LAW Submission to the Commission on Human Rights 57th Session


Oral Statement made by the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, a non governmental organisation with Special Consultative Status, and LAW, the Palestinian Society for the Protection of Human Rights and the Environment. 22 March 2001 Calls to End Discrimination We support Michael Melchior’s stated calls for an end to all forms of discrimination and the need for mutual tolerance. We also abhor anti semitism: indeed Palestinians and other arabs are also semitic people, and have suffered from others anti semitism. Sadly, the ideals of tolerance expressed by Rabbi Melchior have not been practised in reality nor are they genuinely shared by the key Israeli political/military commanders of the Israeli Occupying Power: including Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. These same commanders wrongly believe that enjoyment of Jewish rights of self determination requires and justifies the violation and subjugation of Palestinians’ rights of self determination. The international community by ensuring Palestinians’ rights of self determination and respect for their human rights are not denouncing Jewish rights of self determination. Similarly, once the international community finally fulfils its obligations by taking effective measures to stop Israeli violations and passes effective resolutions it is not expressing racist, anti-Jewish sentiments, but tackling Israeli practices and policies which have led to gross violations of Palestinians’ rights, and the impunity enjoyed by the perpetrators. The Israeli Occupying Power undermining Palestinian rights of self determination The violence against Palestinians since 29 September 2000 cannot be seen in isolation: rights of the Palestinian people have been grossly violated by Israel since 1948 and 1967. The Israeli Occupying power has through all its discriminatory policies and practices and its belligerent occupation of the Palestinian Territories denied the Palestinian people their “permanent and unqualified” right to self determination, “including the option of a State”: as reaffirmed by the Commission. Continued Occupation Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian Territories is one of the longest occupations and exercise of colonial domination in recent history. Contrary to Israeli claims, the Israeli occupying power continues, following Oslo, to occupy and exercise ultimate control over the Occupied Territories, in defiance of all relevant UN resolutions. First, this is seen by the Interim Agreement between PLO and Israel. Under the agreement the Israeli military remains the ultimate source of authority in the Occupied Territories. Only certain civil government and policing functions were transferred to the Palestinian Authority under the agreement, and only in relation to designated areas A. In areas B and C the Israeli military retains control of “security matters”, (with the PA having responsibility for civil affairs in areas B, and sharing such responsibility in areas C). Furthermore, the PA’s authority and jurisdiction is limited to what is expressly provided for under the Interim Agreement, and all PA legislation must be communicated to the Israeli military government. The reality of the Israeli occupying power’s continued occupation and denial of Palestinian rights of self determination is also illustrated by its practices including as follows: Israel continues to issue military orders affecting all the Occupied Territories. Military courts established under Israeli military orders continue to administer the so-called “justice” in the territories. Areas B and C of the occupied Territories, with their strong Israeli military and settlers presence, encircle and close off areas A: so the areas within the Occupied Territories are not contiguous. The Israeli occupying Power controls Palestinian exports/imports and foreign policy Palestinian towns and villages are under siege by Israeli forces and settlers. Indeed under Ariel Sharon the siege has intensified. Israel retains absolute control over Palestinians’ freedom of movement within and outside the Territories. The Israeli occupying power controls access to goods and services and facilities, including humanitarian aid and assistance and water supplies. It implements policies and practices designed to cripple the Palestinian economy. It impedes Palestinian rights of development. It bombs and shells civilian areas as a collective punishment. It continues its land confiscation and house demolitions. It continues to establish and expand Israeli colonies/settlements within the Occupied Territories Equally illuminating have been the statements made by Israeli political and military commanders themselves, including that of the former Prime Minister Rabin where he said: “We see the final arrangements as including most of the Land of Israel…., and alongside it a Palestinian entity, which is less than a state.” Failure to comply with its obligations as an Occupying Power The UN Security Council on 7 October 2000 called for: “Israel, the occupying Power, to abide scrupulously by its legal obligations … under the Fourth Geneva Convention ….” The Israeli occupying power has failed to adhere to its obligations and violated Palestinians’ rights under the agreements, and international human rights and humanitarian law. The Commission and International Community are called upon to abide by their obligations under international law, and take immediate and effective measures to ensure that the Israeli occupying power: adheres to the terms of UN (Security Council) Resolutions (242 and 338, and the Commission’s Resolution 2000/4); and ends all its discriminatory policies and practices towards Palestinians leading to a denial of their rights to self determination, (including gross violations of human rights and humanitarian law).

LAW - The Palestinian Society for the Protection of Human Rights and the Environment is a non-governmental organisation dedicated to preserving human rights through legal advocacy. LAW is affiliate to the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), Fédération Internationale des Ligues de Droits de l'Homme (FIDH), World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and Member of the Euro- Mediterranean Human Rights Network.

Rapporti di LAW - The Palestinian Society for the Protection of Human Rights

Palestinian dies in Military Intelligence custody in Nablus