A report from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has criticised the Israeli army’s use of live ammunition against unarmed Palestinian civilians. The UN also expressed deep concerns regarding Israel’s continued neglect in bringing its security forces to account for perpetrating crimes against Palestinians.
The report, which monitors the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories from the beginning of December 2010 to mid-November 2011, asserts that during this period, the Israeli authorities destroyed 574 buildings of which 203 were residential. At least 957 Palestinians were displaced as a result.
It was confirmed that the Israeli government continues to construct illegal settlements on Palestinian territory while imposing difficult restrictions on Palestinians themselves and preventing them from being issued with building permits. This was considered by the High Commissioner to be a “flagrant challenge to international laws and conventions, in addition to constituting blatant discriminatory practices against Palestinians”.
The UN document went on to condemn “the duplicity of Israeli law in its dealing with settlers and Palestinians”, explaining that “settlers are tried in civilian courts while Palestinians are tried before military courts in violation of Israeli law itself, let alone international law”. It also confirmed that the Israeli blockade that has been imposed on the Gaza Strip for more than five years “severely impacts on the humanitarian situation of civilians living in the Strip”, and pointed out that unemployment figures have now reached 26%.
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner called on the Israeli government to take all necessary measures “to avoid the excessive use of force and bring individual members of its security force to account; to prevent settler attacks against Palestinian civilians and their property; and to end discriminatory practices against Palestinians.” It also demanded that the occupation halt its construction of the Apartheid Wall being built inside Palestinian Territory and the dismantling of the sections that have already been built.
Source: Geneva – Quds Press Services