Bachelet describes ‘disastrous’ human rights situation across Occupied Palestinian Territory 

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“This intelligibly besides has damaging interaction connected prospects for bid and sustainable improvement for Israel, arsenic good arsenic the surrounding region”, she argued.  

Ms. Bachelet was briefing the UN Committee connected the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, successful Geneva.  

She argued that, “no substance however agelong the roadworthy has been, ‘never-ending’ cannot beryllium an acceptable statement for immoderate concern successful which quality rights are violated and abused.” 

“Only an extremity to the concern tin bring astir lasting bid and found the conditions successful which the quality rights of each tin beryllium afloat respected”, she added.  

Michelle Bachelet, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (photo from 26 September 2018)

Michelle Bachelet, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (photo from 26 September 2018), by UN Photo/Laura Jarriel

Situation in Gaza 

In May of this year, there was the astir important escalation successful hostilities since 2014, resulting successful the killing of 261 Palestinians including 67 children. The High Commissioner Office (OHCHR) determined that 130 of those killed were civilians. 

At the time, the Human Rights Council decided to found an independent, planetary committee of inquiry. Its archetypal report should beryllium presented in June of adjacent year. 

For Ms. Bachelet, the radical of Gaza besides proceed to endure from a 15-year land, oversea and aerial blockade implemented by Israel, with captious infrastructure crumbling and a decaying sewer system.  

“Severe question restrictions and obstructions to people's entree to indispensable goods and services, including specialised healthcare, make immense suffering”, she said.  

She besides noted that reconstruction and betterment efforts are ongoing, the fragile cessation of hostilities continues to hold, and some goods person been gradually allowed to participate Gaza. 

Humanitarian conditions, however, “remain profoundly concerning.” 

Civic freedoms 

On 19 October, Israel designated six Palestinian civilian nine organizations arsenic "terrorist organizations" nether Israel's Counter-Terrorism Law of 2016. 

On 7 November, they were besides declared unlawful successful the occupied territory nether the Emergency (Defence) Regulations of 1945. 

According to Ms. Bachelet, these decisions “appear to person been based connected vague oregon unsubstantiated reasons, including claims related to morganatic and wholly peaceful quality rights activities.” 

All six organisations person worked with the planetary community, including the UN, for decades. 

For the High Commissioner, claims of links to coercion are “extremely serious”, but “without capable substantive evidence, these decisions look arbitrary, and further erode the civic and humanitarian abstraction successful the occupied Palestinian territory.” 

“They tin truthful legitimately beryllium viewed arsenic an onslaught connected quality rights defenders, connected the rights to freedoms of association, sentiment and expression, and connected the close to nationalist participation”, she argued.  

Since June 2021, OHCHR has also documented cases of assaults of journalists and quality rights defenders, arsenic good arsenic intimidation, gender-based unit and harassment, excessive usage of force, arbitrary arrests and censorship.  

Killings and injuries  

Palestinian children look   retired  from their location   model   astatine  destroyed buildings successful  their neighbourhood successful  the Gaza City.

Palestinian children look retired from their location model astatine destroyed buildings successful their neighbourhood successful the Gaza City., by © UNICEF/Eyad El Baba

Ms. Bachelet told the Committee that her concerns “continue to deepen astir the numerous killings and injuries” of Palestinians by Israeli forces, as good as, increasingly, by equipped settlers. 

She is particularly alarmed astatine recurring incidents of excessive usage of unit starring to the decease and wounded of Palestinian children. This year, Israeli forces person killed 16 children successful the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. 

Calling for investigations and accountability, she noted that “the chronic impunity” has been repeatedly raised successful reports by the Secretary-General and herself. 

She said that settler-related violence against Palestinians, stood present at “alarmingly precocious levels”. 

In the past year, determination person been 490 incidents resulting successful deaths, wounded and/or important spot damage, the highest incidence of settler unit ever recorded by the United Nations. Currently, it represents an mean of astir 1 incidental of settler unit each day. 

Children the astir affected 

For the High Commissioner, children continued to endure disproportionate impact from the recurring cycles of subject escalation and associated deprivation. 

Reports by UN partners bespeak that 75 per cent of each children successful Gaza are successful request of mental wellness and psycho-social support, arsenic good arsenic different services. 

Currently, 160 Palestinian children are detained by Israel, immoderate of them without charge, nether administrative detention regulations. 

Under planetary law, administrative detention is permitted lone successful exceptional circumstances. For Ms. Bachelet, “this is not the lawsuit successful the Occupied Palestinian Territory today.” 

She concluded saying that her Office (OHCHR) also continues to receive “disturbing” reports of the ill-treatment of children during their arrest, transfer, interrogation and detention by Israeli authorities. 

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