Belgian Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel


United Nations : The Question of Palestine

UN System at a Glance

« The United Nations Information System on the Question of Palestine: » click here!

The United Nations Information System on the Question of Palestine (UNISPAL) is the world’s largest online repository of documents on the question of Palestine. It was established and is maintained by the Division for Palestinian Rights in response to successive General Assembly mandates. The main collection contains the texts of current and historical United Nations material concerning the question of Palestine and other issues related to the Middle East situation and the search for peace. UNISPAL contains the English texts with a growing number in the other official UN languages.

« The Question of Palestine and the General Assembly: » click here!

The General Assembly is the main deliberative organ of the United Nations, composed of representatives of all Member States. The question of Palestine was first brought before the General Assembly in 1947. By resolution 181 (II), the Assembly decided to partition Palestine into two states, one Arab and one Jewish, with Jerusalem placed under a special international regime. After the 1948 war, the Assembly by resolution 194 (III) of 1949 established the Conciliation Commission for Palestine (UNCCP) to help the parties reach a final settlement, while reaffirming the rights of Palestine refugees to return and restitution. UNRWA, a Palestine refugee agency, was established by the Assembly the same year.

In 1974, the question of Palestine was re-introduced in the Assembly’s agenda. Resolution 3236 (XXIX) reaffirmed the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people to self-determination, national independence and sovereignty, and the right of the Palestinians to return to their homes and property. In 1975, the Assembly established the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. The question of Palestine and related issues have been the subject of numerous resolutions and decisions adopted by the Assembly’s regular, special and emergency sessions.

On 29 November 2012 the Assembly granted Palestine non-member observer State status in the UN. The relevant issues on the agenda of the Assembly and its subsidiary organs, such as the Human Rights Council include the right of Palestinians to self-determination, their sovereignty over natural resources, assistance, refugees, IDPs, UNRWA, human rights, Israeli settlements, peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine, and Jerusalem, among others.

« Historical Timeline: 1887 - 2022: » click here!




Approved and proposed for signature and ratification or accession by General Assembly resolution 260 A (III) of 9 December 1948. Entry into force: 12 January 1951, in accordance with article XIII:  click here!


Palestine (latest first):

¶ « The United Nations Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (CEIRPP) »

CEIRP was established in 1975 by General Assembly resolution 3376. The General Assembly requested that the Committee recommend a programme of implementation to enable the Palestinian people to exercise their inalienable rights to self-determination without external interference, national independence and sovereignty; and to return to their homes and property from which they had been displaced. At the beginning of each calendar year, the Committee elects its Bureau and adopts a Programme of Work. Assisted by the Division for Palestinian Rights, the Committee organizes international meetings and conferences, conducts an annual training programme at United Nations Headquarters and several other capacity-building activities, cooperates with civil society organizations worldwide, maintains publications and an information programme, and holds each year, on or around 29 November, a special meeting in observance of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. The Committee reports to the General Assembly on the implementation of its Mandate through its Annual Report.

¶ « The legality of the Israeli occupation of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem. »
Annex to the letter dated 20 September 2023 from the Chair of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People addressed to the Secretary-General:
click here! ─ Executive Summary: pp. 6/85 - 12/85.

¶ « The Rights of Civil Society Members are being violated by all Entities in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Un Commission of Inquiry says; Israeli Government Restrictions intrinsically linked to Occupation » (United Nations, OHCHR, pr 8 June 2023): click here!

¶ « United Nations: Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (CEIRPP). Resolutions Decisions and Voting Records of the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council and the Human Rights Council Relating to the Question of Palestine 2022 »: click here!

¶ « UNITED NATIONS, THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE » Web address: click here!

¶ « Action by UN System and Intergovernmental Organizations Relevant to the Question of Palestine » (October 2022 Monthly Bulletin, Volume XLV, Bulletin No. 10, 25p.): click here!

¶ « Report of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and Israel. » United Nations General Assembly, Seventy-seventh session, 14 Sept 2022 (pdf, 28p.): click here!

Summary: The Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and Israel hereby submits its first report to the General Assembly. The report addresses the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land, its purported de jure and discernible de facto annexation, the human rights implications for Palestinians and the legal consequences of such actions.

¶ « Human Rights Council’s Resolutions on Question of Palestine » (UN, The Question of Palestine, -2022): click here!

The Human Rights Council (HRC) is an inter-governmental body within the United Nations system made up of 47 States, responsible for the promotion and protection of all human rights around the globe.The Council inter alia appoints the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967 whose task is to assess the situation, report publicly about it, and work with governments, civil society and others. The human rights situation in Palestine is also considered in the context of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR). The Council has dispatched fact-finding missions to investigate violations of human rights, such as the UN fact-finding mission on the Gaza conflict in 2009, the UN fact-finding mission on the Gaza flotilla in 2010, and the UN fact-finding mission on Israeli settlements in 2012. A permanent feature of the Council’s agenda is Item 7 on “Human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories”. In March 2016, the Council voted to produce a database of all business enterprises conducting activities in or related to Israel’s settlements.

Articles (latest first):
  • « UN General Assembly adopts Gaza resolution calling for immediate and sustained ‘humanitarian truce’ » (United Nations, October 26, 2023): click here! .
    The United Nations General Assembly on Friday adopted a resolution calling for an “immediate, durable and sustained humanitarian truce” between Israeli forces and Hamas militants in Gaza. It also demands “continuous, sufficient and unhindered” provision of lifesaving supplies and services for civilians trapped inside the enclave, as news reports suggest Israel has expanded ground operations and intensified its bombing campaign.
  • Annex to the letter dated 20 September 2023 from the Chair of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People addressed to the Secretary-General: click here! ─ Executive Summary: pp. 6/85 - 12/85.
  • Michael BACHNER: « Israel halts UN staff visas as officials pan Guterres’s ‘truly insane’ Hamas remarks” » (The Times of Israel, 25 Oct 2023): click here!
    After UN chief says terrorist massacres ‘didn’t happen in vacuum,’ Foreign Ministry says words ‘tarnish both him and organization he heads’; Edelstein says they fan antisemitism.
  • Maureen Clare MURPHY: « Israel enraged by UN head’s reminder of “suffocating occupation” » (The Electronic Intifada, 24 Oct 2023): click here!
    António Guterres said that he “condemned unequivocally the horrifying and unprecedented 7 October acts of terror by Hamas in Israel” and called for all captives being held in Gaza to be released immediately without precondition. Guterres said that “it is important to also recognize the attacks by Hamas did not happen in a vacuum,” and that “the Palestinian people have been subjected to 56 years of suffocating occupation.”
  • « The UN discusses Israel’s human rights file amid clear denial and disgraceful complicity » (CIHRS October 6, 2023): click here!
    On 3 October 2023, Israel underwent the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of its human rights file during the 54th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council. In the session, Israel rejected criticism of its human rights record in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, whether from member states or civil society. Israel further rejected all recommendations related to putting an end to its apartheid regime or ending its obstruction of the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination. Many of the UPR recommendations, Israel claimed, were of a political nature and could not be complied with for political or legal reasons.
  • David CRONIN: « ICC chief can’t be trusted to put Israeli war criminals on trial » (EI, 2 October, 2023): click here!
    Will the International Criminal Court ever stop playing games? Last December, Karim Khan – its chief prosecutor – stated that he had a “goal” of visiting Palestine this year. It is now October and Khan still has still not undertaken such a trip. When I contacted the court asking if one had been scheduled, Khan’s office replied that it is “making every effort to achieve this objective.”
  • Maureen Clare MURPHY: « How Washington shapes ICC to its own aims » (EI, 1 August, 2023): click here!
    Anyone supposing that the newfound enthusiasm in Washington for the International Criminal Court would open the door for justice for Palestinians ought not to hold their breath. A closer look at US policy shows that the imperialist power only supports justice for victims depending on the identity of the perpetrators of alleged international crimes, and whether doing so would align with Washington’s interests.
  • Ali ABUNIMAH: « UN chief encourages Israel to kill more Palestinian children » (EI, June 29, 2023): click here!
    UN Secretary-General António Guterres is encouraging Israel to kill and maim more Palestinian children. Of course he would not put it that way himself, but that’s the only conclusion one can reach from his decision – yet again – to omit Israel from the UN’s “list of shame” which names grave abusers of children’s rights during armed conflict. The consternation at this clearly biased decision was palpable even among journalists at the Tuesday launch of the secretary-general’s annual report by Virginia Gamba, his special representative for children and armed conflict."
  • Ramzy BAROUD: « Is China trying to supplant Washington as Peacemaker between Israel and Palestine? » (Informed Comment, June 7, 2023): click here!
    Remarks on 24 May by China’s Ambassador to the UN on the situation in Occupied Palestine were impeccable in terms of their consistency with international law. Compared with the position of the US, which perceives the UN and the Security Council in particular as a vehicle to defend Israeli interests, the Chinese political discourse reflects a legal stance based on a deep understanding of the realities on the ground."
  • Romana RUBEO & Ramzy BAROUD: « Why Karim Khan froze the Palestine file: The ICC and Israeli war crimes in Gaza » (Middle East Monitor, May 24, 2023): click here!
    Israel's latest war on Gaza, starting on 9 May , killed 33 Palestinians, including six children, and wounded hundreds more. Most of those killed and wounded were civilians. On the first day of the war, Maurice Hirsh, former head of IDF Military Prosecution, made a 'legal' case for the Israeli war. He wrote the following passage on Twitter: "Considering the military advantage gained by eliminating these senior terrorists, it is irrelevant to ask how many children were incidentally killed..."
  • Juan COLE: « United Nations for First Time Recognizes 1948 Israeli Ethnic Cleansing (Nakbah) of Palestinians » (Informed Comment, May 19, 2023): click here!
    Today, May 15, for the first time a commemoration will be held at the United Nations HQ in New York City of the 1948 ethnic cleansing of about half of all the Palestinians, the bulk of which was carried out by Jewish military forces, as Israeli intelligence admitted at the time. (See below, all the way down) The commemoration comes from a resolution of the UN General Assembly last fall.
  • Ramona WADI: « The Symbolic Nakba Commemoration at the UN Showed Discomfort with the Truth that Israel Expelled the Palestinians » (Informed Comment, May 19, 2023): click here!
    “The thought that an international organisation could mark the establishment of one of its member states as a catastrophe or disaster is both appalling and repulsive,” wrote Israel’s UN Ambassador Gilad Erdan when asking UN diplomats to refrain from attending the unprecedented UN General Assembly’s commemoration of the 1948 Nakba.
    STATEMENT OF THE BUREAU OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY’S COMMITTEE ON THE EXERCISE OF THE INALIENABLE RIGHTS OF THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE. The Bureau of the United Nations General Assembly’s Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People condemns the raid by Israeli Forces inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound/Al-Haram Al-Sharif on 4 April 2023, which resulted in hundreds of Palestinian worshippers beaten, injured and detained while also causing damage to the building of the al-Qibli mosque. This violence is particularly egregious during a time of heightened religious sensitivity with the observance of Ramadan, Passover, and Easter.
  • UN: Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights Situation in the OPT Albanese: « Member States Must Abide by UN Charter and Provide Protection in the OPT. » Press Release, UN The Question of Palestine, Geneva, March 30, 2023: click here!
    At a moment of increased violence in the occupied Palestinian territory, with the new Israeli government threatening even further annexation, the international community must take firm and principled action to protect the human rights and dignity of Palestinians, a UN expert said today. “The wave of deadly violence sweeping through the occupied West Bank since the beginning of this year is the inexorable consequence of an acquisitive and repressive occupation with no end in sight, and the culture of lawlessness and impunity Israel has nurtured and enjoyed,” said Francesca Albanese, the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.
  • « UN Rapporteur Calls for Investigation into Israeli crimes in Palestine » (Days of Palestine, March 4, 2023): click here!
    The United Nations Special Rapporteur for the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Francesca Albanese, called Saturday, March 4, for an investigation on Israeli occupation crimes against the Palestinian people.
  • Volker TÜRK (UN High Commissioner for Human Rights): « Occupation ‘eating away’ at Israeli, Palestinian societies: Türk » (UN, March 3, 2023): click here!
    The current spate of deadly violence is distancing the prospect of a two-State solution to end the Israel-Palestine conflict, as the occupation is “eating away” at both societies, the UN rights chief told the Human Rights Council on Friday.
  • Ben SAMUELS, « UN Security Council Condemns Israel's Legalizing of West Bank Outposts » (Haaretz, Feb 20, 2023): click here!
    The statement comes in lieu of a resolution on the matter, which Palestinian officials had been urging but U.S. officials managed to successfully avert via mediation.
  • Jack KHOURY & Jonathan LIS, « Over 90 UN Member States Condemn Israel’s Sanctions Against Palestinian Authority» (Haaretz, Jan 17, 2023): click here!
    Israel's new government kicked off the year by slapping a series of sanctions on the PA in response to its request for an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice in The Hague on Israel’s occupation.
  • Ari ANZOLA, « A historic decision regarding Palestine » (MEMo, Jan 6, 2023): click here!
    The Palestinian resistance, that many normalisers in the Arab world have underestimated, is reaping its fruit with time. After more than 50 years of occupying Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem by force, the prevailing Israeli military regime can no longer be considered an occupation only. Many international human rights organisations have begun to use the term apartheid to describe it. This is not only about a change in concepts and terminology, but also a change in the legal consequences that will follow, which the ICJ will take into account when issuing its awaited advisory opinion. No matter how long they last, occupation and settlement have a high political and moral price and the fact that the allies of this occupation gave in to it and some Arab countries normalised with it is not enough to save it from punishment. The rights of the struggling nations do not die with the passage of time, and as the old saying goes, "A right is never lost, as long as someone strives to claim it."
  • Alex KANE, « The International Court of Last Resort » (Jewish Currents, Jan 4, 2023): click here!
    Human rights groups are pressuring the International Criminal Court to prosecute war crimes in Israel/Palestine.
  • « UN seeks ICJ opinion on Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestine » (Al Jazeera, Dec 31, 2022): click here!
    The United Nations General Assembly has passed a resolution calling on the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to give an opinion on the legal consequences of Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian territories. The General Assembly voted 87 to 26 with 53 abstentions on the resolution, with Western nations split but with virtually unanimous support in the Islamic world – including among Arab states that have normalised relations with Israel. Russia and China voted in favour of the resolution.
  • Jamie Stern-Weiner, "In Defence of Francesca Albanese” (blog, Dec 15, 2022): click here!
    Dredging up an eight-year-old letter now has one purpose and one purpose only: to smear Albanese’s name and her work to secure human rights for the Palestinian people.
  • "UN approves resolution to commemorate 75th Nakba anniversary” (Middle East Eye, Dec 1, 2022): click here!
    Israeli ambassador condemns the UN move, while Palestinian representative tells UN the world is facing 'end of the road' for two-state solution.
  • Daoud KUTTAB: "Palestine UN mission waited 10 years for this moment, says envoy” (Arab News, Nov 14, 2022): click here!
    Amman: It is now clear that Israel cannot keep pushing its narrative of doing no wrong while at the same time pursuing annexationist policies and denying “our people’s right to self-determination,” said Riyad Mansour, Palestine’s representative at the UN.
  • "'A breakthrough': UN committee votes to request ICJ opinion on Israeli occupation'” (Middle East Eye, Nov 12, 2022): click here!
    Palestinians welcome the vote as a prelude to 'opening a new era for holding Israel accountable for its war crimes.'
  • Jonathan LIS: "UN Votes to Ask International Court's Opinion on 'Legal Status of Israel Occupation'” (Haaretz, Nov 11, 2022): click here!
    Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has for years warned Israel that if Palestinian statehood is not on the horizon, it would press charges at The Hague.
  • Richard FALK: "New anti-colonial UN report gives Palestinians welcome boost in legitimacy wars'” (MEE, Oct 27, 2022): click here!
    The most fundamental violations of the basic rights of the Palestinian people are laid bare in Francesca Albanese's report.
  • Ben SAMUELS: "U.S. Decries UN Commission of Inquiry's 'One-sided' Report on Israel-Palestine" (Haaretz, Oct 22, 2022): click here!
  • Jonathan LIS & Ben SAMUELS: "UN Commission of Inquiry: Israeli Occupation of Palestinian Territory Is Illegal” (Haaretz, Oct 21, 2022): click here!
    Back when the committee was established during Israel's operation in Gaza in 2021, Israel refused to cooperate with it on the grounds that it was biased against it. The commission's new 28-page report focuses mainly on the advancement of settlements and the ramifications of 'Israeli occupation policies' on Palestinians.
  • Jonathan LIS: "UN Envoy in West Bank Calls for Updated List of Companies Doing Business With Settlements” (Haaretz, Oct 20, 2022): click here!
    The UN’s original 2020 database listed 112 companies, including Airbnb, Booking, and Bezeq. The UN Rapporteur on the situation of Palestinian human right, Francesca Albenese, also proposes to consider the deployment of an international 'protective presence' in the West Bank.
  • UN-OHCHR: "Commission of Inquiry finds that the Israeli occupation is unlawful under international law” (UN OHCHR, Oct 20, 2022): click here!
    New York (20 October 2022) -- There are reasonable grounds to conclude that the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory is now unlawful under international law due to its permanence and the Israeli Government’s de-facto annexation policies, according to the first report to the General Assembly issued today by the United Nations Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and Israel.
  • "Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory illegal: UN Rights Commission" (UN News, 20 Oct, 2022), click here!
    Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territory is unlawful under international law due to its permanence and the Israeli government’s de facto annexation policies, a UN-appointed Commission of Inquiry said in its first report, published on Thursday.
  • « UN experts condemn Israel’s ‘sadistic’ punitive measures against French-Palestinian rights defender Salah Hammouri » ( Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council, Oct 19, 2022): click here!
    ...The experts have called on Israel to immediately and unconditionally release Mr. Hammouri and other detainees under administrative detention, and to maintain Mr. Hammouri’s permanent residency in his hometown, Jerusalem, where he has the right to live freely with his family. The experts note with concern that according to the latest official figures of the Israeli Prison Service, Israel is holding 798 persons in administrative detention without charges - the highest number in over a decade.
  • Thabi MYENI: "South Africa calls for Israel to be declared an ‘apartheid state’” (AlJazeera, July 26, 2021, Naledi Pandor, minister for international relations and cooperation of South Africa, addresses the 74th session of the UN General Assembly, September 28, 2019): click here!
    The South African government has remained a strong ally of Palestine, providing both material and public support for its liberation cause.
  • UN: "Israel: UN rights chief calls for end to ‘culture of impunity’” (UN News, May 14, 2021): click here!
    Investigations must be held into the actions of the Israeli security forces, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said on Saturday, calling for accountability and an end to impunity.
  • UN: "Israeli Settlements Amount to War Crime, UN Rights Official Says” (Haaretz, July 9, 2021): click here!
    'Israel's defiance of international law and international opinion can and will no longer be cost-free,' UN special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories says.


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