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        Economic and Social Council
22 December 2005


Sixty-second session
Item 10 of the provisional agenda


Report of the Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of
the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, Paul Hunt


Summary of communications sent to and replies received from Governments
and other actors, December 2004-December 2005*

* The report is being circulated in the languages of submission only.


Communications sent

32. On 14 December 2004, the Special Rapporteur sent a joint urgent appeal with the Special Rapporteur on the question of torture regarding Hayel Hussein Jamad Abu-Zaid, a 36-year-old Syrian national from the town of Majdel Shams, Golan Heights. According to the information received, he was transferred by the administration of Galbou’ Prison to the Affoula Hospital and then to Rambam Hospital. It was alleged that he was seriously ill and suffering from an advanced case of leukaemia. Reportedly, he was being held, handcuffed and shackled to his bed, in a small hospital room guarded by three members of the military police. Concern was expressed for his physical and mental integrity if he did not receive prompt and appropriate medical care in the hospital. Concern was also expressed at the alleged use of restraints on someone in his condition.

33. On 30 May 2005, the Special Rapporteur sent a joint letter with the Special Rapporteur on the adverse effects of the illicit movement and dumping of toxic and dangerous products and wastes on the enjoyment on human rights, the Special Rapporteur on the right to food and the Special Rapporteur on adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living regarding the spread of toxic chemicals on fields located near the villages of Tuwani, Umm Faggara and Kharruba in the southern Hebron region. Reportedly, prior to the first field poisoning incident in Tuwani on 22 March 2005, a security guard from the nearby Israeli settlement Ma’on had told villagers that he wanted Palestinian farmers to stop grazing their flocks near the settlement and that if they did not agree, he and the settlers had “ways to make them stop”. According to analyses carried out by the Centre for Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences at Bir Zeit University and by the Israeli Nature Protection Authority, two types of toxic chemicals were spread in the area: 2-Fluoracetamide, which is banned in several countries including Israel and severely restricted in international trade, and Brodifacoum, an anticoagulant used as rodenticide. Both chemicals endanger human health. Reportedly, on 12 April 2005, one of the toxins was found in a field in the northern West Bank village of Yasouf. It was alleged that toxic chemicals were found in areas under the full control of the Israeli authorities.


34. The Special Rapporteur regrets that at the time of the finalization of this report, the Government had not transmitted any reply to his communications.



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