Human Rights Now released a statement on December 7th protesting the announcement made by the United States of America to move the Israeli Embassy and urging the US to withdraw its decision.
1 The President of the United States Donald Trump delivered a speech from the White House on December 6 where he declared that the US recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and he set forth policy in order to move the American Embassy, currently situated in Tel-Aviv, to Jerusalem. Human Rights Now, a Tokyo-based Human Rights NGO, protests this decision, which contravenes both international law and previous resolutions from the Security Council, and we strongly urge the Trump administration to withdraw its decision.
Furthermore, the Security Council should meet as soon as possible to discuss the issue and should urge the US to withdraw its decision.
2 Following the events of the 1967 Six-Day War, Israel crossed the “Green Line” demarcation set out in 1949 and invaded the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Even though the United Nations Security Council urged Israel to withdraw from those areas in subsequent resolutions, Israel did not comply with those resolutions, and it occupied the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, a situation which has continued until now.
Directly after occupying these areas, Israel unilaterally annexed East Jerusalem, and in 1980 it enacted a Basic Law making “unified Jerusalem” the capital of Israel.
These measures are, as it has been clearly confirmed several times by the United Nations Security Council, clear violations of international law.
UNSC Resolution 242 of 1967 made it clear that the acquisition of territory by war is not permitted, and it called upon Israel to promptly “[withdraw its] armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict.”
Afterwards, the Security Council denounced the annexation of East Jerusalem, and it affirmed in Resolution 298 of 1971 that all administrative and legislative actions taken by Israel to change the status of the city of Jerusalem, including population transfers and legislation aimed at the incorporation of the occupied section, are completely invalid.
Subsequently to Israel’s enactment of the Basic Law, which contravened UNSC Resolutions by making Jerusalem the unified capital of the country, UNSC Resolution 478 adopted in 1980 confirmed that the Basic Law was inconsistent with international law and that all legislative and administrative measures altering the status of Jerusalem were invalid. It then called upon the United Nations Member States to refrain from establishing diplomatic missions, including embassies, in Jerusalem.
The Trump Administration’s decision clearly contravenes the aforementioned UNSC resolutions. The fact that a Permanent Member of the UNSC openly and clearly violates UNSC resolutions must be considered a step towards a threat to peace and is completely unacceptable.
3 Conflicts in the Middle-East have been exacerbated by Israel’s persistent violations of international law. The establishment of peace in the Middle-East must be achieved by upholding the rule of law and promoting solutions based on international law. Human Rights Now urges every Member State of the UN, especially on the government of the United States of America, to act accordingly.
UN General Assembly Resolution 2625 of 1970 (also called The Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Co-operation among States) reaffirmed the principle that under international law “[t]he territory of a State shall not be the object of acquisition by another State resulting from the threat or use of force.” HRN would like to stress once again that any departure from this principle cannot be tolerated.
HRN strongly urges the Trump Administration to promptly withdraw its decision which contravenes Security Council resolutions. Furthermore, HRN requests the Security Council to meet as soon as possible to discuss the issue and to adopt a resolution urging the US to withdraw its decision.