On Human Rights Day: Al Mezan calls on the international community to guarantee respect for human rights and the responsibility of the occupied Palestinian territory – occupied Palestinian territory

Every year on December 10, nations around the world celebrate Human Rights Day. On that day in 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), which laid the foundation for international human rights law. This day presents the global efforts for the promotion of human rights.

Medical patients in urgent need of care available only outside Gaza are not immune to the repercussions of the Israeli closure and the ongoing apartheid regime, as the discriminatory Israeli permit regime, which violates the rule of law international, hinders their access to medical care in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, Israel and third countries. The closure is also leading to a progressive humanitarian disaster and unprecedented economic turmoil due to high rates of unemployment and poverty, which are at risk of worsening due to the global economic crisis resulting from the pandemic.

In May 2021, during Israel’s large-scale military offensive against the Gaza Strip, Israeli attacks killed 240 Palestinians, including at least 151 civilians, while 1,979 others were injured, including 636 children. Israeli forces carried out numerous attacks marked by indiscriminate targeting of homes and civilian infrastructure, ultimately destroying and damaging entire buildings, homes and industrial plants. In addition, the offensive inflicted significant damage on vital infrastructure, including asphalt roads, water and electricity networks, and sewage systems. In this context, the Palestinian Ministry of Health took the necessary precautionary measure by imposing containment to fight the pandemic.

In addition to tightening the closure, Israel recently completed construction of a concrete wall isolating the Gaza Strip from the rest of the occupied Palestinian territory and the outside world, further restricting the freedom of movement of more than two million people. Reportedly, the wall separating Israel from Gaza is 60 kilometers long and extends along the perimeter fence to the Mediterranean Sea, trapping more than two million Palestinians in a strip of land that may be assimilated to a South African Bantustan.

To further silence those who oppose its apartheid regime, Israel in October 2021 designated six Palestinian human rights organizations as “terrorists” under its 2016 anti-terrorism law.

On Human Rights Day, Al Mezan reaffirms his strongest condemnation of Israel’s daily practices which hinder the enjoyment by Palestinians of their fundamental rights enshrined in the UDHR, including their inalienable and collective right to self-determination . As we reaffirmed in our recent report, “The Gaza Bantustan – Israeli Apartheid in the Gaza Strip,” Israel’s practices against the Palestinian people as a whole constitute crimes of apartheid and persecution.

Accordingly, Al Mezan calls on the international community to respect its legal and moral obligations to the Palestinian people in the occupied territories and to ensure accountability for alleged violations of international law. The international community must also pressure Israel to end its occupation of Palestine, lift the illegal closure of the Gaza Strip and dismantle its apartheid regime against the Palestinian people as a whole.

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