Israel’s human rights violations – an introduction


Page last updated 30 Oct 2015

Introduction

Since the Occupation began in 1967, Israel has committed copious human-rights violations against the Palestinians in Israel proper, the West Bank and in Gaza. According to the UN, in “relation to Israel as the occupying Power, excessive use of force and violations of the right to life, arbitrary detention and ill-treatment remain serious concerns. Israeli restrictions on the freedom of movement, both within the West Bank and between the West Bank and Gaza (including the ongoing blockade of Gaza), hamper the exercise of numerous rights. Israeli settlements in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, have a severe impact on the rights of Palestinians, including the right to self-determination. Israeli settlers continue to commit violent acts against Palestinians with impunity. In the context of Israeli military operations there have been clear indications that the Government of Israel has at times failed to respect the principles of distinction, proportionality and precautions”. 

The UN appoints a Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967. John Dugard (South Africa) served from 2001 to 2008 and Richard Falk (USA) from 2008 to 2014. They both produced detailed, legally-informed reports to the Human Rights Council on a regular basis which were highly critical of Israel’s actions and record. Their final reports are discussed or linked to below. The current Special Rapporteur, Makarim Wibisono (Indonesia), has yet to report.

The sections that follow this one discuss human rights violations relating to specific areas, viz:

Settlement Building and Land Issues
Restrictions on Movement
House Demolitions, Forced Displacement and Denial of Residency Rights
Justice
The Wall
The Green Line
Water
Health
Education
The economics of the occupation

 


Organisations, Articles and Analysis

1. The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights

PCHR, based in Gaza City, issues weekly reports of human-rights violations in the Occupied Territories.

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2. Human Rights Watch

HRW issues up-to-date reports and publications on human rights in Israel/Palestine and also has a vast collection of annual reports dating from 2005-2015.

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3. Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights

LPHR is a UK-based campaigning organisation active on a variety of issues concerning Palestinian human rights.

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4. Amnesty International Report 2014/15: The State of the World’s Human Rights
Amnesty International, 25 Feb 2015

This sobering report details the human-rights violations which took place in 2014/15 in Israel proper, the West Bank and Gaza (in general and during Operation Protective Edge).

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5. Al-Haq’s quarterly field reports on human rights

Al-Haq’s Monitoring and Documentation Department has been producing quarterly reports since the beginning of 2005, covering human-rights abuses committed by the Israeli Occupying Power and the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Each field report highlights a particularly important and disturbing trend observed by the Monitoring and Documentation Department during the reporting period.

“Al-Haq is an independent Palestinian non-governmental human rights organisation based in Ramallah, West Bank. Established in 1979 to protect and promote human rights and the rule of law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), the organisation has special consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council.”

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6. B’Tselem – The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories

B’Tselem have a wealth of links relating to human-rights organisations focused around Israel/Palestine

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7. John Dugard’s final report to the UN 2008
Stephen Lendman, Global Research, 20 Mar, 2008

Stephen Lendman provides a handy short summary of John Dugard’s final report submitted in Jan 2008 as UN Human Rights Council’s Special Rapporteur on Palestine: an in-depth, detailed, and honest assessment of the human-rights situation in the Occupied Territories. In this final report Dugard also answered some of the criticisms made of his earlier reports viz. that they were repetitious, and failed to address “terrorism” and Palestinian violations of human rights.

Full text of final report here.

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8. Final Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967
Richard Falk, Dec 2014

This is the final report of the Special Rapporteur, Richard Falk, on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories, submitted in accordance with Commission on Human Rights resolution 1993/2 A and Human Rights Council decision 2/102. The report addresses Israeli settlements in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the wall in the context of the tenth anniversary of the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice; considers the policies and practices of Israel in occupied Palestine in light of the prohibition on segregation and apartheid; and also addresses concerns in relation to the deterioration of the human-rights situation of Palestinians living under the Israeli blockade in the Gaza Strip.

 


Contents of this section

2. THE OCCUPATION

a) Maps of the occupation
b) Occupation and the Fourth Geneva Convention

Israel’s human rights violations – an introduction
Settlement building and land issues
Restrictions on movement
House demolitions, forced displacement, denial of residency rights
Justice
The Wall
The Green Line
Water
Health
Education
The economics of the occupation

c) Gaza under occupation
d) Living under occupation

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