Itay Epshtain Profile picture
Senior Humanitarian Law and Policy Consultant; Special Advisor @NRC_Norway @NRC_Geneva @AIDAoPt. All views my own.
Jun 25 23 tweets 22 min read
On Monday, the @UN Security Council will address the implementation of #SCR2334, with @UNSCO_MEPP presenting the biannual implementation report. In the lead-up to the debate, @NRC_Norway briefed most Council Members; here is what I had stressed: The resolution demanded that #Israel immediately and completely cease all
settlement activities in occupied #Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem,
and that it fully respects all of its legal obligations, including under the Fourth Geneva Convention #IHL.
Feb 27 5 tweets 4 min read
According to @SCRtweets, later this evening the Security Council is expected to vote on a draft resolution calling for an “emergency special session” (ESS) of the @UN General Assembly to consider and recommend collective action on the situation in #Ukraine. The draft resolution, tabled by @AlMissionUN and @USUN, is a #unitingforpeace resolution, referring a situation in which its permanent members are deadlocked to the General Assembly. If adopted, it would be the first such resolution the Council has adopted in four decades.
Feb 25 11 tweets 9 min read
What does #Russia in relation to #Ukraine have in common - from the perspective of (mis)application of international law - with #Israel in relation to #Palestine? The answer is the obscure 'Missing Reversioner Doctrine.' A thread: Image In 1968, with the nascent #Israeli occupation of #Palestinian territory, Prof. Yehuda Blum penned the ‘The Missing Reversioner: Reflections on the Status of Judea and Samaria’. Blum argued that there were no reversionary rights of an ousted legitimate government to the territory Image
Feb 24 8 tweets 4 min read
In #UkraineInvasion the jus ad bellum - resorting to armed force, and jus in bello - rules regulating the conduct of hostilities, intersect. Recognizing and understanding intersectionality is key to a well reasoned and effective response - normative, humanitarian, and political. Image The prohibition against the use of force amongst states and the exceptions to it (self-defence, and UN authorization for the use of force), set out in the UN Charter, are the core ingredients of jus contra bellum. Image
Feb 19 8 tweets 5 min read
What does the imminent (or possible) #UkraineInvasion have to do with the prolonged occupation of #Palestine? Here are my thoughts on the failure of the international community to prosecute the crime of aggression. Resolution 3314, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1974, defines aggression as “[t]he invasion or attack by the armed forces of a State of the territory of another State, or any military occupation, however temporary, resulting from such invasion or attack (...)
Feb 18 5 tweets 3 min read
#Israeli Annexation of #Palestinian territory on hold, following the #AbrahamAccords? Nothing further from the truth. Here is why: Since the @naftalibennett - @yairlapid government was sworn in on 13 June 2021, 661 #Palestinian structures were destroyed, including 122 @EUpalestinians @eu_echo funded humanitarian relief structures, adversely affecting 11,361 persons.
Feb 17 16 tweets 7 min read
BREAKING: According to @cogatonline, in the last five years, #Palestinians in Area C were granted 33 building permits, while during the same period, settlers - transferred to occupied territory in violation of #IHL - were granted over 16,500 building permits. Annexation de facto. The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies. It is intended to prevent a practice adopted during the Second World War by certain Powers (...)
Feb 16 8 tweets 6 min read
#SheikhJarrah - again the hotspot for disturbances and tensions caused by the heightened risk of forcible transfer and supplanting of its #Palestinian inhabitants with #Israeli settlers- has been at the epicenter of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since its inception. #SheikhJarrah is also the place where international humanitarian law #IHL saw a major development in relation to the protection of medical personnel and transports and the role played by the @ICRC and national Red Cross and Crescent Societies @ifrc:
Feb 15 8 tweets 6 min read
Demolitions carried out by #Israeli authorities in the West Bank reached a 5-year high. 904 structures were demolished. This represents a 6% increase in the number of structures demolished and a 20% increase in the number of people displaced respectively, compared with 2020. Image The table demonstrates that the number of demolitions recorded in the West Bank in 2021 is the highest since 2016. 900 of the structures were demolished due to a lack Israeli of building permits, which is impossible for Palestinians to obtain. Image
Feb 15 5 tweets 3 min read
Heartfelt congratulations to @RajiSourani, @SJabaren, and Prof. John Dugard for their appointment as Permanent Court of Arbitration @PCA_CPA Members of the Court and potential arbitrators, put forward by @PalMissionNL. The PCA has a captivating history of interstate arbitrations, including sovereignty and maritime delimitation in the Red Sea, and current #RussiaUkraineCrisis disputes on coastal States' rights and detention of Ukrainian naval vessels.
Feb 15 4 tweets 4 min read
This morning @haaretzcom had this map of #Israel printed, which accurately reflects its borders, not including the occupied #Palestinian territory (West Bank - while including Jerusalem, which it shouldn't have - and Gaza) and the occupied #Syrian Golan. Image The outraged reactions to this simple depiction of legal realities demonstrates the extent to which annexation of occupied territory is the norm for mainstream Israeli audiences, not to be questioned or challenged.
Feb 1 10 tweets 3 min read
Without prejudice to the existence or subsequent emergence of other peremptory norms of general international law (jus cogens), a non-exhaustive list of
norms that the International Law Commission has previously referred to as having
that status is: The prohibition of aggression;

The basic rules of international humanitarian law;
The prohibition of racial discrimination and #apartheid; The right of self-determination.
Jan 28 7 tweets 2 min read
In November 1974, the question of #Palestine was reintroduced to the agenda of the UN General Assembly, after decades of being subsumed by the Arab-Israeli conflict. Let's see how it was considered then, and how it would apply 48 years later. Image 1. Deeply concerned that no just solution to the problem of Palestine has yet been achieved - true then, unfortunately, true now.
Jan 22 18 tweets 6 min read
The humanitarian, normative, and political state of affairs in occupied #Palestinian territory, January 2022. Long thread, let's begin: Seven months after an #Israeli government, led by Prime Minister @naftalibennett and Foreign Minister @yairlapid was sworn in Israel has approved, for deposit or validation plans for 6,417 settlement housing units and tendered for the construction of an additional 1,300.
Jan 20 10 tweets 5 min read
Yesterday I followed the UN Security Council's open debate on the question of Palestine, ably presided over by @NorwayMFA @AHuitfeldt and @NorwayUN @mona_juul and elevated to the level of foreign ministers, as deserving of the political impasse underlining this conflict. The protracted character of Israeli occupation, the numerous - and well-documented - breaches of international law, and the humanitarian plight it necessarily creates was clearly reflected in the @UNSCO_MEPP @TWennesland briefing, and in Council members statements.
Mar 22, 2021 6 tweets 5 min read
Israeli TV news channel 21 live broadcast from #KhanAlAhmar, where Israeli electoral candidates @naftalibennett, @gidonsaar, @bezalelsm, among others, line up to pledge the forcible transfer of #Palestinians and their supplanting with settlers - following tomorrow's elections. If pledging to commit multiple grave breachs of international law in front of a camera, and against the backdrop of the community who will be victimized by these actions, is not sufficient for the international community to infer bad faith on the part of Israeli politicians (...)