GENEVA (26 June 2020) – The United Nations Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices* notes with deep concern the ongoing deterioration of the human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory – including in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza – as a result of the decades-long Israeli occupation, its policies and practices.
The Committee is particularly alarmed by the recently announced annexation plans by the Israeli Government which would constitute a grave breach of international law, the United Nations Charter and a flagrant violation of UN resolutions. It would also potentially have grave consequences on the human rights of Palestinians and would further worsen violations committed against them.
Due to the spread of COVID-19, the Committee was not able to conduct annual briefings with Member States in Geneva and undertake its annual mission to the region this year. Alternatively, the Committee organised a series of virtual meetings with UN agencies, Palestinian ministries and institutions and civil society organisations from 9-12 and 16-17 June 2020. The Committee also sent requests for written submissions, including to Member States.
During these meetings, members of the Committee were briefed on the human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including the marked increase in settlements expansion, settler violence and demolitions of Palestinian-owned property.
The Committee was also briefed on cases of continued use of excessive force by Israeli Security Forces against Palestinians and the ongoing lack of accountability for these and other human rights violations.
The Committee also took note of the concerns expressed by a number of interlocutors, with regard to access to health for Palestinians, including women and people with disabilities especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Committee noted with strong concern the impact of Israeli policies and practices on women and girls. It will dedicate a segment of its upcoming report, which will be presented in November to the General Assembly’s 75th session, on this issue.
In the context of continued Israeli discriminatory practices against Palestinians, members of the Committee stressed the importance of the peace process and the two-state solution.
The United Nations Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories was established by the UN General Assembly in December 1968 to examine the human rights situation in the occupied Syrian Golan, the West Bank, including East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.
The Special Committee is composed of three Member States: Malaysia, Senegal and Sri Lanka. In the series of virtual meetings, the Member States were represented by H.E. Mr. Syed Mohamad Hasrin Tengku Hussin (Acting chair), Permanent Representative of Malaysia to the United Nations in New York, H.E. Mr. Abdoulaye Barro, Deputy Permanent Representative of Senegal to the United Nations in New York, and. Mr. Satya Rodrigo, Deputy Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations in New York.
Special Committee’s End of mission 2019 statement and full report.
UN Human Rights, Country Pages – Occupied Palestinian Territory and Israel
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