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UNITED
NATIONS
A

        General Assembly
Distr.
GENERAL
A/HRC/10/22
10 March 2009

Original: ENGLISH

Human Rights Council
Tenth session
Agenda item 7


HUMAN RIGHTS SITUATION IN PALESTINE AND

OTHER OCCUPIED ARAB TERRITORIES

Combined report of the Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, the Representative of the Secretary-General on the human rights of internally displaced persons, the Special Rapporteur on adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living, and on the right to non-discrimination in this context, the Special Rapporteur on the right to food, the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, the Special Rapporteur on the right to education and the independent expert on the question of human rights and extreme poverty.*


_____________
* The annex to the present report is circulated as received, in the language of submission and in Arabic.



I. INTRODUCTION


I. INTRODUCTION

1. The present report is submitted pursuant to Human Rights Council resolution S-9/1 on the grave violations of human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, particularly due to the recent Israeli military attacks against the occupied Gaza Strip.

2. In its resolution, the Council requested all relevant special procedures mandate-holders, in particular the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, the Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on the human rights of internally displaced persons, the Special Rapporteur on adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living, and on the right to non-discrimination in this context, the Special Rapporteur on the right to food, the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, the Special Rapporteur on the right to education and the independent expert on the question of human rights and extreme poverty, to urgently seek and gather information on violations of the human rights of the Palestinian people and submit their reports to the Council at its next session.

3. The Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967 has submitted a separate report to the Council (A/HRC/10/20). The present report is submitted by the other above-mentioned mandate-holders, and includes individual sections submitted by each one as well as a joint introduction, legal analysis and set of recommendations. The section submitted by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict is annexed to the report. Following her visit to the Occupied Palestinian Territory and Southern Israel from 2 to 6 February 2009, the information submitted was compiled by the inter-agency working group on children and armed conflict on the ground, in accordance with Security Council resolution 1612 (2005).

4. The mandate-holders solicited information from concerned parties, including relevant Governments, United Nations agencies and non-governmental organizations, and received a significant number of submissions. They extend their sincere thanks for the cooperation they received in gathering information. In view of the extremely limited time available, this brief report cannot do justice to the large volume of information received.

5. The special rapporteurs on violence against women, on the right to education, on the right to food, on the right to the highest attainable standard of health and the independent expert on extreme poverty requested to visit the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Gaza, and to discuss with the relevant Israeli authorities the issues covered by their mandates.

6. The Occupied Palestinian Territory, particularly the Gaza Strip, has been affected by protracted conflict and occupation policies for decades. On 27 December 2008, the Israeli military launched a large-scale operation against Hamas in response to rockets fired at populated areas in Israeli territory. According to available estimates, a total of 1,453 people were killed. Of these, 1,440 were Palestinian, including 431 children and 114 women. A total of 13 were Israelis, including 3 civilians and 6 soldiers killed by Hamas, and 4 soldiers killed in friendly fire incidents.1 This operation also resulted in a dramatic deterioration of the living conditions of the civilian population. At the onset of the recent military operation, the population of the Gaza Strip was already rendered vulnerable following a 20-month-long blockade, which severely restricted the movement of people and goods and the delivery of humanitarian and development assistance. In addition, the discriminatory legislation and policies of the occupying Power in, inter alia, access to housing, health care, food and water systems, have governed for decades the institutional set-up in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, thus aggravating the situation of its residents. An estimated 80 per cent of the population in Gaza, particularly women and children, was already dependent on humanitarian assistance before the recent military operation.

7. Targeted and indiscriminate attacks on public facilities, including medical facilities, water and sanitation networks, Government and municipal buildings, electricity, gas, transportation, agriculture, fisheries and industries further eroded people’s access to basic services and goods. Combined with the decreasing ability of the authorities to manage basic public services and the collapse of the local economy, the recent military operation exacerbated the situation of the 1.5 million Gaza residents whose rights, including the rights to education, food, health and housing and to be free from violence, could not be protected. The conflict further exacerbated the desperate situation of those living in poverty in Gaza and pushed even more people into a life of poverty.

8. Even after the ceasefire was declared on 18 January 2009, restrictions on movement of people and goods as well as humanitarian assistance continued, thus hampering efforts for recovery and return to normalcy.

/....

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1In addition to the 1,440, killed, the Palestinian Ministry of Health lists 5,380 Palestinians injured, including 1,872 children and 800 women. In addition to the 13 killed, the Magen David Adom lists 518 Israelis injured, including 182 civilians and 336 soldiers. For additional data on children, see annex. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, The Humanitarian Monitor, Occupied Palestinian Territory, No. 33, January 2009.

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