only Section III is currently applicable in the West Bank and Article 23 (g) of the Regulations, in Section II, is thus not pertinent.

Section III of the Hague Regulations includes Articles 43, 46 and 52, which are applicable in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.  Article 43 imposes a duty on the occupant to “take all measures within his power to restore, and, as far as possible, to insure public order and life, respecting the laws in force in the country”.  Article 46 adds that private property must be “respected” and that it cannot “be confiscated”.  Lastly, Article 52 authorizes, within certain limits, requisitions in kind and services for the needs of the army of occupation.

125. A distinction is also made in the Fourth Geneva Convention between provisions applying during military operations leading to occupation and those that remain applicable throughout the entire period of occupation.  It thus states in Article 6:

“The present Convention shall apply from the outset of any conflict or occupation mentioned in Article 2.

In the territory of Parties to the conflict, the application of the present Convention shall cease on the general close of military operations.

In the case of occupied territory, the application of the present Convention shall cease one year after the general close of military operations;  however, the Occupying Power shall be bound, for the duration of the occupation, to the extent that such Power exercises the functions of government in such territory, by the provisions of the following Articles of the present Convention:  1 to 12, 27, 29 to 34, 47, 49, 51, 52, 53, 59, 61 to 77, 143.

Protected persons whose release, repatriation or re-establishment may take place after such dates shall meanwhile continue to benefit by the present Convention.”

Since the military operations leading to the occupation of the West Bank in 1967 ended a long time ago, only those Articles of the Fourth Geneva Convention referred to in Article 6, paragraph 3, remain applicable in that occupied territory.

126. These provisions include Articles 47, 49, 52, 53 and 59 of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

According to Article 47:

“Protected persons who are in occupied territory shall not be deprived, in any case or in any manner whatsoever, of the benefits of the present Convention by any change introduced, as the result of the occupation of a territory, into the institutions or government of the said territory, nor by any agreement concluded between the authorities of the occupied territories and the Occupying Power, nor by any annexation by the latter of the whole or part of the occupied territory.”

Article 49 reads as follows:

“Individual or mass forcible transfers, as well as deportations of protected persons from occupied territory to the territory of the Occupying Power or to that of any other country, occupied or not, are prohibited, regardless of their motive.

Nevertheless, the Occupying Power may undertake total or partial evacuation of a given area if the security of the population or imperative military reasons so demand.  Such evacuations may not involve the displacement of protected persons outside the bounds of the occupied territory except when for material reasons it is impossible to avoid such displacement.  Persons thus evacuated shall be transferred back to their homes as soon as hostilities in the area in question have ceased.

The Occupying Power undertaking such transfers or evacuations shall ensure, to the greatest practicable extent, that proper accommodation is provided to receive the protected persons, that the removals are effected in satisfactory conditions of hygiene, health, safety and nutrition, and that members of the same family are not separated.

The Protecting Power shall be informed of any transfers and evacuations as soon as they have taken place.

The Occupying Power shall not detain protected persons in an area particularly exposed to the dangers of war unless the security of the population or imperative military reasons so demand.

The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.”

According to Article 52:

“No contract, agreement or regulation shall impair the right of any worker, whether voluntary or not and wherever he may be, to apply to the representatives of the Protecting Power in order to request the said Power’s intervention.

All measures aiming at creating unemployment or at restricting the opportunities offered to workers in an occupied territory, in order to induce them to work for the Occupying Power, are prohibited.”

Article 53 provides that:

“Any destruction by the Occupying Power of real or personal property belonging individually or collectively to private persons, or to the State, or to other public authorities, or to social or cooperative organizations, is prohibited, except where such destruction is rendered absolutely necessary by military operations.”

Lastly, according to Article 59:

“If the whole or part of the population of an occupied territory is inadequately supplied, the Occupying Power shall agree to relief schemes on behalf of the said population, and shall facilitate them by all the means at its disposal.

Such schemes, which may be undertaken either by States or by impartial humanitarian organizations such as the International Committee of the Red Cross, shall consist, in particular, of the provision of consignments of foodstuffs, medical supplies and clothing.

All Contracting Parties shall permit the free passage of these consignments and shall guarantee their protection.

A Power granting free passage to consignments on their way to territory occupied by an adverse Party to the conflict shall, however, have the right to search the consignments, to regulate their passage according to prescribed times and routes, and to be reasonably satisfied through the Protecting Power that these consignments are to be used for the relief of the needy population and are not to be used for the benefit of the Occupying Power.”

127. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights also contains several relevant provisions.  Before further examining these, the Court will observe that Article 4 of the Covenant allows for derogation to be made, under various conditions, to certain provisions of that instrument.  Israel made use of its right of derogation under this Article by addressing the following communication to the Secretary-General of the United Nations on 3 October 1991:

“Since its establishment, the State of Israel has been the victim of continuous threats and attacks on its very existence as well as on the life and property of its citizens.

These have taken the form of threats of war, of actual armed attacks, and campaigns of terrorism resulting in the murder of and injury to human beings.

In view of the above, the State of Emergency which was proclaimed in May 1948 has remained in force ever since.  This situation constitutes a public emergency within the meaning of article 4 (1) of the Covenant.

The Government of Israel has therefore found it necessary, in accordance with the said article 4, to take measures to the extent strictly required by the exigencies of the situation, for the defence of the State and for the protection of life and property, including the exercise of powers of arrest and detention.

In so far as any of these measures are inconsistent with article 9 of the Covenant, Israel thereby derogates from its obligations under that provision.”

The Court notes that the derogation so notified concerns only Article 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which deals with the right to liberty and security of person and lays down the rules applicable in cases of arrest or detention.  The other Articles of the Covenant therefore remain applicable not only on Israeli territory, but also on the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

128. Among these mention must be made of Article 17, paragraph 1 of which reads as follows:  “No one shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to unlawful attacks on his honour and reputation.”

Mention must also be made of Article 12, paragraph 1, which provides:  “Everyone lawfully within the territory of a State shall, within that territory, have the right to liberty of movement and freedom to choose his residence.”  

129. In addition to the general guarantees of freedom of movement under Article 12 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, account must also be taken of specific guarantees of access to the Christian, Jewish and Islamic Holy Places.  The status of the Christian Holy Places in the Ottoman Empire dates far back in time, the latest provisions relating thereto having been incorporated into Article 62 of the Treaty of Berlin of 13 July 1878.  The Mandate for Palestine given to the British Government on 24 July 1922 included an Article 13, under which:

“All responsibility in connection with the Holy Places and religious buildings or sites in Palestine, including that of preserving existing rights and of securing free access to the Holy Places, religious buildings and sites and the free exercise of worship, while ensuring the requirements of public order and decorum, is assumed by the Mandatory . . .”

Article 13 further stated:  “nothing in this mandate shall be construed as conferring . . . authority to interfere with the fabric or the management of purely Moslem sacred shrines, the immunities of which are guaranteed”.

In the aftermath of the Second World War, the General Assembly, in adopting resolution 181 (II) on the future government of Palestine, devoted an entire chapter of the Plan of Partition to the Holy Places, religious buildings and sites.  Article 2 of this Chapter provided, in so far as the Holy Places were concerned:  

“the liberty of access, visit and transit shall be guaranteed, in conformity with existing rights, to all residents and citizens [of the Arab State, of the Jewish State] and of the City of Jerusalem, as well as to aliens, without distinction as to nationality, subject to requirements of national security, public order and decorum”.

Subsequently, in the aftermath of the armed conflict of 1948, the 1949 General Armistice Agreement between Jordan and Israel provided in Article VIII for the establishment of a special committee for “the formulation of agreed plans and arrangements for such matters as either Party may submit to it” for the purpose of enlarging the scope of the Agreement and of effecting improvement in its application.  Such matters, on which an agreement of principle had already been concluded, included “free access to the Holy Places”.

This commitment concerned mainly the Holy Places located to the east of the Green Line.  However, some Holy Places were located west of that Line.  This was the case of the Room of the Last Supper and the Tomb of David, on Mount Zion.  In signing the General Armistice Agreement, Israel thus undertook, as did Jordan, to guarantee freedom of access to the Holy Places.  The Court considers that this undertaking by Israel has remained valid for the Holy Places which came under its control in 1967.  This undertaking has further been confirmed by Article 9, paragraph 1, of the 1994 Peace Treaty between Israel and Jordan, by virtue of which, in more general terms, “Each party will provide freedom of access to places of religious and historical significance.”

130. As regards the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, that instrument includes a number of relevant provisions, namely:  the right to work (Articles 6 and 7);  protection and assistance accorded to the family and to children and young persons (Article 10);  the right to an adequate standard of living, including adequate food, clothing and housing, and the right “to be free from hunger” (Art. 11);  the right to health (Art. 12);  the right to education (Arts. 13 and 14).

131. Lastly, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child of 20 November 1989 includes similar provisions in Articles 16, 24, 27 and 28.

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132. From the information submitted to the Court, particularly the report of the Secretary-General, it appears that the construction of the wall has led to the destruction or requisition of properties under conditions which contravene the requirements of Articles 46 and 52 of the Hague Regulations of 1907 and of Article 53 of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

133. That construction, the establishment of a closed area between the Green Line and the wall itself and the creation of enclaves have moreover imposed substantial restrictions on the freedom of movement of the inhabitants of the Occupied Palestinian Territory (with the exception of Israeli citizens and those assimilated thereto).  Such restrictions are most marked in urban areas, such as the Qalqiliya enclave or the City of Jerusalem and its suburbs.  They are aggravated by the fact that the access gates are few in number in certain sectors and opening hours appear to be restricted and unpredictably applied.  For example, according to the Special Rapporteur of the Commission on Human Rights on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel since 1967, “Qalqiliya, a city with a population of 40,000, is completely surrounded by the Wall and residents can only enter and leave through a single military checkpoint open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.”  (Report of the Special Rapporteur of the Commission on Human Rights, John Dugard, on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel since 1967, submitted in accordance with Commission resolution 1993/2 A and entitled “Question of the Violation of Human Rights in the Occupied Arab Territories, including Palestine”, E/CN.4/2004/6, 8 September 2003, para. 9.)

There have also been serious repercussions for agricultural production, as is attested by a number of sources.  According to the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories

“an estimated 100,000 dunums [approximately 10,000 hectares] of the West Bank’s most fertile agricultural land, confiscated by the Israeli Occupation Forces, have been destroyed during the first phase of the wall construction, which involves the disappearance of vast amounts of property, notably private agricultural land and olive trees, wells, citrus grows and hothouses upon which tens of thousands of Palestinians rely for their survival” (Report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories, A/58/311, 22 August 2003, para. 26).  

Further, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel since 1967 states that “Much of the Palestinian land on the Israeli side of the Wall consists of fertile agricultural land and some of the most important water wells in the region” and adds that “Many fruit and olive trees had been destroyed in the course of building the barrier.”  (E/CN.4/2004/6, 8 September 2003, para. 9.)  The Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights states that construction of the wall “cuts off Palestinians from their agricultural lands, wells and means of subsistence” (Report by the Special Rapporteur of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, Jean Ziegler, “The Right to Food”, Addendum, Mission to the Occupied Palestinian Territories, E/CN.4/2004/10/Add.2, 31 October 2003, para. 49).  In a recent survey conducted by the World Food Programme, it is stated that the situation has aggravated food insecurity in the region, which reportedly numbers 25,000 new beneficiaries of food aid (report of the Secretary-General, para. 25).

It has further led to increasing difficulties for the population concerned regarding access to health services, educational establishments and primary sources of water.  This is also attested by a number of different information sources.  Thus the report of the Secretary-General states generally that “According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, so far the Barrier has separated 30 localities from health services, 22 from schools, 8 from primary water sources and 3 from electricity networks.”  (Report of the Secretary-General, para. 23.)  The Special Rapporteur of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel since 1967 states that “Palestinians between the Wall and Green Line will effectively be cut off from their land and workplaces, schools, health clinics and other social services.”  (E/CN.4/2004/6, 8 September 2003, para. 9.)  In relation specifically to water resources, the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights observes that “By constructing the fence Israel will also effectively annex most of the western aquifer system (which provides 51 per cent of the West Bank’s water resources).”  (E/CN.4/2004/10/Add.2, 31 October 2003, para. 51.)  Similarly, in regard to access to health services, it has been stated that, as a result of the enclosure of Qalqiliya, a United Nations hospital in that town has recorded a 40 per cent decrease in its caseload (report of the Secretary-General, para. 24).  

At Qalqiliya, according to reports furnished to the United Nations, some 600 shops or businesses have shut down, and 6,000 to 8,000 people have already left the region (E/CN.4/2004/6, 8 September 2003, para. 10;  E/CN.4/2004/10/Add.2, 31 October 2003, para. 51).  The Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights has also observed that “With the fence/wall cutting communities off from their land and water without other means of subsistence, many of the Palestinians living in these areas will be forced to leave.”  (E/CN.4/2004/10/Add.2, 31 October 2003, para. 51.)  In this respect also the construction of the wall would effectively deprive a significant number of Palestinians of the “freedom to choose [their] residence”.  In addition, however, in the view of the Court, since a significant number of Palestinians have already been compelled by the construction of the wall and its associated régime to depart from certain areas, a process that will continue as more of the wall is built, that construction, coupled with the establishment of the Israeli settlements mentioned in paragraph 120 above, is tending to alter the demographic composition of the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

134. To sum up, the Court is of the opinion that the construction of the wall and its associated régime impede the liberty of movement of the inhabitants of the Occupied Palestinian Territory (with the exception of Israeli citizens and those assimilated thereto) as guaranteed under Article 12, paragraph 1, of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.  They also impede the exercise by the persons concerned of the right to work, to health, to education and to an adequate standard of living as proclaimed in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.  Lastly, the construction of the wall and its associated régime, by contributing to the demographic changes referred to in paragraphs 122 and 133 above, contravene Article 49, paragraph 6, of the Fourth Geneva Convention and the Security Council resolutions cited in paragraph 120 above.

135. The Court would observe, however, that the applicable international humanitarian law contains provisions enabling account to be taken of military exigencies in certain circumstances.

Neither Article 46 of the Hague Regulations of 1907 nor Article 47 of the Fourth Geneva Convention contain any qualifying provision of this type.  With regard to forcible transfers of population and deportations, which are prohibited under Article 49, paragraph 1, of the Convention, paragraph 2 of that Article provides for an exception in those cases in which “the security of the population or imperative military reasons so demand”.  This exception however does not apply to paragraph 6 of that Article, which prohibits the occupying Power from deporting or transferring parts of its own civilian population into the territories it occupies.  As to Article 53 concerning the destruction of personal property, it provides for an exception “where such destruction is rendered absolutely necessary by military operations”.

The Court considers that the military exigencies contemplated by these texts may be invoked in occupied territories even after the general close of the military operations that led to their occupation.  However, on the material before it, the Court is not convinced that the destructions carried out contrary to the prohibition in Article 53 of the Fourth Geneva Convention were rendered absolutely necessary by military operations.

136. The Court would further observe that some human rights conventions, and in particular the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, contain provisions which States parties may invoke in order to derogate, under various conditions, from certain of their conventional obligations.  In this respect, the Court would however recall that the communication notified by Israel to the Secretary-General of the United Nations under Article 4 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights concerns only Article 9 of the Covenant, relating to the right to freedom and security of person (see paragraph 127 above); Israel is accordingly bound to respect all the other provisions of that instrument.

The Court would note, moreover, that certain provisions of human rights conventions contain clauses qualifying the rights covered by those provisions.  There is no clause of this kind in Article 17 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.  On the other hand, Article 12, paragraph 3, of that instrument provides that restrictions on liberty of movement as guaranteed under that Article “shall not be subject to any restrictions except those which are provided by law, are necessary to protect national security, public order (ordre public), public health or morals or the rights and freedoms of others, and are consistent with the other rights recognized in the present Covenant”.  As for the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Article 4 thereof contains a general provision as follows:

“The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize that, in the enjoyment of those rights provided by the State in conformity with the present Covenant, the State may subject such rights only to such limitations as are determined by law only in so far as this may be compatible with the nature of these rights and solely for the purpose of promoting the general welfare in a democratic society.”

The Court would observe that the restrictions provided for under Article 12, paragraph 3, of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights are, by the very terms of that provision, exceptions to the right of freedom of movement contained in paragraph 1.  In addition, it is not sufficient that such restrictions be directed to the ends authorized;  they must also be necessary for the attainment of those ends.  As the Human Rights Committee put it, they “must conform to the principle of proportionality” and “must be the least intrusive instrument amongst those which might achieve the desired result” (CCPR/C/21/Rev.1/Add.9, General Comment No. 27, para. 14).  On the basis of the information available to it, the Court finds that these conditions are not met in the present instance.

The Court would further observe that the restrictions on the enjoyment by the Palestinians living in the territory occupied by Israel of their economic, social and cultural rights, resulting from Israel’s construction of the wall, fail to meet a condition laid down by Article 4 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, that is to say that their implementation must be “solely for the purpose of promoting the general welfare in a democratic society”.

137. To sum up, the Court, from the material available to it, is not convinced that the specific course Israel has chosen for the wall was necessary to attain its security objectives.  The wall, along the route chosen, and its associated régime gravely infringe a number of rights of Palestinians residing in the territory occupied by Israel, and the infringements resulting from that route cannot be justified by military exigencies or by the requirements of national security or public order.  The construction of such a wall accordingly constitutes breaches by Israel of various of its obligations under the applicable international humanitarian law and human rights instruments.

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138. The Court has thus concluded that the construction of the wall constitutes action not in conformity with various international legal obligations incumbent upon Israel.  However, Annex I to the report of the Secretary-General states that, according to Israel:  “the construction of the Barrier is consistent with Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, its inherent right to self-defence and Security Council resolutions 1368 (2001) and 1373 (2001)”.  More specifically, Israel’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations asserted in the General Assembly on 20 October 2003 that “the fence is a measure wholly consistent with the right of States to self-defence enshrined in Article 51 of the Charter”;  the Security Council resolutions referred to, he continued, “have clearly recognized the right of States to use force in self-defence against terrorist attacks”, and therefore surely recognize the right to use non-forcible measures to that end (A/ES-10/PV.21, p. 6).

139. Under the terms of Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations:

“Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security.”

Article 51 of the Charter thus recognizes the existence of an inherent right of self-defence in the case of armed attack by one State against another State.  However, Israel does not claim that the attacks against it are imputable to a foreign State.

The Court also notes that Israel exercises control in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and that, as Israel itself states, the threat which it regards as justifying the construction of the wall originates within, and not outside, that territory.  The situation is thus different from that contemplated by Security Council resolutions 1368 (2001) and 1373 (2001), and therefore Israel could not in any event invoke those resolutions in support of its claim to be exercising a right of self-defence.

Consequently, the Court concludes that Article 51 of the Charter has no relevance in this case.

140. The Court has, however, considered whether Israel could rely on a state of necessity which would preclude the wrongfulness of the construction of the wall.  In this regard the Court is bound to note that some of the conventions at issue in the present instance include qualifying clauses of the rights guaranteed or provisions for derogation (see paragraphs 135 and 136 above).  Since those treaties already address considerations of this kind within their own provisions, it might be asked whether a state of necessity as recognized in customary international law could be invoked with regard to those treaties as a ground for precluding the wrongfulness of the measures or decisions being challenged.  However, the Court will not need to consider that question.  As the Court observed in the case concerning the Gabčíkovo-Nagymaros Project (Hungary/Slovakia), “the state of necessity is a ground recognized by customary international law” that “can only be accepted on an exceptional basis”; it “can only be invoked under certain strictly defined conditions which must be cumulatively satisfied; and the State concerned is not the sole judge of whether those conditions have been met” (I.C.J. Reports 1997, p. 40, para. 51).  One of those conditions was stated by the Court in terms used by the International Law Commission, in a text which in its present form requires that the act being challenged be “the only way for the State to safeguard an essential interest against a grave and imminent peril” (Article 25 of the International Law Commission’s Articles on Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts;  see also former Article 33 of the Draft Articles on the International Responsibility of States, with slightly different wording in the English text).  In the light of the material before it, the Court is not convinced that the construction of the wall along the route chosen was the only means to safeguard the interests of Israel against the peril which it has invoked as justification for that construction.

141. The fact remains that Israel has to face numerous indiscriminate and deadly acts of violence against its civilian population.  It has the right, and indeed the duty, to respond in order to protect the life of its citizens.  The measures taken are bound nonetheless to remain in conformity with applicable international law.

142. In conclusion, the Court considers that Israel cannot rely on a right of self-defence or on a state of necessity in order to preclude the wrongfulness of the construction of the wall resulting from the considerations mentioned in paragraphs 122 and 137 above.  The Court accordingly finds that the construction of the wall, and its associated régime, are contrary to international law.

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143. The Court having concluded that, by the construction of the wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, and by adopting its associated régime, Israel has violated various international obligations incumbent upon it (see paragraphs 114-137 above), it must now, in order to reply to the question posed by the General Assembly, examine the consequences of those violations.  

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144. In their written and oral observations, many participants in the proceedings before the Court contended that Israel’s action in illegally constructing this wall has legal consequences not only for Israel itself, but also for other States and for the United Nations;  in its Written Statement, Israel, for its part, presented no arguments regarding the possible legal consequences of the construction of the wall.

145. As regards the legal consequences for Israel, it was contended that Israel has, first, a legal obligation to bring the illegal situation to an end by ceasing forthwith the construction of the wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, and to give appropriate assurances and guarantees of non-repetition.  

It was argued that, secondly, Israel is under a legal obligation to make reparation for the damage arising from its unlawful conduct.  It was submitted that such reparation should first of all take the form of restitution, namely demolition of those portions of the wall constructed in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and annulment of the legal acts associated with its construction and the restoration of property requisitioned or expropriated for that purpose;  reparation should also include appropriate compensation for individuals whose homes or agricultural holdings have been destroyed.  

It was further contended that Israel is under a continuing duty to comply with all of the international obligations violated by it as a result of the construction of the wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and of the associated régime.  It was also argued that, under the terms of the Fourth Geneva Convention, Israel is under an obligation to search for and bring before its courts persons alleged to have committed, or to have ordered to be committed, grave breaches of international humanitarian law flowing from the planning, construction and use of the wall.

146. As regards the legal consequences for States other than Israel, it was contended before the Court that all States are under an obligation not to recognize the illegal situation arising from the construction of the wall, not to render aid or assistance in maintaining that situation and to co-operate with a view to putting an end to the alleged violations and to ensuring that reparation will be made therefor.  

Certain participants in the proceedings further contended that the States parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention are obliged to take measures to ensure compliance with the Convention and that, inasmuch as the construction and maintenance of the wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory constitutes grave breaches of that Convention, the States parties to that Convention are under an obligation to prosecute or extradite the authors of such breaches.  It was further observed that “the United Nations Security Council should consider flagrant and systematic violation of international law norm[s] and principles by Israel, particularly . . . international humanitarian law, and take all necessary measures to put an end [to] these violations”, and that the Security Council and the General Assembly must take due account of the advisory opinion to be given by the Court.  

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147. Since the Court has concluded that the construction of the wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, and its associated régime, are contrary to various of Israel’s international obligations, it follows that the responsibility of that State is engaged under international law.

148. The Court will now examine the legal consequences resulting from the violations of international law by Israel by distinguishing between, on the one hand, those arising for Israel and, on the other, those arising for other States and, where appropriate, for the United Nations.  The Court will begin by examining the legal consequences of those violations for Israel.

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149. The Court notes that Israel is first obliged to comply with the international obligations it has breached by the construction of the wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (see paragraphs 114-137 above).  Consequently, Israel is bound to comply with its obligation to respect the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and its obligations under international humanitarian law and international human rights law.  Furthermore, it must ensure freedom of access to the Holy Places that came under its control following the 1967 War (see paragraph 129 above).

150. The Court observes that Israel also has an obligation to put an end to the violation of its international obligations flowing from the construction of the wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.  The obligation of a State responsible for an internationally wrongful act to put an end to that act is well established in general international law, and the Court has on a number of occasions confirmed the existence of that obligation (Military and Paramilitary Activities in and against Nicaragua (Nicaragua v. United States of America), Merits, Judgment, I.C.J. Reports 1986, p. 149;  United States Diplomatic and Consular Staff in Tehran, Judgment, I.C.J. Reports 1980, p. 44, para. 95;  Haya de la Torre, Judgment, I.C.J. Reports 1951, p. 82).

151. Israel accordingly has the obligation to cease forthwith the works of construction of the wall being built by it in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem.  Moreover, in view of the Court’s finding (see paragraph 143 above) that Israel’s violations of its international obligations stem from the construction of the wall and from its associated régime, cessation of those violations entails in practice the dismantling forthwith of those parts of that structure situated within the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem.  All legislative and regulatory acts adopted with a view to its construction, and to the establishment of its associated régime, must forthwith be repealed or rendered ineffective, except in so far as such acts, by providing for compensation or other forms of reparation for the Palestinian population, may continue to be relevant for compliance by Israel with the obligations referred to in paragraph 153 below.

152. Moreover, given that the construction of the wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory has, inter alia, entailed the requisition and destruction of homes, businesses and agricultural holdings, the Court finds further that Israel has the obligation to make reparation for the damage caused to all the natural or legal persons concerned.  The Court would recall that the essential forms of reparation in customary law were laid down by the Permanent Court of International Justice in the following terms:

“The essential principle contained in the actual notion of an illegal act  a principle which seems to be established by international practice and in particular by the decisions of arbitral tribunals  is that reparation must, as far as possible, wipe out all the consequences of the illegal act and reestablish the situation which would, in all probability, have existed if that act had not been committed.  Restitution in kind, or, if this is not possible, payment of a sum corresponding to the value which a restitution in kind would bear;  the award, if need be, of damages for loss sustained which would not be covered by restitution in kind or payment in place of it  such are the principles which should serve to determine the amount of compensation due for an act contrary to international law.”  (Factory at Chorzów, Merits, Judgment No. 13, 1928, P.C.I.J., Series A, No. 17, p. 47.)

153. Israel is accordingly under an obligation to return the land, orchards, olive groves and other immovable property seized from any natural or legal person for purposes of construction of the wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.  In the event that such restitution should prove to be materially impossible, Israel has an obligation to compensate the persons in question for the damage suffered.  The Court considers that Israel also has an obligation to compensate, in accordance with the applicable rules of international law, all natural or legal persons having suffered  any form of material damage as a result of the wall’s construction.  

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154. The Court will now consider the legal consequences of the internationally wrongful acts flowing from Israel’s construction of the wall as regards other States.

155. The Court would observe that the obligations violated by Israel include certain obligations erga omnes.  As the Court indicated in the Barcelona Traction case, such obligations are by their very nature “the concern of all States” and, “In view of the importance of the rights involved, all States can be held to have a legal interest in their protection.”  (Barcelona Traction, Light and Power Company, Limited, Second Phase, Judgment, I.C.J. Reports 1970, p. 32, para. 33.)  The obligations erga omnes violated by Israel are the obligation to respect the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, and certain of its obligations under international humanitarian law.

156. As regards the first of these, the Court has already observed (paragraph 88 above) that in the East Timor case, it described as “irreproachable” the assertion that “the right of peoples to self-determination, as it evolved from the Charter and from United Nations practice, has an erga omnes character” (I.C.J. Reports 1995, p. 102, para. 29).  The Court would also recall that under the terms of General Assembly resolution 2625 (XXV), already mentioned above (see paragraph 88),

“Every State has the duty to promote, through joint and separate action, realization of the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, in accordance with the provisions of the Charter, and to render assistance to the United Nations in carrying out the responsibilities entrusted to it by the Charter regarding the implementation of the principle . . .”

157. With regard to international humanitarian law, the Court recalls that in its Advisory Opinion on the Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons, it stated that “a great many rules of humanitarian law applicable in armed conflict are so fundamental to the respect of the human person and ‘elementary considerations of humanity’ . . .”, that they are “to be observed by all States whether or not they have ratified the conventions that contain them, because they constitute intransgressible principles of international customary law” (I.C.J. Reports 1996 (I), p. 257, para. 79).  In the Court’s view, these rules incorporate obligations which are essentially of an erga omnes character.

158. The Court would also emphasize that Article 1 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, a provision common to the four Geneva Conventions, provides that “The High Contracting Parties undertake to respect and to ensure respect for the present Convention in all circumstances.”  It follows from that provision that every State party to that Convention, whether or not it is a party to a specific conflict, is under an obligation to ensure that the requirements of the instruments in question are complied with.

159. Given the character and the importance of the rights and obligations involved, the Court is of the view that all States are under an obligation  not to recognize the illegal situation resulting from the construction of the wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem.  They are also under an obligation not to render aid or assistance in maintaining the situation created by such construction.  It is also for all States, while respecting the United Nations Charter and international law, to see to it that any impediment, resulting from the construction of the wall, to the exercise by the Palestinian people of its right to self-determination is brought to an end.  In addition, all the States parties to the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 12 August 1949 are under an obligation, while respecting the United Nations Charter and international law, to ensure compliance by Israel with international humanitarian law as embodied in that Convention.

160. Finally, the Court is of the view that the United Nations, and especially the General Assembly and the Security Council, should consider what further action is required to bring to an end the illegal situation resulting from the construction of the wall and the associated régime, taking due account of the present Advisory Opinion.

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161. The Court, being concerned to lend its support to the purposes and principles laid down in the United Nations Charter, in particular the maintenance of international peace and security and the peaceful settlement of disputes, would emphasize the urgent necessity for the United Nations as a whole to redouble its efforts to bring the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which continues to pose a threat to international peace and security, to a speedy conclusion, thereby establishing a just and lasting peace in the region.

162. The Court has reached the conclusion that the construction of the wall by Israel in the Occupied Palestinian Territory is contrary to international law and has stated the legal consequences that are to be drawn from that illegality.  The Court considers itself bound to add that this construction must be placed in a more general context.  Since 1947, the year when General Assembly resolution 181 (II) was adopted and the Mandate for Palestine was terminated, there has been a succession of armed conflicts, acts of indiscriminate violence and repressive measures on the former mandated territory.  The Court would emphasize that both Israel and Palestine are under an obligation scrupulously to observe the rules of international humanitarian law, one of the paramount purposes of which is to protect civilian life.  Illegal actions and unilateral decisions have been taken on all sides, whereas, in the Court’s view, this tragic situation can be brought to an end only through implementation in good faith of all relevant Security Council resolutions, in particular resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973).  The “Roadmap” approved by Security Council resolution 1515 (2003) represents the most recent of efforts to initiate negotiations to this end.  The Court considers that it has a duty to draw the attention of the General Assembly, to which the present Opinion is addressed, to the need for these efforts to be encouraged with a view to achieving as soon as possible, on the basis of international law, a negotiated solution to the outstanding problems and the establishment of a Palestinian State, existing side by side with Israel and its other neighbours, with peace and security for all in the region.

*

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163. For these reasons,

The Court,

(1) Unanimously,

Finds that it has jurisdiction to give the advisory opinion requested;

(2) By fourteen votes to one,

Decides to comply with the request for an advisory opinion;in favour:  President Shi;  Vice-President Ranjeva;  Judges Guillaume, Koroma, Vereshchetin, Higgins, Parra-Aranguren, Kooijmans, Rezek, Al-Khasawneh, Elaraby, Owada, Simma, Tomka;

against:  Judge Buergenthal;

(3) Replies in the following manner to the question put by the General Assembly:

A. By fourteen votes to one,

The construction of the wall being built by Israel, the occupying Power, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, and its associated régime, are contrary to international law;in favour:  President Shi;  Vice-President Ranjeva;  Judges Guillaume, Koroma, Vereshchetin, Higgins, Parra-Aranguren, Kooijmans, Rezek, Al-Khasawneh, Elaraby, Owada, Simma, Tomka;

against:  Judge Buergenthal;

B. By fourteen votes to one,

Israel is under an obligation to terminate its breaches of international law;  it is under an obligation to cease forthwith the works of construction of the wall being built in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, to dismantle forthwith the structure therein situated, and to repeal or render ineffective forthwith all legislative and regulatory acts relating thereto, in accordance with paragraph 151 of this Opinion;in favour:  President Shi;  Vice-President Ranjeva;  Judges Guillaume, Koroma, Vereshchetin, Higgins, Parra-Aranguren, Kooijmans, Rezek, Al-Khasawneh, Elaraby, Owada, Simma, Tomka;

against:  Judge Buergenthal;

C. By fourteen votes to one,

Israel is under an obligation to make reparation for all damage caused by the construction of the wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem;in favour:  President Shi;  Vice-President Ranjeva;  Judges Guillaume, Koroma, Vereshchetin, Higgins, Parra-Aranguren, Kooijmans, Rezek, Al-Khasawneh, Elaraby, Owada, Simma, Tomka;

against:  Judge Buergenthal;

D. By thirteen votes to two,

All States are under an obligation not to recognize the illegal situation resulting from the construction of the wall and not to render aid or assistance in maintaining the situation created by such construction;  all States parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 12 August 1949 have in addition the obligation, while respecting the United Nations Charter and international law, to ensure compliance by Israel with international humanitarian law as embodied in that Convention;in favour:  President Shi;  Vice-President Ranjeva;  Judges Guillaume, Koroma, Vereshchetin, Higgins, Parra-Aranguren, Rezek, Al-Khasawneh, Elaraby, Owada, Simma, Tomka;

against:  Judges Kooijmans, Buergenthal;

E. By fourteen votes to one,

The United Nations, and especially the General Assembly and the Security Council, should consider what further action is required to bring to an end the illegal situation resulting from the construction of the wall and the associated régime, taking due account of the present Advisory Opinion.in favour:  President Shi;  Vice-President Ranjeva;  Judges Guillaume, Koroma, Vereshchetin, Higgins, Parra-Aranguren, Kooijmans, Rezek, Al-Khasawneh, Elaraby, Owada, Simma, Tomka;

against:  Judge Buergenthal.

Done in French and in English, the French text being authoritative, at the Peace Palace, The Hague, this ninth day of July, two thousand and four, in two copies, one of which will be placed in the archives of the Court and the other transmitted to the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

(Signed)  Shi Jiuyong,
President
(Signed)  Philippe Couvreur
Registrar

Judges Koroma, Higgins, Kooijmans and Al-Khasawneh append separate opinions to the Advisory Opinion of the Court;  Judge Buergenthal appends a declaration to the Advisory Opinion of the Court;  Judges Elaraby and Owada append separate opinions to the Advisory Opinion of the Court.

(Initialled) J.Y.S.

(Initialled) Ph.C.


Separate opinion of Judge Koroma

Construction of wall and annexation  Validity of Court’s jurisdiction  Functions of Court in advisory proceedings  Findings on basis of applicable law  Erga omnes character of findings  Respect for humanitarian law  Role of General Assembly.

1. While concurring with the Court’s findings that the construction of the wall being built by Israel, the occupying Power, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, and its associated régime are contrary to international law, I nevertheless consider it necessary to stress the following points.

2. First and foremost, the construction of the wall has involved the annexation of parts of the occupied territory by Israel, the occupying Power, contrary to the fundamental international law principle of the non-acquisition of territory by force.  The Court has confirmed the Palestinian territories as occupied territory and Israel is therefore not entitled to embark there on activities of a sovereign nature which will change their status as occupied territory.  The essence of occupation is that it is only of a temporary nature and should serve the interests of the population and the military needs of the occupying Power.  Accordingly, anything which changes its character, such as the construction of the wall, will be illegal.  

3. Understandable though it is that there may be a diversity of legal views and perspectives on the question submitted to the Court, namely, the rights and obligations of an occupying Power in an occupied territory and the remedies available under international law for breaches of those obligations  a question which, in my view, is eminently legal and falls within the advisory jurisdiction of the Court  the objection is not sustainable that the Court lacks competence to rule on such a question, as determined under the United Nations Charter (Art. 96  functional co-operation on legal questions between the Court and the General Assembly), the Statute of the Court (Art. 65  discretionary power;  and Art.  68  assimilation with contentious procedures), the Rules of Court (Art. 102, para. 2  assimilation with contentious proceedings), and the settled jurisprudence of the Court.  Also not sustainable is the objection based on judicial propriety, which the Court duly considered in terms of its competence and of fairness in the administration of justice.  In this regard, the question put to the Court is not about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as such, nor its resolution, but rather the legal consequences of the construction of the wall in the occupied territory.  In other words, is it permissible under existing law for an occupying Power, unilaterally, to bring about changes in the character of an occupied territory?  An eminently legal question, which, in my view, is susceptible of a legal response and which does not by necessity have to assume the nature of an adjudication of a bilateral dispute;  it is a request for elucidation of the applicable law.  It is to that question that the Court has responded.  It was therefore appropriate for the Court to exercise its advisory jurisdiction in this matter.  The jurisdictional basis of the Court’s Advisory Opinion is thus firmly anchored in its jurisprudence.

4. The function of the Court in such proceedings is to ascertain and apply the law to the issue at hand.  To reach its findings, the Court has applied the relevant rules of the international law of occupation as it pertains to the Palestinian territories.  Applying these rules, the Court has found that the territories were occupied territory and thus not open to annexation;  that any such annexation would be tantamount to a violation of international law and contrary to international peace.  Under the régime of occupation, the division or partition of an occupied territory by the occupying Power is illegal.  Moreover, in terms of contemporary international law, every State is under an obligation to refrain from any action aimed at the partial or total disruption of the national unity and territorial integrity of any other State or country.

5. The Court has also held that the right of self-determination as an established and recognized right under international law applies to the territory and to the Palestinian people.  Accordingly, the exercise of such right entitles the Palestinian people to a State of their own as originally envisaged in resolution 181 (II) and subsequently confirmed.  The Court has found that the construction of the wall in the Palestinian territory will prevent the realization of such a right and is therefore a violation of it.

6. With respect to humanitarian and human rights law, the Court has rightly adjudged that both these régimes are applicable to the occupied territories;  that Israel as the occupying Power is under an obligation to respect the rights of the Palestinian population of the occupied territories.  Accordingly, the Court has held that the construction of the wall in the occupied territories violates the régime of humanitarian and human rights law.  To put an end to such violations, the Court has rightly called for the immediate cessation of the construction of the wall and the payment of reparation for damages caused by the construction.  

7. Equally important is the finding that the international community as a whole bears an obligation towards the Palestinian people as a former mandated territory, on whose behalf the international community holds a “sacred trust”, not to recognize any unilateral change in the status of the territory brought about by the construction of the wall.  

8. The Court’s findings are based on the authoritative rules of international law and are of an erga omnes character.  The Court’s response provides an authoritative answer to the question submitted to it.  Given the fact that all States are bound by those rules and have an interest in their observance, all States are subject to these findings.  

9. Just as important is the call upon the parties to the conflict to respect humanitarian law in the ongoing hostilities.  While it is understandable that a prolonged occupation would engender resistance, it is nonetheless incumbent on all parties to the conflict to respect international humanitarian law at all times.  

10. In making these findings, the Court has performed its role as the supreme arbiter of international legality and safeguard against illegal acts.  It is now up to the General Assembly in discharging its responsibilities under the Charter to treat this Advisory Opinion with the respect and seriousness it deserves, not with a view to making recriminations but to utilizing these findings in such a way as to bring about a just and peaceful solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a conflict which has not only lasted for far too long but has caused enormous suffering to those directly involved and poisoned international relations in general.

(Signed) Abdul G. Koroma.


SEPARATE OPINION OF JUDGE HIGGINS

Issues relevant for discretion not addressed by the Court ¾ Elements lacking for a balanced opinion ¾ Violations of Articles 46 and 52 of the Hague Regulations and Articles 49 and 53 of the Fourth Geneva Convention ¾ Disagreement with passages in the Opinion on self-determination, self-defence and the erga omnes principle ¾ limitations of the factual materials relied on.

1. I agree with the Opinion of the Court as regards its jurisdiction in the present case and believe that paragraphs 14-42 correctly answer the various contrary arguments that have been raised on this point.

2. The question of discretion and propriety is very much harder. Although ultimately I have voted in favour of the decision to give the Opinion, I do think matters are not as straightforward as the Court suggests. It is apparent (not least from the wording of the request to the Court) that an attempt has been made by those seeking the Opinion to assimilate the Opinion on the wall to that obtained from the Court regarding Namibia (Legal Consequences for States of the Continued Presence of South Africa in Namibia (South West Africa) notwithstanding Security Council Resolution 276 (1970), Advisory Opinion, I.C.J. Reports 1971, p. 12). I believe this to be incorrect for several reasons. First and foremost, there was already, at the time of the request for an opinion in 1971 on the legal consequences of certain acts, a series of Court Opinions on South West Africa which made clear what were South Africa’s legal obligations (International Status of South West Africa, Advisory OpinionI.C.J. Reports 1950, p. 128; Voting Procedure on Questions relating to Reports and Petitions concerning the Territory of South West Africa, Advisory OpinionI.C.J. Reports 1955, p. 67; Admissibility of Hearings of Petitioners by the Committee on South West Africa, Advisory OpinionI.C.J. Reports 1956, p. 23). Further, all the legal obligations as mandatory Power lay with South West Africa. There were no legal obligations, still less unfulfilled obligations, which in 1971 lay also upon South-West Africa People’s Organisation (SWAPO), as the representative of the Namibian people.

3. In the present case, it is the General Assembly, and not the Court, which has made any prior pronouncements in respect of legality. Further, in contrast to how matters stood as regards Namibia in 1971, the larger intractable problem (of which the wall may be seen as an element) cannot be regarded as one in which one party alone has been already classified by a court as the legal wrongdoer; where it is for it alone to act to restore a situation of legality; and where from the perspective of legal obligation there is nothing remaining for the other “party” to do. That is evident from the long history of the matter, and is attested to by Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 1515 (2002) alike.

4. In support of the misconceived analogy ¾ which serves both to assist so far as legal issues of discretion are concerned, as well as wider purposes ¾ counsel have informed the Court that “The problem . . . is a problem between one State ¾ Israel ¾ and the United Nations.” (See for example, CR 2004/3, p. 62,

para. 31.) Of course, assimilation to the Namibia case, and a denial of any dispute save as between Israel and the United Nations, would also avoid the necessity to meet the criteria enunciated by the Court when considering whether it should give an opinion where a dispute exists between two States. But, as will be elaborated below, this cannot be avoided.

5. Moreover, in the Namibia Opinion the Assembly sought legal advice on the consequences of its own necessary decisions on the matter in hand. The General Assembly was the organ in which now the power to terminate a League of Nations mandate was located. The Mandate was duly terminated. But Assembly resolutions are in most cases only recommendations. The Security Council, which in certain circumstances can pass binding resolutions under Chapter VII of the Charter, was not the organ with responsibility over mandates. This conundrum was at the heart of the Opinion sought of the Court. Here, too, there is no real analogy with the present case.

6. We are thus in different legal terrain ¾ in the familiar terrain where there is a dispute between parties, which fact does not of itself mean that the Court should not exercise its competence, provided certain conditions are met.

7. Since 1948 Israel has been in dispute, first with its Arab neighbours (and other Arab States) and, in more recent years, with the Palestinian Authority. Both Israel’s written observations on this aspect (7.4-7.7) and the report of the Secretary-General, with its reference to the “Summary Legal Position” of “each side”, attest to this reality. The Court has regarded the special status of Palestine, though not yet an independent State, as allowing it to be invited to participate in these proceedings. There is thus a dispute between two international actors, and the advisory opinion request bears upon one element of it.

8. That of itself does not suggest that the Court should decline to exercise jurisdiction on grounds of propriety. It is but a starting point for the Court’s examination of the issue of discretion. A series of advisory opinion cases have explained how the Status of Eastern Carelia, Advisory Opinion, 1923 (P.C.I.J., Series B, No. 5) principle should properly be read. Through the Certain Expenses of the United Nations (Article 17, paragraph 2, of the Charter), Advisory Opinion, (I.C.J. Reports 1962, p. 151); the Legal Consequences for States of the Continued Presence of South Africa in Namibia (South West Africa) notwithstanding Security Council Resolution 276 (1970), Advisory Opinion, (I.C.J. Reports 1971, p. 12); and, most clearly, the Western Sahara, Advisory Opinion, (I.C.J. Reports 1975, p. 12), the ratio decidendi of Status of Eastern Carelia has been explained. Of these the Western Sahara case provides by far the most pertinent guidance, as it involved a dispute between international actors, in which the Court had not itself already given several advisory opinions (cf. the Namibia Opinion, which was given against the background of three earlier ones on issues of legality).

9. The Court did not in the Western Sahara case suggest that the consent principle to the settlement of disputes in advisory opinions had now lost all relevance for all who are United Nations Members. It was saying no more than the particular factors underlying the ratio decidendi of Status of Eastern Carelia were not present. But other factors had to be considered to see if propriety is met in giving an advisory opinion when the legal interests of a United Nations Member are the subject of that advice.

10. Indeed, in the Western Sahara case the Court, after citing the oft quoted dictum from Interpretation of Peace Treaties with Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania, First Phase, Advisory Opinion, that an opinion given to a United Nations organ “represents its participation in the activities of the Organization, and, in principle, should not be refused” (I.C.J. Reports 1950, p. 71), went on to affirm that nonetheless:

“lack of consent might constitute a ground for declining to give the opinion requested if, in the circumstances of a given case, considerations of judicial propriety should oblige the Court to refuse an opinion. In short, the consent of an interested State continues to be relevant, not for the Court’s competence, but for the appreciation of the propriety of giving an opinion.

In certain circumstances, therefore, the lack of consent of an interested State may render the giving of an advisory opinion incompatible with the Court’s judicial character.” (Western Sahara, Advisory Opinion, I.C.J. Reports 1975, p. 25, paras. 32-33.)

11. What then are the conditions that in the Western Sahara case were found to make it appropriate for the Court to give an opinion even where a dispute involving a United Nations Member existed? One such was that a United Nations Member:

“could not validly object, to the General Assembly’s exercise of its powers to deal with the decolonization of a non-self-governing territory and to seek an opinion on questions relevant to the exercise of those powers” (ibid. p. 24, para. 30).

Although the Assembly is not exercising either the powers of a mandate supervisory body (as in Namibia) or a body decolonizing a non-self-governing territory (as in Western Sahara), the Court correctly recounts at paragraphs 48-50 the long-standing special institutional interest of the United Nations in the dispute, of which the building of the wall now represents an element.

12. There remains, however, a further condition to be fulfilled, which the Court enunciated in the Western Sahara case. It states that it was satisfied that:

“The object of the General Assembly has not been to bring before the Court, by way of a request for advisory opinion, a dispute or legal controversy, in order that it may later, on the basis of the Court’s opinion, exercise its powers and functions for the peaceful settlement of that dispute or controversy. The object of the request is an entirely different one: to obtain from the Court an opinion which the General Assembly deems of assistance to it for the proper exercise of its functions concerning the decolonization of the territory.” (Western Sahara, Advisory OpinionI.C.J. Reports 1975, pp. 26-27, para. 39.)

In the present case it is the reverse circumstance that obtains. The request is not in order to secure advice on the Assembly’s decolonization duties, but later, on the basis of our Opinion, to exercise powers over the dispute or controversy. Many participants in the oral phase of this case frankly emphasized this objective.

13. The Court has not dealt with this point at all in that part of its Opinion on propriety. Indeed, it is strikingly silent on the matter, avoiding mention of the lines cited above and any response as to their application to the present case. To that extent, this Opinion by its very silence essentially revises, rather than applies, the existing case law.

14. There is a further aspect that has been of concern to me so far as the issue of propriety is concerned. The law, history and politics of the Israel-Palestine dispute is immensely complex. It is inherently awkward for a court of law to be asked to pronounce upon one element within a multifaceted dispute, the other elements being excluded from its view. Context is usually important in legal determinations. So far as the request of the Assembly envisages an opinion on humanitarian law, however, the obligations thereby imposed are (save for their own qualifying provisions) absolute. That is the bedrock of humanitarian law, and those engaged in conflict have always known that it is the price of our hopes for the future that they must, whatever the provocation, fight “with one hand behind their back” and act in accordance with international law. While that factor diminishes relevance of context so far as the obligations of humanitarian law are concerned, it remains true, nonetheless, that context is important for other aspects of international law that the Court chooses to address. Yet the formulation of the question precludes consideration of that context.

15. Addressing the reality that “the question of the construction of the wall was only one aspect of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict”, the Court states that it “is indeed aware that the question of the wall is part of a greater whole, and it would take this circumstance carefully into account in any opinion it might give”

(para. 54).

16. In fact, it never does so. There is nothing in the remainder of the Opinion that can be said to cover this point. Further, I find the “history” as recounted by the Court in paragraphs 71-76 neither balanced nor satisfactory.

17. What should a court do when asked to deliver an opinion on one element in a larger problem? Clearly, it should not purport to “answer” these larger legal issues. The Court, wisely and correctly, avoids what we may term “permanent status” issues, as well as pronouncing on the rights and wrongs in myriad past controversies in the Israel-Palestine problem. What a court faced with this quandary must do, is to provide a balanced opinion, made so by recalling the obligations incumbent upon all concerned.

18. I regret that I do not think this has been achieved in the present Opinion. It is true that in paragraph 162 the Court recalls that “Illegal actions and unilateral decisions have been taken on all sides” and that it emphasizes that “both Israel and Palestine are under an obligation scrupulously to observe the rules of international humanitarian law”. But in my view much, much more was required to avoid the huge imbalance that necessarily flows from being invited to look at only “part of a greater whole”, and then to take that circumstance “carefully into account”. The call upon both parties to act in accordance with international humanitarian law should have been placed within the dispositif. The failure to do so stands in marked contrast with the path that the Court chose to follow in operative clause F of the dispositif of the Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons (Advisory Opinion, I.C.J. Reports 1996 (I), p. 266). Further, the Court should have spelled out what is required of both parties in this “greater whole”. This is not difficult ¾ from Security Council resolution 242 through to Security Council resolution 1515, the key underlying requirements have remained the same ¾ that Israel is entitled to exist, to be recognized, and to security, and that the Palestinian people are entitled to their territory, to exercise self-determination, and to have their own State. Security Council resolution 1515 envisages that these long-standing obligations are to be secured, both generally and as to their detail, by negotiation. The perceptible tragedy is that neither side will act to achieve these ends prior to the other so doing. The Court, having decided that it was appropriate to exercise its jurisdiction, should have used the latitude available to it in an advisory opinion case, and reminded both parties not only of their substantive obligations under international law, but also of the procedural obligation to move forward simultaneously. Further, I believe that, in order to achieve a balanced opinion, this latter element should also have appeared in the dispositif itself.

19. I think the Court should also have taken the opportunity to say, in the clearest terms, what regrettably today apparently needs constant reaffirmation even among international lawyers, namely, that the protection of civilians remains an intransgressible obligation of humanitarian law, not only for the occupier but equally for those seeking to liberate themselves from occupation.

20. My vote in favour of subparagraph (2) of the dispositif has thus been made with considerable hesitation. I have voted affirmatively in the end because I agree with almost all of what the Court has written in paragraphs 44-64. My regrets are rather about what it has chosen not to write.

*       *

21. The way subparagraph (3) (A) of the dispositif is formulated does not separate out the various grounds that the Court relied on in reaching its conclusions. I have voted in favour of this paragraph because I agree that the wall, being built in occupied territory, and its associated régime, entail certain violations of humanitarian law. But I do not agree with several of the other stepping stones used by the Court in reaching this generalized finding, nor with its handling of the source materials.

22. The question put by the General Assembly asks the Court to respond by “considering the rules and principles of international law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, and relevant Security Council and General Assembly resolutions” (General Assembly resolution ES-10/14). It might have been anticipated that once the Court finds the Fourth Geneva Convention applicable, that humanitarian law would be at the heart of this Opinion.

23. The General Assembly has in resolution ES-10/13 determined that the wall contravenes humanitarian law, without specifying which provisions and why. Palestine has informed the Court that it regards Articles 33, 53, 55 and 64 of the Fourth Geneva Convention and Article 52 of the Hague Regulations as violated. Other participants invoked Articles 23 (g), 46, 50 and 52 of the Hague Regulations, and Articles 27, 47, 50, 55, 56 and 59 of the Fourth Convention. For the Special Rapporteur, the wall constitutes a violation of Articles 23 (g) and 46 of the Hague Regulations and Articles 47, 49, 50, 53 and 55 of the Fourth Geneva Convention. It might have been expected that an advisory opinion would have contained a detailed analysis, by reference to the texts, the voluminous academic literature and the facts at the Court’s disposal, as to which of these propositions is correct. Such an approach would have followed the tradition of using advisory opinions as an opportunity to elaborate and develop international law.

24. It would also, as a matter of balance, have shown not only which provisions Israel has violated, but also which it has not. But the Court, once it has decided which of these provisions are in fact applicable, thereafter refers only to those which Israel has violated. Further, the structure of the Opinion, in which humanitarian law and human rights law are not dealt with separately, makes it in my view extremely difficult to see what exactly has been decided by the Court. Notwithstanding the very general language of subparagraph (3) (A) of the dispositif, it should not escape attention that the Court has in the event found violations only of Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention (para. 120), and of Articles 46 and 52 of the Hague Regulations and Article 53 of the Fourth Geneva Convention (para. 132). I agree with these findings.

25. After its somewhat light treatment of international humanitarian law, the Court turns to human rights law. I agree with the Court’s finding about the continued relevance of human rights law in the occupied territories. I also concur in the findings made at paragraph 134 as regards Article 12 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

26. At the same time, it has to be noted that there are established treaty bodies whose function it is to examine in detail the conduct of States parties to each of the Covenants. Indeed, the Court’s response as regards the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights notes both the pertinent jurisprudence of the Human Rights Committee and also the concluding observations of the Committee on Israel’s duties in the occupied territories.

27. So far as the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights is concerned, the situation is even stranger, given the programmatic requirements for the fulfilment of this category of rights. The Court has been able to do no more than observe, in a single phrase, that the wall and its associated régime “impede the exercise by the persons concerned of the right to work, to health, to education and to an adequate standard of living as proclaimed in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights . . .” (para. 134). For both Covenants, one may wonder about the appropriateness of asking for advisory opinions from the Court on compliance by States parties with such obligations, which are monitored, in much greater detail, by a treaty body established for that purpose. It could hardly be an answer that the General Assembly is not setting any more general precedent, because while many, many States are not in compliance with their obligations under the two Covenants, the Court is being asked to look only at the conduct of Israel in this regard.

28. The Court has also relied, for the general determination in subparagraph (3) (A) of the dispositif, on a finding that Israel is in violation of the law on self-determination. It follows observations on the legally problematic route of the wall and associated demographic risks with the statement “That construction, along with measures taken previously, thus severely impedes the exercise by the Palestinian people of its right to self-determination, and is therefore a breach of Israel’s obligation to respect that right.” (Para. 122.) This appears to me to be a non sequitur.

29. There is a substantial body of doctrine and practice on “self-determination beyond colonialism”. The United Nations Declaration on Friendly Relations, 1970, (General Assembly resolution 2625 (XXV)) speaks also of self-determination being applicable in circumstances where peoples are subject to “alien subjugation, domination, and exploitation”. The General Assembly has passed many resolutions referring to the latter circumstance, having Afghanistan and the Occupied Arab Territories in mind (for example, General Assembly resolution 3236 (XXIX) 1974 (Palestine); General Assembly resolution 2144 (XXV) 1987 (Afghanistan)). The Committee on Human Rights has consistently supported this post-colonial view of self-determination.

30. The Court has for the very first time, without any particular legal analysis, implicitly also adopted this second perspective. I approve of the principle invoked, but am puzzled as to its application in the present case. Self-determination is the right of “All peoples . . . freely [to] determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development” (Article 1 (1), International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and also International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights). As this Opinion observes (para. 118), it is now accepted that the Palestinian people are a “peoples” for purposes of self-determination. But it seems to me quite detached from reality for the Court to find that it is the wall that presents a “serious impediment” to the exercise of this right. The real impediment is the apparent inability and/or unwillingness of both Israel and Palestine to move in parallel to secure the necessary conditions that is, at one and the same time, for Israel to withdraw from Arab occupied territory and for Palestine to provide the conditions to allow Israel to feel secure in so doing. The simple point is underscored by the fact that if the wall had never been built, the Palestinians would still not yet have exercised their right to self-determination. It seems to me both unrealistic and unbalanced for the Court to find that the wall (rather than “the larger problem”, which is beyond the question put to the Court for an opinion) is a serious obstacle to self-determination.

31. Nor is this finding any more persuasive when looked at from a territorial perspective. As the Court states in paragraph 121, the wall does not at the present time constitute, per se, a de facto annexation. “Peoples” necessarily exercise their right to self-determination within their own territory. Whatever may be the detail of any finally negotiated boundary, there can be no doubt, as is said in paragraph 78 of the Opinion, that Israel is in occupation of Palestinian territory. That territory is no more, or less, under occupation because a wall has been built that runs through it. And to bring to an end that circumstance, it is necessary that both sides, simultaneously, accept their responsibilities under international law.

32. After the Court deals with the applicable law, and then applies it, it looks at possible qualifications, exceptions and defences to potential violations.

33. I do not agree with all that the Court has to say on the question of the law of self-defence. In paragraph 139 the Court quotes Article 51 of the Charter and then continues “Article 51 of the Charter thus recognizes the existence of an inherent right of self-defence in the case of armed attack by one State against another State.” There is, with respect, nothing in the text of Article 51 that thus stipulates that self-defence is available only when an armed attack is made by a State. That qualification is rather a result of the Court so determining in Military and Paramilitary Activities in and against Nicaragua (Nicaragua v. United States of America) (Merits, Judgment, I.C.J. Reports 1986, p. 14). It there held that military action by irregulars could constitute an armed attack if these were sent by or on behalf of the State and if the activity “because of its scale and effects, would have been classified as an armed attack . . . had it been carried out by regular armed forces” (ibid., p. 103, para. 195). While accepting, as I must, that this is to be regarded as a statement of the law as it now stands, I maintain all the reservations as to this proposition that I have expressed elsewhere (R. Higgins, Problems and Process: International Law and How We Use It, pp. 250-251).

34. I also find unpersuasive the Court’s contention that, as the uses of force emanate from occupied territory, it is not an armed attack “by one State against another”. I fail to understand the Court’s view that an occupying Power loses the right to defend its own civilian citizens at home if the attacks emanate from the occupied territory ¾ a territory which it has found not to have been annexed and is certainly “other than” Israel. Further, Palestine cannot be sufficiently an international entity to be invited to these proceedings, and to benefit from humanitarian law, but not sufficiently an international entity for the prohibition of armed attack on others to be applicable. This is formalism of an unevenhanded sort. The question is surely where responsibility lies for the sending of groups and persons who act against Israeli civilians and the cumulative severity of such action.

35. In the event, however, these reservations have not caused me to vote against subparagraph (3) (A) of the dispositif, for two reasons. First, I remain unconvinced that non-forcible measures (such as the building of a wall) fall within self-defence under Article 51 of the Charter as that provision is normally understood. Second, even if it were an act of self-defence, properly so called, it would need to be justified as necessary and proportionate. While the wall does seem to have resulted in a diminution on attacks on Israeli civilians, the necessity and proportionality for the particular route selected, with its attendant hardships for Palestinians uninvolved in these attacks, has not been explained.

36. The latter part of the dispositif deals with the legal consequences of the findings made by the Court.

37. I have voted in favour of subparagraph (3) (D) of the dispositif but, unlike the Court, I do not think that the specified consequence of the identified violations of international law have anything to do with the concept of erga omnes (cf. paras. 154-159 of this Opinion). The Court’s celebrated dictum in Barcelona Traction, Light and Power Company, Limited, Second Phase, (Judgment, I.C.J. Reports 1970, p. 32, para. 33) is frequently invoked for more than it can bear. Regrettably, this is now done also in this Opinion, at paragraph 155. That dictum was directed to a very specific issue of jurisdictional locus standi. As the International Law Commission has correctly put it in the Commentaries to the draft Articles on the Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts (A/56/10 at p. 278), there are certain rights in which, by reason of their importance “all states have a legal interest in their protection”. It has nothing to do with imposing substantive obligations on third parties to a case.

38. That an illegal situation is not to be recognized or assisted by third parties is self-evident, requiring no invocation of the uncertain concept of “erga omnes”. It follows from a finding of an unlawful situation by the Security Council, in accordance with Articles 24 and 25 of the Charter entails “decisions [that] are consequently binding on all States Members of the United Nations, which are thus under obligation to accept and carry them out” (Legal Consequences for States of the Continued Presence of South Africa in Namibia (South West Africa) notwithstanding Security Council Resolution 276 (1970), Advisory Opinion, I.C.J. Reports 1971, p. 53, para. 115). The obligation upon United Nations Members not to recognize South Africa’s illegal presence in Namibia, and not to lend support or assistance, relied in no way whatever on “erga omnes”. Rather, the Court emphasized that “A binding determination made by a competent organ of the United Nations to the effect that a situation is illegal cannot remain without consequence.” (Ibid., para. 117.) The Court had already found in a contentious case that its determination of an illegal act “entails a legal consequence, namely that of putting an end to an illegal situation” (Haya de la Torre, Judgment, I.C.J. Reports 1951, p. 82). Although in the present case it is the Court, rather than a United Nations organ acting under Articles 24 and 25, that has found the illegality; and although it is found in the context of an advisory opinion rather than in a contentious case, the Court’s position as the principal judicial organ of the United Nations suggests that the legal consequence for a finding that an act or situation is illegal is the same. The obligation upon United Nations Members of non-recognition and non-assistance does not rest on the notion of erga omnes.

39. Finally, the invocation (para. 157) of “the erga omnes” nature of violations of humanitarian law seems equally irrelevant. These intransgressible principles are generally binding because they are customary international law, no more and no less. And the first Article to the Fourth Geneva Convention, under which “The High Contracting Parties undertake to respect and to ensure respect for the present Convention in all circumstances” while apparently viewed by the Court as something to do with “the erga omnes principle”, is simply a provision in an almost universally ratified multilateral Convention. The Final Record of the diplomatic conference of Geneva of 1949 offers no useful explanation of that provision; the commentary thereto interprets the phrase “ensure respect” as going beyond legislative and other action within a State’s own territory. It observes that

“in the event of a Power failing to fulfil its obligations, the other Contracting Parties (neutral, allied or enemy) may, and should, endeavour to bring it back to an attitude of respect for the Convention. The proper working of the system of protection provided by the Convention demands in fact that the Contracting Parties should not be content merely to apply its provisions themselves, but should do everything in their power to ensure that the humanitarian principles underlying the Conventions are applied universally.” (The Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949: Commentary, IV Geneva Convention relative to the protection of civilian persons in time of war (Pictet ed.) p. 16.)

It will be noted that the Court has, in subparagraph (3) (D) of the dispositif, carefully indicated that any such action should be in conformity with the Charter and international law.

40. In conclusion, I would add that, although there has indeed been much information provided to the Court in this case, that provided directly by Israel has only been very partial. The Court has based itself largely on the Secretary-General’s report from 14 April 2002 to 20 November 2003 and on the later Written Statement of the United Nations (see para. 79). It is not clear whether it has availed itself of other data in the public domain. Useful information is in fact contained in such documents as the Third Report of the current Special Rapporteur and Israel’s Reply thereto (E/CN.4/2004/6/Add.1), as well as in “The Impact of Israel’s Separation Barrier on Affected West Bank Communities: an Update to the Humanitarian and Emergency Policy Group (HEPG), Construction of the Barrier, Access, and its Humanitarian Impact, March 2004”. In any event, the Court’s findings of law are notably general in character, saying remarkably little as concerns the application of specific provisions of the Hague Rules or the Fourth Geneva Convention along particular sections of the route of the wall. I have nonetheless voted in favour of subparagraph (3) (A) of the dispositif because there is undoubtedly a significant negative impact upon portions of the population of the West Bank, that cannot be excused on the grounds of military necessity allowed by those Conventions; and nor has Israel explained to the United Nations or to this Court why its legitimate security needs can be met only by the route selected.

(Signed) Rosalyn HIGGINS.


Separate opinion of Judge Kooijmans

Reasons for negative vote on operative subparagraph (3) (D)  Background and context of request for advisory opinion  Need for balanced treatment  Jurisdictional issues  Article 12, paragraph 2, of the Charter and General Assembly resolution 377 A (V)  Question of judicial propriety  Purpose of request  Merits  Self-determination  Proportionality  Self-defence  Legal consequences  Obligations for other States  Article 41 of the International Law Commission Articles on State Responsibility  Duty of non-recognition  Duty of abstention  Duty to ensure respect for humanitarian law  Common Article 1 of the Geneva Conventions.

I. Introductory remarks

1. I have voted in favour of all paragraphs of the operative part of the Advisory Opinion with one exception, viz. subparagraph (3) (D) dealing with the legal consequences for States.

I had a number of reasons for casting that negative vote which I will only briefly indicate at this stage, since I will come back to them when commenting on the various parts of the Opinion.

My motives can be summarized as follows:  

First:  the request as formulated by the General Assembly did not make it necessary for the Court to determine the obligations for States which ensue from the Court’s findings.  In this respect an analogy with the structure of the Opinion in the Namibia case is not appropriate.  In that case the question about the legal consequences for States was at the heart of the request and logically so since it was premised on a decision of the Security Council.  That resolution, and in particular its operative paragraph 5 which was addressed to “all States”, was considered by the Court to be “essential for the purposes of the present advisory opinion” (Legal Consequences for States of the Continued Presence of South Africa in Namibia (South West Africa) notwithstanding Security Council Resolution 276 (1970), Advisory OpinionI.C.J. Reports 1971, p. 51, para. 108).

A similar situation does not exist in the present case, where the Court’s view is not asked on the legal consequences of a decision taken by a political organ of the United Nations but of an act committed by a Member State.  That does not prevent the Court from considering the issue of consequences for third States once that act has been found to be illegal but then the Court’s conclusion is wholly dependent upon its reasoning and not upon the necessary logic of the request.

It is, however, this reasoning that in my view is not persuasive (see paras. 39-49, below) and this was my second motive for casting a negative vote.

And, third, I find the Court’s conclusions as laid down in subparagraph (3) (D) of the dispositif rather weak;  apart from the Court’s finding that States are under an obligation “not to render aid or assistance in maintaining the situation created by [the] construction [of the wall]” (a finding I subscribe to) I find it difficult to envisage what States are expected to do or not to do in actual practice.  In my opinion a judicial body’s findings should have a direct bearing on the addressee’s behaviour;  neither the first nor the last part of operative subparagraph (3) (D) meets this requirement.

2. Although I am in general agreement with the Court’s Opinion, on some issues I have reservations with regard to its reasoning. I will, in giving my comments, follow the logical order of the Opinion:

(a) jurisdictional issues;

(b) the question of judicial propriety;

(c) the merits;

(d) the legal consequences.

Before doing so I wish, however, to make some remarks about the background and context of the request.

II. Background and context of the request for the advisory opinion

3. In paragraph 54 of the Opinion the Court observes (in the context of judicial propriety) that it is aware that the question of the wall is part of a greater whole but that that cannot be a reason for it to decline to reply to the question asked.  It adds that this wider context will be carefully taken into account.  I fully share the Court’s view as laid down in that paragraph including the Court’s observation that it can nevertheless only examine other issues to the extent that is necessary for the consideration of the question put to it.

4. In my opinion the Court could and should have given more explicit attention to the general context of the request in its Opinion.  The situation in and around Palestine has been for a number of decades not only a virtually continuous threat to international peace and security but also a human tragedy which in many respects is mind-boggling.  How can a society like the Palestinian one get used to and live with a situation where the victims of violence are often innocent men, women and children?  How can a society like the Israeli society get used to and live with a situation where attacks against a political opponent are targeted at innocent civilians, men, women and children, in an indiscriminate way?

5. The construction of the wall is explained by Israel as a necessary protection against the latter category of acts which are generally considered to be international crimes.  Deliberate and indiscriminate attacks against civilians with the intention to kill are the core element of terrorism which has been unconditionally condemned by the international community regardless of the motives which have inspired them.  

Every State, including Israel, has the right and even the duty (as the Court says in paragraph 141) to respond to such acts in order to protect the life of its citizens, albeit the choice of means in doing so is limited by the norms and rules of international law.  In the present case, Israel has not respected those limits, and the Court convincingly demonstrates that these norms and rules of international law have not been respected by it.  I find no fault with this conclusion nor with the finding that the construction of the wall along the chosen route has greatly added to the suffering of the Palestinians living in the Occupied Territory.

6. In paragraph 122 the Court finds that the construction of the wall, along with measures taken earlier, severely impedes the exercise by the Palestinian people of its right to self-determination, and therefore constitutes a breach of Israel’s obligation to respect that right.  I have doubts whether the last part of that finding is correct (see para. 32, below), but it is beyond doubt that the mere existence of a structure that separates the Palestinians from each other makes the realization of their right to self-determination far more difficult, even if it has to be admitted that the realization of this right is more dependent upon political agreement than on the situation in loco.

But it is also true that the terrorist acts themselves have caused “great harm to the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people for a better future”, as was stated in the Middle East Quartet Statement of 16 July 2002.  And the Statement continues:  “Terrorists must not be allowed to kill the hope of an entire region, and a united international community, for genuine peace and security for both Palestinians and Israelis.”  (MWP 2004/38, Add., Annex 10.)

7. The fact that the Court has limited itself to report merely on a number of the historical facts which have led to the present human tragedy may be correct from the viewpoint of what is really needed to answer the request of the General Assembly: the result, however, is that the historical résumé, as presented in paragraphs 70 to 78, is rather two-dimensional.  I will illustrate this by giving one example which is hardly relevant for the case itself.

8. Before giving its historical résumé, the Court says that it will first make a brief analysis of the status of the territory and it starts by mentioning the establishment of the Mandate after the First World War.  Nothing is said, however, about the status of the West Bank between the conclusion of the General Armistice Agreement in 1949 and the occupation by Israel in 1967, in spite of the fact that it is a generally known fact that it was placed by Jordan under its sovereignty but that this claim to sovereignty, which was relinquished only in 1988, was recognized by three States only.  

9. I fail to understand the reason for this omission of an objective historical fact since in my view the fact that Jordan claimed sovereignty over the West Bank only strengthens the argument in favour of the applicability of the Fourth Geneva Convention right from the moment of its occupation by Israel in June 1967.

If it is correct that the Government of Israel claims that the Fourth Geneva Convention is not applicable de jure in the West Bank since that territory had not previously to the 1967 war been under Jordanian sovereignty, that argument already fails since a territory, which by one of the parties to an armed conflict is claimed as its own and is under its control, is  once occupied by the other party  by definition occupied territory of a High Contracting Party in the sense of the Fourth Geneva Convention (emphasis added).  And both Israel and Jordan were parties to the Convention.  

That this at the time also was recognized by the Israeli authorities is borne out by the Order issued after the occupation and referred to in paragraph 93 of the Opinion.

10. The strange result of the Court’s reticence about the status of the West Bank between 1949 and 1967 is that it is only by implication that the reader is able to understand that it was under Jordanian control (paragraphs 73 and 129 refer to the demarcation line between Israel and Jordan (the Green Line)) without ever being explicitly informed that the West Bank had been placed under Jordanian authority.  This is all the more puzzling as the Court would in no way have been compelled to comment on the legality or legitimacy of that authority if it had made mention of it.

11. In a letter of 29 January from the Deputy Director General and Legal Adviser of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the Registrar of the Court it is stated that “Israel trusts and expects that the Court will look beyond the request to the wider issues relevant to this matter” (MWP 2004/38, covering letter).  In this respect it was said that resolution ES-10/14 is “absolutely silent” on the terrorist attacks against Israeli citizens and thus “reflects the gravest prejudice and imbalance with the requesting organ”.  Israel, therefore, requested the Court not to render the opinion.

12. I am of the view that the Court, in deciding whether it is appropriate to respond to a request for an advisory opinion, can involve itself with the political debate which has preceded the request only to the extent necessary to understand the question put.  It is no exception that such debate is heated but, as the Court said in the case of the Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons

“once the Assembly has asked, by adopting a resolution, for an advisory opinion on a legal question, the Court, in determining whether there are any compelling reasons for it to refuse to give such an opinion, will not have regard to the origins or to the political history of the request, or to the distribution of votes in respect of the adopted resolution” (I.C.J. Reports 1996 (I), p. 237, para. 16).

The Court, however, does not function in a void.  It is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations and has to carry out its function and responsibility within the wider political context.  It cannot be expected to present a legal opinion on the request of a political organ without taking full account of the context in which the request was made.

13. Although the Court certainly has taken into account the arguments put forward by Israel and has dealt with them in a considerate manner, I am of the view that the present Opinion could have reflected in a more satisfactory way the interests at stake for all those living in the region.  The rather oblique references to terrorist acts which can be found at several places in the Opinion, are in my view not sufficient for this purpose.  An advisory opinion is brought to the attention of a political organ of the United Nations and is destined to have an effect on a political process.  It should therefore throughout its reasoning and up till the operative part reflect the legitimate interests and responsibilities of all those involved and not merely refer to them in a concluding paragraph (para. 162).

III. Jurisdictional issues

14. I fully share the view of the Court that the adoption of resolution ES-10/14 was not ultra vires since it did not contravene the provision of Article 12, paragraph 1, of the Charter;  nor did it fail to fulfil the essential conditions set by the Uniting for Peace resolution (res. 377 A (V)) for the convening of an Emergency Special Session.

15. I doubt, however, whether it is possible to describe the practice of the political organs of the United Nations with respect to the interpretation of Article 12, paragraph 1, of the Charter without taking into account the effect of the Uniting for Peace resolution on this interpretation.  In the Opinion, the Court deals with resolution 377 A (V) as a separate item and merely in relation to its procedural requirements.  In my opinion this resolution also had a more substantive effect, namely with regard to the interpretation of the relationship between the competences of the Security Council and the General Assembly respectively, in the field of international peace and security and has certainly expedited the development of the interpretation of the condition, contained in Article 12, paragraph 1, namely that the Assembly shall not make a recommendation with regard to a dispute or situation while the Security Council is exercising its functions in respect of such dispute or situation (emphasis added).  

16. This effect is also recognized in doctrine.  “Le vote de la résolution ‘Union pour le maintien de la paix’ . . . ne pourrait manquer d’avoir des effets sur la portée à donner à la restriction de l’article 12, paragraphe 1.”  (Philippe Manin in J. P. Cot, La Charte des Nations Unies, 2e éd., 1981, p. 298; see also E. de Wet, The Chapter VII Powers of the United Nations Security Council, 2004, p. 46.)  In actual practice the adoption of the Uniting for Peace resolution has contributed to the interpretation that, if a veto cast by a permanent member prevents the Security Council from taking a decision, the latter is no longer considered to be exercising its functions within the meaning of Article 12, paragraph 1.  And the fact that a veto had been cast when the Security Council voted on a resolution dealing with the construction of the wall is determinative for the conclusion that the Security Council was no longer exercising its functions under the Charter with respect to the construction of the wall.  In the present case, therefore, the conclusion that resolution ES-10/14 did not contravene Article 12, paragraph 1, of the Charter cannot be dissociated from the effect resolution 377 A (V) has had on the interpretation of that provision.

17. That such practice is accepted by both Assembly and Security Council also with regard to the procedural requirements of resolution 377 A (V) is borne out by the fact that none of the Council’s members considered that the reconvening of the Assembly in Emergency Special Session on 20 October 2003 was unconstitutional and that the adoption of the resolution demanding that Israel stop and reverse the construction of the wall was therefore ultra vires.  In this respect it is telling that this resolution (res. ES-10/13) was tabled as a compromise by the Presidency of the European Union, among whose members were two permanent and two non-permanent members of the Security Council, less than a week after a draft resolution on the same subject had been vetoed in the Council.

18. Let me add that I agree with the Court that there has developed a practice enabling the General Assembly and the Security Council to deal in parallel with the same matter concerning the maintenance of international peace and security.  I doubt, however, whether a resolution of the character of resolution ES-10/13 (which beyond any doubt is a recommendation in the sense of Article 12, paragraph 1) could have been lawfully adopted by the Assembly, whether in a regular session or in an Emergency Special Session, if the Security Council had been considering the specific issue of the construction of the wall without yet having taken a decision.

IV. The question of judicial propriety

19. I must confess that I have felt considerable hesitation as to whether it would be judicially proper to comply with the request of the Assembly.

20. This hesitation had first of all to do with the question whether the Court would not be unduly politicized by giving the requested advisory opinion, thereby undermining its ability to contribute to global security and to respect for the rule of law.  It must be admitted that such an opinion, whatever its content, will inevitably become part of an already heated political debate.  The question is in particular pertinent as three members of the Quartet (the United States, the Russian Federation and the European Union) abstained on resolution ES-10/14 and do not seem too eager to see the Court complying with the request out of fear that the opinion may interfere with the political peace process.  Such fears cannot be taken lightly since the situation concerned is a continuous danger for international peace and security and a source of immense human suffering.

21. While recognizing that the risk of a possible politicization is real, I nevertheless concluded that this risk would not be neutralized by a refusal to give an opinion.  The risk should have been a consideration for the General Assembly when it envisaged making the request.  Once the decision to do so had been taken, the Court was made an actor on the political stage regardless of whether it would or would not give an opinion.  A refusal would just as much have politicized the Court as the rendering of an opinion.  Only by limiting itself strictly to its judicial function is the Court able to minimize the risk that its credibility in upholding the respect for the rule of law is affected.

22. My hesitation was also related to the question of the object of the Assembly’s request.  What was the Assembly’s purpose in making the request?  Resolution ES-10/14 seems to give some further information in this respect in its last preambular paragraph which reads as follows:

“Bearing in mind that the passage of time further compounds the difficulties on the ground, as Israel, the occupying Power, continues to refuse to comply with international law vis-à-vis its construction of the above-mentioned wall, with all its detrimental implications and consequences . . .”

Evidently the Assembly finds it necessary to take speedy action to bring to an end these detrimental implications and consequences and for this purpose it needs the views of the Court.

But the question remains:  Views on what?  And why the views of a judicial body on an act which has already been determined not to be in conformity with international law and the perpetrator of which has already been called upon to terminate and reverse its wrongful conduct (res. ES-10/13)?

23. The present request recalls the dilemma as seen by Judge Petrén in the Namibia case.  He felt that the purpose of the request for an advisory opinion was in that case “above all to obtain from the Court a reply such that States would find themselves under obligation to bring to bear on South Africa pressure . . .”.  He called this a reversal of the natural distribution of roles as between the principal judicial organ and the political organ of the United Nations since, instead of asking the Court its opinion on a legal question in order to deduce the political consequences following from it, the opposite was done (I.C.J. Reports 1971, p. 128).

24. In the present Opinion the Court responds to the argument that the Assembly has not made clear what use it would make of an advisory opinion on the wall, with a reference to the Nuclear Weapons case where it said that “it is not for the Court itself to purport to decide whether or not an advisory opinion is needed by the Assembly for the performance of its functions.  The General Assembly has the right to decide for itself on the usefulness of an opinion in the light of its own needs.”  (Para. 61.)  And the Court continues that it “cannot substitute its assessment of the usefulness of the opinion requested for that of the organ that seeks such opinion, namely the General Assembly” (para. 62).

25. I do not consider this answer fully satisfactory.  There is quite a difference between substituting the Court’s assessment of the usefulness of the opinion for that of the organ requesting it and analysing from a judicial viewpoint what the purpose of the request is.  The latter is a simple necessity in order to find out what the Court as a judicial body is in a position to say.  And from that point of view the request is phrased in a way which can be called odd, to put it mildly.  And in actual fact the Court makes this analysis when in paragraph 39 of the Opinion it says that the use of the terms “legal consequences” arising from the construction of the wall “necessarily encompasses an assessment of whether that construction is or is not in breach of certain rules and principles of international law”.  I agree with that statement but not because the word “necessarily” is related to the terms of the request but because it is related to the judicial responsibility of the Court.  To quote the words of Judge Dillard in the Namibia case:  

“when these [political] organs do see fit to ask for an advisory opinion, they must expect the Court to act in strict accordance with its judicial function.  This function precludes it from accepting, without any enquiry whatever, a legal conclusion which itself conditions the nature and scope of the legal consequences flowing from it.  It would be otherwise if the resolutions requesting an opinion were legally neutral . . .”  (I.C.J. Reports 1971, p. 151;  emphasis added.)

26. In the present case the request is far from being “legally neutral”.  In order not to be precluded, from the viewpoint of judicial propriety, from rendering the opinion, the Court therefore is duty bound to reconsider the content of the request in order to uphold its judicial dignity.  The Court has done so but in my view it should have done so proprio motu and not by assuming what the Assembly “necessarily” must have assumed, something it evidently did not.

27. Let me add that in other respects I share the views the Court has expressed with regard to the issue of judicial propriety.  In particular the Court’s finding that the subject-matter of the General Assembly cannot be regarded as being “only a bilateral matter between Israel and Palestine” (para. 49), is in my view worded in a felicitous way since, in regard to the issue of the existence of a bilateral dispute, it avoids the dilemma of “either/or”.  A situation which is of legitimate concern to the organized international community and a bilateral dispute with regard to that same situation may exist simultaneously.  The existence of the latter cannot deprive the organs of the organized community of the competence which has been assigned to them by the constitutive instruments.  In the present case the involvement of the United Nations in the question of Palestine is a long-standing one and, as the Court says, the subject-matter of the request is of acute concern to the United Nations (para. 50).  By giving an opinion the Court therefore in no way circumvents the principle of consent to the judicial settlement of a bilateral dispute which exists simultaneously.  The bilateral dispute cannot be dissociated from the subject-matter of the request, but only in very particular circumstances which cannot be spelled out in general can its existence be seen as an argument for the Court to decline to reply to the request.  In this respect, I find the quotation from the Western Sahara Opinion in paragraph 47 of the Opinion, which contains pure circular reasoning, less than helpful.

28. If the request has been legitimately made in view of the United Nations long-standing involvement with the question of Palestine, Israel’s argument that the Court does not have at its disposal the necessary evidentiary material, as this is to an important degree in the hands of Israel as a party to the dispute, does not hold water.  The Court has to respect Israel’s choice not to address the merits, but it is the Court’s own responsibility to assess whether the available information is sufficient to enable it to give the requested opinion.  And, although it is a matter for sincere regret that Israel has decided not to address the merits, the Court is right when it concludes that the available material allows it to give the opinion.

V. Merits

29. I share the Court’s view that the 1907 Hague Regulations, the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, the 1966 Covenants on Civil and Political Rights and on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child are applicable to the Occupied Palestinian Territory and that Israel by constructing the wall and establishing the associated régime has breached its obligation under certain provisions of each of these conventions.  

I find no fault with the Court’s reasoning in this respect although I regret that the summary of the Court’s findings in paragraph 137 does not contain a list of treaty provisions which have been breached.

30. The Court has refrained from taking a position with regard to territorial rights and the question of permanent status.  It has taken note of statements, made by Israeli authorities on various occasions, that the “fence” is a temporary measure, that it is not a border and that it does not change the legal status of the territory.  I welcome these assurances which may be seen as the recognition of legal commitments on the side of Israel but share the Court’s concern that the construction of the wall creates a fait accompli.  It is therefore all the more important to expedite the political process which has to settle all territorial and permanent status issues.

31. Self-determination  In my view, it would have been better if the Court had also left issues of self-determination to this political process.  I fully recognize that the right of self-determination is one of the basic principles of modern international law and that the realization of this right for the people of Palestine is one of the most burning issues for the solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  The overriding aim of the political process, as it is embodied inter alia in the Roadmap, is “the emergence of an independent, democratic and viable Palestinian State living side by side in peace and security with Israel and its other neighbours” (dossier Secretary-General, No. 70).  This goal is subscribed to by both Israel and Palestine;  both are, therefore, in good faith bound to desist from acts which may jeopardize this common interest.

32. The right of self-determination of the Palestinian people is therefore imbedded in a much wider context than the construction of the wall and has to find its realization in this wider context.  I readily agree with the Court that the wall and its associated régime impede the exercise by the Palestinian people of its right to self-determination be it only for the reason that the wall establishes a physical separation of the people entitled to enjoy this right.  But not every impediment to the exercise of a right is by definition a breach of that right or of the obligation to respect it, as the Court seems to conclude in paragraph 122.  As was said by the Quartet in its statement of 16 July 2002, the terrorist attacks (and the failure of the Palestinian Authority to prevent them) cause also great harm to the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people and thus seriously impede the realization of the right of self-determination.  Is that also a breach of that right?  And if so, by whom?  In my view the Court could not have concluded that Israel had committed a breach of its obligation to respect the Palestinians’ right to self-determination without further legal analysis.

33. In this respect I do not find the references to earlier statements of the Court in paragraph 88 of the Opinion very enlightening.  In the Namibia case the Court referred in specific terms to the relations between the inhabitants of a mandate and the mandatory as reflected in the constitutive instruments of the mandate system.  In the East Timor case the Court called the rights of peoples to self-determination in a colonial situation a right erga omnes, therefore a right opposable to all.  But it said nothing about the way in which this “right” must be translated into obligations for States which are not the colonial Power.  And I repeat the question:  Is every impediment to the exercise of the right to self-determination a breach of an obligation to respect it?  Is it so only when it is serious?  Would the discontinuance of the impeding act restore the right or merely bring the breach to an end?

34. Proportionality  The Court finds that the conditions set out in the qualifying clauses in the applicable humanitarian law and human rights conventions have not been met and that the measures taken by Israel cannot be justified by military exigencies or by requirements of national security or public order (paras. 135-137).  I agree with that finding but in my opinion the construction of the wall should also have been put to the proportionality test, in particular since the concepts of military necessity and proportionality have always been intimately linked in international humanitarian law.  And in my view it is of decisive importance that, even if the construction of the wall and its associated régime could be justified as measures necessary to protect the legitimate rights of Israeli citizens, these measures would not pass the proportionality test.  The route chosen for the construction of the wall and the ensuing disturbing consequences for the inhabitants of the Occupied Palestinian Territory are manifestly disproportionate to interests which Israel seeks to protect, as seems to be recognized also in recent decisions of the Israeli Supreme Court.

35. Self-defence  Israel based the construction of the wall on its inherent right of self-defence as contained in Article 51 of the Charter.  In this respect it relied on Security Council resolutions 1368 (2001) and 1373 (2001), adopted after the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 against targets located in the United States.  

The Court starts its response to this argument by stating that Article 51 recognizes the existence of an inherent right of self-defence in the case of an armed attack by one State against another State (para. 139).  Although this statement is undoubtedly correct, as a reply to Israel’s argument it is, with all due respect, beside the point.  Resolutions 1368 and 1373 recognize the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence without making any reference to an armed attack by a State.  The Security Council called acts of international terrorism, without any further qualification, a threat to international peace and security which authorizes it to act under Chapter VII of the Charter.  And it actually did so in resolution 1373 without ascribing these acts of terrorism to a particular State.  This is the completely new element in these resolutions.  This new element is not excluded by the terms of Article 51 since this conditions the exercise of the inherent right of self-defence on a previous armed attack without saying that this armed attack must come from another State even if this has been the generally accepted interpretation for more than 50 years.  The Court has regrettably by-passed this new element, the legal implications of which cannot as yet be assessed but which marks undeniably a new approach to the concept of self-defence.

36. The argument which in my view is decisive for the dismissal of Israel’s claim that it is merely exercising its right of self-defence can be found in the second part of paragraph 139.  The right of self-defence as contained in the Charter is a rule of international law and thus relates to international phenomena.  Resolutions 1368 and 1373 refer to acts of international terrorism as constituting a threat to international peace and security;  they therefore have no immediate bearing on terrorist acts originating within a territory which is under control of the State which is also the victim of these acts.  And Israel does not claim that these acts have their origin elsewhere.  The Court therefore rightly concludes that the situation is different from that contemplated by resolutions 1368 and 1373 and that consequently Article 51 of the Charter cannot be invoked by Israel.

VI. Legal consequences

37. I have voted in favour of subparagraph (3) (B), (C) and (E) of the operative part.  I agree with the Court’s finding with regard to the consequences of the breaches by Israel of its obligations under international law for Israel itself and for the United Nations (paras. 149-153 and 160).  Since I have voted, however, against operative subparagraph (3) (D), the remainder of my opinion will explain the reasons for my dissent in a more detailed way than I did in my introductory remarks.

38. The General Assembly requests the Court to specify what are the legal consequences arising from the construction of the wall.  If the object of the request is to obtain from the Court an opinion which the General Assembly deems of assistance to it for the proper exercise of its functions (para. 50) it is only logical that a specific paragraph of the dispositif is addressed to the General Assembly.  That the paragraph is also addressed to the Security Council is logical as well in view of the shared or parallel responsibilities of the two organs.  

Since the Court has found that the construction of the wall and the associated régime constitute breaches of Israel’s obligations under international law, it is also logical that the Court spells out what are the legal consequences for Israel.

39. Although the Court beyond any doubt is entitled to do so, the request itself does not necessitate (not even by implication) the determination of the legal consequences for other States, even if a great number of participants urged the Court to do so (para. 146).  In this respect the situation is completely different from that in the Namibia case where the question was exclusively focussed on the legal consequences for States, and logically so since the subject-matter of the request was a decision by the Security Council.

In the present case there must therefore be a special reason for determining the legal consequences for other States since the clear analogy in wording with the request in the Namibia case is insufficient.

40. That reason as indicated in paragraphs 155 to 158 of the Opinion is that the obligations violated by Israel include certain obligations erga omnes.  I must admit that I have considerable difficulty in understanding why a violation of an obligation erga omnes by one State should necessarily lead to an obligation for third States.  The nearest I can come to such an explanation is the text of Article 41 of the International Law Commission’s Articles on State Responsibility.  That Article reads:

“1. States shall cooperate to bring to an end through lawful means any serious breach within the meaning of Article 40.  (Article 40 deals with serious breaches of obligations arising under a peremptory norm of general international law.)

2. No State shall recognise as lawful a situation created by a serious breach within the meaning of Article 40, nor render aid or assistance in maintaining that situation.”

Paragraph 3 of Article 41 is a saving clause and of no relevance for the present case.

41. I will not deal with the tricky question whether obligations erga omnes can be equated with obligations arising under a peremptory norm of general international law.  In this respect I refer to the useful commentary of the ILC under the heading of Chapter III of its Articles.  For argument’s sake I start from the assumption that the consequences of the violation of such obligations are identical.

42. Paragraph 1 of Article 41 explicitly refers to a duty to co-operate.  As paragraph 3 of the commentary states “What is called for in the face of serious breaches is a joint and co-ordinated effort by all States to counteract the effects of these breaches.”  And paragraph 2 refers to “co-operation . . . in the framework of a competent international organization, in particular the United Nations”.  Article 41, paragraph 1, therefore does not refer to individual obligations of third States as a result of a serious breach.  What is said there is encompassed in the Court’s finding in operative subparagraph (3) (E) and not in subparagraph (3) (D).

43. Article 41, paragraph 2, however, explicitly mentions the duty not to recognize as lawful a situation created by a serious breach just as operative subparagraph (3) (D) does.  In its commentary the ILC refers to unlawful situations which  virtually without exception  take the form of a legal claim, usually to territory.  It gives as examples “an attempted acquisition of sovereignty over territory through denial of the right of self-determination”, the annexation of Manchuria by Japan and of Kuwait by Iraq, South-Africa’s claim to Namibia, the Unilateral Declaration of Independence in Rhodesia and the creation of Bantustans in South Africa.  In other words, all examples mentioned refer to situations arising from formal or quasi-formal promulgations intended to have an erga omnes effect.  I have no problem with accepting a duty of non-recognition in such cases.

44. I have great difficulty, however, in understanding what the duty not to recognize an illegal fact involves.  What are the individual addressees of this part of operative subparagraph (3) (D) supposed to do in order to comply with this obligation?  That question is even more cogent considering that 144 States unequivocally have condemned the construction of the wall as unlawful (res. ES-10/13), whereas those States which abstained or voted against (with the exception of Israel) did not do so because they considered the construction of the wall as legal.  The duty not to recognize amounts, therefore, in my view to an obligation without real substance.

45. That argument does not apply to the second obligation mentioned in Article 41, paragraph 2, namely the obligation not to render aid or assistance in maintaining the situation created by the serious breach.  I therefore fully support that part of operative subparagraph (3) (D).  Moreover, I would have been in favour of adding in the reasoning or even in the operative part a sentence reminding States of the importance of rendering humanitarian assistance to the victims of the construction of the wall.  (The Court included a similar sentence, be it with a different scope, in its Opinion in the Namibia case, I.C.J. Reports 1971, p. 56, para. 125.)

46. Finally, I have difficulty in accepting the Court’s finding that the States parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention are under an obligation to ensure compliance by Israel with humanitarian law as embodied in that Convention (para. 159, operative subparagraph (3) (D), last part).

In this respect the Court bases itself on common Article 1 of the Geneva Convention which reads:  “The High Contracting Parties undertake to respect and to ensure respect for the present Convention in all circumstances.”  (Emphasis added.)

47. The Court does not say on what ground it concludes that this Article imposes obligations on third States not party to a conflict.  The travaux préparatoires do not support that conclusion.  According to Professor Kalshoven, who investigated thoroughly the genesis and further development of common Article 1, it was mainly intended to ensure respect of the conventions by the population as a whole and as such was closely linked to common Article 3 dealing with internal conflicts (F. Kalshoven, “The Undertaking to Respect and Ensure Respect in all Circumstances:  From Tiny Seed to Ripening Fruit” in Yearbook of International Humanitarian Law, Vol. 2 (1999), p. 3-61).  His conclusion from the travaux préparatoires is:  

“I have not found in the records of the Diplomatic Conference even the slightest awareness on the part of government delegates that one might ever wish to read into the phrase ‘to ensure respect’ any undertaking by a contracting State other than an obligation to ensure respect for the Conventions by its people ‘in all circumstances’.”  (Ibid., p. 28.)

48. Now it is true that already from an early moment the ICRC in its (non-authoritative) commentaries on the 1949 Convention has taken the position that common Article 1 contains an obligation for all States parties to ensure respect by other States parties.  It is equally true that the Diplomatic Conference which adopted the 1977 Additional Protocols incorporated common Article 1 in the First Protocol.  But at no moment did the Conference deal with its presumed implications for third States.

49. Hardly less helpful is the Court’s reference to common Article 1 in the Nicaragua case.  The Court, without interpreting its terms, observed that “such an obligation does not derive only from the Conventions themselves, but from the general principles of humanitarian law to which the Conventions merely give specific expression”.  The Court continued that “The United States [was] thus under an obligation not to encourage persons or groups engaged in the conflict in Nicaragua” to act in violation of common Article 3 (Military and Paramilitary Activities in and against Nicaragua (Nicaragua v. United States of America)Judgment, I.C.J. Reports 1986, p. 114, para. 220).

But this duty of abstention is completely different from a positive duty to ensure compliance with the law.

50. Although I certainly am not in favour of a restricted interpretation of common Article 1, such as may have been envisaged in 1949, I simply do not know whether the scope given by the Court to this Article in the present Opinion is correct as a statement of positive law.  Since the Court does not give any argument in its reasoning, I do not feel able to support its finding.  Moreover, I fail to see what kind of positive action, resulting from this obligation, may be expected from individual States, apart from diplomatic demarches.  

51. For all these reasons I felt compelled to vote against operative subparagraph (3) (D).

(Signed) Pieter H. Kooijmans.


Separate opinion of Judge Al-Khasawneh

         Concurs with Advisory Opinion ¾ Agrees in general with reasoning ¾ Separate opinion only aim is to elucidate some salient points ¾ Status of territories as occupied rests on consistent opinio juris ¾ Security Council and General Assembly resolutions ¾ Opinion of High Contracting Parties to Fourth Geneva Convention ¾ Position of ICRC ¾ Position of States ¾ Israeli recognition of applicability of Fourth Geneva Convention ¾ Recent Israeli court decisions ¾ Court however not content to merely reiterate such conclusion ¾ Court independently reached similar conclusions on basis of interpretation of Fourth Geneva Convention ¾ Court saw no reason to embark on ascertainment of prior legal status of occupied territories ¾ Wise decision both as unnecessary and as having no impact on present status ¾ Except in case those territories were terra nullius¾ Cannot be the case ¾ Concept discredited and inapplicable to today’s world ¾ Incompatible with territory as mandatory territory ¾ Principles of non-annexation and welfare of inhabitants continue even after termination of mandate ¾ Until right of self-determination is achieved ¾ Obstacle to that right now is prolonged Israeli occupation ¾ Green Line originally an armistice line ¾ Israeli jurists sought to give it more importance before 1967 war ¾ Regardless of its present situation it represents the point from which Israeli occupation can be measured ¾ Doubts about its status work both ways ¾ Court right to refer to negotiation ¾ Negotiations are means and not end ¾ They should be grounded in law ¾ Requirement of good faith should be reflected in abstaining from faits accomplis that prejudice outcome of negotiations.

         1. I concur with the Court’s findings and agree in general with its reasoning.  Certain salient points in the Advisory Opinion merit some elucidation and it is specifically with regard to those points that I append this opinion.

The international legal status of the territories presently under Israeli occupation

         2. Few propositions in international law can be said to command an almost universal acceptance and to rest on a long, constant and solid opinio juris as the proposition that Israel’s presence in the Palestinian territory of the West Bank including East Jerusalem and Gaza is one of military occupation governed by the applicable international legal régime of military occupation.

         3. In support of this, one may cite the very large number of resolutions adopted by the Security Council and the General Assembly often unanimously or by overwhelming majorities, including binding decisions of the Council and other resolutions which, while not binding, nevertheless produce legal effects and indicate a constant record of the international community’s opinio juris.  In all of these resolutions the territory in question was unfalteringly characterized as occupied territory; Israel’s presence in it as that of a military occupant and Israel’s compliance or non-compliance with its obligations towards the territory and its inhabitants measured against the objective yardstick of the protective norms of humanitarian law.

         4. Similarly the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention and the International Committee of the Red Cross “have retained their consensus that the convention”, i.e. the Fourth Geneva Convention of 12 August 1949, “does apply de jure to the occupied territories”[1].

         5. This has also been the position of States individually or in groups including States friendly to Israel.  Indeed a review of the record would reveal that, as noted by France in its Written Statement:“Israel initially recognized the applicability of the Fourth Convention:  according to Article 35 of Order No. 1, issued by the occupying authorities on 7 June 1967, ‘[t]he Military Court . . . must apply the provisions of the Geneva Convention dated 12 August 1949, Relative to the Protection of Civilians in Time of War, with respect to judicial procedures.  In case of conflict between this Order and said Convention, the Convention shall prevail . . .’”  (P. 5.)

         6. More recently Israel’s Supreme Court has confirmed the applicability of the Fourth Geneva Convention to those territories.

         7. Whilst “that consistent record of the international community’s opinio juris cannot just be swept aside and ignored[2]”, the Court did not simply reiterate that opinio juris, instead, while taking cognizance of it, the Court arrived at similar conclusions regarding the de jure applicability of the Fourth Geneva Convention mainly on the basis of a textual interpretation of the Convention itself (paras. 86-98).  Paragraph 98 reads:         “In conclusion, the Court considers that the Fourth Geneva Convention is applicable in any occupied territory in the event of an armed conflict arising between two or more High Contending Parties.  Israel and Jordan were parties to the Fourth Convention when the 1967 armed conflict broke out.  The Court accordingly finds that the convention is applicable in the Palestinian territories which before the conflict lay to the east of the 1949 Armistice Demarcation line established between Israel and Jordan (The Green Line) and which were occupied during that conflict by Israel, there being no need for any enquiry into the precise prior status of these territories.”

         8. The Court followed a wise course in steering away from embarking on an enquiry into the precise prior status of those territories not only because such an enquiry is unnecessary for the purpose of establishing their present status as occupied territories and affirming the de jure applicability of the Fourth Geneva Convention to them, but also because the prior status of the territories would make no difference whatsoever to their present status as occupied territories except in the event that they were terra nullius when they were occupied by Israel, which no one would seriously argue given that that discredited concept is of no contemporary application, besides being incompatible with the territories’ status as a former mandatory territory regarding which, as the Court had occasion to pronounce “two principles were considered to be of paramount importance:  the principle of non-annexation and the principle that the well-being and development of . . . peoples [not yet able to govern themselves] form[ed] ‘a sacred trust of civilization’” (International Status of South West Africa, Advisory Opinion, I.C.J. Reports 1950, p. 131).

         9. Whatever the merits and demerits of the Jordanian title in the West Bank might have been, and Jordan would in all probability argue that its title there was perfectly valid and internationally recognized and point out that it had severed its legal ties to those territories in favour of Palestinian self-determination, the fact remains that what prevents this right of self-determination from being fulfilled is Israel’s prolonged military occupation with its policy of creating faits accomplis on the ground.  In this regard it should be recalled that the principle of non-annexation is not extinguished with the end of the mandate but subsists until it is realized.

The significance of the Green Line

         10. There is no doubt that the Green Line was initially no more than an armistice line in an agreement that expressly stipulated that its provisions would not be “interpreted as prejudicing, in any sense, an ultimate political settlement between the Parties” and that “the Armistice Demarcation Lines defined in articles V and VI of [the] Agreement [were] agreed upon by the Parties without prejudice to future territorial settlements or boundary lines or to claims of either Party relating thereto” (Advisory Opinion, para. 72).

         11. It is not without irony that prominent Israeli jurists were arguing before the 1967 war that the General Armistice agreements were sui generis, were in fact more than mere armistice agreements, could not be changed except with the acceptance of the Security Council.  Whatever the true significance of that line today, two facts are indisputable:

(1) The Green line, to quote Sir Arthur Watts, “is the starting line from which is measured the extent of Israel’s occupation of non-Israeli territory” (CR 2004/3, p. 64).  There is no implication that the Green Line is to be a permanent frontier.

(2) Attempts at denigrating the significance of the Green Line would in the nature of things work both ways.  Israel cannot shed doubts upon the title of others without expecting its own title and the territorial expanse of that title beyond the partition resolution not to be called into question.  Ultimately it is through stabilizing its legal relationship with the Palestinians and not through constructing walls that its security would be assured.

The role of negotiations

         12. The Court has included a reference to the tragic situation in the Holy Land .  A situation that can be brought to an end “only through implementation in good faith of all relevant Security Council resolutions, in particular resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973).  The Roadmap approved by Security Council resolution 1515 (2003) represents the most recent of efforts to initiate negotiations to this end.”  (Advisory Opinion, para. 162.)

         13. Whilst there is nothing wrong in calling on protagonists to negotiate in good faith with the aim of implementing Security Council resolutions and while recalling that negotiations have produced peace agreements that represent defensible schemes and have withstood the test of time, no one should be oblivious that negotiations are a means to an end and cannot in themselves replace that end.  The discharge of international obligations including erga omnes obligations cannot be made conditional upon negotiations.  Additionally, it is doubtful, with regard to the Roadmap, when consideration is had to the conditions of acceptance of that effort, whether the meeting of minds necessary to produce mutual and reciprocal obligations exists.  Be that as it may, it is of the utmost importance if these negotiations are not to produce non-principled solutions, that they be grounded in law and that the requirement of good faith be translated into concrete steps by abstaining from creating faits accomplis on the ground such as the building of the wall which cannot but prejudice the outcome of those negotiations.

(Signed) Awn Al-Khasawneh.

___________

______________

[1]Report of the Secretary-General prepared pursuant to General Assembly resolution ES-10/2 of 25 April 1997, para. 21, A/165-10/6-S/1997/494.

[2]Sir Arthur Watts, CR 2003/3, p. 64.


Declaration of Judge Buergenthal

1. Since I believe that the Court should have exercised its discretion and declined to render the requested advisory opinion, I dissent from its decision to hear the case.  My negative votes with regard to the remaining items of the dispositif should not be seen as reflecting my view that the construction of the wall by Israel on the Occupied Palestinian Territory does not raise serious questions as a matter of international law.  I believe it does, and there is much in the Opinion with which I agree.  However, I am compelled to vote against the Court’s findings on the merits because the Court did not have before it the requisite factual bases for its sweeping findings;  it should therefore have declined to hear the case.  In reaching this conclusion, I am guided by what the Court said in Western Sahara, where it emphasizedthat the critical question in determining whether or not to exercise its discretion in acting on an advisory opinion request is “whether the Court has before it sufficient information and evidence to enable it to arrive at a judicial conclusion upon any disputed questions of fact the determination of which is necessary for it to give an opinion in conditions compatible with its judicial character” (Western Sahara, Advisory Opinion, I.C.J. Reports 1975, pp. 28-29, para. 46).  In my view, the absence in this case of the requisite information and evidence vitiates the Court’s findings on the merits.

2. I share the Court’s conclusion that international humanitarian law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention, and international human rights law are applicable to the Occupied Palestinian Territory and must there be faithfully complied with by Israel.  I accept that the wall is causing deplorable suffering to many Palestinians living in that territory.  In this connection, I agree that the means used to defend against terrorism must conform to all applicable rules of international law and that a State which is the victim of terrorism may not defend itself against this scourge by resorting to measures international law prohibits.

3. It may well be, and I am prepared to assume it, that on a thorough analysis of all relevant facts, a finding could well be made that some or even all segments of the wall being constructed by Israel on the Occupied Palestinian Territory violate international law (see para. 10 below).  But to reach that conclusion with regard to the wall as a whole without having before it or seeking to ascertain all relevant facts bearing directly on issues of Israel’s legitimate right of self-defence, military necessity and security needs, given the repeated deadly terrorist attacks in and upon Israel proper coming from the Occupied Palestinian Territory to which Israel has been and continues to be subjected, cannot be justified as a matter of law.  The nature of these cross-Green Line attacks and their impact on Israel and its population are never really seriously examined by the Court, and the dossier provided the Court by the United Nations on which the Court to a large extent bases its findings barely touches on that subject.  I am not suggesting that such an examination would relieve Israel of the charge that the wall it is building violates international law, either in whole or in part, only that without this examination the findings made are not legally well founded.  In my view, the humanitarian needs of the Palestinian people would have been better served had the Court taken these considerations into account, for that would have given the Opinion the credibility I believe it lacks.

4. This is true with regard to the Court’s sweeping conclusion that the wall as a whole, to the extent that it is constructed on the Occupied Palestinian Territory, violates international humanitarian law and international human rights law.  It is equally true with regard to the finding that the construction of the wall “severely impedes the exercise by the Palestinian people of its right to self-determination, and is therefore a breach of Israel’s obligation to respect that right” (para. 122).  I accept that the Palestinian people have the right to self-determination and that it is entitled to be fully protected.  But assuming without necessarily agreeing that this right is relevant to the case before us and that it is being violated, Israel’s right to self-defence, if applicable and legitimately invoked, would nevertheless have to preclude any wrongfulness in this regard.  See Article 21 of the International Law Commission’s Articles on Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts, which declares:  “The wrongfulness of an act of a State is precluded if the act constitutes a lawful measure of self-defence taken in conformity with the Charter of the United Nations.”

5. Whether Israel’s right of self-defence is in play in the instant case depends, in my opinion, on an examination of the nature and scope of the deadly terrorist attacks to which Israel proper is being subjected from across the Green Line and the extent to which the construction of the wall, in whole or in part, is a necessary and proportionate response to these attacks.  As a matter of law, it is not inconceivable to me that some segments of the wall being constructed on Palestinian territory meet that test and that others do not.  But to reach a conclusion either way, one has to examine the facts bearing on that issue with regard to the specific segments of the wall, their defensive needs and related topographical considerations.

Since these facts are not before the Court, it is compelled to adopt the to me legally dubious conclusion that the right of legitimate or inherent self-defence is not applicable in the present case.  The Court puts the matter as follows:

“Article 51 of the Charter . . . recognizes the existence of an inherent right of self-defence in the case of armed attack by one State against another State.  However, Israel does not claim that the attacks against it are imputable to a foreign State.

The Court also notes that Israel exercises control in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and that, as Israel itself states, the threat which it regards as justifying the construction of the wall originates within, and not outside, that territory.  The situation is thus different from that contemplated by Security Council resolutions 1368 (2001) and 1373 (2001), and therefore Israel could not in any event invoke those resolutions in support of its claim to be exercising a right of self-defence.

Consequently, the Court concludes that Article 51 of the Charter has no relevance in this case.”  (Para. 139.)

6. There are two principal problems with this conclusion.  The first is that the United Nations Charter, in affirming the inherent right of self-defence, does not make its exercise dependent upon an armed attack by another State, leaving aside for the moment the question whether Palestine, for purposes of this case, should not be and is not in fact being assimilated by the Court to a State.  Article 51 of the Charter provides that “Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations . . .”  Moreover, in the resolutions cited by the Court, the Security Council has made clear that “international terrorism constitutes a threat to international peace and security” while “reaffirming the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence as recognized by the Charter of the United Nations as reiterated in resolution 1368 (2001)” (Security Council resolution 1373 (2001)).  In its resolution 1368 (2001), adopted only one day after the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, the Security Council invokes the right of self-defence in calling on the international community to combat terrorism.  In neither of these resolutions did the Security Council limit their application to terrorist attacks by State actors only, nor was an assumption to that effect implicit in these resolutions.  In fact, the contrary appears to have been the case.  (See Thomas Franck, “Terrorism and the Right of Self-Defense”, American Journal of International Law, Vol. 95, 2001, pp. 839-840.)

Second, Israel claims that it has a right to defend itself against terrorist attacks to which it is subjected on its territory from across the Green Line and that in doing so it is exercising its inherent right of self-defence.  In assessing the legitimacy of this claim, it is irrelevant that Israel is alleged to exercise control in the Occupied Palestinian Territory  whatever the concept of “control” means given the attacks Israel is subjected from that territory  or that the attacks do not originate from outside the territory.  For to the extent that the Green Line is accepted by the Court as delimiting the dividing line between Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory, to that extent the territory from which the attacks originate is not part of Israel proper.  Attacks on Israel coming from across that line must therefore permit Israel to exercise its right of self-defence against such attacks, provided the measures it takes are otherwise consistent with the legitimate exercise of that right.  To make that judgment, that is, to determine whether or not the construction of the wall, in whole or in part, by Israel meets that test, all relevant facts bearing on issues of necessity and proportionality must be analysed.  The Court’s formalistic approach to the right of self-defence enables it to avoid addressing the very issues that are at the heart of this case.

7. In summarizing its finding that the wall violates international humanitarian law and international human rights law, the Court has the following to say:

“To sum up, the Court, from the material available to it, is not convinced that the specific course Israel has chosen for the wall was necessary to attain its security objectives.  The wall, along the route chosen, and its associated régime gravely infringe a number of rights of Palestinians residing in the territory occupied by Israel, and the infringements resulting from that route cannot be justified by military exigencies or by the requirements of national security or public order.  The construction of such a wall accordingly constitutes breaches by Israel of various of its obligations under the applicable international humanitarian law and human rights instruments.”  (Para. 137.)

The Court supports this conclusion with extensive quotations of the relevant legal provisions and with evidence that relates to the suffering the wall has caused along some parts of its route.  But in reaching this conclusion, the Court fails to address any facts or evidence specifically rebutting Israel’s claim of military exigencies or requirements of national security.  It is true that in dealing with this subject the Court asserts that it draws on the factual summaries provided by the United Nations Secretary-General as well as some other United Nations reports.  It is equally true, however, that the Court barely addresses the summaries of Israel’s position on this subject that are attached to the Secretary-General’s report and which contradict or cast doubt on the material the Court claims to rely on.  Instead, all we have from the Court is a description of the harm the wall is causing and a discussion of various provisions of international humanitarian law and human rights instruments followed by the conclusion that this law has been violated.  Lacking is an examination of the facts that might show why the alleged defences of military exigencies, national security or public order are not applicable to the wall as a whole or to the individual segments of its route.  The Court says that it “is not convinced” but it fails to demonstrate why it is not convinced, and that is why these conclusions are not convincing.

8. It is true that some international humanitarian law provisions the Court cites admit of no exceptions based on military exigencies.  Thus, Article 46 of the Hague Rules provides that private property must be respected and may not be confiscated.  In the Summary of the legal position of the Government of Israel, Annex I to the report of the United Nations Secretary-General, A/ES-10/248, p. 8, the Secretary-General reports Israel’s position on this subject in part as follows: “The Government of Israel argues:  there is no change in ownership of the land; compensation is available for use of land, crop yield or damage to the land; residents can petition the Supreme Court to halt or alter construction and there is no change in resident status.”  The Court fails to address these arguments.  While these Israeli submissions are not necessarily determinative of the matter, they should have been dealt with by the Court and related to Israel’s further claim that the wall is a temporary structure, which the Court takes note of as an “assurance given by Israel” (para. 121).

9. Paragraph 6 of Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention also does not admit for exceptions on grounds of military or security exigencies.  It provides that “the Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies”.  I agree that this provision applies to the Israeli settlements in the West Bank and that their existence violates Article 49, paragraph 6.  It follows that the segments of the wall being built by Israel to protect the settlements are ipso facto in violation of international humanitarian law.  Moreover, given the demonstrable great hardship to which the affected Palestinian population is being subjected in and around the enclaves created by those segments of the wall, I seriously doubt that the wall would here satisfy the proportionality requirement to qualify as a legitimate measure of self-defence.

10. A final word is in order regarding my position that the Court should have declined, in the exercise of its discretion, to hear this case.  In this connection, it could be argued that the Court lacked many relevant facts bearing on Israel’s construction of the wall because Israel failed to present them, and that the Court was therefore justified in relying almost exclusively on the United Nations reports submitted to it.  This proposition would be valid if, instead of dealing with an advisory opinion request, the Court had before it a contentious case where each party has the burden of proving its claims.  But that is not the rule applicable to advisory opinion proceedings which have no parties.  Once the Court recognized that Israel’s consent to these proceedings was not necessary since the case was not bought against it and Israel was not a party to it, Israel had no legal obligation to participate in these proceedings or to adduce evidence supporting its claim regarding the legality of the wall.  While I have my own views on whether it was wise for Israel not to produce the requisite information, this is not an issue for me to decide.  The fact remains that it did not have that obligation.  The Court may therefore not draw any adverse evidentiary conclusions from Israel’s failure to supply it or assume, without itself fully enquiring into the matter, that the information and evidence before it is sufficient to support each and every one of its sweeping legal conclusions.

(Signed) Thomas Buergenthal.


Separate opinion of Judge Elaraby

          The nature and scope of United Nations responsibility ¾ The international legal status of the Occupied Palestinian Territory ¾ Historical survey ¾ The law of belligerent occupation, including current situation of prolonged occupation, principle of military necessity, breaches of international humanitarian law and the erga omnes right to self-determination of the Palestinian people.

          I would like to express, at the outset, my complete and unqualified support for the findings and conclusions of the Court.  I consider it necessary, however, to exercise my entitlement under Article 57 of the Statute, to append this separate opinion to elaborate on some of the historical and legal aspects contained in the Advisory Opinion.

          I feel obliged, with considerable reluctance, to start by referring to paragraph 8 of the Advisory Opinion.  In my view, as Judge Lachs wrote in his separate opinion in Military and Paramilitary Activities in and against Nicaragua (Nicaragua v. United States of America), Judgment, “A judge ¾ as needs no emphasis ¾ is bound to be impartial, objective, detached, disinterested and unbiased.”  (I.C.J. Reports 1986, p. 158.)  Throughout the consideration of this Advisory Opinion, I exerted every effort to be guided by this wise maxim which has a wider scope than the solemn declaration every judge makes in conformity with Article 20 of the Statute of the International Court of Justice.

          In this separate opinion, I will address three interrelated points:

    (i)  the nature and scope of the United Nations responsibility;

   (ii)  the international legal status of the Occupied Palestinian Territory;

  (iii)  the law of belligerent occupation.

I. The Nature and Scope of the United Nations Responsibility

          1. The first point to be emphasized is the need to spell out the nature and the wide-ranging scope of the United Nations historical and legal responsibility towards Palestine.  Indeed, the Court has referred to this special responsibility when it held that:          “The responsibility of the United Nations in this matter also has its origin in the Mandate and the Partition Resolution concerning Palestine . . . this responsibility has been manifested by the adoption of many Security Council and General Assembly resolutions, and by the creation of several subsidiary bodies specifically established to assist in the realization of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people.”  (Advisory Opinion, para. 49.)

          What I consider relevant to emphasize is that this special responsibility was discharged for five decades without proper regard for the rule of law.  The question of Palestine has dominated the work of the United Nations since its inception, yet no organ has ever requested the International Court of Justice to clarify the complex legal aspects of the matters under its purview.  Decisions with far-reaching consequences were taken on the basis of political expediency, without due regard for the legal requirements.  Even when decisions were adopted, the will to follow through to implementation soon evaporated.  Competent United Nations organs, including the General Assembly and the Security Council, have adopted streams of resolutions that remain wholly or partially unfulfilled.  The United Nations special responsibility has its origin in General Assembly resolution 118 (II) of 29 November 1947 (hereafter, the Partition Resolution).

          Proposals to seek advisory opinions prior to the adoption of the Partition Resolution were considered on many occasions in the competent subsidiary bodies but no request was ever adopted.  This fact by itself confers considerable importance on the request for an advisory opinion embodied in General Assembly resolution ES-10/14 (A/ES-10/L.16), adopted on 8 December 2003, at the 23rd meeting of the resumed Tenth Emergency Special Session.  The request is indeed a landmark in the United Nations consideration of the question of Palestine.  The historical record of some previous attempts to seek the views of the International Court of Justice deserves to be recalled, albeit briefly.

          The report of the Sub-Committee 2 in 1947 to the Ad Hoc Committee on the Palestinian Question recognized the necessity to clarify the legal issues.  In paragraph 38, it was stated:          “The Sub-Committee examined in detail the legal issues raised by the delegations of Syria and Egypt, and its considered views are recorded in this report.  There is, however, no doubt that it would be advantageous and more satisfactory from all points of view if an advisory opinion on these difficult and complex legal and constitutional issues were obtained from the highest international judicial tribunal.”  (Document A/AC.14/32 and Add. 1, 11 November 1947, para. 38.)

          The “difficult and complex legal and constitutional issues” revolved around:“whether the General Assembly is competent to recommend either of the solutions proposed by the majority and by the minority respectively of the Special Committee, and whether it lies within the power of any Member or group of Members of the United Nations to implement any of the proposed solutions without the consent of the people of Palestine” (ibid., para. 37).

          Several such proposals were considered.  None was adopted.  The Sub-Committee in its report, some two weeks before the vote on the Partition Resolution, recognized that:          “A refusal to submit this question for the opinion of the International Court of Justice would amount to a confession that the General Assembly is determined to make recommendations in a certain direction, not because those recommendations are in accord with the principles of international justice and fairness, but because the majority of the representatives desire to settle the problem in a certain manner, irrespective of what the merits of the question or the legal obligations of the parties might be.  Such an attitude will not serve to enhance the prestige of the United Nations. . . .”  (Ibid., para. 40.)

          The clear and well-reasoned arguments calling for clarification and elucidation of the legal issues fell on deaf ears.  The rush to vote proceeded without clarifying the legal aspects.  In this context, it is relevant to recall that the Partition Resolution fully endorsed referral of “any dispute relating to the application or interpretation”[1] of its provisions to the International Court of Justice.  The referral “shall be at the request of either party”[2].  Needless to say, this avenue was also never followed.

          Thus, the request by the General Assembly for an advisory opinion, as contained in resolution 10/14, represents the first time ever that the International Court of Justice has been consulted by a United Nations organ with respect to any aspect regarding Palestine.  The Advisory Opinion has great historical significance as a landmark which will definitely add to its legal value.

II. The International Legal Status of the Occupied Palestinian Territory

          2.1. The international legal status of the Palestinian Territory (paras. 70-71 of the Advisory Opinion), in my view, merits more comprehensive treatment.  A historical survey is relevant to the question posed by the General Assembly, for it serves as the background to understanding the legal status of the Palestinian Territory on the one hand and underlines the special and continuing responsibility of the General Assembly on the other.  This may appear as academic, without relevance to the present events.  The present is however determined by the accumulation of past events and no reasonable and fair concern for the future can possibly disregard a firm grasp of past events.  In particular, when on more than one occasion, the rule of law was consistently side-stepped.  

          The point of departure, or one can say in legal jargon, the critical date, is the League of Nations Mandate which was entrusted to Great Britain.  As stated in the Preamble of the Mandate for Palestine, the United Kingdom undertook  “to exercise it on behalf of the League of Nations”[3].  The Mandate must be considered in the light of the Covenant of the League of Nations.  One of the primary responsibilities of the Mandatory Power was to assist the peoples of the territory to achieve full self-government and independence at the earliest possible date.  Article 22, paragraph 1, of the Covenant stipulated that the “well-being and development of such peoples form a sacred trust of civilisation”.  The only limitation imposed by the League’s Covenant upon the sovereignty and full independence of the people of Palestine was the temporary tutelage entrusted to the Mandatory Power.  Palestine fell within the scope of Class A Mandates under Article 22, paragraph 4, of the Covenant, which provided that:          “Certain communities, formerly belonging to the Turkish Empire, have reached a stage of development where their existence as independent nations can be provisionally recognized, subject to the rendering of administrative advice and assistance by a mandatory power until such time as they are able to stand alone.”

          The conventional wisdom and the general expectation were such that when the stage of rendering administrative advice and assistance had been concluded and the Mandate had come to an end, Palestine would be independent as of that date, since its provisional independence as a nation was already legally acknowledged by the Covenant.  Moreover, the Covenant clearly differentiated between the communities which formerly belonged to the Turkish Empire, and other territories.  Regarding the latter, the Mandatory Power was held responsible for the complete administration of the Palestinian territory and was not confined to administrative advice and assistance[4].  These distinct arrangements can be interpreted as further recognition by the Covenant of the special status of the former Turkish territories which included Palestine.  

          In point of fact, the report submitted by Sub-Committee 2 to the Ad Hoc Committee on the Palestinian question in 1947 shed more light on the status of Palestine.  The report gave the conclusion that:“the people of Palestine are ripe for self-government and that it has been agreed on all hands that they should be made independent at the earliest possible date.  It also follows, from what has been said above, that the General Assembly is not competent to recommend, still less to enforce, any solution other than the recognition of the independence of Palestine.”  (A/AC.14/32, and Add. 1, 11 November 1947, para. 18.)

          The Sub-Committee further submitted the following views:          “It will be recalled that the object of the establishment of Class A Mandates, such as that for Palestine, under Article 22 of the Covenant, was to provide for a temporary tutelage under the Mandatory Power, and one of the primary responsibilities of the Mandatory was to assist the peoples of the mandated territories to achieve full self-government and independence at the earliest opportunity.  It is generally agreed that that stage has now been reached in Palestine, and not only the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine but the Mandatory Power itself agree that the Mandate should be terminated and the independence of Palestine recognized.”  (Ibid., para. 15.)

          2.2. The Court has considered the legal nature of mandated territories in both 1950 (International Status of South West Africa, Advisory Opinion), and in 1971 (Legal Consequences for States of the Continued Presence of South Africa in Namibia (South West Africa) notwithstanding Security Council Resolution 276 (1970), Advisory Opinion), and laid down both the conceptual philosophy and the legal parameters for defining the legal status of former mandated territories.  The dicta of the Court emphasized the special responsibility of the international community.  It is to be noted that, in the setting up of the mandates system, the Court held that“two principles were considered to be of paramount importance:  the principle of non-annexation and the principle that the well-being and development of such peoples form ‘a sacred trust of civilization’” (I.C.J. Reports 1950, p. 131;  emphasis added).

The two fundamental principles enunciated by the Court in 1950 apply to all former mandated territories which have not gained independence.  They remain valid today for the Occupied Palestinian Territory.  The territory cannot be subject to annexation by force and the future of the Palestinian people, as “a sacred trust of civilization”, is the direct responsibility and concern of the United Nations.

          2.3. It should be borne in mind that General Assembly resolution 181 (II) of 29 November 1947, which partitioned the territory of mandated Palestine, called for, inter alia, the following steps to be undertaken:

    (i)  the termination of  the Mandate not later than 1 August 1948;

   (ii)  the establishment of two independent States, one Arab and one Jewish;

  (iii)  the period between the adoption of the Partition Resolution and “the establishment of the independence of the Arab and Jewish States shall be a transitional period”.

          On 14 May 1948, the independence of the Jewish State was declared.  The Israeli declaration was “by virtue of [Israel’s] natural and historic right” and based “on the strength of the resolution of the United Nations General Assembly”[5].  The independence of the Palestinian Arab State has not yet materialized.

          That there “shall be a transitional period” pending the establishment of the two States is a determination by the General Assembly within its sphere of competence and should be binding on all Member States as having legal force and legal consequences[6].  This conclusion finds support in the jurisprudence of the Court.

          The Court has held in the Namibia case that when the General Assembly declared the Mandate to be terminated,“‘South Africa has no other right to administer the Territory’ . . .  This is not a finding on facts, but the formulation of a legal situation.  For it would not be correct to assume that, because the General Assembly is in principle vested with recommendatory powers, it is debarred from adopting, in specific cases within the framework of its competence, resolutions which make determinations or have operative design.”  (Legal Consequences for States of the Continued Presence of South Africa in Namibia (South West Africa) notwithstanding Security Council Resolution 276 (1970), Advisory OpinionI.C.J. Reports 1971, p. 50, para. 105.)

          The Court, moreover, has previously held, in the Certain Expenses case, that the decisions of the General Assembly on “important questions” under Article 18, “have dispositive force and effect” (Certain Expenses of the United Nations (Article 17, paragraph 2, of the Charter), Advisory OpinionI.C.J. Reports 1962, p. 163).

          The legal force and effect of a General Assembly resolution adopted by the General Assembly “within the framework of its competence” is therefore well established in the Court’s jurisprudence.  On that basis, it is submitted that two conclusions appear imperative:

(a) the United Nations is under an obligation to pursue the establishment of an independent Palestine, a fact which necessitates that the General Assembly’s special legal responsibility not lapse until the achievement of this objective;

(b) the transitional period referred to in the Partition Resolution serves as a legal nexus with the Mandate.  The notion of a transitional period carrying the responsibilities emanating from the Mandate to the present is a political reality, not a legal fiction, and finds support in the dicta of the Court, in particular, that former mandated territories are the “sacred trust of civilization” and “cannot be annexed”.  The stream of General Assembly and Security Council resolutions on various aspects of the question of Palestine provides cogent proof that this notion of a transitional period is generally, albeit implicitly, accepted.  

          2.4. The legal status of the Occupied Palestinian Territories cannot be fully appreciated without an examination of Israel’s contractual undertakings to respect the territorial integrity of the territory, and to withdraw from the occupied territories.  The withdrawal and the territorial integrity injunctions are based on Security Council resolution 242 (1967) which is universally considered as the basis for a just, viable and comprehensive settlement.  Resolution 242 is a multidimensional resolution which addresses various aspects of the Arab-Israeli dispute.  I will focus only on the territorial dimension of resolution 242:  the resolution contained two basic principles which defined the scope and the status of the territories occupied in 1967 and confirmed that occupied territories have to be “de-occupied”:  resolution 242 emphasized the inadmissibility of acquisition of territory by war, thus prohibiting the annexation of the territories occupied in the 1967 conquest.  It called for the withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from the territories occupied in the conflict.  On 22 October 1973, the Security Council adopted resolution 338 (1973) which reiterated the necessity to implement resolution 242 “in all of its parts” (S/Res/338 of 22 October 1973, para. 2).

          Following resolution 242, several undertakings to end the Israeli military occupation, while reserving the territorial integrity of the West Bank and Gaza, were made by Israel:  

(a) The Camp David Accords of 17 September 1978, in which Israel agreed that the basis for a peaceful settlement of the conflict with its neighbours is United Nations Security Council resolution 242 in all its parts.

(b) The Oslo Accord, signed in Washington, D.C. on 13 September 1993, which was a bilateral agreement between Israel and Palestine.  Article IV of the Oslo Accord provides that “the two sides view the West Bank and the Gaza Strip as a single territorial unit whose integrity will be preserved during the interim period”.

(c)  The Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, signed in Washington, D.C. on 28 September 1995, reiterated the commitment to respect the integrity and status of the Territory during the interim period.  In addition, Article XXXI (7) provided that “[n]either side shall initiate or take any step that will change the status of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip pending the outcome of the permanent status negotiations”.

          Thus Israel undertook to carry out the following obligations:

    (i)  to withdraw in conformity with resolution 242;

   (ii)  to respect the territorial integrity of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip;  and

  (iii)  to refrain from taking any step that would change the status of the West Bank and Gaza.  

These undertakings were contractual and are legally binding on Israel.  

          2.5. Yet, notwithstanding the general prohibition against annexing occupied territories, the dicta of the Court on the legal nature of former mandatory territories, and in clear contravention of binding bilateral undertakings, on 14 April 2004, the Prime Minister of Israel addressed a letter to the President of the United States.  Attached to the letter is a Disengagement Plan which one has to interpret as authoritatively reflecting Israel’s intention to annex Palestinian territories.  The Disengagement Plan provides that“it is clear that in the West Bank, there are areas which will be part of the State of Israel, including cities, towns and villages, security areas and installations, and other places of special interest to Israel”.

The clear undertakings to withdraw and to respect the integrity and status of the West Bank and Gaza legally debar Israel from infringing upon or altering the international legal status of the Palestinian territory.  The construction of the wall, with its chosen route and associated régime, has to be read in the light of the Disengagement Plan.  It is safe to assume that the construction was conceived with a view to annexing Palestinian territories, “cities, towns and villages” in the West Bank which “will be part of the State of Israel”.  The letter of the Prime Minister of Israel was dated 14 April 2004, over two months before the delivery of the Advisory Opinion.  

          The Court reached the correct conclusion regarding the characterization of the wall when it held that:“the construction of the wall and its associated régime create a ‘fait accompli’ on the ground that could well become permanent, in which case, and notwithstanding the formal characterization of the wall by Israel, it would be tantamount to de facto annexation” (Advisory Opinion, para. 121).

It is submitted that this finding should have been reflected in the dispositif with an affirmation that the Occupied Palestinian Territory cannot be annexed.  It would also have been appropriate, in my view, to refer to the implications of the letter of the Prime Minister of Israel and its attachments and to underline that what it purports to declare is a breach of Israel’s obligations and contrary to international law.

III. The Law of Belligerent Occupation

          The Court was requested by the General Assembly to urgently render an advisory opinion on “the legal consequences arising from the construction of the wall being built by Israel, the occupying Power, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory” (A/RES/ES-10/14(A/ES-10/L.16).  The focus of the request evolves around the law of belligerent occupation.  As already stated, I do concur with the reasoning and conclusions in the Advisory Opinion.  I feel constrained, however, to emphasize and elaborate on some points:

(a) the prolonged occupation;

(b) the scope and limitations of the principle of military necessity;

(c)  the grave breaches of international humanitarian law;  and

(d) the right to self-determination.

          3.1. The prohibition of the use of force, as enshrined in Article 2, paragraph 4, of the Charter, is no doubt the most important principle that emerged in the twentieth century.  It is universally recognized as a jus cogens principle, a peremptory norm from which no derogation is permitted.  The Court recalls in paragraph 87,the Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Co-operation among States (resolution 2625 (XXV)), which provides an agreed interpretation of Article 2 (4).  The Declaration “emphasized that ‘No territorial acquisition resulting from the threat or use of force shall be recognized as legal.’” (Advisory Opinion, para. 87).  The general principle that an illegal act cannot produce legal rights ¾ ex injuria jus non oritur ¾ is well recognized in international law.  

          The Israeli occupation has lasted for almost four decades.  Occupation, regardless of its duration, gives rise to a myriad of human, legal and political problems.  In dealing with prolonged belligerent occupation, international law seeks to “perform a holding operation pending the termination of the conflict”[7].  No one underestimates the inherent difficulties that arise during situations of prolonged occupation.  A prolonged occupation strains and stretches the applicable rules, however, the law of belligerent occupation must be fully respected regardless of the duration of the occupation.

          Professor Christopher Greenwood provided a correct legal analysis which I share.  He wrote:          “Nevertheless, there is no indication that international law permits an occupying power to disregard provisions of the Regulations or the Convention merely because it has been in occupation for a long period, not least because there is no body of law which might plausibly take their place and no indication that the international community is willing to trust the occupant with carte blanche.”[8]

          Both Israelis and Palestinians are subjected to untold sufferings.  Both Israelis and Palestinians have a right to live in peace and security.  Security Council resolution 242 affirmed the right “of every State in the area . . . to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force” (S/Res/242 (1967), para. 1 (ii)).  These are solemn reciprocal rights which give rise to solemn legal obligations.  The right to ensure and enjoy security applies to the Palestinians as well as to the Israelis.  Security cannot be attained by one party at the expense of the other.  By the same token of corresponding rights and obligations, the two sides have a reciprocal obligation to scrupulously respect and comply with the rules of international humanitarian law by respecting the rights, dignity and property of the civilians.  Both sides are under a legal obligation to measure their actions by the identical yardstick of international humanitarian law which provides protection for the civilian population.  

          The Court has very clearly held, in the Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons case, that          “The cardinal principles contained in the texts constituting the fabric of humanitarian law are the following.  The first is aimed at the protection of the civilian population and civilian objects and establishes the distinction between combatants and non-combatants; States must never make civilians the object of attack and must consequently never use weapons that are incapable of distinguishing between civilian and military targets.  According to the second principle, it is prohibited to cause unnecessary suffering to combatants: it is accordingly prohibited to use weapons causing them such harm or uselessly aggravating their suffering.  In application of that second principle, States do not have unlimited freedom of choice of means in the weapons they use.”  (Advisory Opinion, I.C.J. Reports 1996 (I), p. 257, para. 78.)

          The fact that occupation is met by armed resistance cannot be used as a pretext to disregard fundamental human rights in the occupied territory.  Throughout the annals of history, occupation has always been met with armed resistance.  Violence breeds violence.  This vicious circle weighs heavily on every action and every reaction by the occupier and the occupied alike.  

          The dilemma was pertinently captured by Professors Richard Falk and Burns Weston when they wrote“the occupier is confronted by threats to its security that arise . . . primarily, and especially in the most recent period, from a pronounced and sustained failure to restrict the character and terminate its occupation so as to restore the sovereign rights of the inhabitants.  Israeli occupation, by its substantial violation of Palestinian rights, has itself operated as an inflaming agent that threatens the security of its administration of the territory, inducing reliance on more and more brutal practices to restore stability which in turn provokes the Palestinians even more.  In effect, the illegality of the Israeli occupation regime itself set off an escalatory spiral of resistance and repression, and under these conditions all considerations of morality and reason establish a right of resistance inherent in the population.  This right of resistance is an implicit legal corollary of the fundamental legal rights associated with the primacy of sovereign identity and assuring the humane protection of the inhabitants.”[9]

          I wholeheartedly subscribe to the view expressed by Professors Falk and Weston, that the breaches by both sides of the fundamental rules of humanitarian law reside in “the illegality of the Israeli occupation regime itself”.  Occupation, as an illegal and temporary situation, is at the heart of the whole problem.  The only viable prescription to end the grave violations of international humanitarian law is to end occupation.  

          The Security Council has more than once called for ending the occupation.  On 30 June 1980, the Security Council reaffirmed “the overriding necessity for ending the prolonged occupation of Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967, including Jerusalem” (S/Res/476 (1980).  Notwithstanding this clarion call, the Palestinians are still languishing under a heavy-handed, prolonged occupation.

          3.2. The Court, in paragraph 135, rejected the contention that the principle of military necessity can be invoked to justify the construction of the wall.  The Court held that:          “However, on the material before it, the Court is not convinced that the destructions carried out contrary to the prohibition in Article 53 of the Fourth Geneva Convention were rendered absolutely necessary by military operations.”  (Advisory Opinion, para. 135.)

          I fully share this finding.  Military necessities and military exigencies could arguably be advanced as justification for building the wall had Israel proven that it could perceive no other alternative for safeguarding its security.  This, as the Court notes, Israel failed to demonstrate.  A distinction must be drawn between building the wall as a security measure, as Israel contends, and accepting that the principle of military necessity could be invoked to justify the unwarranted destruction and demolition that accompanied the construction process.  Military necessity, if applicable, extends to the former and not the latter.  The magnitude of the damage and injury inflicted upon the civilian inhabitants in the course of building the wall and its associated régime is clearly prohibited under international humanitarian law.  The destruction of homes, the demolition of the infrastructure, and the despoilment of land, orchards and olive groves that has accompanied the construction of the wall cannot be justified under any pretext whatsoever.  Over 100,000 civilian non-combatants have been rendered homeless and hapless.

          It is a fact that the law of belligerent occupation contains clauses which confer on the occupying Power a limited leeway for military necessities and security.  As in every exception to a general rule, it has to be interpreted in a strict manner with a view to preserving the basic humanitarian considerations.  The Secretary-General reported to the General Assembly on 24 November 2003 that he recognizes “Israel’s right and duty to protect its people against terrorist attacks.  However, that duty should not be carried out in a way that is in contradiction to international law.”  (A/ES-10/248, para. 30.)

          The jurisprudence of the Court has been consistent.  In the 1948 Corfu Channel case, the Court referred to the core and fabric of the rules of humanitarian law as “elementary considerations of humanity, even more exacting in peace than in war” (Corfu Channel, Preliminary Objection, Judgment, 1948, I.C.J. Reports 1947-1948, p. 22).  In the case concerning Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons case, the Court held that“these fundamental rules are to be observed by all States whether or not they have ratified the conventions that contain them, because they constitute intransgressible principles of international customary law” (Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear WeaponsI.C.J. Reports 1996 (I), p. 257, para. 79).  

          In the final analysis, I have reached the same conclusion as Professor Michael Schmitt, that          “Military necessity operates within this paradigm to prohibit acts that are not militarily necessary;  it is a principle of limitation, not authorization.  In its legal sense, military necessity justifies nothing.” [10]

The Court reached the same conclusion.  The Court held that          “In the light of the material before it, the Court is not convinced that the construction of the wall along the route chosen was the only means to safeguard the interests of Israel against the peril which it has invoked as justification for that construction.”  (Advisory Opinion, para. 140.)

          3.3 It is relevant to recall, moreover, that the reading of the reports by the two Special Rapporteurs, John Dugard and Jean Ziegler, leaves no doubt that as an occupying Power, Israel has committed grave breaches.  The pattern and the magnitude of the violations committed against the non-combatant civilian population in the ancillary measures associated with constructing the wall, are, in my view, “[e]xtensive destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly” (Fourth Geneva Convention, Art. 147).  In the area of extending protection to civilians, the rules of international humanitarian law have progressively developed since the conclusion of the Geneva Conventions and Additional Protocols.  It is submitted that the Court should have contributed to the development of the rules of jus in bello by characterizing the destruction committed in the course of building the wall as grave breaches.  

          3.4. The Court underlined the paramount importance of the right to self-determination in our contemporary world and held in paragraph 88:  “The Court indeed made it clear that the right of peoples to self-determination is today a right erga omnes (see East Timor (Portugal v. Australia), Judgment, I.C.J. Reports 1995, p. 102, para. 29).”  Moreover, the Court notes that the route chosen for the wall and the measures taken “severely impedes the exercise by the Palestinian people of its right to self-determination, and is therefore a breach of Israel’s obligation to respect that right” (Advisory Opinion, para. 122).  This legally authoritative dictum, which has my full support, was confined to the reasoning.  The legal consequences that flow for all States from measures which severely impede the exercise by the Palestinians of an erga omnes right, should, in my view, have been included in the dispositif.

Conclusion

          I now approach my final comment.  It is a reflection on the future.  The Court, in paragraph 162, observes that in its view“this tragic situation can be brought to an end only through implementation in good faith of all relevant Security Council resolutions, in particular resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973)”  (Advisory Opinion, para. 162).

          This finding by the Court reflects a lofty objective that has eluded the international community for a very long time.  Since 22 November 1967, all efforts have been aimed at ensuring the implementation of Security Council resolution 242 (1967) which was adopted unanimously.  In the course of its 37-year lifespan, Security Council resolution 242 has been both praised and vilified.  Yet detractors and supporters alike agree that the balance in its provisions represent the only acceptable basis for establishing a viable and just peace.  The Security Council, in the aftermath of the 1973 armed conflict, adopted resolution 338 (1973), which called upon the parties to start immediately after the ceasefire “the immediate implementation of 242 (1967) in all of its parts” (emphasis added).  The obligations emanating from these resolutions are obligations of result of paramount importance.  They are synallagmatic obligations in which the obligation of each party constitutes the raison d’êtreof the obligation of the other.  It is legally wrong and politically unsound to transform this obligation of result into a mere obligation of means, confining it to a negotiating process.  Any attempt to tamper with such solemn obligation would not contribute to an outcome based on a solid foundation of law and justice.

          The establishment of “a just and lasting peace”, as called for in Security Council resolution 242, necessitates the full implementation of the corresponding obligations by the two parties.  The Advisory Opinion should herald a new era as the first concrete manifestation of a meaningful administration of justice related to Palestine.  It is hoped that it will provide the impetus to steer and direct the long-dormant quest for a just peace.

(Signed) Nabil Elaraby.

___________

___________________

[1]No. 181 (II), resolution adopted on the report of the Ad Hoc Committee on the Palestinian Question (29 November 1947), Chap. 4, para. 2.

[2]Ibid.

[3]Preamble, CMD. No. 1785 (1923), reprinted in report of the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP report).

[4]Covenant of the League of Nations, Article 22.

[5]Laws of the State of Israel, Vol. I, p. 3.

[6]Moreover, Judge Weeramantry, in his dissenting opinion in the East Timor case, considered that “a resolution containing a decision within its proper sphere of competence may well be productive of legal consequences” (East Timor (Portugal v. Australia)I.C.J. Reports 1995, p. 186;  emphasis added).  

[7]C. Greenwood, “The Administration of Occupied Territory in International Law”, International Law and the Administration of Occupied Territories, (Ed. by E. Playfair, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1992), pp. 262-263.

[8]Ibid.

[9]Falk & Weston, “The Relevance of International Law to Israeli and Palestinian Rights in the West Bank and Gaza”, International Law and the Administration of Occupied Territories (ed. by E. Playfair, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1992), Chap. 3, pp. 146-147.   

[10]M. N. Schmitt, “Bellum Americanum: The U.S. View of Twenty-First Century War and its Possible Implications for the Law of Armed Conflict” (1998), 19 Michigan Journal of International Law, p. 1080


Separate opinion of Judge Owada

          The issue of judicial propriety in exercising jurisdiction in advisory proceedings is a factor to be examined by the Court proprio motu, if necessary ¾ Relevance of the existence of a bilateral dispute in the subject-matter of the request as such is not to be a bar for the Court in exercising jurisdiction, but nonetheless a factor to be considered in determining how the Court should deal with the subject-matter of the request without impingeing upon the problem of regulating the very dispute between the parties ¾ The Court should have approached the issue of exercising judicial propriety, not simply in relation to the question as to whether it should comply with the request for an advisory opinion, but also in relation to the question as to how it should exercise jurisdiction with a view to ensuring fairness in the administration of justice in a case which clearly is related to a bilateral dispute, including the issue of appointing a judge ad hoc¾ Consideration of fairness in the administration of justice requires equitable treatment of the positions of both sides involved in the subject-matter in terms of the assessment both of facts and of law involved ¾ Condemnation of the tragic circle of indiscriminate mutual violence perpetrated by both sides against innocent civilian population should be an important segment of the Opinion of the Court.

          1. I concur with the conclusions of the Opinion of the Court both on the preliminary issues (jurisdiction and judicial propriety) and on most of the points belonging to the merits of the substantive issues involved.  Nevertheless, not only have I some disagreements on certain specific points in the Opinion, but I have some serious reservations about the way the Court has proceeded in this case.  While I acknowledge that the way in which the Court has proceeded with the present case has to a large extent been made inevitable under the somewhat extraordinary and unique circumstances of the case that are not always attributable to the responsibility of the Court, I feel it incumbent upon me to make my position clear, by pointing to some of the problematic aspects of the way in which the Court has proceeded in the present case.

          2. The Court has reached its conclusions on the preliminary issues on jurisdiction and on judicial propriety of exercising this jurisdiction primarily on the basis of the statements put forward by the participants in the course of its written and oral proceedings.  The reasons for the Court to arrive at these conclusions are set out in paragraphs 24-67.  These, as such, raise no major disagreement on my part.  However, I believe that the issue of jurisdiction and especially the issue of judicial propriety is a matter that the Court should examine, proprio motu if necessary, in order to ensure that it is not only right as a matter of law but also proper as a matter of judicial policy for the Court as a judicial body to exercise jurisdiction in the concrete context of the case.  This means, at least to my mind, that the Court would be required to engage in an in-depth scrutiny of all aspects of the particular circumstances of the present case relevant to the consideration of the case, if necessary going beyond what has been argued by the participants.  One of such aspects of the present case is the implication of the existence of a bilateral dispute in the subject-matter of the request for an advisory opinion.  

          3. The original Statute of the Permanent Court of International Justice contained no express provisions relating to advisory jurisdiction.  Only the Covenant of the League of Nations, in its Article 14, stipulated that “[t]he Court may also give an advisory opinion upon any dispute or question referred to it by the Council or by the Assembly”.  It was this provision that came to form the legal basis for the exercise of advisory function by the Permanent Court of International Justice.

          4. While the purport of this provision according to the intention of the founding fathers of the League does not appear to have been entirely clear nor unified, one of the points that clearly emerge from the legislative history of the Covenant is that the purpose of the advisory function of the Permanent Court consisted from the beginning in aiding the League in the peaceful settlement of a concrete dispute before the Council of the League, in particular in the context of the procedures provided for in Articles 12 to 16 of the Covenant[1].

          5. When the Rules of Court were drafted in 1922 following the establishment of the Permanent Court, four articles (71-74) were consecrated to advisory procedure.  They affirmed the “judicial character” of the advisory function of the new Court and paved the way for the later fuller assimilation of advisory to contentious procedure[2].  Indeed, the Report of the Committee [of the Permanent Court of International Justice], appointed on 2 September 1927, stated as follows:          “The Statute does not mention advisory opinions, but leaves to the Court the entire regulation of its procedure in the matter.  The Court, in the exercise of this power, deliberately and advisedly assimilated its advisory procedure to its contentious procedure;  and the results have abundantly justified its action.  Such prestige as the Court to-day enjoys as a judicial tribunal is largely due to the amount of its advisory business and the judicial way in which it has dealt with such business.  In reality, where there are . . . contending parties, the difference between contentious cases and advisory cases is only nominal.  The main difference is the way in which the case comes before the Court, and even this difference may virtually disappear, as it did in the Tunisian case.  So the view that advisory opinions are not binding is more theoretical than real.”  (P.C.I.J., Series E, No. 4, p. 76.)

          6. In fact, when the Permanent Court declined to exercise jurisdiction to give a requested advisory opinion in the Status of Eastern Carelia case (P.C.I.J., Series B, No. 5), the main rationale of this decision lay precisely on this point.  The specific issue referred to the Court was whether“Articles 10 and 11 of the Treaty of Peace between Finland and Russia [of 1920] and the annexed Declaration of the Russian Delegation regarding the autonomy of Eastern Carelia, constitute engagements of an international character which place Russia under an obligation to Finland as to the carrying out of the provisions contained therein” (ibid., p. 6).

In other words, it arose in the context of a dispute between Finland and Russia involving this issue ¾ a matter which Finland asked the League of Nations to take up.  The Council in its resolution expressed its “willing[ness] to consider the question with a view to arriving at a satisfactory solution if the two parties concerned agree” (ibid., p. 23).  It was, however, due to the circumstances where the Russian Government declined the request from the Estonian Government for it to “consent to submit the question to the Council in conformity with Article 17 of the Covenant” (ibid., p. 24) and where the Finnish Government again brought the matter before the Council, that the Council decided to request the advisory opinion in question.

          7. Against this background, the Permanent Court stated as follows to clarify its position:“There has been some discussion as to whether questions for an advisory opinion, if they relate to matters which form the subject of a pending dispute between nations, should be put to the Court without the consent of the parties.  It is unnecessary in the present case to deal with this topic.”  (P.C.I.J., Series B, No. 5, p. 27;  emphasis added.)

          After making this point clear, the Permanent Court continued as follows:          “It follows from the above that the opinion which the Court has been requested to give bears on an actual dispute between Finland and Russia.  As Russia is not Member of the League of Nations, the case is one under Article 17 of the Covenant . . . the Members of the League . . . having accepted the Covenant, are under the obligation resulting from the provisions of this part dealing with the pacific settlement of international disputes.  As concerns States not members of the League, the situation is quite different;  they are not bound by the Covenant.  The submission, therefore, of a dispute between them and a Member of the League for solution according to the methods provided for in the Covenant, could take place only by virtue of their consent.  Such consent, however, has never been given by Russia.”  (Ibid., pp. 27-28;  emphasis added.)[3]

It is clear from this passage that the main rationale of the Permanent Court in declining the exercise of jurisdiction in the Eastern Carelia case was not the existence of a dispute relating to the subject-matter of the request between the parties, but rather the fact that one of the parties to the dispute did not give its consent to a “solution according to the methods provided for in the Covenant”.

          8. When the International Court of Justice was reconstituted as the institutional successor to the Permanent Court of International Justice, and incorporated into the United Nations system as its principal judicial organ, no drastic change was introduced in the new Statute of the International Court of Justice relating to its functions or to its constitution in this respect.  Since then, advisory function of the Court, as the secondary but important function of the Court, has been exercised by the Court in line with the course laid down by its predecessor, the Permanent Court of International Justice, in the days of the League as described above.

          9. Given this background, and in light of the case law accumulated in the course of years since the establishment of the International Court of Justice on the questions of jurisdiction of the Court in advisory proceedings and of propriety of its exercise, it is my view that the Court is right in its conclusion in the present case that the existence of a dispute on a bilateral basis should not be a bar to the Court in giving the advisory opinion requested.

          10. While the existence of a bilateral dispute thus should not exclude the Court from exercising jurisdiction in advisory proceedings as a matter of judicial propriety, however, it is my view that the existence of a bilateral dispute should be a factor to be taken into account by the Court in determining the extent to which, and the manner in which, the Court should exercise jurisdiction in such advisory proceedings.  In this respect, I am of the view that the Court has drawn too facile an analogy between the present case and the past cases of advisory opinion and especially the case concerning Legal Consequences for States of the Continued Presence of South Africa in Namibia (South West Africa) notwithstanding Security Council Resolution 276 (1970), Advisory Opinion.  Given the intricacies of the present case, I submit that this approach of applying the principles drawn from the past precedents automatically to the present situation is not quite warranted.

          11. Especially in the Namibia case, the point in issue that formed the basis for the request for an advisory opinion was the “legal consequences . . . of the continued presence of South Africa in Namibia . . . notwithstanding Security Council resolution 276 (1970)”.  In spite of the similarity in language in the formulation of the request, the basis for this request was very different from the present one.  In the Namibia case, the Court was asked to give an opinion on the legal significance of the action taken by the United Nations in terminating the South African Mandate over South West Africa and its legal impact upon the status of South Africa in that territory.  If there was a legal controversy or a dispute, it was precisely the one between the United Nations and the State concerned.  By contrast, what is in issue in the present situation centres on a situation created by the action of Israel vis-à-vis Palestine in relation to the Occupied Palestinian Territory.  It is undeniable that there is in this case an underlying legal controversy or a dispute between the parties directly involved in this situation, while at the same time, as the Court correctly points out, it concerns a matter between the United Nations and Israel since the legal interest of the United Nations is legitimately involved.

          12. This of course is not to say that the Court should decline for this reason the exercise of jurisdiction in the present case.  It does mean, however, that the question of judicial propriety should be examined taking into account this reality, and on the basis of the jurisprudence in more pertinent cases.  I believe the closest to the present case probably is the Western Sahara, Advisory Opinion case, in the sense that there was in that case clearly an underlying legal controversy or a dispute between the parties involved.  However, even that case does not offer a completely analogous precedent, from which the Court can draw its conclusion.  In the Western Sahara case, the Court stated:          “The object of the General Assembly has not been to bring before the Court, by way of a request for advisory opinion, a dispute or legal controversy, in order that it may later, on the basis of the Court’s opinion, exercise its powers and functions for the peaceful settlement of that dispute or controversy.  The object of the request is an entirely different one:  to obtain from the Court an opinion which the General Assembly deems of assistance to it for the proper exercise of its functions concerning the decolonization of the territory.” (I.C.J. Reports 1975, pp. 26-27, para. 39;  emphasis added.)

In the present case, the presumed objective of the General Assembly in requesting an advisory opinion would not seem to be the latter so much as the former in the two examples given in this passage.

          13. Thus, acknowledging the fact that in the present case there is this undeniable aspect of an underlying legal controversy or a dispute between the parties involved, and keeping this aspect clearly in mind, I wish to state that the critical test for judicial propriety in exercising jurisdiction of the Court, which it undoubtedly has, should lie, not in whether the request is related to a concrete legal controversy or dispute in existence, but in whether “to give a reply would have the effect of circumventing the principle that a State is not obliged to allow its disputes to be submitted to judicial settlement without its consent” (I.C.J. Reports 1975, p. 25, para. 33;  emphasis added).  To put it differently, the critical criterion for judicial propriety in the final analysis should lie in the Court seeing to it that giving a reply in the form of an advisory opinion on the subject-matter of the request should not be tantamount to adjudicating on the very subject-matter of the underlying concrete bilateral dispute that currently undoubtedly exists between Israel and Palestine.

          14. The reasoning that I have offered above leads me to the following two conclusions.  First, the fact that the present case contains an aspect of addressing a bilateral dispute should not prevent the Court from exercising its competence.  Second, however, this fact should have certain important bearing on the whole proceedings that the Court is to conduct in the present case, in the sense that the Court in the present advisory proceedings should focus its task on offering its objective findings of law to the extent necessary and useful to the requesting organ, the General Assembly, in carrying out its functions relating to this question, rather than adjudicating on the subject-matter of the dispute between the parties concerned.

          15. It should be recalled that, even when deciding to exercise its advisory function, this Court has consistently maintained the position that it should remain faithful to “the requirements of its judicial character”.  Thus in the Western Sahara case the Court declared:          “Article 65, paragraph 1, of the Statute, which establishes the power of the Court to give an advisory opinion, is permissive and, under it, that power is of a discretionary character.  In exercising this discretion, the International Court of Justice, like the Permanent Court of International Justice, has always been guided by the principle that, as a judicial body, it is bound to remain faithful to the requirements of its judicial character even in giving advisory opinions.”  (Western Sahara, Advisory Opinion, I.C.J. Reports 1975, p. 21, para. 23;  emphasis added.)

          16. One of such requirements for the Court as a judicial body is the maintenance of fairness in its administration of justice in the advisory procedure in the midst of divergent positions and interests among the interested parties.  To put it differently, it must be underlined that the Court’s discretion in advisory matters is not limited to the question of whether to comply with a request.  It also embraces questions of advisory procedure[4].  This requirement acquires a special importance in the present case, as we accept the undeniable fact as developed above that the present case does relate to an underlying concrete legal controversy or a dispute, despite my own conclusion that it is proper for the Court to exercise its jurisdiction in the present case.

          17. Article 68 of the Statute of the Court prescribes that “[i]n the exercise of its advisory functions the Court shall further be guided by the provisions of the present Statute which apply in contentious cases to the extent to which it recognizes them to be applicable.”  Rules of Court in its Part IV (Arts. 102-109) elaborates this provision of the Statute.  Particularly relevant in this context is Article 102, paragraph 3 of which provides that “[w]hen an advisory opinion is requested upon a legal question actually pending between two or more States, Article 31 of the Statute shall apply, as also the provision of these Rules concerning the application of that Article.”

          18. In the Namibia case, South Africa made an application for the appointment of a judge ad hoc to sit in the present proceedings in accordance with this provision.  Although the Court in its Order of 29 January 1971 decided to reject this application (I.C.J. Reports 1971, p. 12), it was met with well-argued dissenting views on this point (ibid., p. 308;  p. 324).  By contrast, in the Western Sahara case the Court took a different position.  In response to a request by Morocco for the appointment of a judge ad hoc in accordance with Article 89 (i.e., present Art. 102) of the Rules of Court, the Court found that Morocco was entitled to choose a judge ad hoc in the proceedings.  (A similar request by Mauritania on the other hand was rejected.)  (I.C.J. Reports 1975, p. 6.)

          19. The procedure for the appointment of a judge ad hoc is set in motion by the application of a State which claims that “the request for the advisory opinion relates to a legal question actually pending between two or more States” (Rules of Court, Art. 102).  It is my view that in light of the precedents noted above, Israel in its special position in the present case would have been justified in making an application to choose a judge ad hoc.  For whatever reason, Israel did not choose this course of action.  It if had done so, the task of the Court in maintaining the essential requirement for fairness in the administration of justice would have been greatly enhanced.  It goes without saying that such a course of action would have complicated the situation, due to the fact that the other party to this dispute, Palestine, is an entity which is not recognized as a State for the purpose of the Statute of the Court.  What would happen then, if one of the parties directly interested is in a position of appointing a judge ad hoc, while the other is not.  Fairness in the administration of justice could be questioned from this angle.  While I do not propose to offer my own conclusion to this intractable but hypothetical problem, what I wish to point out is that this factor is one of the important aspects of the present case that could have been considered by the Court in deciding on the question of judicial propriety of whether, and if so how far, the Court should exercise its jurisdiction in the unique circumstances of this case.

          20. Be that as it may, it is established that even in contentious proceedings the absence of one of the parties in itself does not deprive the Court of its jurisdiction to proceed (Statute of the Court, Art. 53), but that the Court has to maintain its fairness in the administration of justice as a court of justice.  Thus, in relation to the question of the law to be proved and applied, the Court stated in the cases concerning Fisheries Jurisdiction as follows:          “The Court . . . as an international judicial organ, is deemed to take judicial notice of international law and is therefore required in a case falling under Article 53 of the Statute, as in any other case, to consider on its own initiative all rules of international law which may be relevant to the settlement of the dispute.  It being the duty of the Court itself to ascertain and apply the relevant law in the given circumstances of the case, the burden of establishing or proving rules of international law cannot be imposed upon any of the Parties, for the law lies within the judicial knowledge of the Court.”  (I.C.J. Reports 1974, p. 181, para. 18.)

In relation to the question of the facts to be clarified, the Court in the case concerning Military and Paramilitary Activities in and against Nicaragua, (Merits) stated that:“in principle [it] is not bound to confine its consideration to the material formally submitted to it by the parties (cf. Brazilian Loans, P.C.I.J. Series A, No. 20/21, p. 124;  Nuclear Tests, I.C.J. Reports 1974, pp. 263-264, paras. 31, 32)” (I.C.J. Reports 1986, p. 25, para. 30).

It went on to state as follows:          “The Court . . . has thus to strike a balance.  On the one hand, it is valuable for the Court to know the views of both parties in whatever form those views may have been expressed.  Further, as the Court noted in 1974, where one party is not appearing ‘it is especially incumbent upon the Court to satisfy itself that it is in possession of all the available facts’ (Nuclear Tests, I.C.J. Reports 1974, p. 263, para. 31;  p. 468, para. 32.).  On the other hand, the Court has to emphasize that the equality of the parties to the dispute must remain the basic principle for the Court.” (I.C.J. Reports 1986, pp. 25-26, para. 31.)

          21. This principle governing the basic position of the Court should be applicable to advisory proceedings as it is applicable to contentious proceedings.  Indeed, it may even be arguable that this principle is applicable a fortiori to advisory proceedings, in the sense that in advisory proceedings as distinct from contentious proceedings it cannot be said, at any rate in the legal sense, that “[t]he absent party . . . forfeits the opportunity to counter the factual allegations of its opponent” (Military and Paramilitary Activities in and against Nicaragua (Nicaragua v. United States of America)I.C.J. Reports 1986, p.  25, para. 30).  In advisory proceedings no State, however interested a party it may be, is under the obligation to appear before the Court to present its case.

          22. On this point of facts and information relating to the present case, it is undoubtedly true, as the present Opinion states, that“the Court has at its disposal the report of the Secretary-General, as well as a voluminous dossier submitted by him to the Court, comprising not only detailed information on the route of the wall but also on its humanitarian and socio-economic impact on the Palestinian population” (Advisory Opinion, para. 57).

Indeed, there is ample material, in particular, about the humanitarian and socio-economic impacts of the construction of the wall.  Their authenticity and reliability is not in doubt.  What seems to be wanting, however, is the material explaining the Israeli side of the picture, especially in the context of why and how the construction of the wall as it is actually planned and implemented is necessary and appropriate.

          23. This, to my mind, would seem to be the case, in spite of the Court’s assertion that “Israel’s Written Statement, although limited to issues of jurisdiction and propriety, contained observations on other matters, including Israel’s concerns in terms of security, and was accompanied by corresponding annexes” (Advisory Opinion, para. 57).  In fact my point would seem to be corroborated by what the present Opinion itself acknowledges in relation to the argument of Israel on this issue.  Israel has argued that the wall’s sole purpose is to enable it effectively to combat terrorist attacks launched from the West Bank, or as the report of the Secretary-General puts it, “to halt infiltration into Israel from the central and northern West Bank” (Advisory Opinion, para. 80).  However, the Court, in paragraph 137 of the Opinion, simply states that “from the material available to it, [it] is not convinced that the specific course Israel has chosen for the wall was necessary to attain its security objectives” (emphasis added).  It seems clear to me that here the Court is in effect admitting the fact that elaborate material on this point from the Israeli side is not available, rather than engaging in a rebuttal of the arguments of Israel on

the basis of the material that might have been made available by Israel on this point.  Again in paragraph 140 of the Opinion, the Court bases itself simply on “the material before it” to express its lack of conviction that “the construction of the wall along the route chosen was the only means to safeguard the interests of Israel against the peril which it has invoked as justification for that construction”.

          24. In raising this point, it is not my purpose to dispute the factual accuracy of these assertions, or to question the conclusions arrived at on the basis of the documents and the material available to the Court.  In fact it would seem reasonable to conclude on balance that the political, social, economic and humanitarian impacts of the construction of the wall, as substantiated by ample evidence supplied and documented in the course of the present proceedings, is such that the construction of the wall would constitute a violation of international obligations under various international instruments to which Israel is a party.  Furthermore, these impacts are so overwhelming that I am ready to accept that no justification based on the “military exigencies”, even if fortified by substantiated facts, could conceivably constitute a valid basis for precluding the wrongfulness of the act on the basis of the stringent conditions of proportionality.

          25. However, that is not the point.  What is crucial is that the above samples of quotations from the present Opinion testify to my point that the Court, once deciding to exercise jurisdiction in this case, should be extremely careful not only in ensuring the objective fairness in the result, but in seeing to it that the Court is seen to maintain fairness throughout the proceedings, whatever the final conclusion that we come to may be in the end.

          26. The question put to the Court for its advisory opinion is the specific question of “the legal consequences arising from the construction of the wall being built by Israel” (General Assembly resolution A/ES-10/L.16).  It concerns only that specific act of Israel.  Needless to say, however, the Israeli construction of the wall has not come about in a vacuum;  it is a part, albeit an extremely important part, of the whole picture of the situation surrounding the peace in the Middle East with its long history.

          27. Naturally, this does not alter the fact that the request for an advisory opinion is focussed on a specific question and that the Court should treat this question, and this question only, without expanding the scope of its enquiry into the bigger question relating to the peace in the Middle East, including issues relating to the “permanent status” of the territories involved.  Nevertheless, from the viewpoint of getting to an objective truth concerning the specific question of the construction of the wall in its complete picture and of ensuring fairness in the administration of justice in this case which involves the element of a dispute between parties directly involved, it seems of cardinal importance that the Court examine this specific question assigned to the Court, keeping in balance the overall picture which has formed the entire background of the construction of the wall.

          28. It has always been an undisputed premise of the peace in the Middle East that the twin principles of “[w]ithdrawal of Israel armed forces from territories occupied in the [1967] conflict” and “[t]ermination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgement of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force” have to form the basis of the peace.  Security Council resolution 242 (1967) has consecrated these principles in so many words.  The “Roadmap”, endorsed by Security Council resolution 1515 (2003), is a blueprint for proceeding on the basis of these principles.

          29. If the Court found that the construction of the wall would go counter to this principle by impeding and prejudicing the realization of the principles, especially in the context of the customary rule of “the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war” (Advisory Opinion, para. 117), it should state this.  At the same time, the Court should remind the General Assembly that this was a principle couched in the context of the twin set of principles, both of which would have to be realized, at any rate in the context of a peace in the Middle East, side by side with each other.

          30. As observed above, Israel has argued that the wall’s sole purpose is to enable it effectively to combat terrorist attacks launched from the West Bank.  In response to this, the Court has confined itself to stating that “[i]n the light of the material before it, the Court is not convinced that the construction of the wall along the route chosen was the only means to safeguard the interests of Israel against the peril which it has invoked as justification for that construction” (Advisory Opinion, para. 140).  It is certainly understood that the material available has not included an elaboration on this point, and that in the absence of such material, the Court has found no other way for responding to this situation.  It may also be accepted that this argument of Israel, even if acknowledged as true as far as the Israeli motives were concerned, would not be a sufficient ground for justifying the construction of the wall as it has actually been drawn up and implemented.  As the Court has demonstrated with a high degree of persuasiveness, the construction of the wall would still constitute a breach of Israel’s obligations, inter alia, under the Hague Regulations Respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land and the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, unless cogent justifications are advanced for precluding the wrongfulness of this act.  But the important point is that an in-depth effort could have been made by the Court, proprio motu, to ascertain the validity of this argument on the basis of facts and law, and to present an objective picture surrounding the construction of the wall in its entirety, on the basis of which to assess the merits of the contention of Israel.

          31. It is to my mind important in this context that the issue of mutual resort to indiscriminate violence against civilian population should be looked at.  Without going into the question of what is the causal relationship between the tragic acts of mutual violence resorted to by each of the parties and the question of whether the so-called terrorist attacks by Palestinian suicide bombers against the Israeli civilian population should be blamed as constituting a good enough ground for justifying the construction of the wall, I believe it is beyond dispute that this tragic circle of indiscriminate violence perpetrated by both sides against innocent civilian population of each other is to be condemned and rejected as totally unacceptable.  While it is true that this is not an issue expressly referred to as part of the specific question put to the Court, I believe it should only be natural that this factor be underlined as an important segment of the Opinion of the Court in dealing with the issue of the construction of the wall.  This point to my mind is of particular relevance from the viewpoint that the Court should approach the subject-matter in a balanced way.

(Signed) Hisashi Owada.

___________

_____________

[1]See, in particular, Michla Pomerance, The Advisory Function of the International Court in the League and U.N. Eras (1973) at p. 9.

[2]Ibid., at p. 14.

[3]Article 17 of the Covenant provides:               “In the event of a dispute between a Member of the League and a State which is not a Member of the League, or between States not Members of the League, the State or States not Members of the League shall be invited to accept the obligations of membership in the League for the purposes of such dispute, upon such conditions as the Council may deem just.  If such invitation is accepted, the provisions of Articles 12 to 16 inclusive shall be applied with such modifications as may be deemed necessary by the Council.”

[4]Michla Pomerance, op. cit., at p. 281.

EINDE STUK
INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICELEGAL CONSEQUENCES OF THE CONSTRUCTION OFA WALL IN THE OCCUPIED PALESTINIAN TERRITORY
https://www.icj-cij.org/en/case/131

OVERVIEW OF THE CASE

By resolution ES-10/14, adopted on 8 December 2003 at its Tenth Emergency Special Session, the General Assembly decided to request the Court for an advisory opinion on the following question :

“What are the legal consequences arising from the construction of the wall being built by Israel, the occupying Power, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, as described in the Report of the Secretary-General, considering the rules and principles of international law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, and relevant Security Council and General Assembly resolutions ?”

The resolution requested the Court to render its opinion “urgently”. The Court decided that all States entitled to appear before it, as well as Palestine, the United Nations and subsequently, at their request, the League of Arab States and the Organization of the Islamic Conference, were likely to be able to furnish information on the question in accordance with Article 66, paragraphs 2 and 3, of the Statute. Written statements were submitted by 45 States and four international organizations, including the European Union. At the oral proceedings, which were held from 23 to 25 February 2004, 12 States, Palestine and two international organizations made oral submissions. The Court rendered its Advisory Opinion on 9 July 2004.

The Court began by finding that the General Assembly, which had requested the advisory opinion, was authorized to do so under Article 96, paragraph 1, of the Charter. It further found that the question asked of it fell within the competence of the General Assembly pursuant to Articles 10, paragraph 2, and 11 of the Charter. Moreover, in requesting an opinion of the Court, the General Assembly had not exceeded its competence, as qualified by Article 12, paragraph 1, of the Charter, which provides that while the Security Council is exercising its functions in respect of any dispute or situation the Assembly must not make any recommendation with regard thereto unless the Security Council so requests. The Court further observed that the General Assembly had adopted resolution ES-10/14 during its Tenth Emergency Special Session, convened pursuant to resolution 377 A (V), whereby, in the event that the Security Council has failed to exercise its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security, the General Assembly may consider the matter immediately with a view to making recommendations to Member States. Rejecting a number of procedural objections, the Court found that the conditions laid down by that resolution had been met when the Tenth Emergency Special Session was convened, and in particular when the General Assembly decided to request the opinion, as the Security Council had at that time been unable to adopt a resolution concerning the construction of the wall as a result of the negative vote of a permanent member. Lastly, the Court rejected the argument that an opinion could not be given in the present case on the ground that the question posed was not a legal one, or that it was of an abstract or political nature.

Having established its jurisdiction, the Court then considered the propriety of giving the requested opinion. It recalled that lack of consent by a State to its contentious jurisdiction had no bearing on its advisory jurisdiction, and that the giving of an opinion in the present case would not have the effect of circumventing the principle of consent to judicial settlement, since the subject-matter of the request was located in a much broader frame of reference than that of the bilateral dispute between Israel and Palestine, and was of direct concern to the United Nations. Nor did the Court accept the contention that it should decline to give the advisory opinion requested because its opinion could impede a political, negotiated settlement to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It further found that it had before it sufficient information and evidence to enable it to give its opinion, and empha- sized that it was for the General Assembly to assess the opinion’s usefulness. The Court accordingly concluded that there was no compelling reason precluding it from giving the requested opinion.

Turning to the question of the legality under international law of the construction of the wall by Israel in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, the Court first determined the rules and principles of international law relevant to the question posed by the General Assembly. After recalling the customary principles laid down in Article 2, paragraph 4, of the United Nations Charter and in General Assembly resolution 2625 (XXV), which prohibit the threat or use of force and emphasize the illegality of any territorial acquisition by such means, the Court further cited the principle of self-determination of peoples, as enshrined in the Charter and reaffirmed by resolution 2625 (XXV). In relation to international humanitarian law, the Court then referred to the provisions of the Hague Regulations of 1907, which it found to have become part of customary law, as well as to the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, holding that these were applicable in those Palestinian territories which, before the armed conflict of 1967, lay to the east of the 1949 Armistice demarcation line (or “Green Line”) and were occupied by Israel during that conflict. The Court further established that certain human rights instruments (International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child) were applicable in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

The Court then sought to ascertain whether the construction of the wall had violated the above-mentioned rules and principles. Noting that the route of the wall encompassed some 80 per cent of the settlers living in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, the Court, citing statements by the Security Council in that regard in relation to the Fourth Geneva Convention, recalled that those settlements had been established in breach of international law. After considering certain fears expressed to it that the route of the wall would prejudge the future frontier between Israel and Palestine, the Court observed that the construction of the wall and its associated régime created a “fait accompli” on the ground that could well become permanent, and hence tantamount to a de facto annexation. Noting further that the route chosen for the wall gave expression in loco to the illegal measures taken by Israel with regard to Jerusalem and the settlements and entailed further alterations to the demographic composition of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, the Court concluded that the construction of the wall, along with measures taken previously, severely impeded the exercise by the Palestinian people of its right to self-determination and was thus a breach of Israel’s obligation to respect that right.

The Court then went on to consider the impact of the construction of the wall on the daily life of the inhabitants of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, finding that the construction of the wall and its associated régime were contrary to the relevant provisions of the Hague Regulations of 1907 and of the Fourth Geneva Convention and that they impeded the liberty of movement of the inhabitants of the territory as guaranteed by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, as well as their exercise of the right to work, to health, to education and to an adequate standard of living as proclaimed in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and in the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Court further found that, coupled with the establishment of settlements, the construction of the wall and its associated régime were tending to alter the demographic composition of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, thereby contravening the Fourth Geneva Convention and the relevant Security Council resolutions. The Court then considered the qualifying clauses or provisions for derogation contained in certain humanitarian law and human rights instruments, which might be invoked inter alia where military exigencies or the needs of national security or public order so required. The Court found that such clauses were not applicable in the present case, stating that it was not convinced that the specific course Israel had chosen for the wall was necessary to attain its security objectives, and that accordingly the construction of the wall constituted a breach by Israel of certain of its obligations under humanitarian and human rights law. Lastly, the Court concluded that Israel could not rely on a right of self-defence or on a state of necessity in order to preclude the wrongfulness of the construction of the wall, and that such construction and its associated régime were accordingly contrary to international law.

The Court went on to consider the consequences of these violations, recalling Israel’s obligation to respect the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and its obligations under humanitarian and human rights law. The Court stated that Israel must put an immediate end to the violation of its international obligations by ceasing the works of construction of the wall and dismantling those parts of that structure situated within Occupied Palestinian Territory and repealing or rendering ineffective all legislative and regulatory acts adopted with a view to construction of the wall and establishment of its associated régime. The Court further made it clear that Israel must make reparation for all damage suffered by all natural or legal persons affected by the wall’s construction. As regards the legal consequences for other States, the Court held that all States were under an obligation not to recognize the illegal situation resulting from the construction of the wall and not to render aid or assistance in maintaining the situation created by such construction. It further stated that it was for all States, while respecting the United Nations Charter and international law, to see to it that any impediment, resulting from the construction of the wall, to the exercise by the Palestinian people of its right to self-determination be brought to an end. In addition, the Court pointed out that all States parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention were under an obligation, while respecting the Charter and international law, to ensure compliance by Israel with international humanitarian law as embodied in that Convention. Finally, in regard to the United Nations, and especially the General Assembly and the Security Council, the Court indicated that they should consider what further action was required to bring to an end the illegal situation in question, taking due account of the present Advisory Opinion.

The Court concluded by observing that the construction of the wall must be placed in a more general context, noting the obligation on Israel and Palestine to comply with international humanitarian law, as well as the need for implementation in good faith of all relevant Security Council resolutions, and drawing the attention of the General Assembly to the need for efforts to be encouraged with a view to achieving a negotiated solution to the outstanding problems on the basis of international law and the establishment of a Palestinian State.

[22]

CIVIS MUNDI

ZWEEDSE FOTOGRAAF WINT WORLD PRESS PHOTO 2012.

MISDADEN ISRAELISCHE POLITIEK IN BEELD GEBRACHT

ASTRID ESSED

https://www.civismundi.nl/?p=artikel&aid=2024

[23]

”IMPORTANCE OF THE UNIVERSAL REALIZATION OF PEOPLES TO SELF-DETERMINATION AND OFTHE SPEEDY GRANTING OF INDEPENDENCE TO COLONIAL COUNTRIES AND PEOPLES DOR THE EFFECTIVE GUARANTEEAND OBSERVANCE OF HUMAN RIGHTSTHE GENERAL ASSEMBLY……..………Indignant at the continued repression and the inhuman and degrading treatment inflictedon peoples still under colonial and alien subjugation, especially on individuals detained orimprisoned as result of their struggle for self-determination and independence……..………3Reaffirms the legitimacy of the peoples’struggle for liberation from colonial and foreign dominationand alien subjugation by all available means, including armed struggle.”

UN GA RESOLUTION 324629 NOVEMBER 1974
https://www.un.org/en/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/RES/3246(XXIX)&Lang=E&Area=RESOLUTION

EINDE NOTEN

Reacties uitgeschakeld voor CIDI ONTKENT ISRAELISCHE APARTHEID/ASTRID ESSED GEEFT CIDI VIRTUEEL PAK SLAAG

Opgeslagen onder Divers

HRW: Israel schuldig aan apartheid/Goed gedaan, NOS teletekstredactie!

HRW: ISRAEL SCHULDIG AAN APARTHEID/GOED GEDAAN, NOS TELETEKSTREDACTIE!

Image result for Destruction of Gaza/Images

MISDADEN VAN DE ISRAELISCHE BEZETTINGVERWOESTING VAN GAZA

BEZETTINGSTERREUR
foto Oda Hulsen Hebron 2 mei 2017/Verwijst naar foto van een Palestijnse jongen, die tegen de muur wordt gezet doorIsraelische soldaten, die hem toeriepen ”Where is your knife!”/Later vrijgelaten

NB Het is dus NIET de foto van een Palestijnse jongen, die bij de kraag wordt gegrepen

Foto van Oda Hulsen valt soms weg

Since late 2015, 249 Palestinians have been killed in Israel and the Palestinian territories [File: EPA]http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/01/palestinian-teen-killed-israeli-army-clashes-170116155810513.html

Image result for settlements/Images

BITTEREBIJPRODUCTEN VAN DE ISRAELISCHE BEZETTING:

ISRAELISCHE NEDERZETTINGEN IN DE BEZETTE PALESTIJNSEGEBIEDENILLEGAAL VOLGENS HET INTERNATIONAAL RECHT

An aerial shot of a housing community

The Israeli settlement of Maale Adumim in the occupied West Bank, with the Palestinian neighborhoods of occupied East Jerusalem in the background. © 2020 Reuters
https://www.hrw.org/news/2021/04/27/qa-threshold-crossed

AAN

NOS TELETEKST REDACTIE

Onderwerp

Uw berichtgeving dd 27 april 2021 ”HRW: Israel schuldig aan apartheid”

Geachte Redactie,

De walrus sprak:

De tijd is daar
Om over allerlei te praten”

Een schoen, een schip, een kandelaar,

Of koningen ook liegen

En of de zee soms koken kan

En een biggetje kan vliegen.
Uit het Engels vertaald uit:

 THE WALRUS AND THE CARPENTERLEWIS CARROLL: ALICE IN WONDERLAND
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Walrus_and_the_Carpenter
Leuk he, een passage uit een oude klassieker, Alice in Wonderland,waar de Walrus en de Timmerman met elkaar in gesprek zijn en de Walrus deze woorden uitspreekt.De tijd is daar…….De tijd is ook daar om u deze keer [het is weleens anders, zoals u weet] [1]een compliment te maken over uw berichtgeving met betrekking tothet recente rapport van mensenrechtenorganisatie Human Rights Watch:over Israel, genaamd ”A TRESHOLD CROSSEDISRAELI AUTHORITIES AND THE CRIME OF APARTHEID ANDPERSECUTION” [2]De titel van uw berichtgeving luidt: ” HRW: Israel schuldig aan apartheid”Zie uw teletekstbericht direct hieronder, voor het notenapparaat.
U geeft in uw teletekstbericht niet alleen goed de hoofdpunten vande bijgevoegde verklaring van Human Rights Watch weer-het voerenvan een apartheidsbeleid ten opzichte van Palestijnen, de dominanteover Palestijnen door Joodse Israeli’s, het structureel bevoordelenvan Joodse Israeli’s en het feit, dat Palestijnen in de bezette gebiedenvallen onder het militaire recht- [3].Nog belangrijker is, dat u bereid geweest bent-en dat gebeurt echt niet vaak, ik kan daarvan meepraten [4], een visie en bericht door te laten opuw teletekstmedium, dat duidelijke en onverbloemde kritiek levert opde Israelische politiek tegenover de Palestijnen en wel van de kant van Human Rights Watch, een onverdachte mensenrechtenorganisatie.Ik citeer de heer Kenneth Roth, directeur van Human Rights Watch:”“Prominent voices have warned for years that apartheid lurks just around the corner if the trajectory of Israel’s rule over Palestinians does not change,” said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch. “This detailed study shows that Israeli authorities have already turned that corner and today are committing the crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution.” [5]

HOOR EN WEDERHOOR
Waar ik zeker ook mee instem, is dat u de Israelische reactie[of een deel daarvan] ook vermeldt:Ik citeer uw nieuwsberichtgeving:”Israel spreekt van een onwaar rapport, dat zijn bestaansrecht ondermijnt.”Overigens ben ik dan wel benieuwd, wat voor harde bewijzen deIsraeli willen aanhalen, die hun bewering, dat het een ”onwaar rapport” is,ondersteunen, maar dat is een ander Verhaal, dat buiten deze briefmailvalt.
Goed dus, dat u op deze wijze het principe ”Hoor en Wederhoor” respecteert, alleen wil ik er wederom op aandringen, dat u in uwberichtgeving over het Midden-Oostenconflict [waarbij u het Israelischebeleid, militaire handelingen etc beschrijft], nu eens eindelijk ookde Palestijnse reactie op de gebeurtenissen vermeldt, wat bij u,helaas, maar zelden het geval is.Hier is dus noodzakelijk werk voor u aan de Winkel!

MILITAIR RECHT IN DE BEZETTE PALESTIJNSE GEBIEDEN
Het door Human Rights Watch terecht aangekaarte verschil inrechtsgang tussen Palestijnen en Joodse Israeli’s in de bezette gebieden,waarbij de eerste groep valt onder het ”Militaire Recht” en de tweedeonder het Burgerlijk Recht [6], wat u ook aankaart in uw nieuwsberichtgeving [Goed zo!] wordt ondersteund doortalloze mensenrechtenorganisaties, zoals de Israelische mensenrechtorganisaties Btselem en ACRI. [7]
Mooi is, dat Human Rights Watch zich nu ook in deze respectabele Rijheeft geschaard!
TENSLOTTE
Ik straf, maar beloon ook [Grapje/HAHAHA]Neen serieus:Ik bekritiseer u, wanneer ik dat nodig acht [8], maar vind hetook terecht, u een compliment te maken, wanneer ik tevredenben met uw nieuwsberichtgeving.
En over deze ben ik zeer te spreken
Niet alleen hebt u hier Israel kritiek aan het woord gelaten, methet terechte ”hoor en wederhoor” waarop ook Israel recht heeft,maar ook hebt u enkele essentialia uit het Human Rights Watch rapportin enkele, treffende zinnen, weergegeven.
En nu nog verder werken aan een berichtgeving, waarin u de illegaliteitvan de nederzettingen noemt, het Palestijnse recht op hoor en wederhoormeeneemt in uw berichtgeving, Oost-Jeruzalem als ”bezet”aanduidt en zo meerKijk nog maar eens naar mijn kritiek [8]
Maar voor nu:
Complimenten met uw berichtgeving!Ga zo door!
Vriendelijke groeten
Astrid Essed Amsterdam

NOS TELETEKSTHRW: ISRAEL SCHULDIG AAN APARTHEID
Israel voert een apartheidsbeleid ten opzichte van dePalestijnen, zowel in de bezette gebieden als in de restvan Israel, zegt Human Rights Watch. Israel wil zo de overheersing vanhen door Joodse Israeliers in stand houden, zegt de mensenrechtenorganisatie.
In een HRW-rapport staat, dat Joodse burgers structureel bevoordeeldworden.Zo vallen de Palestijnen in de bezette gebieden onder het militaire recht.Ze hebben geen recht op zelfbeschikking, zegt HRW.Ook in bezet Oost-Jeruzalem zijn er dergelijke verschillen.
Israel spreekt van een onwaar rapport, dat zijn bestaansrecht ondermijnt.
EINDE BERICHT

NOS TELETEKSTHRW: ISRAEL SCHULDIG AAN APARTHEID
https://teletekst-data.nos.nl/webplus?p=127

HRW:Israël schuldig aan apartheid   
                                        

 Israël voert een apartheidsbeleid ten
 opzichte van de Palestijnen,zowel in de
 bezette gebieden als in de rest van    
 Israël,zegt Human Rights Watch.Israël  
 wil zo de overheersing van hen door    
 Joodse Israëliërs in stand houden,zegt 
 de mensenrechtenorganisatie.           
                                        
 In een HRW-rapport staat dat Joodse    
 burgers structureel bevoordeeld worden.
 Zo vallen de Palestijnen in de bezette 
 gebieden onder het militaire recht.Ze  
 hebben geen recht op zelfbeschikking,  
 zegt HRW.Ook in bezet Oost-Jeruzalem   
 zijn er dergelijke verschillen.        
                                        
 Israël spreekt van een onwaar rapport, 
 dat zijn bestaansrecht ondermijnt.

EINDE BERICHT

NOTEN

[1]

ASTRID ESSED VERSUS NOS TELETEKSTREDACTIEON HER WEBSITE
https://www.astridessed.nl/?s=NOS+teletekstredactie

[2]
RAPPORT HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH:
HUMAN RIGHTS WATCHA TRESHOLD CROSSEDISRAELI AUTHORITIES AND THE CRIME OF APARTHEID ANDPERSECUTION27 APRIL 2021
https://www.hrw.org/report/2021/04/27/threshold-crossed/israeli-authorities-and-crimes-apartheid-and-persecution

HUMAN RIGHTS WATCHQ & A: A TRESHOLD CROSSEDIsraeli Authorities and the Crimes of Apartheid and Persecution27 APRIL 2021
https://www.hrw.org/news/2021/04/27/qa-threshold-crossed

ZIE OOK

HUMAN RIGHTS WATCHABUSIVE ISRAELI POLICIES CONSTITUTE CRIMES OFAPARTHEID, PERSECUTIONCrimes Against Humanity Should Trigger Action to End Repression ofPalestinians
https://www.hrw.org/news/2021/04/27/abusive-israeli-policies-constitute-crimes-apartheid-persecution

(Jerusalem) – Israeli authorities are committing the crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The finding is based on an overarching Israeli government policy to maintain the domination by Jewish Israelis over Palestinians and grave abuses committed against Palestinians living in the occupied territory, including East Jerusalem.

The 213-page report, “A Threshold Crossed: Israeli Authorities and the Crimes of Apartheid and Persecution,” examines Israel’s treatment of Palestinians. It presents the present-day reality of a single authority, the Israeli government, ruling primarily over the area between the Jordan
River and Mediterranean Sea, populated by two groups of roughly equal size, and methodologically privileging Jewish Israelis while repressing Palestinians, most severely in the occupied territory.

Prominent voices have warned for years that apartheid lurks just around the corner if the trajectory of Israel’s rule over Palestinians does not change,” said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch. “This detailed study shows that Israeli authorities have already turned that corner and today are committing the crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution.”

The finding of apartheid and persecution does not change the legal status of the occupied territory, made up of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Gaza, or the factual reality of occupation.

Originally coined in relation to South Africa, apartheid today is a universal legal term. The prohibition against particularly severe institutional discrimination and oppression or apartheid constitutes a core principle of international law. The 1973 International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid and the 1998 Rome Statute to the International Criminal Court (ICC) define apartheid as a crime against humanity consisting of three primary elements:

  1. An intent to maintain domination by one racial group over another.
  2. A context of systematic oppression by the dominant group over the marginalized group.
  3. Inhumane acts.

The reference to a racial group is understood today to address not only treatment on the basis of genetic traits but also treatment on the basis of descent and national or ethnic origin, as defined in the International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination. Human Rights Watch applies this broader understanding of race.

The crime against humanity of persecution, as defined under the Rome Statute and customary international law, consists of severe deprivation of fundamental rights of a racial, ethnic, or other group with discriminatory intent.

Human Rights Watch found that the elements of the crimes come together in the occupied territory, as part of a single Israeli government policy. That policy is to maintain the domination by Jewish Israelis over Palestinians across Israel and the occupied territory. It is coupled in the occupied territory with systematic oppression and inhumane acts against Palestinians living there.

Drawing on years of human rights documentation, case studies, and a review of government planning documents, statements by officials, and other sources, Human Rights Watch compared policies and practices toward Palestinians in the occupied territory and Israel with those concerning Jewish Israelis living in the same areas. Human Rights Watch wrote to the Israeli government in July 2020, soliciting its perspectives on these issues, but has received no response.

Across Israel and the occupied territory, Israeli authorities have sought to maximize the land available for Jewish communities and to concentrate most Palestinians in dense population centers. The authorities have adopted policies to mitigate what they have openly described as a “demographic threat” from Palestinians. In Jerusalem, for example, the government’s plan for the municipality, including both the west and occupied east parts of the city, sets the goal of “maintaining a solid Jewish majority in the city” and even specifies the demographic ratios it hopes to maintain.

To maintain domination, Israeli authorities systematically discriminate against Palestinians. The institutional discrimination that Palestinian citizens of Israel face includes laws that allow hundreds of small Jewish towns to effectively exclude Palestinians and budgets that allocate only a fraction of resources to Palestinian schools as compared to those that serve Jewish Israeli children. In the occupied territory, the severity of the repression, including the imposition of draconian military rule on Palestinians while affording Jewish Israelis living in a segregated manner in the same territory their full rights under Israel’s rights-respecting civil law, amounts to the systematic oppression required for apartheid.

Israeli authorities have committed a range of abuses against Palestinians. Many of those in the occupied territory constitute severe abuses of fundamental rights and the inhumane acts again required for apartheid, including: sweeping movement restrictions in the form of the Gaza closure and a permit regime, confiscation of more than a third of the land in the West Bank, harsh conditions in parts of the West Bank that led to the forcible transfer of thousands of Palestinians out of their homes, denial of residency rights to hundreds of thousands of Palestinians and their relatives, and the suspension of basic civil rights to millions of Palestinians.

Many of the abuses at the core of the commission of these crimes, such as near-categorical denial of building permits to Palestinians and demolition of thousands of homes on the pretext of lacking permits, have no security justification. Others, such as Israel’s effective freeze on the population registry it manages in the occupied territory, which all but blocks family reunification for Palestinians living there and bars Gaza residents from living in the West Bank, use security as a pretext to further demographic goals. Even when security forms part of the motivation, it no more justifies apartheid and persecution than it would excessive force or torture, Human Rights Watch said.

“Denying millions of Palestinians their fundamental rights, without any legitimate security justification and solely because they are Palestinian and not Jewish, is not simply a matter of an abusive occupation,” Roth said. “These policies, which grant Jewish Israelis the same rights and privileges wherever they live and discriminate against Palestinians to varying degrees wherever they live, reflect a policy to privilege one people at the expense of another.”

Statements and actions by Israeli authorities in recent years, including the passage of a law with constitutional status in 2018 establishing Israel as the “nation-state of the Jewish people,” the growing body of laws that further privilege Israeli settlers in the West Bank and do not apply to Palestinians living in the same territory, as well as the massive expansion in recent years of settlements and accompanying infrastructure connecting settlements to Israel, have clarified their intent to maintain the domination by Jewish Israelis. The possibility that a future Israeli leader might someday forge a deal with Palestinians that dismantles the discriminatory system does not negate that reality today.

Israeli authorities should dismantle all forms of repression and discrimination that privilege Jewish Israelis at the expense of Palestinians, including with regards to freedom of movement, allocation of land and resources, access to water, electricity, and other services, and the granting of building permits.

The ICC Office of the Prosecutor should investigate and prosecute those credibly implicated in the crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution. Countries should do so as well in accordance with their national laws under the principle of universal jurisdiction, and impose individual sanctions, including travel bans and asset freezes, on officials responsible for committing these crimes.

The findings of crimes against humanity should prompt the international community to reevaluate the nature of its engagement in Israel and Palestine and adopt an approach centered on human rights and accountability rather than solely on the stalled “peace process.” Countries should establish a UN commission of inquiry to investigate systematic discrimination and repression in Israel and Palestine and a UN global envoy for the crimes of persecution and apartheid with a mandate to mobilize international action to end persecution and apartheid worldwide.

Countries should condition arms sales and military and security assistance to Israel on Israeli authorities taking concrete and verifiable steps toward ending their commission of these crimes. Countries should vet agreements, cooperation schemes, and all forms of trade and dealing with Israel to screen for those directly contributing to committing the crimes, mitigate the human rights impacts and, where not possible, end activities and funding found to facilitate these serious crimes.

“While much of the world treats Israel’s half-century occupation as a temporary situation that a decades-long ‘peace process’ will soon cure, the oppression of Palestinians there has reached a threshold and a permanence that meets the definitions of the crimes of apartheid and persecution,” Roth said. “Those who strive for Israeli-Palestinian peace, whether a one or two-state solution or a confederation, should in the meantime recognize this reality for what it is and bring to bear the sorts of human rights tools needed to end it.”
EINDE BERICHT

[3]

HUMAN RIGHTS WATCHABUSIVE ISRAELI POLICIES CONSTITUTE CRIMES OFAPARTHEID, PERSECUTIONCrimes Against Humanity Should Trigger Action to End Repression ofPalestinians
https://www.hrw.org/news/2021/04/27/abusive-israeli-policies-constitute-crimes-apartheid-persecution
ZIE VOOR TEKST, NOOT 2

[4]
ZIE NOOT 1

[5]

”“Prominent voices have warned for years that apartheid lurks just around the corner if the trajectory of Israel’s rule over Palestinians does not change,” said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch. “This detailed study shows that Israeli authorities have already turned that corner and today are committing the crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution.”

HUMAN RIGHTS WATCHABUSIVE ISRAELI POLICIES CONSTITUTE CRIMES OFAPARTHEID, PERSECUTIONCrimes Against Humanity Should Trigger Action to End Repression ofPalestinians
https://www.hrw.org/news/2021/04/27/abusive-israeli-policies-constitute-crimes-apartheid-persecution
ZIE VOOR TEKST, NOOT 2

[6]

”Israel has maintained military rule over some portion of the Palestinian population for all but six months of its 73-year history. It did so over the vast majority of Palestinians inside Israel from 1948 and until 1966. From 1967 until the present, it has militarily ruled over Palestinians in the OPT, excluding East Jerusalem. By contrast, it has since its founding governed all Jewish Israelis, including settlers in the OPT since the beginning of the occupation in 1967, under its more rights-respecting civil law.”
RAPPORT HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH:
HUMAN RIGHTS WATCHA TRESHOLD CROSSEDISRAELI AUTHORITIES AND THE CRIME OF APARTHEID ANDPERSECUTION27 APRIL 2021
https://www.hrw.org/report/2021/04/27/threshold-crossed/israeli-authorities-and-crimes-apartheid-and-persecution

[7]

””A new report published by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) outlines the nature of the legal regime currently operating in the West Bank. Two systems of law are applied in a single territory: one – a civilian legal system for Israeli citizens, and a second – a military court system for Palestinian residents. The result: institutionalized discrimination.”

ACRI [ASSOCIATION FOR CIVIL RIGHTS IN ISRAEL]ONE RULE, TWO LEGAL SYSTEMS: ISRAEL’S REGIME OF LAWSIN THE WEST BANK24 NOVEMBER 2014

REPORT14 OCTOBER 2014ACRI [ASSOCIATION FOR CIVIL RIGHTS IN ISRAEL]ONE RULE, TWO LEGAL SYSTEMS: ISRAEL’S REGIME OF LAWSIN THE WEST BANK

https://law.acri.org.il//en/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Two-Systems-of-Law-English-FINAL.pdf

”Officially, military courts are authorized to try anyone who commits an offense in the West Bank, including settlers, Israeli citizens residing in Israel, and foreign nationals. However, in the early 1980s, the Attorney General decided that Israeli citizens would be tried in the Israeli civilian court system according to Israeli penal laws, even if they live in the Occupied Territories and the offense was committed there, against residents of the Occupied Territories. That policy remains in effect to this day. This means that people are tried in different courts, under different laws, for the exact same offense committed in the exact same place: Palestinian defendants are tried in military courts, their guilt or innocence determined according to the evidence laws followed in this court system, and their sentences according to the provisions of military orders. Israeli defendants are tried in a civilian court in Israel, exonerated or convicted under Israeli evidence laws, and sentenced under Israeli law as well.”
BTSELEM.ORGTHE MILITARY COURT11 DECEMBER 2017
https://www.btselem.org/military_courts

[8]

ASTRID ESSED VERSUS NOS TELETEKSTREDACTIEON HER WEBSITE
https://www.astridessed.nl/?s=NOS+teletekstredactie

EINDE NOTEN

Reacties uitgeschakeld voor HRW: Israel schuldig aan apartheid/Goed gedaan, NOS teletekstredactie!

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[Artikel Peter Storm]/Myanmar: revolutie onder vuur

MYANMAR: REVOLUTIE ONDER VUUR
WEBSITE PETER STORM
https://www.peterstormt.nl/2021/02/28/myanmar-revolutie-onder-vuur/

Geplaatst op 28 februari 2021 door ravotr

zondag 28 februari 2021

Het militaire bewind in Myanmar doet een serieuze poging om de revolutie die daar al enige weken woedt, aan flarden te schieten. Politie schiet allang niet meer ‘alleen’ met waterkanon en traangas. Het dodental loopt snel op. ‘Ordetroepen in Myanmar hebben bij protesten tegen de staatsgreep van het leger zeker zeven demonstranten doodgeschoten’, schreef de NOS met verwijzing naar persbureau Reuters als bron.(1) Aljazeera sprak van ‘minstens zes mensen’ die door de politie zouden zijn omgebracht.(2) De BBC meldt intussen echter al 18 dodelijke slachtoffers van de politieterreur.(3). We mogen aannemen dat het aantal dodelijke slachtoffers verder zal stijgen.

Ook het aantal arrestanten groeit nu snel. Op 26 februari stond de teller bij de Assistence Organistion for Political Prisoners, een organisatie die politieke gevangenen ondersteunt op zeker 748 mensen die opgepakt waren sinds 1 februari, de dag dat het leger haar staatsgreep pleegde.(4) Volgens de Assistence Organisation for Political Prisoners was het aantal mensen die ‘gearresteerd, aangeklaagd of veroordeeld zijn sinds de staatsgreep van 1 februari’, gisteren al 854. ‘De groep wees er echter op dat er op zaterdag “honderden mensen” gearresteerd waren in Yangon en andere plaatsen.’ Het gaat dus hard. ‘Volgens de door de staat gestuurde MRTV televisie werden er tijdens de protesten van zaterdag 470 mensen gearresteerd’.(6) Zaterdag, dat was dus gisteren. Vandaag spreekt de NOS met verwijzing naar persbureau APvan ‘ “massa-arrestaties”, waarbij traangas en waterkanonnen werden ingezet.’ Op Twitter circuleert beeldmateriaal van grof politiegeweld.

Dit is een stevige escalatie van onderdrukking. Opvallend is de relatief lange aanloop hierheen. De staatsgreep vond op 1 februari plaats, en een viertal weken later staat het totale aantal opgepakte mensen iets boven de duizend. Vergelijken we dat met Belarus in augustus, toen duizenden mensen in opstand kwamen toen president Loekasjenko zichzelf een frauduleuze overwinning liet toespelen. Binnen een week had een immense politiemacht enorme aantallen mensen opgepakt. ‘Ordetroepen treden al dagenlang keihard op tegen demonstranten en arresteerden zo’n 6000 mensen’.(8) Dat was op 13 augustus, de vijfde dag na die verkiezingen en het begin van de protestgolf tegen de fraude.

Belarus telt nog geen vijfde van het inwonertal van Myanmar, maar het aantal arrestanten bedroeg al binnen enkele dagen het zesvoudige van het aantal opgepakte mensen in Myanmar na een maand. Het klopt dat de protesten in Belarus vanaf de eerste dag omvangrijk waren. In Myanmar duurde het een week voordat we van massademonstraties konden spreken. Maar ook na die week liep het aantal arrestanten niet heel snel op. 50 mensen oppakken op een dag dat er 500 demonstreren is redelijk angstaanjagend. Vijftig mensen oppakken op een dag dat er 50.000 of 500.000 mensen de straat op zijn, is een stuk minder afschrikwekkend. En op dat soort aantallen demonstranten gaat het, vrijwel dag in dag uit, intussen al weken lang.

Je krijgt de indruk dat de generaals in Myanmar echt enkele weken hebben gedacht dat dreigen, selectieve arrestaties en ad-hoc, nog betrekkelijk incidenteel geweld door veiligheidstroepen, voldoende zouden zijn om de bevolking zo af te schrikken dat ze de protesten zouden staken. In plaats daarvan staken mensen niet hun protest. Integendeel, velen van hen staken uit protest! Als de machthebbers echt gedacht hebben dat beperkte repressie plus dreigementen – machtsuitoefening via bluf, als het ware – afdoende machtsmiddel vormden, dan was dit een enorme miscalculatie van de generaals. Een misrekening die ze nu ‘goed’ denken te maken door op flinke schaal met scherp op demonstranten te laten schieten. Dat het bewind de repressie nu systematisch aan het opvoeren is, is feitelijk een erkenning van de kracht van de opstand. Het regime voelt zich kennelijk ruimschoots voldoende getergd en bedreigd, en is het zat aan het worden.

Hoe effectief die onderdrukking zal zijn is op dit moment nog moeilijk te zeggen. Het verzet vanuit de vrijheidslievende bevolking is heftig, vindingrijk en zeer wijd verbreid. Dat het bewind met scherp laat schieten en naast politie ook militairen de straat op stuurt, wijst er op dat de politie in de problemen raakt. Dat de politie mensen doodschiet, wijst er op dat andere onderdrukkingsmiddelen niet toereikend zijn voor herstel van Rust en Orde. ‘Agenten begonnen onder meer te schieten in Rangoon, de grootste stad van het land’, schrijft Nu.nl, die van Rangoon trouwens nog even het intussen gangbare Yangon moet maken. ‘Daar lukte het niet om betogers met traangas en waarschuwingsschoten te verdrijven. De politie krijgt in de stad versterking van het leger.’ (9) Dat demonstranten zich niet zomaar laten verslaan en ontmoedigen, blijkt uit details. Demonstranten waren voorbereid op repressie: ‘Veel van degenen die de straat op gingen droegen gasmaskers, helmen en stofbrillen ter bescherming, na een toenemend gewelddadige reactie van de politie op zaterdag toen traangas en rubberkogels werden gebruikt om menigten te verspreiden.’(10) Mensen wierpen ook wegblokkades, een soort barricades op, om de opmars van veiligheidstroepen tegen te werken.

Dit ziet er niet uit als een opstand die zich gewonnen geeft na twee dagen dodelijk staatsgeweld. Dat geldt temeer omdat de opstand veel meer is dan een aaneenschakeling van straatprotest. Er zijn tegelijk omvangrijke stakingsacties tegen het militaire bewind gaande. De straten kunnen de machthebbers leeg krijgen door met scherp te laten schieten, Al is ook dat riskant: wat nu als soldaten daar genoeg van krijgen en de geweren op hun officieren beginnen te richten. Maar zelfs al schiet de staat de straten leeg, daarmee hebben ze nog niet al die stakende ambtenaren, mijnwerkers, spoorwegarbeiders , docenten en anderen weer aan het werk. Er zijn zelfs politieagenten die hun werk hebben neergelegd. Helaas nog niet genoeg om de repressie ernstig te ontregelen, maar toch.

Jazeker, de revolutie in Myanmar loopt ernstig gevaar. Maar verslagen is die revolutie geenszins.

Noten:

Opmerking. 28 februari 16.47 uur: nieuwssites werken vaak hun verslaggeving in de loop van de dag bij. Dan sturen dezelfde links je naar intussen gewijzigde info. Zo heeft Aljazeera inmiddels ook melding gemaakt van 18 doden. Ik laat echter de citaten zoals ik ze in eerste instantie aantrof.

1 ‘Bloedige protestdag in Myanmar, legerleiding treedt harder op’, NOS, 28 februari 2021, https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/2/28/one-reported-dead-many-hurt-as-myanmar-police-fire-at-protesters

2 ‘Several killed in bloodiest day of Myabnmar anti-coup protests’, Aljazeera, 28 februari 2021, https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/2/28/one-reported-dead-many-hurt-as-myanmar-police-fire-at-protesters

3 ‘Myanmar coup: Deadliest day of protests as police open fire’, BBC, 28 februari 2021, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-56228357

4 ‘Myanmar poll results invalidated as shots fired in Yangon’, Aljazeera, 26 februari 2021, https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/2/26/uk-imposes-new-sanctions-on-myanmar-generals-over-february-1-coup

5 Helen Regen & Reuters, ‘Myanmar police shoot dead seven protesters in bloodiest day since the coup’, CNN, 28 februari 2021, https://edition.cnn.com/2021/02/27/asia/myanmar-un-ambassador-fired-intl-hnk/index.html

6 Verslaggever in Yangi on &Rebecca Ratcliffe, ‘Myanmar: four reported dead as police fire on pro-democracy protesters’, The Guardian, 28 februari 2021, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/feb/28/myanmar-protesters-clash-police-grenades-democracy-junta-fires-outspoken-un-envoy

7 ‘Bloedige protestdag in Myanmar, legerleiding treedt harder op’, NOS, 28 februari 2021, https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/2/28/one-reported-dead-many-hurt-as-myanmar-police-fire-at-protesters

8 ‘Weer duizenden mensen de straat op in Wit-Rusland’, NOS, 13 augustus 2020, https://nos.nl/artikel/2343881-weer-duizenden-mensen-de-straat-op-in-wit-rusland.html

9 ‘Zeker achttien doden op dodelijkste protestdag in Myanmar sinds de staatsgreep’, Nu.nl, 28 februari 2021, https://www.nu.nl/buitenland/6119092/zeker-achttien-doden-op-dodelijkste-protestdag-in-myanmar-sinds-staatsgreep.html

10 Verslaggever in Yangi on &Rebecca Ratcliffe, ‘Myanmar: four reported dead as police fire on pro-democracy protesters’, The Guardian, 28 februari 2021, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/feb/28/myanmar-protesters-clash-police-grenades-democracy-junta-fires-outspoken-un-envoy

Peter Storm

Reacties uitgeschakeld voor [Artikel Peter Storm]/Myanmar: revolutie onder vuur

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[Artikel Peter Storm]/Myanmar: algemene staking! Revolutie?

MYANMAR: ALGEMENE STAKING! REVOLUTIE?

WEBSITE PETER STORM

zaterdag 13 februari 2021

De staatsgreep waarmee de militaire top in Myanmar een halfslachtig democratisch bestuur hardhandig opzij schoof, stuit op indrukwekkend stevige en omvangrijke weerstand. Vrij snel al protest door middel van potten en pannen. Een campagne van burgerlijke ongehoorzaamheid. Demonstraties die doorgingen nadat het bewind waterkanonnen, traangas, rubberen en andere kogels inzette. Het aantal mensen dat deelneemt aan protest en verzet, moet inmiddels in de vele honderdduizenden mensen lopen.

Flinke delen van het openbare leven en het overheidsapparaat liggen stil nu mensen het werk op grote schaal hebben neergelegd. Een algemene staking vormt de ruggengraat van een opstandsbewging die inmiddels trekjes van een heuse revolutie begint te krijgen. Repressie ontbreekt niet. Maar juist die repressie versterkt de ‘nu of nooit!’-verzetshouding die de huidige opstand gebracht heeft waar die nu is. Het is tijd voor een hoogst onvolledig overzicht van wat ik nu al een van de belangrijkste gebeurtenissen van 2021 durf te noemen.

1 februari 2021

De militaire leiding grijpt de macht en schuift het zojuist gekozen parlement opzij met als voorwendsel dat er sprake was van verkiezingsfraude. Regeringsleider Aung San Suu Kyi verdwijnt in gevangenschap, net als veel parlementsleden van haar Nationale Liga voor Democratie NLD. Een generaal wordt de nieuwe machthebber.

2 februari

Potten en pannen weerklonken als geluid van protest in de straten van Yangon, de grootste stad van het land, aangevuld door toeterende automobilisten en fietsers die hun bel lieten klinken.(1) Artsen kondigden een staking aan. Een Facebookpagina van een ‘campagne tot burgerlijke ongehoorzaamheid’’ kreeg al 100.000 Likes.(2)

3 februari

Medisch personeel lanceerde daadwerkelijk een staking, het betrof mensen die werkzaam zijn in 70 ziekenhuizen en dergelijke.(3) Wederom een potten-en-pannen-concert in Yangon. ‘In sommige buurten riepen bewoners en zongen ze democratische protestsongs.(4)

4 februari

Het regime blokkeerde Facebook. Protesten kregen intussen vorm. ‘Ondanks de poging van het leger om online protest het zwijgen op te leggen, en haar grimmige staat van dienst van geweldsgebruik tegen demonstranten, begonnen zich kleine geïmproviseerde protesten te vormen op donderdag.’ Allereerst in de stad Mandalay, waar politie betogers snel belaagde. In Yangon lieten mensen rode ballonnen op, ‘ de kleur die geassocieerd wordt met de partij van Aung San Suu Kyi’. Een andere groep riep: ‘Laat de junta vallen!’ En opnieuw de potten en de pannen.(5) Drie arrestaties van demonstranten in Mandalay. En een bizarre beschuldiging tegen Aung San Suu Kyi: ze zou walkie-talkies het land in hebben gesmokkeld.(6)

5 februari

Docenten en studenten van de Yangon University of Education hielden een protestbijeenkomst. Van de as staf van 256 leden waren er 200 in staking gegaan, zo vertelde een staflid. Docent Honey Twin: ‘We willen het administratieve stelsel stopzetten. We houden nu een vreedzame staking’. Ook van elders in Yangon, aan Dagon University, wordt protest gemeld.(7) Onderwijspersoneel had zich dus zich bij het medisch personeel en haar staking aangesloten.

6 februari

De kleinschalige protesten groeiden uit tot grote demonstraties. Vele duizenden mensen waren op de been in Yangon. Betogers t riepen: “We willen geen militaire dictatuur! We willen democratie!’ In Mandalay voerden artsen en studenten, in Mawlamyine hielden honderd motorrijders een ongetwijfeld luidruchtige demonstratie. En, heel belangwekkend: honderden mensen waren samengestroomd bij een politiebureau in Payathonzu. Naar verluidt waren daar NLD-mensen opgepakt.(8)

Hier is de locatie interessant: de stad ligt in de deelstaat Karen, waar een beweging langdurig verzet tegen het centrale gezag heeft gevoerd. Karen is een van de vele deelstaten waar bevolkingsgroepen wonen die zich in het centrale, op de dominante bevolkingsgroep leunende, gezag weinig tot niet herkennen. Veelal zien mensen daar zowel het leger als ook de NLD als stem van dat centrale gezag. Dat ook in een van die deelstaten mensen opkwamen tegen de staatsgreep van de ene vijand tegen die andere, laat zien hoe breed het verzet al aan het worden was. En hoe ver mensen al kijken. Mensen zien of voelen klaarblijkelijk dat een regime dat Aung San Suu Kyi op kan sluiten,voor mensen die met gegronde redenen heel kritisch tegenover haar staan, een dodelijk gevaar is.

Die breedte bleek ook al uit de omvang die de demonstraties inmiddels hadden gekregen: tienduizenden deelnemers in totaal. ‘Toen de protesten voorbij waren, klonk in veel steden voor de vijfde achtereenvolgende avond een potten- en pannenprotest tegen het militaire regime’.(9) Het internet was intussen van hogerhand stilgelegd maar zou later weer open gaan.

7 februari

Wederom omvangrijke betogingen met wederom tienduizenden deelnemers . De burgerlijke ongehoorzaamheidscampagne ging intussen door, de potten-en-pannenconcerten waren een dagelijks verschijnsel geworden. ‘Een revolutionair lied van de pro-democratiebewging van 1988 werd ook in de hele stad gezongen’(10) Die beweging van 1988 was een opstand tegen het toenmalige militaire bewind van generaal Ne Win. Het leger sloeg die opstand destijds zeer bloedig neer. Mensen zijn dat overduidelijk niet helemaal vergeten. Ze weten ongetwijfeld dat de prijs in mensenlevens wel eens zeer hoog kan zijn als de protestbeweging waaraan ze deelnemen op soortgelijke wijze wordt onderdrukt.

Alleen al in Yangon had de beweging ene indrukwekkende omvang bereikt. ‘In Yangon, de grootste stad van Myanmar, zijn voor de tweede opeenvolgende dag tienduizenden mensen de straat op te gaan om te protesteren tegen de militaire staatsgreep van afgelopen maandag. Ze vroegen om de vrijlating van de gekozen leider Aung San Suu Kyi’, aldus de NOS.(11) Ze vroegen feitelijk natuurlijk om veel meer dan dat. Naast ‘Lang leve moeder Suu’ riepen mensen ook ‘Weg met de militaire dictatuur’. Dat het bewind weggekomen zou zijn met louter de vrijlating van Aung San Suu Kyi, viel toen al te betwijfelen.

8 februari

Dag nummer drie van massademonstraties.(12) Ook protest in de hoofdstad Naypiydaw trouwens, en dat is opmerkelijk. Die hoofdstad is nieuw gebouwd onder een iets eerder militaire bewind. In de stad wonen voornamelijk overheidsfunctionarissen. Protest in uitgerekend dat regeringsbolwerk is een teken aan de wand: zo ver verspreid is de opstandigheid intussen al. In die hoofdstad zetten autoriteiten die dag een waterkanon in tegen demonstranten.

Intussen was het in Yangon erg druk. Daar ‘trokken boeddhistische monniken, samen met studenten, leraren en andere betogers in protestmars door de straten. Ze droegen vlaggen met boeddhistische symbolen. Andere demonstranten droegen de rode banieren van de Nationale Liga voor Democratie (NLD) van Suu Kyi’. De grootste oppositiepartij, zij aan zij met de in Myanmar door velen zeer gerespecteerde boeddhistische geestelijken. Dat die laatsten het protest steunen,is ook veelbetekenend: de generaals willen zich ook maar wat graag als vrome boeddhisten profileren. Boeddhistische oppositie raakt hun legitimiteit en verscheurt de façade van nationale eenheid waar machthebbers zich zo graag achter verschuilen.

Intussen waren actievoerders ook bezig om de strijd te verstevigen. ‘Activisten riepen tot eel algemene staking op maandag op’, meldde Aljazeera.(13) ‘Onze boodschap aan het publiek is dat we het dit militaire regime helemaal af willen schaffen en dat we voor onze bestemming moeten vechten’, aldus verplegende Aye Misan, geciteerd door persbureau Reuters. Dat behelst bepaald meer dan enkel het terugdraaien van de staatsgreep en de vrijlating van Aung San Suu Kyi.

Demonstraties waren er volgens nog steeds hetzelfde Aljazeera-bericht ook in Dawei in het zuiden, en in Myitkyina. Die laatste stad is hoofdstad van de deelstaat Kachen. In die deelstaat woedt een verzetsstrijd tegen het centrale gezag. Mensen hebben daar hele goede reden om n de generaals te verfoeien. Maar mensen zijn er veelal ook niet blij met Suu Kyi, die de generaals in grote lijnen de vrije hand gaf tegenover dit soort verzetsstrijd. Dat mensen nu toch deel nemen aan de protestbeweging, laat zien dat ze verder kijken dan de persoon aan de macht. Ze zien de machtsstructuur, het militaire bewind als zodanig, als vijand. Terecht, uiteraard.

9 februari

Een dag van escalatie. Omvangrijke demonstraties, maar nu ook aanzienlijk staatsgeweld. It Nu.nl: ’Zeker vier mensen zijn dinsdag in Myanmar gewond geraakt tijdens een protest tegen de staatsgreep in het land. Ze zijn in de hoofdstad Nay Pyi Taw neergeschoten door de politie.’ Een van hen is in levensgevaar. In Mandalay arresteerden de autoriteiten dertig mensen. Ook zette politie traangas en waterkanonnen in. Intussen was er ook dat andere, stillere protest: ‘In Myanmar is een grote ongehoorzaamheidactie op gang gekomen. Artsen, verpleegkundigen, docenten en ambtenaren zijn uit onvrede met de coup gestopt met werken. De ambtenaren hopen zo dat het voor de militaire leiding van het land onmogelijk wordt om te regeren’.(14)

Belangrijk, dit begin van algemene staking! Want demonstraties, die kunnen van straat geschoten worden, en we weten dat de het militaire apparaat op dit vlak een tamelijk griezelige staat van dienst heeft. Maar hoe hard je ook schiet, daar krijg je een onwillige bevolking die in staking is gegaan, nog niet gegarandeerd mee aan het werk. Een demonstratiegolf van de huidige omvang kun je een volksopstand noemen. Met een algemene staking erbij kunnen we het over revolutie beginnen te hebben.

Dat straatprotest zelf bleek intussen stevig, zo blijkt uit Aljazeera’s berichtgeving.(15) Betogers gooiden ook met dingen toen ze met waterkanonnen werden belaagd. Interessant is de visie van Soe Aung, mensenrechtenactivist en wonend in Thailand: ‘Ik denk dat zij [de generaals] de demonstranten met verschillende manieren proberen bang te maken, maar de betogers zijn erg vastbesloten. Veel ambtenaren hebben zich bij het protest aangesloten, dus dat is erg bemoedigend.’ Inderdaad! ‘Belangrijker: het zijn niet alleen de studenten en de jonge mensen maar ook de etnische minderheden in meerdere delen van het land. Dus ze gaan niet terugkrabbelen. Ze begrijpen dat, als ze terugkrabbelen, ze voor altijd de slaven van de dictatuur zullen zijn.’ Nu of nooit! Dat is kennelijk een wijdverspreide, en hoogst noodzakelijke, houding in de protestbeweging.

Die protestbeweging trof een grote politiemacht tegenover zich – maar ook die bleek kwetsbaar. ‘OP dinsdag wisselden ongeveer 20 politieagenten van kant op 4 verschillende plekken – in Pathein, Naypyidaw, Myeik en Magway’, aldus berichtgeving in de Guardian.(16) Ook in Naypyidaw, dat regeringsbolwerk, dus!

10 februari

Grote demonstraties, jawel. ‘Naar schatting 100.000 mensen verzamelden zich in de commerciële hoofdstad Yangon, volgens getuigen.’ En opnieuw politiemensen die de kant van de protesten kozen. ‘In Loikaw, de hoofdstad van de staat Kayah, sloten 40 politieagenten zich op woensdag bij betogers aan en hielden een spandoek vast: “Leden van het Myanmar politiekorps (staat Kayah) staan aan de kant van burgers”‘. De protesten groeien, de geüniformeerde staatsmacht blijkt niet overal meer helemaal solide.(17)

Opvallend is de diversiteit van deelnemers, waarover The Guardian bericht.(18) Mensen uit gemarginaliseerde groepen begonnen zich nadrukkelijk te manifesteren. In Yangon was er een groep drag queens onder de demonstranten. Regenboogvlaggen zijn te zien op demonstraties. Dit is extra indrukwekkend als je je realiseert dat nog een anti-sodomie-wet heeft. Die stamt overigens uit de tijd van het koloniale bewind van Groot-Brittannië.

Dan zijn er nog de Rohingya. Dat is een bevolkingsgroep van moslims. Myanmar’s militaire apparaat heeft tegen deze bevolkingsgroep ene campagne van repressie, verdrijving en massamoord gevoerd, en Aung San Suu Kyi hield die militairen de hand boven het hoofd. Veel boeddhistische Myanmarezen gaan helaas mee in het racisme tegen deze mensen, met het idee dat het hier een soort indringers uit Bangladesh betreft, als smoes.

Maar zie! Op een protest in Mawlamyine was een Rohingya-activuist met kameraden aanwezig, voorzien van een eren zichtbare leus: ‘Wij (Rohingya) staan voor democratie’. Hij kreeg ‘geen slechte reacties’, vertelde hij. En hij analyseert: ‘De meerderheid van mensen realiseert zich dat in een nationale crisis deze gemarginaliseerde groepen naar de frontlinie komen… Dat is de geest van de burgers. Ik geloof dat er na de protesten een betere eenheid tussen de meerderheid en de minderheden.’ Hier zien we hoe gezamenlijke strijd tegen onderdrukking solidariteit genereert. Het is een van de inmiddels talloze tekenen dat de situatie revolutionaire trekjes heeft gekregen.

Intussen worden ook de eisen radicaler. ‘De eisen van de betogers gaan nu verder dan het terugdraaien van de staatsgreep. Ze zoeken ook de afschaffing van de grondwet van 2008, opgesteld onder militair toezicht, die de generaals een veto gaf in het parlement en controle over diverse ministeries, en een federale staat in het etnisch diverse Myanmar’. Intussen groeide ook de stakingsbeweging. ‘De staf van de het ministerie van elektriciteit en energie in Naypyidaw, waren onder de laatsten die zich woensdag bij de burgerlijke ongehoorzaamheidsbeweging aansloten’. (19)

De stakingsbeweging breidde zich ook uit buiten overheidsinstellingen. Zeelieden en hun vakbond namen deze dag ook aan de protesten deel en waren in staking gegaan. Dat lees ik in Aljazeera. Daar wordt ook verteld van een groep demonstranten die zich voorbereid hadden op repressie: mensen kwamen ‘met helpen, stofbrillen en gezichtsmaskers in anticipatie op mogelijk traangas en andere methoden. “We moeten voorbereid zijn”, zei een 22-jarige die eenedeel van zijn naam gaf, Aung. “Dis is de revolutie van onze burgers. We denken dat de politie spoedig zou kunnen reageren. Ik hoorde dat er een persoon is neergeschoten in Naypyidaw”’ (20)

11 februari

Weer een dag van demonstraties, maar ook van arrestaties. Het totale aantal was intussen opgelopen, zo maakte AAPW, een organisatie die politieke gevangenen ondersteunt, bekend.‘Een totaal van 220 mensen – van NLD-politici tot activisten, leraren en mensen uit de burgermaatschappij – zijn gearresteerd sinds de militairen de coup pleegden, zei ze [de AAPW, PS], met 200 die zich nog in detentie bevonden.’(21)

‘In de Irrawaddy Delta, het thuisland voor een groot deel van de rijstoogst van Myanmar, bestormde de politie een medische kliniek en hield een arts die de campagne van burgerlijke ongehoorzaamheid steunde aan terwijl die een patiënt aan het behandelen was.’ Zijn vrouw vertelde er over aan persbureau AFP, Aljazeera maakt er 12 februari melding van.(22)

Intussen kregen we ook meer te lezen over wat demonstranten bewoog.(23) Dat gaat om veel meer dan alleen het afzetten van Aung San Suu Kyi. Een jongeman van 23, op 11 februari in Yangon aan het demonstreren met zijn vriendengroep: ‘Ze willen geen budget in het onderwijs steken, en dan sturen ze hun kinderen naar internationale scholen van topniveau’. Sociale ongelijkheid, niet alleen politieke onvrijheid, maakt mensen dus ook boos. De jongeman gaat verder: ‘De militairen ruïneren alles voor iedereen behalve een procent van de bevolking. Ze laten iedereen onopgeleid en arm achter. We zijn bezorgd dat dat onze toekomst is.’

Een demonstrant van 28 jaar, over het gevaar van gewelddadige onderdrukking: ‘Misschien kunnen er 100 of 1000 mensen doodgaan, maar onze hele toekomst hangt van dit moment af. Als we niet winnen, dan zijn we voor altijd slaaf van de militairen.’ Bijna letterlijk wat we eerder lazen van een mensenrechtenactivist.

12 februari

Het regime zegt opeens 23.000 mensen vrij te laten uit haar gevangenissen. Dat gebeurt met de uitgesproken bedoeling dat die vrijgelaten mensen ‘tot fatsoenlijke burgers moeten worden voor de bestwil van het volk en uit menselijkheid en mededogen’, zo staat in een verklaring.(24) Als machthebbers zo beginnen te praten, dan is het zaak om erg goed op te letten. Aljazeera sprak al van een ‘een massale opschoning van de gevangenissen van het land terwijl autoriteiten het onderdrukken van stakende arbeiders opvoeren.’(25) En inderdaad. Al die lege celruimte die ermee vrij komt, daar kun je erg veel demonstranten in wegproppen. Ga er maar van uit dat het regime grootschalige repressie aan het voorbereiden is. Of het die kaart daadwerkelijk uit gaat spelen? En of het er mee weg komt?

Die zelfde dag gingen de protesten volop door, het regime dreigde, het regime arresteerde hier en daar ook mensen.(26) Legerleider/machthebber Min Aung Hlaing vermaande de stakende ambtenaren en dergelijke om weer aan het werk te gaan. ‘Maar honderdduizenden kwamen nog steeds op in over het hele land verspreide manifestaties – de zevende dag van protesten op rij – en eisten dat de generaals van het land de macht opgaven.’

Repressie is er, soms vrij heftige, maar die krijgt soms effectief lik op stuk. ‘Op vrijdag schoot de politie in de havenstad Mawlamyine rubberkogels af op studenten terwijl ze een sit-down protest uit elkaar joeg. Sommige van de demonstranten werden opgenomen in het ziekenhuis, terwijl er negen in hechtenis werden genomen. Ze werden later vrijgelaten nadat een menigte een politiebureau belegerde en hun vrijlating eiste.’

Ik vraag me af hoe het politiebureau er had uitgezien als de arrestanten niet waren vrijgelaten. Dat de politie het daar kennelijk niet op aan liet komen, is tekenend voor de verhoudingen die in Myanmar ontstaan.

13 februari

Aljazeera geeft een soort van tussenstand in een zeer lezenswaardig artikel.(27) Het schetst de kracht die de opstand in Myanmar intussen heeft weten te bereiken, en wijst de stootkracht van het verzet. Het is de moeite waard om er eens flink uit te citeren.

De opening: ‘Een beweging van burgerlijke ongehoorzaamheid begon vrijwel direct en verwierf steun van brede delen van de maatschappij. Treinen zijn tot stilstand gekomen, ziekenhuizen zijn gesloten, en van ministeries in de hoofdstad, Naypyidaw, wordt geloofd dat ze onder spanning sta te midden van massale werkonderbrekingen.’ Dat wijst richting een omvangrijke staking met serieuze effecten. Wie doen er mee? ‘vele duizenden, waaronder verplegenden, dokters, advocaten, ingenieurs, boeren, ambtenaren, fabrieksarbeiders en zelfs sommige politieagenten zijn in staking gegaan of zijn overgelopen in een poging om de nieuwe militaire regering te verlammen.’ Er is een woord voor zoiets. Dat heet een algemene staking. Later in het artikel wordt dat begrip ook gehanteerd.

En de staking raakt de macht en rijkdom van de machthebbers. ‘Ee kopermijn in het noordelijke Sagaing-regio, gezamenlijk eigendom van de militairen en een Chinees bedrijf, heeft haar operaties gestaakt nadat meer dan 2000 arbeiders het werk neerlegden. En honderden ingenieurs en andere leden van de staf die werken voor Mytel, een telecom operator die deels in eigendom is van de militairen, is gestopt met werk.’ Dat is serieus.

Ook fabrieksarbeiders zijn dus gaan staken. ‘Naar schatting 5000 arbeiders in Hlaing Tharyr, een industriele zone in de belangrijke stad Yangon, hebben zich bij de algemene staking aangesloten, zo vertelt een vakbondsorganisator die verzocht om anoniem te blijven aan Aljazeera.’ Dit soort wijdverbreide arbeidersactie is mede mogelijk geworden doordat er in de afgelopen jaren van beperkte democratisering wel degelijk ook enige speelruimte voor vakbonden is gekomen. Die zijn sinds 2011 niet meer verboden, en er is intussen een ‘jonge maar vasthoudende beweging voor arbeidersrechten met jaren van ervaring in het organiseren van stakingen.’ Dat werpt heden ten dage dus vruchten af.

Het artikel wijst ook op boycotactie, en op het overlopen van politiemensen naar de kant van de demonstranten. Die mensen nemen een groot risico. ‘Ik weet dat ik in de gevangenis gestopt wordt met een lange gevangenisstraf als onze strijd voor democratie geen succes behaalt’, aldus politieluitenant Kung Aung Ko Ko, een van deze agenten. Overgelopen politiefunctionarissen zijn dan ook ondergedoken.

Genoemde vakbondsactiviste denkt groot en ambitieus over wat er nu nodig is. Dat past bij de situatie. “Om deze revolutie succesvol te laten zijn is het noodzakelijk dat iedereen meedoet. Arbeiders, studenten, zelfs de politie en de soldaten. Iedereen.’ Dat zij op deze wijze spreekt over revolutie en over een mogelijke overwinning, doet recht aan de situatie die de opstandige bevolking van Myanmar in minder dan twee weken tot stand heeft weten te brengen. De revolutie in Myanmar is nog jong. Ik denk en hoop dat ze haar beste dagen en weken nog voor zich heeft. Er is geen enkele doorslaggevende reden onder de huidige om te denken dat haar overwinning niet mogelijk is.

Noten:

1 ‘The nights of pots and pans are back, on Myanmar’s fearful streets’, The Guardian, 2 februari 2021, https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2021/feb/02/the-nights-of-pots-and-pans-are-back-on-myanmar-fearful-streets

2 ‘Myanmar coup: Medica to strike as nger at military grows’, BBC, 2 februari, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-55906536

3 Andrew Nachemson, ‘Medics in Myanmar on strike against military amuid COVID-19 crisis’, Aljazeera, 3 februari 2021, https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/2/3/medics-in-myanmar-on-strike-against-military-amid-covid-crisis

4 ‘In Pictures: Striking pans to protest Myanmar’s military coup’, Aljazeera, 3 februari 2021, https://www.aljazeera.com/gallery/2021/2/3/in-pictures-striking-pans-in-myanmars-capital-to-protest-coup

5 ‘Myanmar coup: army blocks Facebook access as civil disobedience grows’, The Guardian, 4 februari 2021, https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2021/feb/04/myanmar-coup-army-blocks-facebook-access-as-civil-disobedience-grows

6 ‘Myanmar military blocks Facebook, social media as pressure grows’, Aljazeera, 4/5 februari 2021, https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/2/4/myanmar-military-blocks-facebook-social-media-as-pressure-grows

7 ‘Myanmar teachers join protest as anger gathers pace against coup’, Aljazeera, 5 februari 2021, https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/2/5/we-dont-want-this-military-coup-myanmar-teachers-join-protest

8 Rebecca Ratcliffe, ‘ “We cannot accept the coup”: Myanmar protests despite internet blackouit’, The Observer, 6 februari 2021, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/feb/06/myanmar-military-shuts-down-internet-as-thousands-protest-against-coup

9 ‘Tienduizenden protesteren tegen staatsgreep in Myanmar’, NOS, 6 februari 2021, https://nos.nl/artikel/2367584-tienduizenden-protesteren-tegen-staatsgreep-in-myanmar.html

10 Rebecca Ratcliffe en een reporter in Yangon, ‘ Myanmar: tens of thousands march against coup in second day’, The Guardian, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/feb/07/myanmar-tens-thousands-march-military-coup-second-day

11 ‘Opnieuw massale protesten in Myanmar, internet doet het weer’, https://nos.nl/artikel/2367683-opnieuw-massale-protesten-in-myanmar-internet-doet-het-weer.html

12 ‘Week na coup gaat protest Myanmar door, politie gebruikt waterkanon in hoofdstad’, NOS, 8 februuari 2021, https://nos.nl/artikel/2367777-week-na-coup-gaat-protest-myanmar-door-politie-gebruikt-waterkanon-in-hoofdstad.html

13 ‘Myanmar military warns of ‘action’ as protests grow’, Aljazeera, 8 februari 2021, https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/2/8/myanmar-prepares-for-strike-as-opposition-to-coup-intensifies

14 ‘Vier mensen neergeschoten bij protest tegen staatsgreep Myanmar’, Nu.nl, 9 februari 2021, https://www.nu.nl/buitenland/6115401/vier-mensen-neergeschoten-bij-protest-tegen-staatsgreep-myanmar.html

15 ‘Myanmar forces fire rubber bullets, warning shots at protesters’, Aljazeera, 9 februari 2021, https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/2/9/myanmar-protesters-defiant-amid-ban-on-large-gatherings

16 ‘Myanmar protesters return to streets in huge numbers amid police defections’, The Guardian, 10 februari 2021, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/feb/10/myanmar-protesters-streets-naypyitaw-yangon-police-coup-violence

17 ‘Myanmar protesters return to streets in huge numbers amid police defections’, The Guardian, 10 februari 2021, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/feb/10/myanmar-protesters-streets-naypyitaw-yangon-police-coup-violence

18 ‘ “We all know what we’re facing”: divided Myanmar unites against coup’, The Guardian, 10 februari 2021, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/feb/10/we-all-know-what-were-facing-divided-myanmar-unites-against-coup

19 ‘Myanmar protesters return to streets in huge numbers amid police defections’, The Guardian, 10 februari 2021, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/feb/10/myanmar-protesters-streets-naypyitaw-yangon-police-coup-violence

20 Andrew Nachemson, ‘ Myanmar’s youth look to future – not past – as they battle copup’, Aljazeera, 11 februari 2021, https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/2/11/myanmars-protesters-look-to-future-not-past-as-they-battle-coup

21 ‘New arrests in Myanmar, as US moves to sanction coup leaders’, Aljazeera, 11 februari 2021, https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/2/11/new-arrests-in-myanmar-as-us-moves-to-sanction-coup-leaders

22 ‘Myanmar under pressure at UN as rage against coup simmers’, Aljazeera, 13 februari 2021, https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/2/13/myanmar-under-pressure-at-un-as-anti-coup-protests-rage

23 Andrew Nachemson, ‘ Myanmar’s youth look to future – not past – as they battle copup’, Aljazeera, 11 februari 2021, https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/2/11/myanmars-protesters-look-to-future-not-past-as-they-battle-coup

24 ‘Militaire regime Myanmar scheldt straffen van duizende gevangenen kwijt’. NOS, 12 februari 2021, https://nos.nl/artikel/2368326-militaire-regime-myanmar-scheldt-straffen-van-duizenden-gevangenen-kwijt.html

25 ‘Myanmar under pressure at UN as rage against coup simmers’, Aljazeera, 13 februari 2021, https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/2/13/myanmar-under-pressure-at-un-as-anti-coup-protests-rage

26 ‘Myanmar uder pressure at UN as rage against coup simmers’, Aljazeera, 13 d februari 2021, https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/2/13/myanmar-under-pressure-at-un-as-anti-coup-protests-rage

27 ‘How Myanmar’s popular uprising aims to topple military rulers’, Aljazeera, 13 februari 2021, https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/2/13/how-myanmars-popular-uprising-aims-to-topple-the-junta

Peter Storm

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[Artikel Peter Storm]/Myanmar: opstand tegen staatsgreep

MYANMAR: OPSTAND TEGEN STAATSGREEP
WEBSITE PETER STORM

woensdag 10 februari 2021

Een longread. Ik heb overwogen het verhaal op te splitsen en er een serie van te maken, Ik zie daar van af gezien het hoge tempo van de huidige ontwikkelingen De tweede helft van het artikel dreigt anders minstens 36 uur achter de zich snel opeenvolgende feiten aan de hobbelen. Wie de voorgeschiedenis wel best vindt of voor later wil bewaren, kan natuurlijk meteen doorgaan naar het tussenkopje ‘Staatsgreep’, of meteen naar ‘Opstand!’

Februari 2021, de eerste week: militaire top pleegt staatsgreep in Myanmar. Beginnetjes van protest, verzet, burgerlijke ongehoorzaamheid, stakingen. Februari 2021, tweede week: bevolking is opstand tegen het militaire bewind in Myanmar. Omvangrijke demonstraties en stakingsactie, oproerpolitie schiet met waterkanonnen, rubberkogels en met scherp. De opstand is nu al geweldig bemoedigend. En de opstand is bepaald niet kansloos ook. Ook niet nu het bewind intussen met steeds grover geweld reageert op het verzet.

Op 1 februari bleek de legerleiding van het Zuidoost-Aziatische land Myanmar een staatsgreep te hebben gepleegd. Daarmee zette ze het nieuw gekozen parlement opzij en maakte een hardhandig einde aan het toch al halfslachtige democratische bestuur dat de laatste jaren min of meer functioneerde. De legerleiding verschool zich achter verkiezingsfraude. Bewijs daarvoor werd niet geleverd. Het had er vooral veel van weg dat de militaire top niet kon uitstaan dat Aung San Suu Kiy en haar partij de NLD bij de verkiezingen van november 2020 een overwinning had behaald en de aan de legertop verbonden oppositie maar een handjevol zetels had behaald. De militaire leiders ‘vonden Aung San Suu Kyi door haar enorme populariteit misschien toch te machtig worden’, aldus Ole Chavannes, door de NOS ons als ‘Myanmar-kenner’ geïntroduceerd.(1) Het zou best eens kunnen. Maar wellicht is er meer aan de hand. Hoe zit het eigenlijk met die militairen in Myanmar, en met de recente democratische episode waar die militairen nu een gewelddadig eind aan proberen te maken?

Wat geschiedenis

Myanmar kent militaire regimes sinds 1962, toen het leger met een staatsgreep een einde maakte aan een opeenvolging van burgerregeringen die het toen nog Birma geheten land sinds de onafhankelijkheid van 1947 bestuurden. Machthebber werd generaal Ne Win. Zijn bewind verordonneerde de Birmese Weg naar het Socialisme: de staat trok de economie aan zich, officieren bestuurden de staat. Het was een soort stalinisme, maar zo karikaturaal dat min of meer serieuze stalinisten – preciezer: maoïsten – er een guerrilla-oorlog tegen begonnen, die overigens niet geweldig ver is gekomen. Natuurlijk had het met socialisme niets te maken: de officieren vormden feitelijk een ondernemersklasse en zogen de bevolking uit. De economie liep op laat-stalinistische wijze vast op haar eigen inefficiëntie. Het isolement waarin het regime het land had gebracht, hielp ook niet erg mee.

In 1988 was de getergde bevolking het zat. Studenten, en vervolgens ook anderen, begonnen te demonstreren voor politieke en economische hervormingen. De eisen gingen in de richting van een liberaal-democratisch bestel: meer vrijheid, verkiezingen, democratisch bestuur, een rechtsstaat, dat soort zaken. Maar voor die beperkte vormen van vrijheid ontbrandde een hele radicale strijd. Massademonstraties dag na dag, stakingen van overheidspersoneel, vorming van comités die het bestuur hier en daar overnamen. Feitelijk woedde er in 1988 maandenlang een revolutie die hele radicale vormen van bevrijding binnen bereik begon te brengen. Heeft er al eens iemand een mooie kroniek of bruikbare radicale analyse aan deze episode van vrijheidsstrijd gewijd?

Het regime reageerde zoals militaire regimes plegen te regeren op protesten: snoeiharde repressie. Aanvankelijk brak die de weerstand niet. Maar op 18 september richtte het leger een bloedbad aan. “orde’ heerste sindsdien weer in Rangoon, zoals het huidige Yangun toen nog werd aangeduid, in Mandalay en waar ook in Birma. Pardon, in Myanmar, wantrond die tijd veranderde het regime de naam van het land.

Het regime deed nog meer. Ne Win verdween naar de achtergrond in een soort staatsgreep binnen het bewind. En het bewind beloofde vrije verkiezingen! Dat kwam mooi uit, want in 1988 keerde Aung San Suu Kyi terug uit een soort ballingschap. Zij was de dochter van de politicus die mede aan de wieg stond van de Birmese onafhankelijkheid, een man die kort na die onafhankelijkheid was vermoord. Ze werd al snel het gezicht van de oppositie. Maar voor zover Aung San Suu Kyi protesten aanvuurde, waren die van het principieel geweldloze soort. Heel mooi, maar met alleen Gandhi in de hand kom je tegenover soldaten die gericht schieten, en met scherp, niet zo heel erg ver.

Zij en haar partij, de Nationale Liga voor Democratie NLD, zetten vooral in op de verkiezingen. Met dat lokaas leek er voor vrijheidslievende mensen al snel geen reden meer om de straat op te gaan. Waarom nog het risico nemen voor meer democratie als je binnenkort een democratische regering kunt kiezen? De democratische beloftes va het regime, plus de gretigheid waarmee Aung San Suu Kyi er op in ging, zorgden voor rust op de straten en maakten een snelle herleving van de opstand – toch al bloedlink na de repressiegolf – extra onwaarschijnlijk. Rust en orde heersten in de straten, de orde van de militairen, de rust van de vrije verkiezingen in aantocht. De manoeuvre werkte helaas.

In 1990 vonden de verkiezingen plaats. Aung San Suu Kyi en de NLD behalen een grote overwinning. De militaire top legt de uitslag naast zich neer. In plaats van een positie aan het hoofd van een democratische regering kreeg de NLD-leidster huisarrest. De militaire leiding bleef het land besturen als een grote openluchtgevangenis, met militairen als gevangenbewaarders en generaals als gevangenisdirectie. Binnen die openluchtgevangenis ontbrak het aan daadwerkelijke cellencomplexen uiteraard niet.

Protest was er, verzet ook. Protest van NLD-aanhangers in de stad. Verzet vanuit diverse bevolkingsgroepen die een guerrilla voerden tegen het centrale gezag. Myanmar was namelijk een staat met daarbinnen tal van nationaliteiten. De grootste bevolkingsgroep die zich met Birma als natie identificeerde, was boeddhistisch. Maar er waren kleinere bevolkingsgroepen, vaak met een andere godsdienst. De Karen bijvoorbeeld waren christenen. Zij vormden een van de bevolkingsgroepen vanwaaruit verzetsstrijd plaats vond. De Rohingya, die we later nog tegenkomen, zijn moslims.

Noch het protest van bijvoorbeeld de Karen, nog de keurige protesten van de NLD-mensen, vormden voor het bewind een serieuze bedreiging, De generaals heersten, hadden de socialistische pretenties gedumpt, en waren in zaken gegaan. Tegelijk profileerden generaals zich ook graag als vrome boeddhisten. Ze leken hun B.V. Myanmar redelijk op orde te hebben, maar dat was toch niet helemaal het geval.

In de eerste plaats was de reputatie van het bewind erg beroerd, vanwege de onvrijheid en de systematische schendingen van mensenrechten. Aung San Suu Kyi was wereldwijd bekend als vrijheidsicoon. De Nobelprijs voor de Vrede, die ze in 1989 al had gekregen, was daarbij behulpzaam. De slechte reputatie van het bewind hielp niet bepaald om bijvoorbeeld toeristen naar het land te krijgen. Ook Westerse ondernemers aarzelden, niet omdat zij de hardhandig afgedwongen arbeidsrust niet waardeerden, maar wel omdat zij bang waren voor reputatieschade. Een land dat zich van dit soort afwegingen weinig aan trok, was China, dat in 1989 met haar democratische protestbeweging had gedaan wat Myanmar in 1988 had gepresteerd. China en Myanmar ontwikkelden economisch vrij nauwe banden. Maar dat zette de onafhankelijkheid van de Myanmarese staat weer onder druk.

Voordat deze afwegingen tot een koerswijziging leidden, nam de straat haar rol weer op. In augustus 2007 begonnen demonstraties tegen een verhoging van de brandprijzen. Al snel escaleerde die tot een nieuwe volksopstand, met boeddhistische monniken in een symbolische hoofdrol. Die stellingname van monniken raakte de legitimatie van het regime, en raakte tegelijk ook een gevoelige snaar bij de boeddhistische stadsbevolking. Die juichten de optochten van monniken op de straten toe. Maar het deel van de boeddhistische geestelijkheid dat protesteerde, profileerde zichzelf als leiding van de protesten, en de rest van de bevolking eerder als supporters dan als gelijkwaardige deelnemers. Toen de boeddhistische generaals de stap zetten om boeddhistische monniken hardhandig te onderdrukken, stond de rest van de volksbeweging – die veelal huizenhoog tegen de monniken opkeek – feitelijk met lege handen. Wederom kwam het militaire bewind als overwinnaar uit de bus, mede dankzij de geschetste zwakke plekken in de protestbeweging. Opstanden die niet tot het uiterste gaan, die niet de actieve deelname van heel haar sociale basis aanvuurt maar een groot deel ervan als achterban in de achterhoede laat lopen, zulke opstanden leggen het af tegen een vastberaden bewind dat bereid is om het vuur op vreedzame demonstranten te laten openen.

Een beetje democratie

De generaals zullen opgelucht adem hebben gehaald. Tegelijk zaten ze nog steeds in dat isolement. Voor een winstgevende, concurrerende economie hebben zelfs de meest corrupte generaals toch graag investeerders over de vloer. En die bleven nog steeds grotendeels weg. Het bewind besloot tot een heel voorzichtige democratische opening, om te beginnen met een nieuwe grondwet. Die werd er in 2008 met een referendum doorgejast, en garandeerde bij verkiezingen sowieso 25 procent van de zetels in het belangrijkste parlementaire lichaam aan de militairen. Veel stelde dat nog niet voor. Tegelijk werd de repressie gaandeweg minder, en kwamen er ook gesprekken met opstandsbewegingen tegen het centrale gezag. Intussen vonden in de industriële zones her en der stakingen plaats van textielarbeiders. Er rommelde iets. De generaals zullen zich gerealiseerd hebben dat een volgend 1988 of 2007 wel eens iets minder goed voor ze kon aflopen. Waar onderdrukking te riskant wordt, daar wil inkapseling via bescheiden concessies wel eens uitkomst bieden. Ook dat soort afwegingen zal de heersers richting democratisering hebben getrokken.

Doorslaggevend was waarschijnlijk Westerse druk. Die had twee redenen. Enerzijds worden Westerse politici graag gezien als voorstanders van vrijheid en democratie. Mensenrechten zijn dus een propagandawapen. Door Myanmar ermee om de oren te slaan kon een Obama of ene Blair aan kiezers in eigen land dus populariteitspunten scoren. Het kostte niets, want zaken doen met Myanmar deden ze toch al weinig.

De tweede reden is complexer, en wellicht nog cynischer. Westerse mogendheden houden op een bepaalde manier werkelijk van democratie! Dat komt omdat de multinationale ondernemingen waar ze steun aan verlenen, op een zeer specifieke wijze baat hebben bij democratisch bestuur, in vergelijking althans met het soort dictatuur dat Myanmar was. Zo’n dictatuur is corrupt en gesloten. Die corruptie, daar is voor multinationale ondernemers best mee te leven. Het kost iets, maar je krijgt er wat voor terug. Maar in dictaturen neemt corruptie de vorm aan van een zodanig soort vriendjespolitiek, dat de meeste multinationale ondernemers buiten spel staan, De generaals van Myanmar bevoordeelden zichzelf, elkaar en familieleden. General Motors, Philips en hoe ze maar mogen heten, hebben in zo’n structuur het nakijken. Wat zulke ondernemers dus willen, is een eerlijk speelveld waarin ook zij aan de concurrentiestrijd mee kunnen doen. Ze willen niet door corrupte generaals of partijbazen buiten de deur gehouden worden.

Welnu, de ondernemersbehoefte aan een eerlijk speelveld, faire concurrentieverhoudingen, vertaalt zich politiek in de norm van de ‘rechtsstaat’, met electorale democratie en al. Een rechtsstaat, zodat je oneerlijke concurrentie kunt aanvechten. Een meer onafhankelijke media, zodat corruptie en vriendjespolitiek blootgelegd en aangeklaagd kunnen worden. Concurrerende politici en politieke groeperingen – en dus vrije verkiezingen – zodat geen vaste kliek van machthebbers permanent iedere buitenstaander buiten spel blijft zetten. Daarin is de verheven retoriek over rechtsstaat, vrijheid en democratie geworteld. Op een bepaalde manier menen Westerse staatshoofden en regeringsleiders deze retoriek nog ook. Het is een bloemrijke formulering van het soort openheid voor multinationale ondernemingen wiens boodschappers die regeringsleiders in en staatshoofden in zekere zin zijn.

De machthebbers in Myanmar zullen zich gerealiseerd hebben dat ze democratie moesten aanbieden om multinationale ondernemingen binnen te halen, Dus boden ze, heel voorzichtig maar gaandeweg iets voortvarender, democratie aan. Natuurlijk hielden ze hun repressie-apparaat intact. Natuurlijk waakten ze voor hun eigen belangen. Maar er kwamen wel degelijk min of meer vrije verkiezingen, die in 2016 de NLD een grote meerderheid bezorgden, waarna Aung San Suu Kyi regeringsleidster werd in een voor haar gecreëerde positie als Staatsraad. De maatschappij ontdooide. De angst die diep in de vezels van mensen was gaan zitten, werd gaandeweg minder.

Terreur tegen Rohingya

Intussen waren de generaals echter niet alleen kersverse democraten. Het waren altijd ook nog Myanmar-nationalisten. Datzelfde gold voor Aung San Suu Kyi. Aanzienlijke delen van de bevolking voelde zich daar nogal ongemakkelijk bij, met goede reden. Zo waren er de Rohingya in het westen van Myanmar. Geen boeddhisten maar moslims – en dus voor boeddhistische nationalisten bij voorbaat verdacht. Vanuit de Rohingya kwam een activistische, deels gewapende beweging op. Die voerde op vrij kleine schaal verzetsdaden uit, vooral maar niet uitsluitend tegen militaire posten en dergelijke. Dat werd het voorwendsel voor het leger om de Rohingya-bevolking grootschalig aan te vallen, te verdrijven en hier aan daar rechtstreeks uit te moorden. Dat was in 2016-2017. ‘Minstens 6700 Rohingya, waaronder op zijn minst 730 kinderen jonger dan vijf jaar, zijn gedood in de maand nadat het geweld uitbrak. Volgens de medische liefdadigheidsorganisatie Medicins Sans Frontieres (MSF) Amnesty International zegt dat de militairen van Myanmar ook Rohingya vrouwen en kinderen hebben misbruikt en verkracht’. In Rakhine, de provincie waar de Rohingya wonen, zijn nu nog 500.000 van hen. Meer dan 600.000 Rohingya zijn gevlucht naar Bangladesh, al is ‘verdreven’ misschien een beter woord.(2)

De smoes was dat de Rohingya geen ‘echte’ Myanmarezen waren, maar immigranten die eigenlijk niet in Myanmar thuishoorden. Achter de massamoorden en de verdrijving zat een soortgelijke dynamiek als achter de Armeense genocide die de Turkse staat doorvoerde, en de genocide op Tutsi’s in Rwanda in 1995. Ook daar was gewapend verzet vanuit organisaties binnen deze bevolkingsgroep het voorwendsel om de bevolkingsgroep als zodanig van de aardbodem of minstens van het grondgebied van de staat – te doen verdwijnen. De anti-Rohingya-campagne was tegelijk een manier van de machthebbers om zich als echte nationalisten te profileren.

Wat deed intussen de winnares van de Nobelprijs van de vrede. Aung San Suu Kyi? Zij praatte de repressie in grote lijnen goed, en steunde daarmee de generaals. Ook zij had een reputatie te verliezen als Myanmar-nationalist. Ze koos ervoor om op dit thema geen ruzie met de generaals te zoeken. Ze maakte zich daarmee feitelijk medeplichtig aan de genocidale politiek van die generaals. Dat kostte haar een groot deel van haar reputatie bij mensenrechtensupporters buiten Myanmar.

Maar in Myanmar zelf waren nogal wat mensen het met de vijandige politiek jegens de Rohinya niet zo oneens. Nationalisme verbond een groot deel van de bevolking met zowel Aung San Suu Kyi als met de generaals, die achter de schermen nog steeds machtig waren. De vrijheidsliefde van deze bevolking strekte zich bepaald niet automatisch uit tot erkenning van de rechten en vrijheden van alle, ook niet-boeddhistische, bevolkingsgroepen. Rohingya vonden te weinig gehoor in Myanmar buiten hun eigen vervolgde gemeenschap.

Relatieve uitzondering: de punk-gemeenschap die ook Myanmar rijk is. ‘“Deze is voor Wirathu – kijk eens wat je hebt gedaan”, schreeuwt de leadzanger, verwijzend naar een van Myanmar’s meest prominente nationalisten, voordat hij zich stort in een song over religieus geweld’, zo lezen we al op 2015 op Aljazeera, in een reportage over hoe punks tegen de opgeklopte anti-moslim-haat stelling namen.(3) Wirathu, een boeddhistische monnik en een felle anti-Rohingya, nationalist, was gangmaker van die haat. In 2015 nam de regering wetgeving aan die moslims – en dus Rohingya ook – onder druk zette en in een soort uitzonderingspositie plaatste. Wirathu en zijn organisatie hadden deze wetgeving bepleit. Helemaal onweersproken bleef het anti-Rohingya-chauvinisme gelukkig niet, en van de meer extreme uitingen distantieerde het regime zich soms ook. Wirathu viel in ongenade en werd uiteindelijk gearresteerd, maar dat was vooral omdat hij de militairen aanmoedigde om Aung San Suu Kyi af te zetten.(4) Aan de repressieve houding die staat, militairen en Aung San Suu Kyi tegenover de Rohingya innamen, veranderde weinig.

Staatsgreep

Er gonsde meer in de maatschappij dan een kritische punkscene in Yangon, de belangrijkste stad. Er was een vrij radicale studentenbeweging. Nu en dan waren er ook stakingen van fabrieksarbeiders. In 2019 was er zelfs een serieuze stakingsgolf(5). Het was allemaal redelijk pril. Maar wat begon als een opportunistische democratische wending van bovenaf, werd van onderop wel degelijk benut om meer ruimte te zoeken voor een rechtstreekse strijd, voor lotsverbetering en meer vrijheid, en hier en daar ook tegen giftig nationalisme. Of ‘democratie’ het passende woord is, mag je je afvragen. De militaire leiding oefende nog steeds veel invloed uit, en had ook nogal wat economische belangen. Maar vrijere maatschappelijke verhoudingen en stemmingen hadden wortel geschoten. De angst was niet meer als vanouds, en dat was wel degelijk een verbetering. Al snel zou blijken hoe bedreigd die vrijheid nog altijd was.

In november 2020 waren er verkiezingen in Myanmar. Er was een oppositie die aan de militairen was gelieerd. En er was de nog steeds populaire NLD, met Aung San Suu Kyi als aanvoerster. Als de militairen gedacht hadden dat de meeste mensen genoeg op haar en haar regeringspartij waren uitgekeken om hun stem eens aan de pro-militaire oppositie te geven, vergisten die militairen zich. De NLD won tamelijk overweldigend. De legerleiding riep ‘Fraude!’ maar kwam niet met bewijs. Eind januari hintte Zaw Min Tun, generaal en militair woordvoerder: ‘We zeggen niet dat de Tatmadaw de macht zal grijpen; maar we sluiten het ook niet uit.’. Die Tatmadaw, dat was dus het militaire apparaat in Myanmar, dat duidelijk genoeg had van een rol als door breed gesteunde burgerpolitici enigszins opzij geduwde indirecte machthebber. De Tatmadaw zocht kennelijk zekerheid en ongebreidelde macht. Overigens kwamen na deze griezelige hint geruststellende woorden. De hint bleek echter vooruit te wijzen naar de realiteit: enkele dagen later was de militaire staatsgreep een feit.

Nervositeit vanwege de kracht en populariteit van de NLD en haar aanvoerster speelde als motief voor de staatsgreep een rol. Ik denk dat er nog een factor was. De militaire machthebbers hadden de democratische opening gelanceerd om economische redenen, om onder Westerse druk uit te komen zodat bedrijven in Myanmar wilden investeren en de economie tot bloei zou komen. Dat was maar matig gelukt, en de verontwaardiging over de vervolging van de Rohingya dreigde opnieuw tot Westerse druk op Myanmar te leiden. Daarmee werd de democratie, bezien vanuit de machthebbers, enigszins overbodig. Aangezien Democratie draagt ook het gevaar in zich draagt uit de hand te lopen – als de de bevolking democratische beloftes op haar eigen manier serieus gaat nemen en zelfstandige vrijheidsdrang gaat ontplooien. Een riskante democratie, die ook nog eens niet de door de machthebbers beoogde economische voordelen oplevert waarom ze was ingevoerd, die kun je net zo goed weer afdanken, of minstens drastisch in staatsveiliger richting verbouwen.

De staatsgreep werd beklonken met arrestaties van veel NLD-politici, waaronder Aung San Suu Kyi zelf. De president werd afgezet, de vicepresident werd president en droeg de macht meteen over aan legerleider Min Aung Hlaing (7). Kort na de staatsgreep maakte de nieuwe/oude machthebbers hun plannen bekend: een jaar noodtoestand, gevolgd door nieuwe verkiezingen. Je mag aannemen dat de militaire top de zaak wel zo zou organiseren dat die verkiezingen een militair wenselijke uitslag zouden krijgen. Anders hadden ze zich net zo goed bij de huidige verkiezingsuitslag neer kunnen leggen.

Opstand!

De eerste 24 uur na de staatsgreep gebeurde er vrij weinig spectaculairs. Zou er een grootschalige repressiegolf op touw worden gezet, met massa-arrestaties? Zou er protest komen? En hoe zouden de kersverse dictatuur daar op reageren? Wie zich ook maar een beetje verdiept heeft in de opstanden van 1988 en 2007 en het staatsgeweld dat machthebbers ontketenden, realiseerde zich hoe griezelig de situatie was en nog kon worden. De bevolking va Myanmar had gegronde reden voor grote bezorgdheid en angst. Al snel bleek dat heel veel mensen zich niet door die angst lieten verlammen. De bereidheid om voor vrijheid te vechten en aanzienlijke risico’s te nemen, brak door de angst heen en bracht mensen in beweging.

Al binnen 48 uur weerklonk er protestgeluid: mensen in de grootste stad Yangun maakten lawaai met potten, pannen, ratels en dergelijke, tien minuten lang. Al snel gebeurde er meer. ‘Een docentenfederatie riep op tot de vrijlating van vastgezette politici en studentenleiders. Yangon Youth Network kondigde een campagne voor burgerlijke ongehoorzaamheid aan, en artsen in Mandalay weigerden te werken onder de militaire junta’.(8) Dat meldde de Guardian op 2 februari. De BBC voegde toe: ‘Jeugd- en studentengroepen riepen ook op tot een campagne van burgerlijke ongehoorzaamheid, en een Facebook-groep voor de campagne verwierf 100.000 Likes. Artsen die werkten in regeringsziekenhuizen zeiden dat ze het werk vanaf woensdag neer zouden leggen om te pushen voor de vrijlating van mevrouw Suu Kyi.’ Een anestesiologist had zelfs uit protest ontslag genomen.(9) Andrew Nachemson, op 3 februari in Aljazeera: ‘Frontline gezondheidswerkers van meer dan 70 medische eenheden en ziekenhuizen in het land kondigden een staking aan vanaf woensdag en weigerden om om te werken voor het militaire bewind’. Een arts keek verder dan de eigen beroepsgroep: ‘Hoewel wij, de medische werkers, de beweging op gang hebben gebracht, willen we dat andere departementen van de overheid ook meedoen. Als meer departementen betrokken worden bij de burgerlijke ongehoorzaamheidscampagne, dan hebben we het gevoel dat het regeringsapparaat ophoudt te bewegen.’(10)

Op donderdag 4 februari vonden er al kleine straatprotesten plaats in Mandalay en in Yangun. In Mandalay verdreef de politie de betogers en arresteerde vier mensen, In Yangon riepen mensen ‘Laat de junta vallen!’ ‘Ze hieven hun hand in het drievingerige groet, het gebaar dat gebruikt wordt door Thaise pro-democratie-betogers’.(11) Op 5 februari namen docenten deel aan de strijd: ‘honderden docenten en studenten verzamelden zich voor campusgebouwen van de Yangon University of Education in Yangun’, aldus Aljazeera op die dag.(12) ‘Een lid van de staf schatte dat 200 van de staf van 246 op de univeriteit zich bij het protest aansloten.’ Deelnemers maakten hun positie glashelder: ‘We willen deze militaire staatsgreep die op onwettige wijze onze gekozen regering de macht greep uit handen van onze gekozen regering.’ Dat is nog keurig rechtsstatelijk democratisch. Maar kijk hoe strijdbaar ze zich opstellen: ‘We gaan niet langer met ze werken. We willen dat de staatsgreep mislukt.’ Deze mensen zijn het stadium van protesteren en vragen voorbij en hebben het terrein van de directe actie welbewust betreden. Het bewind sloot intussen de toegang tot allerlei sociale media maar af, het standaardrecept van regimes die nerveus worden van protesterende mensen.

Op 6 februari bleek de protestgolf aanzienlijk gegroeid, met duizenden demonstranten in Yangun. “het zou gaan om het grootste protest sinds de militairen de controle in het land overnamen’, aldus Nu.nl bij een illustratief videofilmpje(13). De NOS: ‘In Myanmar hebben tienduizenden gedemonstreerd tegen de staatsgreep van het leger, begin deze week.’ Het bericht gaf mooie details: In de grootste stad Yangun riepen demonstranten leuzen tegen de militaire dictatuur en voor democratie. Van de mensen langs de kant kregen ze water en eten aangereikt. Automobilisten gaven blijk van hun steun door op hu claxon te drukken en de betogers met drie vingers te begroeten.’ Het bericht meldde ook demonstraties in Mandalay, en in de hoofdstad Naypyidaw.(14) Dat laatste is best opmerkelijk: die hoofdstad is nieuw gebouwd in opdracht van militaire machthebbers. Er wonen vooral regeringsbureaucraten. Dat ook daar mensen protesteren, is geen gunstig teken voor het staatsgezag.

Zondag 7 februari, soortgelijke taferelen.(15) Yangun, wederom vele duizenden mensen. Elders: honderd betogers Mawlamyine aan de kust, en ook een protestbijeenkomst in Mandalay. Maar ook dit: ‘Een andere menigte van honderden mensen bracht de nacht door buiten een politiebureau in de stad Payathonzu in de staat Karen in het zuidoosten, waar gedacht werd dat plaatselijke NLD-wetgevers waren gearresteerd.’ Actie in Karen: dat betekent dat ook buiten de steden en regio waar de grootste bevolkingsgroep woont, protest op gang komt. Ook dat is gunstig: zo blijft de volksopstand, want daarvan was intussen sprake, staatspogingen tot verdeel en heers makkelijker voor.

Ajjazeera heeft ook interessante informatie over de protesten van 7 februari.(16) In Yangon zijn maar liefst drie demonstraties geweest. Over een ervan lezen we: ‘duizenden mensen – waaronder fabrieksarbeiders en studenten prominent aanwezig waren – marcheerden op zaterdag een hoofdstraat door terwijl ze riepen: “Military dictator. fail, fail. Democracy, win, win” ‘ Die leus vertaal ik niet, die is duidelijk zat. Verder: ‘Nog eens duizenden waren de straat op gegaan in de tweede stad van Myanmar, Mandalay, en in haar door de militairen gebouwde hoofdstad Naypyidaw, thuis voor de overheidsbureaucraten van het land, waar demonstranten anti-staatsgreepleuzen scandeerden en om de vrijlating van Aung San Suu Kyi riepen.’ In Myawaddy vielen politieagenten demonstranten aan en namen ze onder vuur, het is niet duidelijk waarmee precies.

Zo ging het maar verder. Maandag 8 februari: de NOS sprak van ‘vele duizenden demonstranten’ in het land.(17) Het militaire bewind voerde intussen de repressie op. ‘In de hoofdstad Naypyidaw is korte tijd een waterkanon ingezet tegen demonstranten.’ Veel demonstranten weer in Yangun. Daar ‘ trokken boeddhistische monniken samen met studenten, leraren en andere betogers in protestmars door de straten.’ Een oproep tot algemene staking vond verspreiding. ‘Tot de staking is opgeroepen door onder anderen de bekende activist Min Ko Naing, een van de leiders van de protestbeweging tegen de toenmalige dictatuur die in 1988 begon.’ Een stem vanuit een eerdere protestgeneratie dus. Zo worden vonken en vlammen doorgegeven. En dat de regering nu al een waterkanon in de hoofdstad, dat gloednieuwe regeringsbolwerk, meende nodig te hebben was een erkenning van de kracht die de opstand intussen heeft bereikt.

Aljazeera berichtte tevens over protesten elders, niet alleen in Yangun en Naypyidaw. In Dawei bijvoorbeeld, maar ook in Myitkyina.(8) Dat is de hoofdstad van Kachin, ook een deelstaat waar een van de minderheidsgroepen woont die met gegronde reden het centrale gezag – van de generaals, maar toen ze regeerde ook van Aung San Suu Kyi – wantrouwden. Dat wantrouwen zal niet weg zijn, maar hoe ze ook tegen de NLD-aanvoerster aan kijken, de afwijzing van de dictatuur hebben ze gemeen met haar aanhang. Dit is geen NLD-protest op zich, al is duidelijk dat die NLD en Aung San Suu Kyi nog altijd veel steun genieten onder de bevolking. Dit is veel meer. Dit is een opstand van de bevolking van Myanmar in haar veelvormigheid tegen haar militaire onderdrukkers. Bij het bericht van Aljazeera staat trouwens een landkaartje met stippen op plaatsen waar op 7 februari protest heeft plaatsgevonden. Ik tel minstens 70 van die stippen, van het uiterste zuiden tot ver in het noorden van het land.

Op dindag 9 februari escaleerde de onderdrukking, het bewind had intussen een samenscholingsverbod afgekondigd: samen komen met meer dan vijf personen was verboden. Mensen gingen evengoed de straat op en demonstreerden. In de hoofdstad Naypyidaw zette de politie eerst een waterkanon in, en opende vervolgens het vuur nadat demonstranten terug waren gaan vechten. ‘Ze vuurden eerst twee keer waarschuwingsschoten in de lucht, toen vuurden ze [op betogers] met rubber kogels”, aldus citeert persbureau AFP een bewoner. Aljazeera, waaruit ik hier put, meldt ook de arrestatie van twee actievoerders in Mandalay en de inzet van een waterkanon in Bago.(19) Intussen spreekt de NOS van politie die in Mandalay ‘wild om zich heen slaat’ en van ‘ waarschuwingsschoten’. ‘Er zouden meer dan twintig mensen gearresteerd zijn’. Het bericht spreekt over gewonden . ‘Online circuleren berichten over schietpartijen en doden onder demonstranten, maar die zijn onbevestigd.’

Dat doet inmiddels denken aan de 2007, en zelfs aan het bloedbad dat het militaire regime in 1988 aanrichtte om de revolutie neer te slaan. Gaat die tragedie zich herhalen? De repressie begint in die richting te wijzen. Maar er staan zaken tegenover die een minder ongunstige afloop minstens denkbaar maken.

Allereerst reist het nieuws nu nog sneller, en kunnen ook actievoerders veel vlugger communiceren. Het is minder eenvoudig om een opstand in bloedbad te verzuipen zonder dat daar onmiddellijk reacties op komen waar het bewind echt last van kan hebben, en vooral zonder dat de opstand verder wordt aangewakkerd. In 1988 hoefde het bewind geen internet stil te leggen en geen sociale media te blokkeren. Nu wel, en dat laat zwakte zien, geen kracht. In de tweede plaats kennen mensen hun vijand: precies de soort repressie waarmee het bewind in 1988 optrad, is een extra motief om alles op alles te zetten om de militaire dictatuur te verslaan. In de derde plaats zijn er in de nu abrupt afgebroken tijd van halfslachtige democratisering sociale netwerken en bewegingen opgekomen die niet zo heel makkelijk meer opgerold kunnen worden.

In de vierde en niet bepaald laatste plaats: er zijn inmiddels beginnetjes van een arbeidersbeweging die haar laatste woord tegenover haar onderdrukkers bepaald nog niet heeft gesproken. Demonstranten kan het leger van de straat schieten. Maar als de oproepen tot een algemene staking werkelijk aanslaan, is het bewind met lege straten nog steeds niet uit de problemen. Die algemene staking is er nog niet, maar er zijn wel degelijk mensen die deze kant op bewegen. De BBC schrijft over het protest van maandag 7 februari:(20) ‘Tienduizenden kwamen maandag bijeen in de hoofdstad Naypyitaw voor de staking, met andere steden zoals Mandalay en Yangun die ook melding maken van aanzienlijke aantallen, aldus BBC Burmese. De betogers omvatten leraren, advocaten, bankpersoneelsleden en overheidsarbeiders’. Dat is het slag betogers dat we de eerste dagen al zagen.

Maar dan dit: ‘Online zijn er oproepen geweest aan arbeiders om niet naar het werk te gaan. “Dit is een werkdag maar we gaan niet naar het werk, al worden onze salarissen gekort”, zei een betoger, de 28-jarige Hnin Thazin, arbeider in een kledingfabriek, tegen persbureau AFP’. ‘We’ gaan niet naar het werk. Dat is al meer dan ‘ik ga niet naar het werk’. Zoiets wijst op iets van collectieve stakingsactie, en dat is een hoopvol teken. Het is veel en veel te vroeg om de opstand in Myanmar als verloren te beschouwen. Het is intussen wel de hoogste tijd om tot concrete daden van solidariteit met de dappere demonstranten in dat door dictatuur getergde land te komen.

Noten:

1 Lambert Teuwissen, ‘“Leger Myanmar voelt zich bedreigd door populariteit Aung San Suu Kyi”’, NOS, 1 februari 2021, https://nos.nl/artikel/2366929-leger-myanmar-voelt-zich-bedreigd-door-populariteit-aung-san-suu-kyi.html

2 ‘Myanmar Rohingya: What you need to know about the ctrisis’, BBC, 23 januari 2020, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-41566561 De genocidale vervolging van de Rohingya is een afzonderlijk artikel meer dan waard.

3 Hanna Hindstrom, ‘Myanmar’s punk rockers challenge anti-Muslim rhetoric’, Aljazeera, 3 november 2015, https://www.aljazeera.com/features/2015/11/3/myanmars-punk-rockers-challenge-anti-muslim-rhetoric

4 ‘Ashin Wirathu’, wikipedia.orghttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ashin_Wirathu gecheckt op 10 februari 2021

5 Kevin Lin en Michael Haack, ‘Myanmar’s Labor Movement Is Central to the Fight Against Authoritarianism – An interview with Ma Moe Sandar Myint– ’, Jacobin, 3 februari 2021, https://www.jacobinmag.com/2021/02/myanmar-labor-movement-authoritarianism-coup

6 ‘Leger Myanmar klaagt over verkiezingsfraude en wil coup niet uitsluiten’, NOS, 30 januari 2021, https://nos.nl/artikel/2366576-leger-myanmar-klaagt-over-verkiezingsfraude-en-wil-coup-niet-uitsluiten.html

7 ‘Myanmar coup: who are the military figures running the country?’ The Guardian, 2 februari 2021, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/feb/02/myanmar-coup-who-are-the-military-figures-running-the-country

8 ‘The night of pots and pans are back, on Myanmar’s fearful street’, The Guardian, 2 februari 2021, https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2021/feb/02/the-nights-of-pots-and-pans-are-back-on-myanmar-fearful-streets

9 ‘Myanmar coup: Medics to strike as anger at military grows’, BBC, 2 februari 2021, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-55906536

10 Andres Nachemson, ‘Medics in Myanmar on strike against military amid COVID -19 crisis’, Aljazeera, 3 februari 2021, https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/2/3/medics-in-myanmar-on-strike-against-military-amid-covid-crisis

11 ‘Myanmar coup: Army blocks Facebook access as civil disobedience grows’, The Guardian, 4 februari 2021, https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2021/feb/04/myanmar-coup-army-blocks-facebook-access-as-civil-disobedience-grows

12 ‘Myanmar teachers join protests as anger gathers pace against coup’, Aljazeera, 5 februari 2021, https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/2/5/we-dont-want-this-military-coup-myanmar-teachers-join-protest

13 ‘Duizenden Myanmarezen de straat op tegen staatsgreep’, Nu.nl, 6 februari 2021, https://www.nu.nl/285728/video/duizenden-myanmarezen-de-straat-op-tegen-staatsgreep.html

14 ‘Tienduizenden protesteren tegen staatsgreep in Myanmar’, NOS, 6 februari 2021, https://nos.nl/artikel/2367584-tienduizenden-protesteren-tegen-staatsgreep-in-myanmar.html

15 Rebecca Ratcliffe, ‘“We cannot accept the coup” Myanmar protests despite internet blackout’, The Guardian, 7 februari 2021, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/feb/06/myanmar-military-shuts-down-internet-as-thousands-protest-against-coup

16 ‘Tens of thousands protest Myanmar coup, internet blackout eased’, Aljazeera, 7 februari 2021, https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/2/7/near-total-internet-shutdown-in-myanmar-as-coup-protests-spread

17 ‘Week na coup gaat protest door, politie gebruikt waterkanon in hoofdstad’, https://nos.nl/artikel/2367777-week-na-coup-gaat-protest-myanmar-door-politie-gebruikt-waterkanon-in-hoofdstad.html

18 ‘Myanmar military warns of “action” as protests grow’, Aljazeera, 8 februari 2021, https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/2/8/myanmar-prepares-for-strike-as-opposition-to-coup-intensifies

19 ‘Myanmar forces fire rubber bullets, warning shots at protesters’, Aljazeera, 9 februari 2021, https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/2/9/myanmar-protesters-defiant-amid-ban-on-large-gatherings

20 ‘Myanmar coup leader defends action amid mass protests’, BBC, maandag 8 februari 2021/dinsdag 9 februari 2021, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-55975746

Peter Storm

Reacties uitgeschakeld voor [Artikel Peter Storm]/Myanmar: opstand tegen staatsgreep

Opgeslagen onder Divers

Aung San Suu Kyi vast in Myanmar/NOS teletekstredactie, vermeld Aung San Suu Kyi’s kwalijke rol in de Rohingya humanitaire crisis!

AUNG SAN SUU KYI VAST IN MYANMAR/NOS TELETEKSTREDACTIE/VERMELD AUNG SAN SUU KYI’S KWALIJKE ROL IN DE ROHINGYAHUMANITAIRE CRISIS!

Aung San Suu Kyi in 2013
State Counsellor of Myanmar


AUNG SAN SUU KYI, NOBELPRIJSWINNARES VAN DEVREDE-TEN ONRECHTE!ONTKENNER MISDADEN TEGEN DE ROHINGYAS
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aung_San_Suu_Kyi

Rohingya-vluchtelingen op de grens tussen Maleisië en Thailand, afgelopen voorjaar. AFPHTTPS://NOS.NL/ARTIKEL/2314213-AUNG-SAN-SUU-KYI-BIJ-GERECHTSHOF-WE-KUNNEN-WEINIG-BEROUW-VERWACHTEN.HTML

Aung San Suu Kyi in 2013
State Counsellor of Myanmar


AUNG SAN SUU KYI, NOBELPRIJSWINNARES VAN DEVREDE-TEN ONRECHTE!ONTKENNER MISDADEN TEGEN DE ROHINGYAS
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aung_San_Suu_Kyi

Rohingya-vluchtelingen op de grens tussen Maleisië en Thailand, afgelopen voorjaar. AFPHTTPS://NOS.NL/ARTIKEL/2314213-AUNG-SAN-SUU-KYI-BIJ-GERECHTSHOF-WE-KUNNEN-WEINIG-BEROUW-VERWACHTEN.HTML
EEN MARKT IN HET KUTUPALONG VLUCHTELINGENKAMP. SINDS 2017 ZIJN MEER DAN 700.000 ROHINGYA NAAR BANGLADESH GEVLUCHT. AFPHTTPS://NOS.NL/ARTIKEL/2314213-AUNG-SAN-SUU-KYI-BIJ-GERECHTSHOF-WE-KUNNEN-WEINIG-BEROUW-VERWACHTEN.HTML
HTTPS://WWW.ASTRIDESSED.NL/AUNG-SAN-SUU-KYI-VAST-IN-MYANMAR-NOS-TELETEKSTREDACTIE-VERMELD-AUNG-SAN-SUU-KYIS-KWALIJKE-ROL-IN-DE-ROHINGYA-HUMANITAIRE-CRISIS/

Brief aan NOS Teletekstredactie:

AAN

NOS TELETEKST REDACTIE

Onderwerp

Uw berichtgeving dd 1 februari 2021

Onderwerp: Aung San Suu Kyi vast in Myanmar

Kritiek: Onvolledige en daardoor tendentieuze berichtgeving

Aung San Suu Kyi’s onverdedigbare bagatellisering van

de misdaden tegen de Rohingya’s en haar eigen verantwoordelijkheid als

regeringsleider.

Geachte Redactie,

[Mocht u geen tijd hebben, de hele brief te lezen, spring dan over

naar de Epiloog]

In het recente en eerdere verleden heb ik u vaak gewezen op het belang

van evenwichtige en volledige berichtgeving en aangegeven waarin u,

mijns inziens, de fout inging. [1]

Mijn meest recente commentaar op uw berichtgeving dateert dd 11 januari anno Domini 2021 en het betrof het Midden-Oostenconflict.

Zie de volledige mail geheel onderin.

Of zie mijn website, noot 2

Vandaag richt ik mijn pijlen op uw berichtgeving dd 1 fenruari

”Aung San Suu Kyi vast in Myanmar”

Het betreft huidig regeringsleider en Nobelprijswinnares Aung San 

Suu Kyi [3]

U schrijft in uw berichtgeving

”In Myanmar zijn regeringsleider Aung San Suu Kyi en een aantalkabinetsleden opgepakt, zegt de partijwoordvoerder.In meerdere steden ligt internet en telefonie plat.
Het leger dreigde vorige week met een mogelijke staatsgreep.De legertop stelt, dat er verkiezingsfraude is gepleegd in november,toen de partij van Aung San Suu Kyi wederom de absolute meerderheidbehaalde.Volgens waarnemers zijn de verkiezingen eerlijk verlopen.

De winnaar van de Nobelprijs voor de Vrede werd in 2016 na tientallenjaren militair bewind, de eerste democratisch gekozen regeringsleider vanhet land.”Zie ook uw berichtgeving weergegeven, direct onder het notenapparaat.
ONVOLLEDIG EN DAARDOOR TENDENTIEUS:
Wat mij stoort aan uw berichtgeving is het volgende:Na de trieste gebeurtenissen over de vastzetting van Aung San Suu Kyi eneen aantal kabinetsleden en de toen waarschijnlijke [en nu bevestigde] [4] legercoup vermeld te hebben, schrijft u in uw laatste alinea:”De winnaar van de Nobelprijs voor de Vrede werd in 2016 na tientallenjaren militair bewind, de eerste democratisch gekozen regeringsleider vanhet land.”
KLOPT DAT DAN NIET, DAMES EN HEREN VAN DE REDACTIE?Jawel, het klopt wel degelijk, maar het is onvolledig, omdat het eenonjuist beeld geeft van regeringsleider Aung San Suu Kyi:Wel degelijk is haar de Nobelprijs voor de Vrede toegekend, waarbij het Nobelcomite o.a.  heeft opgemerkt [zie Wikipedia]:”… Suu Kyi’s struggle is one of the most extraordinary examples of civil courage in Asia in recent decades. She has become an important symbol in the struggle against oppression …

… In awarding the Nobel Peace Prize for 1991 to Aung San Suu Kyi, the Norwegian Nobel Committee wishes to honour this woman for her unflagging efforts and to show its support for the many people throughout the world who are striving to attain democracy, human rights and ethnic conciliation by peaceful means.” [5]

Daar wil ik niets aan af doen.

Zij HEEFT zich jarenlang geweldloos ingezet in de strijd tegen 

een militaire junta en dat blijft overeind staan.

MAAR……

Er kleeft een ernstige schaduwkant aan de Handel en Wandel van

Aung San Suu Kyi en daaraan had u aandacht dienen te besteden:

AUNG SAN SUU KYI EN DE ROHINGYA’S

Al enige jaren ligt Aung San Suu Kyi onder vuur vanwege haar

houding tegenover de in Myanmar ernstig vervolgde moslim-

minderheid, de Royingya’s:

Van de kant van het Myanmaarse leger zijn oorlogsmisdaden,

misdaden tegen de menselijkheid, genocide en etnische zuiveringen hun

deel.

Lees maar, wat mensenrechtenorganisaties Amnesty International en Human Rights

Watch daarover melden. [6]

ROL VAN AUNG SAN SUU KYI

Welnu, de rol, die Nobeprijswinnares Aung San Suu Kyi hierin

gespeeld heeft, is bepaald niet fraai te noemen:

Want een van de redenen, waarom zij die Nobelprijs

ontvangen heeft, is vanwege haar inzet voor de mensenrechten:

Welnu, Geachte Redactie, over die mensenrechten heeft

Aung San Suu Kyi een geheel eigen opvatting, want uit alles blijkt, dat zij

vindt, dat deze niet op Rohingya’s van toepassing is:

Want Nobelprijswinnares Aung San Suu Kyi heeft lang na haar vrijlating in 2010 het zwijgen bewaard over de stelselmatige misdaden

tegen de Rohingya’s [7]

En voor zover ze WEL sprak, was het al helemaal rampzalig:

Zo vroeg ze zich af, of de Rohingya wel beschouwd konden worden

als burgers van Myanmar [8], ze zo van hun burgerrechten berovend,

en ontkende in een BBC interview in 2013, dat er sprake was van etnische zuiveringen tegen de Rohingya’s [9], ondanks duidelijke bewijzen. [10]

Haar stilte en onverschilligheid werden zo oorverdovend, dat er

consequenties volgden:

Zo werd ze stevig aangesproken door vijf ”collega” Nobelprijswinnaressen voor de vrede in een gezamenlijk ondertekende brief [11]

De dames 

Mairead Maguire [Nobelprijswinnares in 1976, Noord-Ierland]

Jody Williams [Nobelprijswinnares VS, 1977]

Shirin Ebadi    [Nobelprijswinnares Iran, 2003]

Leymah Gbowee [Nobelprijswinnares Liberia, 2011]

Tawakkol Karman [Nobelprijswinnares Yemen, 2011] [12]

Uiteindelijk trok ook Amnesty International de stekker eruit,

door Aung San Suu Kyi de haar toegekende Ambassador

of Conscience Award te ontnemen, die haar in 2009 was

toegekend. [13]

HOOFDVERANTWOORDELIJK

Erger nog dan haar ontkenning van overduidelijke

oorlogsmisdaden, misdaden tegen de menselijkheid

en genocide tegen de Rohingya’s [14] vind ik haar eigen

mede-verantwoordelijkheid, want vanaf het moment,

dat zij regeringsverantwoordelijkheid droeg, was zij

mede-verantwoordelijk voor alle aan de Rohingya’s gepleegde misdaden. [15] 

Vanaf dat moment had/heeft zij bloed aan haar handen.

En zeker vanaf het moment, dat het Internationaal

Strafhof in Den Haag Myanmar heeft opgedragen, de Rohingya moslim minderheid te beschermen, waarmee zij

de facto de misdaden tegen de Rohingya heeft erkend! [16]

Met lof aan het Afrikaanse land Gambia, dat de zaak ten behoeve van de Rohingya aanhangig gemaakt heeft! [17]

Wat helemaal een moreel dieptepunt was, dat Aung San Suu Kyi naar het Internationaal Gerechtshof in Den Haag is

gekomen om voor de regering te getuigen en expiciet

en impliciet het leger in bescherming te nemen, door

de misdaden tegen de Rohingya glashard te ontkennen

en ze ”incompleet en misleidend” te noemen. [18]

EPILOOG

Het is dus duidelijk.

Zoals al opgemerkt, hebt u in uw berichtgeving

dd 1 februari het volgende over de nu vastgezette

regeringsleider Aung San Suu Kyi opgemerkt:

””In Myanmar zijn regeringsleider Aung San Suu Kyi en een aantalkabinetsleden opgepakt, zegt de partijwoordvoerder.In meerdere steden ligt internet en telefonie plat.EN”De winnaar van de Nobelprijs voor de Vrede werd in 2016 na tientallenjaren militair bewind, de eerste democratisch gekozen regeringsleider vanhet land.”Hoewel die berichtgeving op zich klopt, hebt u nagelaten te vermelden, dat regeringsleider en voormalig politiek gevangene Aung San Suu Kyi vanafhaar vrijlating zeer omstreden is geweest vanwege haar ontkenning van enonverschilligheid voor de misdaden tegen de moslim Rohingya minderheidin Myamnar, ondanks de overweldigende bewijzen daartegen.Zie daarvoor noot 6Daarbij heeft zij als regerinsleider verantwoordelijkheidgedragen voor de gecontinueerde misdaden tegen de Rohingyabevolking.Zie daarvoor noot 6Door dit niet te vermelden, wordt ten onrechte een veel te gunstig beeldvan Aung San Suu Kyi geschapen, die solidariteit verdient, omdat zij nudoor de militairen is vastgezet, maar afkeuring vanwege haar aandeelin de misdaden tegen de Rohingya bevolking.Uw taak is het, om een compleet beeld van de situatie tegeven.Doe dat dan ook, zoals uw collegae van Nu.nl wel gedaan hebben. [19]
Bedankt voor het lezen van deze brief.
Vriendelijke groeten
Astrid EssedAmsterdam 
NOTEN
[1]

ASTRID ESSED AAN NOS TELETEKSTREDACTIE
https://www.astridessed.nl/?s=NOS+teletekstredactie

[2]

ISRAEL WIL WEER BOUWEN OP WESTOEVER/NOS TELETEKSTREDACTIE,VERMELD DE ILLEGALITEIT VAN DE NEDERZETTINGEN!ASTRID ESSED12 JANUARI 2021
https://www.astridessed.nl/israel-wil-weer-bouwen-op-westoever-nos-teletekstredactie-vermeld-de-illegaliteit-van-de-nederzettingen/

OF

https://www.dewereldmorgen.be/community/israel-wil-weer-bouwen-op-westoever-nos-teletekstredactie-vermeld-de-illegaliteit-van-de-nederzettingen/

[3]
WIKIPEDIAAUNG SAN SUU KYI
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aung_San_Suu_Kyi

[4]

NU.NL
LEGER MYANMAR PLEEGT STAATSGREEP, OMSTREDENAUNG SAN SUU KYI OPGEPAKT1 FEBRUARI 2021

https://www.nu.nl/buitenland/6113620/leger-myanmar-pleegt-staatsgreep-omstreden-aung-san-suu-kyi-opgepakt.html

Aung San Suu Kyi, de regeringsleider van Myanmar, is in de nacht van zondag op maandag opgepakt door het leger, meldt een woordvoerder van haar partij de Nationale Liga voor Democratie (NLD). Ook meerdere andere prominente leden van de NLD zijn gearresteerd.

Het leger van Myanmar heeft maandag een noodtoestand afgekondigd. Via een videoboodschap op de militaire televisie werd bekendgemaakt dat de macht is overgedragen aan de opperbevelhebber van de strijdkrachten, generaal Min Aung Hlaing.

De afgelopen dagen liep de spanning tussen de regering en het leger van Myanmar op in de nasleep van de verkiezingen in het land. Volgens het leger heeft er bij de verkiezingen fraude plaatsgevonden. Hierdoor werd gevreesd voor een staatsgreep.

Volgens een woordvoerder van Suu Kyi is zij in de vroege ochtend “meegenomen”. Ook president Win Myint zou vastzitten. “Ik wil mensen vragen niet te gehaast te reageren en zich aan de wet te houden”, aldus de woordvoerder, die zegt te verwachten zelf ook aangehouden te worden.

De staatstelevisie van Myanmar laat via Facebook weten dat het niet kan uitzenden vanwege technische problemen. Ook zouden alle telefonische verbindingen met de hoofdstad Naypidaw zijn verbroken. Volgens een BBC-correspondent zijn er veel soldaten op straat in delen van het land.

De woordvoerder van de NLD zei tegen persbureau AFP dat “met de situatie die we nu zien, we kunnen aannemen dat het leger een coup pleegt”.

Australië en VS eisen onmiddellijke vrijlating

Australië waarschuwt dat het leger van Myanmar “probeert de controle te krijgen” in het land en zegt erg bezorgd te zijn over de berichtgeving rondom de situatie. “We roepen het leger op de wet te volgen, geschillen op een wettige manier op te lossen en iedereen die onrechtmatig is opgepakt onmiddellijk vrij te laten”, zegt de Australische minister van Buitenlandse Zaken Marise Payne in een verklaring.

Ook de Amerikaanse president Joe Biden is over de arrestaties ingelicht. De Amerikaanse regering zegt actie te ondernemen als de arrestanten niet worden vrijgelaten. “De VS zal actie ondernemen als de verantwoordelijken deze stappen niet terugdraaien”, staat in een verklaring van het Witte Huis.

Australië en de Verenigde Staten roepen op de verkiezingsuitslag te waarborgen. Japan laat weten nog niet van plan te zijn Japanners uit Myanmar weg te halen. Wel zegt de regering de situatie in de gaten te houden. De Veiligheidsraad van de Verenigde Naties komt deze week bijeen om de “problematische” situatie in Myanmar te bespreken.

Internationale kritiek vanwege genocide Rohingya

Suu Kyi krijgt internationaal veel kritiek vanwege beschuldigingen over genocide op de Rohingya-minderheid, maar blijft in eigen land onverminderd populair. De Rohingya in Myanmar hebben al tientallen jaren te lijden onder de repressie van de overheid en het leger.

De huidige regeringsleider stond bekend om haar geweldloze strijd tegen de onderdrukking door de Myanmarese Junta. Ze won daarvoor meerdere mensenrechtenprijzen, waaronder de Nobelprijs voor de Vrede en de Sacharovprijs. Het Europees Parlement besloot Suu Kyi in september vorig jaar uit het gezelschap van winnaars van de Sacharovprijs te zetten.

EINDE NU BERICHT

[5]

”The decision of the Nobel Committee mentions:[54]

The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 1991 to Aung San Suu Kyi of Myanmar (Burma) for her non-violent struggle for democracy and human rights.

… Suu Kyi’s struggle is one of the most extraordinary examples of civil courage in Asia in recent decades. She has become an important symbol in the struggle against oppression …

… In awarding the Nobel Peace Prize for 1991 to Aung San Suu Kyi, the Norwegian Nobel Committee wishes to honour this woman for her unflagging efforts and to show its support for the many people throughout the world who are striving to attain democracy, human rights and ethnic conciliation by peaceful means.

WIKIPEDIA

AUNG SAN SUU KYI/1990 GENERAL ELECTION AND NOBEL PEACE PRIZE 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aung_San_Suu_Kyi#1990_general_election_and_Nobel_Peace_Prize

ORIGINELE BRON

WIKIPEDIA

AUNG SAN SUU KYI

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aung_San_Suu_Kyi

[6]

” A United Nations-mandated Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) found sufficient evidence to call for the investigation of senior military officials for crimes against humanity and genocide against ethnic Rohingya Muslims. The government has been unwilling to address the root causes of the crises, including systematic persecution and violence, statelessness, and continued military impunity.”
HUMAN RIGHTS WATCHWORLD REPORT 2020MYANMAREVENTS OF 2019
https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2020/country-chapters/myanmar-burma#

”The order follows Gambia’s November 11, 2019 application to the court alleging that abuses by Myanmar’s military in Rakhine State against the Rohingya violate the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide and urgently seeking provisional measures. The ICJ held hearings on Gambia’s provisional measures request in December.”
HUMAN RIGHTS WATCHWORLD COURT RULES AGAINST MYANMAR ON ROHINGYAInternational Court of Justice Unanimously OrdersMeasures to Prevent Genocide23 JANUARI 2020
https://www.hrw.org/news/2020/01/23/world-court-rules-against-myanmar-rohingya

HUMAN RIGHTS WATCHQUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ON GAMBIA’S GENOCIDE CASE AGAINSTMYANMAR BEFORE THE INTERNATIONALCOURT OF JUSTICE5 DECEMBER 2019
https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/12/05/questions-and-answers-gambias-genocide-case-against-myanmar-international-court

HUMAN RIGHTS WATCHWHAT MYANMAR IS AND IS NOT DOING TO PROTECT ROHINGYAS FROM GENOCIDE23 JULI 2020
https://www.hrw.org/news/2020/07/23/what-myanmar-and-not-doing-protect-rohingyas-genocide

HUMAN RIGHTS WATCHBURMA:END ”ETHNIC CLEANSING” OF ROHINGYA MUSLIMS22 APRIL 2013Unpunished crimes against humanity, Humanitarian Crisis in Arakan State
https://www.hrw.org/news/2013/04/22/burma-end-ethnic-cleansing-rohingya-muslims

HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH/REPORTAN OPEN PRISON WITHOUT ENDMYANMAR’S MASS DETENTION OF ROHINGYA INRAKHINE STATE8 OCTOBER 2020
https://www.hrw.org/report/2020/10/08/open-prison-without-end/myanmars-mass-detention-rohingya-rakhine-state#

HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH/REPORTMASSACRE BY THE RIVER19 DECEMBER 2017
https://www.hrw.org/report/2017/12/19/massacre-river/burmese-army-crimes-against-humanity-tula-toli

HUMAN RIGHTS WATCHMYANMAR: MASS DETENTION OF ROGINGYA INSQUALID CAMPSCamp ”Closures” Entrench Confinenent, Prosecution8 OCTOBER 2020
https://www.hrw.org/news/2020/10/08/myanmar-mass-detention-rohingya-squalid-camps

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL
AMNESTY INTERNATIONALNEW EVIDENCE REVEALS ROHINGYA ARMED GROUP MASSACREDSCORES IN RAKHINE STATE22 MAY 2018
https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2018/05/myanmar-new-evidence-reveals-rohingya-armed-group-massacred-scores-in-rakhine-state/

AMNESTY INTERNATIONALMYANMAR: ICC DECISION TO INVESTIGATE ROHINGYA ATROCITIES ‘AN IMPORTANT STEP TOWARDS JUSTICE14 NOVEMBER 2019
https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2019/11/myanmar-icc-referral/

AMNESTY INTERNATIONALWORLD COURT ORDERS MYANMAR TO PROTECT ROHINGYA23 JANUARY 2020
https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2020/01/myanmar-world-court-orders-myanmar-protect-rohingya/

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL WELCOMES ICJ RULING ONMYANMAR AND ROHINGYA TREATMENT
https://www.arabnews.com/node/1617721/world

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL USATHE ROHINGYA CRISIS
https://www.amnestyusa.org/rohingya/

AMNESTY INTERNATIONALROHINGYA CRISIS: MYANMAR’S MILITARY MUSTBE BROUGHT TO JUSTICE17 JANUARY 2020
https://www.amnesty.org.uk/rohingya-crisis-myanmars-military-must-be-brought-justice

AMNESTY INTERNATIONALLEGER VAN MYANMAR ROOFT LAND VANROHINGYA’S12 MAART 2018
https://www.amnesty.nl/actueel/leger-van-myanmar-rooft-land-van-rohingya

[7]

”In 2017, critics called for Aung San Suu Kyi’s Nobel prize to be revoked, citing her silence over the persecution of Rohingya people in Myanmar.[219][220] Some activists criticised Aung San Suu Kyi for her silence on the 2012 Rakhine State riots (later repeated during the 2015 Rohingya refugee crisis), and her indifference to the plight of the Rohingya, Myanmar’s persecuted Muslim minority.[221][222]WIKIPEDIAAUNG SAN SUU KYIRESPONSE TO VIOLENCE AGAINST ROHINGYA MUSLIMS AND REFUGEEShttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aung_San_Suu_Kyi#Response_to_violence_against_Rohingya_Muslims_and_refugees
ORIGINELE BRONWIKIPEDIAAUNG SAN SUU KYI
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aung_San_Suu_Kyi

[8]

” In 2012, she told reporters she did not know if the Rohingya could be regarded as Burmese citizens.[223]WIKIPEDIAAUNG SAN SUU KYIRESPONSE TO VIOLENCE AGAINST ROHINGYA MUSLIMS AND REFUGEEShttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aung_San_Suu_Kyi#Response_to_violence_against_Rohingya_Muslims_and_refugees
ORIGINELE BRONWIKIPEDIAAUNG SAN SUU KYI
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aung_San_Suu_Kyi


[9]

In a 2013 interview with the BBC’s Mishal Husain, Aung San Suu Kyi did not condemn violence against the Rohingya and denied that Muslims in Myanmar have been subject to ethnic cleansing, insisting that the tensions were due to a “climate of fear” caused by “a worldwide perception that global Muslim power is ‘very great'”


WIKIPEDIAAUNG SAN SUU KYIRESPONSE TO VIOLENCE AGAINST ROHINGYA MUSLIMS AND REFUGEES
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aung_San_Suu_Kyi#Response_to_violence_against_Rohingya_Muslims_and_refugees


ORIGINELE BRONWIKIPEDIAAUNG SAN SUU KYI
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aung_San_Suu_Kyi


[10]

HUMAN RIGHTS WATCHBURMA:END ”ETHNIC CLEANSING” OF ROHINGYA MUSLIMS22 APRIL 2013Unpunished crimes against humanity, Humanitarian Crisis in Arakan State
https://www.hrw.org/news/2013/04/22/burma-end-ethnic-cleansing-rohingya-muslims


[11]


OPEN LETTER FROM 5 NOBEL WOMAN LAUREATES TO AUNG SAN SUU KYI: STOP THE PERSECUTION OF ROHINGYA’S18 SEPTEMBER 2017
https://english.shannews.org/archives/16704

Dear State Counsellor and sister Laureate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi,In the years leading to your final release in 2010, your struggle for democracy was ours. Your defiant activism and unimaginable sacrifices profoundly inspired us, and like the rest of the world, we held you as a beacon of hope for Burma and for our human family. Along with other fellow laureates, we worked tirelessly and diligently for your personal freedom.It is thus with deep shock, sadness and alarm that we witness your indifference to the cruelty inflicted upon the Rohingya minority today. Nearly 270,000 people have sought refuge into neighbouring Bangladesh these past two weeks, and a recent UN report has highlighted an all too familiar story: extrajudicial executions; enforced disappearance and arbitrary detention; rape, including gang rape, and other forms of sexual violence. Arson attacks are being launched on civilians and entire villages burnt, leading to what the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights calls “a textbook example of ethnic cleansing”. This is an assault on our humanity as a whole.As Nobel Laureates working under the banner of the Nobel Women’s Initiative, we have supported the groundbreaking work and courage of women activists inside and along the borders of Burma for a decade. Their tireless activism consistently highlights abuses committed by the Burmese military. Just last November the Women’s League of Burma denounced the ferocious militarism that plagues Burma: “[…] we are gravely concerned for the security of women in conflict areas. It is urgently needed for the government to end impunity for state-sponsored sexual violence, and bring the military under civilian control”.As a fellow Nobel Laureate, a worldwide icon for the universal freedom and human rights, and now State Counsellor and de-facto Prime Minister of Burma, you have a personal and moral responsibility to uphold and defend the rights of your citizens.How many Rohingya have to die; how many Rohingya women will be raped; how many communities will be razed before you raise your voice in defense of those who have no voice? Your silence is not in line with the vision of “democracy” for your country that you outlined to us, and for which we all supported you over the years.As women committed to peace, as your sisters and fellow Laureates, we urge you to take a firm stand on this unfolding crisis: recognize Rohingyas as citizens with full rights and take all expedited measures possible to end the persecution of innocent civilians by the Myanmar authorities.In the words of fellow Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu: “If the political price of your ascension to the highest office in Myanmar is your silence, the price is surely too steep.” The time is now for you to stand for the rights of Rohingya people, with the same vigour and conviction so many around the world stood for yours.Sincerely,Mairead Maguire, Nobel Peace Laureate, (1976) – Northern IrelandJody Williams, Nobel Peace Laureate (1997) – United StatesShirin Ebadi, Nobel Peace Laureate (2003) – IranLeymah Gbowee, Nobel Peace Laureate (2011) – LiberiaTawakkol Karman, Nobel Peace Laureate (2011) – Yemen
ZIE OOK
https://www.astridessed.nl/open-letter-from-5-nobel-women-laureates-to-aung-san-suu-kyistop-the-persecution-of-rohingyas/


EINDE BRIEF NOBELPRIJSWINNARESSEN

[12]

WIKIPEDIAMairead Maguire

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mairead_Maguire

WIKIPEDIAJody Williams

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jody_Williams

WIKIPEDIASHIRIN EBADI
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shirin_Ebadi

WIKIPEDIALeymah Gbowee

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leymah_Gbowee

WIKIPEDIATawakkol Karman

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tawakkol_Karman

[13]

[13]
AMNESTY INTERNATIONALAUNG SAN SUU KYI RAAKT AMNESTY AWARD KWIJT12 NOVEMBER 2018
https://www.amnesty.nl/actueel/aung-san-suu-kyi-raakt-amnesty-award-kwijt

Amnesty International heeft Aung San Suu Kyi haar hoogste onderscheiding ontnomen, omdat de regeringsleider van Myanmar op schaamteloze wijze verraad heeft gepleegd aan de waarden waarvoor ze eens stond. Amnesty kende Aung San Suu Kyi de Ambassador of Conscience Award in 2009 toe, toen ze nog in huisarrest zat vanwege haar strijd voor democratie en mensenrechten.

Afgelopen weekend ontving Aung San Suu Kyi een brief van Amnesty’s secretaris-generaal Kumi Naidoo, waarin haar het intrekken van de prijs werd medegedeeld. Naidoo geeft in de brief uitdrukking aan Amnesty’s teleurstelling over het feit dat Aung San Suu Kyi haar politieke en morele gezag niet heeft gebruikt om de mensenrechten, gerechtigheid en gelijkheid in Myanmar te beschermen, maar zich in plaats daarvan onverschillig heeft getoond over de wreedheden waaraan het leger van Myanmar zich schuldig maakt, en de toenemende onderdrukking van de vrije meningsuiting.

Amnesty’s secretaris-generaal schrijft in zijn brief: ‘Wij zijn verbijsterd en geschokt over het feit dat u niet langer een symbool van hoop, moed en de voortdurende strijd voor mensenrechten bent.’

Strijd gaat door

Amnesty ontneemt Aung San Suu Kyi haar onderscheiding precies acht jaar nadat haar jarenlange huisarrest werd opgeheven. Amnesty steunde haar vreedzame en geweldloze strijd voor democratie en mensenrechten en zette zich in voor haar vrijlating. Toen Aung San Suu Kyi in 2012 eindelijk in de gelegenheid was om de Ambassador of Conscience Award in ontvangst te nemen, vroeg ze Amnesty om ‘aan ons te blijven denken en ons te helpen om een land te worden waar hoop en geschiedenis één worden.’

‘Amnesty nam die dag het verzoek van Aung San Suu Kyi uiterst serieus, reden waarom we nooit zullen wegkijken van mensenrechtenschendingen in Myanmar,’ zegt Naidoo. ‘We gaan door met onze strijd voor gerechtigheid en mensenrechten in Myanmar – met of zonder haar steun.’

Genocide

Amnesty voert diverse redenen aan voor het terugtrekken van de Ambassador of Conscience Award van Aung San Suu Kyi. Sinds zij in april 2016 aantrad als de de facto leider van de regering van Myanmar, is de overheid actief betrokken geweest bij vele mensenrechtenschendingen. In de militaire campagne tegen de Rohingya-minderheid hebben veiligheidstroepen duizenden mensen vermoord, vrouwen en meisjes verkracht, mannen en jongens gevangengezet en gemarteld, en honderden huizen en dorpen platgebrand. Meer dan 720.000 Rohingya zijn naar Bangladesh gevlucht. Een VN-rapport over deze kwestie roept op tot vervolging van hogere militairen wegens genocide.

Mensenrechtenschendingen ontkend

Hoewel de burgerregering geen zeggenschap heeft over het leger, hebben Aung San Suu Kyi en haar medewerkers verhinderd dat de veiligheidstroepen verantwoording moeten afleggen over hun daden, door mensenrechtenschendingen te ontkennen of te bagatelliseren, en door internationaal onderzoek naar de misstanden te dwarsbomen. Aung San Suu Kyi’s regering heeft de vijandigheid tegen de Rohingya alleen maar aangewakkerd, door ze als “terroristen” te bestempelen; de overheid beweerde ook dat de Rohingya hun eigen huizen in brand staken en valse verklaringen aflegden over “verkrachtingen”.

Vrije meningsuiting beknot

In de twee jaar dat Aung San Suu Kyi aan de macht is, zijn onderdrukkende wetten niet gewijzigd, waaronder dezelfde wetten die gebruikt werden om haar en andere mensenrechtenverdedigers gevangen te zetten. Sterker, ze heeft het gebruik van die wetten juist verdedigd, met name het besluit om twee journalisten van Reuters gevangen te zetten voor hun onthullingen over een massaslachting door het leger van Myanmar. Diverse andere mensenrechtenverdedigers en journalisten troffen in de afgelopen twee jaar hetzelfde lot.
EINDE BERICHT AMNESTY

AMNESTY INTERNATIONALAMNESTY WITHDRAWS HUMAN RIGHTS AWARD FROM AUNG SAN SUUKYI12 NOVEMBER 2018
https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2018/11/amnesty-withdraws-award-from-aung-san-suu-kyi/

Amnesty International announced today that it has withdrawn its highest honour, the Ambassador of Conscience Award, from Aung San Suu Kyi, in light of the Myanmar leader’s shameful betrayal of the values she once stood for.

On 11 November, Amnesty International’s Secretary General Kumi Naidoo wrote to Aung San Suu Kyi to inform her the organization is revoking the 2009 award. Half way through her term in office, and eight years after her release from house arrest, Naidoo expressed the organization’s disappointment that she had not used her political and moral authority to safeguard human rights, justice or equality in Myanmar,citing her apparent indifference to atrocities committed by the Myanmar military and increasing intolerance of freedom of expression.

“As an Amnesty International Ambassador of Conscience, our expectation was that you would continue to use your moral authority to speak out against injustice wherever you saw it, not least within Myanmar itself,” wrote Kumi Naidoo.

“Today, we are profoundly dismayed that you no longer represent a symbol of hope, courage, and the undying defence of human rights. Amnesty International cannot justify your continued status as a recipient of the Ambassador of Conscience award and so with great sadness we are hereby withdrawing it from you.”

Perpetuating human rights violations

Since Aung San Suu Kyi became the de facto leader of Myanmar’s civilian-led government in April 2016, her administration has been actively involved in the commission or perpetuation of multiple human rights violations.

Amnesty International has repeatedly criticized the failure of Aung San Suu Kyi and her government to speak out about military atrocities against the Rohingya population in Rakhine State, who have lived for years under a system of segregation and discrimination amounting to apartheid. During the campaign of violence unleashed against the Rohingya last year the Myanmar security forces killed thousands, raped women and girls, detained and tortured men and boys, and burned hundreds of homes and villages to the ground. More than 720,000 Rohingya fled to Bangladesh. A UN report has called for senior military officials to be investigated and prosecuted for the crime of genocide.

Although the civilian government does not have control over the military, Aung San Suu Kyi and her office have shielded the security forces from accountability by dismissing, downplaying or denying allegations of human rights violations and by obstructing international investigations into abuses. Her administration has actively stirred up hostility against the Rohingya, labelling them as “terrorists”, accusing them of burning their own homes and decrying “faking rape”. Meanwhile state media has published inflammatory and dehumanizing articles alluding to the Rohingya as “detestable human fleas” and “thorns” which must be pulled out.

“Aung San Suu Kyi’s failure to speak out for the Rohingya is one reason why we can no longer justify her status as an Ambassador of Conscience,” said Kumi Naidoo.

“Her denial of the gravity and scale of the atrocities means there is little prospect of the situation improving for the hundreds of thousands of Rohingya living in limbo in Bangladesh or for the hundreds of thousands of Rohingya who remain in Rakhine State. Without acknowledgement of the horrific crimes against the community, it is hard to see how the government can take steps to protect them from future atrocities.”

Amnesty International also highlighted the situation in Kachin and northern Shan States, where Aung San Suu Kyi has failed to use her influence and moral authority to condemn military abuses, to push for accountability for war crimes or to speak out for ethnic minority civilians who bear the brunt of the conflicts. To make matters worse, her civilian-led administration has imposed harsh restrictions on humanitarian access, exacerbating the suffering of more than 100,000 people displaced by the fighting.

Attacks on freedom of speech

Despite the power wielded by the military, there are areas where the civilian-led government has considerable authority to enact reforms to better protect human rights, especially those relating to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly. But in the two years since Aung San Suu Kyi’s administration assumed power, human rights defenders, peaceful activists and journalists have been arrested and imprisoned while others face threats, harassment and intimidation for their work.

Aung San Suu Kyi’s administration has failed to repeal repressive laws – including some of the same laws which were used to detain her and others campaigning for democracy and human rights. Instead, she has actively defended the use of such laws, in particular the decision to prosecute and imprison two Reuters journalists for their work documenting a Myanmar military massacre.

Aung San Suu Kyi was named as Amnesty International’s Ambassador of Conscience in 2009, in recognition of her peaceful and non-violent struggle for democracy and human rights. At the time she was held under house arrest, which she was eventually released from exactly eight years ago today. When she was finally able to accept the award in 2012, Aung San Suu Kyi asked Amnesty International to “not take either your eyes or your mind off us and help us to be the country where hope and history merges.”

“Amnesty International took Aung San Suu Kyi’s request that day very seriously, which is why we will never look away from human rights violations in Myanmar,” said Kumi Naidoo.

“We will continue to fight for justice and human rights in Myanmar – with or without her support.”

EINDE AMNESTY BERICHT

BRIEF VAN DE SECRETARIS GENERAAL, KUMI NAIDOO, AANAUNG SAN SUU KYI OVER DE HUMANITAIRE ROHINGYA KWESTIE
https://www.amnesty.nl/content/uploads/2018/11/Letter-from-Kumi-Naidoo-to-Aung-San-Suu-Kyi-EMBARGOED-13-Nov-1.pdf?x87905

AMNESTY INTERNATIONALMYANMAR: AUNG SAN SUU KYI’S DENIALS MUST NOTDISTRACT FROM ONGOING ROHINGYA CRISIS11 DECEMBER 2019
https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2019/12/myanmar-aung-san-suu-kyi-denials-must-not-distract-from-ongoing-rohingya-crisis/

11 December 2019, 20:35 UTC

Responding to the statement made by Aung San Suu Kyi at the International Court of Justice in The Hague today, Nicholas Bequelin, Amnesty International’s Regional Director, said:

“Aung San Suu Kyi tried to downplay the severity of the crimes committed against the Rohingya population. In fact, she wouldn’t even refer to them by name or acknowledge the scale of the abuses. Such denials are deliberate, deceitful and dangerous.

The exodus of more than three quarters of a million people from their homes and country was nothing but the result of an orchestrated campaign of murder, rape and terror. To suggest that the military ‘did not distinguish clearly enough between fighters and civilians’ defies belief. Likewise, the suggestion that Myanmar authorities can currently and independently investigate and prosecute those suspected of crimes under international law is nothing but a fantasy, in particular in the case of senior military perpetrators who have enjoyed decades of total impunity.

“While attention is focussed on Aung San Suu Kyi today, let’s recall that this case is really about justice for the Rohingya community, including the 600,000 still in Rakhine State who are at risk of further crimes and urgently need protection. It’s also about the hundreds of thousands of refugees who can’t return to Myanmar. Despite what Suu Kyi has said today, it is not safe to do so.

“The Court and international community should move swiftly to protect Rohingya and prevent further atrocities. This includes ordering Myanmar to lift discriminatory restrictions, ensure humanitarian access, and cooperate fully with any international investigation.”

Background

Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s State Counsellor and de facto head of state, is leading Myanmar’s delegation to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, Netherlands, to respond to a case alleging that Myanmar has breached its obligations under the 1948 Genocide Convention. The case was filed by The Gambia on 11 November 2019.

Today, Myanmar responded to The Gambia’s allegations in court for the first time. The Gambia has asked the ICJ to order Myanmar to take ‘provisional measures’ ‘to protect the rights of the Rohingya group’ and prevent all acts that may amount to or contribute to the crime of genocide against the community, pending formal hearings on the case.

Amnesty International’s own investigation has identified 13 senior officials – including Commander-in-Chief of the Myanmar military Senior General Min Aung Hlaing – as warranting investigation and prosecution for crimes against the Rohingya.

EINDE BERICHT AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL

[14]

[14]

ZIE NOOT 6

[15]
WIKIPEDIAAUNG SAN SUU KYI/FOREIGN MINISTER AND STATE COUNCILLOR(2016-2021)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aung_San_Suu_Kyi#Foreign_Minister_and_State_Counsellor_(2016%E2%80%932021)

ORIGINELE BRON
WIKIPEDIAAUNG SAN SUU KYI
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aung_San_Suu_Kyi

[16]
HUMAN RIGHTS WATCHLANDMARK WORLD COURT ORDER PROTECTS ROHINGYA FROMGENOCIDE
https://www.hrw.org/news/2020/01/27/interview-landmark-world-court-order-protects-rohingya-genocide

On January 23, 2020, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague ordered Myanmar to take all necessary measures to protect Rohingya Muslims from genocide. In late 2017, Myanmar’s military massacred tens of thousands of Rohingya, committed widespread rape, and torched dozens of villages. The campaign of ethnic cleansing forced 740,000 Rohingya to flee to Bangladesh, but 600,000 remained in Myanmar, where they “may face a greater threat of genocide than ever,” a United Nations-backed fact-finding mission said. The associate director of Human Rights Watch’s international justice program, Param-Preet Singh, tells Amy Braunschweiger how this court order is a first – but huge – step to hold Myanmar accountable for its atrocities against the Rohingya.

It was a year ago that you started pursuing the unique approach to holding Myanmar accountable in the ICJ. How did that come about?

The idea of a country without any connection to the crimes bringing a case to the International Court of Justice had never been done before, even though, technically, any member state of the 1948 Genocide Convention could do so. The fact that it was Gambia – a small African country recovering from 20-plus years of dictatorship – and not a big, rich country makes its leadership even more inspiring.

It’s now more than two years since Myanmar’s latest ethnic cleansing campaign began, and military atrocities against the Rohingya go back years. Why have there been no consequences until now?

Myanmar’s longstanding brutal treatment of ethnic Rohingya is exactly the kind of crisis that the International Criminal Court (ICC) was created to address. The ICC tries individuals for grave international crimes, while the ICJ adjudicates disputes between countries.  But since Myanmar isn’t a member of the ICC, only the UN Security Council could refer the situation to the ICC. That hasn’t happened because China has acted as Myanmar’s ally and protector, and as permanent member of the Security Council, can veto any resolution.  The implied threat of a Chinese veto has managed to stifle criticism of Myanmar’s egregious human rights record and kept the situation from being referred to the ICC.

You needed to find a country to bring the case before the ICJ. How did that work?

When we first started raising this, at the UN in New York and in Canada and with other countries that had spoken out on genocide against the Rohingya, they said, what a creative, interesting idea – it’s not going to happen. We reached out to countries that had ratified the Genocide Convention in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas.

Then, out of nowhere, the West African nation of Gambia made public their intention to move ahead. I wish we could claim credit! Gambian Minister of Justice Abubaccar Tambadou’s vision, moral courage and leadership in seeking justice for the Rohingya is truly inspirational. Gambia demonstrated to the world that there was a state brave enough to take on Myanmar’s brutal ethnic cleansing campaign and risk China’s wrath in doing so.

Gambia’s decision to step forward gave new life to our efforts to reach out to countries around the globe, because now we were asking them to support Gambia in moving forward.

Gambia is just emerging from two decades of brutal dictatorship. Why did it take this on?

Gambian Justice Minister Tambadou had worked as a prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, prosecuting cases from the 1994 Rwandan genocide. When he unexpectedly found himself in Bangladesh, sent at the last minute to represent his country at the annual conference of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, he met with Rohingya refugees at Bangladesh’s Cox Bazar camp. He says that after listening to story after story, it was clear that they had experienced genocide. And he felt morally compelled to do something about it.

What was it like being in The Hague for the ICJ hearing in December?

We brought a couple of Rohingya activists to The Hague and experiencing the moment with them was really moving. They felt they were finally being recognized by the world court because their government tried to erase them, which brought heartbreak but also power.

Outside the court building, there were demonstrations, a lot of shouting and chanting by both Rohingya and Myanmar government supporters. The decision of de facto Myanmar leader and Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi to defend the military in person before the court brought an extra level of scrutiny – as well as more demonstrators and media.

The Rohingya activists said they felt betrayed by Suu Kyi, who had spent many years under house arrest by the then-military government for her pro-democracy activism. They told me that they once hoped she would be their protector, but she was protecting the military instead.

What’s the significance of Aung San Suu Kyi defending Myanmar’s military in court?

The fact that she went to The Hague and personally spoke in defense of the military’s actions against a minority community means she has owned the military’s atrocities in court before the entire world. She has aligned herself with the perpetrators rather than the victims.

What does the court’s order mean for the Rohingya? For international justice?

The ICJ directed Myanmar to prevent genocide, and this could have a real impact in protecting the 600,000 Rohingya who remain in the country. Additionally, the ICJ process means Rohingya survivors and activists have a platform for their experiences to be recognized.

The ICJ order is a powerful reminder that Myanmar should not rely on powerful countries – notably China – to escape its responsibilities under the Genocide Convention and other international treaties. It also brings hope that so long as countries like Gambia are willing to step up, international justice can prevail.

Can the court’s order be enforced?

The ICJ has made a legally binding ruling, but enforcing it, given Myanmar’s track record, could prove difficult. The world needs to raise the political cost of non-compliance for Myanmar and show them countries are watching. Human Rights Watch will be urging governments to use their diplomatic leverage with Myanmar to improve the Rohingya’s situation. We will also promote resolutions at the UN Human Rights Council and the UN General Assembly to send a strong message to Myanmar to abide by the court’s order. The Security Council, too, could play an important role in enforcing the order, but because of China’s veto power I’m not holding my breath. In that regard, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who issued a strong statement in support of the ICJ ruling and has urged the Security Council to act on the Rohingya crisis in the past, could be a key player.

What’s next?

Now the ICJ will hear submissions from both sides about the merits of the case, that is, whether or not Myanmar committed genocide against the Rohingya. It’s a pretty long road and will take years to unfold, and no outcome is certain. But this court order, and the court requirement that Myanmar report regularly on its implementation of the order – every six months — makes clear that the court is taking the matter very seriously and its scrutiny isn’t going away. And that could go a long way to helping protect the Rohingya remaining in Myanmar.

You woke up at 3:30 a.m. in New York to hear the ruling and finalize Human Rights Watch’s response. Was it what you expected?

It all feels surreal. I had a feeling the court would hand down a favorable ruling, but that the 17 judges ruled unanimously is simply incredible. It adds to the weight of the order. There was a moment of panic before everything starts, and I started thinking, what if they rule against Gambia? What would we tell our Rohingya partners? And there’s also the logistics – getting our news release out quickly, answering media calls, and commenting on social media to explain to the world this important victory for the Rohingya, Gambia and international justice.

When, at the end of the ruling, the chief judge said “unanimously,” then hearing him say it four times over – that really drove the point home.

If you had told me a year ago that we would be in this place, I’d have said you were crazy. But that’s our job, right? To do our part to make things happen and help survivors get the justice they deserve.

EINDE BERICHT HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH

[16]

On January 23, 2020, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague ordered Myanmar to take all necessary measures to protect Rohingya Muslims from genocide. In late 2017, Myanmar’s military massacred tens of thousands of Rohingya, committed widespread rape, and torched dozens of villages. The campaign of ethnic cleansing forced 740,000 Rohingya to flee to Bangladesh, but 600,000 remained in Myanmar, where they “may face a greater threat of genocide than ever,” a United Nations-backed fact-finding mission said. The associate director of Human Rights Watch’s international justice program, Param-Preet Singh, tells Amy Braunschweiger how this court order is a first – but huge – step to hold Myanmar accountable for its atrocities against the Rohingya.”

HUMAN RIGHTS WATCHLANDMARK WORLD COURT ORDER PROTECTS ROHINGYA FROMGENOCIDE
https://www.hrw.org/news/2020/01/27/interview-landmark-world-court-order-protects-rohingya-genocide

[17]
HUMAN RIGHTS WATCHLANDMARK WORLD COURT ORDER PROTECTS ROHINGYA FROMGENOCIDE
https://www.hrw.org/news/2020/01/27/interview-landmark-world-court-order-protects-rohingya-genocideHOW A SMALL AFRICAN NATION TOOK ON MYANMAR’S CRISIS-\AND WON
https://www.hrw.org/news/2020/01/27/interview-landmark-world-court-order-protects-rohingya-genocide

[18]

HUMAN RIGHTS WATCHAUNG SAN SUU KYI DENIES BURMESE GENOCIDE OFROHINGYA  AT THE HAGUE17 DECEMBER 2019
https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/12/17/aung-san-suu-kyi-denies-burmese-genocide-rohingya-hague

Burma’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi has asked the U.N. International Court of Justice to drop the genocide case against Myanmar, formerly Burma. Suu Kyi is a Nobel Peace Prize winner who spent over a decade fighting against the Burmese military, which she is now defending. Last week, Suu Kyi appeared in person at the court to dispute the charges and called the allegations of genocide against Rohingya Muslims “incomplete and misleading.” The Burmese military killed and raped thousands of Rohingya and forced more than 700,000 to flee into neighboring Bangladesh in a brutal army crackdown in 2017. Gambia brought the genocide case to the International Court, accusing Burma of trying to “destroy the Rohingya as a group, in whole or in part, by the use of mass murder, rape and other forms of sexual violence.” In Barcelona, Spain, we speak with Reed Brody, a counsel and spokesperson for Human Rights Watch. He is also helping Gambian victims seeking to prosecute the former dictator Yahya Jammeh.

EINDE BERICHT HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH

NOSAUNG SAN SUU KYI BIJ GERECHTSHOF: ”WE KUNNENWEINIG BEROUW VERWACHTEN”11 DECEMBER 2019
https://nos.nl/artikel/2314213-aung-san-suu-kyi-bij-gerechtshof-we-kunnen-weinig-berouw-verwachten.html

Het is een unicum, wat Aung San Suu Kyi vandaag gaat doen. Als leider van de burgerregering van Myanmar verdedigt zij haar land in de genocidezaak over de Rohingya. Ze komt aan het woord in het Vredespaleis in Den Haag, waar de zaak dient. Het Afrikaanse land Gambia spande de zaak tegen Myanmar aan bij het Internationaal Gerechtshof.

Suu Kyi is sinds de gewelddadigheden van het Myanmarese leger tegen de Rohingya-moslims in de zomer van 2017 in de internationale gemeenschap van haar voetstuk gevallen. Ze ligt onder vuur omdat ze niets zou hebben gedaan om de misdaden tegen te houden.

Het gaat volgens onderzoekers van de Verenigde Naties om brandstichting, moord en verkrachting op grote schaal. Suu Kyi heeft de grove misdaden, de VN sprak van ‘genocidale intenties’, altijd ontkend.

Suu Kyi stond, vooral in de westerse wereld, altijd bekend als voorvechter van democratie en mensenrechten. Daar ontving ze ook allerlei prijzen voor. De bekendste is de Nobelprijs voor de Vrede, die kreeg ze in 1991. Dat was tijdens haar jaren in huisarrest. Als oppositiepoliticus vocht ze toen tegen het militaire regime dat al tientallen jaren aan de macht was in Myanmar.

Suu Kyi als verdediger mensenrechten?

Dat verheven, edelmoedige beeld dat in het Westen van haar bestond, klopte nooit helemaal. Suu Kyi had ten onrechte een soort cultstatus gekregen, stellen kenners van Myanmar vast. Zelf heeft ze ook geprobeerd om dat beeld bij te stellen. Zo zei ze herhaaldelijk in interviews dat ze een politiek leider is en geen “verdediger van mensenrechten of humanitair hulpverlener”.

In 2015 won haar partij, de Nationale Liga voor Democratie, de verkiezingen en veel westerse landen zagen dat als het moment waarop de democratie in Myanmar echt van de grond zou komen. De Europese Unie en de Verenigde Staten hieven hun sancties tegen Myanmar snel op.

Maar in de werkelijkheid hield het leger veel macht. De militairen hebben nog steeds zeggenschap over drie cruciale ministeries: die van Defensie, Binnenlandse Zaken en Grenszaken. Precies die departementen, en dan vooral Defensie, dragen de verantwoordelijkheid voor het geweld tegen de Rohingya-minderheid. Het leger heeft Suu Kyi niet om toestemming hoeven vragen om gewelddadig op treden.

Leger nog altijd machtig

Suu Kyi beloofde in verkiezingstijd dat ze de democratie verder zou ontwikkelen, maar daar is sinds 2016 nog weinig van terecht gekomen, mede doordat het leger nog zoveel te zeggen heeft. Zo heeft het leger ook nog een kwart van de zetels in het parlement. Praktisch gezien betekent dat zij het vetorecht hebben op aanpassingen van de grondwet.

De politieke steun van het leger zou zelfs één van de redenen zijn geweest dat Suu Kyi er voor heeft gekozen om Myanmar nu persoonlijk in Den Haag te komen verdedigen. Volgend jaar houdt Myanmar verkiezingen en als ze er nog wetswijzigingen doorheen wil krijgen, heeft ze hun steun nodig. Bijvoorbeeld voor de aanpassing van de wet die er nu nog voor zorgt dat zij officieel geen president kan zijn. Ze heeft namelijk kinderen van Britse nationaliteit en de wet staat niet toe dat Myanmarezen met buitenlandse familie president worden. Daarom is ze alleen de facto leider van de burgerregering en minister van Buitenlandse Zaken.

Wat de zaak van de Rohingya betreft is niet de verwachting dat Aung San Suu Kyi berouw zal tonen. Ze heeft altijd dezelfde lijn aangehouden als de legertop: de Rohingya-moslims noemt ze Bengali, daarmee wil ze zeggen dat het migranten uit Bangladesh zouden zijn. In werkelijkheid wonen de Rohingya al generaties lang in Myanmar.

Bovendien zegt ze dat de legeracties bedoeld waren als bestrijding van terrorisme. In de zomer van 2017 viel een groepje Rohingya-rebellen enkele veiligheidsposten aan, waarna het leger hard en volgens internationale onderzoekers buiten proportie terugsloeg. Daarna vluchtten ruim 740.000 Rohingya de grens over, naar buurland Bangladesh.

Internationaal is ze van haar voetstuk gevallen, in eigen land is Suu Kyi nog steeds populair. De publieke opinie in Myanmar is sterk anti-Rohingya. Critici vinden dat zij haar aanzien en invloed had kunnen gebruiken om de opvattingen over Rohingya in haar land te veranderen. Dat heeft ze eerder niet gedaan. De kans is klein dat het vandaag wel gebeurt.
EINDE NOS BERICHT

[19]

Internationale kritiek vanwege genocide Rohingya

Suu Kyi krijgt internationaal veel kritiek vanwege beschuldigingen over genocide op de Rohingya-minderheid, maar blijft in eigen land onverminderd populair. De Rohingya in Myanmar hebben al tientallen jaren te lijden onder de repressie van de overheid en het leger.

De huidige regeringsleider stond bekend om haar geweldloze strijd tegen de onderdrukking door de Myanmarese Junta. Ze won daarvoor meerdere mensenrechtenprijzen, waaronder de Nobelprijs voor de Vrede en de Sacharovprijs. Het Europees Parlement besloot Suu Kyi in september vorig jaar uit het gezelschap van winnaars van de Sacharovprijs te zetten.”


NU.NL
LEGER MYANMAR PLEEGT STAATSGREEP, OMSTREDENAUNG SAN SUU KYI OPGEPAKT1 FEBRUARI 2021

https://www.nu.nl/buitenland/6113620/leger-myanmar-pleegt-staatsgreep-omstreden-aung-san-suu-kyi-opgepakt.html

Aung San Suu Kyi, de regeringsleider van Myanmar, is in de nacht van zondag op maandag opgepakt door het leger, meldt een woordvoerder van haar partij de Nationale Liga voor Democratie (NLD). Ook meerdere andere prominente leden van de NLD zijn gearresteerd.

Het leger van Myanmar heeft maandag een noodtoestand afgekondigd. Via een videoboodschap op de militaire televisie werd bekendgemaakt dat de macht is overgedragen aan de opperbevelhebber van de strijdkrachten, generaal Min Aung Hlaing.

De afgelopen dagen liep de spanning tussen de regering en het leger van Myanmar op in de nasleep van de verkiezingen in het land. Volgens het leger heeft er bij de verkiezingen fraude plaatsgevonden. Hierdoor werd gevreesd voor een staatsgreep.

Volgens een woordvoerder van Suu Kyi is zij in de vroege ochtend “meegenomen”. Ook president Win Myint zou vastzitten. “Ik wil mensen vragen niet te gehaast te reageren en zich aan de wet te houden”, aldus de woordvoerder, die zegt te verwachten zelf ook aangehouden te worden.

De staatstelevisie van Myanmar laat via Facebook weten dat het niet kan uitzenden vanwege technische problemen. Ook zouden alle telefonische verbindingen met de hoofdstad Naypidaw zijn verbroken. Volgens een BBC-correspondent zijn er veel soldaten op straat in delen van het land.

De woordvoerder van de NLD zei tegen persbureau AFP dat “met de situatie die we nu zien, we kunnen aannemen dat het leger een coup pleegt”.

Australië en VS eisen onmiddellijke vrijlating

Australië waarschuwt dat het leger van Myanmar “probeert de controle te krijgen” in het land en zegt erg bezorgd te zijn over de berichtgeving rondom de situatie. “We roepen het leger op de wet te volgen, geschillen op een wettige manier op te lossen en iedereen die onrechtmatig is opgepakt onmiddellijk vrij te laten”, zegt de Australische minister van Buitenlandse Zaken Marise Payne in een verklaring.

Ook de Amerikaanse president Joe Biden is over de arrestaties ingelicht. De Amerikaanse regering zegt actie te ondernemen als de arrestanten niet worden vrijgelaten. “De VS zal actie ondernemen als de verantwoordelijken deze stappen niet terugdraaien”, staat in een verklaring van het Witte Huis.

Australië en de Verenigde Staten roepen op de verkiezingsuitslag te waarborgen. Japan laat weten nog niet van plan te zijn Japanners uit Myanmar weg te halen. Wel zegt de regering de situatie in de gaten te houden. De Veiligheidsraad van de Verenigde Naties komt deze week bijeen om de “problematische” situatie in Myanmar te bespreken.

Internationale kritiek vanwege genocide Rohingya

Suu Kyi krijgt internationaal veel kritiek vanwege beschuldigingen over genocide op de Rohingya-minderheid, maar blijft in eigen land onverminderd populair. De Rohingya in Myanmar hebben al tientallen jaren te lijden onder de repressie van de overheid en het leger.

De huidige regeringsleider stond bekend om haar geweldloze strijd tegen de onderdrukking door de Myanmarese Junta. Ze won daarvoor meerdere mensenrechtenprijzen, waaronder de Nobelprijs voor de Vrede en de Sacharovprijs. Het Europees Parlement besloot Suu Kyi in september vorig jaar uit het gezelschap van winnaars van de Sacharovprijs te zetten.

EINDE NU BERICHT

EINDE NOTENAPPARAAT

NOS TELETEKSTBERICHT OVER REGERINGSLEIDER AUNG

SAN SUU KYINOS TELETEKSTAUNG SAN SUU KYI VAST IN MYANMAR1 FEBRUARI 2021
In Myanmar zijn regeringsleider Aung San Suu Kyi en een aantalkabinetsleden opgepakt, zegt de partijwoordvoerder.In meerdere steden ligt internet en telefonie plat.
Het leger dreigde vorige week met een mogelijke staatsgreep.De legertop stelt, dat er verkiezingsfraude is gepleegd in november,toen de partij van Aung San Suu Kyi wederom de absolute meerderheidbehaalde.Volgens waarnemers zijn de verkiezingen eerlijk verlopen.

De winnaar van de Nobelprijs voor de Vrede werd in 2016 na tientallenjaren militair bewind, de eerste democratisch gekozen regeringsleider vanhet land.
EINDE NOS TELETEKSTBERICHT

ORIGINELE TEKETEKSTBERICHT

NOS TELETEKSTAUNG SAN SUU KYI VAST IN MYANMAR1 FEBRUARI 2021
https://nos.nl/teletekst#128

NOS Teletekst 128 

    'Aung San Suu Kyi vast in Myanmar'  
                                        

 In Myanmar zijn regeringsleider Aung 
 San Suu Kyi en een aantal kabinetsleden
 opgepakt,zegt de partijwoordvoerder.   
 In meerdere steden ligt internet en    
 telefonie plat.                        
                                        
 Het leger dreigde vorige week met een  
 mogelijke staatsgreep.De legertop stelt
 dat er verkiezingsfraude is gepleegd in
 november,toen de partij van Aung San   
 Suu Kyi wederom de absolute meerderheid
 behaalde.Volgens waarnemers zijn de    
 verkiezingen eerlijk verlopen.         
                                        
 De winnaar van de Nobelprijs voor de   
 Vrede werd in 2016,na tientallen jaren 
 militair bewind,de eerste democratisch 
 gekozen regeringsleider van het land.

MAIL AAN  NOS TELETEKSTREDACTIE OVER ILLEGALITEIT

NEDERZETTINGEN


Astrid Essed
Tue, Jan 12, 7:19 AM
to reacties@nos.nlnosbinnenland@nos.nlpublieksreacties@nos.nlcommunicatie@nos.nl

AAN

NOS TELETEKST REDACTIE

Onderwerp

Uw berichtgeving dd 11 januari 2021

”Israel wil weer bouwen op Westoever”

Opmerking:

NOS gaat weer in de fout!

Geachte Redactie,

Alsnog de Beste Wensen voor 2021

Met hopelijk de aftocht van COVIC-19!

Helaas echter bent u het Nieuwe Jaar niet goed begonnen, wat

uw Midden-Oostenberichtgeving betreft

Zoals hierboven vermeld:

Weer bent u, voor de zoveelste keer, met uw Midden-Oosten

berichtgeving op essentiele punten de fout ingegaan.

Dat dat niet de eerste, maar hopelijk WEL de laatste keer is, getuige mijn eerdere, uitgebreide, correspondentie met u.

Zie onder noot 1

Het is, dat het literair geen interessant onderwerp is [behalve dan

uw opvallende, kortzichtige koppigheid], anders had ik er een boek over kunnen schrijven!

Maar nu even alle Gekheid op een Stokje!

Mijn kritiek betreft uw teletekstbericht dd 11 januari, getiteld:

”Israel wil weer bouwen op Westoever” 

Zie direct onder P/S

Ik licht enkele passages uit uw berichtgeving:

Uw eerste alinea

”Premier Netanyahu heeft opdracht gegeven voor de bouw van 800 nieuwe woningen in het gebied.”
Uw derde alinea:
”Biden geldt als tegenstander van de nederzettingenpolitiek,in tegenstelling tot Donald Trump.”VERVOLGENS”Als vice president had hij er conflicten over met Netanyahu.”TENSLOTTE”De Palestijnen denken, dat Israel snel wil handelen, nu Trump nogpresident is.”
Ik begin bij het laatste citaat, met een mager compliment aan uw adres, maar nochthans een complimentU schrijft ””De Palestijnen denken, dat Israel snel wil handelen, nu Trump nogpresident is.”
Niet alleen denk ik, dat deze Palestijnse observatie op zich juist is [dat was ook mijn gedachte], maar waardeer ik het, dat u nu eenseindelijk in uw berichtgeving aandacht schenkt aan de Palestijnse kant van het Verhaal,, opvattingen aan Palestijnse kant, waarnemingen aan Palestijnse kant.Zowaar een stap in de goede richting, waarvoor ik [al is het onbescheiden] ookmijzelf een compliment maak, want ik denk, dat het o.a. aan mijn inzet en die van vele anderen, die u keer op keer op de Palestijnse kant en standpunten hebben gewezen, te danken is, dat u eindelijk [zo nu en dan] de Palestijnsekant in uw berichtgeving laat meespelen.Dat is dus een Pluspunt.Maar daar stopt mijn waardering.
NEDERZETTINGEN
Wat ik u in deze berichtgeving het meest aanreken is het feit,dat u wederom de destructieve positie van de nederzettingen negeert.Zo schrijft u immers:””Premier Netanyahu heeft opdracht gegeven voor de bouw van 800 nieuwe woningen in het gebied.”Geachte dames en heren van de redactie, hiermee doet u, alsof het omde bouw van normale woonhuizen gaat, hetgeen, voor de zoveelste keer,NIET het geval is.
IN STRIJD MET HET INTERNATIONAAL RECHT
De sinds eind zestiger jaren in bezet Palestijns gebied gebouwde nederzettingen, zijn in strijd met het Internationaal Recht!Volgens artikel 49, 4e Conventie van Geneve en het Haags Verdrag van1907! [2]Behalve uiteraard Israel en nu ook de VS [daarover zometeen meer]  [3] een algemeenerkend internationaalrechtelijk principe, ook door de EU, diede illegaliteit van de nederzettingen keer op keer heeft bekrachtigd. [4]
Maar laat ik het, naast internationaalrechtelijke bepalingen, ingewone mensentaal zeggen.Die nederzettingen zijn aan de Palestijnen ontstolen gebied.Want in bezet Palestijns gebied wordt dagelijks land onteigend,de bewoners eraf gegooid ten behoeve van kolonisten uit Israel,die er niet alleen wonen, maar ook niet zelden de plaatselijke bezettebevolking terroriseren, vaak ook nog eens gesteund door het Israelische leger, zoals u in de berichtgeving van de Israelische mensenrechtenorganisatieBtselem kunt lezen! [5]Ordinaire landdiefstal en terreur dus!
Het wordt dan ook hoog tijd, dat u stopt met het betitelen van nederzettingenmet ”woningen” en doet alsof het om een  uitbreiding van een normale woonwijk gaatNoem het kind nu eens eindelijk bij de naam en vermeld, dat die nederzettingenillegaal zijn, in strijd met het Internationaal Recht!Ik heb u gezaghebbende bronnen overlegd [zie noot 2] anderen hebben dat tenovervloede gedaan en sowieso hoort u dit als nieuwsredactie te weten!
TENSLOTTE NOG DIT
In uw derde alinea schrijft u
””Biden geldt als tegenstander van de nederzettingenpolitiek,in tegenstelling tot Donald Trump.”Zo’n zinnetje volstaat niet.U behoort aan te geven, dat onder president Trump, de VS de nederzettingenlegaliseerde [6], omdat het voor de lezer, die niet op de hoogte is, andersvolledig onduidelijk blijkt, dat het Amerikaanse beleid ten opzichtevan die nederzettingen drastisch is veranderd.En als laatste opmerking wil ik vermelden, dat u dient aan te geven, wanneerBiden vice president geweest is, namelijk onder Trump’s voorganger, presidentObama. [7]

EPILOOG
Dat was het weer, Geachte RedactieOpnieuw heb ik u de oren gewassen over uw tekortschietende en onvolledigeberichtgeving.Ernstig tekortschietend zelfs, want cruciaal is, dat u vermeldt, dat de Palestijnse gebieden bezet zijn [dat hebt u dan wel weer gedaan] endat de nederzettingen in strijd zijn met het Internationaal Recht.
Ik reken erop, dat u bij een volgende berichtgeving, wellicht voor uvoor het eerst, melding maakt van het illegale karakter van dienederzettingen in bezet Palestijns gebied.
Anders vindt u mij weer op uw Pad.
Vriendelijke groeten
Astrid Essed Amsterdam 
P/S

P/S
NOS TELETEKSTISRAEL WIL WEER BOUWEN OP WESTOEVER
De nederzettingen op de Westelijke Jordaanoever mogen vande Israelische regering opnieuw verder groeien.Premier Netanyahu heeft opdracht gegeven voor de bouw van 800 nieuwe woningen in het gebied.
De bouwplannen voor bezet Palestijns gebied komen opeen gevoelig moment, kort voor het aantreden van Joe Bidenals nieuwe president van de VS.
 Biden geldt als tegenstander van de nederzettingenpolitiek,in tegenstelling tot Donald Trump.Als vice president had hij er conflicten over met Netanyahu.De Palestijnen denken, dat Israel snel wil handelen, nu Trump nogpresident is.

EINDE TELETEKSTBERICHT

ISRAEL WIL WEER BOUWEN OP WESTOEVER
https://teletekst-data.nos.nl/webplus?p=130

ORIGINELE TEKST TELETEKST

De nederzettingen op de Westelijke   
 Jordaanoever mogen van de Israëlische  
 regering opnieuw verder groeien.Premier
 Netanyahu heeft opdracht gegeven voor  
 de bouw van 800 nieuwe woningen in het 
 gebied.                                
                                        
 De bouwplannen voor bezet Palestijns   
 gebied komen op een gevoelig moment,   
 kort voor het aantreden van Joe Biden  
 als nieuwe president van de VS.        
                                        
 Biden geldt als tegenstander van de    
 nederzettingenpolitiek,in tegenstelling
 tot Donald Trump.Als vicepresident had 
 hij er conflicten over met Netanyahu.De
 Palestijnen denken dat Israël snel wil 
 handelen nu Trump nog president is.  

EINDE TEKST TELETEKST

NOTEN

[1]
COMMENTAREN [ER ZIJN ER NOG VEEL MEER, HIER NIET VERMELD] OP NOS BERICHTGEVING BETREFFENDE HET MIDDEN=OOSTENCONFLICT

NETANYAHU FLUIT BOUWMINISTER TERUG/COMMENTAAR OP NOS BERICHTGEVINGASTRID ESSED15 NOVEMBER 2013
https://www.astridessed.nl/netanyahu-fluit-bouwminister-terugcommentaar-op-nos-berichtgeving/

MILITAIR ISRAEL GEDOOD OP WESTOEVER/NOS TELETEKSREDACTIE VERGEET VOOR HET GEMAK ISRAELISCHE BEZETTINGASTRID ESSED12 MEI 2020
https://www.astridessed.nl/militair-israel-gedood-op-westoever-nos-teletekstredactie-vergeet-voor-het-gemak-israelische-bezetting/

HERSENBLOEDING OUD PREMIER VAN AGT/NOS DOET AAN PRO ISRAELISCHE GESCHIEDVERVALSINGASTRID ESSED5 JUNI 2019

ZIE ANDERE KRITISCHE [EN EEN ENKELE WAARDERENDE] COMMENTAREN AAN NOS TELETEKSTREDACTIE EN NOS INTERNET

https://www.astridessed.nl/?s=NOS+teletekstredactie

[2]

The establishment of the settlements contravenes international humanitarian law (IHL), which states that an occupying power may not relocate its own citizens to the occupied territory or make permanent changes to that territory, unless these are needed for imperative military needs, in the narrow sense of the term, or undertaken for the benefit of the local population. 

BTSELEM.ORGSETTLEMENTS.ORG
https://www.btselem.org/settlements

Individual or mass forcible transfers, as well as deportations of protected persons from occupied territory to the territory of the Occupying Power or to that of any other country, occupied or not, are prohibited, regardless of their motive.”

ARTICLE 49, FOURTH GENEVA CONVENTIONhttps://www.icrc.org/applic/ih l/ihl.nsf/Article.xsp?action=o penDocument&documentId=77068F1 2B8857C4DC12563CD0051BDB0
”De Staat, die een gebied bezet heeft, mag zich slechts beschouwen als beheerder en vruchtgebruiker der openbare gebouwen, onroerende eigendommen, bosschen en landbouwondernemingen, welke aan den vijandelijken Staat behooren en zich in de bezette landstreek bevinden. Hij moet het grondkapitaal dier eigendommen in zijn geheel laten en die overeenkomstig de regelen van het vruchtgebruik beheeren.”

 ARTIKEL 55, HAAGS VERDRAG 1907

https://wetten.overheid.nl/BWBV0006273/1910-01-26#Verdrag_2

IN HET ENGELS
Art. 55. The occupying State shall be regarded only as administrator and usufructuary of public buildings, real estate, forests, and agricultural estates belonging to the hostile State, and situated in the occupied country. It must safeguard the capital of these properties, and administer them in accordance with the rules of usufruct.  

CONVENTION RESPECTING THE LAWS AND CUSTOMS OF WARON LAND AND ITS ANNEX: REGULATIONS CONCERNINGTHE LAWS AND CUSTOMS OF WAR ON LANDTHE HAGUE 18 OC TOBER 1907
https://ihl-databases.icrc.org/applic/ihl/ihl.nsf/Article.xsp?action=openDocument&documentId=0C16200ECC1B0C3EC12563CD00516954

[3]

NOSVS ZIET ISRAELISCHE NEDERZETTINGEN NIET LANGER ALSILLEGAAL18 NOVEMBER 2019
https://nos.nl/artikel/2311044-vs-ziet-israelische-nederzettingen-niet-langer-als-illegaal.html

De Verenigde Staten beschouwen Israëlische nederzettingen op de Westelijke Jordaanoever niet langer als strijdig met het internationaal recht. Minister van Buitenlandse Zaken Pompeo heeft de koerswijziging bekendgemaakt.

De stap volgt in een reeks pro-Israëlische beslissingen van de regering van president Trump. Eerder besloot de Amerikaanse president om Jeruzalem te erkennen als de ongedeelde hoofdstad van Israël en de Amerikaanse ambassade erheen te verplaatsen. Daarna heeft hij de financiële steun aan de Palestijnen stopgezet. In maart erkende de president de annexatie van de Golanhoogten, die Israël in 1967 veroverde op Syrië.

Hindernis

De Israëlische premier Netanyahu spreekt zijn waardering uit voor de Amerikaanse stap. Hij noemt het “een belangrijke maatregel die een historische fout corrigeert”. Israël blijft bereid tot vredesonderhandelingen met de Palestijnen, maar zal blijven afwijzen dat sprake is van illegale nederzettingen, aldus Netanyahu.

De Palestijnse president Abbas zegt in reactie dat de VS zijn geloofwaardigheid om een rol te spelen in het vredesproces heeft verloren.

Ook de Palestijnse politica Hanan Ashrawi veroordeelt de Amerikaanse koerswijziging. Volgens haar is het “een nieuwe klap voor het internationale recht, gerechtigheid en vrede”.

De Europese Unie en de meerderheid van de internationale gemeenschap achten de nederzettingen volgens internationaal recht illegaal. En dat blijft zo, liet EU-buitenlandchef Mogherini weten in een verklaring.

Vorige week oordeelde het Europees Hof voor Justitie nog dat levensmiddelen uit Israëlische nederzettingen niet langer het label ‘made in Israel’ mogen dragen.

Tweestatenoplossing

De EU ziet de Israëlische nederzettingen net als internationale organisaties als de Verenigde Naties als een grote hindernis voor een oplossing van het conflict met de Palestijnen. Zij beschouwen de bezette Westelijke Jordaanoever en Oost-Jeruzalem als essentiële onderdelen van een toekomstige Palestijnse staat.

In de verklaring roept Mogherini Israël op om te stoppen met de uitbreiding van nederzettingen.

In 2016 nam de VN-Veiligheidsraad een resolutie aan waarin van Israël wordt geëist dat het stopt met bouwen in nederzettingen, “een flagrante schending” van het internationaal recht. De VS, onder president Obama, koos toen voor een koerswijziging en blokkeerde de resolutie niet maar onthield zich van stemming. De Amerikaanse VN-ambassadeur van destijds zei dat de nederzettingen een tweestatenoplossing in de weg staan.

Israël bezette de gebieden in 1967. Sindsdien groeide het aantal Israëlische kolonisten er tot meer dan 600.000.
EINDE BERICHT

[4]

”De Europese Unie liet weten vast te houden aan het standpunt dat nederzettingen illegaal zijn en schadelijk voor het vredesproces.
NOORD HOLLANDS DAGBLADVEEL KRITIEK OP NEDERZETTINGENBESLUIT  
VS19 NOVEMBER 2019
https://www.noordhollandsdagblad.nl/cnt/dmf20191119_44523805?utm_medium=organic&utm_source=google

Veel kritiek op nederzettingenbesluit VS

ANP Producties19/11/2019 om 14:59WASHINGTON

Het besluit van de Amerikaanse regering om Israëlische nederzettingen op de Westelijke Jordaanoever niet meer als illegaal te beschouwen, heeft geleid tot internationale kritiek. De Palestijnse Autoriteit wil de kwestie voorleggen aan de Veiligheidsraad van de Verenigde Naties.

De Amerikaanse minister Mike Pompeo (Buitenlandse Zaken) zei maandag dat nederzettingen in bezette gebieden “niet per se strijdig zijn met internationale wetgeving”. Dat is volgens hem vooral een kwestie voor Israëlische rechtbanken. Pompeo wil Israël en de Palestijnen zo meer ruimte geven om te onderhandelen over de status van dergelijke gebieden.

Het besluit leidde tot verheugde reacties in Israël, maar Pompeo kreeg vanuit de internationale gemeenschap weinig bijval. Rusland stelde dinsdag dat het besluit de spanningen tussen Israël en de Palestijnen verder zal doen oplopen. De Arabische Liga sprak over een “zeer negatieve ontwikkeling”. De Europese Unie liet weten vast te houden aan het standpunt dat nederzettingen illegaal zijn en schadelijk voor het vredesproces.  

EINDE BERICHT

[5]

BTSELEM.ORGSTATE BACKED SETTLER VIOLENCE
https://www.btselem.org/settler_violence_updates

[6]
ZIE NOOT 3

[7]

”Bij de presidentsverkiezingen op 4 november 2008 werd Biden tot vicepresident gekozen”
WIKIPEDIAJOE BIDEN/VICE PRESIDENT (2009-2017)
https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joe_Biden#Vicepresident_(2009-2017)

ORIGINELE BRON

WIKIPEDIAJOE BIDEN
Joe Biden – Wikipedia

Joe Biden – Wikipedia

EINDE NOTENAPPARAAT

Reacties uitgeschakeld voor Aung San Suu Kyi vast in Myanmar/NOS teletekstredactie, vermeld Aung San Suu Kyi’s kwalijke rol in de Rohingya humanitaire crisis!

Opgeslagen onder Divers

Stop imminent execution of Swedish-Iranian academic Ahmadreza Djalali!/Second letter, this time to the Iranian ambassador in the Netherlands

STOP IMMINENT EXECUTION OF SWEDISH-IRANIAN ACADEMICAHMADREZA DJALALI!/SECOND LETTER, THIS TIME TO THE IRANIANAMBASSADOR IN THE NETHERLANDS

Image result for Gallows/Images
Image result for Guillotine/Images

Electric chair at the Florida State Prison

NO AGAINST DEATH PENALTY!

EMBASSY OF THE ISLAMIC REPUBLIC IRAN IN THE NETHERLANDSTO THE AMBASSADOR Mr Ali Reza Kazemi Abadi
Subject: Imminent execution of Dr Ahmadreza Djalali
Added an identical letter I wrote to His Excellency mr M. Barimani,Ambassador of the Islamic Republic Iran in Belgium

Your Excellency,

My request is on behalf of Dr Ahmadreza Djalali, an an Iranian-Swedish specialist in emergency medicine.Recently I learnt from Amnesty International, that Mr Djalali, has been transferred to solitary confinement in Evin prison and told by the prosecution authorities that his death sentence will be carried out imminently. [1]In fact:No later than a week from 24 November. [2]
I write you, with the request to exert pressure on the authoritiesof your country to quash mr Djalali’s death sentence, as to release him,as shown in repeated calls from UN human rights experts [Human Rights Council,Working Group on Arbitrary Detention] [3]According to Amnesty International and the Human Rights Council,Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, mr Djalali was arbitrarily arrested [4], sentenced to death for “corruption on earth” (efsad-e fel-arz) in October 2017 after an unfair trial before Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran [5], had been tortured and held under inhuman conditions. [6]Arbitrary arrests are in contravention with articles 9 and 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, signed by your country [7], like unfair trials [article 14, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights] [8]Torture is also forbidden by the  International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights  [article 7] [9]
Sofar my information I learnt from Amnesty International and  Human Rights Council,Working Group on Arbitrary Detention.
Now my side of the story:
Of course I rely on the information of two recommendable human rights organizations, but even if the authorities of your country deny the accusations, then yet my request to stop the imminent execution of mr Djalali stands form.
Because I am a convinced and fundamental opponent of the death penalty,against all circumstances, regardless the committed crime.Why?Because I consider death penalty as a cruel and inhuman punishment andI am convinced of the fact, that everyone has a right to life, regardless.
No one should be deprived of his God given life.That’s my firm opinion.
And besides that:History learns, that it happens [and happened], that the wrong persons wereconvicted.
Had there still be a death penalty in the United Kingdom, the Guildford Four andthe Maguire Seven had been put to death for crimes they didn’t commit. [10]

And it was out of international solidarity that the Scottsboro boys in racistUSA in the thirties of the 20th century escaped death sentence forcrimes they didn’t commit. [11]

URGENT APPEAL

Mr Embassador, therefore I do an urgent appeal on you, forthe sake of humanity and mercy, to exert pressure on the autoritiesin your country to stop this imminent execution.

I hope I am not too late.
Think of it.Whatever mr Djalali really did, I think he is punished enough.
Every human being has the inherent right to life 
God gave us the life
Only He can take it away.

Kind regards
Astrid EssedAmsterdamThe Netherlands

NOTES[Under the notes my Letter to His Excellency mr M. Barimani]

[1]

AMNESTY INTERNATIONALIRAN:IMMINENT EXECUTION OF SWEDISH-IRANIAN ACADEMIC AHMADREZADJALALI MUST BE HALTED24 NOVEMBER 2020
https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2020/11/iran-imminent-execution-of-swedish-iranian-academic-ahmadreza-djalali-must-be-halted/

TEXT

Responding to news that Ahmadreza Djalali, an Iranian-Swedish specialist in emergency medicine, has been transferred to solitary confinement in Evin prison and told by the prosecution authorities that his death sentence will be carried out imminently, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa, Diana Eltahawy, said:

“We were horrified to learn that the authorities have instructed the office in charge of implementing sentences to transfer Ahmadreza Djalali to solitary confinement and implement his death sentence no later than a week from 24 November.

“It is appalling that despite repeated calls from UN human rights experts to quash Ahmadreza Djalali’s death sentence and release him, the Iranian authorities have instead decided to push for this irreversible injustice. They must immediately halt any plans to execute Ahmadreza Djalali and end their shocking assault on his right to life.

“We call on members of the international community to immediately intervene, including through their embassies in Tehran, to save Ahmadreza Djalali’s life before it is too late.

“International human rights bodies have consistently held that it is a violation of the right to life to pass a death sentence after criminal proceedings that violate fair trial guarantees. Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all cases and without exception as the ultimate cruel and inhuman punishment.”

Background

Ahmadreza Djalali was sentenced to death for “corruption on earth” (efsad-e fel-arz) in October 2017 after a grossly unfair trial before Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran. The court relied primarily on “confessions” that Ahmadreza Djalili says were obtained under torture and other ill-treatment while he was held in prolonged solitary confinement without access to a lawyer. These included threats to execute him, kill or otherwise harm his children, who live in Sweden, and his mother, who lives in Iran. Amnesty International has consistently held that that the offence of “corruption on earth” fails to meet requirements for clarity and precision needed in criminal law, and also breaches the principle of legality and legal certainty.

In a letter written from inside Evin prison in August 2017, Ahmadreza Djalali said he was held solely because of his refusal to use his academic ties in European institutions to spy for Iran.

On 17 December 2017, an Iranian state-run TV station aired Ahmadreza Djalali’s “confession” along with a voiceover presenting him as a “spy”. By extracting and airing these forced “confessions”, Iranian authorities violated Ahmadreza Djalali’s right to the presumption of innocence as well as the right not to be forced into incriminating himself. Since December 2017, his lawyers have filed at least two requests for a judicial review of Ahmadreza Djalali’s case, and both have been rejected.   

In November 2017, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention called on Iran to release Ahmadreza Djalali immediately and accord him an enforceable right to compensation and other reparations, as he had been detained without an arrest warrant, had only been formally charged 10 months after his arrest, and had been “effectively prevented from exercising his right to challenge the lawfulness of his detention”. The Working Group also found that his right to a fair trial had been violated to such a gravity “as to give Mr Djalali’s deprivation of liberty an arbitrary character”.

On 9 December 2018, his lawyers learned that Branch 1 of the Supreme Court had upheld his death sentence without granting them an opportunity to file their defence submissions on his behalf.

END OF STATEMENT

[2]

”We were horrified to learn that the authorities have instructed the office in charge of implementing sentences to transfer Ahmadreza Djalali to solitary confinement and implement his death sentence no later than a week from 24 November.”AMNESTY INTERNATIONALIRAN:IMMINENT EXECUTION OF SWEDISH-IRANIAN ACADEMIC AHMADREZADJALALI MUST BE HALTED24 NOVEMBER 2020
https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2020/11/iran-imminent-execution-of-swedish-iranian-academic-ahmadreza-djalali-must-be-halted/

[3]
OPINIONS ADOPTED BY THE WORKING GROUP ON ARBITRARY DETENTION AT ITS EIGHTEETH SESSION, 20-24 NOVEMBER 2017

OPINION 92/2017 CONCERNING AHMADREZA DJALALI (ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN]
https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Issues/Detention/A_HRC_WGAD_2017_92.pdf

[4]

” 12. The source submits that Mr. Djalali’s arrest and detention are arbitrary, being in contravention of articles 9 and 10 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and articles 9 and 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and fall within categories I and III of the categories applied by the Working Group.”

OPINIONS ADOPTED BY THE WORKING GROUP ON ARBITRARY DETENTION AT ITS EIGHTIETH SESSION, 20-24 NOVEMBER 2017

OPINION 92/2017 CONCERNING AHMADREZA DJALALI (ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN]
https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Issues/Detention/A_HRC_WGAD_2017_92.pdf
[5]
”Ahmadreza Djalali was sentenced to death for “corruption on earth” (efsad-e fel-arz) in October 2017 after a grossly unfair trial before Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran.
AMNESTY INTERNATIONALIRAN:IMMINENT EXECUTION OF SWEDISH-IRANIAN ACADEMIC AHMADREZADJALALI MUST BE HALTED24 NOVEMBER 2020
https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2020/11/iran-imminent-execution-of-swedish-iranian-academic-ahmadreza-djalali-must-be-halted/

[6]
”The court relied primarily on “confessions” that Ahmadreza Djalili says were obtained under torture and other ill-treatment while he was held in prolonged solitary confinement without access to a lawyer.”

AMNESTY INTERNATIONALIRAN:IMMINENT EXECUTION OF SWEDISH-IRANIAN ACADEMIC AHMADREZADJALALI MUST BE HALTED24 NOVEMBER 2020
https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2020/11/iran-imminent-execution-of-swedish-iranian-academic-ahmadreza-djalali-must-be-halted/

” 35. According to the source, Mr. Djalali is detained in inhuman conditions, in contravention of his right to be treated with humanity and respect for his inherent dignity. The source considers that this treatment constitutes a violation of article 10 (1) of the Covenant and falls short of the requirements of the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (the Nelson Mandela Rules).12 In addition, the source claims that the treatment to which Mr. Djalali has been subjected is a violation of the prohibition of torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment under article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and article 7 of the Covenant.”
OPINIONS ADOPTED BY THE WORKING GROUP ON ARBITRARY DETENTION AT ITS EIGHTEETH SESSION, 20-24 NOVEMBER 2017

OPINION 92/2017 CONCERNING AHMADREZA DJALALI (ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN]
https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Issues/Detention/A_HRC_WGAD_2017_92.pdf

[7]
ARTICLES 9 AND 14

Article 9

1. Everyone has the right to liberty and security of person. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest or detention. No one shall be deprived of his liberty except on such grounds and in accordance with such procedure as are established by law……

Article 14

1. All persons shall be equal before the courts and tribunals. In the determination of any criminal charge against him, or of his rights and obligations in a suit at law, everyone shall be entitled to a fair and public hearing by a competent, independent and impartial tribunal established by law……..

INTERNATIONAL COVENANT ON CIVIL AND POLITICAL RIGHTS
http://hrlibrary.umn.edu/instree/b3ccpr.htm

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights4 Apr 196824 Jun 1975 23 Mar 1976

RATIFICATION OF INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS TREATIES-IRAN

http://hrlibrary.umn.edu/research/ratification-iran.html

[8]

SEE NOTE 7

[9]

Article 7

No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. In particular, no one shall be subjected without his free consent to medical or scientific experimentation.

INTERNATIONAL COVENANT ON CIVIL AND POLITICAL RIGHTS
http://hrlibrary.umn.edu/instree/b3ccpr.htm

[10]

WIKIPEDIAGUILDFORD FOUR AND MAGUIRE SEVEN

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guildford_Four_and_Maguire_Seven

[11]

WIKIPEDIASCOTTSBORO BOYS
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scottsboro_Boys

MY LETTER TO HIS EXCELLENCY MR M. BARIMANI, AMBASSADOROF THE ISLAMIC REPUBLIC IRAN IN BELGIUM

Van: Astrid Essed 
Verzonden: woensdag 25 november 2020 17:25
Aan: secretariat@iranembassy.be
Onderwerp: Urgent appeal to stop the imminent execution of Mr Ahmadreza Djalali

EMBASSY OF THE ISLAMIC REPUBLIC IRAN

TO THE EMBASSADOR Mr M. Barimani

Subject: Imminent execution of Dr Ahmadreza Djalali

Your Excellency,

My request is on behalf of Dr Ahmadreza Djalali, an an Iranian-Swedish specialist in emergency medicine.

Recently I learnt from Amnesty International, that Mr Djalali, has been transferred to solitary confinement in Evin prison and told by the prosecution authorities that his death sentence will be carried out imminently. [1]

In fact:

No later than a week from 24 November. [2]

I write you, with the request to exert pressure on the authorities

of your country to quash mr Djalali’s death sentence, as to release him,

as shown in repeated calls from UN human rights experts [Human Rights Council,Working Group on Arbitrary Detention] [3]

According to Amnesty International and the Human Rights Council,Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, mr Djalali was arbitrarily arrested [4], sentenced to death for “corruption on earth” (efsad-e fel-arz) in October 2017 after an unfair trial before Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran [5], had been tortured and held under inhuman conditions. [6]

Arbitrary arrests are in contravention with articles 9 and 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, signed by your country [7], like unfair trials [article 14, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights] [8]

Torture is also forbidden by the  International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights  [article 7] [9]

Sofar my information I learnt from Amnesty International and  Human Rights Council,Working Group on Arbitrary Detention.

Now my side of the story:

Of course I rely on the information of two recommendable human rights 

organizations, but even if the authorities of your country deny the accusations, then yet my request to stop the imminent execution of mr Djalali stands form.

Because I am a convinced and fundamental opponent of the death penalty,

against all circumstances, regardless the committed crime.

Why?

Because I consider death penalty as a cruel and inhuman punishment and

I am convinced of the fact, that everyone has a right to life, regardless.

No one should be deprived of his God given life.

That’s my firm opinion.

And besides that:

History learns, that it happens [and happened], that the wrong persons were

convicted.

Had there still be a death penalty in the United Kingdom, the Guildford Four and

the Maguire Seven had been put to death for crimes they didn’t commit. [10]

And it was out of international solidarity that the Scottsboro boys in racist

USA in the thirties of the 20th century escaped death sentence for

crimes they didn’t commit. [11]

URGENT APPEAL

Mr Embassador, therefore I do an urgent appeal on you, for

the sake of humanity and mercy, to exert pressure on the autorities

in your country to stop this imminent execution.

I hope I am not too late.

Think of it.

Whatever mr Djalali really did, I think he is punished enough.

Every human being has the inherent right to life 

God gave us the life

Only He can take it away.

Kind regards

Astrid Essed

Amsterdam

The Netherlands

NOTES

[1]

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL

IRAN:

IMMINENT EXECUTION OF SWEDISH-IRANIAN ACADEMIC AHMADREZA

DJALALI MUST BE HALTED

24 NOVEMBER 2020

https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2020/11/iran-imminent-execution-of-swedish-iranian-academic-ahmadreza-djalali-must-be-halted/

TEXT

Responding to news that Ahmadreza Djalali, an Iranian-Swedish specialist in emergency medicine, has been transferred to solitary confinement in Evin prison and told by the prosecution authorities that his death sentence will be carried out imminently, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa, Diana Eltahawy, said:

“We were horrified to learn that the authorities have instructed the office in charge of implementing sentences to transfer Ahmadreza Djalali to solitary confinement and implement his death sentence no later than a week from 24 November.

“It is appalling that despite repeated calls from UN human rights experts to quash Ahmadreza Djalali’s death sentence and release him, the Iranian authorities have instead decided to push for this irreversible injustice. They must immediately halt any plans to execute Ahmadreza Djalali and end their shocking assault on his right to life.

“We call on members of the international community to immediately intervene, including through their embassies in Tehran, to save Ahmadreza Djalali’s life before it is too late.

“International human rights bodies have consistently held that it is a violation of the right to life to pass a death sentence after criminal proceedings that violate fair trial guarantees. Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all cases and without exception as the ultimate cruel and inhuman punishment.”

Background

Ahmadreza Djalali was sentenced to death for “corruption on earth” (efsad-e fel-arz) in October 2017 after a grossly unfair trial before Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran. The court relied primarily on “confessions” that Ahmadreza Djalili says were obtained under torture and other ill-treatment while he was held in prolonged solitary confinement without access to a lawyer. These included threats to execute him, kill or otherwise harm his children, who live in Sweden, and his mother, who lives in Iran. Amnesty International has consistently held that that the offence of “corruption on earth” fails to meet requirements for clarity and precision needed in criminal law, and also breaches the principle of legality and legal certainty.

In a letter written from inside Evin prison in August 2017, Ahmadreza Djalali said he was held solely because of his refusal to use his academic ties in European institutions to spy for Iran.

On 17 December 2017, an Iranian state-run TV station aired Ahmadreza Djalali’s “confession” along with a voiceover presenting him as a “spy”. By extracting and airing these forced “confessions”, Iranian authorities violated Ahmadreza Djalali’s right to the presumption of innocence as well as the right not to be forced into incriminating himself. Since December 2017, his lawyers have filed at least two requests for a judicial review of Ahmadreza Djalali’s case, and both have been rejected.   

In November 2017, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention called on Iran to release Ahmadreza Djalali immediately and accord him an enforceable right to compensation and other reparations, as he had been detained without an arrest warrant, had only been formally charged 10 months after his arrest, and had been “effectively prevented from exercising his right to challenge the lawfulness of his detention”. The Working Group also found that his right to a fair trial had been violated to such a gravity “as to give Mr Djalali’s deprivation of liberty an arbitrary character”.

On 9 December 2018, his lawyers learned that Branch 1 of the Supreme Court had upheld his death sentence without granting them an opportunity to file their defence submissions on his behalf.

END OF STATEMENT

[2]

”We were horrified to learn that the authorities have instructed the office in charge of implementing sentences to transfer Ahmadreza Djalali to solitary confinement and implement his death sentence no later than a week from 24 November.”

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL

IRAN:

IMMINENT EXECUTION OF SWEDISH-IRANIAN ACADEMIC AHMADREZA

DJALALI MUST BE HALTED

24 NOVEMBER 2020

https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2020/11/iran-imminent-execution-of-swedish-iranian-academic-ahmadreza-djalali-must-be-halted/

[3]

OPINIONS ADOPTED BY THE WORKING GROUP ON ARBITRARY DETENTION AT ITS EIGHTEETH SESSION, 20-24 NOVEMBER 2017

OPINION 92/2017 CONCERNING AHMADREZA DJALALI (ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN]

https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Issues/Detention/A_HRC_WGAD_2017_92.pdf

[4]

” 12. The source submits that Mr. Djalali’s arrest and detention are arbitrary, being in contravention of articles 9 and 10 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and articles 9 and 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and fall within categories I and III of the categories applied by the Working Group.”

OPINIONS ADOPTED BY THE WORKING GROUP ON ARBITRARY DETENTION AT ITS EIGHTIETH SESSION, 20-24 NOVEMBER 2017

OPINION 92/2017 CONCERNING AHMADREZA DJALALI (ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN]

https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Issues/Detention/A_HRC_WGAD_2017_92.pdf

[5]

”Ahmadreza Djalali was sentenced to death for “corruption on earth” (efsad-e fel-arz) in October 2017 after a grossly unfair trial before Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran.

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL

IRAN:

IMMINENT EXECUTION OF SWEDISH-IRANIAN ACADEMIC AHMADREZA

DJALALI MUST BE HALTED

24 NOVEMBER 2020

https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2020/11/iran-imminent-execution-of-swedish-iranian-academic-ahmadreza-djalali-must-be-halted/

[6]

”The court relied primarily on “confessions” that Ahmadreza Djalili says were obtained under torture and other ill-treatment while he was held in prolonged solitary confinement without access to a lawyer.”

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL

IRAN:

IMMINENT EXECUTION OF SWEDISH-IRANIAN ACADEMIC AHMADREZA

DJALALI MUST BE HALTED

24 NOVEMBER 2020

https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2020/11/iran-imminent-execution-of-swedish-iranian-academic-ahmadreza-djalali-must-be-halted/

” 35. According to the source, Mr. Djalali is detained in inhuman conditions, in contravention of his right to be treated with humanity and respect for his inherent dignity. The source considers that this treatment constitutes a violation of article 10 (1) of the Covenant and falls short of the requirements of the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (the Nelson Mandela Rules).12 In addition, the source claims that the treatment to which Mr. Djalali has been subjected is a violation of the prohibition of torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment under article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and article 7 of the Covenant.”

OPINIONS ADOPTED BY THE WORKING GROUP ON ARBITRARY DETENTION AT ITS EIGHTEETH SESSION, 20-24 NOVEMBER 2017

OPINION 92/2017 CONCERNING AHMADREZA DJALALI (ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN]

https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Issues/Detention/A_HRC_WGAD_2017_92.pdf

[7]

ARTICLES 9 AND 14

Article 9

1. Everyone has the right to liberty and security of person. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest or detention. No one shall be deprived of his liberty except on such grounds and in accordance with such procedure as are established by law……

Article 14

1. All persons shall be equal before the courts and tribunals. In the determination of any criminal charge against him, or of his rights and obligations in a suit at law, everyone shall be entitled to a fair and public hearing by a competent, independent and impartial tribunal established by law……..

INTERNATIONAL COVENANT ON CIVIL AND POLITICAL RIGHTS

http://hrlibrary.umn.edu/instree/b3ccpr.htm
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights4 Apr 196824 Jun 1975 23 Mar 1976

RATIFICATION OF INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS TREATIES-IRAN

http://hrlibrary.umn.edu/research/ratification-iran.html

[8]

SEE NOTE 7

[9]

Article 7

No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. In particular, no one shall be subjected without his free consent to medical or scientific experimentation.


INTERNATIONAL COVENANT ON CIVIL AND POLITICAL RIGHTS

http://hrlibrary.umn.edu/instree/b3ccpr.htm

[10]

WIKIPEDIA

GUILDFORD FOUR AND MAGUIRE SEVEN

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guildford_Four_and_Maguire_Seven

[11]

WIKIPEDIA

SCOTTSBORO BOYS

Scottsboro Boys

Reacties uitgeschakeld voor Stop imminent execution of Swedish-Iranian academic Ahmadreza Djalali!/Second letter, this time to the Iranian ambassador in the Netherlands

Opgeslagen onder Divers

Imminent execution of Swedish-Iranian academic Ahmadreza Djalali/Stop the death penalty!

IMMINENT EXECUTION OF SWEDISH-IRANIAN ACADEMIC AHMADREZADJALALI/STOP THE DEATH PENALTY/LETTER TO THE IRANIAN EMBASSY IN BELGIUM

Image result for Gallows/Images
Image result for Guillotine/Images

Electric chair at the Florida State Prison

NO AGAINST DEATH PENALTY!

EMBASSY OF THE ISLAMIC REPUBLIC IRANTO THE EMBASSADOR Mr M. Barimani
Subject: Imminent execution of Dr Ahmadreza Djalali

Your Excellency,

My request is on behalf of Dr Ahmadreza Djalali, an an Iranian-Swedish specialist in emergency medicine.Recently I learnt from Amnesty International, that Mr Djalali, has been transferred to solitary confinement in Evin prison and told by the prosecution authorities that his death sentence will be carried out imminently. [1]In fact:No later than a week from 24 November. [2]
I write you, with the request to exert pressure on the authoritiesof your country to quash mr Djalali’s death sentence, as to release him,as shown in repeated calls from UN human rights experts [Human Rights Council,Working Group on Arbitrary Detention] [3]According to Amnesty International and the Human Rights Council,Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, mr Djalali was arbitrarily arrested [4], sentenced to death for “corruption on earth” (efsad-e fel-arz) in October 2017 after an unfair trial before Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran [5], had been tortured and held under inhuman conditions. [6]Arbitrary arrests are in contravention with articles 9 and 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, signed by your country [7], like unfair trials [article 14, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights] [8]Torture is also forbidden by the  International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights  [article 7] [9]
Sofar my information I learnt from Amnesty International and  Human Rights Council,Working Group on Arbitrary Detention.
Now my side of the story:
Of course I rely on the information of two recommendable human rights organizations, but even if the authorities of your country deny the accusations, then yet my request to stop the imminent execution of mr Djalali stands form.
Because I am a convinced and fundamental opponent of the death penalty,against all circumstances, regardless the committed crime.Why?Because I consider death penalty as a cruel and inhuman punishment andI am convinced of the fact, that everyone has a right to life, regardless.
No one should be deprived of his God given life.That’s my firm opinion.
And besides that:History learns, that it happens [and happened], that the wrong persons wereconvicted.
Had there still be a death penalty in the United Kingdom, the Guildford Four andthe Maguire Seven had been put to death for crimes they didn’t commit. [10]

And it was out of international solidarity that the Scottsboro boys in racistUSA in the thirties of the 20th century escaped death sentence forcrimes they didn’t commit. [11]

URGENT APPEAL

Mr Embassador, therefore I do an urgent appeal on you, forthe sake of humanity and mercy, to exert pressure on the autoritiesin your country to stop this imminent execution.

I hope I am not too late.
Think of it.Whatever mr Djalali really did, I think he is punished enough.
Every human being has the inherent right to life 
God gave us the life
Only He can take it away.

Kind regards
Astrid EssedAmsterdamThe Netherlands

NOTES

[1]

AMNESTY INTERNATIONALIRAN:IMMINENT EXECUTION OF SWEDISH-IRANIAN ACADEMIC AHMADREZADJALALI MUST BE HALTED24 NOVEMBER 2020
https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2020/11/iran-imminent-execution-of-swedish-iranian-academic-ahmadreza-djalali-must-be-halted/

TEXT

Responding to news that Ahmadreza Djalali, an Iranian-Swedish specialist in emergency medicine, has been transferred to solitary confinement in Evin prison and told by the prosecution authorities that his death sentence will be carried out imminently, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa, Diana Eltahawy, said:

“We were horrified to learn that the authorities have instructed the office in charge of implementing sentences to transfer Ahmadreza Djalali to solitary confinement and implement his death sentence no later than a week from 24 November.

“It is appalling that despite repeated calls from UN human rights experts to quash Ahmadreza Djalali’s death sentence and release him, the Iranian authorities have instead decided to push for this irreversible injustice. They must immediately halt any plans to execute Ahmadreza Djalali and end their shocking assault on his right to life.

“We call on members of the international community to immediately intervene, including through their embassies in Tehran, to save Ahmadreza Djalali’s life before it is too late.

“International human rights bodies have consistently held that it is a violation of the right to life to pass a death sentence after criminal proceedings that violate fair trial guarantees. Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all cases and without exception as the ultimate cruel and inhuman punishment.”

Background

Ahmadreza Djalali was sentenced to death for “corruption on earth” (efsad-e fel-arz) in October 2017 after a grossly unfair trial before Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran. The court relied primarily on “confessions” that Ahmadreza Djalili says were obtained under torture and other ill-treatment while he was held in prolonged solitary confinement without access to a lawyer. These included threats to execute him, kill or otherwise harm his children, who live in Sweden, and his mother, who lives in Iran. Amnesty International has consistently held that that the offence of “corruption on earth” fails to meet requirements for clarity and precision needed in criminal law, and also breaches the principle of legality and legal certainty.

In a letter written from inside Evin prison in August 2017, Ahmadreza Djalali said he was held solely because of his refusal to use his academic ties in European institutions to spy for Iran.

On 17 December 2017, an Iranian state-run TV station aired Ahmadreza Djalali’s “confession” along with a voiceover presenting him as a “spy”. By extracting and airing these forced “confessions”, Iranian authorities violated Ahmadreza Djalali’s right to the presumption of innocence as well as the right not to be forced into incriminating himself. Since December 2017, his lawyers have filed at least two requests for a judicial review of Ahmadreza Djalali’s case, and both have been rejected.   

In November 2017, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention called on Iran to release Ahmadreza Djalali immediately and accord him an enforceable right to compensation and other reparations, as he had been detained without an arrest warrant, had only been formally charged 10 months after his arrest, and had been “effectively prevented from exercising his right to challenge the lawfulness of his detention”. The Working Group also found that his right to a fair trial had been violated to such a gravity “as to give Mr Djalali’s deprivation of liberty an arbitrary character”.

On 9 December 2018, his lawyers learned that Branch 1 of the Supreme Court had upheld his death sentence without granting them an opportunity to file their defence submissions on his behalf.

END OF STATEMENT

[2]

”We were horrified to learn that the authorities have instructed the office in charge of implementing sentences to transfer Ahmadreza Djalali to solitary confinement and implement his death sentence no later than a week from 24 November.”AMNESTY INTERNATIONALIRAN:IMMINENT EXECUTION OF SWEDISH-IRANIAN ACADEMIC AHMADREZADJALALI MUST BE HALTED24 NOVEMBER 2020
https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2020/11/iran-imminent-execution-of-swedish-iranian-academic-ahmadreza-djalali-must-be-halted/

[3]
OPINIONS ADOPTED BY THE WORKING GROUP ON ARBITRARY DETENTION AT ITS EIGHTEETH SESSION, 20-24 NOVEMBER 2017

OPINION 92/2017 CONCERNING AHMADREZA DJALALI (ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN]
https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Issues/Detention/A_HRC_WGAD_2017_92.pdf

[4]

” 12. The source submits that Mr. Djalali’s arrest and detention are arbitrary, being in contravention of articles 9 and 10 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and articles 9 and 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and fall within categories I and III of the categories applied by the Working Group.”

OPINIONS ADOPTED BY THE WORKING GROUP ON ARBITRARY DETENTION AT ITS EIGHTIETH SESSION, 20-24 NOVEMBER 2017

OPINION 92/2017 CONCERNING AHMADREZA DJALALI (ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN]
https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Issues/Detention/A_HRC_WGAD_2017_92.pdf
[5]
”Ahmadreza Djalali was sentenced to death for “corruption on earth” (efsad-e fel-arz) in October 2017 after a grossly unfair trial before Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran.
AMNESTY INTERNATIONALIRAN:IMMINENT EXECUTION OF SWEDISH-IRANIAN ACADEMIC AHMADREZADJALALI MUST BE HALTED24 NOVEMBER 2020
https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2020/11/iran-imminent-execution-of-swedish-iranian-academic-ahmadreza-djalali-must-be-halted/

[6]
”The court relied primarily on “confessions” that Ahmadreza Djalili says were obtained under torture and other ill-treatment while he was held in prolonged solitary confinement without access to a lawyer.”

AMNESTY INTERNATIONALIRAN:IMMINENT EXECUTION OF SWEDISH-IRANIAN ACADEMIC AHMADREZADJALALI MUST BE HALTED24 NOVEMBER 2020
https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2020/11/iran-imminent-execution-of-swedish-iranian-academic-ahmadreza-djalali-must-be-halted/

” 35. According to the source, Mr. Djalali is detained in inhuman conditions, in contravention of his right to be treated with humanity and respect for his inherent dignity. The source considers that this treatment constitutes a violation of article 10 (1) of the Covenant and falls short of the requirements of the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (the Nelson Mandela Rules).12 In addition, the source claims that the treatment to which Mr. Djalali has been subjected is a violation of the prohibition of torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment under article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and article 7 of the Covenant.”
OPINIONS ADOPTED BY THE WORKING GROUP ON ARBITRARY DETENTION AT ITS EIGHTEETH SESSION, 20-24 NOVEMBER 2017

OPINION 92/2017 CONCERNING AHMADREZA DJALALI (ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN]
https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Issues/Detention/A_HRC_WGAD_2017_92.pdf

[7]
ARTICLES 9 AND 14

Article 9

1. Everyone has the right to liberty and security of person. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest or detention. No one shall be deprived of his liberty except on such grounds and in accordance with such procedure as are established by law……

Article 14

1. All persons shall be equal before the courts and tribunals. In the determination of any criminal charge against him, or of his rights and obligations in a suit at law, everyone shall be entitled to a fair and public hearing by a competent, independent and impartial tribunal established by law……..

INTERNATIONAL COVENANT ON CIVIL AND POLITICAL RIGHTS
http://hrlibrary.umn.edu/instree/b3ccpr.htm

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights4 Apr 196824 Jun 1975 23 Mar 1976

RATIFICATION OF INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS TREATIES-IRAN

http://hrlibrary.umn.edu/research/ratification-iran.html

[8]

SEE NOTE 7

[9]

Article 7

No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. In particular, no one shall be subjected without his free consent to medical or scientific experimentation.

INTERNATIONAL COVENANT ON CIVIL AND POLITICAL RIGHTS
http://hrlibrary.umn.edu/instree/b3ccpr.htm

[10]

WIKIPEDIAGUILDFORD FOUR AND MAGUIRE SEVEN

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guildford_Four_and_Maguire_Seven

[11]

WIKIPEDIASCOTTSBORO BOYS

Scottsboro Boys

Reacties uitgeschakeld voor Imminent execution of Swedish-Iranian academic Ahmadreza Djalali/Stop the death penalty!

Opgeslagen onder Divers

Nergens plaats, nergens welkom en de haat van een Overheid/Amsterdam 2019/Jaar nul, een Stad in het Oosten

NERGENS PLAATS, NERGENS WELKOM EN DE HAAT VAN EEN OVERHEID/Amsterdam 2019/Jaar nul, een Stad in het Oosten.

Image result for No place in the inn/Images

NIET WELKOM/GEEN PLAATS IN DE HERBERG

NIET WELKOM/SYRISCHE VLUCHTELINGEN

NIET WELKOM/VROUWEN VAN IS STRIJDERS EN HUN KINDEREN IN KAMPEN

Uitgeprocedeerde asielzoekers verhuizen van Vluchtkantoor op de Weteringschans naar Vluchthaven in het voormalige huis van bewaring in de Havenstraat. (Binnenland - documentair - enkel)

NIET WELKOM/WE ARE HERE

Komt dat u bekend voor, lezers?Een Verhaal uit vervlogen dagen, toen een arme Familie op weg ging naar een stad, omdat vanwege de volkstelling door een vreemde bezetter, iedereen naar zijn geboortestad moest.Wat een va en vient moet dat geweest zijn op die stoffige wegen.De aanzienlijken konden zich draagstoelen veroorloven, de armen, zoals dit gezin, kon maar mooi per ezel reizen.Dat wil zeggen:De man trok de ezel, de vrouw, die hoogzwanger was, dat op het dier.Wat een tocht!Hoogzwanger, over stoffige en hobbelige wegen, door elkaar geschud op een ezel.Het moet die ezel -laten we daar ook eens bij stilstaan- ook niet zijn meegevallen.Hitte, stof, en voort maar.Een moeilijke tocht voor de man, die trok, de vrouw die hoogzwanger was en de ezel, die het lastdier was.En zoals wel vaker gaat als je arm bent:Toen zij uiteindelijk in hun Geboorteplaats, Bethlehem, aankwamen, was er nergens plaats.Vol natuurlijk, vanwege die verduivelde volkstelling, maar ook konden zij als armen zich geen goede slaapplaats veroorloven.Maar ja, de vrouw moest moeder worden en de medelijdende herbergier zal gezegd hebben:Er is nog een plaatsje in de stal.En zo geschiedde.
Een Gezond Kind werd geboren.
Ik denk weleens:Hoeveel Syrische vrouwen zijn ook zo vertrokken, hier gevlucht voor een oorlog.En hoe is dat afgelopen, met die aanstaande moeders.Hebben ze goed kunnen bevallen?Waar?Is het kind in leven gebleven?Ze waren immers op de vlucht.
En hoe zit dat met die vrouwen van IS strijders, die in Syrische kampen zitten inomstandigheden waarvan Amnesty en Human Rights Watch zeggen:Dat is onmenselijk!Ik heb veel gelezen over overbevolking, slechte sanitaire omstandigheden, babysterfte.Het is geen populaire groep, nee en er zitten ongetwijfeld vrouwen bij, die zo het een en ander op hun kerfstok hebben, maar ja, daar kunnen die kinderen ook niets doen, ook al laat de ”beschaafde” Nederlandse regering ze daar lekker in hun sop gaarkoken.Ondanks oproepen van Human Rights Watch, het Rode Kruis en ook de Koerden, die met hen in hun maag zitten, om ze te repatrieren naar waar ze vandaan zijn gekomen, in dit geval Nederland.En hoe hatelijk soms ook, ook die vrouwen verdienen geen mensonwaardige omstandigheden, want mensenrechten zijn nou eenmaal niet alleen voor mensen, die we aardig vinden.
EEN STAD IN HET OOSTEN, JAAR NUL/HAAT VAN EEN OVERHEID
Dat was zo in het Jaar nulDat is nu nog zo, in 2019, in Amsterdam
In het Jaar nul, het Jaar van de Geboorte van het Kind, dat, en hou dat goed in herinnering, lezers, uit het Oosten kwam, net als die Syriers, net als vele andere vluchtelingen, was er al haat van een Overheid.Drie wijze mannen [De Wijzen uit het Oosten], die een voorspeling over het kind kenden, hadden de stal bezocht en het Kind geschenken gegeven.Maar de puppet koning, Herodes, wist ook van de voorspelling en uit misinterpretatie en angst [dat dit Kind hem als koning zou onttronen] liet hij alle pasgeboren kinderen in Bethlehem doden.Massamoord in het Jaar nul.
De ouders, gewaarschuwd in een droom, konden op tijd met het Kind ontkomen naar Egypte.Saiiaint detail:
Was het in het Europa van deze tijd, zou hun vluchtverhaal vast niet zijn geloofd.
AMSTERDAM 2019/HAAT VAN EEN OVERHEID
Haat van de Overheid ervaren nu de mensen van We are Here:Niet uitzetbaar, maar toch geen verblijfsvergunning krijgend, zwerven ze nu al sinds 2012 door Amsterdam, zijn gedwongen pand na pand te kraken, waaruit ze weer verdreven worden, krijgen criminaliserende bagger over zich heen -dat zij inbrekers zij, dat zij chanteurs zijn, dat zij gelukszoekers zijn, dat zij ”al krakend door de stad trekken”, alsof het een hobby was, dat zij voor overlast zorgen-Ze slapen in ijskoude garages, waar geen stromend water is, moeten leven van giften van anderen en worden op geen enkele manier gesteund door de Gemeente, tenzij -o afpersing- zij bereid zijn zich in te zetten voor terugkeer naar oorlog en ellende
En als er een of twee keer eentje door het lint gaat, wanhopig geworden door de onmenselijke situatie, gaat de hele [extreem] rechtser goegemeente los en besluit een laffe burgemeester, die zich ”hoedster van de vrijheid” noemt, strenge maatregelen[tot registratie aan toe] te nemen om hen het kraken onmogelijk te maken.Terwijl zij hen nog geen hap brood aanbiedt en geen enkele voorziening voor hen regelt.

HAAT VAN EEN OVERHEID
Is dat wat een ”beschaafd land” doet.
Is de wereld zoveel beter geworden, sinds het Jaar nul.
Ik betwijfel dat.
Ze zullen zich het Kerstdiner wel goed laten smaken, die [[extreem] rechtse dames en heren, die zo veroordelend klaar staan over We are Here, maar ondertussen hun medemensen, vluchtelingen in nood, laten verrekken.
Dat is niet de betekenis van Kerstmis.
Kerstmis is:
Naast deze mensen gaan staan en solidair zijn
Dat wilde ik even gezegd hebben en daarom heb ik tijd gemaakt voor deze Boodschap aan u, lezers.
Om niet te vergeten waar het eigenlijk om gaat
Iedereen Goede en Vrolijke Kerstdagen toegewenst en een Gezond en Strijdbaar 2020.
Astrid Essed

Reacties uitgeschakeld voor Nergens plaats, nergens welkom en de haat van een Overheid/Amsterdam 2019/Jaar nul, een Stad in het Oosten

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Geen medelijden met Jihadisten/Over IS vrouwen, Jezidis en mensenrechten/Quote attack op Dilan Yesilgoz

GEEN MEDELIJDEN MET JIHADISTEN/OVER IS VROUWEN, JEZIDI’S EN MENSENRECHTEN/QUOTE ATTACK OP DILAN YESILGOZ 

Twee IS-vrouwen met een kind in het Syrische detentiekamp al-Hol AFP

Een foto uit een kamp in al-Hol in Noordoost-Syrië AFPHTTPS://NOS.NL/ARTIKEL/2311309-IS-VROUWEN-EN-KINDEREN-TERUG-IN-NEDERLAND-WAT-GEBEURT-ER-MET-ZE.HTML HTTPS://WWW.HRW.ORG/NEWS/2019/07/23/SYRIA-DIRE-CONDITIONS-ISIS-SUSPECTS-FAMILIES

VOORAF:

Dilan Yesilgoz, VVD Tweede Kamerlid en woordvoerder Terrorismebestrijding, Veiligheid, Politie, Rampenbestrijding en nog een aantal andere zaken [1], laat weer eens van zich horen.Deze keer in een door AD geplaatst stuk ”Geen medelijden met Jihadisten. Steun de slachtoffers in plaats van IS vrouwen” [2]Eerder kwam ze  in de kwestie ”terughalen of niet” van IS vrouwen en de berechting van IS strijders in het nieuws door in de Tweede Kamer te verklaren, dat het eventueel voltrekken van de doodstraf aan IS strijders na ”berechting” in Irak voor de VVD ”acceptabel” zou zijn. [3]Ik vind het weerzinwekkend, dat loslaten van het elementaire recht op leven, dat door de EU hoog wordt gehouden [4] [Nederland is toch nog een EU land?], maar ook onder artikel 114 in de Nederlandse Grondwet is verankerd. [5]Vandaar dat ik daartegen protesteerde in de vorm van een artikel en Ingezonden Stuk , waarin ik ook de nadruk legde op de hypocrisie van de VVD. [6]Wel zwaaien met ”onze waarden” [7] wanneer dat zo uitkomt, maar wanneer het om ”onze vijanden” gaat [term, die Rutte ooit hanteerde ivm IS] [8], zijn we ineens niet thuis.Veel belangrijker dan mijn protest was de ronduit afwijzing door de Tweede Kamer [9] en vooral protesten binnen de VVD zelf.Van minister van Buitenlandse Zaken, Blok, en de JOVD, jongerenorganisatie van de VVD. [10]

ARTIKEL  ‘Geen medelijden met Jihadisten.”  

Alsof deze verwerpelijke stellingname van Yesilgoz [natuurlijk backed by de VVD] nog niet genoeg was, ging ze over tot het schrijven van genoemd AD artikel dus ” ”Geen medelijden met Jihadisten. Steun de slachtoffers in plaats van IS vrouwen”, waarvan ik mij bij lezing afvroeg:
Zou Yesilgoz weleens gehoord hebben van de volgende belangrijke basisbegrippen in het Internationaal Recht:
Gelijke rechten voor iedereen.Iedereen wordt voor onschuldig gehouden, tot schuld bewezenVerbod op collectieve straf [11]
Ja, dat en nog veel meer, mevrouw Yesilgoz, ligt verankerd in de Internationale Verdragen, waarmee Nederland zo graag schermt, als het zo uitkomt.
Ik heb getwijfeld, of ik aandacht zou besteden aan gevaarlijk geraaskal als in dit artikel, maar heb besloten, dat toch te doen.Want de VVD is geen achterafpartij, maar de op dit moment grootste partij in dit land, een regeringspartij, die al voor de derde keer een premier heeft afgeleverden dus behoorlijk invloedrijk.Zorgwekkend ook, hoe deze Partij, die niet vreemd is van xenofobie [12], nu al zo ver is geradicaliseerd, dat zij overweegt, een van de meest elementaire mensenrechten, het recht op leven, aan de kant te schuiven, als het zo uitkomt. [13]Dergelijke verderfelijke opvattingen kunnen zich op den duur als een olievlek verspreiden en als dit de toekomst van Nederland is, belooft dat weinig goeds.
Vandaar toch maar weer de strijd aangebonden.
QUOTE ATTACK
Mijn felle commentaar zal worden geleverd in de vorm van een ”Quote attack”
Dus iedere keer citeer ik grote delen uit de tekst van Yesilgoz, dat ik belangrijk vind, waarna mijn commentaar, van noten voorzien uiteraard, zoals de lezer van mij gewend is.

Ik besef het gevaar van het selecteren van teksten uit een artikel, waardoor er een bepaalde indruk kan ontstaan, maar aangezien ik feitelijk vrijwel de gehele tekst citeer, wordt dat gevaar daarmee ondervangen.Bovendien geef ik, zoals de lezer van mij gewend is,mevrouw Yesilgoz een eerlijke kans, door haar getranscribeerde artikel direct hieronder weer te geven, [dus nog voor het notenapparaat], waardoor iedereen de tekst kan mee of overlezen.

Nu lezers, ik begin hierbij mijn Quote Attack

Astrid Essed

QUOTE ATTACK ASTRID ESSED OP ARTIKEL DILAN YESILGOZ:
”GEEN MEDELIJDEN MET JIHADISTEN/STEUN DE SLACHTOFFERS IN PLAATS VAN IS VROUWEN”

QUOTE ATTACK 1

” GEEN MEDELIJDEN MET JIHADISTEN”
Ik begin al direct met de Kop van de tekst ”Geen medelijden met Jihadisten”Wat Yesilgoz niet kan of wil  begrijpen is, dat het niets met ”medelijden” of ”begrip” [een woord, dat zij in haar artikel gebruikt] te maken heeft.Je kunt afschuw hebben voor iemand’s gedachtegoed  [en IS heeft er hard zijn best voor gedaan, en is daar ook in geslaagd, mensen, waaronder ondergetekende, met afschuw te laten kijken naar hun daden en ook gedachtegoed] en zijn/haar daden afkeuren en verafschuwen [me dunkt terecht in het geval van IS] [14], maar daarnaast blijven uitgaan van de in Internationale Verdragen, zoals de Universele Verklaring voor de Rechten van de Mens [15] voorop vastgelegde principes, dat de inherente waardigheid van ieder mens gerespecteerd moet worden en dat iedereen recht heeft op een humane behandeling, ook IS strijders of strijdsters. [16]

QUOTE ATTACK 2”STEUN DE SLACHTOFFERS IN PLAATS VAN IS VROUWEN”
Ik blijf nog even bij de kop van de tekst ”Geen medelijden met Jihadisten”Want het tweede deel van de tekst luidt ”Steun de slachtoffers in plaats van IS vrouwen”
Yesilogoz suggereert, dat er een tegenstelling is tussen die tweeWant, in haar wereldbeeld en dat van de VVD kennelijk, steun je OF de IS vrouwen, OF de slachtoffers [van de IS vrouwen]En dat, waarde lezers, slaat nergens op.Want als het om RECHTEN van mensen gaat, is het niet OF, OF, maar EN, ENOntegenzeggelijk zijn vele Yezidi vrouwen slachtoffers van ernstige mensenrechtenschendingen, zoals uitgebreid gedocumenteerd [17] en verdienen ze iedere hulp en steun, maar dat betekent niet, dat IS vrouwen, ook al zijn zij medeplichtig of zelfs  verantwoordelijk voor deze mensenrechtenschendingen, nu ineens geen rechten, mensenrechten zouden hebben.Daarvoor haal ik graag de volgende Bijbeluitspraak aan:””want Hij doet Zijn zon opgaan over bozen en goeden, en regent over rechtvaardigen en onrechtvaardigen.” [18]

QUOTE ATTACK 3
CITAAT UIT TEKST YESILGOZ
”De beschrijvingen van een goed georganiseerde slavenhandel en het systematisch verkrachten van Jezidi meisjes is confronterend en misselijkmakend.In ons land lijkt vooral aandacht te zijn voor de vrouwen en mannen, die willens en wetens naar het Kalifaat zijn afgereisd om zich bij IS aan te sluiten.De vraag is, wat er moet gebeuren met de IS’ers, die ”spijt” hebben gekregen van hun deelname aan de strijd.”
EINDE CITAAT YESILGOZ
De documentatie en beschrijvingen van de mensenrechtenschendingen, aan Yezidis aangedaan, is inderdaad misselijkmakend, daarin heeft Yesilgoz gelijk.Ik ben het er dan ook helemaal mee eens, dat na een eerlijk proces en bewezenverklaring van het aandeel van betreffenden [IS strijders en eventueel hun vrouwen] een pittige straf moet volgen.Als er minder aandacht is voor de Yezidi slachtoffers dan de situatie van Nederlandse ISers is dat inderdaad verwerpelijk.Tot zover mee eens
ECHTER:Op de laatste zin in het Yesilgoz citaat heb ik kritiek
”De vraag is, wat er moet gebeuren met de IS’ers, die ”spijt” hebben gekregen van hun deelname aan de strijd.”
Het gaat er mijns inziens niet om, of IS’ers al dan geen ”spijt” hebben van hun deelname aan de strijd.Dat is niet te meten en heeft met hun elementaire rechten niets van doen.Want spijt of niet, bij bewezen verklaring van strafbare feiten dient een passende, pittige straf te volgen.Maar ook:Spijt of niet, elementaire mensenrechten blijven hetzelfde, zoals het recht op een eerlijk proces, humane behandeling en het recht op humane leefomstandigheden.Over dat laatste straks meer
QUOTE ATTACK 4
CITAAT YESILGOZ
”Laten we ophouden met het bagatelliseren van de rol van IS-vrouwen.Ze zijn bewust afgereisd naar Syrie en Irak uit sympathie voor een verderfelijk gedachtegoed.Het zijn geen huisvrouwen en moeders, die slechts voor hun kinderen zorgden.”
EINDE CITAAT YESILGOZ
Wat ik zo gevaarlijk vind aan dit stukje is, dat Yesilgoz, zonder dat er nog een onderzoek is geweest, alle Nederlandse  ”IS vrouwen”over een kam scheert.Bij voorbaat gaat ze er al vanuit, dat zij allemaal wel niet alleen hetzelfde gedachtegoed en/of motieven hadden, maar ook, dat zij allemaal veel meer gedaan hebben dan een potje koken en voor hun kinderen zorgen.Je zult er gehad hebben, die inderdaad vertrokken vanuit sympathie voor het IS gedachtegoed [waarbij indoctrinatie ook een rol kan hebben gespeeld]Je zult naievelingen gehad hebben, die je van alles kunt wijsmaken.En misschien mensen, die handelden vanuit een slechte leefsituatie[problemen in persoonlijke of werksfeer, etc]Kortom:Het is veel complexer dan Yesilgoz dat steltEr zullen er geweest zijn, die ”alleen een potje hebben gekookt” en anderen, die veel meer gedaan hebben.Dat moet onderzoek uitmaken, geen VVD demagogie, zoals gehanteerd door Yesilgoz.

QUOTE ATTACK 5
CITAAT YESILGOZ
”Ze zijn bewust afgereisd naar Syrie en Irak uit sympathie voor een verderfelijk gedachtegoed.Het zijn geen huisvrouwen en moeders, die slechts voor hun kinderen zorgden.Getuigenissen van verschillende Jezidi vrouwen, zoals Nadia Murad en Parween Alhinto, liegen er niet om.”
EINDE CITAAT YESILGOZ
Mijn commentaar op dit citaat sluit aan bij mijn voorafgaande Quote attack 4Natuurlijk zijn de getuigenissen van Jezidi vrouwen  zoals Nadia Murad en Parween Alhinto van groot belang en niemand ontkent ook de grootschalige mensenrechtenschendingen door IS aan de Jezidis [19], maar er is geen bewijs, dat alle Nederlandse IS vrouwen daaraan hebben meegedaan.Dat Yesilgoz dit wel suggereert, is niet alleen kort door de bocht, maar gevaarlijk.

QUOTE ATTACK 6
CITAAT YESILGOZ
”Het zijn geen huisvrouwen en moeders, die slechts voor hun kinderen zorgden.Getuigenissen van verschillende Jezidi vrouwen, zoals Nadia Murad en Parween Alhinto, liegen er niet om.Ze werden jarenlang gemarteld en mishandeld door IS vrouwen.
Zij rekruteerden nieuwe IS’ers, hielpen hun mannen om gevangenen te verkrachten en verheerlijkten deze vreselijke misdaden nog.Voor de VVD is er geen enkele reden om deze vrouwen een tweede kans in Nederland geven.”
EINDE TEKST YESILGOZ
De oplettende lezer ziet, dat ik hierbij ook een deel uit de tekst uit Quote attack 5 citeer, om de samenhang beter te laten doordringen
Als ik deze tekst overlees, valt mij op, en deze keer nog duidelijker, dat alle Nederlandse IS vrouwen over een kam worden geschoren
Nog even Yesilgoz
”Het zijn geen huisvrouwen en moeders, die slechts voor hun kinderen zorgden.en”Zij rekruteerden nieuwe IS’ers, hielpen hun mannen om gevangenen te verkrachten en verheerlijkten deze vreselijke misdaden nog.”
EINDE CITAAT YESILGOZ
Dus zonder enig nader onderzoek naar individuele daden/handelingen van de Nederlandse IS vrouwen, neemt Yesilgoz bij voorbaat aan, dat zij zich aan vreselijke misdaden hebben schuldig gemaakt.
Niet alleen gevaarlijke stemmingmakerij, maar de schending van twee elementaire rechtsprincipes
”Onschuldig tot schuld bewezen” [20]Verbod op collectieve straf [21]En dat laatste haal ik uit het Yesilgoz citaat
”Voor de VVD is er geen enkele reden om deze vrouwen een tweede kans in Nederland geven.”
Wat Yesilgoz dus in feite doet is [want er heeft geen feitelijk onderzoek plaatsgehad] ”de goeden onder de kwaden laten lijden”, collectieve straf dus in de volksmond
Wat Yesilgoz doet, is deze vrouwen schuldig verklaren, nog voordat er een gerechtelijk onderzoek heeft plaatsgehad.Nog voordat ze door een rechter in een onafhankelijk en eerlijk proces, door middel van deugdelijke bewijsmiddelen, zijn veroordeeld
Gevaarlijk en een Kamerlid, dat heeft gezworen/beloofd de Grondwet te respecteren [22], onwaardig.

QUOTE ATTACK 7
CITAAT YESILGOZ
”Dit zijn oorlogsmisdadigers, die alle mensenrechten, die zijzelf grof hebben geschonden, nu ineens zelf willen gebruiken om terug te kunnen keren naar Nederland.Die de rechtsstaat, die zij niet erkennen, nu doodleuk willen gebruiken.”
EINDE CITAAT YESILGOZ
Wederom:Yesilgoz neemt al op voorhand aan, dat alle Nederlandse IS vrouwen [of alle vrouwen, die naar Syrie zijn afgereisd] zich hebben schuldig gemaakt aan oorlogsmisdaden.Dat slaat natuurlijk nergens op, zolang er geen wettig en overtuigend’bewijs voor is geleverd.Ik kom hierop nog terug
Even de rest van dit citaat, want dat is belangrijk, zelfs cruciaal
Yesilgoz
”Dit zijn oorlogsmisdadigers, die alle mensenrechten, die zijzelf grof hebben geschonden, nu ineens zelf willen gebruiken om terug te kunnen keren naar Nederland.Die de rechtsstaat, die zij niet erkennen, nu doodleuk willen gebruiken.”
EINDE CITAAT
Ook al zou zelfs bewezen zijn, dat zij oorlogsmisdadigers, die mensenrechten grof geschonden hebben, betekent dat niet, dat zij geen gebruik zouden kunnen maken van de elementaire mensenrechten, die in een rechtsstaat zouden moeten worden gegarandeerd.Elementaire mensenrechten gelden voor iedereen.Weet u nog lezers?””want Hij doet Zijn zon opgaan over bozen en goeden, en regent over rechtvaardigen en onrechtvaardigen.” [23]
QUOTE ATTACK 8
CITAAT YESILGOZ
”Ik weiger te geloven, dat zij slechts slachtoffers waren van hun echtgenoten.Laten we luisteren naar de echte slachtoffers, in plaats van deze ”bruiden” nog langer de hand boven het hoofd te houden.”
EINDE CITAAT
Het doet er niet toe wat Yesilgoz ”gelooft” of ”weigert te geloven”That’s up to her, maar heeft met rechtsgang niets te maken.Onderzocht zal moeten worden, wat de exacte rol geweest is van Nederlandse vrouwen, die naar Syrie zijn afgereisd.In een eerlijk en onafhankelijk proces, met deugdelijke bewijsvoering.Waarna, bij bewezenverklaring van oorlogsmisdaden, een pittige en passende straf dient te volgen.
Sowieso worden trouwens ”IS vrouwen”, vervolgd wegens ”deelname aan een terroristische organisatie”, nog onafhankelijk van al dan geen gepleegde oorlogsmisdaden. [24]Hiervan zijn de gevolgen pittig, omdat de vrouwen, als ze kinderen hebben, worden geschorst van het ouderlijk gezag en de kinderen naar een pleeggezin gaan. [25]Dat is de procedure.
Dus laat Yesilgoz nu niet doen, alsof die vrouwen hier in een paradijs of lusthof belanden!
QUOTE ATTACK 9
CITAAT YESILGOZ
”Wat de VVD betreft, begint dat met het ontvangen van Nadia Murad en andere slachtoffers in de Tweede Kamer, zodat iedereen de gruwelijkheden, die de werkelijke slachtoffers zijn aangedaan, uit eerste hand kan horen.En wij hen kunnen beschermen, in plaats van vrouwelijke terroristen.”
EINDE CITAAT YESILGOZ
Niet alleen wat de VVD  betreft, wat mij betreft ook!Met de ontvangst van Yezidi vrouwen door de Tweede Kamer en hen de gelegenheid geven, hun verhaal te doen, ben ik het helemaal eens, ja.
En ja, Nederland moet deze vrouwen zeker beschermen.Maar dat betekent nadrukkelijk NIET, dat ook IS vrouwen geen recht op bescherming, of mensenrechten zouden hebben.
Om te beginnen ben ik van mening [maar dat heb ik al reeds eerder geschreven], dat Nederland hen wel moet terughalen, ja, vanwege de mensonterende omstandigheden in Syrische kampen. [26]
En verder ben ik van mening, dat deze vrouwen in Nederland berecht moeten worden.Dat worden zij sowieso wegens verdenking op deelname aan een terroristische organisatie [27], maar waar het om eventuele oorlogsmisdaden gaat, moet het onderzoek in Nederland plaatsvinden, aangezien de rechtsgang in Irak [want daar zouden zij dan terecht staan] in geen enkel opzicht beantwoordt aan de standaarden voor een eerlijk proces [28].
Zo hoort het toe te gaan in een rechtsstaat, mevrouw Yesilgoz.Mensenrechten zijn er voor iedereen, niet alleen voor de politieke vrienden van de VVD!

EPILOOG
In haar artikel ”Geen medelijden met Jihadisten”, is het verbijsterend, dat VVD Tweede Kamerlid Yesilgoz al bij voorbaat ervan uitgaat, dat alle naar Syrie afgereisde Nederlandse IS vrouwen schuldig zouden zijn aan oorlogsmisdaden.Daarmee schendt zij het principe ”onschuldig tot schuld bewezen”Ook is de teneur van het artikel, dat deze vrouwen vanwege hun echte/vermeende verantwoordelijkheid voor het leed aan anderen, dan maar hun elementaire mensenrechten hebben verspeeld.Gevaarlijke en demagogische redeneringen!Als zij zich schuldig hebben gemaakt aan oorlogsmisdaden na vaststelling in een eerlijk proces, volgt er wat mij betreft een pittige straf, maar niet nadat zij, net als ieder ander, alle kansen en rechten hebben gekregen.In Nederland, want in Irak is geen eerlijke rechtsgang. [29]Bovendien:Zij zijn uit Nederland gekomen.Naar Nederland keren zij dus ook terug. [30]

ASTRID ESSED

ARTIKEL DILAN YESILGOZ, GEPUBLICEERD IN AD
GEEN MEDELIJDEN MET JIHADISTEN!STEUN DE SLACHTOFFERS IN PLAATS VAN IS VROUWEN

https://www.trendsmap.com/twitter/tweet/1191974414365184000
[Tekst kan vergroot worden door een klick op de computer]
Transcriptie tekst
ADGEEN MEDELIJDEN MET JIHADISTEN!STEUN DE SLACHTOFFERS IN PLAATS VAN IS VROUWENDilan YesilgozTweede Kamerlid VVD
Het bagatelliseren van de rol van IS vrouwen moet stoppen, stelt Dilan Yesilgoz-Zegerius. De lobby voor hun terugkeer en meer begrip is beschamend. Terwijl over de echte slachtoffers niet wordt gesproken.
”Ik bleef hem zeggen, dat het pijn deed-stop alstublieft, getuigt het 12 jarige meisje.Hij snoerde haar de mond en bond haar handen vast.Voordat hij zich aan het twaalfjarige meisje vergreep, ging hij aan de bedrand bidden.”Hij zei, dat hij volgens de Islam een ongelovige mag verkrachten.Hij zei, dat door mij te verkrachten, dichter bij God komt.De New York Times sprak met 21 vrouwen en meisjes, die uit de handen van IS strijders konden ontsnappen.De beschrijvingen van een goed georganiseerde slavenhandel en het systematisch verkrachten van Jezidi meisjes is confronterend en misselijkmakend.In ons land lijkt vooral aandacht te zijn voor de vrouwen en mannen, die willens en wetens naar het Kalifaat zijn afgereisd om zich bij IS aan te sluiten.De vraag is, wat er moet gebeuren met de IS’ers, die ”spijt” hebben gekregen van hun deelname aan de strijd.”IS bruiden” worden de vrouwen eufemistisch genoemd.Waar over de echte slachtoffers van IS, zoals de Jezidi gemeenschapn, nauwelijks wordt gesproken, lijkt iedereen zich zorgen te maken over de vraag hoe deze vrouwen moeten worden teruggehaald naar Nederland.Laten we ophouden met het bagatelliseren van de rol van IS-vrouwen.Ze zijn bewust afgereisd naar Syrie en Irak uit sympathie voor een verderfelijk gedachtegoed.Het zijn geen huisvrouwen en moeders, die slechts voor hun kinderen zorgden.Getuigenissen van verschillende Jezidi vrouwen, zoals Nadia Murad en Parween Alhinto, liegen er niet om.
‘[Tekst in artikel]
ONBEGRIJPELIJK, DAT ZIJ WILLEN TERUGKEREN NAAR HET LAND, DAT ZIJ ZO VERACHTEN
[EINDE TEKST IN ARTIKEL. ARTIKEL VERVOLGT”:]
Ze werden jarenlang gemarteld en mishandeld door IS vrouwen.Zij rekruteerden nieuwe IS’ers, hielpen hun mannen om gevangenen te verkrachten en verheerlijkten deze vreselijke misdaden nog.Voor de VVD is er geen enkele reden om deze vrouwen een tweede kans in Nederland geven.De lobby voor repatriering en meer begrip voor IS vrouwen is wat de VVD betreft beschamend en naief.Dit zijn oorlogsmisdadigers, die alle mensenrechten, die zijzelf grof hebben geschonden, nu ineens zelf willen gebruiken om terug te kunnen keren naar Nederland.Die de rechtsstaat, die zij niet erkennen, nu doodleuk willen gebruiken.Onbegrijpelijk, dat zij zo graag willen terugkeren naar het land, dat zij bij hun volle verstand en vanuit diepgewortelde verachting hebben verlaten.Ik weiger te geloven, dat zij slechts slachtoffers waren van hun echtgenoten.Laten we luisteren naar de echte slachtoffers, in plaats van deze ”bruiden” nog langer de hand boven het hoofd te houden.Wat de VVD betreft, begint dat met het ontvangen van Nadia Murad en andere slachtoffers in de Tweede Kamer, zodat iedereen de gruwelijkheden, die de werkelijke slachtoffers zijn aangedaan, uit eerste hand kan horen.En wij hen kunnen beschermen, in plaats van vrouwelijke terroristen.
DILAN YESILGOZTWEEDE KAMERLID VOOR DE VVD, WOORDVOERDER TERRORISME EN  VEILIGHEID

EINDE ARTIKEL YESILGOZ

NOTEN

[1]

PARLEMENT.COMD. (DILAN) YESILGOZ-ZEGERIUS
https://www.parlement.com/id/vk93lsytn3mr/d_dilan_yesilgoz_zegerius

TEKST

Dilan Yesilgöz (1977) is sinds 23 maart 2017 lid van de Tweede Kamerfractie van de VVD. Zij was eigenaar/senior adviseur van Bureau DNW in Amsterdam en raadslid in de hoofdstad. Eerder was zij bestuursadviseur veiligheid en zorg van het College van B&W van Amsterdam. Mevrouw Yesilgöz is woordvoerder politie, veiligheid, rampenbestrijding, grensbewaking, cyber security, terrorismebestrijding en drugsbeleid.
ZIE VOOR OVERIGE TEKST

https://www.parlement.com/id/vk93lsytn3mr/d_dilan_yesilgoz_zegerius

[2]

https://www.trendsmap.com/twitter/tweet/1191974414365184000

Dilan Yesilgoz’ Tweet ”Geen medelijden met Jihadisten!Mijn opinie in het @ADnl vandaag 

[Tekst kan vergroot worden door een klick op de computer]
Transcriptie tekst
ADGEEN MEDELIJDEN MET JIHADISTEN!STEUN DE SLACHTOFFERS IN PLAATS VAN IS VROUWENDilan YesilgozTweede Kamerlid VVD
Het bagatelliseren van de rol van IS vrouwen moet stoppen, stelt Dilan Yesilgoz-Zegerius. De lobby voor hun terugkeer en meer begrip is beschamend. Terwijl over de echte slachtoffers niet wordt gesproken.
”Ik bleef hem zeggen, dat het pijn deed-stop alstublieft, getuigt het 12 jarige meisje.Hij snoerde haar de mond en bond haar handen vast.Voordat hij zich aan het twaalfjarige meisje vergreep, ging hij aan de bedrand bidden.”Hij zei, dat hij volgens de Islam een ongelovige mag verkrachten.Hij zei, dat door mij te verkrachten, dichter bij God komt.De New York Times sprak met 21 vrouwen en meisjes, die uit de handen van IS strijders konden ontsnappen.De beschrijvingen van een goed georganiseerde slavenhandel en het systematisch verkrachten van Jezidi meisjes is confronterend en misselijkmakend.In ons land lijkt vooral aandacht te zijn voor de vrouwen en mannen, die willens en wetens naar het Kalifaat zijn afgereisd om zich bij IS aan te sluiten.De vraag is, wat er moet gebeuren met de IS’ers, die ”spijt” hebben gekregen van hun deelname aan de strijd.”IS bruiden” worden de vrouwen eufemistisch genoemd.Waar over de echte slachtoffers van IS, zoals de Jezidi gemeenschapn, nauwelijks wordt gesproken, lijkt iedereen zich zorgen te maken over de vraag hoe deze vrouwen moeten worden teruggehaald naar Nederland.Laten we ophouden met het bagatelliseren van de rol van IS-vrouwen.Ze zijn bewust afgereisd naar Syrie en Irak uit sympathie voor een verderfelijk gedachtegoed.Het zijn geen huisvrouwen en moeders, die slechts voor hun kinderen zorgden.Getuigenissen van verschillende Jezidi vrouwen, zoals Nadia Murad en Parween Alhinto, liegen er niet om.
‘[Tekst in artikel]
ONBEGRIJPELIJK, DAT ZIJ WILLEN TERUGKEREN NAAR HET LAND, DAT ZIJ ZO VERACHTEN
[EINDE TEKST IN ARTIKEL]
Ze werden jarenlang gemarteld en mishandeld door IS vrouwen.Zij rekruteerden nieuwe IS’ers, hielpen hun mannen om gevangenen te verkrachten en verheerlijkten deze vreselijke misdaden nog.Voor de VVD is er geen enkele reden om deze vrouwen een tweede kans in Nederland geven.De lobby voor repatriering en meer begrip voor IS vrouwen is wat de VVD betreft beschamend en naief.Dit zijn oorlogsmisdadigers, die alle mensenrechten, die zijzelf grof hebben geschonden, nu ineens zelf willen gebruiken om terug te kunnen keren naar Nederland.Die de rechtsstaat, die zij niet erkennen, nu doodleuk willen gebruiken.Onbegrijpelijk, dat zij zo graag willen terugkeren naar het land, dat zij bij hun volle verstand en vanuit diepgewortelde verachting hebben verlaten.Ik weiger te geloven, dat zij slechts slachtoffers waren van hun echtgenoten.Laten we luisteren naar de echte slachtoffers, in plaats van deze ”bruiden” nog langer de hand boven het hoofd te houden.Wat de VVD betreft, begint dat met het ontvangen van Nadia Murad en andere slachtoffers in de Tweede Kamer, zodat iedereen de gruwelijkheden, die de werkelijke slachtoffers zijn aangedaan, uit eerste hand kan horen.En wij hen kunnen beschermen, in plaats van vrouwelijke terroristen.
DILAN YESILGOZTWEEDE KAMERLID VOOR DE VVD, WOORDVOERDER TERRORISME EN  VEILIGHEID

[3]

TROUWVVD VINDT DE DOODSTRAF VOOR NEDERLANDSE IS’ERS ACCEPTABEL7 NOVEMBER 2019
https://www.trouw.nl/politiek/vvd-vindt-de-doodstraf-voor-nederlandse-is-ers-acceptabel~ba00a6bd/

ZIE VOOR DE GEHELE TEKST IN LINK:
NOOT 9
VAN:
https://www.astridessed.nl/noten-met-teksten-behorend-bij-bovenstaand-artikel-vvd-vindt-doodstraf-nederlandse-isers-acceptabel-waar-zijn-nu-onze-waarden-vvd/

[4]

 Artikel 2 Recht op leven 1. Eenieder heeft recht op leven. 2. Niemand wordt tot de doodstraf veroordeeld of terechtgesteld.”
HANDVEST VAN DE GRONDRECHTEN VAN DE EUROPESE UNIE
https://www.europarl.europa.eu/charter/pdf/text_nl.pdf

”De EU is de grootste sponsor in de strijd tegen de doodstraf wereldwijd. Alle EU-landen hebben de doodstraf afgeschaft in overeenkomst met het Europees Verdrag voor de Rechten van de Mens.”
NIEUWSEUROPEES PARLEMENTDOODSTRAF: BELANGRIJKE FEITEN OVER DE SITUATIE IN EUROPA EN DE REST VAN DE WERELD12 MAART 2019
https://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/nl/headlines/world/20190212STO25910/belangrijke-feiten-over-de-doodstraf-in-europa-en-de-rest-van-de-wereld

[5]

DE NEDERLANDSE GRONDWET, ARTIKEL 114
”De doodstraf kan niet worden opgelegd”
https://www.denederlandsegrondwet.nl/id/vkugbqvdxhzr/artikel_114_doodstraf

Artikel 114

De doodstraf kan niet worden opgelegd.
[6]

DE VVD, ”ONZE” WAARDEN EN DE DOODSTRAF VOOR IS STRIJDERS/UITPERSASTRID ESSED24 NOVEMBER 2019
https://www.astridessed.nl/de-vvd-onze-waarden-en-de-doodstraf-voor-is-strijders-uitpers/

OF

VVD VINDT DOODSTRAF VOOR NEDERLANDSE IS’ERS ACCEPTABEL/WAAR ZIJN NU ONZE WAARDEN, VVD?ASTRID ESSED
https://www.astridessed.nl/vvd-vindt-de-doodstraf-voor-nederlandse-isers-acceptabel-waar-zijn-nu-onze-waarden-vvd/

IS STRIJDERS, VROUWEN, KINDEREN EN ”ONZE WAARDEN”INGEZONDEN STUKASTRID ESSED25 NOVEMBER 2019
https://www.astridessed.nl/is-strijders-vrouwen-kinderen-en-onze-waarden-ingezonden-stuk/

[7]

”Echt klip en klaar

Onze verworvenheden, met onze normen en waarden, is het alles of niets het is geen cafetaria model.

Onze manier van leven, we hadden het net over homosexualiteit, we hebben het in Nederland over man en vrouw.

We hebben het over onze verworvenheden, die voortkomen uit humanisme, uit Verlichting, die we in honderden jaren hebben

opgebouwd…

YOUTUBE.COM 

ZOMERGASTEN IN VIJF MINUTEN-MARK RUTTE 

[8]

””Voor een oorlog was het vanochtend opvallend rustig op straat. Geen militairen, geen sirenes en geen paniek. Gewoon: mensen op weg naar hun werk, kinderen op weg naar hun school.Oorlogstaal
We zijn in oorlog, sprak premier Mark Rutte zaterdag zijn Franse collega François Hollande na, nog geen etmaal na de gruwelijke aanslagen in Parijs. ‘En Isis is onze vijand.’

HET PAROOL

HELPT HET WEL OM TE ROEPEN, DAT HET OORLOG IS?

16 NOVEMBER 2015

https://www.parool.nl/nieuws/helpt-het-wel-om-te-roepen-dat-het-oorlog-is~b7d4fc43/

ZIE VOOR GEHELE TEKST

NOOT 5 VAN

[9]

NOSONENIGHEID IN COALITIE: VVD VINDT DOODSTRAF NEDERLANDSE IS’ERS ACCEPTABEL

6 NOVEMBER 2019

https://nos.nl/artikel/2309355-onenigheid-in-coalitie-vvd-vindt-doodstraf-nederlandse-is-ers-acceptabel.html

ZIE VOOR GEHELE TEKST

NOOT 68

VAN

[10]

HET PAROOL

MINISTER BLOK ONEENS MET VVD OVER DOODSTRAF VOOR  IS’ERS

8 NOVEMBER 2019

https://www.parool.nl/nederland/minister-blok-oneens-met-vvd-over-doodstraf-voor-is-ers~b64d8da3/

ZIE VOOR TEKST

NOOT 48 VAN

https://www.astridessed.nl/vvd-vindt-de-doodstraf-voor-nederlandse-isers-acceptabel-waar-zijn-nu-onze-waarden-vvd/ ”Maar zijdelingse ondersteuning van de doodstraf ondersteunt de JOVD niet. Nu niet, nooit niet!”

JOVD: ”DE VVD DWAALT AF VAN HET LIBERALE PAD EN WORDT STEEDS MEER EEN ”LAW AND ORDER” PARTIJ

https://jovd.nl/nieuws/jovd_%E2%80%98de_vvd_dwaalt_af_van_het_liberale_pad_en_wordt_steeds_meer_een_%E2%80%98law_and_order%E2%80%99_partij%E2%80%99

ZIE VOOR GEHELE TEKST

NOOT 51

VAN

[11]
”Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.”
ARTIKEL 2, UNIVERSELE VERKLARING VAN DE RECHTEN VAN DE MENS
http://hrlibrary.umn.edu/instree/b1udhr.htm

” Everyone charged with a criminal offence shall have the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law. ”
ARTIKEL 14, LID 2, BUPO VERDRAG [INTERNATIONAL COVENANT ON CIVIL AND POLITICAL RIGHTS]
http://hrlibrary.umn.edu/instree/b3ccpr.htm

VERBOD OP COLLECTIEVE STRAF:

No protected person may be punished for an offence he or she has not personally committed. Collective penalties and likewise all measures of intimidation or of terrorism are prohibited. ”
ARTIKEL 33, 4e CONVENTIE VAN GENEVE
https://ihl-databases.icrc.org/applic/ihl/ihl.nsf/Article.xsp?action=openDocument&documentId=72728B6DE56C7A68C12563CD0051BC40

……..

”We also seek rights-respecting approaches toward the spouses and children of ISIS members, so they do not face collective punishment or other forms of discrimination.”

HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH

ISIS

https://www.hrw.org/tag/isis

[12]

RACISME IN DE POLITIEK/VERONTRUSTENDE UITSPRAKEN EN VOORSTELLEN VAN NEDERLANDSE POLITICI

ASTRID ESSED

1 NOVEMBER 2019

[13]TROUWVVD VINDT DE DOODSTRAF VOOR NEDERLANDSE IS’ERS ACCEPTABEL7 NOVEMBER 2019
https://www.trouw.nl/politiek/vvd-vindt-de-doodstraf-voor-nederlandse-is-ers-acceptabel~ba00a6bd/

[14]

HUMAN RIGHTS WATCHISIS

https://www.hrw.org/tag/isis

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The extremist armed group Islamic State (ISIS) has committed widespread and systematic abuses in in areas under its control in Syria, Iraq, and Libya. ISIS has also claimed responsibility for deadly attacks in nearly 20 other countries, including Afghanistan, Egypt, France, Indonesia, Tajikistan, and the United Kingdom. Human Rights Watch documents these abuses and their impact on the general population.Governments have a responsibility to take all reasonable and lawful measures to protect people’s right to life and to bring perpetrators of unlawful attacks to account. Human Rights Watch monitors actions by state security forces and international forces to ensure that their measures to counter ISIS (and other armed groups) do not violate the rights of the affected populations, including by failing to protect civilians caught in fighting, or by curtailing basic freedoms of members of civil society or ethnic, racial, or religious communities. We promote fair trials that respect due process for suspects, grant victims their day in court, and lay the groundwork for accountability. We also seek rights-respecting approaches toward the spouses and children of ISIS members, so they do not face collective punishment or other forms of discrimination

HUMAN RIGHTS WATCHIRAQ: ISIS ESCAPEES DESCRIBE SYSTEMATIC RAPE14 APRIL 2015
https://www.hrw.org/news/2015/04/14/iraq-isis-escapees-describe-systematic-rape

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The extremist group Islamic State (also known as ISIS) has carried out systematic rape and other sexual violence against Yezidi women and girls in northern Iraq. Human Rights Watch conducted research in the town of Dohuk in January and February 2015, including interviewing 20 women and girls who escaped from ISIS, and reviewing ISIS statements about the subject.

Human Rights Watch documented a system of organized rape and sexual assault, sexual slavery, and forced marriage by ISIS forces. Such acts are war crimes and may be crimes against humanity. Many of the women and girls remain missing, but the survivors now in Iraqi Kurdistan need psychosocial support and other assistance.

“ISIS forces have committed organized rape, sexual assault, and other horrific crimes against Yezidi women and girls,” said Liesl Gerntholtz, women’s rights director at Human Rights Watch. “Those fortunate enough to have escaped need to be treated for the unimaginable trauma they endured.”

Researcher Interview: These Yezidi girls escaped ISIS. Now what?

ISIS forces took several thousand Yezidi civilians into custody in northern Iraq’s Nineveh province in August 2014, according to Kurdistan officials and community leaders. Witnesses said that fighters systematically separated young women and adolescent girls from their families and other captives and moved them from one location to another inside Iraq and Syria.

The 11 women and 9 girls Human Rights Watch interviewed had escaped between September 2014 and January 2015. Half, including two 12-year-old girls, said they had been raped – some multiple times and by several ISIS fighters. Nearly all of them said they had been forced into marriage; sold, in some cases a number of times; or given as “gifts.” The women and girls also witnessed other captives being abused.

Human Rights Watch also interviewed more than a dozen international and local service providers, medical workers, Kurdish officials, community leaders, and activists who corroborated these accounts. A local doctor treating female survivors in Dohuk told Human Rights Watch that of the 105 women and girls she had examined, 70 appeared to have been raped in ISIS captivity.

All of the women and girls interviewed exhibited signs of acute emotional distress. Many remain separated from relatives and sometimes their entire families, who were either killed by ISIS or remain in ISIS captivity. Several said they had attempted suicide during their captivity or witnessed suicide attempts to avoid rape, forced marriage, or forced religious conversion.

In October 2014, ISIS acknowledged in its publication Dabiq that its fighters had given captured Yezidi women and girls to its fighters as “spoils of war.” ISIS has sought to justify sexual violence claiming that Islam permits sex with non-Muslim “slaves,” including girls, as well as beating and selling them. The statements are further evidence of a widespread practice and a systematic plan of action by ISIS, Human Rights Watch said.

ISIS commanders should immediately release all civilian detainees, reunite children with their families, and end forced marriages and religious conversions, Human Rights Watch said. They should take all necessary action to end rape and other sexual violence by ISIS fighters. International and local actors who have influence with ISIS should press the group to take these actions.

In 2014 the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) absorbed more than 637,000 displaced people from Nineveh province alone, and made significant efforts to provide health and other services to Yezidi women and girls who have escaped ISIS. However, there have been flaws and gaps in health care, Human Rights Watch said. Some of those interviewed said they underwent medical tests but did not know the purpose and were never told the results.

The director general for health in Dohuk told Human Rights Watch that local authorities had identified fewer than 150 women and girls who had escaped from ISIS and that only about 100 had received medical treatment. According to the KRG Directorate of Yezidi Affairs, 974 Yezidis had escaped ISIS as of March 15, 2015, including 513 women and 304 children.

The women and girls need trauma support and ongoing counselling, Human Rights Watch said. Not all had immediate access to treatment for injuries; emergency contraception; safe and legal abortion services, including sexual and reproductive health access; and psychosocial support.

KRG authorities should try to close gaps in medical care and psychosocial support for the Yezidi girls and women and ensure that doctors provide survivors with results of tests they undergo and information on the services available to them, Human Rights Watch said. The KRG should also develop a plan to assist children born from rape to ensure adequate services and protection for them and their mothers. In addition, the KRG should invest in employment skills training and livelihood schemes to help reintegrate women into daily life.

“Yezidi women and girls who escaped ISIS still face enormous challenges and continuing trauma from their experience,” Gerntholtz said. “They need urgent help and support to recover their health and move on with their lives.”

ISIS Violations of International Law

Abduction and Detention

Since ISIS attacks in and around Sinjar began on August 3, 2014, more than 736,000 Iraqis, primarily Yezidis and other religious minorities, fled their homes in Nineveh province, most to the semi-autonomous region of Iraqi Kurdistan, according to the International Organization for Migration. ISIS fighters executed hundreds of male Yezidi civilians and then abducted their relatives, the United Nations and local and international human rights organizations reported. A recent UN report stated that further investigation is needed to establish the number of those held captive or killed by ISIS, which is “estimated to be in the thousands.”

Although several hundred Yezidis have since escaped, according to KRG officials, many are still in captivity in various parts of Iraq and Syria. Escaped abductees that Human Rights Watch interviewed said ISIS is holding Yezidis in multiple locations across northern Iraq, including Mosul, Tal Afar, Tal Banat, Ba’aj, Rambusi, and Sinjar, and in areas it controls in eastern Syria, including Raqqa and Rabi’a. They said that ISIS is holding female captives, including girls, in houses, hotels, factories, farm compounds, schools, prisons, military bases, and former government offices.

Young women and girls told Human Rights Watch that ISIS fighters first separated them from men and boys and older women. The fighters moved the women and girls several times in an organized and methodical fashion to various places in Iraq and Syria. While most of the ISIS fighters appeared to be Syrian or Iraqi, survivors said that some of their abusers told them that they came from other countries in the Middle East and North Africa, including from Libya, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, as well as from Europe and Central Asia.

The precise number of Yezidis still captive is unknown because of continuing fighting in Iraq and Syria and because significant numbers of Yezidis fled to areas across Iraq and neighboring countries when ISIS attacked. On March 13, 2015, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights stated in its report that about 3,000 people, mainly Yezidis, allegedly remain in ISIS captivity. Local officials, service providers, and community activists estimate that the number of Yezidis still held is much higher.

In September 2014, a Yezidi group provided Human Rights Watch with a database with 3,133 names and ages of Yezidis they said ISIS had kidnapped or killed, or who had been missing since the ISIS assaults of early August. The database was based on interviews with displaced Yezidis in Iraqi Kurdistan. The group said that as of late March 2015, the number of dead, abducted, and missing Yezidis had risen to 5,324.

Sexual Violence and Other Abuse

The women and girls who spoke to Human Rights Watch described repeated rape, sexual violence, and other abuse in ISIS captivity.

Jalila (all survivors’ names have been changed for their security), age 12, said that Arab men whom she recognized from her village north of Sinjar accosted her and seven family members on August 3, 2014, as they were trying to flee ISIS. The men handed the family over to ISIS fighters, who separated Jalila, her sister, sister-in-law, and infant nephew from the other family members and took them to Tal Afar. Later, the fighters took Jalila and her sister to Mosul. Thirty-five days later they separated Jalila from her sister and took her to a house in Syria that housed other abducted young Yezidi women and girls. Jalila said:

The men would come and select us. When they came, they would tell us to stand up and then examine our bodies. They would tell us to show our hair and sometimes they beat the girls if they refused. They wore dishdashas [ankle length garments], and had long beards and hair.

She said that the ISIS fighter who selected her slapped her and dragged her out of the house when she resisted. “I told him not to touch me and begged him to let me go,” she said. “I told him to take me to my mother. I was a young girl, and I asked him, ‘What do you want from me?’ He spent three days having sex with me.”

Jalila said that during her captivity, seven ISIS fighters “owned” her, and four raped her on multiple occasions: “Sometimes I was sold. Sometimes I was given as a gift. The last man was the most abusive; he used to tie my hands and legs.”

Another 12-year-old, Wafa, told Human Rights Watch that in August ISIS fighters abducted her with her family from the village of Kocho. The men took the family to a school in Tal Afar filled with other Yezidi captives, where the fighters separated her from her family. From there they took her to several locations within Iraq and then to Raqqa, in Syria. An older fighter assured Wafa that she would not be harmed but he repeatedly raped her nevertheless, she said.

“He was sleeping in the same place with me and told me not be afraid because I was like his daughter,” she said. “One day I woke up and my legs were covered in blood.” Wafa escaped three months after her abduction, but her parents, three brothers, and sister are still missing.

The women and girls who said that they had not been raped said they endured constant stress and anxiety when witnessing the suffering of other women, fearing they would be next.

Dilara, 20, said ISIS fighters took her to a wedding hall in Syria, where she saw about 60 other Yezidi female captives. ISIS fighters told the group to “forget about your relatives, from now on you will marry us, bear our children, God will convert you to Islam and you will pray.” She told Human Rights Watch she lived in constant fear that she would be dragged away like so many women and girls before her:

From 9:30 in the morning, men would come to buy girls to rape them. I saw in front of my eyes ISIS soldiers pulling hair, beating girls, and slamming the heads of anyone who resisted. They were like animals…. Once they took the girls out, they would rape them and bring them back to exchange for new girls. The girls’ ages ranged from 8 to 30 years… only 20 girls remained in the end.

Two sisters, Rana, 25, and Sara, 21, said they could do nothing to stop the abuse of their 16-year-old sister by four men over several months. The sister was allowed to visit them and told them that the first man who raped her, whom she described as a European, also beat her, handcuffed her, gave her electric shocks, and denied her food. She told them another fighter later raped her for a month and then gave her to an Algerian for another month. The last time they saw her was when a Saudi ISIS fighter took her. “We don’t know anything about her since,” Sara said. The two sisters said they were also raped multiple times by two men, one of whom said he was from Russia and the other from Kazakhstan.

Some women and girls told Human Rights Watch that ISIS fighters beat them if they resisted or defied them in any way.

Zara, 13, said that ISIS fighters accused her and two other girls of desecrating a Quran while holding the girls captive on a farm. “They punished the three of us by taking us to the garden and tying our hands with wire,” she said. “We were blindfolded and they said they would kill us if we didn’t say who had done this. They beat us for 10 minutes and they fired a bullet in the air.”

Leila, 25, managed to escape from the house where she was held captive, but because she was behind ISIS lines, she realized she was trapped and felt compelled to return. The commander, an Iraqi, asked her why she had tried to escape. She said she replied: “Because what you are doing to us is haram [forbidden] and un-Islamic.” He beat her with a cable and also punished the guard who had failed to prevent her escape attempt. The guard beat her as well. “Since then, my mental state has become very bad and I’ve had fainting spells,” she said.

Forced Marriage

Women and girls told Human Rights Watch that ISIS fighters told them they had been bought for as much as US$2,000 from other ISIS members.

In some instances, ISIS fighters forcibly married their Yezidi captives rather than buy them. Narin, 20, said that when a fighter named Abu Du’ad brought her to his home, his wife left in protest. He brought a religious judge to perform a marriage ceremony but Narin refused to participate. Abu Du’ad persisted by trying to get permission from Narin’s family and called her brother in Germany. “But [my brother] said no to the marriage and offered to pay $50,000 for my release,” Narin said. “Abu Du’ad said no.”

Nadia, 23, said she was separated from the men in her family when ISIS fighters abducted them in her village near Sinjar in August. She tried to convince the ISIS fighters that she was married to escape being raped, because she had heard that ISIS fighters preferred virgins. However, after they took her to Syria, one of the men said that he would marry her. “The other girls with me said it’s forbidden to marry married women,” Nadia said. “He replied, ‘But not if they are Yezidi women.’”

ISIS has publicly acknowledged enslaving women and children. In an article entitled “The revival of slavery before the hour” in Dabiq, the group’s online English-language magazine, ISIS said it was reviving a custom justified under Sharia (Islamic law):

After capture, the Yazidi women and children were then divided according to the sharia amongst the fighters of the Islamic State who participated in the Sinjar operations, after one fifth of the slaves were transferred to the Islamic State’s authority to be divided as khums [a tax on war spoils].

A question-and-answer document, issued by what appears to be ISIS’s Research and Fatwa Department, states:

It is permissible to buy, sell, or give as a gift female captives and slaves, for they are merely property, which can be disposed of.… It is permissible to have intercourse with the female slave who hasn’t reached puberty if she is fit for intercourse; however if she is not fit for intercourse, then it is enough to enjoy her without intercourse.… It is permissible to beat the female slave as a [form of] darb ta’deeb [disciplinary beating].

Suicide Attempts
The women and girls who spoke to Human Rights Watch described their own suicide attempts or attempts of others as a way to avoid rape, forced marriage, or forced religious conversion. They described cutting their wrists with glass or razors, attempting to hang themselves, trying to electrocute themselves in bathtubs, and consuming what they thought was poison.

Rashida, 31, managed to speak to one of her brothers after her abduction by secretly using a fighter’s phone. She told her brother that ISIS fighters were forcing her to convert and then to marry. He told her he would try to help her but if he couldn’t, “I should commit suicide because it would be better than the alternative.” Rashida said:

Later that day they [ISIS fighters] made a lottery of our names and started to choose women by drawing out the names. The man who selected me, Abu Ghufran, forced me to bathe but while I was in the bathroom I tried to kill myself. I had found some poison in the house, and took it with me to the bathroom. I knew it was toxic because of its smell. I distributed it to the rest of the girls and we each mixed some with water in the bathroom and drank it. None of us died but we all got sick. Some collapsed.

Leila said she saw two girls try to kill themselves by slashing their wrists with broken glass. She also tried to commit suicide when her Libyan captors forced her to take a bath, which she knew was typically a prelude to rape:

I went into the bathroom, turned on the water, stood on a chair to take the wire connecting the light to electrocute myself but there was no electricity. After they realized what I was doing, they beat me with a long piece of wood and with their fists. My eyes were swollen shut and my arms turned blue. They handcuffed me to the sink, and cut my clothes with a knife and washed me. They took me out of the bathroom, brought in [my friend] and raped her in the room in front of me.

Leila said she was later raped. She said she tried to commit suicide again and showed Human Rights Watch the scars on her wrists where she cut herself with a razor.

Forced Conversions
About half the women and girls who spoke to Human Rights Watch said the ISIS fighters pressured them to convert to Islam. Zara, 13, said she was held captive in a three-story house in Mosul with girls ages 10 to 15:

When they came to select the girls, they would pull them away. The girls would cry and faint, they would have to take them by force. They made us convert to Islam and we all had to say the shahada [Islamic creed]. They said, “You Yezidis are kufar [infidels], you must repeat these words after the leader.” They gathered us all in one place and made us repeat after him. After we said the shahada, he said you have now been converted to our religion and our religion is the correct one. We didn’t dare not say the shahada.

ISIS fighters held Noor, 16, in various places including Mosul. “The leader of this group asked us to convert to Islam and read the Quran,” she said. “We were forced to read the Quran and we started to pray slowly. We started to behave like actors.”

War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity

Rape and other forms of sexual violence, sexual slavery, cruel treatment, and other abuses committed during an armed conflict violate the laws of war. International criminal courts have ruled that rape and other sexual violence may also amount to torture.

Those who commit serious violations of the laws of war with criminal intent are responsible for war crimes. Commanders and civilian leaders may be prosecuted for war crimes as a matter of command responsibility when they knew or should have known about the commission of war crimes and took insufficient measures to prevent them or punish those responsible.

The mass rape and other serious abuses by ISIS against Yezidi civilians may be crimes against humanity. Crimes against humanity are serious offenses, including rape, sexual slavery, enslavement, unlawful imprisonment, persecution of a religious group, and other inhumane acts intentionally causing great suffering, that are part of a widespread or systematic attack on a civilian population.

“Widespread” refers to the scale of the acts or the number of victims. “Systematic” concerns “a pattern or methodical plan.” ISIS public statements concerning enslavement, forced marriage, and abuse of captured women, as well as the organized sale of Yezidi women and girls, indicate a widespread practice and a systematic plan of action by ISIS.

Provision of Health Services

Medical Care

KRG authorities have made significant efforts to provide health and other services to Yezidi women and girls and have designated a health committee in Dohuk to coordinate the identification and referral of survivors to services. The director general for health in Dohuk, Dr. Nezhar Ismet Taib, who heads the committee, said that some families do not wish to reveal that their female relatives were abducted and this has made it difficult for the committee to identify and support those in need.

Almost all of the women and girls who spoke to Human Rights Watch said they had received medical examinations. A local doctor said the medical tests included blood tests for sexually transmitted infections and pregnancy. In some cases, medical workers provided emergency contraception and post-exposure prophylaxis for HIV, as recommended by the World Health Organization.

It is not clear that doctors have always obtained informed consent before conducting examinations. Narin, the 20-year-old woman from Sinjar, told Human Rights Watch that she was abducted on August 3 and given as a “gift” to an ISIS fighter, who tried to force her to marry him:

I wasn’t raped – [the ISIS member] didn’t touch me because I told him I was sick.… I got a forensic gynecological exam in Dohuk, which cleared me of abuse. I wasn’t comfortable during this exam, and [the doctor] didn’t explain what she was doing to me beforehand.

Those who take the medical tests do not always receive the test results. The two sisters, Rana and Sara, said that they spent five months in ISIS captivity and that ISIS fighters raped them multiples times. They said that soon after they escaped in December they received medical treatment and tests, but six weeks later, they had still not received any test results.Eighteen-year-old Arwa, from Kocho, managed to escape in December after ISIS fighters raped her. She told Human Rights Watch that she was still waiting for her test results seven weeks later.

Local authorities should ensure that health workers inform women and girls of the purpose of each test and that they consent to each procedure. The World Health Organization has provided guidelines for carrying out such tests and obtaining informed consent.

Withholding test results, whether positive or negative, can compound women’s and girls’ fears about the state of their health. Health workers should ensure that there is follow up for such women and girls, including providing test results and any further treatment and information they need.

Psychosocial Support

Psychosocial support for women and girls who escaped ISIS is a crucial service that is largely lacking in Iraqi Kurdistan. All the women and girls interviewed showed signs of trauma. Jalila, the 12-year-old raped by four ISIS fighters, said she “can’t sleep at night because I remember how they were raping me. I want to do something to forget about my psychological problems. I want to leave Iraq until things get better, I don’t want to be captured again.” She had not received professional counselling.

Sixteen-year-old Noor told Human Rights Watch that ISIS fighters abducted her on August 3 from Tal Afar and held her until September, when she escaped. An ISIS fighter raped her multiple times over a period of five days, she said. In the first two months after her return, she said she remained traumatized and cried most of the time.

Noor did manage to get psychosocial support. A local activist arranged for her to visit a psychotherapist in the hospital three or four times and visited her frequently to encourage her to get regular psychosocial counselling. Noor was undergoing regular psychosocial treatment as well as attending a handicrafts course and leaving the camp for social activities with activists from local organizations.

However, representatives of international agencies and nongovernmental groups told Human Rights Watch that there was not only a lack of available psychosocial support, but also reluctance by the community to accept such help. One activist said that he had to visit girls and their guardians repeatedly to encourage the girls to participate in psychosocial counselling before they would agree.

Several of those Human Rights Watch interviewed stated that they would like to receive psychosocial therapy. Narin, the 20-year-old from Sinjar, said:

No one has offered me one-on-one counselling of any kind. I’d be interested in receiving professional counselling to help me process my experiences if it was available.… I have trouble sleeping at night, and only sleep a few hours at a time. When I sleep, I often see my parents and siblings in front of my eyes, especially the image of my brothers being forced to kneel on the road, and my mother’s face.

International and local groups agreed that there are not enough psychosocial therapists available to the women and girls to meet the need, given the number of escaped women and girls and the prospect of more to come.

Dr. Taib told Human Rights Watch that although he was not aware of any suicides of women or girls who had escaped, many were suicidal. He said that women and girls who sought treatment with local officials were assessed by a psychologist at the same time they received medical treatment. The health team designated to help Yezidi women and girls has two psychologists and two psychosocial therapists but plans to increase the number of psychosocial therapists to ten. In addition, some groups and international agencies are providing psychosocial support. A psychosocial therapist at Jian Centre for Human Rights said she and her colleague had provided support to 20 Yezidi women and girls who had escaped.

In the short term, psychologists and social workers, particularly those who speak the local Yezidi dialect, need training on counselling methods. This should be in addition to recruiting psychosocial therapists to deal with the urgent cases. More efforts are also needed to encourage and educate people who might need the services about how the services can help them.

Pregnancy and Children Born as a Result of Rape
The KRG has no comprehensive plan for addressing pregnancies or children born from rape. Dr. Taib told Human Rights Watch that the local health committee had agreed that the authorities should protect women who keep their children, including providing shelter for them and their children as well as prenatal and maternal health care. In cases where the women do not want to care for their children, personal status courts will have to make decisions about the welfare of the child.

Where the child’s biological mother and close family relinquish or abandon the child, or are unable to provide adequate care, the authorities should ensure appropriate alternative care, with or through competent local authorities and authorized nongovernmental groups. In cases in which the child’s biological mother and close family do not relinquish the child, authorities should direct efforts first at enabling the child to remain in the mother’s care, or when appropriate, the care of other close family members unless it is not in the child’s best interests. If women do choose to raise the children, there should be a plan for providing them with assistance, including psychosocial and financial support.

Officials should ensure that information about services is available to women and girls and can be accessed confidentially.

Abortion is illegal in Iraq. Local officials told Human Rights Watch that it is not permitted in the Kurdistan region even for rape cases unless a doctor considers it a medical necessity, such as a risk to the mother’s life. The KRG should urgently clarify for healthcare providers the circumstances in which they may legally perform abortions for women and girls who have escaped from ISIS captivity, including for women and girls at risk of suicide or “honor”-related violence. The Iraqi government should also urgently consider amending the penal code to allow safe and legal abortions for women and girls who have experienced sexual violence.

In addition, KRG officials should encourage religious and community leaders to welcome children born from rape if the mothers freely choose to raise them in the Yezidi community and to provide the social support the women need.

Stigma and Reintegration

Baba Sheikh, a Yezidi religious leader, issued a statement on September 6 welcoming escaped women back into the community and stating that no one should harm them. On February 6, 2015, he reissued the appeal, saying:

These survivors remain pure Yezidis and no one may injure their Yezidi faith because they were subjected to a matter outside their control.… We therefore call on everyone to cooperate with and support these victims so that they may again live their normal lives and integrate into society.

These statements appear to have helped protect Yezidi women and girls from harm and have encouraged their families to seek treatment for them.

Ismail Ali, the KRG director general for combating violence against women in Dohuk, told Human Rights Watch that officials were not aware of any Yezidi girl or woman at risk from her family since returning, but should there be such cases, a shelter is available for them. In addition, authorities should provide programs that guarantee long-term rehabilitation and housing solutions for all women victims of violence who do not have the support of their families or who are under threat, and training for officials, local activists, and social and health workers to identify cases of women who are at risk of violence from their families. The authorities should also, in coordination with religious and community officials, raise awareness and provide education, particularly for men and boys, to prevent violence against women.

In addition, investment in skills training and livelihood schemes would help to reintegrate women into daily life. One organization is providing sewing and arts-and-crafts courses in the camps.

Many women and girls said that they wanted jobs so that they could financially assist their families. They also said that having nothing to do in the camps and being surrounded by family members who are also traumatized increased or exacerbated their own trauma.

Arwa, an 18-year-old from Kocho, said, “What I want more than anything is to work, so I can keep my mind off everything that happened.”

The Association for Crisis Assistance and Development Co-operation (WADI), a German-Iraqi nongovernmental organization, is seeking funding to build a center where Yezidi women and girls can get skills training. Women and girls who escaped ISIS told Human Rights Watch that they would use such a facility. WADI case workers have taken some of these women and girls out of the camps for social activities, which appeared to help occupy them and provide a semblance of a normal life.

UN PANEL REPORTS ON ISIS CRIMES ON YEZIDI’S

https://www.hrw.org/news/2016/06/21/un-panel-reports-isis-crimes-yezidis

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The “unimaginable horrors” that the Islamic State (ISIS) is committing against the minority Yezidis, documented in a report released on June 16 by the UN-mandated Independent International Commission of Inquiry (COI) on the Syrian Arab Republic, shows the urgent need for concrete steps to ensure justice for these crimes.

In August 2014, ISIS fighters overran Yezidi towns and villages around Sinjar, in northwestern Iraq, executing many men and capturing women and girls. Their intent soon became clear in slave markets ISIS set up in Mosul and elsewhere, where they sold the women and girls to their fighters into sexual or domestic slavery.

The COI report found that the crimes against the minority Yezidis amount to genocide.

Human Rights Watch has found that the abuses against Yezidi women and girls, including abducting them and forcibly converting them to Islam and/or forcibly marrying them to ISIS members, amount to war crimes, may be crimes against humanity and may be part of a genocide against Yezidis. Women also reported that ISIS members took their children from them, physically abused their children, and forced the women and girls to pray or take Islamic names.

The commission says that ISIS still holds about 3,200 women and children, most in areas it controls in Syria. The report says that separating men and women, inflicting mental trauma, taking children away from their families and forced conversions, are among methods intended to destroy Yezidis as a people.

There has been considerable attention to the plight of Yezidi women in the media, but little discussion on how to provide justice for these terrible crimes. The commission says the UN Security Council should “refer the situation to justice, possibly to the International Criminal Court (ICC) or an ad hoc tribunal.”

The ICC has a mandate over crimes of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. Iraq, like Syria, is not a party to the Rome Statute, which set up the court. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi told Human Rights Watch in March that Iraq has no plans to join the court—out of apparent concern that the court would also be able to examine grave abuses by government security forces.

Both the Iraqi government and the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI), where hundreds of thousands of Yezidis have sought safety, says they have ISIS fighters in custody. In fact, the government says it has captured scores of ISIS fighters since the start of its Fallujah offensive. But to Human Rights Watch’s knowledge, no criminal justice authorities in KRI or the rest of Iraq are investigating or prosecuting ISIS members for war crimes or crimes against humanity, including crimes against Yezidis.

A “Genocide Committee” in Dohuk, a major city in Iraqi Kurdistan, which was established by the Kurdish government, is attempting to document these crimes. But its head investigator, Judge Ayman Bamerny, told Human Rights Watch the committee has no link to the Kurdistan Regional Government’s judiciary.

Similarly, in Baghdad, Judge Abd al-Sattar Bir Qadar, spokesperson for the judiciary, told Human Rights Watch in March that there have been no judicial investigations against captured ISIS members for war crimes or crimes against humanity The only exception has been a patently unfair trials, in July 2015 and February 2016, each lasting all of two hours, that convicted 24 men for the mass killing a year earlier of up to 1,700 Shia military cadets.

In March 2015, Iraq’s Council of Ministers declared ISIS crimes against Yezidis to be genocide, but Iraq has no provisions in its domestic law for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide.

Yezidi victims of human rights abuses have a right to justice, not just government declarations with no consequences. Iraq should incorporate war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide into its penal code and start investigations into credible allegations of abuses by ISIS. Iraqi authorities should also hold their own forces to account for their serious crimes. Iraq should also join the ICC, as membership could provide an impetus for Iraq to ensure accountability for the worst crimes by all sides. The US should press Iraqi authorities to make that a priority.

Countries that support Iraq’s war against ISIS, including Iran, Russia, the United States, Canada, Australia and European states should support Iraqi efforts to investigate these crimes and provide redress for its victims. They should urge Iraq to pursue impartial investigations of serious crimes by all sides, and offer Iraq technical assistance and judicial cooperation. Judicial authorities in Baghdad and Erbil told Human Rights Watch that there have been no exchanges of information in either direction with European countries that that have suspected ISIS fighters in custody.

Letting grave crimes against Yezidis and others go unpunished is a stain not only on the Iraqi government, but on all countries that have vowed to protect groups like the Yezidis against threats of extermination and that have committed themselves to supporting justice for grave abuses whenever and wherever they occur.

HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH

THESE YEZIDI GIRLS ESCAPED ISIS/NOW WHAT?

AMY BRAUNSCHWEIGER

http://features.hrw.org/features/Interview_These_Yezidi_Girls_Escaped_ISIS/index.html

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Last August, the world watched in horror as the extremist armed group Islamic State, also known as ISIS, attacked Iraq’s Yezidi community. Thousands fled without food or water into the nearby Sinjar mountains, but ISIS fighters waylaid many, executing men and abducting thousands of people, mainly women and children. Rumors of forced marriage and enslavement of Yezidi girls and women swirled, and were later confirmed as a trickle of women and girls – now numbering into the hundreds – escaped. Human Rights Watch researchers Samer Muscati and Rothna Begum interviewed 20 of these women and girls and shared their findings with Amy Braunschweiger. 

WHO ARE THE YEZIDIS?

Samer: The Yezidis live in Iraq’s Nineveh province on land claimed by both the Kurdistan regional government and the Iraqi central government. They practice an ancient monotheistic religion, and Yezidis say they have been persecuted for hundreds of years because many consider them “heretics.”  Violent attacks against Yezidis by Sunni Arab extremists escalated after the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. On August 14, 2007, four simultaneous truck bombings killed more than 300 Yezidis and wounded more than 700 in Sinjar district communities.  Some Yezidi activists also faced intimidation and threats from Kurdistan government forces. Kurdistan authorities consider Yezidis to be Kurds and, therefore, Yezidi lands part of the Kurdistan region of Iraq. Thousands of Yezidi families have fled to Syria, Jordan, and elsewhere. Since 2003, but before the latest attack by ISIS, their numbers in Iraq had dropped from about 700,000 to 500,000. There are probably fewer now.

No one knows how many Yezidis have been killed by ISIS – they’re still uncovering mass graves. Very little information comes out of ISIS-controlled areas. Every family has been affected, has had a husband or son killed, a daughter abducted, or has had to flee. We visited informal settlements and the main camp, Khanke, near Dohuk, which houses more than 18,000 Yazidis, mainly from around the city of Sinjar, about a two-and-a-half hour drive away. The Yezidis are living in a virtual sea of displaced person tents and nearby unfinished buildings, which lack doors and heat, perched on windswept hills.  The views from the hilltops are stunning on a sunny day, but there’s little to protect the people there from the cold. 

In the camps you interviewed women and girls who escaped ISIS and made their way back home. What happened to them at the hands of ISIS?

Rothna: We heard stories of abuse ranging from being forced to wait on ISIS members hand and foot, to beatings, rape, electric shocks, forced marriage, and sexual slavery. 

Samer: One girl said ISIS members, wanting to find out who “desecrated” their Quran, handcuffed and blindfolded her and two other girls, beat them with a cable, and then fired a gunshot into the air. Apparently, the girl told us, one of the many cats in the house had ripped the Quran.

Most of the girls we spoke with said they were transferred from one place to another, ultimately living in big houses or halls with between 5 and 60 other girls. During the course of the day, ISIS fighters would come in, pick a girl to take, and if she refused, she’d be slapped or beaten. 

What happened to these girls when they returned home, especially considering the moral weight placed on their virginity?

Rothna: Virginity is a huge issue across the region. There is a stigma attached to the abducted women because they could have experienced sexual violence from the ISIS fighters – and it extends to their families. We know that in conflicts around the world, communities retaliate against women who are victims of sexual violence. Husbands leave wives, families abandon daughters. One of our biggest concerns was, would these women be treated violently after returning home?

That’s not what we found – in part thanks to the Yezidi religious leader, Baba Sheikh, who instructed the community to welcome back and not harm those who were abducted, forced to convert, or raped. Because of this, most families have welcomed back their female relatives. We didn’t interview Baba Sheikh, but we spoke with another religious leader, Baba Chawish. He welcomed us, and spoke calmly and with dignity, despite the chaos surrounding him. He told us how, over centuries, Yezidis have had to flee numerous attacks. This was just another crisis, he said, and his goal was to keep the community together as much as possible and, frankly, to survive.

The families we met just wanted to be reunited. They already had so many family members killed or abducted by ISIS, they just want their families back. 

How are these girls doing?

Samer: It’s difficult for them, they’ve endured terrible abuses. For me, the hardest part was when they talked about their missing parents, or about how ISIS men separated them from their sister, and where could she be? It’s terrible to be a young girl and be abducted and endure horrific abuses, but then to also lose your family on top of that? One of the most common sentiments I heard was that their biggest wish is to be reunited with their families, as they don’t know how to be whole without them.

As a group, these were among the worst cases I have ever documented for Human Rights Watch, and that says a lot as I’ve documented a wide range of abuses for years in war-plagued Iraq – everything from torture in secret prisons to abuses against people displaced by the fighting.

One 12-year-old girl really stood out to me. Her shy disposition reminded me of my 12-year old cousin. The man who abducted her told her not to worry, that he’d treat her as he’d treat his own daughter. Then he drugged her and she woke up to see blood between her legs. 

Was it difficult getting the girls to share their experiences? Samer, was the fact that you are an Iraqi Arab man an impediment?

It wasn’t helpful – many of the ISIS fighters there are Iraqi Arabs. But we worked with local activists who already knew the women and girls, which put everyone at ease. We are also extremely sensitive and careful not to re-traumatize survivors. 

Had any of these girls become pregnant?

Rothna: We spoke to one who was pregnant at the time she escaped, but there are others that we heard of, and there will be more cases as more women and girls escape. Abortion is illegal in Iraq, but it’s allowed in certain circumstances, such as when a woman’s life is at risk. The law should be interpreted to cover cases of pregnancy as a result of rape. If the women choose to have the children, there should be a plan for them to keep the baby or not. 

Now that they’ve returned to their community, what would you like to see for these girls?

Rothna: We want everyone who comes back to receive adequate medical and psychosocial treatment, as well as schooling for girls and employment skills training for women. 

Additionally, doctors need to be better trained in examining women who have been sexually assaulted. The purpose of the examinations needs to be explained to the women and girls to get informed consent from them, and doctors should ask for consent both before and during the examination. Otherwise, the exams could be harmful and humiliating for women and girls, and make them feel like they have no control over their bodies – which is what they felt when they were abducted by ISIS.

Samer: We also found some nongovernmental organizations and journalists with no experience interviewing trauma victims documenting their stories. Some recorded their statements on video, which leads to the risk of them being identified publicly.

Rothna: One girl I spoke with, we call her “Noor,” seemed so much better adjusted than the others – despite being the only child left in her family. She smiled, joked around with us, and talked to us about her future. But she had an awful story. She was abducted at 15, and after being moved from place to place she lived in a house with other girls who were forcibly married off or sold one-by-one. She and a friend attempted suicide together – she showed me the scars on her wrists – but an ISIS member caught them and stopped them. When her friend was picked to be taken by an ISIS member, the girl begged the men to take her too, so she could stay with her friend. They agreed and took both girls to another house. There, two other men told them, “You are sold to us.” They then beat and raped them for five days until they escaped, breaking through the door while the men were away fighting.  

When she first came to the camp, she looked like a ghost, people told us. She was reunited with her parents, who were traumatized after their only son, Noor’s brother, was executed in front of them. But Noor had her parents’ support. She said that she’d been to the hospital a few times, is receiving regular counseling, and is taking a sewing class. Her friend that she escaped with lives in a separate camp, and her father has taken her there to visit. Sometimes NGO activists take her out of the camp for social activities like going to the mall. She says she still has nightmares, but she’s healing. She’s going to be someone who can identify herself as a survivor, not just as a victim.  

In some ways, Noor has come back to life.

Yes. And life in general is taking shape in the camps. You can see market stalls selling chewing gum, and you see the lengths people have to go to make these tents feel like home with rugs and pillows. Keeping their spaces clean. They’d survived the winter and were dealing with cold rains. It’s likely they’ll be there for months or even years to come. 

Why haven’t all the girls received the same type of treatment as Noor?

Rothna: Of the 300 women and girls who have returned, only 100 have been identified by health authorities. The other 200 or so, their families likely don’t know these services are available. People need to get the word out.

The Yezidi camps are in Iraqi Kurdistan, and they are protected by Kurdistan’s forces. The local Kurdistan officials we spoke with have been trying to help get women and girls treatment and to aid those who escaped to return home safely. They told us that they want expert help in handling rape cases and trauma, and they need expert assistance and training, particularly in psychotherapy. They want to know how to help.

Samer: The Yezidis stopped dominating the news six months ago, but the crisis still exists. Needs are going unmet. And there is an enormous number of people that need help – especially as more and more women and girls escape ISIS.AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL.ORG
IRAQ: YEZIDI WOMEN AND GIRLS FACE HARROWING SEXUAL VIOLENCE23 DECEMBER 2014
https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2014/12/iraq-yezidi-women-and-girls-face-harrowing-sexual-violence/

TEKST

Torture, including rape and other forms of sexual violence, suffered by women and girls from Iraq’s Yezidi minority who were abducted by the armed group calling itself the Islamic State (IS), highlights the savagery of IS rule, said Amnesty International in a new briefing today. 

Escape from hell- Torture, sexual slavery in Islamic State captivity in Iraq provides an insight into the horrifying abuse suffered by hundreds and possibly thousands of Yezidi women and girls who have been forcibly married, “sold” or given as “gifts” to IS fighters or their supporters. Often, captives were forced to convert to Islam. 

“Hundreds of Yezidi women and girls have had their lives shattered by the horrors of sexual violence and sexual slavery in IS captivity,” said Donatella Rovera, Amnesty International’s Senior Crisis Response Advisor, who spoke to more than 40 former captives in northern Iraq. 

“Many of those held as sexual slaves are children – girls aged 14, 15 or even younger. IS fighters are using rape as a weapon in attacks amounting to war crimes and crimes against humanity.” 

The women and girls are among thousands of Yezidis from the Sinjar region in north-west Iraq who have been targeted since August in a wave of ethnic cleansing by IS fighters bent on wiping out ethnic and religious minorities in the area. 

The horrors endured in IS captivity  have left these women and girls so severely traumatized that some have been driven to end their own lives. Nineteen-year-old Jilan committed suicide while being held captive in Mosul because she feared she would be raped, her brother told Amnesty International. 

One of the girls who was held in the same room as Jilan and 20 others, including two girls aged 10 and 12, told Amnesty International: “One day we were given clothes that looked like dance costumes and were told to bathe and wear those clothes. Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself. She was very beautiful; I think she knew she was going to be taken away by a man and that is why she killed herself.”  The girl was among those who later escaped.   

Wafa, 27, another former captive, told Amnesty International how she and her sister attempted to end their lives one night after their captor threatened them with forced marriage. They tried to strangle themselves with scarves but two girls sleeping in the same room awoke and stopped them. 

“We tied the scarves around our necks and pulled away from each other as hard as we could, until I fainted… I could not speak for several days after that,” she said. 

The majority of the perpetrators are Iraqi and Syrian men; many of them are IS fighters but others are believed to be supporters of the group. Several former captives said they had been held in family homes where they lived with their captors’ wives and children. 

Many Yezidi survivors are doubly affected as they are also struggling to cope with the loss of dozens of their relatives who either remain in captivity or have been killed by the IS. 

Randa, a 16-year-old girl from a village near Mount Sinjar was abducted with scores of her family members, including her heavily-pregnant mother. Randa was “sold” or given as a “gift” to a man twice her age who raped her. She described the impact of her ordeal to Amnesty International: 

“It is so painful what they did to me and to my family. Da’esh (the IS) has ruined our lives… What will happen to my family? I don’t know if I will ever see them again.” 

“The physical and psychological toll of the horrifying sexual violence these women have endured is catastrophic. Many of them have been tortured and treated as chattel. Even those who have managed to escape remain deeply traumatized,” said Donatella Rovera. 

The trauma of survivors of sexual violence is further exacerbated by the stigma surrounding rape. Survivors feel that their “honour”, and that of their families, has been tarnished and fear that their standing in society will be diminished as a result. 

Many survivors of sexual violence are still not receiving the full help and support they desperately need. 

“The Kurdistan Regional Government, UN and other humanitarian organizations who are providing medical and other support services to survivors of sexual violence must step up their efforts. They must ensure they are swiftly and proactively reaching out to all those who may need them, and that women and girls are made aware of the support available to them,” said Donatella Rovera. 

Such services should include sexual and reproductive health services as well as counselling and trauma support. 

EINDE ARTIKEL

”Fighters with the armed group calling itself “Islamic State” (IS) have systematically targeted members of non-Arab and non-Sunni Muslim communities. Despite worldwide condemnation, the IS has shown no intention of putting an end to the war crimes and crimes against humanity which its fighters have been committing on a large scale, including against the Iraqi women and girls they have abducted and continue to hold captive. Any party, in Iraq or outside, with any influence over the IS should use that influence to secure the release of these captives.”

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL/REPORT

IRAQ: ESCAPE FROM HELL: TORTURE AND SEXUAL SLAVERY IN ISLAMIC STATE CAPTIVITY IN IRAQ

https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/MDE14/021/2014/en/

SEE FULL REPORT

https://www.amnesty.org/download/Documents/MDE140212014ENGLISH.pdf

[15]

UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS

http://hrlibrary.umn.edu/instree/b1udhr.htm

[16]

‘Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.”
ARTIKEL 2, UNIVERSELE VERKLARING VAN DE RECHTEN VAN DE MENS
http://hrlibrary.umn.edu/instree/b1udhr.htm

[17]
ZIE VOOR MENSENRECHTENSCHENDINGEN TEGEN YEZIDIS NOOT 14

[18]
45 Opdat gij moogt kinderen zijn uws Vaders, Die in de hemelen is; want Hij doet Zijn zon opgaan over bozen en goeden, en regent over rechtvaardigen en onrechtvaardigen.”
MATTHEUS 5: 45
https://www.statenvertaling.net/bijbel/matt/5.html

[19]

ZIE VOOR MENSENRECHTENSCHENDINGEN TEGEN JEZIDIS, NOOT 14

[20]

‘ Everyone charged with a criminal offence shall have the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law. ”
ARTIKEL 14, LID 2, BUPO VERDRAG [INTERNATIONAL COVENANT ON CIVIL AND POLITICAL RIGHTS]
http://hrlibrary.umn.edu/instree/b3ccpr.htm

[21]

No protected person may be punished for an offence he or she has not personally committed. Collective penalties and likewise all measures of intimidation or of terrorism are prohibited. ”
ARTIKEL 33, 4e CONVENTIE VAN GENEVE
https://ihl-databases.icrc.org/applic/ihl/ihl.nsf/Article.xsp?action=openDocument&documentId=72728B6DE56C7A68C12563CD0051BC40

[22]

WET BEEDIGING MINISTERS EN LEDEN STATEN GENERAAL
https://www.parlementairemonitor.nl/9353000/1/j9vvij5epmj1ey0/vi32nmel4fzh

Bij de aanvaarding van hun ambt leggen de leden der Staten-Generaal in de vergadering van de kamer waarin zij zijn verkozen, de volgende eden of verklaringen en beloften af:

“Ik zweer (verklaar) dat ik, om tot lid van de Staten-Generaal te worden benoemd, rechtstreeks noch middellijk, onder welke naam of welk voorwendsel ook, enige gift of gunst heb gegeven of beloofd.

Ik zweer (verklaar en beloof), dat ik, om iets in dit ambt te doen of te laten, rechtstreeks noch middellijk enig geschenk of enige belofte heb aangenomen of zal aannemen.

Ik zweer (beloof) trouw aan de Koning, aan het Statuut voor het Koninkrijk en aan de Grondwet.

Ik zweer (beloof) dat ik de plichten die mijn ambt mij oplegt getrouw zal vervullen.

Zo waarlijk helpe mij God almachtig!”

(Dat verklaar en beloof ik!”).

[23]

45 Opdat gij moogt kinderen zijn uws Vaders, Die in de hemelen is; want Hij doet Zijn zon opgaan over bozen en goeden, en regent over rechtvaardigen en onrechtvaardigen.”
MATTHEUS 5: 45
https://www.statenvertaling.net/bijbel/matt/5.html

[24]

NOSIS VROUWEN EN KINDEREN TERUG IN NEDERLAND, WAT GEBEURT ER MET ZE?20 NOVEMBER 2019
https://nos.nl/artikel/2311309-is-vrouwen-en-kinderen-terug-in-nederland-wat-gebeurt-er-met-ze.html

TEKST

Dat IS-vrouwen vanuit Turkije terug naar Nederland konden komen, was voor de Nederlandse instanties geen verrassing. Ze treffen al een tijd lang voorbereidingen om zo’n terugkeer zo goed mogelijk te regelen. Gisteren gebeurde het; Turkije zette twee IS-vrouwen en twee kinderen op het vliegtuig naar Schiphol.

Als het telefoontje uit Ankara komt, weten alle betrokkenen wat er moet gebeuren. Terwijl de vrouwen en kinderen in het vliegtuig zitten, bepaalt de kinderrechter dat de kinderen worden toegewezen aan Jeugdbescherming. De ouder wordt op dat moment geschorst van het ouderlijk gezag.

Medewerkers van de Raad voor de Kinderbescherming staan op Schiphol te wachten om alles in goede banen te leiden. De moeder moet na aankomst meteen afscheid nemen van haar kinderen.

Gisteravond gebeurde dit bij de 23-jarige Fatimah H. uit Tilburg. Haar kinderen van 3 en 4 werden overgedragen aan een voogd van Jeugdbescherming, terwijl zij in hechtenis werd genomen. De voogd neemt vanaf dat moment alle beslissingen.

Berecht in Nederland

De afgelopen jaren meldden zich zo’n tien Syriëgangers bij een Nederlandse diplomatieke post in Turkije. In alle gevallen werden ze door Turkije aan Nederland overgedragen, om vervolgens in Nederland te worden berecht.

Met H. is vooraf afgesproken wat haar op Schiphol te wachten staat. Haar wordt geadviseerd om aan de kinderen te laten merken dat ze het goed vindt dat ze met de Kinderbescherming meegaan. Zo is een mogelijk trauma het minst hevig voor het kind, is de gedachte.

Vanaf Schiphol rijdt gespecialiseerd personeel met de kinderen naar een opvanggezin. Dit is de eerste, tijdelijke, opvang. In de eerste drie maanden worden de kinderen vaak onderzocht; onder anderen een radicaliseringsdeskundige en een psychiater gaan met ze in gesprek. Er wordt van uitgegaan dat de kinderen getraumatiseerd zijn. De voogd van Jeugdbescherming heeft daarom veel contact met de kinderen en het opvanggezin.

Terwijl de kinderen worden opgevangen in het pleeggezin, gaat de moeder de Penitentiaire Inrichting Vught of gevangenis De Schie in Rotterdam. Daar zijn de enige zogenoemde Terroristenafdelingen van Nederland. Ze wordt daar vastgezet en extra beveiligd binnen een speciaal programma, om haar ideologisch te beperken.

Vrijdag wordt ze in Rotterdam voorgeleid aan de rechter-commissaris in Rotterdam. Die bepaalt of hij het voorarrest met 14 dagen verlengt.

Fatima H. had zich eind oktober gemeld bij de Nederlandse ambassade in Ankara. Ook de 25-jarige Xaviera S. zat op de vlucht. Zij is in in 2014 naar Syrië gereisd. Ook S. is vastgezet in een van de penitentiaire inrichtingen en wacht vervolging.

De straf die H. boven het hoofd hangt, is afhankelijk van de verdenking en het bewijsmateriaal. Het Openbaar Ministerie zegt er al zeker van te zijn dat ze na 2015, toen het kalifaat werd uitgeroepen, naar Syrië is gereisd. Ze wordt daarom verdacht van “deelname aan een terroristische organisatie”.

De straf die daar in Nederland op staat is zes jaar cel. Ook als de vrouwen zich erop beroepen dat ze alleen voor hun man en kinderen zorgden, kunnen ze bestraft worden. In eerdere zaken is dat al gebeurd. Volgens het OM hoeft een verdachte geen oorlogsmisdaden te plegen om berecht te worden. De vrouw heeft het voortbestaan van IS met haar daden verlengd, is de argumentatie. Dat is voldoende om een straf opgelegd te krijgen.

De straf van zes jaar staat los van wat iemand verder gedaan heeft. Mocht iemand bijvoorbeeld iemand hebben vermoord, dan is er een levenslange celstraf mogelijk, maar zoiets is in Nederland nog niet voorgekomen.

Komen er nog meer IS-vrouwen naar Nederland?

Zeker is dat er nog groepen IS-vrouwen en -strijders in het buitenland zitten. Ze bevinden zich met name in Syrië, Turkije en Irak. Volgens de AIVD zijn er uit Nederland de afgelopen jaren in totaal ongeveer 300 mensen met “jihadistische intentie” afgereisd naar Syrië en Irak. Een derde van hen is vrouw.

Op dit moment zitten er 95 kinderen, 35 vrouwen en 15 mannen met de Nederlandse nationaliteit in Syrische kampen. Volgens de AIVD zijn er nog 20 volwassenen en 30 kinderen in Turkije. Slechts een aantal van hen zit vast en zou dus nog kunnen worden uitgezet.Concrete plannen om deze mensen terug te laten keren zijn er nu niet. Wel bepaalde een rechter vorige week dat Nederland zich moet inspannen om 56 IS-kinderen zo snel mogelijk op te halen uit detentiekampen in het noordoosten van Syrië. Politiek is over het onderwerp veel discussie; vrijdag dient daarom een door het kabinet aangespannen hoger beroep.

[25]

”Als het telefoontje uit Ankara komt, weten alle betrokkenen wat er moet gebeuren. Terwijl de vrouwen en kinderen in het vliegtuig zitten, bepaalt de kinderrechter dat de kinderen worden toegewezen aan Jeugdbescherming. De ouder wordt op dat moment geschorst van het ouderlijk gezag.”………’Terwijl de kinderen worden opgevangen in het pleeggezin, gaat de moeder de Penitentiaire Inrichting Vught of gevangenis De Schie in Rotterdam. 

NOSIS VROUWEN EN KINDEREN TERUG IN NEDERLAND, WAT GEBEURT ER MET ZE?20 NOVEMBER 2019
https://nos.nl/artikel/2311309-is-vrouwen-en-kinderen-terug-in-nederland-wat-gebeurt-er-met-ze.html

[26]

HUMAN RIGHTS WATCHSYRIA: DIRE CONDITIONS FOR ISIS SUSPECT’S FAMILIES
23 JULI 2019
https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/07/23/syria-dire-conditions-isis-suspects-families

ZIE VOOR TEKST
NOOT 34 VAN

[27]

NOSIS VROUWEN EN KINDEREN TERUG IN NEDERLAND, WAT GEBEURT ER MET ZE?20 NOVEMBER 2019
https://nos.nl/artikel/2311309-is-vrouwen-en-kinderen-terug-in-nederland-wat-gebeurt-er-met-ze.html

[28]

HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH

IRAQ: KEY COURTS IMPROVE ISIS TRIAL PROCEDURES

But changes needed in laws, response to torture, Other Courts

13 MARCH 2019

https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/03/13/iraq-key-courts-improve-isis-trial-procedures

ZIE VOOR TEKST:

NOOT 15 VAN

https://www.astridessed.nl/vvd-vindt-de-doodstraf-voor-nederlandse-isers-acceptabel-waar-zijn-nu-onze-waarden-vvd/ [29]

HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH

IRAQ: KEY COURTS IMPROVE ISIS TRIAL PROCEDURES

But changes needed in laws, response to torture, Other Courts

13 MARCH 2019

https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/03/13/iraq-key-courts-improve-isis-trial-procedures

ZIE VOOR TEKST:

NOOT 15 VAN

[30]

[30]

JOOP.NLHET ZIJN MISSCHIEN WEL JIHADISTEN, MAAR WEL ONZE JIHADISTEN!MATTHIJS VAN DE SANDE11 MAART 2015
https://joop.bnnvara.nl/opinies/het-zijn-misschien-jihadisten-maar-wel-onze-jihadisten

TEKST

Ik zie me dus gedwongen het op te nemen voor jihadisten

Het was, zo kopte het NRC, misschien wel Ahmed Aboutaleb’s ‘Ich bin ein Berliner’-moment. Aangemoedigd door duizenden demonstranten trok de Rotterdamse burgemeester op de solidariteitsbetoging met Charlie Hebdo een scheidslijn tussen ‘de Rotterdammers’– ‘niet verdeeld, maar samen’ – en de apologeten van jihadistisch geweld. Voor die laatsten had Aboutaleb, eerder die week, een andere boodschap: ‘pak je koffer, en vertrek. Er is misschien een andere plek in de wereld waar je toch je recht kan komen.’ En: ‘ja, mag ik het zo zeggen: … rot toch op.’Aboutaleb oogstte kritiek met zijn uitspraken, maar vooral ook veel lof. Voor jihadisten die de westerse waarden van ‘vrijheid’ en ‘tolerantie’ niet delen, zo betoogden veel politici en opiniemakers, is inderdaad geen plek in onze samenleving. Premier Rutte verdedigde vorige week op een lijsttrekkersdebat zelfs de stelling dat ‘uitgereisde jihadisten’ beter in Syrië of Irak kunnen sneuvelen, dan terug te keren naar Nederland.

Holle onliners?
Het lijken misschien holle oneliners, maar tegelijkertijd is er wel degelijk een wet in de maak die het gemakkelijker moet maken om niet alleen jihadgangers maar ook hun helpers hier, de Nederlandse nationaliteit te ontnemen. Er is één uitzondering: voor jihadisten die niet over een dubbel, maar slechts over een Nederlands paspoort beschikken, gaat de regel niet op. Stateloosheid zou dan immers het gevolg zijn, en dat is volgens internationale wetgeving ontoelaatbaar. Toch zouden VVD, CDA en SGP ook die laatste optie serieuzer willen onderzoeken: zij bepleitten vorige week het intrekken van staatsburgerschap voor álle jihadisten – ook van diegenen, die alleen Nederlands burger zijn.

Opstelten zag juridisch weinig mogelijkheden, maar zegde toe het desondanks aan de Raad van Europa voor te leggen. Allicht dat ook andere Europese landen worstelen met dit probleem, aldus de (inmiddels ex-)minister.

Discours van bestaansrecht ontkennen
Zowel politiek als juridisch schuift men zo langzaam maar zeker op naar een discours dat niet alleen afstand neemt van de plegers of bepleiters van extremistisch geweld, maar hen zelfs hun bestaansrecht als persoon in onze samenleving ontzegt. Het trekt een resoluut onderscheid tussen de burger – die deel uitmaakt van een politieke gemeenschap en aanspraak kan maken op civiele rechten – en de rechteloze buitenstaander. Natuurlijk: ook formeel burgerschap biedt geen enkele garantie tegen uitbuiting en onderdrukking op basis van ras, gender, klasse, of geloofsovertuiging – laten we ons daarover geen illusies maken.

De één gelijker dan de ander
Maar een specifiek deel van de bevolking zowel discursief als juridisch hun burgerschap ontnemen, is slechts een stap verder in dezelfde dynamiek, waarbij sommigen categorisch ‘gelijker’ zijn dan anderen. Degene die daarmee zelfs tot buiten de marges van de samenleving wordt verdreven rest, om met de Italiaanse filosoof Giorgio Agamben te spreken, slechts het ‘naakte leven’: ontdaan van recht en plicht, lidmaatschap en verantwoordelijkheid, verwordt zij of hij tot een a-politiek lichaam dat in wezen vogelvrij is. Wie tot die categorie behoort kan dan dus net zo goed “oprotten”, sterven… zelfs straffeloos gedood worden.

‘Onze’ westerse samenleving
Volgens Rutte volgt dat nu eenmaal uit de keuze die jihadisten zelf maken om zich te engageren met een gewapende strijd tegen ‘onze’ westerse samenleving en de daarin verankerde waarden. Bovendien, zo benadrukt hij, is een heel groot deel van “ons” het roerig met hem eens. De vraag is natuurlijk: wie zijn ‘ons’ in dit geval? Want hoorden ook de ‘Syriëgangers’ daar – in ieder geval in eerste instantie – niet evengoed bij? Per slot van rekening hebben we het vooralsnog over medeburgers.

Zou het echt zo gemakkelijk moeten zijn om met een beroep op de meerderheidsstem, of met het oog op veiligheidsrisico’s, een deel van de eigen gemeenschap ieder recht te ontzeggen? Om, bij monde van de minister-president, tegen medeburgers te zeggen: ‘ga maar dood?’

Ik heb geen enkele voeling of sympathie voor de misogyne, homofobe, en antisemitische ideeën die de IS pleegt te verspreiden – laat staan voor de brute en gewelddadige manier waarop ze dat doen. En ik geef toe dat ik niet graag zou samenleven met iemand die oprecht dit soort denkbeelden onderschrijft. Maar de werkelijkheid is wel dat ik die keuze helemaal niet heb: we praten hier wel degelijk over onze eigen buren, klasgenoten, collega’s, stadsgenoten, leerlingen, of zelfs familieleden. Het zijn misschien jihadisten, maar het zijn wel ónze jihadisten. Of ze nu één of twee paspoorten hebben; ze zijn getogen en vaak geboren in ónze stad, gingen naar ónze scholen. De onvrede of vervreemding die hen in de armen dreef van radicale imams en jihadronselaars was een onvrede met ónze samenleving. En – of we het nu leuk vinden of niet – “onze” betekent in dit geval evengoed: ‘hun’.

Platvloerse agressie gemeengoed
De platvloerse agressie die inmiddels gemeengoed lijkt te zijn geworden in Den Haag, confronteert me dus met een moeilijk dilemma. Aan de ene kant zie ik geen enkele reden om het überhaupt voor jihadisten en hun sympathisanten op te nemen. Dit is niet simpelweg een onderhoudend debatje over de vrijheid van meningsuiting of de “kernwaarden” van een burgerlijke samenleving. Maar aan de andere kant: niet alleen wordt gesteld dat sommige medeburgers net zo goed kunnen sneuvelen. Tegelijkertijd wordt ook juridisch de baan bereid voor hun vogelvrijverklaring. Zodoende tekent men met holle “rot maar op”-retoriek impliciet het doodsvonnis van een – vooralsnog klein – deel van onze samenleving.Als we dat toelaten, is het ergst denkbare nog mogelijk. Ik zie me dus gedwongen het op te nemen voor jihadisten. 

Reacties uitgeschakeld voor Geen medelijden met Jihadisten/Over IS vrouwen, Jezidis en mensenrechten/Quote attack op Dilan Yesilgoz

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