U.N. Human Rights Panel Won’t Submit Settlements Issue to World Court

Israel won a rare victory in the U.N. Human Rights Commission this week when the panel decided not to submit the issue of Israeli settlements in disputed territory to the International Court of Justice in The Hague.

The commission, meeting here for the past six weeks, decided to postpone indefinitely a draft resolution presented in August 1991. The matter was not put to a vote, but the chairman of the commission read out a consensus declaration to that effect.

The resolution would have referred the question of Israeli settlements to the 15-justice bench established in The Hague to hear disputes between nations.

Under international law, the disputants are required to accept the court’s verdict. But there is no enforcement means besides moral pressure.

Some countries, including the United States, have used The Hague court selectively. When the case of the U.S. covert war against Nicaragua was brought before the court, the Reagan administration rejected its jurisdiction.

Nevertheless, Israel was pleased by the deferral. The matter will never arise again, Rafael Walden, deputy head of the Israeli Mission to the United Nations in Geneva, told the -Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

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