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Human Rights Council's 28th Session: Palestinian Civil Society Organisations Call on all Member States of the Council to fully engage in Agenda Item 7

Friday, 27 March 2015 17:09
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united-nations-bannerToday, 27 March, the Human Rights Council adopted three resolutions concerning the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) with a large majority of the Council member states voting in favour. The EU unanimously supported the resolutions following negotiations with the Palestinian mission in Geneva. Significantly, the resolutions including language pertaining to the current situation in the OPT, particularly addressing business involvement in the OPT and its impact on the principle of sovereignty over natural resources. In its explanation of vote, the EU issued an unprecedented call on Israel to allow the 2014 Commission of Inquiry into Gaza access to the OPT. The Commission was expected to give its report during the March session, however it is now delayed until June 2015.

The adoption of the resolutions came after a two-week mission to Geneva by Palestinian civil society organisations, including Al-Haq. Prior to the session's commencement, Al-Haq provided a written submission to the Council on Israel's excessive use of force against Palestinian civilians in the OPT. The submission also highlighted the continued growth of Israel's settlement enterprise during 2014 and how Israel's confiscation of land served to exploit Palestinian natural resources in Area C.

On 23 March, Al-Haq delivered an oral statement on Israeli violations of international human rights law, and the need for member state action on these violations, including their full participation in Agenda Item 7.  Al-Haq also joined Adalah and Defence for Children International - Palestine Section in oral statements delivered during the interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories Makarim Wibisono.

Al-Haq's advocacy activities in Geneva included meetings with the High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Al-Hussein, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories Makarim Wibisono, as well as representatives from member states. Al-Haq was part of a coalition of Palestinian NGOs that, during the meetings, stressed the urgency of the situation in the OPT and the broad effect of the Israeli occupation on Palestinian human rights. The Palestinian organisations also emphasized the importance of participating in Agenda Item 7 in the Human Rights Council - a necessary platform to address Israel's unique and prolonged occupation of the OPT.

Al-Haq also participated in the side event "Palestine and the Human Rights Council: The Way Forward". The event brought together a diverse panel of Palestinian organizations, where Al-Haq focused on the issue of Israel's exploitation of Palestinian natural resources as a driving force of the occupation.

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