Agenda item 70 (c)
Promotion and protection of human rights: human rights situations and reports of special rapporteurs and representatives
The Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, Michael Lynk, hereby submits his fourth 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, in connection with the mission of the Special Rapporteur to the region in July 2019. 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 Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967 in conversations and meetings with civil society. The report then presents a detailed analysis of accountability, impunity and the responsibility of the international community to bring an end to the occupation of the Occupied Palestinian Territory and other Israeli practices amounting to violations of international humanitarian and human rights law.
The Special Rapporteur would like once again to highlight that, despite his requests, he has not yet been granted access to the Occupied Palestinian Territory by Israel. He most recently requested access to the Occupied Palestinian Territory on 20 May 2019. At the time of writing the present report, no reply had been received. 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. The pattern by Israel of non-cooperation with the mandate is a serious concern. A full and comprehensive understanding of the situation on the basis of first-hand access would be extremely beneficial to the work of the Special Rapporteur.
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 during the Special Rapporteur’s annual mission to the region, in July 2019. The Special Rapporteur would like to note that several groups were unable to travel to Amman to meet with him owing to travel restrictions imposed by the Israeli authorities. All individuals and organizations based in Gaza were consulted by video conference as a result.
In the report, the Special Rapporteur focuses on the obligations of third parties under international human rights law and international humanitarian law, as set out in the mandate. He calls upon all actors to ensure respect for international human rights law and international humanitarian law, noting that violations of those bodies of law by any actor are deplorable and will only hinder the prospects for peace.
The Special Rapporteur wishes to express his appreciation to the Government of the State of Palestine for its full cooperation with his mandate. He 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. He further extends his thanks once again to Jordan for its support and for the opportunity to hold meetings in Amman.
The Special Rapporteur emphasizes again his 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 fulfil his mandate, but also to the broader international community. He recalls that these organizations often face significant obstacles in carrying out their work, and notes that such obstacles have only increased and intensified in the past year. He calls upon the international community to safeguard the rights of human rights organizations and to scrutinize and oppose any attempts to delegitimize or discredit their work.