[News] Palestinian Civil Society Organisations Welcome the Report of the Special Rapporteur addressing Israel’s Collective Punishment Policy

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Mon Jul 20 17:15:08 EDT 2020

Civil Society Organisations Welcome the Report of the Special Rapporteur
addressing Israel’s Collective Punishment Policy
July 20, 2020

On 16 July 2020, Professor Michael Lynk, the United Nations (UN) Special
Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories
occupied since 1967, introduced his annual report
to the 44th Regular Session
of the UN Human Rights Council, addressing Israel’s illegal policies and
practices of collective punishment targeting the Palestinian people.
Emphasizing Israel’s failure to uphold its legal obligations under
international law, the Special Rapporteur considered Israel’s reliance on
collective punishment as a “prominent instrument in its coercive toolbox of
population control.” Professor Lynk further called on Israel, the Occupying
Power, to “end all measures amounting to collective punishment, including
an end to the closure of Gaza, all restrictions on freedom of movement
across the Occupied Palestinian Territory, the punitive demolitions of
homes, the punitive residency revocations, the cutting of benefits, the
punitive closures of towns and all delays in returning bodies for burial.”

Our organisations welcome the Special Rapporteur’s recent report to the
Human Rights Council, as it examines one of Israel’s well-worn policies of
imposing unlawful collective punishment measures as a tool of repression,
control, and domination over the Palestinian people to maintain its
settler-colonial and apartheid regime. The report, which provided extensive
legal analysis on Israel’s policy, provides further recognition of the
illegality of collective punishment targeting Palestinians. The report
shows how Israel continues to legitimize the illegitimate, with unlawful
collective punishment measures, such as punitive house demolitions and the
withholding of Palestinians’ bodies having been greenlighted by Israeli

In concluding his report to the Council, Professor Lynk stresses that
collective punishment is prohibited under international law in all
circumstances. He maintains that: “like torture, there are no permissible
exceptions to the use of collective punishment in law. And, like torture,
the use of collective punishment flouts law and morality, dignity and
justice, and stains all those who practice it.” Accordingly, the Special
Rapporteur presented a list of recommendations to the Human Rights Council,
calling on Israel, the Occupying Power, to end its 53-year-old occupation
of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip, in
compliance with international law. He further urged the international
community to “take all measures, including countermeasures and sanctions,
necessary to ensure the respect by Israel of its duty under international
law to end the occupation.”

The international community has repeatedly condemned Israel’s illegal
policy of collective punishment against Palestinians. Yet, the
international response has rarely risen above the level of verbal
condemnation. The Special Rapporteur, former UN Secretary Generals, UN High
Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, UN treaty bodies, and the
International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) have all called on Israel,
as Occupying Power, to put an end to all measures amounting to unlawful
collective punishment. During the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Israel
in 2018, several UN Member States, including Germany, Namibia, and
Malaysia, called on Israel, the Occupying Power, to put an end to illegal
collective punishment.

As Palestinians continue to endure widespread and systematic human rights
violations committed with total impunity, our organisations urge
international justice and accountability for suspected crimes committed
against the Palestinian people, including at the International Criminal
Court. Our organisations further call on Third States to adopt effective
measures to put an end to Israel’s illegal and inhumane policies of
collective punishment, including sanctions and countermeasures, to bring
the illegal situation to an end.

*Joining organisations**:*

*Palestinian Human Rights Organizations Council (PHROC), comprising:*

   1. Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association
   2. Al Mezan Center for Human Rights
   3. Al-Haq – Law in the Service of Man
   4. Aldameer Association for Human Rights
   5. Defense for Children International (DCI) – Palestine
   6. Hurryyat – Center for Defense of Liberties and Civil Rights
   7. Jerusalem Legal Aid and Human Rights Center (JLAC)
   8. Muwatin Institute for Democracy and Human Rights – Observer
   9. Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR)
   10. Ramallah Center for Human Rights Studies (RCHRS)
   11. The Independent Commission for Human Rights (Ombudsman Office) –

*Palestinian Non-Governmental Organizations Network (PNGO), including:*

   1. Al-Montada Cultural Forum Center
   2. Alrowwad Cultural and Arts Society
   3. An-Najda Society for the Development of Palestinian Women
   4. Applied Research Institute-Jerusalem (ARIJ)
   5. Arab Agronomists Association (AAA)
   6. Arab Center for Agricultural Development (ACAD)
   7. Early Childhood Resource Center (ECRC)
   8. General Union of Palestinian Engineers
   9. Human Rights and Democracy Center – SHAMS
   10. MA’AN Development Center
   11. MUSAWA – The Palestinian Center for the Independence of the
   Judiciary and the Legal Profession
   12. Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms – MADA
   13. Palestinian Counseling Center (PCC)
   14. Women’s Studies Centre (WSC)
   15. Women’s Centre for Legal Aid and Counselling (WCLAC)
   16. Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) – Palestine
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