A UN human rights expert today published a report urging Israel to immediately stop all crimes amounting to collective punishment against the Palestinian people.
Michael Lynk, the Special Rapporteur on human rights in Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, said that the extent of the devastating impact of Israel’s collective punishment policy can be “most strikingly seen in its ongoing 13-year-old closure of Gaza, which now suffers from a completely collapsed economy, devastated infrastructure and a barely functioning social service system.”
In his report to the 44th session of the Human Rights Council, the independent expert presented a list of recommendations, calling on Israel to comply with international law and the international consensus by bringing a full and speedy end to its 53-year-old occupation of the Palestinian territory.
Israel has used collective punishment against Palestinians since the military occupation began in 1967 through home demolitions and psychological and economic warfare against the families of alleged attackers.
Emphasising Israel’s reliance on collective punishment as a “prominent instrument in its coercive toolbox of population control”, he criticised Israel’s continued policy to punitively demolish Palestinian homes, which he states “contribute to an atmosphere of hate and vengeance.”
Home demolitions by the self-declared Jewish state have been internationally condemned as a means of collective punishment in violation of the Geneva Convention.
Since 1967, Israel has destroyed more than 2,000 Palestinian homes, designed to punish Palestinian families for acts some of their members may have committed, but they themselves did not
In addition, Lynk addressed the increase in settler violence, the detention of Palestinians and Israel’s planned annexation of parts of the Palestinian West Bank and its potential impact.
He warned Israel last month to strictly adhere to international law and called on the EU to detail the political, diplomatic and economic consequences that it would implement if Israel defied world opinion.