In an attempt to change facts and devote reality, Israeli Knesset approved the second and third readings on 01 January 2018, regarding the amendment of the “Jerusalem Basic Law declared Jerusalem, complete and untied, is the capital of Israel in 1980”, which denies Palestinians from exercising sovereignty in East Jerusalem. Before that was the unanimous vote of the Likud Party on a decision that demands the Knesset of the annexation of settlement blocs in the West Bank officially to the Israeli State.
The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) deeply condemns the Israeli procedures aiming at creating a Jewish majority in the Palestinian land and impose facts, which totally end any chance for Palestinians to exercise their right to self-determination and their right to establish a state on the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) of 1967. PCHR confirms that these decisions are as an exploitation of the U.S’s sin – to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel- which is a clear violation of the international law and the international legitimacy resolutions, including the resolutions of the United Nations (UN), General Assembly, international justice Court, and UNESCO.
The “United Jerusalem” Law provided that 80 members of 120 members in the Israeli Knesset must vote to pass any resolution over changing the recent status in Jerusalem or to move parts of it to another authority in the context of any political agreement. This condition comes to tighten the procedures required by the old law, which used to require either by votes of 80 members as the in current amendment or by 60 members votes in addition to a public referendum, which approves the disposition by the absolute majority.
Moreover, the new amendment cancelled the text related to define the boundaries of Jerusalem, which was existed in the previous law, allowing Jerusalem’s municipality to redefine its boundaries and exclusion of Arab residential neighborhoods of its scope, such as Sheikh Jarah neighborhood and Shu’fat refugee camp, which forcibly separated of the city by the annexation wall. In the same time, according to the new law, the municipality can annex Israeli settlements in the vicinity of Jerusalem within the municipality’s scope to the so-called “Greater Jerusalem Bill”.
In the same time, the abovementioned law emphasizes the Israeli sovereignty over those Arab areas too, but without considering them as a part of what is called “Israel’s United Capital” by those, who presented the bill. Therefore, in any future settlement, any Israeli government can hand over the administration of these Arab neighborhoods to the Palestinians after they obtain a normal majority of 61 member’s votes not 80 member’s votes.
According to this law and by reviewing the Israeli political plan, one can confirm that obtaining such majority is absolutely impossible. Thus, Israel unilaterally decided the matter of Jerusalem and considered that East Jerusalem, including al-Aqsa Mosque, are within the their alleged capital With the disposal of Arab community. In this, Minister Naftali Bennett Naftali Bennett, Leader of the Jewish Home (Habayit Hayehudi) party and the one, who presented the Bill, said: “Now we can confirm that Jerusalem will be united for ever after we issued a bill that makes dividing it requires a great majority of 80 members’ votes.”
It should be noted that according to the so-called “Basic Law of Jerusalem in1980”, Israel declared annexation of East Jerusalem under its sovereignty, triggering a huge storm of criticism and movements. Because of that law, the UN Council issued a resolution No. 478, which deeply condemned the abovementioned bill and considered it as non-existent and void and must be cancelled. The UN Council also called upon the states not to deal with such bill or establish any diplomatic missions in the city. Thirteen states, which had embassies in Jerusalem responded to the UN Council and transferred its embassies. After 37 years of this decision, a more severe bill was issued without the world moving a finger.
In the same context, on 29 December 2017, the Israeli Likud Party, which constitutes the majority in the Israeli Knesset, unanimously voted on a resolution demanding the Israeli Knesset enact a law to annex Israeli settlements established on Palestinian civilians’ lands in the West Bank to the Israel.
Although this bill is not binding on the Knesset, PCHR considers it a preamble to adopting the bill by the Knesset, especially that the idea of annexing the West Bank and Jerusalem settlements to Israel is not only widely accepted in the Israeli political arena, but also in the Israeli left-wing party.
PCHR emphasizes that Israeli procedures are a challenge to the international law and the international legitimacy of the UN resolutions. These procedures also represent an effective termination to the two-state solution, to the Palestinians’ right to self-determination, and the establishment of an independent state on the occupied territories of 1967.
The Israel’s attempts to annex parts of the oPt under its sovereignty with an American green light is a violation of the UN’s Charter, particularly Article 2 paragraph (4) which bans the annexation of others’ territory by force. It is also considered a threat to the international peace and security because it provokes conflict and implicitly abolishing to the peace process and the two-state solution.
The two previous resolutions reveal the racist mentality of the occupying state, which is trying hard to get rid of the exclusive Arab communities, and in the same time it seek to annex all other parts of the West Bank and Jerusalem cities.
It also highlights the real objective of the Israeli political process, which aims at getting rid of the Arab communities as much as possible by handing over their administration to the Palestinians not achieving peace. It should be noted that the peace will only be achieved through a fair political settlement that will give the Palestinians their inalienable rights that are approved by international legitimacy.
PCHR warns of the danger of Israeli procedures, which will only lead to the perpetuation of conflict in the region. PCHR also confirms that all these procedures are considered non-existent and have no impact at the international level and the settlement activity is a crime under Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention and Article 8 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, as it will not be legitimized by a U.S declaration or an Israeli law.
PCHR affirms that Israel is now revealing its true face as an apartheid state that practices racism in all its forms, whether through practices or laws. This is contradicted by the claims made by U.S President Donald Trump in his speech that Israel is a democratic state for all its inhabitants, including Arab Muslims and Christians.
PCHR expresses its concern over the suspicious international silence of Israeli resolutions. PCHR also calls upon the international community to take genuine steps to ensure the implementation of General Assembly resolution No. (A / ES-10 / L.22) issued on 21 December 2017. This General Assembly resolution confirms the implementation of the UN Council resolutions: resolution No. (478) concerning calls upon states to refrain from establishing any diplomatic missions in Jerusalem; and resolution No. (2334) related to the condemnation of Israeli settlements.
PCHR calls upon the European Union to take clear positions over the Israeli procedures aimed at confiscating Palestinians’ rights and their right to self-determination. PCHR also calls upon the European Union to condemn all racist procedures against Palestinians and reformulate the relationship with Israel to practice pressure to end the occupation and respect the inalienable rights of the Palestinians as dictated by his conscience and the terms of the Euro-Israeli Association Agreement, which requires respect for human rights.