The 54th Session of the Human Rights Council
11th September-14th October 2023
Item 7: Human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories
Joint Statement of EAFORD and GICJ
4th October 2023
Delivered by Charlotte Maher / GICJ
Thank you Mr Vice President,
Palestinian workers in the periphery of the Beit Hanoun crossing had been demonstrating for weeks after the closure of the crossing prevented them from working. The unemployment figures in Palestine sit at 50%, a shocking figure for which restrictive border regulations are largely responsible. The experience of living in Palestine consequently, amounts to a life of uncertainty. Citizens cannot plan medical appointments, work appointments or even family visits due to indefinite access to their rights of movement. Travel permits could be withdrawn at any moment, which we have seen occur to families of victims of Israeli military violence.
What is being demonstrated is a Delegitimization and silencing of civil society. Injury or death by law enforcement officials is a criminal offence when it is applied outside of circumstances of self-defence. Additionally clear warning must be given in the event that a firearm is going to be used. Time and time again we see these international norms neglected as innocent citizens become victim to violence in their homeland.
EAFORD and GICJ affirm that protection of civil society rights in Palestine must be prioritised. We call on governments giving military provisions used in Palestine, to restrict this aid to incentivise compliance. The continued non-compliance with resolutions on this issue, the longest standing case on the international agenda, is compromising human life, fundamental state integrity, and the credibility of the UN as a functioning body.