8 March 2022- The Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS) and partners in Europe and Palestine including Al-Haq wrote to key European Union (EU) institutions and Member States and the United Kingdom (UK), urging them to uphold the rule of international law and human rights for the Palestinian people at the current UN Human Rights Council session. The letters noted the EU’s priorities in the UN Human Rights Fora in 2022, namely its commitment to respect, protect and fulfil human rights and the rule of law “consistently and coherently in all areas of its external actions” as well as the UK’s commitment to defend the rights and freedoms of the most oppressed and vulnerable around the world. The letters called on the states to reaffirm their longstanding commitment to international law and human rights standards by voting in favour of the three resolutions under agenda items 2 and 7 pertaining to accountability, human rights, illegal Israeli settlements, and the right to self-determination of the Palestinian people.
CIHRS and partners urged the states to recognise and condemn the reality of Israel’s apartheid against the Palestinian people and all associated violations. The organisations also called on states to acknowledge, welcome and engage with the content of the final upcoming report of the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the oPt during the session, which will examine the crime of apartheid. In addition, CIHRS and partners called on states to support all existing relevant international accountability mechanisms, namely, the UN Commission of Inquiry, established in April 2021, and the UN database of businesses involved in Israel’s settlement enterprise – as a means to end the ongoing cycle of impunity granted to Israel.
Given Israel’s unsubstantiated designation of six prominent Palestinian human rights and humanitarian organisations as “terrorist” and “unlawful”, CIHRS and partners urged states to call on Israel to immediately revoke these designations and to ensure the continuity and protection of Palestinian civil society and human rights defenders. Furthermore, the communications urged states to call on Israel to immediately stop its annexation of Palestinian land and the expansion of its illegal settlement enterprise in occupied territory, cease the forcible transfer and displacement of protected persons, and end its policy of administrative detention and release all Palestinian political prisoners. During this Council session, the international community must urge Israel to immediately, fully and unconditionally lift its prolonged illegal closure and blockade of the Gaza Strip.
 The countries are: Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg and The Netherlands. In addition, a separate letter was sent to the EU delegations in Geneva, Brussels and Jerusalem.