The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) sent a submission to the UN Commission of Inquiry on the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in Israel in response to its call for submissions.
The submission presented information concerning the targeting of Palestinian human rights defenders, activists, and journalists. The submission touched upon the raids conducted by the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) on seven Palestinian civil society organizations in the Occupied West Bank in August 2022, after they were falsely designated as “terrorist organizations” by the Israeli occupation authorities. In addition, the submission highlighted the assassination of Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, deportation of human rights lawyer Salah Hamouri, arrest of activists Nasser Nawaj’ah and Hafez Huraini, and the imposition of a “closed military zone’ on the house of Palestinian activist Issa Amro.
The submission also presented information concerning incidents involving IOF’s targeting of Palestinian children. Last year witnessed the killing of a high number of Palestinian children. According to PCHR’s documentation, IOF killed 155 Palestinians in the West Bank, including 33 children. The majority of children killed were in the northern governorate of Jenin (14). In the Gaza Strip, 8 children were killed by the IOF in the context of a military operation named “Breaking Dawn”, which lasted for three days.
The submission concluded that Israel committed systematic and flagrant violations of international human rights and humanitarian law against Palestinian human rights defenders, activists, journalists, and children, which amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity, particularly under the ICC’s Rome Statute.
In its submission, PCHR called upon the Commission to:
- Condemn Israel’s continued excessive use of force and lethal force against Palestinian civilians, including children, women, and journalists, and ensure that Israel aligns its rules of engagement for the use of live fire with international human rights law throughout the OPT.
- Call on the ICC Prosecutor Mr. Karim Khan to proceed effectively with his investigation into the situation in the State of Palestine in light of the deteriorating situation of human rights and to avoid perceptions of selectivity and double standards in conducting his work.
- Call on the international community to support the ongoing investigation by the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) of the ICC into the situation in Palestine with the necessary resources requested by the OTP in its budget proposal and exert pressure on Israel to approve and facilitate the upcoming trip planned by ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan to the OPT in light of Israel’s history of denying UN Commissions of Inquiry, Special Rapporteurs, and other international mechanisms and bodies from entering the OPT.
- Call on third states to cooperate to end Israel’s widespread systematic violations, including by imposing individual sanctions and travel bans on perpetrators of grave breaches of international law committed in the occupied Palestinian Territory.
Read the full submission here.