UN experts urge Israel to ‘protect and encourage’ Palestine rights defenders – Global Issues


During a nighttime raid at the end of July, the Israeli army confiscated computers, hard drives and other classified materials from the offices of the non-governmental organization, Defense for Children International – Palestine (DCIP) in Al-Bireh, an independent humanitarian organization of the United Nations. Rights experts said, demanding the immediate return of documents and office equipment.

The indispensable work of Palestinian, Israeli and international civil society organizations has provided a much-needed measure of accountability. In documenting and examining frustrating human rights trends in the Occupied Palestinian Territories,” they said in A statment.

decisive action

The Special Rapporteurs noted that in recent years, DCI has reported “critically and reliably” on patterns of arrests, maiming and killing of Palestinian children by the Israeli military in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Gaza.

They explained that “silencing or impeding these activities violates the basic human rights of expression and association, which Israel committed to support through its ratification of the two international covenants of 1966,” referring to one of them. civil and political rights and the other on Economic, social and cultural rights

Amazing stats

From the beginning of the year until the end of last month, Israeli forces killed 11 Palestinian children in the West Bank, according to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

This number is higher than the total recorded for the whole of 2020.

Moreover, during the conflict that erupted last May between Israel and Palestinian armed groups in Gaza, 67 Palestinian children were killed in the occupied enclave.

All civilian lives under occupation are protected under international law. The experts recalled that this was particularly true of children’s rights.

Probes “arm’s length”

Against the backdrop of longstanding criticism of the lack of “transparent and impartial investigations” into the apparent violations of Palestinians’ human rights by the Israeli military, UN experts have called on the government of Israel to “work with the international community” to establish an impartial body to conduct “transparent, far-reaching and public investigations” into the deaths.

They stressed that investigations must be consistent with international law and that subsequent lessons applied “to avoid such a pattern of tragedy in the future.”

government behavior

UN experts called on the Israeli government to fully respect Declaration on human rights defenders, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1998, saying that an occupying power with a genuine commitment to human rights “protects and encourages” human rights defenders, and “does not ostracize, harass or silence them”.

Moreover, this authority will respect the “critical examination” of their work – even if advocates “denounce” their behavior.

In the event of a “protracted military occupation”, the Special Rapporteurs said the occupying power should accept human rights abuses “only as a measure of last resort…in a manner that is minimally invasive and subject to meaningful judicial review.”

The special rapporteurs who signed the prop are Michael Link, On the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967; Irene Khan, On the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Expression; Mr. Clement Nyaltsossi Foley, On the Right to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association; and Mary Lawlor, On the situation of human rights defenders.

They are not UN staff and do not get paid for their work.


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