New legal memo on State Responsibility vis-a-vis Israel's Illegal Settlement Enterprise in the OPT
Al-Haq is pleased to announce the publication of “State Responsibility in Connection with Israel’s Illegal Settlement Enterprise in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.” The new legal memorandum analyses the concept of State responsibility under customary international law and examines the recommendations of the 2004 International Court of Justice (ICJ) Advisory Opinion on the Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the OPT (Advisory Opinion on the Wall) as guided by the International Law Commission Draft Articles on State Responsibility for Internationally Wrongful Acts of 2001 (ILC Articles). The paper argues that the Advisory Opinion on the Wall represents the most appropriate and authoritative legal framework for the analysis of the nature of Israel’s international breaches and the legal consequences resulting from its settlement project. The Advisory Opinion on the Wall does so by establishing a broad legal foundation for Israel and Third State Party’s obligations which is based not only on international humanitarian law provisions, but also on human rights treaties and customary humanitarian and human rights law. Given the current context in which numerous efforts are undertaken by many local and international actors to end Israel’s unlawful settlement enterprise, the legal memorandum seeks to raise awareness on the significant legal implications of the Advisory Opinion on the Wall and the ILC Articles. In particular, the memorandum reviews the wide range of Israeli actors involved in the expansion and maintenance of settlements, and their associated regime, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), and illustrates how the conduct of these actors is attributable to the State of Israel under rules of customary international law, thus entailing Israel’s State responsibility for the illegal settlement enterprise. Prepared by Ms. Ingrid Jaradat Gassner and endorsed by local and international scholars, including Prof. Susan Akram, Prof. John Dugard, Prof. Vera Gowlland-Debbas, Dr. Jeff Handmaker, Dr. Anis F. Kassim, Dr. Michael Kearney, Prof. Jonathan Klaaren and Prof. Paul de Waart, the memorandum provides a legal framework for advocacy, which aims at holding States accountable to their international legal obligations vis-à-vis Israel’s illegal settlement policies in the OPT.