Situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967**
Note by the Secretary-General
The Secretary-General has the honour to transmit to the General Assembly the report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, S. Michael Lynk, submitted in accordance with Human Rights Council resolution 5/1
The Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, S. Michael Lynk, submits his second report to the General Assembly. The report is based primarily on information provided by victims, witnesses, civil society representatives, United Nations representatives and Palestinian officials in Amman, Jordan, in connection with the mission of the Special Rapporteur to the region in June 2018. The report addresses a number of concerns pertaining to the situation of human rights in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and in Gaza.
The present report provides a brief overview of the most pressing human rights concerns in the Occupied Palestinian Territory at the time of submission, as identified by the Rapporteur in conversations and meetings with civil society. The report then presents a detailed analysis of the question of annexation, examining the relevant legal frameworks as well as the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory – in particular the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.
The Special Rapporteur would like to once again highlight that despite his requests, he has not yet been granted access to the Occupied Palestinian Territory by Israel. The Special Rapporteur most recently requested access to the Occupied Palestinian Territory on 24 April 2018. As of the writing of this report, no reply had been received from the Government of Israel. The Special Rapporteur emphasizes once again his view that an open dialogue among all parties is essential for the protection and promotion of human rights, and reminds Israel that he is ready and willing to engage. In addition, the Rapporteur continues to highlight that access to the Occupied Palestinian Territory would play a key role in understanding the fundamental realities of the human rights situation in the territory. Israel’s pattern of non-cooperation with the mandate is a serious concern and contrary to its obligations as a member state of the United Nations.
The report is based primarily on written submissions as well as consultations with civil society representatives, victims, witnesses, Palestinian government officials, and United Nations representatives held in Amman, Jordan during the Special Rapporteur’s annual mission to the region in June 2018. The Special Rapporteur would like to note that several groups were unable to travel to Amman to meet with him due to travel restrictions imposed by the Israeli authorities. This was particularly the case with individuals coming from Gaza, and all individuals and organizations based in Gaza were consulted by videoconference as a result.
In the present report, the Special Rapporteur focuses on Israel’s obligations under international human rights law and international humanitarian law, as set out in the mandate. The Rapporteur emphasizes that these obligations are by no means limited to Israel, and calls upon all actors to ensure respect for international human rights law and international humanitarian law, in accordance with their obligations, noting that violations of these bodies of law by any actor are deplorable and will only hinder the prospects for peace.
The Special Rapporteur wishes to express his appreciation for the full cooperation with his mandate extended by the Government of the State of Palestine. The Special Rapporteur also wishes to extend his thanks to all those who travelled to Amman to meet with him, and to those who were unable to travel but made written or oral submissions. The Rapporteur further extends his thanks once again to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan for its support and for the opportunity to hold meetings in Amman.
The Special Rapporteur emphasizes once again his admiration and support for the vital work being done by Palestinian, Israeli, and international human rights organizations. This work is indispensable not only to the Rapporteur as he seeks to fulfill his mandate, but to the broader international community. The efforts of human rights organizations to ensure that accurate and complete information about the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory is readily available should not go unacknowledged. As highlighted in the Rapporteur’s report to the Human Rights Council in March 2017 (A/HRC/34/70), these organizations often face significant obstacles in carrying out their work, and the Rapporteur notes that these obstacles have only increased and intensified in the intervening years. The Rapporteur calls upon the international community to ensure that the rights of those undertaking this difficult and, in some cases, perilous work are respected and protected, and that any attempts to delegitimize or otherwise discredit the work of these organizations is to be condemned.