The 54th Session of the Human Rights Council
11th September-13th October 2023
Item 2: General Debate on the Oral Update by the High Commissioner of Human Rights
Joint Statement with Meezan Centre for Human Rights and Geneva International Centre for Justice
13th September 2023
Delivered by Loïc Gasser/GICJ
Thank you Mr. President,
We welcome the High Commissioner’s condemnation of continued excessive unlawful violence carried out by Israel on Palestinians both directly - by the security forces - and by Israeli settlers using violence to threaten the native Palestinian population with State acquiescence.
We must end systematic unequal treatment and double-standards, such as those faced by Palestinians. The OHCHR's primary objective should be to stop violations, and all nations should pursue peace while holding human rights violators accountable.
In this light the work of the OPT-EJI investigation is crucial and we strongly welcome the methods, means, and substantive reports emanating from this rigorous and thorough human rights mechanism.
A strong civil society is a fundamental aspect of a free society. In Palestine NGOs face multiple threats on a daily basis just for doing the basic work - speaking out leads to them being targeted and shut down.
In this cradle of world religions, not even religious freedom is respected by the occupying State. The armed storming of the al-Aqsa Mosque with grenades and rubber bullets during evening Ramadan prayer in April 2023 was as provocative an action as can be conceived. 50 people were injured and 400 arrested - in yet another step too far.
MEEZAAN and Geneva International Centre for Justice call on the High Commissioner and States here to prioritise protection of the Palestinian people and to use all available means to condemn atrocities and pursue accountability.