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Source: Human Rights Council
28 September 2015



Human Rights Council holds general debate on human rights situation
in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories


MORNING

28 September 2015

Concludes General Debate on the Universal Periodic Review

The Human Rights Council this morning held a general debate on the human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories, and concluded its general debate on the Universal Periodic Review mechanism.

Palestine and Syria spoke as countries concerned in the discussion on the human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories. Israel, the concerned country, was not present to take the floor.

Palestine warned that the continued boycott of this discussion by countries would cause the Council to lose its credibility. Palestine condemned the recent attack against Al Aqsa mosque, and the use by Israel of live bullets against protesters. The Gaza Strip had remained under a land, sea and air blockade for nine years, which made the reconstruction of thousands of buildings destroyed during the Israeli incursion in 2014 impossible.

Syria said that Israel was taking advantage of the silence by some major powers as a cover up for its aggression of Palestine and the Syrian Golan. Israel continued to illegally confiscate land, water and other natural resources, and to create new settlements. The Council should condemn the continuation of Israeli violations, and Israel had to withdraw from Arab territories in compliance with internationally agreed borders.

Speakers in the general debate said that the continuation of the expansion of settlements was a contradiction of efforts to find a political solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. A new spike in violence and repression fuelled by hateful rhetoric was a sad reminder of the human rights violations associated with Israeli’s occupation of Palestine. Delegations condemned Israel’s policy of apartheid, the systematic and flagrant violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law committed by Israeli armed forces and by extremist Israeli settlers, and the recent rise in Israeli practices aiming towards a temporal and spatial division of Haram Al-Sharif, including the intrusion of the Israeli security forces two weeks ago. Those violations must stop. The international community must act decisively to ensure accountability for human rights violations committed by Israel, the occupying power, and fulfil its responsibility to end the acute humanitarian crisis, particularly in Gaza.

The delegations that spoke in the general debate were Saudi Arabia on behalf of the Arab Group, Pakistan on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Iran on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, Algeria on behalf of the African Group, Qatar, Morocco, Cuba, Venezuela, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Namibia, Russia, Algeria, China, Maldives, Ghana, United Arab Emirates, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Malaysia, Tunisia, Switzerland, Iraq, Chile, Iran, Ecuador, Senegal, Bahrain, Libya, Sudan, Lebanon, Oman, Djibouti, Uruguay, the Golf Cooperation Council, Yemen, and Angola.

Also speaking were Defence for Children International, American Association of Jurists, Human Rights Now, Palestinian Return Centre, International Youth and Student Movement, Union of Arab Jurists, Federacion de Asociaciones de Defensa y Promocion de los Derechos Humanos, International Federation of Human Rights Leagues, Maarij Foundation for Peace and Development, Organization for Defending Victims of Violence, Global Network for Rights and Development, Africa Speaks, Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, Cameroon Youths and Students Forum for Peace, International-Lawyers.Org, BADIL Resource Centre for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights, Peivande Gole Narges Organization, Al-Haq, Law in Service of Man, World Council of Churches and Asociacion Cubana de las Naciones Unidas.

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General Debate on the Universal Periodic Review


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Khiam Rehabilitation Center for Victims of Torture drew attention to the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories, and actions that went against human conscience. Palestinians were held without due process and in administrative detention. It called for an end to the torture perpetrated by the Israeli forces and for Israel to comply with the rights of detainees, including medical services.

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Human Rights Situation in Palestine and Other Occupied Arab Countries

Statements by the Concerned Countries

The President noted that Israel was not in the room to take the floor.

State of Palestine, speaking as a concerned country, regretted that a great number of countries would refrain from joining the discussion. If the boycott continued, the Council would lose its credibility. The occupation of Palestine by Israel called for condemnation, as did Israeli human rights violations and terrorist acts. The Israeli occupying power defied international law and continued to carry out provocations against Palestinians, such as the recent attack against Al Aqsa Mosque. Israel had recently introduced the use of live bullets against protesters, whereas the Israeli Prime Minister had ordered the establishment of a number of check points in East Jerusalem and prevented the entry of the faithful in the Al Aqsa Mosque. Illegal Israeli settlement policies violated Palestinians’ right to self-determination and the Palestinian Authority thus called on the international community to refrain from supporting the Israeli Government indirectly or directly. The Gaza Strip had remained under the land, sea and air blockade for nine years. The reconstruction of thousands of buildings destroyed during the Israeli incursion in 2014 therefore remained impossible. Palestinian detainees remained victims of torture.

Syria, speaking as a concerned country, said Israel was taking advantage of the silence by some major powers as a cover up for its aggressions in Palestine and the Syrian Golan. The Israeli occupation was a source of daily suffering for the Palestinian people, and systematic violations of human rights, including the right to education. The silence by international powers encouraged Israel to continue its policies. Israel was still illegally confiscating territories and water and other natural resources, and continued the creation of new settlements. Israeli authorities also used arbitrary detention against Syrians in the Golan. The continuation of Israeli violations had to be condemned by the Human Rights Council, and Israel had to withdraw from all Arab territories in compliance with internationally agreed borders.

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

Saudi Arabia, speaking on behalf of the Arab Group, regretted that a large number of countries were boycotting this essential item of the Council’s agenda. The Palestinian people and the Syrian people in the occupied Golan experienced great difficulties because of Israel’s occupation. The blockade of Gaza had entered its ninth year, and Saudi Arabia stressed the importance of a unified position of the Human Rights Council concerning members of the international community who were biased and defended the actions of Israel.

Pakistan, speaking on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, said that Israel was the only country in the world which had blatantly ignored all United Nations resolutions since its birth with complete impunity and had persistently refused to cooperate with United Nations mechanisms and procedures. Israel was allowed to continue with its grave violations of international law, including house demolitions, forced evictions of families and communities, excessive use of force, illegal colonial activity through settlement construction, and the construction of the illegal wall.

Iran, speaking on behalf of the Non Aligned Movement, said that the atrocities and massive disruption of life of the Palestinian people inflicted by the Israeli occupation contained features of apartheid such as restriction of movement and other basic rights on the grounds of ethnicity and nationality. The international community must uphold its duties and act decisively to ensure accountability for human rights violations, and Iran condemned the continued construction of illegal Israeli settlements which had worsened the conditions on the ground.

Algeria, speaking on behalf of the African Group, regretted the fact that certain countries had decided not to take part in the discussion of agenda item 7, given the impact that position would have on the culture of impunity by Israel. The African Group called on those States to actively participate in the discussion, particularly after the recent escalation of tensions following the attack on the Al Aqsa Mosque. The Human Rights Council had a moral obligation to protect the Palestinian population from human rights abuses perpetrated by Israel.

Qatar underlined the importance of agenda item 7 and the need for full participation in the discussion. Israel had reached dangerous levels of aggression during its latest actions. It committed the worst forms of human rights abuses against Palestinians and other Arabs. Qatar expressed appreciation to all those who sought to prevent the occupation of the Al Aqsa Mosque. Israel had to understand that the Palestinian issue would not go away, and it had to lift its siege of the Gaza Strip and immediately stop all its settlement activities.

Morocco reaffirmed the need to maintain item 7 on the Council’s agenda. The violations by Israel were systematic and flagrant violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law. Those aggressions were not only undertaken by Israel’s armed forces but also by extremist Israeli settlers. A deliberate attempt of Judaisation of East Jerusalem was under way, which threatened the two-State solution.

Cuba said the human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories required the Council’s attention, and pointed at Israel’s policy of apartheid, imposing racist restrictions on freedom of movement. It condemned the illegal settlements in violation of international law, the destruction of Palestinian houses, and the illegal blockade. It also condemned the occupation of the Syrian Golan, and called for the withdrawal of Israeli forces in accordance with United Nations resolutions. Cuba then underlined the importance of Palestine being recognized as a full United Nations member.

Venezuela fully supported the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, and condemned the serious violations of human rights and international human rights and humanitarian laws, as well as the continued illegal construction of settlements. It condemned the disproportionate use of force by the Israeli authorities, and denounced the blockade of the Gaza Strip which undermined the rights of the people living there.

Indonesia was deeply concerned at human rights violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and expressed its support to the Palestinian people. Indonesia regretted that United Nations’ initiatives on this issue had not led to improvements on the ground. The occupation and settlements were a violation of Palestinian people’s basic rights and had to stop. Indonesia also condemned the disproportionate use of force by the Israeli forces, and called for investigations into violations of international law, including the targeting of civilians.

Saudi Arabia condemned the boycott of this item of the agenda which represented further encouragement of crimes committed by Israel. Saudi Arabia also condemned the recent Israeli attack of Douma in which a Palestinian toddler had been burned to death. Further condemning the attack on Al Aqsa mosque, Saudi Arabia called upon the international community to protect the Palestinian people, and take economic and political measures against the Israeli occupation.

Brazil regretted the new spike in violence and repression fuelled by hateful rhetoric, which was a sad reminder of the human rights violations associated with Israel’s occupation of Palestine. The tensions must be de-escalated and perpetrators of attacks must be held accountable as per standards which applied to all equally. Brazil commended the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East for ensuring that the school year continued for tens of thousands of children.

Namibia expressed its support for the Middle East peace process and yearned for the lasting settlement of the Palestinian issue. The focus should be on negotiations in the framework of United Nations resolutions. In light of the ongoing activities of regional violent extremist groups, the international community must render its support in order for the peace process between Israel and Palestine not to be derailed.

Russian Federation reiterated its call for a political solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, noting that both parties should be internationally recognized. The outcome of peace talks between the two parties should be the creation of an independent Palestinian State. As terrorism was the main threat to the region, reaching an agreement was of utmost importance. Russia called on Israel to stop the policies of illegal settlements and to improve the lives of the Palestinian people in the occupied territories.

Algeria reiterated its support for an independent Palestinian State, noting that the suffering of the Palestinians continued and the international community should do more to end it. The blockade of the Gaza Strip should end immediately and Israel’s impunity should cease. A fair solution to the Palestinian issue would be to end the illegal Israeli settlement policies and the international community should put more pressure on Israel to stop them unconditionally.

China was deeply concerned by the escalation of the conflict between Israel and Palestine. It urged both parties to resort to peace talks and to achieve an immediate and unconditional ceasefire. It criticized unrealistic expectations by Palestine and some Arab countries. China supported international agencies to promote humanitarian assistance and reconstruction in the Gaza Strip, and stressed its willingness to work with the stakeholders to bring about peace.

Maldives condemned continued human rights violations and provocations by Israel in the Palestinian territories, and reiterated its solidarity with Palestine and its aspirations to self-determination. Maldives also supported Palestine’s full membership to the United Nations. It condemned Israeli forces forced entrance into the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and supported the calls to refer the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories to the International Criminal Court.

Ghana supported the people of Palestine in their exercise of self-determination, and reiterated its support to a two-State solution, through a peaceful settlement based on United Nations resolutions. Ghana called for an end to all violations of international humanitarian law by all sides and urged the parties to return to the negotiating table.

United Arab Emirates regretted that some countries had decided to boycott this agenda item, and said attempts to remove this item from the Human Rights Council’s agenda would be an insult to the suffering of the Palestinian people. Item 7 dealt with systematic human rights violations in the region and did not single out any country. The United Arab Emirates recalled that the United Nations had recognized the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination, and said this item would continue to be relevant until Palestine had a State with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Bangladesh said that the recent attack on Al-Aqsa mosque and the video release of the attack on AFP journalists were yet another example of condemnable acts of Israel, the occupying force. Israel continued to deny cooperation with the United Nations mechanisms, including refusing access to the Independent Commission of Inquiry. The international community would be charged with moral bankruptcy if justice for people of Palestine continued to remain unresolved and their human rights violated.

Bolivia said that the ongoing Israeli military occupation of Palestine had aggravated the violations of most fundamental human rights, and was a constant threat to international peace and security. The international community must ensure constant monitoring of this situation by the international community until peace was ensured, and the Human Rights Council was the appropriate body to ensure such monitoring.

Turkey said that the continuation of the expansion of settlements contradicted efforts to find a political solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The recent rise in Israeli practices aiming towards a temporal and spatial division of Haram Al-Sharif, including the intrusion of the Israeli security forces two weeks ago, was a source of great concern and those violations must stop.

Egypt stated that the challenges faced by citizens under the Israeli occupation continued to escalate, such as the attack on the Al Aqsa Mosque. Israel did not respect the freedom of creed for Muslims, which was in total violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It asked the Council to assume its international responsibility in dealing with such violations and to impose sanctions against the party committing such violations.

Jordan stated that the responsibility to stop the continued attacks against Palestinian civilians and human rights violations fell on the entire international community. Israel had to cease its illegal attacks on Palestinian people. Its continuous incitement against religious sites in East Jerusalem would have serious consequences and would impede any peaceful solution to the conflict. The international community should assume its responsibility and end the occupation.

Kuwait vehemently condemned all Israeli violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law. It called upon the Council to assume its responsibilities and duties. Israel continued to construct settlements in flagrant violation of the Geneva Conventions. Kuwait had donated $15 million for opening of schools for Palestinian refugees and it would continue to provide such help until the independent Palestinian State was founded.

Malaysia reaffirmed its support for the legitimate right of the Palestinian people to an independent State of Palestine, through a two-State solution based on its pre-1967 borders. It condemned systematic human rights violations by Israel, continued intensification of its illegal settlements, the demolition of houses and infrastructures, and the ill treatment of prisoners in Israeli detention.

Tunisia expressed its support to the people of Palestine, and condemned the occupation of the Al-Aqsa Mosque. It condemned violations of international law and called for the perpetrators to be held accountable before the International Criminal Court.

Switzerland was alarmed at the deterioration of the economic, political and humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip, and deplored the blockade by Israel. It condemned the settlement policy by Israel, which was a violation of international law, and remained concerned about the administrative detention of Palestinians, including minors. Switzerland was also concerned about arbitrary detentions and restrictions on freedom of expression and freedom of the press.

Iraq said that the region was experiencing a very difficult period, compounded by the occupation of Palestine and the failure to guarantee an independent Palestinian State. Palestinians continued to be oppressed, and to suffer the restriction of access to their religious places. Iraq called for the release of Palestinian prisoners and for perpetrators of violence to be brought to justice.
Chile reiterated the need to put an end to violence against the Palestinian people, and to end the blockade of Gaza, which had negative humanitarian consequences, particularly on women and children. The escalation of the conflict between Palestinian youth and Israeli security forces in the West Bank was a source of concern and Chile stressed the need to ensure that extremism was not a part of the political agenda.

Iran said it was unfortunate that despite all international efforts to end the catastrophic humanitarian situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, the brutal violations of international human rights law and humanitarian law continued. The systematic expansion of settlements, settler violence, blockade of the Gaza Strip, discriminatory policies, and widespread ill-treatment of Palestinian children by Israeli security forces, were just a limited number of such violations which amounted to the crime of apartheid.

Ecuador condemned attacks and indiscriminate use of force against the Palestinian population by Israel forces and Israeli settlers. This was likely to increase as a result of the counter-terrorism law to be adopted by Israel, which would also allow arbitrary preventive detention.

Senegal was concerned that the situation in the Occupied Territories showed no sign of improvement, and said violations of international law by Israeli authorities had to stop. The international community had to strengthen its commitment to restore the negotiations for peace. Senegal invited the authorities from both sides to commit to peace and negotiations with a view to achieve the two-State solution.

Bahrain said it was important to keep this item on the agenda of the Council until the situation in the Occupied Arab Territories was resolved, and regretted that some States had decided to boycott this item. Bahrain was concerned about flagrant violations of international law by Israeli forces, and condemned the illegal settlement policy which amounted to a war crime under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

Libya called for the retention of this discussion on the agenda of the Human Rights Council until the Israeli occupation ended, and also condemned the extremist settler violence against the Palestinian people. The continued arbitrary occupation of the Gaza Strip was a violation of international law, while the Judaisation policy of the occupying force was a flagrant violation of international legitimacy.

Sudan condemned the aggression and recent attacks by the occupying power against the defenceless Palestinian people. The settlement policy, the blockade of the Gaza Strip, and the attack on Al-Aqsa mosque had prevented the faithful to access the holy sites. The right to self-determination of the Palestinian people must be guaranteed and Sudan stressed the crucial importance of the fight against impunity.

Lebanon said that this item was central to the agenda of the Council, adding that the incursion of Israel against the Palestinian people continued under pretexts that were increasingly hollow. The blockade of the Gaza Strip and the attack on Al-Aqsa clearly showed that Israel was against international peace. Lebanon welcomed the recent resolution of the General Assembly to allow the State of Palestine to raise its flag there.

Oman strongly condemned the escalation by Israel the occupying power, and its repeated attacks on Al-Aqsa mosque and on the worshippers, and the changing demographic composition of Jerusalem. The Palestinian people still suffered from violence at the hands of a handful of settlers, whom Israel continued to protect through racist laws. The right to self-determination for the Palestinian people was fundamental for the solution of this issue and the international community must hold Israel responsible for the implementation of the relevant resolutions.

Djibouti expressed support to the Palestinian people and condemned the excessive use of force by Israeli forces. It expressed concerns that Israel had decided to boycott this agenda item of the Council. Djibouti condemned the destruction of houses and other violations of international human rights and international humanitarian law in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

Uruguay condemned the military attacks by Israel in the Gaza Strip, which had led to many civilian deaths, and condemned the indiscriminate use of rockets against Israeli civilians. It reiterated its firm support of a two-State solution, and called on all parties to resume negotiations and end violations of international law.

Gulf Cooperation Council condemned systematic attacks by Israel against Holy sites for Muslims and Christians, including the Al-Aqsa Mosque. It condemned the imposition of an inhumane blockade in Gaza, which constituted an illegal collective punishment. It also condemned the confiscation of lands and the demolition of houses by Israeli authorities.

Yemen condemned the blockade, repression, arrests and torture by Israel, and called on the Council to continue to grant consideration to this agenda item until the end of the occupation by Israel of all occupied territories, including the Syrian Golan and Lebanese territories.

Angola reaffirmed its support for the struggle of the Palestinian people for their rights and freedom and an independent State. The Palestinian people had the right to live in peace and justice in accordance with international law. The international community should continue to engage in a diplomatic dialogue to find a peaceful solution and called for the immediate stop of human rights violations and the deterioration of the humanitarian situation.

Defence for Children International said that children represented nearly 50 per cent of Palestinians living in the occupied West Bank, including in Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip. Instability and violence defined much of their lives. Since 2000, Israeli forces had killed 1,991 Palestinian children, including 551 in 2014 alone. Children continued to ensure heightened levels of violence as Israeli soldiers and police increasingly used excessive force to quash protects.

American Association of Jurists said that the socio-economic conditions in the Gaza Strip were at their lowest since 1967 and that the Gaza Strip had become the twenty-first century’s largest humanitarian disaster. An occupation and colonial regime, modelled after apartheid by Israel, was committing crimes with impunity. What were the Western democracies doing to put an end to impunity and to hold Israel accountable?

Human Rights Now was deeply concerned about the indiscriminate attacks against the people of Gaza which might constitute war crimes, and said that the Israeli investigations of those crimes had been far from satisfactory. The prevailing impunity significantly contributed to a recurrence of human rights violations in Gaza.

The Palestinian Return Centre Ltd stressed that everyone had the right to leave any country and to return to it. The already dire situation concerning Palestinian refugees had been further compounded by the bombardment of Gaza the previous summer. The most appropriate remedy to the Palestinian refugee problem was the implementation of their right to return. Israel had to uphold its legal, moral and political obligations towards the Palestinian people.

International Youth and Student Movement for the United Nations was extremely concerned about provocations by the Israeli security forces in Jerusalem, which had led to an escalating violence. The apartheid policy pertaining to the growing number of Jewish colonies ought to be ended. An impartial investigation into the murder of a Palestinian woman in Hebron the previous week was needed. The Council should not leave the Palestinians alone in their struggle.

Union of Arab Jurists said that efforts by certain countries in the Council to diminish item 7 carried consequences: they would not make Israel’s violations disappear, but would rather harm their own credibility and that of the Council. In Gaza, the suffering was unrelenting, and a recent United Nations report warned that Gaza could be uninhabitable within five years. The Council was urged to defend the rights of the Palestinian people in both word and action to finally bring an end to the abuse.

Federacion de Asociaciones de Defensa y Promocion de los Derechos Humanos, in a joint statement with Union of Arab Jurists said that the practices against Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territories continued, with the view of changing the demographic structure there. Israel was trying to impose a de facto sovereignty over the Al Aqsa mosque. Tourist excursions to the mosque, authorized by Israel, were a sign of disrespect to Islam. The Council should take immediate measures to end all violations against the Palestinian people.

International Federation for Human Rights Leagues encouraged efforts by the Human Rights Council to call for accountability for war crimes in the Gaza Strip, and called on States to effectively initiate proceedings against alleged perpetrators on the basis of their extraterritorial jurisdiction. It welcomed Palestine’s acceptance of the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court, and called upon all States to cooperate with the Office of the Prosecutor.

Arab Commission for Human Rights was concerned about human rights violations and international law violations by Israel, and condemned Israel’s refusal to cooperate with the Commission of Inquiry on the Gaza conflict. It was important that the international community furthered its efforts to address impunity and illegal occupation. The European Union should recognize the Palestinian problem.

Khiam Rehabilitation Center for Victims of Torture said the world had to act in the face of Israeli crimes, including force-feeding Palestinian prisoners. It was concerned at violations of international law by the Saudi Arabia-led coalition in Yemen. The Israelis and the Saudis were two faces of the same coin, and the Council should address all crimes by these regimes.

Maarij Foundation for Peace and Development said that the attempt by Israel to erase the Arab identity of Jerusalem was a clear violation of human rights. Acts of provocation against Muslims included the prohibition for Muslims to pray in Al-Aqsa mosque. The rights of the Palestinian people were being violated, including the right to free movement, to worship and, most importantly the right to self-determination.

Organization for Defending Victims of Violence said that according to the United Nations fact-finding mission to Gaza, Israel had committed war crimes there and it was deeply alarming that the international response fell so short of what was needed to end the conflict in Palestine. The United States was the only country in the world to oppose a resolution in July 2015 calling for Israel to be held accountable for war crimes.

Global Network for Rights and Development said that a recent United Nations report stated that Gaza could become uninhabitable by 2020 if current economic trends persisted. But this was already the case, with eight years of economic blockade, three consecutive military operations, an economy in ruins and a stalled reconstruction process. How many more years did the international community have to stop looking the other way and how long did the Palestinians have to wait for a life with dignity?

Africa Speaks condemned the current situation of Palestinian children living under Israeli occupation. Israel was the only country in the world that had authorized bringing children before military courts and keeping in prison children as young as nine. Often times, those children had to sign confessions in Hebrew and were tortured and deprived of sleep. The majority of Palestinian children in prisons were convicted of throwing stones.

Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies said that the use of administrative detention against Palestinians constituted a violation of humanitarian law. Almost 350 Palestinians were currently unlawfully detained under that system. The Israeli security forces were not authorized to shoot at unarmed demonstrators at the Al Aqsa mosque. Item 7 had been created to point out at the gravest violations of the human rights law conducted for decades with impunity.

Cameroon Youths and Students Forum for Peace stated that Israel had not ended the occupation of the Palestinian territories. It controlled maritime and land crossings, while the absence of a Palestinian airport continued to be a stunning deficiency. The closure of the Gaza Strip was one of the greatest tragedies for the Palestinian youth, who could not travel or contribute to creative or economic activities. Soldiers controlling road blocks and checks were committing human rights violations on a daily basis.

International-Lawyers.Org reiterated its support to the right of self-determination of the Palestinian people, and said it was vital that the Council enhanced its involvement to redress the massive ongoing human rights violations against the Palestinian people. The occupation of the Al-Aqsa Mosque by Israeli forces had to be addressed by the Council.

BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights was concerned at forced displacement of Palestinians for the purpose of establishing illegal settlements, which constituted a war crime and a crime against humanity under international law.

Peivande Gole Narges Organization said the humanitarian situation in Palestine had worsened since the last Israeli intervention in Gaza, and condemned the occupation of places of worship by Israeli police forces. Children were the first victims of occupation, with violations of their right to life by Israel, and the United Nations should take practical measures in order to make Israel comply with resolutions on the issue and to ensure the protection of Palestinian children.

Al Haq, Law in the Service of Man stated that the unlawful practice of the excessive use of force had been institutionalized by the Israeli law, permitting Israeli soldiers greater latitude in opening fire against Palestinians. Israel imposed daily restrictions on Palestinians’ access to the Al Aqsa compound. Approximately four million Palestinians were prohibited from entering Occupied East Jerusalem. The European Union and all Member States of the Council were called upon to fully participate in agenda item 7.

Commission of the Churches on International Affairs of the World Council of Churches was deeply concerned about the building of the Israeli wall of separation in the Cremisan Valley, near Bethlehem, in occupied Palestine. Israel was attempting to change the Palestinian identity of the occupied country. What was needed in the region were democratic States with equal rights for all their citizens and not exclusive Jewish or Muslim States. Israel should immediately stop building the wall in the Cremisan Valley and uprooting the olive trees.

Asociacion Cubana de las Naciones Unidas expressed its concern over the critical situation of the Palestinian people today, especially in the Gaza Strip which was still under the blockade. More than one year after the genocidal bombing campaign, the commitments by States to contribute $ 3.5 billion for the reconstruction of Gaza had been intentionally blocked by the Government of Israel. The Government of Israel was called upon to comply with countless United Nations resolutions on Palestine.

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