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Al-Haq and Partners Call on the UN High Commissioner to Recognise Israel’s Ongoing Genocide and the Root Causes of the Palestinian Plight at the Human Rights Council’s 55th Session
03، Mar 2024

On 29 February 2024, as part of its engagement with the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council, Al-Haq delivered a joint oral intervention under Item 2,[1] during the interactive dialogue on the report of the High Commissioner on ‘the human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the obligation to ensure accountability and justice’. Expressing regret for the absence of any reference to Israel’s ongoing genocide against Palestinians in Gaza in the High Commissioner’s report, the statement condemned the use of words of condemnation in the face of the atrocities faced and emphasised the urgency of the ongoing genocide. To this end, the statement called on States to uphold their legal obligations to prevent and end Israel’s genocide against Palestinians in Gaza, including by urgently enacting a ceasefire, imposing arms embargoes, implementing diplomatic and economic sanctions on Israel, and ensuring accountability for international crimes committed by Israel. The statement further urged the High Commissioner to recognise and address the ongoing genocide and the root causes of the Palestinian plight; settler-colonialism, apartheid, and the ongoing Nakba, as crucial steps toward ending Israel’s impunity.


Under the same interactive dialogue, Al-Haq joined the Palestinian Initiative for Promotion of Global Dialogue and Democracy (MIFTAH) in underscoring that “No amount of condemnations or expressions of ‘concern’ will stop the ongoing genocide and other heinous Israeli crimes, which have been committed for 75 years with full impunity”, and Al Mezan Center for Human Rights in urging the High Commissioner to fullfil his “duties promptly and utilize all available powers to ensure the international community complies with its legal and moral obligations under the Genocide Convention.”


Al-Haq’s full statement reads as follows:


Mr. High Commissioner,

As we address this Council, the rules-based international order as we know it is stained by its ineffectiveness in addressing Israel’s genocide in Gaza. In your report, you aptly asserted, “Justice is a pre-requisite of ending cycles of violence”. However, the report failed to contextualise seventy-five years of Israeli oppression and domination over the Palestinian people as a whole. The first step towards justice in relation to Palestine is recognition and acknowledgement – of genocide, settler-colonialism, apartheid and ongoing Nakba. Only then, we are able to meaningfully put an end to Israel’s impunity.


Mr. High Commissioner,

Gaza does not have the privilege of time. Empty words of condemnation will fall short in the face of men attempting to rescue their loved ones from under the rubble with bare hands, women compelled to give birth in makeshift tents due to the collapsed healthcare system, or 16-year-old children, survivors of five previous Israeli military aggressions, enduring starvation.

States must take all measures to urgently enact a ceasefire; to impose arms embargoes and diplomatic and economic sanctions on Israel, and to ensure accountability for international crimes committed by Israel.


While we reiterate Third States’ obligations to prevent and end the commission of genocide against the Palestinian people, we also implore you, High Commissioner, to recognise the ongoing genocide in Gaza and address the root causes of the Palestinian plight.

Thank you.


[1] Endorsing organisations: Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, the Palestinian Initiative for Promotion of Global Dialogue and Democracy (MIFTAH),  and the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR).