REF: 32.2006E - 8 November 2006
Her Excellency Sheikha Haya Rashed Al Khalifa
President of the UN General Assembly
Office of the President of the General Assembly
8 November 2006
Al-Haq, a Palestinian human rights organisation in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the UN, would like to draw the attention of the UN General Assembly to severe shortcomings in the Register of Damage, as proposed in a report of the UN Secretary-General of 17 October 2006, for the Wall that is being illegally constructed by Israel inside the occupied West Bank. Attached you will find a copy of a brief on this issue. Al-Haq believes that the proposed framework for the Register of Damage has not fully taken into account the International Court of Justice’s Advisory Opinion on the Wall, and has grave concerns with regard to the following:
- The questions of cessation and restitution, namely Israel's primary legal obligation to remove the Wall, are not addressed.
- The Register will merely record claims, and provides for no assessment of damages or compensation.
- There is no provision for the Register to have a field presence in the OPT.
- Registration is limited to material claims only, an unduly restrictive interpretation of the ICJ Advisory Opinion on the Wall, and one which does not reflect general international law.
- Registration is further limited to individual claims, with no allowance made for collective claims.
- The indispensable process of claims verification has been unjustifiably postponed.
In light of these severe shortcomings, and Israel's continued illegal construction of the Wall, Al-Haq urges the General Assembly not to adopt the proposed Register of Damage in its current form, but rather to adopt an improved Register, which addresses Al-Haq's respectful criticisms of the Secretary-General's proposal.
CC: Secretary-General Kofi Annan
Executive Office of the Secretary-General