The United Nations condemns the Israeli army’s harassment of a human rights organization in Palestine

Human rights experts at the United Nations condemned the Israeli occupation army's raid on a non-governmental organization in the West Bank, concerned with defending children's rights, and seizing important documents and equipment.

In a statement, today, Friday, the experts called on the occupation government to meaningfully investigate the killing of children by Israeli soldiers, and the human rights violations that children are exposed to during the raids of the occupation army.

The report indicated that at the end of last July, the Israeli army raided at night the offices of the "International Movement for Defense of Children - Palestine" in the city of Al-Bireh (central West Bank), and the army seized secret documents, computers, drives, folders and others.

The human rights experts called on the Israeli occupation authorities to return these documents and equipment, and said: "We are very concerned about the interference of the Israeli army in the work of a well-known and reputable non-governmental organization in the field of human rights."

Experts note that in recent years, DCI-Palestine has significantly and reliably reported patterns of arrests, maiming and killing of Palestinian children by the Israeli military in the occupied West Bank, including “East Jerusalem” and Gaza.

They pointed out that silencing or impeding these activities violates basic human rights to freedom of expression and association, which Israel committed to supporting through its ratification of the two international covenants of 1966.

The experts said that Palestinian, Israeli and international civil society organizations provide "indispensable" work for much-needed accountability in documenting and verifying frustrating human rights trends in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

The United Nations documented, from the beginning of the year, until the end of July 2021, that the Israeli forces killed 11 Palestinian children in the West Bank, and the report indicated that this number exceeds the deaths of Palestinian children under occupation in the whole of 2020.

Rejecting the killing of 67 Palestinian children by the Israeli occupation forces in Gaza during its last aggression in May 2021, the experts said: “All civilian lives under occupation are protected under international law, and this applies in particular to children’s rights.”

A call for transparent investigations

The experts continued: "We are aware of the long-standing criticism of the absence of transparent and impartial investigations into the clear violations of human rights of Palestinians by the Israeli army, so we call on Tel Aviv to work with the international community to establish an impartial body to conduct transparent and public investigations into these deaths in accordance with the standards of international law, and to apply the lessons learned from these investigations to avoid such a pattern of tragedy in the future.”

The United Nations experts also called on the government of Israel to fully respect the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, which was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1998.

It is noteworthy that the experts who issued the report are the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied in 1967, Michael Lynk, the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, Irene Khan, and the Special Rapporteur on the rights to peaceful assembly and association Clément Nyaltsossi Foll, and the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, Marie Lawlor.


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