In recognition of importance of the United Nations Human Rights Council to the promotion and realization of fundamental human rights not just for Palestinians, but for all global citizens, the BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights engaged extensively with the 31st session of the Council.
It was a positive session for Palestinian human rights defenders, with the adoption by the Council of a resolution calling for, inter alia, the creation of a database on corporations operating in Israeli settlements, and the conducting of a comprehensive review into the lack of implementation of previous recommendations addressed to Israel. Furthermore, the appointment of Michael Lynk as the new Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation inside the occupied Palestinian territory was confirmed.
BADIL, along with other Palestinian human right organizations, also attended meetings with, inter alia, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the secretariat of the Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing, and with the President of the Human Rights Council.
In addition, BADIL organized two well-attended and well-received side events, and participated in both. The first considered Israeli-perpetrated forcible transfer of Palestinians inside the occupied Palestinian territory; setting out the legal framework of this grave breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention and providing examples of such transfer from Jerusalem and Hebron. BADIL moderated the event, and was delighted to welcome panelists from Diakonia, the Norwegian Refugee Council, the Jerusalem-based Community Action Center and the Hebron Rehabilitation Committee.
The second side event reviewed a range issues relating to accountability and enforceability of international law in the context of Israel’s belligerent occupation of Palestinian territory.
The event discussed the abject failure of Israel’s own internal investigative processes to hold to account perpetrators of international crimes inside the oPt, and how this failure leaves Palestinian and international human rights organizations alike no option but to turn to the International Criminal Court in search of truth and justice. Moderated by Al Haq, BADIL was joined on the panel by Addameer and the Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, with all representatives highlighting the necessity of implementation of HRC recommendations relating to Israeli violations of international law.
BADIL, alongside other Palestinian human rights organizations, participated in a number of meetings with representatives of third party states and regional bodies, including Brazil, Switzerland, Egypt, Norway and the European Union. BADIL briefed these representatives Israel’s policy of forced population transfer, and on the need to bring their position on forcible transfer in-line with that of the UN, as set out by recent reports from the Secretary General.
BADIL also joined Al Haq in their oral intervention as part of the interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation inside the occupied Palestinian territory, and also during the general debate under Item 7.
Outside of the UN, BADIL took the opportunity to brief representatives from think-tanks and policy bodies, with a particular focus on the legal implications of Israel’s ongoing forcible transfer of Palestinians inside the occupied Palestinian territory, and on the need and means for ending Israeli impunity for such abuses and international crimes.
In addition, BADIL met with a range of NGO representatives to identify areas of future cooperation on the subject of Palestine, and the promotion and realization of the fundamental human rights of its residents. With this in mind, Palestinian human rights organizations will hold a special side event during the 32nd regular session of the Human Rights Council, scheduled for June 2016, which will focus upon engagement with the International Criminal Court.