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Implementation of Human Rights Council resolutions S-9/1 and S-12/1 - Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (A/HRC/34/36) [EN/AR]

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The present ninth periodic report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on the Implementation of Human Rights Council resolutions S-9/1 and S-12/1, including the human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, covers the period from 1 November 2015 to 31 October 2016. It highlights issues of concern in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including excessive use of force, unlawful killings, arbitrary detention and ill-treatment by Israeli authorities, children in detention, the use of collective punishment and the situation of human rights defenders. It also examines issues of concern in relation to the Palestinian authorities, including restrictions and violations of freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, violence against women and the death penalty. The report makes recommendations to the main duty bearers concerned, namely, the Government of Israel, the Government of the State of Palestine and the authorities in Gaza.

I. Introduction

  1. The present ninth periodic report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on the Implementation of Human Rights Council resolutions S-9/1 and S-12/1, including the human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, covers the period from 1 November 2015 to 31 October 2016.

  2. The information contained in the report is drawn largely from human rights monitoring activities conducted by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. The report also reflects information from other United Nations entities and from non-governmental organizations, and should be read in conjunction with other reports of the Secretary-General (A/HRC/34/39; A/HRC/34/38, A/71/355 and A/71/364).

  3. During the reporting period, the upsurge in violence that had begun in the West Bank in September 2015 continued. October 2015 had been a particularly bloody month, but attacks against Israelis and shootings by Israeli Security Forces continued at a high rate during the whole reporting period, particularly from November 2015 to February 2016. Despite relatively lower numbers of violent incidents thereafter, the reporting period witnessed high numbers of Palestinian casualties. According to the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, during the reporting period, 172 Palestinians, including 39 children, were killed and 9,279 injured, including 2,480 children. The highest death toll since the second intifada was recorded in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, with 160 fatalities. Attacks by Palestinians during the reporting period resulted in 24 Israelis killed, including 1 child, and 255 injured, including 17 children.1 Beyond those statistics, there remains an enduring climate of impunity for law enforcement officers and a general lack of accountability.

  4. In Gaza, two years after the escalation of hostilities during the summer of 2014, less than 9 per cent of referred incidents of alleged violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law, including allegations of war crimes, have led to a criminal investigation. Serious concerns persist regarding the lack of investigations and accountability by both Israeli and Palestinian authorities and the lack of civil remedies and compensation to victims.

  5. Those developments occurred against a backdrop of continued occupation by Israel and a lack of unity within the Palestinian Government. As the occupation enters its fiftieth year, and the blockade of Gaza its tenth, there is no solution in sight. As the SecretaryGeneral stated last year, “Palestinian frustration is growing under the weight of a half century of occupation and the paralysis of the peace process”.