Ahead of a special session of the United Nations Human Rights Council today (Friday, 9 July), ActionAid is calling on all 47 member states to back an independent investigation into violations of international humanitarian and human rights law in the occupied Palestinian territories.
In May, council members voted to launch an open-ended international investigation into violations in the lead up to and during the 11-day Israeli bombardment of Gaza, and into “systematic” abuses in the occupied Palestinian territories, including Jerusalem, and inside Israel.
However, nine member states voted against the resolution and 14 others abstained. Find out how your country voted.
ActionAid is calling on these countries to use their position as members of the Human Rights Council to pressure the Israeli government to guarantee the protection of the Palestinian people and to find a durable and peaceful solution in Palestine.
Israeli and Palestinian authorities, in line with international standards, must also be held accountable for the attacks on civilian populations, illegal evictions in East Jerusalem and the brutal repression of protests and other violations of human rights.
ActionAid Malawi and ActionAid Denmark have sent the following letter to their ministers of foreign affairs. Denmark abstained and Malawi voted against the resolution calling for the creation this permanent commission of inquiry, which is the most powerful accountability tool at the Council’s disposal. This text was submitted to Mr. Eisenhower Mkaka, Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs for Malawi:
ActionAid Malawi welcomed the United Nations Human Rights Council resolution on 27th May 2019 to form an independent international commission of inquiry to investigate all suspected violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law that occurred in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, including East Jerusalem, and in Israel leading up to the escalation of April and May.
We believe that the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestine and its continuing aggression against its people are the root causes of the past and ongoing violence and rights violations. It is, therefore, very positive that the commission will also investigate “all underlying root causes of recurrent tensions, instability and protraction of conflict” including “discrimination and systematic oppression based on national, ethnic, racial or religious identity”. Unless these root causes are addressed, the conditions of Palestinians will not only remain precarious but will continue deteriorating with far-reaching and grave repercussions.
We are calling on you as our representatives to place at the top of your political agenda, and monitor, the root causes of the injustice that Palestinian people suffer from occupation and causes of dispossession, displacement and targeting civilians, including women and children. This level of international scrutiny and pressure for accountability on Israel is required to guarantee the protection of the Palestinian people and to find a durable and peaceful solution in Palestine. Israeli and Palestinian authorities, in line with international standards, must be held accountable for the attacks on civilian populations, illegal evictions in East Jerusalem and the brutal repression of protests and other violations of human rights.
We request you to reconsider your vote against the creation of this permanent commission of inquiry. Now that the commission has been approved, Malawi should support its work, and ask all parties concerned to cooperate fully and to facilitate the commission’s access.
During the ongoing 47th Human Rights Council, we encourage our representative in Geneva to state publicly during the interactive dialogue with Mr. Michael Lynk, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, Malawi's support to the commission. Our permanent representative in Geneva should ask the HRC President to:
- Ensure that the commission to be formed can carry out investigative work in an impartial, independent, accountable and transparent manner,
- Submit situation updates as well as a number of concerns that the commission can follow up on,
- Find opportunities for collaboration between civil society and the commission in relation to fact-finding work, investigations and other needs that civil society can support.
As an occupying power, Israel must abide by its legal obligations and must be held accountable for current and past rights violations. Malawi should add its voice to the 24 member states of the Council who have demanded justice to attain peace in Palestine and Israel.