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Al-Haq and Partners Send Joint Submission to the UN Human Rights Committee on Israel’s Violation and Failed Implementation of the ICCPR
17، Feb 2022
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On 31 January 2022, Al-Haq, “Law in the Service of Man”, Addameer, Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, Habitat International Coalition – Housing and Land Rights Network, the Jerusalem Legal Aid and Human Rights Center, Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, and the Community Action Center/ Al-Quds University submitted a joint parallel report to the United Nations Human Rights Committee (HRC), detailing Israel’s violation and failed implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). The submission further showed that Israel’s violations of the ICCPR are the result of its entrenching and maintaining of an apartheid regime over the Palestinian people as a whole, including through its prolonged belligerent occupation.


The 77-page submission showed that Israel has been establishing, entrenching, and operationalising its apartheid regime through strategic fragmentation of the Palestinian People as a whole. The parallel report illustrated how Israel is violating the Palestinian right to self-determination by preventing the Palestinian people from exercising sovereignty over their land and natural recourses. It further highlighted the restrictions that Israel, the Occupying Power, imposes on Palestinians preventing them from agricultural development, in violation of Article 1 of the ICCPR. Moreover, Israel’s discriminatory nationality and residency laws, policies and practices violate Article 2 of the ICCPR prohibiting discrimination, including racial discrimination.


The report exposed that Israel’s use of unnecessary and disproportionate force and the denial of access to medical care to Palestinians, as violating the Palestinians’ right to life, enshrined in Article 6 of the ICCPR. It further demonstrated that Israel’s torture and ill-treatment of Palestinians during interrogation and detentions, and its inhuman practice of withholding Palestinian bodies are in violation of the prohibition of torture as stipulated by Article 7 of the ICCPR. Moreover, Israel’s arbitrary detention, including the campaign of mass arrests and detentions after the Unity Uprising violates Article 9 of the ICCPR, which prohibits arbitrary detention. Furthermore, that the conditions of detention and deliberate medical neglect amidst the COVID-19 pandemic amounts to violations of Article 10 of the ICCPR.


The report also outlined how Israel is violating the Palestinian people’s freedom of movement through its annexation wall, checkpoints, closure and military blockade, permit system and travel bans which amount to violations of Articles 12 and 13 of the ICCPR. In addition, the report illustrated how Israel’s military judicial system plays an integral role in sustaining its apartheid regime. It further examined how Israel’s systematic denial of the right to a fair trial, judicial process and guarantees violates Article 14 of the ICCPR. Furthermore, the report exposed Israel’s breach of Palestinians’ freedom of expression, the right to peaceful assembly and freedom of association as entailed in Articles 19, 21 and 22, including highlighting Israel’s unsubstantiated smearing of Palestinian civil society organisations as “terrorist organisations”. Israel’s racial discrimination and apartheid regime violates Article 26 of the ICCPR which establishes that “[a]ll persons are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to the equal protection of the law.”


The report concludes that “[s]ince the 2014 Concluding Observations, Israel has failed to adopt the Committee’s recommendations and continues to violate fundamental rights enshrined in the ICCPR.” It further noted that the 2019 Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) recognized the continuity of Israel’s discriminatory laws, policies, and practices targeting Palestinians on both sides of the Green Line and urged Israel to “give full effect to article 3 of the Convention and eradicate all forms of segregation between Jewish and non-Jewish communities and any such policies or practices that severely and disproportionately affect the Palestinian population in Israel proper and in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.”


Finally, building upon the mounting recognition that Israel imposes an apartheid regime over the Palestinian people as a whole, the organisations called on the Human Rights Committee to recognize the following:


  • The HRC acknowledges the root causes of the situation in Palestine as one of settler colonisation and apartheid. Through the strategic fragmentation and segregation of the Palestinian people into domains, Israel has ensured that Palestinians cannot meet, group, live together, and exercise their collective rights, particularly their right to self-determination in violation of the ICCPR, including article 1 of the ICCPR.
  • The continuity of Israeli discriminatory apartheid policies, practices and laws on both sides of the Green Line impose racial domination and oppression targeting the Palestinian people on both sides of the Green Line and Palestinian refugees and exiles, who are denied the right to return to their lands, homes and properties.


  • Israel has imposed an institutionalized regime of racial domination and oppression amounting to a regime of apartheid targeting the Palestinian people as a whole in violation of the ICCPR.


  1. We further recommend that the Human Rights Committee makes the following recommendations to the State Party:
  • Urge Israel to cease conferring public functions of the State to the WZO/JA and JNF, which are chartered to carry out material discrimination against non-Jewish persons and have historically prevented the indigenous Palestinian people on both sides of the Green Line from accessing or exercising control over their means of subsistence, including their natural wealth and resources, by exploiting and diverting Palestinian natural resources for the benefit of Israeli-Jewish settler, exemplified by the latest cases of Sheikh Jarrah and the Naqab.
  • Demand that Israel repeals all legislation enshrining racial discrimination, domination, and oppression, including repealing the Basic Laws and other statutes that directly or indirectly affect the enjoyment of human rights through racial and/or racialized distinctions, including on the basis of religion. In particular, we urge the Committee to call on Israel to repeal the following laws, as foundational to Israel’s creation of an apartheid regime, including but not limited to:
    1. The Basic Law: The Law of Return (1950);
    2. The Citizenship Law (1952);
    3. The Absentee Property Law (1950);
    4. The Entry into Israel Law (1952) and its amendments; and
    5. The Basic Law: Israel as the Nation-State of the Jewish People (2018).
  • Declare that the Jewish Nation-State Law (2018) is antithetical to the object and purpose of the Covenant as it has the purpose of nullifying the recognition, enjoyment, and exercise, on an equal footing, of all human rights and fundamental freedoms in the state party and in areas under its effective control.
  • Call on Israel to ensure family unification of all persons within its territory or subject to its effective control, irrespective of their ethnicity or national or other origin.
  • Call on Israel to cease all measures and policies, which contribute to the fragmentation of the Palestinian people, including the denial of Palestinian refugee return, the closure of Jerusalem and of the Gaza Strip, the construction of the Annexation Wall, and the imposition of severe movement and access restrictions, as core elements in Israel’s creation of an apartheid regime over the Palestinian people on both sides of the Green Line and further afield. We also urge the Committee to demand that Israel make suitable and sufficient reparation to all fragments of the affected Palestinian people, including Palestinian refugees and displaced persons, as mandated by international law.
  • Consider Israel’s persistent refusal to grant Palestinian refugees and displaced persons their right of return to their homes and property in their villages, towns, and cities of origin, as a core element in its creation and maintenance of its apartheid regime over the Palestinian people and reaffirm the right of return of all Palestinian refugees and internally displaced persons to their homes, property, and land which they were forced in flee in 1948 and thereafter, and to call on Israel to comply with Article 12 of the ICCPR.
  • Urge the reversal of Israel’s policies and practices with regards to demographic manipulation as a manifestation of the crimes of population transfer and apartheid, in violation of Article 12 of the Covenant, through the fragmentation of the Palestinian people as a whole, the prolonged and illegal closure of Gaza, the closure of Jerusalem and the precarious “permanent residency” status of Palestinians in East Jerusalem, the imposition of two separate legal systems in the occupied West Bank, and the denial of the internationally recognised right of return of Palestinians living as refugees and in exile.
  • Demand Israel cease forthwith the ongoing closure of Gaza and lift the blockade with immediate effect, lift restrictions on dual-use items, and recognise that Israel’s discriminatory policies and practices, amounting to the crime of apartheid, have already made the Gaza Strip uninhabitable and violate the full spectrum of rights owed to the Palestinian people, including Palestinian refugees, in the Gaza Strip by denying them the enjoyment on an equal footing of fundamental rights and freedoms.
  • Reaffirm the findings of the 2004 ICJ Advisory Opinion on the illegality of the Annexation Wall built in the occupied West Bank, including in and around East Jerusalem, and call on Israel to uphold its obligation to cease forthwith the works of construction of the Annexation Wall, to dismantle forthwith the structure therein situated, and to repeal or render ineffective forthwith all legislative and regulatory acts relating thereto, in accordance with international law.
  • Call on Israel to reconsider its entire planning and zoning policy in consultation with the indigenous Palestinian people directly affected by Israel’s discriminatory measures, which include illegal house demolitions and destruction of property, denial of access to land and natural resources, and the creation of coercive environments designed to drive Palestinian transfer. We further recommend that the Committee consider Israel’s discriminatory planning and zoning regime as a manifestation of the crimes of population transfer and apartheid, in violation of Article 3 of the Convention.
  • Demand that Israel immediately ceases any and all practices of intimidation and silencing of human rights defenders, organisations, and members of civil society in violation of their right to freedom of expression, including through arbitrary detention, torture and other ill-treatment, institutionalised hate speech and incitement, residency revocation, deportations, and other coercive or punitive measures. In particular, that the Israeli Minister of Defence rescinds the designations of the six leading Palestinian human rights organisations as “terror organisations” both under Israeli domestic law and under military order.
  • Demand that Israel immediately ceases the construction of all illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, and dismantle those already in existence, in accordance with its obligations, as occupying Power, under international humanitarian law and as mandated by international criminal law, in particular the Rome Statute applicable in the oPt, and to call for an end to Israel’s prolonged occupation of the Palestinian territory, in line with Israel’s obligation to uphold the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, including permanent sovereignty over natural wealth and resources.
  • Call on Israel to release all political prisoners and to end its widespread and systematic use of arbitrary detention and the use of torture and other ill-treatment.
  • Call on Israel to end the trial of Palestinian civilians in Israeli military courts and to abolish the Israeli occupation itself.
  • Call on Israel to end its practice of punitive residency revocation and to immediately end the current process to revoke the residency of Palestinian human rights defender Salah Hammouri.
  • Call on Israeli and international corporate entities and financial institutions to disengage from all activities which may render them complicit, or otherwise contributing, toward serious violations of international human rights and humanitarian law, or the commission of international crimes, including those operating within illegal Israeli colonial settlements in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and otherwise doing business with such colonial settlements.

Please find the joint shadow report to the Human Rights Committee here.