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US-backed Israeli plan deprives Palestinians of all rights: UN legal expert

A man holds a Palestine flag during a demonstration at Fatih mosque to protest against the so-called US peace plan, on January 31, 2020 in Istanbul, Turkey. (AFP photo)

The US-backed Israeli plan to annex significant parts of the West Bank, including almost all of the illegal Israeli settlements, will deprive Palestinians of their all rights, a UN diplomat has said.

Michael Lynk, the UN Special Rapporteur on situation of human rights in the Palestinian Territory, made the remarks in an interview with Press TV on Thursday.

Lynk is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law, Western University, in London, Ontario. He joined the Faculty in 1999, and has taught courses in labor, human rights, disability, constitutional and administrative law. He served as Associate Dean of the Faculty between 2008-11.

US Secretary of State Pompeo on Tuesday showed up in Israel. He reportedly visited Israel to bolster Benjamin Netanyahu ahead of his upcoming trial to start later this month for bribery, fraud, and breach of trust.

The US secretary of state reportedly discussed Tel Aviv’s plan to annex Palestinian land following US President Donald Trump’s approval.

Pompeo was also at Netanyahu’s swearing-in ceremony to highlight the Trump admiration’s approval of his illegal plan to annex settlements, the Jordan Valley, and northern Dead Sea.

UN Special Rapporteur Lynk said, “Secretary of State Pompeo has recently said that the decision to annex significant parts of the West Bank, including all or almost all of the illegal Israeli settlements, is entirely Israel’s call to make. If this comment accurately reflects official American thinking, then the US would be coordinating with Israel to support the annexation of around 30% of the West Bank, including the Jordan Valley and all of the illegal Israeli settlements. This would include running interference for the annexation decision in prominent international forums and with leading countries in Europe.”

“However, one can also imagine the opposite. That the United States is becoming quite concerned about the adverse impacts of the annexation internationally: European sanctions, hostility in the Arab world, some push-back by the Democratic party, a blatant disregard of international law and a further loss of American power and prestige in the world,” he stated.

UN Special Rapporteur Lynk recently warned, “The looming annexation is a political litmus test for the international community. This annexation will not be reversed through rebukes, nor will the 53-year-old occupation die of old age.”

Commenting on his warning, Lynk said, “In 1980, Israel unilaterally annexed East Jerusalem. And in 1981, it annexed the Syrian Golan Heights. On both occasions, the United Nations Security Council condemned the annexations as illegal, demanded that Israel reverse the annexations and threatened further action if it failed to comply with its direction. But no accountability measures followed.”

“From all of this, Israel has learned an invaluable lesson. The UN and the international community may criticize Israel on occasion for its clear and ongoing defiance of international law and the international consensus. But the world is exceptionally hesitant about imposing political, diplomatic and economic costs on Israel for doing so. It is highly doubtful that we would be here today arguing about Israel’s looming annexation of significant parts of the West Bank if the world had drawn real lines in the sand 40 years ago or 20 years ago or even 5 years ago,” he stated.

“Resolutions without resolve, and criticisms without consequences, are a small price that Israel will happily pay if it means its trade, investment and status with Europe, North America and Asia will continue on as before. In a comment that aptly applies to the wider world, the former European Union Special Representative for the Middle East, Miguel Moratinos, stated in 2010 with regard to the Israeli occupation: ‘We Europeans excel at declarations. It is compensation for our scarcity of action.’”

UN Special Rapporteur Lynk recently also described the repercussions of annexation as creating “a cascade of bad human rights consequences” and that the international community could no longer play its acquiescent role to Israeli violations.

Expanding on this Lynk said, “The United Nations has stated that the Israeli settlements are the source of profound human rights and humanitarian law violations against the protected Palestinian population in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Presently, Israel has de facto annexed significantly parts of the West Bank, and the adverse human rights consequences are obvious. These consequences includes land confiscation and alienation, settler violence, discriminatory planning laws, the appropriation of natural resources, home demolitions, forcible population transfer, labor exploitation, forced evictions and displacement, discriminatory law enforcement, the imposition of a two-tiered system of unequal political, social and economic rights based on ethnicity and, above all, the denial of the right to self-determination.”

“This would only get worse under a de jure formal annexation. The Trump plan proposal for Israel annexation would result in a Palestinian Bantustan, which would be scattered archipelagos of non-contiguous territory completely surrounded by Israel, with no external borders, no control over its airspace, no right to the military to defend its security, no geographic basis for a viable economy, no freedom of movement and with no ability to complain to international judicial forums against Israel or the United States,” he stated.

“This Potemkin state – lacking most of the commonly understood attributes of sovereignty beyond the right to fly its flag and issue stamps – would become an entirely new entity in the annals of modern political science. It is no wonder that the plan has met with such opposition in the international community.”

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