|PCHR submit alternative report to the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights highlighting Israel’s violations of international law in the oPt|
|Written by PCHR|
|Monday, 01 November 2010 00:00|
From 22 – 26 November 2010, the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights will examine several States Parties’ reports concerning implementation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR). Of particular concern are the measures “adopted and the progress made in achieving the observance” and fulfilment of the entire spectrum of economic, social and cultural rights.
During this session, the Committee will examine
Israel’s third periodic report; this report covers the intervening nine years
since Israel’s last report, submitted in October
From a human rights perspective, these nine years have arguably been the worst in the history of the occupation. For example, extensive closures have been imposed on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip; house demolitions, settlements, and the illegal annexation of land have increased; and civilians have been subject to numerous military offensives resulting in widespread death, injury and destruction. During Israel’s 27 December 2008 – 18 January 2009 offensive on the Gaza Strip, public and private infrastructure was extensively and deliberately targeted and attacked, destroying the economic and social infrastructure. As a result of the ongoing illegal closure, the people of Gaza have not been allowed to rebuild and recover. This offensive highlighted Israel’s longstanding and systematic violations of international law throughout the oPt, and the devastating consequences for Palestinian civilians.
The ongoing illegal closure of the Gaza Strip, termed ‘economic warfare’ by Israeli forces, constitutes the collective punishment of the civilian population. As noted in the submitted report, the closure makes the achievement of, inter alia, even the most basic ICESCR rights impossible, and must be immediately lifted. PCHR affirms that the international community must take immediate action to lift the closure, and avoid the risk that it becomes institutionalised.
Israel’s belligerent occupation of the oPt, and the illegal policies of the occupation, have resulted in chronic economic de-development, and socio-cultural strangulation. This has resulted in a human-made, and completely preventable, humanitarian situation, where civilians are reduced to dependency on food and developmental aid, as their fundamental human rights, including the right to self-determination, continue to be illegally denied.
It is imperative that the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights highlight Israel’s illegal practices, and take all possible measures to ensure Israel’s compliance with international law. The individual member States of the international community, must also immediately fulfil their obligation to ensure respect for international law vis-a-vis Israel’s actions in the oPt.
The report submitted by PCHR is available here.
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