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Edited News | OHCHR

UN Human Rights HC Türk statement to thr 52 HRC on OPT

At the 52nd session of the Human Rights Council Volker Türk, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights presented his report on the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

 

“The situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory is a tragedy. A tragedy, above all, for the Palestinian people. Over half a century of occupation has led to widening dispossession, deepening deprivation and recurring and severe violations of their rights – including the right to life. Nobody could wish to live this way – or imagine that forcing people into conditions of such desperation can lead to an enduring solution,” Türk said.

 

“The people of Israel also suffer from this situation – insecurity, pain, loss and fear. They have a right to live in peace, in their State - just as Palestinians do, in a State that is, finally, recognised and viable,” he added.

 

“But the current intensification of violence on all sides makes that prospect seem very distant,” the High Commissioner said.

 

2022 saw both the highest number of Palestnians killed by Israaeli Security Forces in the past 17 years, and the highest number of Israelis killed since 2016. This death toll has further, and sharply, deteriorated in the first weeks of 2023.

 

“Decade upon decade of loss and violence. Violence against the occupation; violence to uphold and enforce it. I condemn the violence that has killed and harmed so many people on both sides – and which generates overwhelming despair. On both sides there is, I believe, a growing sense of a narrowing future, in which nobody can even hope for peace and security, for anyone's children,” he said.

 

“The occupation is eating away at the health of both societies, on every level – from childhood to old age, and in every part of life. For this violence to end, the occupation must end. On all sides there are people who know this.”

 

The High Commissioner highlighted recurring recommendations from the human rights system that would make an immediate difference.

 

These include taking steps to ensure that Israeli Security Forces actions in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, operate within the boundaries set by international human rights law for law enforcement operations.  

 

There must be genuine accountability for all acts of unlawful violence as a first and essential step towards greater calm – the lethal mob violence in Huwwara on Sunday, and the two murders that preceded it.

 

Türk said that all sides should adhere completely to the spirit and wording of the agreement reached at the Summit in Aqaba on 26 February, and build on this experience of opening the issues to regional solutions, to resolve other issues in the future.

 

“Member States should play a role in assisting all parties to find the exit ramp. In the near future, there must be an end to settlements in occupied land. And within a foreseeable hoizon, there must be a two-State solution, with an end to the occupation, and mutual recognition of the legitimate rights of all Israelis and Palestinians to live in dignity,peace and security,” Türk said.

 

ENDS

 

 For more information and media requests, please contact: 

Ravina Shamdasani - + 41 22 917 9169 / ravina.shamdasani@un.org or 

Liz Throssell + 41 22 917 9296 / elizabeth.throssell@un.org or 

Jeremy Laurence +  +41 22 917 9383 / jeremy.laurence@un.org or

Marta Hurtado - + 41 22 917 9466 marta.hurtadogomez@un.org

 

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  1. Exterior shots: Palais Wilson
  2. SOUNDBITE (English)—Volker Türk, High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR): “The situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory is a tragedy. A tragedy, above all, for the Palestinian people. Over half a century of occupation has led to widening dispossession, deepening deprivation and recurring and severe violations of their rights – including the right to life. Nobody could wish to live this way – or imagine that forcing people into conditions of such desperation can lead to an enduring solution,”
  3. Cut away : participants room 20
  4. SOUNDBITE (English)—Volker Türk, High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR): “The people of Israel also suffer from this situation – insecurity, pain, loss and fear. They have a right to live in peace, in their State - just as Palestinians do, in a State that is, finally, recognised and viable,”
  5. Cut away : participants room 20
  6. SOUNDBITE (English)—Volker Türk, High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR): “But the current intensification of violence on all sides makes that prospect seem very distant,”
  7. Cut away : participants room 20
  8. SOUNDBITE (English)—Volker Türk, High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR): “Decade upon decade of loss and violence. Violence against the occupation; violence to uphold and enforce it. I condemn the violence that has killed and harmed so many people on both sides – and which generates overwhelming despair. On both sides there is, I believe, a growing sense of a narrowing future, in which nobody can even hope for peace and security, for anyone's children,”
  9. Cut away : participants room 20
  10. SOUNDBITE (English)—Volker Türk, High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR): “The occupation is eating away at the health of both societies, on every level – from childhood to old age, and in every part of life. For this violence to end, the occupation must end. On all sides there are people who know this.”
  11. Cut away : participants room 20
  12. SOUNDBITE (English)—Volker Türk, High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR): “Member States should play a role in assisting all parties to find the exit ramp. In the near future, there must be an end to settlements in occupied land. And within a foreseeable horaizon, there must be a two-State solution, with an end to the occupation, and mutual recognition of the legitimate rights of all Israelis and Palestinians to live in dignity,peace and security,”
  13. Cut away : participants room 20

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