Today, DCI-Palestine and the Women’s Centre for Legal Aid and Counselling (WCLAC) sent a joint submission to the UN International Fact-Finding Mission on the Israeli Settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. The UN Mission is mandated “to investigate the implications of the Israeli settlements on the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of the Palestinian people throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem."
The purpose of the DCI/WCLAC submission is to examine some of the impacts of Israeli settlements and their associated infrastructure on the neighbouring Palestinian civilian population, and in particular, their impact on women and children. The submission focuses on two main themes:
- The mass arrest of Palestinian men, women and children as a means of control in order to facilitate continued settlement activity; and
- The direct impact of settler violence on Palestinian women and children.
The submission also relies on a number of testimonies from former Israeli soldiers provided by Breaking the Silence to examine the military’s modus operandi in the occupied West Bank, and how these actions are essential, if not legal, to ensure the continued viability of the settlement project.
The submission concludes that the ultimate objective of successive Israeli governments is to annex as much Palestinian territory as possible, without taking legal responsibility for the Palestinian population. This strategy aims to avoid any claim to equal civil and political rights, whilst denying the Palestinian people their right to genuine self-determination. The submission finally makes the point that the lack of resolve by the international community to effectively uphold the rule of law when it comes to Israeli settlement activity is likely to result in disaster for both Palestinians and Israelis alike.
Copies of the submission have also been sent to the following UN agencies:
- UN Committee on the Rights of the Child
- UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences
- UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967
- UN Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment
- UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention
- UN Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance