Human Rights Council
28th Special Session on the Deteriorating Human Rights Situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem
18 May 2018
Joint statement of
International Organisation for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discriminations (EAFORD) and Geneva International Centre for Justice (GICJ)
Delivered by Mr. Mutua K. Kobia
Thank you Mr. President,
EAFORD and Geneva International Centre for Justice strongly condemns the attacks on Palestinian protesters by the Israeli occupying forces and we urge the Council to launch an independent and transparent enquiry into these attacks.
It should be well noted that the plight of the Palestinian people did not begin on May 14th or March 30th but has been long-standing for several decades. This is due to non-compliance by Israel with UN resolutions.
We, therefore, call on the UN Security Council to institute Chapter 7 of the UN Charter with regards to the Israel-Palestine conflict, especially considering the severity and longevity of the occupation and the insistence of Israel of violating previous resolutions.
We also urge the Council and all other relevant stake-holders to recall Resolution 181 and Resolution 36/120 among others with regards to the US and other Embassy moves to Jerusalem in relation to the character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem. This move is in violation of UN resolutions and its timing during the 70th Anniversary of Nakba only adds insult to injury to the plight and suffering of the people of Palestine.
To this end, we call on the international community to put pressure on Israel to comply with UN resolutions and ensure the protection of the human rights of the Palestinian people including the right to return and the right to association and peaceful assembly.
Finally, we urge the Council to take all necessary measures and action towards ending the illegal occupation and guaranteeing the Palestinian people their right to self-determination.
Statement of International-Lawyers.Org
Delivered by Ms. Madeleine Cowper - Geneva International Centre for Justice
Mr President, International-Lawyers.Org welcomes this special session investigating the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.
The massacre that occurred on the 14th of May is another example of the war crimes committed by Israel against the Palestinian people during this long occupation. Under international law, people have the right to peaceful assembly and expression. In addition, international law prohibits the use of lethal force against civilians unless they participate directly in acts of hostility or pose a concrete risk to life. Participation in a demonstration does not, in and of itself, constitute an act of hostility or direct endangerment of life, and therefore does not justify the use of live bullets.
Palestinians have been subject to a variety of abuses of their human rights including extrajudicial killings and detentions, inhumane and violent treatment, denial of medical care, denial of free-movement and expression, the destruction of property, and unfairness in judicial proceedings. The shocking lack of accountability for the crimes committed in Palestine is what has allowed and will allow these crimes to continue throughout the decades, unless urgent and definitive action is taken. Therefore, we urge the council to investigate whether Israel is committing genocide against the people of Palestine.
None of the violations can be adequately addressed without ending the illegal occupation and guaranteeing the Palestinian people their right to self-determination. Therefore, we reiterate our recommendations to the international community to spare no efforts to establish a just, comprehensive and lasting peace in the region by granting the Palestinian people their right to self-determination and to independence in their State of Palestine, with East Jerusalem as its capital, and their right to freely determine their political status and advance their economic, social, and cultural development.
Thank you, Mr President.