2015 Overview: the way forward
The UN Secretary-General, the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Independent Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Gaza Conflict have outlined a number of relevant recommendations for Israeli and Palestinian authorities, which derive from legal obligations and which, if implemented, would eliminate or significantly ameliorate the concerns highlighted in this report. Third states also share responsibility for ensuring respect for international humanitarian law in the oPt and for promoting compliance with human rights obligations, and should take all necessary actions stemming from that responsibility.
Included among the most recent recommendations by the Secretary-General, the High Commissioner and the Commission of Inquiry are the following:
Recommendations for Israeli authorities
- Carry out an independent review of the rules of engagement of their security forces, and ensure they are consistent with international human rights law and standards;
- Conduct prompt, thorough, effective, independent and impartial investigations into all incidents of use of force leading to the death or injury of civilians, ensuring they are subject to public scrutiny, and hold perpetrators accountable;
- End the system of administrative detention; ensure that all detainees are promptly charged or released;
- During hostilities, ensure respect to international humanitarian law, particularly the principles of distinction, proportionality and precaution in attack, and ensure accountability for all violations;
- Ensure full criminal accountability for Israeli settler perpetrators;
- End all forms of collective punishment, including the blockade on Gaza and punitive demolitions;
- Allow movement between Gaza and the West Bank;
- Remove physical restrictions on free movement throughout the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, unless they are consistent with the exceptions recognized under international human rights and humanitarian law;
- Recognize and respect the residency rights of Palestinians, including by immediately halting the practice of revoking residence permits, ending the freeze on changes to addresses, removing any quotas on family reunification requests, and processing backlogged requests and new requests expeditiously;
- Halt and reverse the creation and expansion of settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory, including the use of land control mechanisms, such as the designation of firing zones, archaeological parks and agricultural land;
- Immediately cease discriminatory and unlawful planning processes in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem;
- Stop the demolition of Palestinian homes and properties in the West Bank, and revoke other laws, policies and practices that may result in individual or mass forcible transfers.
Recommendations for Palestinian authorities and armed groups
- Hamas and other armed groups must respect the principles of distinction, proportionality and precaution, including by ending all attacks on Israeli civilians and civilian objects, including all rocket attacks;
- The Palestinian authorities must ensure that violations of international humanitarian law are investigated in compliance with international standards, and that full accountability is achieved, including through criminal proceedings;
- The Palestinian authorities must implement their obligations under international human rights treaties, including with regard to freedom of movement, freedom of expression and assembly, the prohibition on arbitrary arrests and detentions;
- The Palestinian authorities should announce a moratorium on the death penalty including the award of such sentences, as a step towards abolition;
- The State of Palestine must accelerate efforts to translate the declaration on Palestinian unity from 2014 into tangible measures on grounds that would enable the Government of National Consensus to ensure the protection of human rights and achieve accountability for victims. Genuine unity will also improve the Palestinian government’s ability to meet pressing economic problems, which are adding to the frustration and anger driving Palestinian violence.
For more information see the reports: Report of the Secretary-General on “Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in the Occupied Syrian Golan,” A/HRC/31/43, 20 January 2016; Report of the Secretary-General on “Human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem,” A/HRC/31/44, 20 January 2016; Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Implementation of Human Rights Council resolutions S-9/1 and S-12/1, A/HRC/31/40, 20 January 2016 and Report of the independent commission of inquiry established pursuant to Human Rights Council resolution S-21/1 A/HRC/29/52.