The UN General Assembly, photo CC by Mr Bullitt
Ahead of the expected Palestinian initiative to request the UN to recognize Palestinian statehood and to admit Palestine to the UN, Attorney Limor Yehuda and Attorney Anne Suciu from the Association of Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) have prepared a legal analysis detailing possible implications of the recognition of Palestinian statehood. The analysis outlines issues that will arise as a result of this initiative, focusing on those with potential repercussions for the human rights of those living in the region.
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The Palestinian initiative planned for September 2011, in which a request will be made to admit Palestine to the UN as a state within the 1967 borders, or to be recognized as a state by the UN members, is a political and diplomatic move whose implications in general and for the human rights of those in the region are hard to foresee. These implications will largely depend upon decisions made by the Israeli, Palestinian, and international political echelons as well as activity on the ground. Although chances appear slim that Palestine will be accepted for UN membership, in light of the United States veto in the Security Council, the very recognition of Palestinian statehood by a decisive majority of UN Member States would have significant repercussions.
Some of the issues addressed in ACRI’s analysis:
- Application of laws of occupation and Israel’s standing as an occupying power following a possible UN recognition of the Palestinian State, and its impact on Israel’s responsibilities in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
- If and how such a recognition affects the validity of the Oslo Accords.
- What the implications are if the newly-recognized Palestinian state becomes a party to the international courts of law, including the International Court of Justice in The Hague.
- Possible changes to the status of Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli prisons.
- International conventions related to human rights to which the Palestinian state may become party, such as the Geneva Convention and the International Convention Against Torture; How this will impact the safeguarding of human rights in the Territories.
- Recognition of a Palestinian state and its becoming party to international conventions and courts of law would impose obligations on it and subject it to international mechanisms that monitor the implementation of the human rights conventions (both toward its own citizens and toward Israelis, including settlers).