High Contracting Parties to the 4th Geneva Convention Respond

Many High Contracting Parties to the 4th Geneva Convention have already responded to the note sent by Switzerland, depositary of the Convention, affirming their support for the reconvening of the Conference of High Contracting Parties on measures to enforce the Convention in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem.

According to informal information about the responses, 65 High Contracting Parties have responded favorably. The EU has requested more time to formulate its response. Meanwhile, 6 Parties responded negatively, including of course Israel, the occupying Power. The other 5 are U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Czech Republic. The position of those five countries is incomprehensible and even shocking. A country like Canada, for instance, has always raised the banner of international humanitarian law and protection of civilians in armed conflict, which seems quite inconsistent with its above-mentioned response. In general, however, the Palestinian side is pleased with the large number of positive responses and, while expecting more, the number nevertheless should provide enough basis for specific action towards convening the Conference.