Geneva Convention calls on Israel to obey international law

10 point declaration was adopted by 126 of the 196 parties to the Convention

Geneva Convention calls on Israel to obey international law

World Bulletin/News Desk

Delegations from 126 countries on Wednesday expressed concerns over Israel's lack of implementation of international humanitarian law with regards to Palestine.

The Conference of High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention took place on Wednesday at the headquarters of the World Meteorological Organization in Geneva, Switzerland.

A 10-point declaration was adopted by consensus among 126 of the 196 parties to the Convention, reiterating that international humanitarian law must be implemented in the conflict between Israel and Palestine.

Swiss Ambassador and the depositary state of the Geneva Conventions Paul Fivat said the conference "was not to accuse or condemn other parties. The aim would be to reaffirm applicable international humanitarian law."

Fivat said "it was not to accuse, it was not a place to exchange political argumentations. It was a place to reiterate what is international law."

The declaration "is a signal and we can hope that words count," he said. 

In response to a question about why Israel and the U.S. did not attend the conference, he added "you should ask them."

Fivat said the declaration is legally binding on the 126 nations which adopted it. As Israel and the U.S. did not participate in the conference, it is not binding on them.

Mehmet Ferden Carikci, the permanent representative of Turkey to the United Nations office in Geneva, told AA that "Palestine attended the meeting on an equal level with other countries for the first time as one of the high contracting parties."

This conference affirmed that the Geneva Convention can be implemented, Carikci said.

The declaration stated that "all serious violations of international humanitarian law must be investigated and that all those responsible should be brought to justice."

It also expressed concerns about the construction of Separation Wall in the occupied Palestinian territory and the closure of the Gaza Strip as well as the continuation of Israeli settlement in the occupied territories. 

The declaration also indicated that indiscriminate attacks on civilians, schools and hospitals are forbidden. 

Switzerland proceeded with hosting a summit on Israeli-Palestinian relations on Wednesday despite diplomatic pressure from Israel, the U.S., Canada and Australia.

The one day, two-hour summit was an international conference of the Fourth Geneva Convention signatory states on issues regarding the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza.

Delegations from 126 countries participated in the meeting, although Israel, the U.S., Canada and Australia did not attend.

The summit focused on implementation of international humanitarian law in Israeli-Palestinian relations.

All 196 UN member states are signatories to the Convention and Palestine adopted the treaty in April 2014.

Wednesday’s conference took place after the French and Irish parliaments became the latest in Europe to call on their governments last week to recognize an independent state of Palestine.

In October, Sweden became the 135th of the world’s 193 nations, and the first western EU member state, to recognize Palestine.

There have also been non-binding parliamentary votes on recognizing Palestine in the U.K., France and Spain.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 18 Aralık 2014, 00:03