World

Geneva Conventions adopt declaration invoking rights of Palestinians in conflict with Israel

  • Chart tracks percentage changes in populations of West Bank settlers, West Bank Palestinians and Israel over time 1C X 3 3/4. ETA 4:00pm

    Chart tracks percentage changes in populations of West Bank settlers, West Bank Palestinians and Israel over time 1C X 3 3/4. ETA 4:00pm  (The Associated Press)

  • Swiss Ambassador and chairman Paul Fivat speaks to the media during a press conference following the Conference of High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention, in Geneva, Switzerland, Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014. A declaration adopted by consensus among 126 parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention insists that international humanitarian law must be followed _ and all serious violations investigated _ in areas affected by the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.  (AP Photo/Keystone, Salvatore Di Nolfi)

    Swiss Ambassador and chairman Paul Fivat speaks to the media during a press conference following the Conference of High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention, in Geneva, Switzerland, Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014. A declaration adopted by consensus among 126 parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention insists that international humanitarian law must be followed _ and all serious violations investigated _ in areas affected by the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. (AP Photo/Keystone, Salvatore Di Nolfi)  (The Associated Press)

  • Ibrahim Khraishi, Ambassador of the Permanent Representative Mission of the Palestinians to Geneva speaks to the reporters after the Conference of High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention, in Geneva, Switzerland, Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014. A declaration adopted by consensus among 126 parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention insists that international humanitarian law must be followed _ and all serious violations investigated _ in areas affected by the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. (AP Photo/Keystone, Salvatore Di Nolfi)

    Ibrahim Khraishi, Ambassador of the Permanent Representative Mission of the Palestinians to Geneva speaks to the reporters after the Conference of High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention, in Geneva, Switzerland, Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014. A declaration adopted by consensus among 126 parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention insists that international humanitarian law must be followed _ and all serious violations investigated _ in areas affected by the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. (AP Photo/Keystone, Salvatore Di Nolfi)  (The Associated Press)

Nations belonging to the Geneva Conventions that govern rules of war and military occupations say international humanitarian law must be followed — and all serious violations investigated — in areas affected by conflict between Israel and Palestinians.

A declaration, legally binding on the 126 nations that adopted it by consensus, emphasizes one aspect of the Geneva Conventions: a prohibition on colonizing occupied land.

Among the concerns raised in the 10-point declaration adopted Wednesday are that Israel should "fully and effectively" respect the Fourth Geneva Convention meant to protect civilians during times of war including in East Jerusalem and other occupied territories. Israel and the U.S. did not participate.

Swiss Ambassador Paul Fivat, who chaired the conference, told reporters "this is a signal and we can hope that words count."