UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour reports to UN Human Rights Council on her four days in Israel and the oPt

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights told the UN’s  Human Rights Council on 29 November that “The human rights of Israelis and Palestinians cannot be the subject of negotiation or compromise. Those in power must fulfill their obligations in accordance with international human rights and humanitarian law now so as to ensure that all throughout the region can enjoy their human rights. To do so is required by law and should be implemented by all those who profess to be sincerely committed to achieving a lasting peace”.

The High Commissioner stated that the human rights situation in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) is “grave and worsening, within a general climate of impunity”.  She said that throughout her four-day visit to the region, she “promoted the need for accountability for violations of international human rights and humanitarian law.”

High Commissioner Arbour added that she was “struck…by the sense of vulnerabiliy and abandonment that was expressed to me by virtually all the civilians that I met, both in Israel and in the oPt.” 

She told the Human Rights Council in Geneva that, in her press conference in the region, she had “unfortunately not had the time to focus on the full range of rights at issue in the region.  I highlighted, in this regard, the question of all those imprisoned, captured or otherwise detained as a result of the crisis and I called for their rights, including access to them, to be respected in full”. 

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