Israeli settlements in the occupied Arab territories

Commission on Human Rights resolution 1996/4

The Commission on Human Rights,

Recalling that, in accordance with article 13, paragraph 2, of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country,

Reaffirming that the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, is applicable to Palestinian and all Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967, including Jerusalem,

Recalling its resolutions 1990/1 of 16 February 1990, 1991/3 of 15 February 1991, 1992/3 of 14 February 1992, 1993/3 of 19 February 1993, 1994/1 of 18 February 1994 and 1995/3 of 17 February 1995 in which, inter alia, it reaffirmed the illegality of the Israeli settlements in the occupied territories, and noting that Israel has not fully complied with the provisions of those resolutions,

Welcoming the positive development that originated with the International Peace Conference on the Middle East convened in Madrid on 30 October 1991, including in particular the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements signed in Washington by the Government of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization on 13 September 1993 as well as the Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip signed in Washington by the same parties on 28 September 1995, followed by the partial redeployment of the Israeli army from the main Palestinian towns and the democratic election of the Palestinian Council and President of the Palestinian Authority,

Condemning in the strongest terms all acts of terrorism, and calling on the Parties not to allow them to affect the ongoing peace process negatively,

Noting with appreciation the report (E/CN.4/1996/18) submitted by the Special Rapporteur pursuant to resolution 1993/2 A of 19 February 1993, in which he recommends, inter alia, that the confiscation of Palestinian-owned land and the construction or expansion of settlements should be halted immediately,

Noting that the question of the Israeli settlements in the occupied territories will be addressed during the negotiations on the final status of the territories, which will start not later than May 1996, and convinced in this regard that a complete cessation by Israel of its policy of expanding the settlements, which may change the physical character and demographic composition of the occupied territories, would greatly facilitate those negotiations,

1. Reaffirms that the installation of Israeli civilians in the occupied territories is illegal and constitutes a violation of the relevant provisions of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949;

2. Reiterates its request to the Government of Israel to comply fully with the provisions of Commission resolutions 1990/1, 1991/3, 1992/3, 1993/3, 1994/1 and 1995/3;

3. Urges the Government of Israel to abstain from installing any settlers in the occupied territories and to prevent any new installation of settlers in these territories.

34th meeting 11 April 1996

[Adopted by 49 votes to 1, with 3 abstentions]


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