ZEID RA'AD AL HUSSEIN, NEW UN HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS,
ADDRESSES OPENING OF HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL’S 27TH SESSION
8 September 2014
Another example of the need to end persistent discrimination and impunity is the Israel-Palestine conflict, with the recurring violence and destruction evident in the repetition of crises in Gaza. The most recent outbreak of armed conflict has had a particularly devastating toll in death, suffering and destruction, compounding what was an already precarious situation due to the blockade imposed by Israel in 2007. As of last week, preliminary estimates are that 2,131 Palestinians had been killed during the latest crisis in Gaza, including 1,473 civilians, 501 of them children. 71 Israelis had also been killed, including four civilians.
Current and future generations of Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, have a right to live normal lives in dignity: without conflict, without a blockade, indeed without the wide range of daily human rights infringements that are generated by military occupation, illegal settlements, excessive use of force, home demolitions, and the Wall that continues to be constructed across the Occupied Palestinian Territory. The seven-year blockade must end, and there must be effective accountability for transgressions committed by all parties. On this point, I note that Israelis have a right to live free and secure from indiscriminate rocket fire.
I trust that this Council's Commission of Inquiry on the Occupied Palestinian Territory will be able to acquit its task of creating clarity about facts with full engagement from both sides. It is also imperative that all parties to the conflict in Gaza fully comply with their obligations under international humanitarian law.
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