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On 28 May, BADIL and the Global Palestinian Refugee Network (GPRN) issued a press release applauding the motion of the Parliament of Ireland to declare Israel’s policies and practices in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) as a de facto The organisations called this “a step towards ending Israeli impunity”.
On 27 May, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) and the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies welcomed the decision of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to establish an ongoing independent, international commission of inquiry to investigate in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in Israel all alleged violations of international humanitarian law and all alleged violations and abuses of international human rights law leading up to and since 13 April 2021, and all underlying root causes of recurrent tensions, instability and protraction of conflict, including systematic discrimination and repression based on national, ethnic, racial or religious identity.
On 22 May, Al Mezan Center For Human Rights issued the press release “Cessation of Israel’s Latest Full-Scale Military Operation on Gaza: Closure must now be Lifted and War Criminals Held Accountable” calling on the international community to put pressure on Israel to provide unhindered access to Gaza and to support the UNHRC in setting up a commission of inquiry into potential crimes committed during the latest violence.
- On 21 May, the European Coordination of Committee and Associations for Palestine (ECCP) informed about the meeting of the Inter-Parliamentary Task Force to Promote Palestinian Human Rights – composed of 23 legislators from 10 countries in Europe and North America. After the meeting, the group issued a statement urging the international community to “acknowledge the reality of the oppression that Palestinians are subjected to across historic Palestine and in exile” and take action against Israel’s actions in the OPT including by holding it accountable.
- On 21 May, J Street announced that it will “press the Biden Administration and Congress to pursue a fundamental reset of US policy, centering on ending the occupation and securing a better future for Israelis and Palestinians.” For J Street, such a reset would need to include a reversal of steps taken by the previous US administration (e.g. re-opening the US consulate in Jerusalem; a commitment to re-opening the PLO mission in Washington and making it clear that the US considers settlement expansion to be illegal under international law); a push for an easing and ultimate end to the closure of Gaza; the imposition of clear transparency requirements and restrictions on the use of US assistance to Israel to ensure that US-sourced military equipment – including equipment bought with US aid – cannot be used by Israel in connection with any acts of creeping annexation or violations of Palestinian rights; and a stop to blocking legitimate, balanced critiques of Israeli actions at the United Nations Security Council and other relevant international bodies.
On 27 May, the UN Human Rights Council adopted a resolution on ensuring respect for international human rights law and international humanitarian law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in Israel, in which it established an international commission of inquiry to investigate violations of international humanitarian law and all alleged violations and abuses of international human rights law leading up to and since 13 April 2021, and all underlying root causes of recurrent tensions. The resolution was adopted at the end of a one-day special session of the Human Rights Council on the “grave human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem”.
On 27 May, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Process Tor Wennesland briefed the Security Council about the situation in the Middle east including the Palestinian question, emphasizing that “[t]hese recent events have made clear once again the costs of perpetual conflict and lost hope.” He stressed the need for the sides to return to the negotiating table, though warning against a “business as usual” approach. “At the end, it is the lack of the proverbial ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ – of a political horizon – after decades of conflict, that kills hope and provides space for those not interested in sustainable peace. ”, he said. “Only through negotiations that end the occupation and create a viable two-State solution, on the basis of UN resolutions, international law and mutual agreements, with Jerusalem as the capital of both States, can we hope to bring a definitive end to these senseless and costly cycles of violence.”
On 27 May, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator of the occupied Palestinian territory, Lynn Hastings, launched an emergency plan to support people affected by the latest escalation and violence in Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Along with UN Secretary-General António Guterres and Under-Secretary-General and Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock, Ms Hastings called on all Member States to contribute generously towards the US$95 million plan, to allow for a swift and full implementation over the next three months.
On 27 May, UNRWA Commissioner General Philippe Lazzarini, in his briefing to the Security Council, highlighted that until there is a political solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, only a strong UNRWA can bring “a sense of normality” into the lives of Palestinians. He underscored the need for reliable and sufficient funding for the Agency’s work in delivering essential services, such as education.
On 20 May, the Chair of the UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People delivered a statement at the General Assembly Meeting on the Situation in the Middle East and Palestine, in which he highlighted that the consequences of the most recent violent confrontation could be dangerous for Israelis and Palestinians as well as for the region. He called for “delivery of much needed medical and humanitarian aid to the affected people in Gaza” and urged international support for UNRWA and other UN agencies. In addition to holding accountable those parties “who fail to respect international humanitarian law – including the fundamental principles of distinction, proportionality, and precaution” concrete and immediate action would also need to be taken to revive the stalled peace process because “[t]he cycles of Israeli-Palestinian violence can only stop with a just political resolution of the conflict addressing all final status issues including Jerusalem and the plight of the Palestine refugees, with an end to the occupation, and the realization of a two-State solution on the basis of the pre-1967 lines, in accordance with UN resolutions, international law, and mutual agreements.”
This newsletter informs about recent and upcoming activities of Civil Society Organizations affiliated with the United Nations Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. The Committee and the Division for Palestinian Rights of the UN Secretariat provide the information “as is” without warranty of any kind, and do not accept any responsibility or liability for the accuracy, or reliability of the information contained in the websites linked in the newsletter.