Association for Defending Victims of Terrorism – The international community must take firm and principled action to protect the human rights and dignity of Palestinians, amid mounting violence in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, and the threat of even further annexation, an independent UN-appointed rights expert said.
“The wave of deadly violence sweeping through the occupied West Bank since the beginning of this year is the inexorable consequence of an acquisitive and repressive occupation with no end in sight, and the culture of lawlessness and impunity Israel has nurtured and enjoyed,” UN Special Rapporteur Francesca Albanese said in a statement.
She said Israeli violence – including the deadly raid in Jenin refugee camp on 26 January, in the old city of Nablus on 22 February, and in Jericho a week later – has left 80 Palestinians dead, and over 2,000 wounded, in less than 90 days.
The rights expert noted that over the past decades, the international community has witnessed record-high numbers of Palestinian deaths and injuries.
Meanwhile, Palestinians have also endured confinement, land confiscation, home demolitions, fragmentation, discriminatory law enforcement, mass incarceration and other countless abuses, indignities and humiliations.
“Israel, emboldened by a lack of meaningful intervention, has consolidated its acquisitive and repressive occupation, with Member States offering little more than symbolic condemnation, humanitarians providing band-aid aid, and legal scholars entangled in theoretical debates,” she said.
Her statement urged the UN to “move beyond simply counting casualties and calling for restraint.”
“In reality, there are no equal parties nor a proper ‘conflict,’ but rather an oppressive regime that threatens the right of an entire people to exist,” she insisted.
“To maintain its credibility and purpose, the UN must acknowledge that conflicting narratives and historical facts must be resolved through the lens of legality and justice, and work effectively to oppose any forms of annexation of occupied territory, realise the right to self-determination of the Palestinian people and terminate the apartheid regime Israel is enforcing upon them.,” she advised.