Human Rights Council
25 February–22 March 2019
Agenda item 7
Human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories
Note by the Secretariat
The Secretariat has the honour to transmit to the Human Rights Council the report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, submitted pursuant to Commission on Human Rights resolution 1993/2 A and Human Rights Council resolution 5/1. In it, the Special Rapporteur examines the current human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, with a particular emphasis on access to natural resources and environmental degradation.
1. The present report is submitted by the current Special Rapporteur to the Human Rights Council pursuant to Commission on Human Rights resolution 1993/2 A and Human Rights Council resolution 5/1.
2. The Special Rapporteur would like to draw attention once again to the fact that he has not been granted access to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, nor have his requests to meet with the Permanent Representative of Israel to the United Nations been accepted. The Special Rapporteur re-emphasizes that an open dialogue with all parties is an essential element of his work in support of the protection and promotion of human rights. He further notes that access to the Occupied Palestinian Territory is a key element in the development of a comprehensive understanding of the human rights situation on the ground. While he does wish to recognize the exemplary work of experienced and competent civil society organizations, which provides an excellent basis for his work, he laments the lack of opportunity to meet with many of these groups due both to his exclusion from the territory and to the barriers many individuals face should they seek exit permits from the Israeli authorities, particularly from Gaza.
3. The present report is based primarily on written submissions and consultations with civil society representatives, victims, witnesses and United Nations representatives. The Special Rapporteur undertook his annual mission to the region from 25-29 June 2018, when he travelled to Amman, Jordan.
4. In the present report, the Special Rapporteur focuses on the human rights and humanitarian law violations committed by Israel, in accordance with his mandate.1 The mandate of the Special Rapporteur focuses on the responsibilities of the occupying Power, although he notes that human rights violations by any State or non-State actor are deplorable and only hinder the prospects for peace.
5. 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 further acknowledges the essential work of civil society organizations and human rights defenders to create an environment in which human rights are respected and violations of human rights and international humanitarian law are not committed with impunity and without witnesses.
6. The present report is set out in two parts. First, it provides an overview of the current human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. This discussion, while not exhaustive, aims to highlight those human rights concerns the Special Rapporteur has identified as particularly pressing. In the second part of the report, the Special Rapporteur examines access to natural resources and environmental degradation in the OPT.