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1. Ms. Jahangir (Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief), introducing her interim report (A/63/161), said that the Human Rights Council had in December 2007 reorganized and improved the terms of reference of her mandate according to four main axes.
12. Mr. Prabowo (Indonesia) ...
16. Ms. Jahangir (Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief) ...
22. With regard to the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and Israel, she said that grass-roots action could help build confidence and bring people together. However, peace would ultimately require political will.
25. Ms. Rasheed (Observer for Palestine) welcomed references in the report (A/63/161) to violations of the religious rights of Palestinians through such elements as separate roads for settlers, the separation wall and checkpoints. However, the report had not discussed the desecrations of holy sites perpetrated with impunity by illegal Israeli settlers, including in East Jerusalem. She asked how the international community might address such violations, whether committed by Israeli forces or by settlers.
31. Mr. Bahreyni (Islamic Republic of Iran) ... Lastly, he noted that many United Nations documents indicated that the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories was cultural genocide. It should be considered as such.
32. Ms. Jahangir (Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief) said that, in regard to illegal Israeli settlers, impunity should not be granted to those who violated the religious freedoms of others. Moreover, there were few examples of legislative reforms in granting citizenship that could be cited. The countries of the Middle East remained a serious gap in her mandate and she hoped to visit all the countries listed. ... In the Occupied Palestinian Territories, checkpoints had been devastating for those who could not go to worship; the system of barriers was a consistent violation of freedom of religion.
The meeting rose at 5.50 p.m.
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