In the last six months, settlement expansion has continued unabated, in violation of Israel’s obligations as an occupying power and to the detriment of Palestinian residents, who live under a discriminatory, two-tiered system.

In the last year, Israeli authorities have passed a law legalizing the confiscation of private Palestinian land and declared their intent to maintain settlements forever.

Settlements are unlawful under IHL, and the transfer of the occupying power’s civilian population to the occupied territory is a war crime. Settlements are established on land unlawfully seized and rendered off limits to Palestinians. They stunt Palestinian economic development and trigger crippling restrictions on the right to freedom of movement, access to health and education and a host of other rights.

Businesses operating in settlements or facilitating settlement activity cannot do so without contributing to serious abuses.

In January, the High Commissioner for Human Rights published a report detailing his methodology in implementing this Council’s decision to establish a database of businesses operating in Israeli settlements.  The High Commissioner’s office committed to publishing the names of the 206 businesses identified once it completed corresponding with them.

The High Commissioner’s meticulous engagement provides an opportunity to help states fulfill their obligations outlined in UN Security Council Resolution 2334 and to help businesses fulfill their human rights responsibilities. We encourage the High Commissioner to publish the names of those companies with which he has completed engagement before the end of his tenure, and urge the Council to ensure that his Office has the resources to ensure that the database is regularly updated.