Yesterday, Monday, 24 September 2012, the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS) delivered an oral intervention during a discussion of the human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian and other Arab territories at the UN Human Rights Council.
The intervention condemned Israel’s systematic lack of political will to implement the recommendations of the UN Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict report, more than three years following Operational Cast Lead -Over 1400 Palestinians killed, among them a number of women and children, and more than 5000 injured , in comparison to only 13 Israeli deaths.
CIHRS asked that all concerned parties ensure the implementation of the report’s recommendations. It called on that the Secretary General to bring the mission’s report to the attention of the Security Council, which in turn should refer jurisdiction of the matter to the International Criminal Court to ensure accountability for the alleged international crimes.
The intervention further addressed Israel’s lack of compliance with the UN human rights mechanisms and asked that the Human Rights Council seeks immediate clarification from the Israeli government as to if its unilateral declaration to “suspend its relationship with the Human Rights Council and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in both Geneva and Jerusalem” is understood to allow for non-cooperation by Israel with the Human Rights Council and its Special Procedures. If indeed this is the case, then the issuing of this declaration would appear to be in direct conflict with Israel’s obligations as a UN member state to cooperate with its main bodies and should be recognized as invalid by relevant UN bodies and member states.
During the Council’s session, the UN Secretary General presented a report on the status of implementation of the recommendations of the UN Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict. He noted several areas of non-compliance, highlighting that domestic investigations to ensure accountability remain lacking.
In this context, it is important to mention that the human rights and humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip witnesses dramatic deterioration, while Israel’s illegal blockade of Gaza continues unabated.
Border closure and restrictions on access to basic goods in addition to severe constraints to construction of infrastructure have contributed to the alarming unemployment levels among Palestinians. Additionally, increased restrictions on the Palestinians access to the sea with continued human rights violations against Palestinian fishermen has affected the livelihood of an estimated 35,000 Palestinians working in the fishing industry. Restrictions to freedom of movement within the Occupied Palestinian Territories and across the borders of the Gaza Strip have also hindered the rights of Palestinians to access medical care. These violations are in addition to the continuing practice of administrative detention by Israel, with over 4,000 Palestinian prisoners, including minors, in Israeli jails facing several human rights violations.
CIHRS believes that impunity on both an international and local level remains one of the primary forces driving the deterioration of the human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The conditions for a just political solution can only be achieved by ensuring an end to the systematic policy of impunity adopted by the Israeli government.
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