STATEMENT BY UN HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS ZEID RA'AD AL HUSSEIN
AT THE 29TH SESSION OF THE HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL IN GENEVA, 15 JUNE 2015
15 June 2015
I am also concerned by the human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. This year, UNRWA marks its 65th year, and sadly its work continues to be needed. In Gaza, the longstanding blockade and slow reconstruction is generating more poverty, and has further undermined economic and social rights. I fear this may create the conditions for renewed violence. Gaza needs not just physical reconstruction, but the reconstruction of hope; development, accountability and respect for human rights are a counterweight to violence and extremism. The Commission of Inquiry in respect of Gaza will be releasing its report for the Council’s consideration at this session. It is my hope the report will pave the way for justice to be done to all civilians who fell victim to the fighting last year, by holding to account those alleged to have committed grave and other serious violations of international humanitarian law, through investigation and where required, prosecution.
I am also disturbed by all the pending demolition orders affecting Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem. The continued presence and expansion of Israeli settlements and related activities, as well as settler violence, remain at the core of most of the violations of human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and I repeat my calls to Israel to end immediately the expansion of the settlements, and to address settler related-violence.
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