The society of St. Yves – Catholic Center for Human Rights participated in the works of the 36th Session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, between 26th to 29th September 2017. During the General Debate on Item 7: Human Rights Situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories.
St. Yves took part in a side event organized by Badil Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights, entitled “Israeli Policies of Colonization, Annexation and Forcible Transfer”, covering the Israeli policies of house demolitions in areas (C) of the occupied Palestinian territory as means of forcible transfer, which included an analysis of such policies, current legal local frameworks under international law.
St. Yves noted the aim of up Forcibly transferring Palestinians outside these areas, saving them for further settlement expansion, which has been highly successful, as today, areas (C) constitute 62% of the West Bank with a mere 5% of Palestinian population residing there, under constant harassment. This falls in line with Israel's general policy of “maximum Palestinian lands, minimum Palestinians”, setting the stage for the total dispossession and annexation of the West Bank, especially after the recent “Regularization” law passed by the Israeli Knesset in February 2017.
St. Yves also stressed the discriminatory aspect in the rigid planning regimes designed for Palestinians in these areas, where they are not represented at all, which means that Palestinians cannot build on their own property as Palestinian construction in Area (C) is heavily restricted; only approximately 1% of Area (C) has been planned for Palestinian development, while on the other hand, illegal Israeli settlements continue to expand on the same lands, not only without restriction, but also with much support from the Israeli government. Under International law, namely article (53) of the Fourth Geneva Convention, any destruction of property in absence of absolute military necessity is prohibited, and forcible transfer is considered a grave breach, in contravention of Israel’s obligations under international law and international humanitarian law.
Palestinian organizations who also participated in the event Community Action Center- Al Quds, AlHaq, Addameer, and the Cairo Institute for Human Rights. The organizations also participated in meeting with member States in the HRC, addressing recurrent Israeli violations against Palestinians and warning against the continuous deterioration due to the extreme measures taken by the Israeli government.