UN counter-terrorism and human rights Special Rapporteur finds Israeli laws and practices incompatible with human rights
United Nations Special Rapporteur for the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, Mr. Martin Scheinin, will present his mission report following his July 2007 visit to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva on Wednesday, 12 December 2007.
In the report, the Special Rapporteur finds serious incompatibilities between Israel’s counter- terrorism laws and practices and Israel’s international human rights obligations. Among his conclusions and recommendations are the following:
- “…not all acts of violence committed against an occupying power, particularly when violence is targeted at military forces of an occupying power, amount to acts of terrorism.” [para. 3]
- “All legislation, regulations and military orders must comply with the requirements of the principle of legality…Having achieved those requirements, the enactment by the Knesset of this new [counter-terrorism] legislation should be accompanied by a repeal or revocation of all current counter-terrorism legislation, regulations and military orders.” [para. 55]
- “[The incompatibilities of Israeli law and practice include those related to] the prohibition of torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment; the right to life and humanitarian law principles concerning legitimate targeting; the right to liberty and fair trial; and the severe impact of the construction of the barrier in the West Bank and associated measures on the enjoyment of civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights and freedoms in the OPT.” [para.54]
- “Given the illegality under international law of the existence and continued development of Jewish settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, the Special Rapporteur recommends that a decision be made immediately to withdraw all such settlements…” [para. 59]
- “To replace the still unfinished barrier, extending deep into Palestinian territory, with a security infrastructure that…respects the Green Line or is otherwise accepted by the Palestinians.” [para. 59]
The Special Rapporteur’s oral presentation related to his Israel/OPT mission report will be broadcast live via the Human Rights Council’s webcast between 9:00 -10:00 am (GMT +1) on 12 December ( http://www.un.org/webcast/unhrc/index.asp ).
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