Allow me to begin by thanking Professor Lynk and expressing our appreciation for his first report and presentation to the Human Rights Council. We warmly welcome Professor Lynk in his new role, and condemn Israel’s refusal to cooperate with the mandate of the Special Rapporteur, consistent with its culture of non-cooperation with special procedures mandate holders and other United Nations mechanisms in violation of its obligations as a United Nations Member State.
Professor Lynk’s report highlights a host of violations committed by Israel in the context of nearly half a century of military occupation and its growing persecution of human rights defenders who investigate the grave human rights situation in the Occupied State of Palestine.
Continuous colonization, the ongoing illegal blockade and collective punishment of Gaza, territorial fragmentation and cantonization of the West Bank, pillage of natural resources, restrictions to freedom of movement and goods, the unilateral control over Palestine’s external borders, limitations on Palestinian fishery and restrictions on the use of agricultural lands—this is the 50-year-long illegal Israeli imposed regime that Palestinian, Israeli and international human rights defenders are actively documenting and opposing.
The Special Rapporteur has clearly stated in his report that “to perpetuate an alien rule over almost five million people, against their fervent wishes, inevitably requires the repression of rights, the erosion of the rule of law, the abrogation of international commitments, the imposition of deeply discriminatory practices, the hollowing-out of well-accepted standards of military behaviour, the subjugation of the humanity of the Other, the denial of trends that are plainly evident, the embrace of illiberal policies and the scorning of those civil society organizations that raise the uncomfortable truths about the disfigured state of human rights under occupation.”
We strongly echo Professor Lynk’s recommendation for Israel to “bring a complete end to its 50 years of occupation of the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967”.
Can Professor Lynk enlighten us as to how the international community can most effectively act, including in this chamber, to compel Israel to end its occupation?
I thank you.