Question of Palestine home || Permalink || About UNISPAL || Search

Situation dans les territoires palestiniens occupés - Le Conseil des droits de l'homme tient un débat sur les questions de fond - Communiqué de presse (extraits) Français
Follow UNISPAL RSS Twitter

Source: Human Rights Council
26 June 2006


|

Press release



Human Rights Council


Information ServiceUnited Nations Office at Geneva
|

HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL BEGINS GENERAL SUBSTANTIVE DEBATE

Addresses Situation in Occupied Arab Territories, Abuja Agreement,
Religious Intolerance, Migration and Human Rights Defenders
26 June 2006

The Human Rights Council this morning began its general substantive debate, taking up, under agenda item 4, namely, the Implementation of General Assembly resolution 60/251 of 15 March 2006, the situation of human rights in the occupied Arab territories, including Palestine; support for the Abuja Agreement; avoiding incitement to hatred and violence for reasons of religion or race; the human rights of migrants; and the role of human rights defenders in promoting and protecting human rights.

On the situation of human rights in the occupied Arab territories, speakers indicated concern at the negative impact the continued settlement activities, the construction of the barrier on Palestinian land and restrictions on movement and access had on the human rights of the Palestinian population. The Council should take concrete measures to redress the situation by dispatching immediately the Special Rapporteur to the region on a fact-finding mission; and ensuring the end of the economic siege of Palestine.

...

The next meeting of the Human Rights Council will be on Monday 26 June at 12 p.m. when it will continue with this general discussion.

Statements


...

TEHMINA JANJUA (Pakistan), speaking on behalf of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), said for more than half a century, the people of Palestine and other occupied Arab territories had been victims of a great injustice and human rights abuses. The situation in the occupied Palestinian territory had worsened in recent months due to a rise in indiscriminate attacks by the occupying power killing, maiming and injuring the civilian population. Cutting off international aid, and denying legitimate tax revenues to Palestine had further aggravated the situation. The economic siege had traumatized the Palestinians. Food was scarce and medicines not available in hospitals. The Council should take concrete measures to redress the situation by dispatching immediately the Special Rapporteur to the region on fact-finding mission; and ensuring the end of the economic siege of Palestine.

OIC countries were deeply concerned about the intensification of Islamophobia and ethnic and religious profiling of Muslims in recent years. Manifestations of that phenomenon were expanding and its implications growing. Hate speech targeting Muslims, physical attacks them and their business, cultural centres, mosques and religious symbols were on the increase.

LUIS JAVIER CAMPUZANO (
Mexico) said the Middle East situation was developing in a worrying manner. Respect for international humanitarian law was vital to promote peace and security in the region, and the Human Rights Council could help in this, in order to ensure harmonious co-existence and boundaries. It was important for the High Commissioner to provide the Council with information as to her view on how her Office and the Council could contribute to protecting the human rights of all in the region. ...

...

PAUL MEYER (Canada) ...

...

Canada said that the situation in the Middle East was another cause of concern. The right of the people in the Middle East to live in security had repeatedly been refused. Terrorism had to be stopped. Police actions against terrorism, however, could not continue to endanger the lives of civilians. Canada welcomed the statement of President Abbas that he sought to cooperate with Israel in building peace for the two States. Canada also agreed with the High Commissioner that the continuation of myths and stereotypes that degraded or offended religious or cultural groups should be prevented. Canada supported the protection of human rights defenders, all of whom made enormous personal sacrifices, and saluted the many anonymous human rights defenders, working at the national level, whose efforts were vital to the Council. Finally, Canada asked for the High Commissioner to provide an update on her report at the Council’s September session.

WOLFGANG PETRITSCH (
Austria), speaking on behalf of the European Union, called on all States to undertake all necessary measures to establish a safe environment to enable human rights defenders to carry on their important work. With regard to the occupied Palestinian territories, the European Union called both parties to fulfil their obligations under human rights and humanitarian law. The European Union was concerned at the negative impact the continued settlement activities, the construction of the barrier on Palestinian land and restrictions movement and access had on the human rights of the Palestinian population. While it recognized Israel’s right to protect its citizens from terrorist attacks, it underlined that Israel was obligated to exercise that right within the limits of international law. The European Union urged both sides to make every possible effort to guarantee that the Israeli and Palestinian peoples could live in an environment where their protection from armed attack and enjoyment of their fundamental rights were assured.

...

SHIGERU ENDO (Japan) said that Japan welcomed the inclusion of the present item under consideration to the substantive agenda of the first session of the Council. Japan considered that all of the five issues deserved the Council’s attention. First, the human rights situation in Palestine and the other occupied Arab territories was of the utmost interest for Japan. Japan was encouraged by Israeli Vice Prime Minister Livni’s recent statement that the Israeli Government might consider the possibility of unfreezing the tax revenue fund for humanitarian purposes. Such a move would be conducive to enhancing the confidence between Israelis and Palestinians, an essential ingredient for promoting the peace process. Japan called on both sides to exercise their utmost self-restraint, so that peace could be restored. ...

...

SAMIR LABIDI (Tunisia), on behalf of the Arab Group, said the Arab Group supported the statement by Pakistan on behalf of the Organization of the Islamic Conference. The serious human rights violations committed by Israeli occupation forces in the occupied territories had continued and increased in severity, and the Council should not remain indifferent to them. Israel’s policy of siege and famine had a negative impact on the economic, social and health conditions of the Palestinian people. The human rights of Palestinians had deteriorated due to the restrictions imposed upon them, and civilians had paid the highest price. Israel’s restrictions hampered the delivery of food, and the economic crisis was exacerbated. The intensification of barriers at border crossing points served no purpose other than to humiliate Palestinians.

The Israeli authorities had no respect for international law, in particular with regards to the rights of the Palestinian people. The international community, within the framework of the Council should put an end to all violations, and establish a mechanism to investigate the situation, as well as the extra-judicial acts of murder that were committed by Israeli forces. The obstacle to overcoming these violations was the Israeli occupation. Justice and human rights could not be brought about unless Israel obeyed and respected international legitimacy.

MICHAEL STEINER (
Germany) ...

...

Regarding the human rights situation in the occupied Palestinian territories, Germany was particularly concerned about the indiscriminate attacks, extrajudicial executions and suicide attacks, which had resulted in numerous civilian casualties. Germany supported the provision of substantial direct assistance to the Palestinian people for humanitarian purposes. The role of civil society, and especially of human rights defenders, in the promotion and protection of human rights could not be overestimated. It was their courage and perseverance that contributed to the fall of the Iron Curtain across Europe. Germany was very concerned about attempts to prevent human rights defenders from pursuing their activities. Germany felt it was important that the President had identified the important issues they were considering today, without excluding any other issues they might want to consider, and Germany offered its full cooperation in that regard.

JUAN ANTONIO FERNANDEZ PALACIOS (
Cuba) said the international community was unequivocal in condemning the abuses committed by the occupying power in the Palestinian territories. The human rights violations of Palestinians were one of the most abhorrent ones in the world. The human rights violations were also perpetrated in other Arab territories occupied by Israel. Only recently, the Israel army had killed many Palestinians, including children. The Palestinian cause had a history of wars, where the people were suffering from human rights violations by Israeli hands. In January this year, the Palestinian people had exercised their political rights and elected their leaders. Cuba exhorted the Western countries for their blackmailing actions by suspending their aid to the Palestinian people.

...

ABDULLA ABDULLATIF ABDULLA (Bahrain) said that Bahrain expressed its support for the statement by the Organization of the Islamic Conference on the situation in the occupied Arab territories, including Palestine. Bahrain would spare no effort to see the Israeli siege on the occupied territory in the West Bank and Gaza lifted. ...

...

SWASHPAWAN SINGH (India) said India was concerned about the hardship and suffering faced by the Palestinian people as a result of the violence and the evolving situation in Gaza and the West Bank. India was contributing to international efforts to alleviate the difficult situation affecting the Palestinian people by providing humanitarian assistance. There could be no military solution to the Israel-Palestine issue. Both sides should cease all acts of violence and return immediately to a peaceful political process, which should lead to the establishment of a viable, independent, sovereign and united State of Palestine living in peace, side by side with the State of Israel. For durable peace and stability, the Middle East peace process should bring comprehensive peace to the region that would address all the final status issues, and all tracks including the Syrian and Lebanese tracks, through negotiation. India supported a two-State solution and urged a return to the Roadmap as early as possible.

...

IDRISS JAZAIRY (Algeria), speaking on behalf of the African Group, said that the right to self-determination, to which the African Group attached great importance, was one of the founding principles for international relations and one of the imperatives of international law. Nevertheless, despite the achievements that had been made in that respect, the process of decolonization, to which the United Nations had pledged itself, was still to be completed. The Palestinian people thus continued to struggle for their right to exist and to establish a sovereign State with Al Quds Al Sharif as its capital. The practices of Israelis in Palestine and the other occupied Arab territories constituted grave human rights violations that went unnoticed by the developed world. Were they talking about a lesser form of humanity when discussing black people or those coming from underdeveloped countries?

The African Group shared the concerns voiced by the Special Rapporteur, John Dugard, highlighting Israeli practices that were against international law, human rights and international humanitarian law. Recently the world was shocked by the cartoons representing the Prophet Mohammed as an Arab stereotype with a bomb on his head. That was not just an insult to 1.3 billion people, it was a call for religious and racial hatred. It was a violation of human rights – one tolerated by the developed countries, because the objective of the cartoons was Muslims. Algeria, on behalf of the African Group, called on the international community to condemn those actions.

SHA ZUKANG (
China) said the Middle East situation was a threat not only to the region but also to world peace. The Palestinian people had been victims of violations of human rights. Recently, a new Palestinian Government had been inaugurated through the leadership of Hamas. The Hamas Government had so far refused to recognize the State of Israel. China believed that the Government should recognize Israel and take a responsible stand. ...

...

MUSA BURAYZAT (Jordan), said foreign occupation was one of the worst forms of human rights violations, and the Israeli occupation of Palestine and other Arab territories was more than 40 years old, and had had significant negative effects, with the deaths of many civilians, including children. The economic blockade had increasingly negative effects on the situation. There was a moral responsibility on the part of the international community, which could change the situation. There was a political advantage in saying that the political situation was getting worse and there was no solution, but the High Commissioner had said that the political method was the only way to solve the situation. The Council should take action, and send a fact-finding mission in order to put an end to the blockade of the Palestinian people and the human rights violations.

Discrimination on the basis of religion was one of the most serious threats which undermined the efforts of the international community, and was a growing trend in particular against Muslim people. Xenophobia was spreading, and hatred was growing with regards to Islam, a religion which was being insulted. The Council was the body which had a responsibility to defend human rights defenders, on the basis of cooperation and dialogue.

IAN DE JONG (
Netherlands) ...

...

Regarding the Middle East, the Netherlands deplored the deterioration in the situation there and called on the Palestinian Authority to take the necessary measures to improve security and prevent acts of terrorism. The Netherlands also called on the Hamas-led Palestinian Government to implement the three principles of the Quartet: to renounce violence; recognize Israel; and accept all previous agreements and obligations. While recognizing the obligation of the Israeli Government to protect its citizens from acts of terrorism, the Netherlands stressed that all measures and actions taken to ensure the safety of its citizens should be in line with Israel’s obligations under international law. The Netherlands remained fully committed to working with the Quartet towards the goal of a just, viable and lasting solution based on existing agreements, the relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions, the principles laid down in the road map, and with respect for human rights.

MOHAMMED LOULICHKI (
Morocco) said Morocco was concerned about the recent increase in violence against the Palestinian people and those living in other Arab occupied territories. The suffering of the Palestinian people had been made worst by the occupying power. The people were victims of killings and assassinations, while the situation was being exacerbated by the Israeli attacks on the civilian population. The Council should work to bring a peaceful solution to this situation. Morocco did not support any extremist attitudes in any conflict. With regard to human rights defenders, an environment of peace and security should prevail in all countries where human rights defenders were operating so that they accomplished their mission in protecting and promoting human rights.

...

HSU KING BEE (Malaysia) said at a time when the world community strove for effective implementation of various international human rights instruments, the credibility and legitimacy of the Council required that it urgently and effectively addressed the grave and ever-worsening human rights and humanitarian situation of the Palestinians and other Arabs still living under prolonged foreign occupation. The United Nations had permanent responsibility towards the question of Palestine, until it was resolved, in all aspects on the basis of international law, including a just resolution to the plight of Palestinian refugees. Human rights and fundamental freedoms of the Palestinians were being continuously trampled, as a result of the unlawful policies and practices of Israel.

...

GLAUDINE MTSHALI (South Africa) said that South Africa viewed the thematic discussion as being in line with the spirit of cooperation and dialogue, rather than confrontation and condemnation. South Africa was concerned at the decline in the well-being and quality of life of the Palestinian people in the occupied territories owing to the withholding of funding to the Palestinian Authority, and the ongoing economic isolation of Palestine. South Africa reiterated its call for the implementation of the Roadmap, which guaranteed the creation of a sovereign Palestine living side by side with a secure Israeli State. ...

...

ELCHIN AMIRBAYOV (Azerbaijan) said the human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories remained to be an extremely important problem that needed to be discussed today. Indeed, systematic deadly attacks against civilians and the economic siege of the occupied Palestinian territories had further aggravated the suffering of the Palestinian people, whose basic human rights continued to be violated under persisting foreign occupation. In the absence of progress on the ground, the Council should remain seized of the mater. ...

...

BASSINE NIANG (Senegal) said Senegal endorsed the statements made by previous speakers who stressed on the ongoing aggravation of violations of Palestinian human rights. The physical and moral dignity of the Palestinian people should be protected. The situation of human rights of the civilian population was being aggravated by the occupying power, which disregarded all international norms. Palestinians were being subjected to different atrocities committed by the Israeli army. ...

...

FATOUMATA DIALL (Mali) said the issues under consideration were very urgent. It was high time for the international community to take its responsibility to put an end to the almost daily violence carried out by the occupying power not only in the occupied Palestinian territories, but also in the Syrian Golan and Lebanon. The Council should continue to review this matter, and the Special Rapporteur should submit a report at the next session.

...

CLODOALDO HUGUENEY (Brazil) said that Brazil reaffirmed its position regarding the Palestinian people and their plight and for the respect for human rights in the region. Brazil strongly supported all efforts aimed at a solution by peaceful means. ...

...

ABDULWAHAB ABDULSALAM ATTAR (Saudi Arabia) said respect for human rights and peace in the Middle East would only be achieved by the establishment of a Palestinian State in the occupied Palestinian territories. Further bloodshed should be avoided. To contain bloodshed and terrorism would mean that all the countries of the region would be provided with peace and security. Israel’s indiscriminate killings, which had led to the deaths of women and children, would not solve the problem. Violation of the rights of the Palestinian people led to the killing of civilians, and the international community should reach a fair solution, and its failure to do so had led to mounting violence in the region. The Council was duty-bound to stop Israel in its inhuman practices of indiscriminate killing of the innocent, and should be made to respect international humanitarian law and the resolutions respecting the rights of the Palestinian people.

Israel should withdraw from the occupied territories. There was also concern for the denigration of Islam and the desecration of its sacred places. Civilisations should understand each other thanks to common values of honour and peace. Islamophobia reflected increased ignorance of Islam, and international respect for its culture was essential. There should be increased understanding of cultural differences, and all forms of denigration and inferior treatment of the other should be rejected. Justice and freedoms should be respected.

WIWIEK SETYAWATI (
Indonesia) said that Indonesia would like to associate itself with the statement made by Pakistan on behalf of the Organization of the Islamic Conference on issues on the agenda. The first concerned the human rights and humanitarian situation in the Palestinian and other occupied Arab territories. Daily incidents continued to see the death of civilians, including children, in the area. In addition, the siege against Palestinian cities was subjecting the civilian population to unbearable hardship. Indonesia believed that such violations of the Palestinian people’s human rights warranted the Council’s immediate attention at its historic first session. ...

...


HUMAYET UDDMI (
Bangladesh) said it was most unfortunate that as the Council was meeting, killing of Palestinians was going on. The killing and assassination of Palestinians should be brought to an end. The suffering of the population could not be tolerated and the Council should strive to provide a situation to the problem. In order to solve the problem, the two parties should pursue the peace talks. ...



* *** *


For use of information only; not an official record


HRHRC06017E



Follow UNISPAL RSS Twitter