World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Israel urged to protect Palestine rights defenders

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

UN Human Rights Council-appointed experts expressed deep concern on Friday over Israeli military interference in the work of a well-known, independent Palestinian child rights organization, in the occupied West Bank.

During a night-time raid at the end of July, the Israeli military seized computers, hard drives and other confidential materials from the offices of the NGO, Defense for Children International-Palestine (DCIP) in Al-Bireh, the four independent UN human rights experts said, calling for the immediate return of the documents and office equipment.

“The indispensable work of Palestinian, Israeli and international civil society organizations has provided a measure of much-needed accountability in documenting and scrutinizing the dispiriting human rights trends in the occupied Palestinian territory”, they said in a statement.

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

“The silencing or hindering of these activities violates the fundamental human rights of expression and association, which Israel has committed itself to uphold through its ratification of the two 1966 International Covenants”, they spelled out, referring to one on Civil and Political Rights and the other on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

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

This figure is higher than the total recorded in all of 2020.

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

“All civilian lives under occupation are protected under international law. This is particularly true for the rights of children”, the experts reminded.

‘Arms’ length’ probes
Against the backdrop of long-standing criticisms over an absence of “transparent and impartial investigations” into apparent violations of Palestinian human rights by the Israeli military, the UN experts called upon the Government of Israel to “work with the international community” to establish an impartial body to conduct “transparent, arm’s length and public investigations” into the deaths.

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

Government comportment
The UN experts called upon the Israeli Government to fully respect the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, which was adopted in 1998 by the UN General Assembly, saying that an occupying power with a true commitment to human rights would “protect and encourage” human rights defenders, and “not ostracize, harass or silence them”.

Moreover, that power would respect the “critical scrutiny” of their work – even if the defenders “excoriated” their conduct.

And if conducting “a long-term military occupation”, the Special Rapporteurs said the occupying power should accept human rights infringement “only as a last measure…in a minimally impairing manner that is subject to meaningful judicial review”.

The Special Rapporteurs who signed onto the stament were Michael Lynk, 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.Clément Nyaletsossi Voule, on rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association; and Mary Lawlor, on the situation of human rights defenders.

They are neither UN staff nor paid for their work.

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Euro-Med Monitor: Sudan Military Coup Shatters Democratic Path, Threatens With Authoritarian Rule Return
The Sudanese army's seizure of power in the country diminishes the hard-won human rights and civil gains achieved after the December 2018 protests, Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor said today in a statement...More>>

Weather: Pacific Likely To Experience Double Dip La Niña Episode

The Pacific is likely to experience a rare occurrence of what is called a double dip La Niña in the coming months, Climate models and predictions tools used by Pacific National Meteorological and Hydrological services (NMHSs) show...

CNS: Will India's 1 Billion Vaccination-dose-milestone Be Catalytic For Vaccinating All?

On 21 October 2021, India crossed its milestone of administering over 1 billion (100 crores) doses within 278 days since it began the vaccination rollout (on 16th January 2021)... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs

Pacific: Young Climate Leaders Call For Urgent Climate Action Ahead Of COP26

Eight Pacific Young Climate Leaders shared their experiences of climate resilience and activism in an inaugural dialogue with the Pacific Islands Forum Secretary General, Mr Henry Puna on 21 October 2021... More>>

UN: With Clock Ticking, Sustainable Transport Key To Global Goals
From electric cars and buses to zero-carbon producing energy sources, new and emerging technologies along with innovative policy changes, are critical for combating climate change. But to be effective, they must ensure that transport strategies benefit everyone, including the poorest... More>>

COP26: 7 Climate Action Highlights To Remember

A September to remember, a pivotal month for climate action commitments. From the United Nations General Assembly week to the final pre-COP meeting, last month was an important time to build momentum... More>>