Oral intervention at United Nations Human Rights Council's 28th Special Session on deteriorating human rights situation in Occupied Palestinian Territory ‏

In International Advocacy Program, United Nations Human Rights Council by CIHRS

UN Human Rights Council: Twenty-Eighth Session – Oral Intervention, Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies

18 May 2018

Delivered by: Mona Sabella

Thank you Mr. President,

It is clear from the last six weeks, that Israeli forces enjoy a culture of impunity for policy-driven military assaults that are in blatant violation of international law. Once and again, the Israeli justice system has proven its inability and unwillingness to hold accountable decision-makers and perpetrators of serious crimes.  

Since the start of the Nakba protests Israeli soldiers intentionally targeted and killed Palestinian civilians in large-scale protests calling for the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their land, and for justice following seven decades of expulsion, dispossession and half a century of military occupation. More than 100 Palestinians have been systematically killed and over 7000 have been injured – of whom about 3,600 were hit by live fire.

In one case, Fadi Abu Saleh – both his legs amputated from previous Israeli assaults on the Gaza Strip –  was killed by an Israeli sniper while he was hundreds of meters away from a fence erected by Israel.

Mr President,

In a letter to this Council distributed yesterday, 95 cross-regional organizations called on this body to create international and independent investigations, identifying individuals responsible for the targeting of civilians, including those with command responsibility. The organizations also requested that the ICC immediately begin an active investigation into these and other crimes.

In the words of the High Commissioner “enough is enough.”  We urge all member states to vote in favor of the proposed resolution with a view towards international accountability.

Thank you.

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Joint Oral Intervention to the United Nations Human Rights Council

Al-Haq (Joint Statement)
Speaker: Ms Rania Muhareb (Al-Haq)

Joint Oral Intervention to the United Nations Human Rights Council

Al-Haq – Law in the Service of Man
Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights
The Palestinian Center for Human Rights
Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel
Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies

28th Special Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council on the deteriorating human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem

General Debate

Mr President,

Over the past eight weeks, the Israeli occupying forces have killed 115 Palestinians, including 15 children. At least 86 Palestinians, were killed during peaceful Great Return March demonstrations, that called for the realization of Palestinian refugees’ right of return and an end to Israel’s 11-year closure of the Gaza Strip, amounting to unlawful collective punishment.

Since March 30th, the Israeli occupying forces have injured over 3,600 Palestinians through the use of live fire, wilfully causing serious injury to unarmed demonstrators, while they repeatedly committed wilful killings of protected persons, which may amount to grave breaches and war crimes.

Shoot-to-kill orders were issued at the highest levels of the Israeli military, reflecting Israel’s longstanding disregard for Palestinian life, no less in the seventieth year since the Nakba. On March 31st, the day after 15 Palestinians were killed in Gaza, the Israeli army stated that “everything was accurate and measured, and we know where every bullet landed.”

Mr President,

As we mark seventy years of forcible displacement and exile of millions of Palestinians, Israel’s brutal suppression of the Great Return March sends a clear message to the world, that Israel is accountable to no one. It is time to act against this longstanding impunity.

Our organisations call for an independent, transparent, and effective investigation and accountability for  violations and suspected crimes committed during the Great Return March, within the scope of the rights of the demonstrators, including to life, to freedom of assembly and expression, and to return, which Israel has sought to suppress for eight weeks in Gaza, and ever since the Nakba.

Thank you.

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