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

English (pdf) ||Arabic||Chinese||Français||Русский||Español||



Follow UNISPAL Twitter RSS

UNITED
NATIONS
E

        Economic and Social Council
Distr.
GENERAL
E/CN.4/2002/32
6 March 2002

Original: ENGLISH

COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS
Fifty-eighth session
Item 8 of the provisional agenda


QUESTION OF THE VIOLATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS IN THE

OCCUPIED ARAB TERRITORIES, INCLUDING PALESTINE


Report of the Special Rapporteur of the Commission on Human Rights, Mr. John Dugard,
on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel since 1967

CONTENTS
Paragraphs
Page
Executive summary
3
I.
INTRODUCTION
1 - 6
4
II.
THE MANDATE OF THE SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR
7 - 10
5
III.
OCCUPATION AND TERRORISM
11 - 15
7
IV.
VIOLENCE AND LOSS OF LIFE
16 - 22
9
V.
SETTLEMENTS
23 - 27
12
VI.
BUFFER ZONES
28
13
VII.
DEMOLITION OF HOUSES AND DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY
29 - 32
13
VIII.
RESTRICTIONS ON FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT
33 - 34
14
IX.
ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL DISTRESS
35 - 38
14
X.
REFUGEES
39
15
XI.
CHILDREN
40 - 47
16
XII.
CHILDREN AND THE ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE
48 - 53
18
XIII.
CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
54 - 58
19



Executive summary


The Special Rapporteur’s interpretation of his mandate, as being to investigate violations of international humanitarian law and human rights in the context of military occupation, has been challenged by the Government of Israel in document E/CN.4/2002/129. The Special Rapporteur requests the Commission to give a ruling on this matter.

There are different perceptions of the cause of the violence in the Palestinian Territory. Palestinians see the military occupation of their territory as the principal cause of the present crisis. Israelis, on the other hand, see terrorism as the cause of the crisis. Terrorism is a scourge that threatens Israelis and Palestinians alike and every effort should be made to bring terrorism to an end, whether it is perpetrated by instruments of the State, by organized non-State groups or by individuals. At the same time, it is important to stress that the main explanation for the acts of terrorism committed by Palestinians against Israelis is the military occupation. It is this occupation that is responsible for most of the violations of humanitarian law and human rights in the region.

Since the start of the second intifada, in September 2000, nearly 1,000 Palestinians have been killed and about 17,300 injured. More than 260 Israelis have been killed and about 2,400 injured. Most of those killed and injured have been civilians, many of them children. Violence is escalating rapidly in the region as both parties to the conflict employ more dangerous weaponry and show more determination in causing harm to life and property. In this situation, initiatives for a ceasefire or a cessation of violence as a precondition for the resumption of talks between Israelis and Palestinians seem doomed to fail. Only an effective international presence in the region with the power to monitor and reduce the use of violence can achieve this goal. The Special Rapporteur therefore believes that there is a need for an international peacekeeping mission, structured and composed to meet the circumstances of the region.

Settlements are an ever-visible and aggravating sign of occupation and of Israel’s illegal conduct as an Occupying Power. Although Israel has undertaken not to establish new settlements, the existing settlements are expanding both in terms of land and settlers.

The demolition of houses in the Palestinian Territory continues unabated. In the Gaza Strip alone, over 400 houses have been completely destroyed and 200 seriously damaged, leaving over 5,000 persons homeless. Moreover, the creation of buffer zones for bypass roads and settlements has resulted in the “ sweeping” of large areas of agricultural land by bulldozers.

Israel’s restrictions on freedom of movement, resulting from checkpoints, have caused great personal, social and economic hardships to civilians in no way involved in the conflict. They constitute collective punishment of the kind prohibited by article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

Children have suffered greatly in the present crisis. Every effort should be made by the Israeli military authorities to ensure that the safety and welfare of schools and schoolchildren are respected. It is further recommended that an investigation be conducted into allegations of inhuman treatment of children under the military justice system and that immediate steps be taken to remedy this situation.


I. INTRODUCTION

II. THE MANDATE OF THE SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR
III. OCCUPATION AND TERRORISM
IV. VIOLENCE AND LOSS OF LIFE
V. SETTLEMENTS

VI. BUFFER ZONES

VII. DEMOLITION OF HOUSES AND DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY

VIII. RESTRICTIONS ON FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT

IX. ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL DISTRESS

X. REFUGEES

XI. CHILDREN

XII. CHILDREN AND THE ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE

XIII. CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

-----



_______________

1/ In document E/CN.4/2002/129 the Government of Israel criticizes the Special Rapporteur for referring to “emerging norms of international law” prohibiting terrorism. Exception is apparently taken to the word “emerging”. In response the Special Rapporteur wishes to point out that while the international community has succeeded in criminalizing by treaty species of terrorism such as hijacking, aerial sabotage, hostage-taking, offences against diplomats, seizure of aircraft and terrorist bombing, it has not yet agreed on a comprehensive definition of terrorism. Indeed this issue is currently before the Sixth (legal) Committee of the General Assembly, where the debate over the response to State terror continues to create definitional difficulties.


Follow UNISPAL RSS Twitter