On 28 March, the Human Rights Council (HRC) adopted all four resolutions relating to Palestine submitted under Item 7, with 46 States voting in favour and only the United States against. The resolutions included stronger references to international law, allowing for increased opportunities to hold both Israel and private businesses operating in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) to account. However, all actors must seek to ensure that resolutions on the situation in the OPT are founded upon the principles of international law. In particular, although the resolutions put forward this year are an improvement over those presented in previous sessions, certain elements were removed such as references to racial discrimination, third state responsibility, and peremptory norms of international law.
During the HRC session, the Palestinian Human Rights Organisations Council (PHROC) submitted a written statement to the HRC under Item 7. The statement called upon the HRC not to tolerate the culture of impunity associated with Israel’s unlawful conduct in the OPT and for States to use the HRC to address Israel's violations in a serious manner and with the necessary urgency.
On 27 March, the HRC adopted the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) outcome of Israel. Israel’s UPR was held on 29 October 2013, having been re-scheduled from January 2013, when Israel failed to engage in its review process. Al-Haq delivered an oral statement under Item 6, during the adoption of Israel’s UPR outcome, recalling that Israel has avoided any repercussions both for its refusal to participate in the first officially set date for its Universal Periodic Review (UPR) and for its ambiguity about its participation in the re-scheduled review. Al-Haq noted its deep concern regarding indications that Israel has been given concessions in return for its renewed cooperation with UN mechanisms.
In addition, on 24 March, Al-Haq delivered two oral statements under Item 7. The first was given during the General Debate and reiterated the importance of Item 7 as a vital forum for realising Israeli accountability. As such, Al-Haq stated its disappointment that the European Union (EU) did not to participate in the General Debate under Item 7 and indeed refrained from doing so during the 23rd and 24th sessions of the HRC as well.
A second oral statement was given under the Interactive Dialogue during Item 7. This statement thanked the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of Human Rights in the Palestinian Territories occupied since 1967, Richard Falk, for fulfilling his mandate in an extraordinary manner. It highlighted his focus on Business and Human Rights in his most recent reports, and called upon states to adopt and implement domestic legislation aimed to prevent and punish companies involved in violations of international law.
Finally, Al-Haq participated in a side event organised by BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency Rights on 24 March in which Richard Falk was thanked for his work during his time as Special Rapporteur.