Published: 2018-06-30 13:48
Last Updated: 2018-06-30 15:51
Michael Lynk, the Special UN Rapporteur on Palestine expressed alarm about the deterioration of human rights in the Palestine after his five-day trip to Jordan. He has never visited the occupied territories as the occupying power has continued to deny him access.
Lynk took his third mission to the region, since assuming mandade in 2016, to meet with civil society, government officials and UN representatives to collect information for his next report.
“After years of creeping Israeli de facto annexation of the large swathes of the West Bank through settlement expansion, the creation of closed military zones and other measures, Israel appears to be getting closer to enacting legislation that will formally annex parts of the West Bank,” Lynk stated, adding that “This would amount to a profound violation of international law.”
The Special Rapporteur asserted that Palestinians in the West Bank face daily indignities and are unable to build or expand their homes or work to develop their communities due to the complex system which makes building permits nearly impossible to obtain from the Israeli authorities
He also expressed concern about the impact of significant cuts to the funding of UNRWA, the UN agency that helps Palestinian refugees, noting its crucial role in providing health, protection and education services as well as employment in Gaza and the West Bank.
Lynk was particularly concerned at information he received this week indicating that many human rights organizations and human rights defenders – Israeli, Palestinian, and international – are facing increasing attacks aimed not only at their delegitimization but also at their ability to operate.
The report Lynk is to write will be presented to the 73rd session of the General Assembly in October 2018.