BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights participated in the 41st session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) which took place in Geneva between 24 June and 12 July 2019. BADIL’s interventions included 2 written statements, 1 joint oral statement, in addition to a series of meetings with state representatives and UN officials.
The statement under item 7 highlighted the forced displacement and transfer of Palestinians in addition to the denial of reparations Israel has been practicing since 1948. The Israeli Knesset has ratified numerous laws that prevent and impede Palestinian return, and Israel today continues to deploy a number of policies that create a coercive environment to forcibly transfer Palestinians in the oPt. The statement also highlighted the protection gap, due to the ineffectiveness of The United Nations Conciliation Committee on Palestine (UNCCP) in addition to a lack of a sustainable funding mechanism and the needs-based services provided by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). The protection gap is further exacerbated by the recent systematic attacks against UNRWA and the absence of effective protection, which is especially affecting Palestinian refugees experiencing secondary displacement. To see two short video explaining the protection gap in regards to UNRWA and the recent attacks, click here and here.
The statement under item 4 highlighted the transition from de facto to creeping de jure annexation, and relates to our recently published bulletin “Jerusalem: the epitome of Israeli annexation, colonization and forcible transfer”. Even though the extension of Israeli sovereignty into the West Bank is not new; it has been achieved by a complex array of military orders, and by conferral of rights to Israeli-Jewish citizen wherever in the world they may be. However, recently, Israel has taken a number of formal actions to dismantle the legal distinctions between the occupied West Bank and Israel. This means that under the Israeli legal system the occupied West Bank is increasingly indistinguishable from the state of Israel, over which Israeli sovereignty exists.
BADIL, Al-Haq and CIHRS delivered a joint oral statement under item 4. The statement highlighted the discriminatory Israeli laws which target the Palestinian people on both sides of the Green Line and the Diaspora. The Israeli Nation State Law restricts the right to self-determination to only the Jewish population, while denying the same rights to Palestinians and other inhabitants in Israel. Palestinians are considered second-class citizens in Israel, thus making discrimination in Israel constitutional.
Furthermore, BADIL held several meetings with UN officials and representatives of states to brief them about the situation of human rights in the oPt, the ongoing Israeli violations, and to encourage them to meet their obligation towards protecting Palestinian civilians.