Jeddah, 25th April 2019: The OIC Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC) expressed grave concern towards the deteriorating human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT), as a result of the violations committed by the Israeli occupation forces and authorities, and underlined the importance and urgency of ending the Israeli occupation of Palestine, which is the root cause of all systematic violations against basic human rights and freedoms of Palestinians, including the fundamental rights to life, worship and freedom of movement.
During its 15th Regular Session (21-25 April 2019), IPHRC extensively deliberated on the recent developments concerning the human rights situation in the OPT and expressed grave concern on the range of violations committed by Israel, the Occupying Power, against innocent Palestinians. While the Israeli settlement and Judaization policy in the OPT, including in Occupied East Jerusalem, continues unabated, the arbitrary and excessive use of force against peaceful protests, both in the West Bank and in the besieged Gaza strip, led to dozens of killings and hundreds of wounded. IPHRC holds Israel, the occupying power, solely responsible for the deteriorating situation of human rights of the civilian population throughout the OPT, including through various systemic policies of home demolitions and discrimination against Palestinians in various forms and all aspects of their livelihood. The Commission stressed that the recent indiscriminate targeting of civilians in Gaza, through airstrikes by Israeli occupation forces, constitutes war crimes and crimes against humanity, which cannot be justified under any circumstances or reasons.
The Commission also dwelt on and condemned the unprecedented discriminatory laws introduced by Israel against Palestinians, including the segregationist “Nationality Law”, that regulate Judaization of Palestinian lands, legitimizes demolition of Palestinian houses, allows for stripping off their residency cards in Jerusalem, and restricts their ability to access their lands and private properties. This comes in addition to the repetitive human rights abuses and violations; an Israeli norm against Palestinians, such as the use of excessive and unjustified force against civilians, regular physical and psychological abuse of Palestinians at military checkpoints, and depriving the Palestinian prisoners of their basic human rights in Israeli prisons and detention centers.
The Commission stressed the identity of Al-Aqsa Mosque as a uniquely Islamic holy site and recalled all the UNESCO decisions relating to the status of the Old City of Al-Quds and its Walls, which do not recognize any Israeli sovereignty over Al-Quds. Furthermore, it squarely condemned any action that restricts the right and freedom of worship in Al Aqsa mosque, or that may lead to any change on the legal, and cultural status of the Al-Quds, including the excavations being carried out by Israel in the occupied city; and declares the illegality of any changes caused by the Israeli occupation in the Old City of Al-Quds and its environs.
While regretting the failure of the international community to address the well-known Israeli violations of basic human rights of the Palestinian people, the Commission stressed the need to investigate those grave human rights abuses by relevant international mechanisms, with a view to hold Israel accountable for violations of international human rights and humanitarian laws.
IPHRC called upon all UN Member States to join the fair and legitimate ongoing movement of boycott, divestment and sanctioning of products from Israeli settlements. It also urged OIC Member States to continue to build a unified front to promote the legitimate cause of the Palestinian people and to take concrete measures in line with the OIC resolutions to provide political, economic, humanitarian and diplomatic support, at all levels, to the Palestinian people in their struggle to exercise their inalienable right to self-determination. The Commission reiterated its support for the Palestinian people to establish their independent, viable and contiguous state, with Al-Quds Al-Shareef as its capital, including the right to return to their homes and regain their properties, as stipulated in various UN resolutions, and guaranteed by international law.
Expressing its dismay over the inability of the UN Security Council to end the decades-long Israeli occupation of Palestine, which is the root cause of all human rights violations against the Palestinian people, urged the international community to intensify its efforts at all levels to facilitate a comprehensive and just solution, in accordance with the relevant UN resolutions.
For more information: Please visit IPHRC’s website: www.oic-iphrc.org