West Bank, ALRAY - UN experts, including special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territory, Ms. Françoisë Bouchet-Saulnier, called on international community to prevent Israel's annexation of occupied Palestinian territories.
In a statement released, Wednesday, the experts emphasized that Israel's ongoing annexation of parts of the occupied Palestinian territory, with the current focus on large areas of the West Bank following the unlawful annexation of east of Jerusalem, indicates a tangible effort to annex the entire occupied Palestinian territories, in violation of international law.
They reiterated that back in 2020, 46 United Nations experts called on the international community to firmly oppose Israel's plans for the annexation of parts of the occupied West Bank. Unfortunately, their plea went unheard at that time, and they stress that remaining silent now is not an option.
They emphasized that annexation of territory or its acquisition by force or threat is strictly prohibited under international law and constitutes an act of aggression, a crime falling within the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court, and poses a threat to international peace and security.
They pointed out that while Israeli settlers in the occupied Palestinian territories enjoy civil and political rights, the Palestinians are subjected to military rule. They also highlighted that the consolidation of a system of apartheid is an inevitable consequence of such a regime.
The experts called for the necessity of achieving justice and respecting international law without double standards, in order to put an end to this cycle of violence and secure a just and lasting peace.
The Israeli and Palestinian estimations indicate the presence of approximately 650,000 settlers in the West Bank, including 230,000 in East Jerusalem. These settlers are distributed among 164 settlements and 124 outposts.
Under international law, the West Bank and East Jerusalem are considered occupied territories, and all settlement-building activities in these areas are deemed illegal.