A United Nations official called on Thursday for heavy sanctions to be imposed on Israel to "bring a complete end to the 50 years of occupation of the Palestinian territories in as expeditious a time period as possible.”
In a scathing report authored for the UN Security Council by the Canadian law professor Michael Lynk, who serves as the “Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967,” the international community is urged to take harsh measures against Israel.
Speaking at a press conference on Thursday where he shared his conclusions, Lynk said the international community had “recoiled from answering Israel’s splintering of the Palestinian territory and disfiguring of the laws of occupation with the robust tools that international law and diplomacy provide.”
Calling for “appropriate diplomatic and legal strategies” Lynk described the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement as “a non-violent movement” which operates within the confines of free speech against all states or companies that it believes harms others.
Included in his list of territories “occupied” by Israel was Gaza, despite the fact that Israel disengaged from the enclave in 2005 under Israel’s late prime minister Ariel Sharon.
“Israel’s role as occupier in the Palestinian Territory—the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Gaza—has crossed a red line into illegality,” Lynk said at the press conference.
After completing his exposition against Israel, he urged the international community to push forward with boycotts and ostracize the country.
“Only when the Israelis need visas to travel abroad and don’t receive them, only when the EU trade with Israel is limited and only when cooperation in academic, military and economic fields with Israel comes to an end—only then will we see a real change and the occupation will come to an end,” Lynk suggested.
Taking his recommendations further to force Israel’s hand, Lynk called for filing criminal charges against the country in the international courts.
While the report lacks teeth, Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon blasted Lynk for his conclusions, accusing him of "exploiting his position in order to wage a full incitement campaign against the State of Israel."
He also accused Lynk of "working as a BDS activist under the sponsorship of the UN.”
“The Security Council long ago became an irrelevant body which obsessively attacks Israel instead of dealing with humanitarian crises in the world. It has lost all connection with reality and the original purpose it was intended to fill,” Danon added.