Published earlier this week (September 15 2012), the United Nations Human Rights Committee (HRC) posed 26 questions to Israel regarding its compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which Israel is party.
ICAHD submitted a report to HRC on Israel’s non-compliance with the convention in order to call the expert members of the Committee attention to Israel's illegal policies and practices in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) subsequent to prolonged occupation. The HRC has adopted numerous issues highlighted by ICAHD (see below), including the following:
- “[…] developments aimed at ensuring the full application of the Covenant in Israel, as well as in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem and in the Occupied Syrian Golan.
- “Provide updated information on measures taken: To cease the practice of […] demolition of houses and private property; To review the State party’s housing policy and the issuance of construction permits, to ensure that municipal planning systems are not discriminatory and to increase the legal construction of houses for minorities in the West Bank and East Jerusalem; To ensure the Bedouin’s and Palestinians’ access to health services, education, adequate housing, water and sanitation.”
- “Provide information on access by all residents of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and of the Occupied Syrian Golan to natural resources, such as agricultural land and adequate water supplies.”
- “Recalling the 2004 Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice, please indicate which measures have been taken to refrain from constructing settlements in, or transferring its population to, the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, […] and to prevent and eradicate all practices of segregation which affect the Palestinian population.”
ICAHD calls on Israel to provide a detailed response to the questions posed by HRC and to fully comply with its international human rights obligations. ICAHD further recalls the International Court of Justice 2004 Advisory Opinion in relation to “Article 1 common to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights reaffirms the right of all peoples to self-determination, and lays upon the States parties the obligation to promote the realization of that right and to respect it, in conformity with the provisions of the United Nations Charter. […] Israel is bound to comply with its obligation to respect the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and its obligations under international humanitarian law and international human rights law. The Court would observe that the obligations violated by Israel include certain obligations erga omnes. […] The obligations erga omnes violated by Israel are the obligation to respect the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, and certain of its obligations under international humanitarian law."
The Human Rights Committee (HRC) is the body of independent experts that monitors implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) by its State parties. Israel ratified the Covenant in 1991, with no pertinent reservations. All States parties are obliged to submit regular reports to the Committee on how the rights are being implemented. States must report initially one year after acceding to the Covenant and then whenever the Committee requests (usually every four years). The Committee examines each report and addresses its concerns and recommendations to the State party in the form of "concluding observations”.