Council’s 13th Session in Geneva. On 22 March 2010, the Human Rights Council commenced its discussions on the ‘Human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories’. During this session the Council addressed the Secretary-General and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights’ reports on the implementation of the resolution adopted during at its 12th special session endorsing the recommendations outlined in the Goldstone Report.
Al-Haq highlighted Israel’s violations of religious freedom and freedom of movement with respect to Israel’s siege of East Jerusalem, as well as Israel’s inclusion of the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron and Bilal Mosque in Bethlehem in a list of Israeli heritage sites. Additionally, Al-Haq spoke of Israel’s attacks on human rights defenders during its address to the Human Rights Council.
Furthermore, Al-Haq co-signed a joint written submission with International Service for Human Rights, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies and Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, in which the organisations raised their concerns regarding the protection afforded to human rights defenders under the Council’s agenda Item 8.
At its 12th special session, the Council endorsed the recommendations outlined in the Goldstone Report and called upon all concerned parties, including United Nations bodies to ensure the implementation of the resolution adopted during that session. Furthermore, the Council recommended the General Assembly to consider the Goldstone Report. The Council also demanded that Israel respect religious and cultural rights, specifically in relation to the excavations under the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
The Secretary-General’s belated report to the Council, made public on the same morning that discussions opened on Agenda item 7, was the focus of debate under the item. As with his previous report to the General Assembly on the same issue, the Secretary-General failed to critically assess, according to international standards, the investigations carried out by responsible parties. The Secretary-General acknowledged that Israel has failed to implement recommendations outlined in the Goldstone report, such as the lifting of the illegal blockade on the Gaza Strip and obstacles preventing freedom of movement for Palestinians in the West Bank.