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Le Conseil des droits de l'homme tient débat général sur le suivi et l'application de la Déclaration et du Programme d'action de Vienne [conclut débat général sur la situation des droits humains en Palestine et autres territoires arabes occupés ] - Communiqué de presse (extraits) Français
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19 March 2012

The Human Rights Council this afternoon held its general debate on the implementation of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action after concluding its general debate on the human rights situation in Palestine and other Occupied Arab Territories.


General Debate on the Human Rights Situation in Palestine and Other Occupied Arab Territories

said there were more than 5,000 Palestinian detainees in Israeli occupation prisons, including women and children, and 3,000 Palestinians under administrative detention, including women and children, who suffered in inhuman conditions. This violated the rights to decent housing, education, health and other rights of children, in line with the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The economic, social and cultural reality faced by Palestinians rendered children more vulnerable to human rights violations.

said fundamental rights were denied in Palestine, violations which were left unresolved for more than 60 years as the Palestinians suffered from the illegal occupation of their land by the Israelis. Venezuela reaffirmed its appeal to Israel to adhere to its international obligations. Israel should be held accountable before the international community. Venezuela called for the immediate lifting of the illegal blockade of Gaza.

highly stigmatized the actions of the Israeli authorities in the occupied Palestinian territories and condemned the recent attacks on the Gaza Strip, resulting in the death of 25 people. While the rest of Middle East was undergoing great changes, it was regrettable that the situation in the Occupied Arab Territories had taken a reverse turn. The occupying power continued to gnaw away at Palestinian territory and undermine the basis for a desirable settlement.

praised the High Commissioner for her report and reaffirmed the need for Israel to comply with its obligations and respect human rights and international humanitarian law. After the occupation of the Palestinian territories in 1967, Israel had proceeded with policies aimed at destroying the Palestinian economy and restricting its economic growth. Palestinian losses were estimated at $ 7 million per day or $ 2 billion per year.

remained deeply concerned about the continued serious human rights violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and said that developments on the ground, such as settlement activities, remained key obstacles to peace. It was imperative to find a way to move things forward. It was no longer possible to deny Palestine her statehood which was long overdue. That was why Iceland in December last year had recognized Palestine as an independent and sovereign State within the pre-1967 borders.

BADIL Resource Centre for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights
said that frequent attacks of Israel were an effort to intimidate the Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip. The 2009 Goldstone report had recognized Israel’s impunity in carrying out those acts but despite those findings, Israel continued its destruction of Gaza. The Human Rights Council should draw urgent attention to Israel’s continued impunity and the ongoing aggression against Gaza.

was concerned about the administrative detainee Hana Shalabi who was beginning her thirty-third day of hunger strike in protest against her arbitrary detention and inhumane treatment. The number of settler attacks against Palestinians had increased by over 144 per cent in two years. Palestinians in the Occupied Palestine Territories were subject to practices of apartheid.

Commission of the Churches on International Affairs of the World Council of Churches
said there was a significant rise in Israeli settler attacks in the Occupied Palestinian Territories which took place in an atmosphere of impunity. Over 90 per cent of investigations of settler attacks against Palestinians had resulted in no charges being brought against the violators. Forced displacement undermined Palestinian presence in Area C.

Coordinating Board of Jewish Organizations
, in a joint statement, asked how the annual condemnation of violations in the occupied Golan sat with the onslaught of the Syrian armed forces against demonstrators who wished to remind the international community of their desire to rid themselves of a dictatorship that had lasted over four decades. Would Syrians’ desires to return to their homeland include a desire to return to the devastated city of Homs?

Institute for Women’s Studies and Research
urged the Council to call upon Israel to fully respect the norms of humanitarian law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, rescind its blockade policy and urgently allow entry of construction materials necessary for rebuilding homes and civilian infrastructure.

Charitable Institute for Protecting Social Victims
said water and sanitation installations, hospitals and other healthcare facilities were facing severe difficulties in providing basic services to the people of Gaza. The Institute called upon the Human Rights Council to immediately take action to stop such crimes.

International Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists
said the solution to the ongoing conflict was not a country mandate, nor a session dedicated to the selective criticism of one of the parties to conflict. The ongoing conflict should be solved by sincere, direct and concrete negotiations without any imposition of preconditions.

North-South XXI
welcomed the initiative taken by Palestine to achieve full recognition as a Member State of the United Nations. But mere recognition of Palestine would not ensure respect of the human rights of the Palestinian people; the commitment of the Council would be needed to ensure that Israel did not enjoy impunity for more than half a century of massive human rights abuses. States should consider adding real teeth to the resolutions on the Gaza flotilla, self-determination and illegal settlements.

International Association of Democratic Lawyers
in a joint statement delivered demand for justice on behalf of 5,000 Palestinians who were currently detained in Israeli prisons and the 1.7 million imprisoned in the Gaza Strip. Both detainees and the imprisoned civilians were subject to collective punishment, which graphically illustrated the consequences of impunity extended to Israel.

Cairo Institute for Human Rights
said that the world had witnessed an escalation of the violence in Gaza, including disproportionate bombardment, illegal expansion of settlements, and Israeli attacks on human rights defenders. The failure for the United Nations to take concrete follow up to the Goldstone and the flotilla report was a major factor in the continuation of those human rights violations.

European Union of Jewish Students
said that Israel was the sole liberal democracy in the Middle East and each year it received around 50 per cent of the time for all human rights violations while the Council overlooked the radical Governments of the region. The failure to investigate State actors such as Hamas and Hezbollah inaccurately diverted the attention of human rights violations. The Council should put an end to agenda item 7.

International Federation for Human Rights Leagues
, speaking in a joint statement, said Israel had subjected the 1.7 million inhabitants of the Gaza Strip to an illegal policy of absolute closure for over 1,700 days. During the second half of 2011, Israel had restricted imports into Gaza to 24.7 per cent of the minimum needs. The illegal closure of Gaza affected the entire spectrum of human rights in Gaza including employment, housing, freedom of movement and access to health and education.

Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust
said that while the death toll in Syria was over 7,000, the Human Rights Council had diverted the attention of the international community away from Syria through pursuing agenda item 7. Today, the Council had advertised and facilitated a United Nations event to a member of the terrorist group of Hezbollah.

Union of Arab Jurists
said in 1967, thousands of Syrians were cut off from their country, family and friends, making their daily lives unbearable. Syrian prisoners were subjected to cruel treatment and physical and mental torture. Instead of following United Nations resolutions, Israel had intensified its human rights violations.

United Nations Watch
said the agenda item under which the Council met symbolized the policy to allow governments committing human rights, such as Libya, Syria and Egypt, to act and be treated as champions of human rights. While thousands were tortured, the only country to be the object of a permanent agenda item was Israel.

Maarij Foundation for Peace and Development
said the vast majority of the Council had condemned settlements in the West Bank. Palestinians were subjected to threats by Israeli citizens resettled in areas taken from Palestinians. This constant tension undermined chances for peace and exacerbated the conflict.

Right of Reply

, speaking in a right of reply, rejected the absurd distortion of truth and accusations put forward by Israel and said that demagogy and distortion of truth by this country were well known.


For use of the information media; not an official record


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