On 12-13 February 2015, the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies co-organized a delegation of human rights and humanitarian organizations working on Palestine in Geneva in preparation for the 28th Session of the Human Rights Council (HRC).
Organizations in the delegation consisted of Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP), Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights (LPHR), Adalah Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, and BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights. The work of the coalition in Geneva builds on advocacy that took place in Brussels in coordination with the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network.
The upcoming session of the Council marks a critical session for the promotion and protection of Palestinian human rights. On the 23rd of March, the UN Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into violations of international humanitarian and human rights law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory since 13 June 2014 will be presenting its report, including findings and recommendations regarding Israel’s military bombardment in Gaza codenamed by Israel, “Protective Edge,” that killed 2,216 Palestinians, among them 556 children.
The delegation stressed that the Council must take immediate action in order to end impunity for the grave violations of international human rights and humanitarian law that continue to be perpetrated against Palestinians living in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.
Further, the delegation highlighted the Israeli government’s deeply entrenched legal and institutional discrimination and dehumanization of all Palestinians regardless of where they reside. This includes Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, Occupied East Jerusalem, within Israel, and Palestinian refugees outside of Palestine.
The delegation presented reports on various human rights abuses facing Palestinians to the CoI. Reports by Al Mezan, LPHR, and MAP provided information on the findings of Al Mezan’s monitoring and documentation of Israeli attacks and destruction of civilian homes and medical infrastructure in Gaza. The attacks on civilian homes resulted in the killing of 955 civilians in their homes as well as the complete destruction or severe damage of approximately 18,000 homes. The attacks on medical infrastructure led to the loss of life and injury of medical personnel and civilians.
Badil’s report submitted to the CoI focused on the issue of forced displacement and the crime of forcible transfer. The report identifies the ways in which forced displacement and forcible transfer are inseparably linked to the access and/ or denial of fundamental human rights such as the right to life, health, adequate housing, sustenance, freedom of movement, and freedom from discrimination. As result of “Protective Edge,” Badil documented that at the peak of the conflict, half a million Palestinians were internally displaced in Gaza. Recent documentation states that over 100,000 still remain displaced.
A report presented by Adalah provided analysis of Israel’s current national investigatory mechanism of the recent military operation. The report’s findings demonstrate that Israeli investigatory mechanisms have failed to adhere to international law, are inherently discriminatory against Palestinians, and do not provide effective accountability or remedy for Palestinian victims of grave violations of international law.
CIHRS will also be assisting in the coordination of a delegation of Palestinian civil society organizations that will be in Geneva for the 28th session of the Council.
To see the comprehensive list of demands made by CIHRS and Palestinian organizations please see the joint written intervention submitted to the 28th session of the UN Human Rights Council please go to http://www.cihrs.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/1.pdf
To see reports submitted to the Council’s Commission of Inquiry by the Civic Coalition for Palestinian Rights in Jerusalem please go to
To see reports submitted to the Council’s Commission of Inquiry by Al Mezan, LPHR, and MAP please go to http://www.cihrs.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/3.pdf
To see reports submitted to the Council’s Commission of Inquiry by Al Mezan and LPHR please go to http://www.cihrs.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/4.pdf
To see reports submitted to the Council’s Commission of Inquiry by Adalah please go to http://www.cihrs.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/5.pdf
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