Main Menu
Al-Haq at UNHRC53: Joint Intervention Calling for Ending Israeli Attacks against CSOs in the Interactive Dialogue with the SR on OPT
19، Jul 2023

On 10 July 2023, Al-Haq delivered a joint oral intervention under Item 7, interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967, during the 53rd session of the Human Rights Council (19 June to 14 July 2023).

The intervention, which was delivered in collaboration with Mundubat and Basque Agency for Development Cooperation, urged third states to take immediate steps to hold the Israeli authorities accountable for their continuing and intensifying attacks on Palestinian civil society. It highlighted the important role of civil society organisations in pursuing the Palestinian people’s rights to self-determination, and the reason for their continued targeting by Israel. It also emphasised that such policies are a continuation of Zionist policies since 1948, to suppress and erase the Palestinian people as a nation. 

The full statement reads as follows:

Mr. Vice President, Madam Special Rapporteur,

Palestinian civil society organisations, including human rights organisations, have been the subject of campaigns and attacks to silence them and cripple their work by Israeli authorities. Since 1967, hundreds of organisations have been smeared and have had their offices raided and shut down and many of them have been outlawed under different pretexts including the links to so-called terrorist organisations. 

The campaign is an extension to what Zionist militias had started leading to the 1948 Nakba under its settler-colonial project to violently suppress and erase the Palestinian people as a nation and deny them of their right to self-determination, and replace them with another group for whom a state is established exclusively. The forms of violence employed to this end include destruction of property, killings, arbitrary arrests, cultural appropriation, distortion of history and geography, as well as targeting organisations that play a crucial role to materialise the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination. Anyone who is vocal about the Israeli settler-colonial project and works to materialise the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination is seen by Israel as a threat to its settler-colonial ambitions in Palestine and is as such targeted. This does not only include Palestinian organisations but extends to international organisations and bodies and mandates such as UN Commissions of Inquiry and special rapporteurs. Practices and policies against Palestinian organisations and human rights defenders may amount to crimes against humanity of persecution and apartheid, prosecutable under the Rome Statute of the ICC.          

Mr. Vice President, Madam Special Rapporteur,

Crimes perpetrated by the Israeli authorities would not have been perpetrated unless accountability is absent and the culture of impunity is prevalent. The targeting of the organisations adds another reason for third states to take immediate actions to hold perpetrators accountable, put an end to Israel’s settler-colonial project, and enable the Palestinian people to exercise their right to self-determination. Contrary to this, Palestinians will lose the little remaining faith in the international legal and justice system.