Statement on Israel by the CERD

Press Release – United Nations Human Rights Commissioner

GENEVA (May 14, 2018) At the conclusion of its 95th Session, the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination issued the following Statement :Statement on Israel by the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

GENEVA (May 14, 2018) — At the conclusion of its 95th Session, the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination issued the following Statement:

PREVENTION OF RACIAL DISCRIMINATION, INCLUDING EARLY WARNING AND URGENT ACTION PROCEDURES

Statement

Israel

The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, meeting in Geneva at its ninety-fifth session, from 23 April to 11 May 2018,

Acting under its Early Warning and Urgent Action Procedures;

Alarmed by the disproportionate use of force displayed by the Israeli Security Forces (ISF) against Palestinian demonstrators who have been taking part, since 30 March, in the so called ‘the Great March of Return’ in Gaza, which has resulted in the death of at least 40 people, among them five children and in thousands of persons being injured;

Gravely concerned that many of the persons who died or were injured were reportedly posing no imminent threat at the time they were shot;

Alarmed also by the many reports according to which Israeli authorities have denied and continue to deny access to urgent medical treatment to injured Palestinians;

Highly concerned that these incidents are taking place in a context marked by the 50 year- occupation of the Palestinian territory, the blockade imposed since 2007 on the Gaza strip and a rise of racist hate speech and incitement to racist violence against Palestinians by Israeli governmental officials and members of the ISF;

Deeply worried about persisting discriminatory practices against Palestinians by Israel as well as the absence of adequate accountability mechanisms, which would permit Palestinians to seek justice for the human rights violations to which they are subjected and the failure to hold members of the ISF accountable;

Concerned that while the State party publicly announced the conduct of an investigation into these events, an independent and impartial investigation has not yet taken place;

Recalling the provisions enshrined in the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, to which Israel has been a party since 1979 and in particular the obligations contained in articles 2 1), 4 and 5 b) and d) as well as the concluding observations on Israel issued by the Committee in 2012 (CERD/C/ISR/CO/14-16), especially paragraphs 10, 23, 24 and 26;

The Committee urges the State party to:

1. Put an immediate end to the disproportionate use of force against Palestinian demonstrators in the Gaza strip, refrain from any act that could lead to further casualties and ensure prompt and unimpeded access to medical treatment to injured Palestinian;

2. Initiate an impartial and independent investigation into the use of force against Palestinian demonstrators in compliance with international standards and hold those responsible accountable;

3. Ensure that all Palestinians under its effective control enjoy full rights under the Convention without discrimination especially, their right to life and security of person, freedom of opinion and expression, as well as their right to medical care;

4. Take all the necessary measures to fully implement the recommendations made by the Committee in 2012 and in particular:

a) To fully respect the norms of humanitarian law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and to lift the blockade of the Gaza strip;

b) To counter the tide of racism and xenophobia in public discourse, in particular by strongly condemning all racist and xenophobic statements by public officials and political and religious leaders, and by implementing appropriate measures to combat the proliferation of racist acts and manifestations of racist hate speech that particularly target Palestinians in the territories under the State party’s effective control.

2637th meeting

8 May 2018

Background

Members of CERD are independent human rights experts drawn from around the world, who serve in their personal capacity and not as representatives of States parties.

For further information about the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, please click here: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/CERD/Pages/CERDIndex.aspx

For further information on the Committee’s Early Warning and Urgent Action Procedures, please click here: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/CERD/Pages/EarlyWarningProcedure.aspx

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