The 4th session of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine

The tribunal has provided not only important knowledge, but also authoritative encouragement to solidarity groups, social movements, trade unions, political parties and concerned citizens to utilize BDS to hold Israel and its supporters to account. The next Russell Tribunal on Palestine will be held in South Africa.
1. The fourth session of the Russell Tribunal continued its historic function of articulating civic protest and carrying the weight of insufferable conditions at a moment when the world society is facing its most incredible challenges. It should be noted that the UN Charter was created to emphasize the rights of people and not states.

2. The final session of the Tribunal focused on the responsibility of the United States of America (US) and the United Nations (UN) regarding the Israeli breaches of international law towards Palestine. There is now a situation in which Israel has achieved a status of immunity and impunity by their complete disregard for the norms and standards of international law facilitated by the US.
After hearing various witnesses and experts, the Tribunal has reached the following conclusions (it should be noted that invitations were extended to the US and Israel, both of whom failed to respond).

 I. Israel’s violations of international law

  • Violation of the Palestinian people’s right to their natural resources and wealth through the Israeli use of Palestinian agricultural land, the exploitation of Palestinian water reserves and preventing Palestinian access to more than 10% of their safe drinking water reserves (A/RES/64/292);
  • Violation of international humanitarian law prohibiting:
- the establishment of Israeli settlements (4th 1949 Geneva Convention (GC), Art. 49 and 147),
- the expulsions of Palestinians from their territory (id.),
- the demolitions and expropriations of Arab houses and lands situated in the occupied country (1907 Hague Regulations, Art. 46 and 55),
-  mistreatment, torture and prolonged administrative detention of Palestinians in Israeli prisons (4th GC, Art. 3, 32 and 78),
- non-compliance with the right of return of Palestinian refugees to their homes (A/RES/194/III, § 11 and customary IHL as codified by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in 2005, Rule 132);
-  military attacks against civilians, indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks against Gaza and Palestinian refugees camps (customary international humanitarian law, ICRC Compendium Rules 1 and 14);
-  the terms articulated by the 2004 ICJ decision on the Wall....

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If you sit by a river long enough, you'll see the body of your enemy float by.
Old Japanese proverb