While many parts of the world transition to mandatory lockdown, Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territory face uncertainty about how they will be protected from the spread of COVID-19. This blog will focus on the circumstances of three particularly vulnerable population groups: i) the population of Gaza, ii) child and adult detainees in Israeli prisons and detention facilities, and iii) families and individuals displaced by home demolitions.
LPHR Human Rights Blog
Physicians for Human Rights Israel and the Israeli newspaper Haaretz recently reported that a 10-year-old girl from Gaza, Miral Abu Amsha, died of cancer on 28 February without having seen her father since December, after her family struggled to obtain Israeli-issued permits to accompany her to hospital. Miral’s mother had also initially been denied permission to accompany Miral to hospital in Nablus to undergo chemotherapy due to “incorrect details” on her application form. She was eventually allowed to visit Miral in hospital, reportedly following publicity around the case. Miral’s father didn’t apply for permission to accompany her as it is generally the case that only one accompanier is allowed per patient, including for children. [Read more…]
ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda’s announcement that she is ready to open a criminal investigation into the situation in Palestine is a seminal step towards achieving legal accountability and justice for the many victims, survivors and their families of alleged serious international crimes perpetrated by Israeli forces and their military and political leadership.
The potential for the investigation to effectively prevent or deter the commission of ongoing and future crimes, by countering the systemic impunity that has prevailed until now, is also very significant.
On 12 July 2019, nine-year-old ‘Abd a-Rahman a-Shteiwi was shot in the forehead by an Israeli soldier in Kafr Qaddum, in the occupied West Bank, during the town’s weekly protests against settlement expansion and settler violence. At the the time he was shot, ‘Abd was playing at the entrance of his friend’s house, over 100 metres away from demonstrators. The shot to ‘Abd’s forehead resulted in a large hole, multiple skull fractures and serious brain damage; a CT scan showed around 100 fragments lodged in the boy’s brain. Over three months since this grievous wounding, we have reports from two sources that he remains in hospital in a coma. [Read more…]
On 2 September 2019 the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Court (ICC) ordered the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (the Prosecutor), Fatou Bensouda, to reconsider her decision not to open an investigation into the Gaza flotilla raid. This marks the third intervention by the ICC against the Prosecutor’s decision of November 2014 not to launch an investigation into alleged serious crimes committed by Israeli military forces against humanitarian activists on 31 May 2010. This blog provides a brief overview of the prosecutorial and judicial decisions made at the ICC in relation to this egregious incident. [Read more…]
In August 2019, the World Health Organisation (WHO) reported that between 30 March 2018 and 31 July 2019, 315 Palestinians (including 62 children) had been killed during the ‘Great March of Return’ civilian protests in Gaza that demand realisation of the right of return and an end to the closure imposed on Gaza. In addition, Israeli forces’ use of excessive force, including live ammunition, against civilian protesters not posing a direct and imminent threat to life or serious injury, has caused thousands of injuries, many being very serious. 7,381 Palestinians have suffered gunshot wounds, of which 6,437 (87%) presented limb wounds, according to the WHO report. [Read more…]
In June 2015, the UK National Contact Point for the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises published its important findings that G4S was in multiple breach of human rights responsibilities connected to its activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, following a comprehensive human rights complaint submitted by LPHR. Nine months afterwards, G4S announced that it had commenced a process to sell its subsidiary company, G4S Israel. Then, in June 2017, the UK multinational announced that it had completed the sale of G4S Israel to an Israeli private equity fund, FIMI Opportunity Funds.
According to UNICEF, the withdrawal earlier this year of an international observer force, the Temporary International Presence in Hebron (TIPH), from the Israeli-controlled H2 area of Hebron, has put some 7,000 Palestinian residents, including schoolchildren, at “heightened risk of further serious human rights violations”. This alarming conclusion brings to light the deeply disturbing issue of Palestinian schoolchildren in occupied Hebron being subjected to threats and violence simply by exercising their basic human right to education. This blog elaborates upon this serious child rights issue. [Read more…]
The need for the international community to stand up in support of international criminal justice is more heightened than ever before in light of the truly alarming discourse and conduct of the United States administration, which seeks to obstruct the efforts of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to pursue legal accountability for suspected war crimes and crimes against humanity. [Read more…]
In the last few weeks, the Israeli government has announced plans for a significant expansion of settlements in the occupied West Bank, alongside a parallel initiative to develop further new legislation as a means to enable the legalisation of illegal ‘outposts’. This blog highlights these troubling developments which contravene clear obligations set by international law.