Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights Kyung-wha Kang
Mon Sep 24, 2012 3:10PM GMT
The United Nations has called on Israel to halt a series of serious violations of the Palestinian people’s human rights cited by a 2009 fact-finding mission, a UN report says.Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights Kyung-wha Kang presented a report to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland, detailing the violations of international rights, as well as humanitarian laws in Palestinian territories during the 22-day Gaza war in 2008 and 2009. “It has been nearly three years since this council endorsed the fact-finding mission’s recommendations. Yet, not one person has been indicted for any of the incidents documented,” she said commenting on progress made according to the Goldstone report recommendations. Speaking on behalf of UN rights chief Navi Pillay, Kang said that there was a “need to more earnestly pursue accountability for the serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law that were documented by the fact-finding mission.” According to the report, Israel’s Operation Cast Lead offensive killed some 1,400 Palestinians, most of them civilians, in the Gaza Strip, and 13 Israelis. It also questioned the detention of nearly 5,000 Palestinians in Israeli prisons, with many being held without trial.
“Respecting human rights and international humanitarian law obligations means that perpetrators of violations are brought to justice,” she added.
Kang further slammed Israeli settlers who attack Palestinians on their property, saying that they should also be brought to justice. She also criticized the sentencing of an Israeli soldier for only 45 days in prison after he killed two unarmed Palestinian women waving a white flag during the Gaza conflict.
The UN report also highlighted a great economic crisis in Palestinian territories. Back in March, Israel suspended all working ties with the UN Human Rights Council, announcing it would not cooperate with the council in an investigation of the contruction of Jewish settlements in Palestinian land.
The Israeli military frequently attacks the Gaza Strip, saying the actions are being conducted for defensive purposes. However, disproportionate force is always used, in violation of international law, and civilians are often killed or injured.
In addition to airstrikes and ground attacks, the Tel Aviv regime also denies about 1.7 million people in Gaza their basic rights, including the freedom of movement and the right to decent living, work, health and education.
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