On the anniversary of the International Human Rights Day, which falls on the tenth of December of each year in which the world celebrates the anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the declaration relating to the right and responsibility of individuals, groups and community organizations in the promotion and protection of universally recognized human rights and fundamental freedoms, Shams Center expresses its regrets for the continued silence on the Israeli colonial violations against the Palestinian citizens, violations that are as old as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
“SHAMS” Center reminds the international community that the Palestinian people are still subjected to various violations, as the Israeli occupation forces continue to target and kill Palestinian civilians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and to execute them extrajudicially, and to target peaceful demonstrations with excessive force. The last victim of this policy is the child martyr Ali Abu Alya (13), from the village of Mughayir near Ramallah, at the height of the celebration of International Human Rights Day. Settlers also continue their nightly attacks on homes and properties and on Palestinian civilians. The Israeli colonial institutions continue to provide security, infrastructure and services to about 650 thousand settlers who reside illegally in occupied Palestinian land in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.
“Israel”, the occupying power, keeps strict restrictions on freedom of movement for Palestinians. According to the center’s documentation, demolitions increased and their frequency increased to unprecedented levels. Israel, the occupying Power, continues to detain dozens of Palestinian children in inhumane and difficult conditions, and arbitrarily arrest hundreds of Palestinian children without charge or trial, in addition to the continued detention of elderly and sick patients despite the outbreak of the Covid-19 virus and the danger it poses to them. A number of prisoners died as a result of deliberate medical negligence, the last of whom was the prisoner Kamal Abu Waer, a patient with cancer and infected with the Coronavirus, on 11/10/2020. The occupation forces’ incursions into schools, shooting and tear gas in them, and violations against journalists, while covering peaceful gatherings in which excessive force is used against the participants.
In the Gaza Strip, strict discriminatory restrictions continue to restrict the movement of people and goods to and from the Strip, while a large part of the Occupied Palestinian Territory is being cut off to open roads that facilitate the movement of Israeli settlers in it. The closure of the Gaza Strip continues for the 14th year in a row, creating complex and extremely difficult conditions for the more than 2 million Palestinians who live in it. It is accompanied by a state of economic collapse and existential crises that hit all walks of life in the besieged Strip.
“SHAMS” Center stresses that the right to peaceful assembly is still subject to violations, whether in the West Bank or the Gaza Strip, and that the death penalty is still in force at the level of legislation in the West Bank and at the level of legislation and practices in the Gaza Strip in an unconstitutional manner, especially in light of the policy of cases marked by the red tape. Many women are killed in crimes against the background of a repressive male culture, and that many children and the elderly are vulnerable to domestic violence, due to an official delay that prevents the issuance of the Law on Protecting the Family from Violence.
“SHAMS” Center invokes this occasion to shed light on the conditions of human rights defenders, who play a fundamental role in documenting violations and crimes against human rights, and expresses its full solidarity with them in the face of the violations they are exposed to, as the occupation Ministry of Foreign Affairs refused in October of the year processing the requests to renew or grant residency visas to United Nations employees. These steps do not come in an isolated context, in light of the repeated prevention of the UN investigation committees from entering the Occupied Palestinian Territory, or the declared war on the International Criminal Court for declaring its intention to investigate war crimes were committed or will be committed in the Occupied Palestinian Territory by “Israel” the occupying Power. Israeli violations also include denial of entry, defamation, financial pressures, raids of offices and arrests, which is what happened with a number of Palestinian civil society organizations working in the field of human rights, all in the context of promoting a culture of silencing and obliterating facts.
Accordingly, on the International Human Rights Day, “SHAMS” Center calls for:
- Exercising the utmost pressure on the official and civil levels towards ending the occupation of the Palestinian land, enabling the Palestinian people to exercise their inalienable rights and confronting the human rights violations that the Palestinian people are exposed to.
- To accelerate the holding of simultaneous general Palestinian elections in a way that renews legitimacy, enables the Palestinian people and youth to exercise their political rights, and reconvenes the Palestinian Parliament, whose absence has represented a serious structural defect in terms of oversight and legislation, and contributes to protecting human rights and freedoms and enhancing the transparency of government action.
- Harmonizing Palestinian legislation to comply with Palestine’s international obligations in all sectors, foremost among which is the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and its Optional Protocol aimed at abolishing the death penalty, and the Convention against All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).
- Building effective strategies and plans to provide security and protection for human rights defenders by official Palestinian institutions, national and civil human rights institutions.
- The issuance of the Law on Protection of the Family from Violence to provide protection for Palestinian families and women, and to contribute to stopping cases of murder of women, which show dangerous increases in their frequency.