45th Regular Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council

Item 7 – Human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories

Joint Oral Intervention

Date: 30 September 2020

Speaker: Mrs. Nuriya Oswald, Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights

Israel has aggressively pursued a policy of silencing those who seek justice and accountability for violations committed against the Palestinian people, as a tool to maintain its apartheid regime. The targeting of individual human rights defenders has been integral to Israel’s numerous attempts to shrink civil society space. At a time when Israeli impunity lingers, Palestinian human rights defenders have endured death threats, arbitrary arrests, travel bans, residency revocation, and deportation, as well as other intimidating tactics that aim to oppress, dominate and delegitimise them.

Earlier this month, Salah Hammouri, a 35-year-old Palestinian-French human rights defender and lawyer with Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, was officially notified of the intention to revoke his permanent Jerusalem residency for so-called ‘breach of allegiance’ to the State of Israel. Previously, Israel banned Salah from the West Bank for almost 16 months and deported his wife, Elsa Lefort, a French national, separating Salah from his wife and son.

Israel illegally applies its domestic Entry into Israel Law to the protected Palestinian population in occupied East Jerusalem, revoking permeant residencies, as a measure of direct forcible transfer, in violation of Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, to establish an Israeli Jewish majority in the city.

Forcing Palestinian allegiance to Israel, the Occupying Power, further breaches Article 45 of the Hague Regulations which states that “it is forbidden to compel the inhabitants of occupied territory to swear allegiance to the hostile Power”.

By silencing Palestinian civil society, Israel maintains its repressive and prolonged 53-year military occupation, while rapidly expanding its colonisation and annexation of occupied Palestinian territory, and denying the Palestinian people their inalienable right to self-determination. We call on the international community to take immediate action to protect Palestinian human right defenders and to hold Israel accountable.

Watch the video statement at the UN TV here.

Signatories:

1. 7amleh – The Arab Centre for the Advancement of Social Media

2. Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association

3. Adil Soz

4. Agir Ensemble pour les Droits de l’Homme

5. Al Mezan Center for Human Rights

6. Al-Haq, Law in the Service of Man

7. Al-Marsad – Arab Human Rights Centre in Golan Heights

8. Association des universitaires pour le respect du droit international en Palestine (AURDIP)

9. Association France Palestine Solidarité (AFPS)

10. Association pour les jumelages entre camps de réfugiés palestiniens et villes françaises (AJPF)

11. Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS)

12. Cartoonists Rights Network International (CRNI)

13. Chrétiens de la Méditerranée

14. Cimade

15. CIVICUS

16. CNCD-11.11.11

17. Collectif Faty Koumba : association des libertés, droits de l’homme et non-violence

18. Collectif interuniversitaire pour la Coopération avec les Universités Palestiniennes (CICUP)

19. Collectif judéo-arabe et citoyen pour la Palestine (CJACP – Strasbourg)

20. Collectif Paix Palestine Israël – Saint Denis

21. Comité de vigilance pour un paix réelle au Proche-Orient (CVPR PO)

22. Community Action Center (Al-Quds University)

23. Defense for Children International – Palestine

24. Femmes en Noir

25. Forum Palestine Citoyenneté

26. Free Media Movement

27. Globe International Center

28. Habitat International Coalition

29. Human Rights and Democracy Media Center “SHAMS”

30. The Center for Defense of Liberties and Civil Rights “Hurryyat”

31. Index on Censorship

32. Initiative for Freedom of Expression – Turkey (IFoX)

33. International Press Centre (IPC)

34. International Service for Human Rights (ISHR)

35. La Courneuve Palestine

36. Ligue des droits de l’Homme (LDH)

37. Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA)

38. Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA)

39. Mouvement contre le Racisme et pour l’Amitié entre les Peuples (MRAP)

40. Mouvement de la paix

41. Mouvement international de la réconciliation (MIR)

42. Pacific Islands News Association (PINA)

43. Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

44. Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR)

45. Palestinian Human Rights Organizations Council (PHROC)

46. Palestinian Non-Governmental Organizations Network (PNGO)

47. Plateforme des ONG Françaises pour la Palestine

48. Pour Jérusalem

49. Ramallah Center for Human Rights Studies

50. Réseau Euromed France

51. Social Media Exchange (SMEX)

52. Une Autre Voix Juive

53. Union Juive Française pour la Paix (UJFP)

54. Visualizing Impact

55. Women’s Centre for Legal Aid and Counselling (WCLAC)

56. World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC)