Positive Obligations of the Occupying Power: Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories

Abstract

Military occupation can have a detrimental impact on the enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights by the population of an occupied territory. All aspects of civilian life risk stagnation in a prolonged occupation, an outcome that is difficult to reconcile with the obligation on the Occupying Power to ensure civil life in the occupied territory. A protracted occupation, such as that of the Occupied Palestinian Territories, challenges the adequacy of occupation law to effectively ensure an adequate standard of living for the population of the occupied territory as the law of occupation is based on the premise that occupation is a temporary state. In these circumstances, it is argued that international human rights law performs an essential complementary function in developing the obligations of the Occupying Power.