الثلاثاء - 07 كانون الأول 2021
بيروت 23 °

إعلان

Seven Key Human Rights and Justice Issues Affecting Palestinians Today

المصدر: النهار - Dr Shannon Maree Torrens - international and human rights lawyer - Sydney - Australia
The movement of Palestinians is heavily restricted in the OPT
The movement of Palestinians is heavily restricted in the OPT
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Sunday 29 November was the UN International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. As we consider the key developments that are impacting the lives, futures and self-determination of Palestinians, the following are 7 key human rights and justice issues affecting them today.
1. “Peace” deals
The US-Israel Middle East Peace Plan that was announced at the start of this year did not include Palestinians, nor have Israel’s more recent “peace deals” with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. Palestinians should be involved in any discussions and "peace" deals that affect them and it is also pragmatic for Israel to involve Palestinians in their vision for peace in the region as there will be no peace without Palestinian involvement and engagement in the peace process.
2. Annexation of the West Bank
Netanyahu has repeatedly signalled that he intends to annex 30% of the West Bank which is in violation of international law. These plans drew international condemnation and annexation was halted amidst the Arab normalisation deals but is still a possibility going forward. Annexation would result in the exacerbation of human rights violations that are being committed against Palestinians, including preventing access to key agricultural lands in the Jordan Valley which is concerning.
3. War Crimes
There is currently a preliminary examination into war crimes committed in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague. Israel is not a state party to the Rome Statute which created the International Criminal Court, however the ICC still has jurisdiction because the State of Palestine, where the crimes were committed is a state party. The ICC is investigating war crimes committed from the 2014 Gaza conflict onwards as well as West Bank settlements as noted below.
4. West Bank settlements
The demolition of Palestinian homes in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem and the building of settlements which are illegal under international law has continued throughout the pandemic. There are 140 Israeli settlements and 600,000 Jewish settlers in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, which are deemed to be illegal by the UN Security Council. Palestinians are discriminated against in favour of settlers and Israel restricts Palestinian access to basic services.
5. Human rights abuses
Human rights violations continue in the OPT in opposition to a number of international human rights treaties and also international humanitarian law including arbitrary arrests and detention, torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. The rights of children as outlined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child are undermined in the OPT, in particular in Gaza where children do not have a childhood and are subjected to violence from a young age. Lethal force is used by Israeli forces against protesters and there is prolonged detention without charge or trial.
6. Freedom of movement
The movement of Palestinians is heavily restricted in the OPT. It is particularly difficult for those living in Gaza to exit and enter the enclave for any reason due to the blockade. It is even difficult for Gazans to exit to the West Bank including East Jerusalem. There are restrictions and bans on the movement of goods into and out of the Gaza Strip which includes medical equipment and other essential items. There are also restrictions on Palestinians living in the West Bank where they must navigate check points.
7. Health care
Health is a key concern for the entire planet this year, but it is particularly important to those living in the OPT. The health care situation in Gaza is not able to respond to need, as health infrastructure is damaged. For the sick, it is difficult for them to easily access external health care in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. With limited electricity, health care is also jeopardised which is a violation of the right to health and Israel’s obligations under international humanitarian law as the occupying power.
These are just a selection of numerous infringements of human rights and justice that impact the lives and future of Palestinians and must become a priority going forward in engaging with Palestinian equality and their right to live with dignity - like all people. And of course the issue of occupation underlies all of these issues and must end.

 

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