Human rights situation in the OT – UNHCHR report




Report of the High Commissioner for Human Rights submitted

pursuant to decision 2002/103


1. In its decision 2002/103 of 16 April 2002, the Commission on Human Rights, urged the High Commissioner for Human Rights to report urgently to the Commission on Human Rights on the deteriorating human rights situation in the occupied Palestinian territory on the basis of reports from all concerned organizations present in the occupied territories. In response to this request and guided by General Assembly resolution 48/141, the High Commissioner submits the present report.

2. It takes into account the pronouncements of the Security Council on the situation inasmuch as they raise human rights issues, and is based on information obtained from sources within the United Nations system and reputable organizations in a position to have firsthand knowledge of the situation, and information provided by the Permanent Missions of Palestine and Israel. The material received is in the files of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) secretariat.

3. As a follow-up to the Secretary-General’s call for the leadership of the two sides to make solemn statements committing themselves to respect basic norms of human rights and humanitarian law, the High Commissioner has written to the Prime Minister of Israel and the President of the Palestinian Authority endorsing his call.

4. In presenting this report, the High Commissioner recalls the two statements she made to the Commission on Human Rights at its fifty-eighth session on the situation in the occupied Palestinian territory, as well as the status report of the visiting mission established pursuant to Commission resolution 2002/1.

5. This report is mindful of the fact that the Security Council, in resolution 1405 (2002), welcomed the initiative of the Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, to develop accurate information regarding recent events in the Jenin refugee camp. On 22 April, the Secretary-General announced the establishment of a team to look into those events.

6. The High Commissioner recalls the report on her visit to the occupied Palestinian territory, Israel, Egypt and Jordan from 8 to 16 November 2000 (E/CN.4/2001/114) and draws attention to those recommendations which have not as yet been implemented. She is conscious that the human insecurity of Israelis has worsened sharply since then owing to suicide bombings carried out by Palestinians, while Palestinians see the prolonged occupation and current military reoccupation as violating the fundamental individual and collective rights of Palestinians.

7. Israel, in the material submitted by it, vigorously denies any wrongdoing, asserting that military operations under “Operation Defensive Shield” were necessary to break an infrastructure of terrorist activity. The submission of the Palestinian Authority maintains that the military operation has been gravely disproportionate and that the very infrastructure of the Palestinian Authority itself has been disabled.

8. Throughout the military operations in the West Bank the Israeli courts have remained open. They have received and rapidly responded to petitions from Israeli NGOs challenging the actions of the Government and the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF).



9. The following sections of this report deal with issues of fundamental human rights that have been the subject of international concern in the current situation.

A.  The right to life

10. It is indisputable that there has been extensive loss of life on the Palestinian as well as the Israel side. The recent series of suicide bombings carried out by Palestinians in Israel has resulted in 62 people being killed and 363 injured, many of them seriously. Extrajudicial executions have reportedly been carried out on both sides – of alleged terrorists and of alleged collaborators.

11. Since 29 March 2002, when the IDF reoccupied Ramallah and other towns, including Qalqilya, Tulkarem, Jenin and Nablus, numerous Palestinian civilians have been killed. According to the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS), the IDF incursions into Palestinian towns and villages resulted in 217 Palestinian deaths and 498 injured during the period from 29 March to 21 April 2002. These figures will still require confirmation since there has not been access to all areas.

12. On 12 April 2002, the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions distributed a press release in which she stressed the “urgent need to investigate the allegations [of extrajudicial and summary executions by Israeli forces in connection with recent operations in the Jenin refugee camp] promptly”.

B.   Destruction of property and infrastructure

13. According to a report by the Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) on the situation in the occupied Palestinian territory, Israeli forces have forcibly entered hundreds of private residences in search of wanted persons and arms, damaging or destroying homes and household property. In specific areas, such as Tulkarem, Qalqilya, Jenin, Nablus, Bethlehem and Ramallah and the adjoining refugee camps, heavy weaponry used by Israeli forces has damaged or destroyed large numbers of homes. UNRWA estimates that in the Jenin camp 800 dwellings have been destroyed and many more damaged, leaving 4,000 to 5,000 people homeless.

14. According to UNRWA, during the first three months of 2002 Israeli military forces demolished more than 200 refugee shelters and damaged more than 2,000 others in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. The total damage to refugee shelters during the first three months of 2002, not including the large number of shelters destroyed in April 2002, is equal to more than half of the entire damage resulting from Israeli military assaults since the beginning of the Palestinian uprising in September 2000.

15. It is a matter of record that numerous Ministries, offices and facilities of the Palestinian Authority, as well as public institutions such as schools, have been destroyed. Computer hard drives were removed and equipment smashed.

16. The United Nations Department of Public Information reported on 5 April 2002 the following statement by Peter Hansen, the Commissioner-General of UNRWA: “The application of violence is very generalized: there is not a question here of pinpointing and targeting a few suspects on a wanted list, but there is entry into homes, house after house, destruction of what is in the houses, often destruction of the houses. In the West Bank alone, we are now beginning to catch up, if you will, with Gaza: there are more than 2,500 destroyed or partially destroyed shelters. In Gaza, we are talking about even more.” He continued: “I have not myself been able to go to the camps [since] about a week ago or so, but I am told from the reports we are getting in from the camps (we have our staff inside there) that the situation is really unprecedented. There is this massive destruction of shelters and destruction of infrastructure, water lines; electricity is being cut off. Of course many installations that the Israeli army has used have also suffered very bad damage. It is quite appalling to see, and I have seen it myself, how some installations, for instance in the health and medical area, have been destroyed and medicines smashed, a dentist’s chair kicked over and ripped out of the floor, threatening graffiti written in Hebrew on the wall.”

C.  Arrest and detention

17. The number of Palestinians arrested to date and held in administrative detention remains uncertain. On 14 April 2002, an Israeli Cabinet communiqué announced that around 1,200 people involved in terrorism had been arrested since the start of “Operation Defensive Shield”. They were said to include many of Israel’s most wanted men. B’Tselem, an Israeli NGO, reported on 16 April that it had information from the IDF to the effect that 2,521 Palestinians remained in detention. It is alleged that a number of them have been transferred to a prison camp in Israel. Prior to the launch of “Operation Defensive Shield”, 60 Palestinians had been held in administrative detention.

18. Reports from the Palestinian Authority and non-governmental organizations refer to the IDF practice of conducting house-to-house searches in areas under its control, which frequently result in arrests. Another practice was illustrated by the following example: on Friday, 29 March 2002, all male residents of a district of Al-Bireh town aged between 15 and 45 were told to assemble in a nearby school. The majority were forced to remain in the school throughout the day and night. The next morning some of those held throughout the night were released while others were taken away in buses.

19. UNRWA local staff members have been among those detained by the IDF. UNRWA has requested from the Israeli authorities access to and information about its detained staff members. The Agency also complains that its buildings have been used repeatedly as detention centres. For example, on 9 April 2002 special Israeli forces and army units broke into the UNRWA Ramallah Men’s Training Centre, arresting 104 trainees and the Dean of the Centre. UNRWA has protested to the Israeli authorities, calling for the immediate release of the detainees and access for the UNRWA legal team to them. The Agency has reminded the Israeli authorities of their responsibility for the security of UNRWA staff and the inviolability of its facilities, and has stressed that military incursions into its facilities are unacceptable.

D.  Torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment 

20. Following the release of some Palestinian detainees, Israeli human rights organizations began to receive information about difficult conditions in the detention centres and the violent treatment of detainees. Detainees reported overcrowding, denial of food for many hours and the fact that some of them were forced to sleep outdoors. Hygiene and sanitation conditions in the reopened Ketziot military detention centre in the Negev Desert in southern Israel reportedly fail to meet minimum international standards for conditions of detention, including those laid down in article 85 of the Fourth Geneva Convention. There is little or no protection from the harsh desert weather conditions, including temperatures ranging from 54 degrees during the day to zero degrees at night.

21. According to information received by B’Tselem on 5 April 2002, incidents of torture occurred during interrogations at the Ofer military camp, including the breaking of detainees’ toes.

E.  Civilians used as human shields

22. There are numerous reports of the Israel Defense Forces using Palestinians as human shields. For example, on 3 April 2002 Israeli military forces are alleged to have entered the Palestinian Ministry of Education in Ramallah and to have taken four employees hostage, using them as human shields while they searched the building. It is alleged that the military then used the same four persons as human shields while searching a nearby elementary school and the Palestinian Legislative Council building. The same tactic has reportedly been used by the IDF during raids on medical institutions. On 12 April 2002, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) stated that at least eight Red Crescent personnel has been used as human shields by the Israeli military on that date.

23. On 18 April 2002, Adalah (the Legal Centre for Arab Minority Rights in Israel) sent a pre-petition to the Attorney-General’s office demanding that it compel the IDF to stop using Palestinian civilians as human shields in military operations.

24. Eyewitnesses and victims described to NGOs on the ground how friends, neighbours and relatives of “wanted” Palestinians were taken at gunpoint to knock on doors, open strange packages and search houses in which the IDF suspected armed Palestinians were present. Some families found their houses taken over and used as military positions by the IDF during an operation, while they themselves were ordered to remain inside. The Israeli authorities have accused Palestinian gunmen of attacking them from civilian homes and of booby trapping civilian structures.

F.   Freedom of the press 

25. In a statement released on 18 April, Reporters Without Borders announced that its data indicated that 7 journalists had been wounded; 4 journalists had been detained; 15 journalists had been arrested; 60 journalists had been targeted by gunfire; and 20 journalists had been roughed-up or threatened in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory since 29 March. The organization also reported that the Israeli authorities had confiscated journalists’ passports, press cards or equipment in 20 cases and had occupied or ransacked 10 Arab media offices. It also documented one case in which a journalist had been deported.

26. During the recent military operations in the occupied Palestinian territory, the Israel Defense Forces declared at least six West Bank towns “closed military areas” and therefore off limits to the press. The six towns were Ramallah, Qalqiliya, Jenin, Tulkarem, Nablus and Bethlehem. The IDF claimed that this was for the protection of journalists.

G.  Human rights defenders 

27. Constraints in place since 29 March have severely impeded local and foreign human rights defenders from systematically monitoring and documenting human rights violations in the West Bank. Many human rights defenders in the West Bank have been confined to their homes under curfew. They have been unable to reach many areas because those areas have been declared “closed military areas” by the IDF.

H.  Restrictions on freedom of movement and curfews

28. Since 29 March 2002, the increasing restrictions on population movements have evolved into the imposition of curfews, directly affecting some 600,000 people, or nearly 30 per cent of the population of the West Bank, excluding East Jerusalem.

29. The curfew regime, with interruptions once or twice a week for two to four hours, makes it extremely difficult for the great majority of civilians in reoccupied areas to sustain their livelihoods. Curfews entail round-the-clock confinement of the population to their homes and the prohibition of any movement in the streets of occupied areas. The curfews are enforced by the deployment of armoured vehicles in city and town centres and at key positions throughout the affected areas.

I.  Right to health and access to medical assistance

30. The ICRC has repeatedly expressed concern about the flagrant lack of respect for medical services, has condemned attacks against medical staff and installations and has reiterated its call for respect for medical services by all parties involved. It has expressed alarm at the increasing restrictions imposed by the IDF on both PRCS medical services and its own humanitarian mission in the occupied Palestinian territory.

31. The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has also been deeply concerned about the adverse impact of closures and prolonged curfews on Palestinian villages and towns, which severely restrict the access of civilians, especially women, to life-saving services such as emergency obstetric care. UNFPA has also noticed that the present crisis has adversely affected not only Palestinians’ general physical health and health care facilities, but also their psycho-social well-being.

32. In a press release dated 4 April 2002, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned that the health system was “in danger of collapse. The crisis is reflected in a shortage of medicine/antibiotics used to treat injuries encountered, the inability of health personnel and patients to access health facilities, the lack of food, water, electricity, access to services and access to dead bodies”.

33. For example, on 4 April 2002 it was reported that there were 28 kidney patients in Jenin who could not reach the hospital for dialysis treatment. Attempts made by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel to coordinate their travel to the hospital were unsuccessful. On 7 April, after at least four days without dialysis treatment, 4 of the 28 were taken to hospital. Sources at the hospital in Jenin do not know what happened to the remaining 24 patients. The electricity supply to the hospital was reportedly cut off at certain times and an IDF armoured vehicle was reportedly stationed at the entrance to the hospital, preventing anyone leaving or entering. The Israeli authorities maintain that they provided assistance to kidney patients seeking to reach hospital.

34. The Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) has reported systematic interference in its functions by the Israeli authorities. According to the PRCS, this has included denial of access to ambulances, the delaying of ambulance services, the denial of access to medical services, medicines and vaccinations for the civilian population, the arrest of patients from ambulances, the targeting of emergency and humanitarian workers, shooting at PRCS emergency response teams, the deliberate abuse and torture of Red Crescent emergency workers, and misinformation aimed against the PRCS.

35. According to the Israeli authorities, there are countless examples of coordination between Israeli and Palestinian authorities for the passage of ambulances and other vehicles transporting the ill and delivering supplies to hospitals.

36. According to the IDF, incidents involving ambulances are due to the increasing use of ambulances and medical vehicles by terrorist organizations. Palestinian fighters are allegedly working on the premise that these vehicles do not undergo thorough examinations when they pass through IDF roadblocks an checkpoints.

37. On 8 April 2002, the Israeli High Court dismissed petitions filed by human rights organizations challenging the IDF’s prevention of access to medical treatment for the sick and wounded; restriction of access of medical personnel and transport to the areas; and obstruction of the right to bury the dead in a respectful manner. In the judgement, Justice Dorner stated:

  “Unable to express a position regarding the specific events mentioned in the petition, which, prima facie, seem severe, we see fit to emphasize that our combat forces are obliged to abide by the humanitarian rules regarding care for the wounded, the ill, and the bodies of the deceased. The abuse committed by medical personnel in hospitals and in ambulances obliges the IDF to act in order to avoid such activities, but does not, in and of itself, make sweeping breach of humanitarian rules permissible. And, indeed, this is the declared position of the State. This position is appropriate not only as far as international law, on which the Petitioners based their argument, is concerned, but also in light of the values of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic State.”

J.   Humanitarian assistance 

38.   Accusations of denial of humanitarian access have been highlighted in a large number of reports from a variety of sources. This has included access to provide food, water and other essential supplies to civilian populations and, most recently, access to assist with search and rescue efforts in the Jenin refugee camp. According to Israeli Government accounts, humanitarian access has been facilitated except where security concerns have made it impossible.

39.   On 12 April 2002, Mr. Paul Grossrieder, Director-General of the ICRC, described as absolutely unacceptable the fact that “useless humiliations take place and are taking place” against Red Cross and Red Crescent staff and delegates in the field.

40.   Israeli military operations in towns and refugee camps have resulted in heavy demand for urgently needed medical and humanitarian assistance for Palestinian civilians. In order to alleviate the problem and to provide emergency relief and food aid, UNRWA Operations Support Office has, since the beginning of April 2002, been sending out humanitarian aid convoys on a day-to-day basis to refugee camps and towns to provide Palestinian civilians with food, water and medical supplies. United Nations agencies such as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the Office of the United Nations Special Coordinator in the Occupied Territories (UNSCO) and UNRWA have been coordinating and combining efforts to carry out these humanitarian missions. Other United Nations agencies have been providing international staff members as volunteers to work with the UNRWA Operations Support Office to clear the movement of convoys with the IDF and to assist their passage through IDF checkpoints.

41.   The movement of United Nations humanitarian aid convoys in and out of cities, towns, villages and refugee camps during the period since 28 March 2002 has been difficult and, as of 24 April 2002, remains slow owing to the heavy Israeli military presence in Areas A and B, ongoing curfews, full closures and long delays at checkpoints and road blocks.

42.   The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported on 18 April 2002 that all movements of humanitarian goods and personnel remained subject to prior authorization/clearance by the IDF. However, overall accessibility was significantly better on 18 April compared to previous days. On 18 April UNRWA convoys delivered food supplies and water to Jenin and Balata refugee camps. UNRWA also delivered food supplies to Fawar refugee camp and to Al-Bireh. Humanitarian NGOs delivered food to Tulkarem. The ICRC delivered medical supplies to Annabeh, Tulkarem district and hospitals in Hebron and Ramallah. The ICRC also distributed water in Jenin refugee camp and food in Hebron city and Nablus. All reports agree that while deliveries of essential supplies have now improved, the situation of civilians who have been displaced by the fighting, left homeless by the destruction of residential areas or who have exhausted their savings and therefore have no cash to buy food remains serious.

K.  Impact on the economic situation in the occupied Palestinian territory 

43.   Available information indicates a sharp intensification of the hardships faced by the population. There has been a near complete cessation of productive activity in the main West Bank centres of manufacturing, construction and commerce, and of private and public services. Activities in these centres account for at least 75 per cent of the value of goods and services produced in the West Bank. 1 

44.   The production stoppage has entailed immediate income losses for employees and owners of businesses, as well as losses in tax revenues for the Palestinian Authority. In addition, suppliers and buyers in the directly affected urban areas have close economic links to rural areas; the isolation of the former has significant negative effects on the latter. This is also true of the relationship between businesses in Jerusalem and the rest of the West Bank.

45.   The premises of an as yet unknown number of official, public, private and non-governmental organizations have been damaged, in some cases severely. Numerous Palestinian Authority Ministries, municipalities, medical facilities, schools, religious buildings and relief and development organizations report raids on their installations by Israeli military personnel since 29 March 2002. It is alleged that this has often entailed the gratuitous destruction of offices, office equipment and the ransacking and/or theft of files, including computer drives, as in the case of the Ministry of Education in Ramallah. Other public institutions reported to be similarly affected include the Ministry of Industry, the Ministry of Civilian Affairs and the Land Registration Office. Ramallah/Al-Bireh, in addition to being the centre for Palestinian Authority agencies, is the hub for most West Bank NGOs. According to BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights, it will take time, resources and effort to restore the physical, communications and logistics capacity of the Palestinian Authority, the municipalities and the NGOs to levels attained prior to the reoccupation. Many institutions remain occupied by Israeli military forces and independent observers are unable to assess damage and destruction. In institutions to which individuals have gained access, they have found widespread destruction of computers, files and office equipment, confiscation of computer hard drives and documents, including financial records and structural damage.

46.   The growth of poverty is especially severe for the thousands of households dependent, in whole or in part, on wage income earned in Israel. 2 

L. The situation in Jenin refugee camp

47.   The Israeli army launched an offensive on the Jenin refugee camp on 3 April 2002 and withdrew on 18 April. During this period, the United Nations, humanitarian relief agencies and the media were denied access to the camp. During the same period, there were unconfirmed reports of high casualties, mainly Palestinian civilians, and widespread destruction of the camp.

48.   Following the withdrawal of the Israeli army, humanitarian relief organizations and the foreign media were able to enter the camp and make on-the-spot visual assessments. The United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Terje Roed-Larsen, was among international personalities who visited the camp on 18 April. He described the scene as “horrific beyond belief” and stated: “It is totally destroyed; it is like an earthquake; we have expert people here who have been in war zones and earthquakes and they say they have never seen anything like it.” He added that it was “morally repugnant” that the Israelis had not allowed rescue teams in after the fighting was over.

49.   On 17 April 2002, the ICRC asked the Israeli authorities to allow foreign rescue teams immediate access to the Jenin refugee camp so that they could help to clear the rubble.

50.   On 19 April 2002, the Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 1405 (2002), in which it welcomed the initiative of the Secretary-General to develop accurate information regarding recent events in the Jenin refugee camp through a fact-finding team and requested him to keep the Security Council informed.

51.   On 22 April 2002, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan announced that Martti Ahtisaari, the former President of Finland, will head a fact-finding mission mandated by the Security Council to obtain accurate information regarding recent events in the Jenin refugee camp. In addition to Mr. Ahtisaari, the team will comprise the former United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Sadako Ogata, and the former President of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Cornelio Sommaruga.

M. The Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem

52.   On 3 April 2002, more than 200 Palestinians, combatants and civilians, finding themselves surrounded by the Israeli army, took refuge in the Basilica of the Nativity in Bethlehem. The Israelis immediately surrounded the entire complex. Since then the Palestinians have imposed their presence in the convents of the various communities who conduct their religious services there. As of 18 April 2002, over 200 Palestinians, as well as 24 Franciscan monks, 4 Franciscan nuns and some Greek and Armenian Orthodox monks, are still surrounded in the complex of the Basilica.

53.   The humanitarian situation inside the compound appears to be critical. The IDF has reportedly cut water, electricity and telephone lines to at least some parts of the compound. There is also a lack of food. On 11 April the Minister General of the Order of Friars Minor announced: “Since yesterday evening, the supplies of water and food have run out; the removal of the body of the young Palestinian killed has not been permitted; it is not possible to provide suitable care to the other gravely wounded Palestinian; the supply of electric power, available in adjacent buildings, has been cut off from the Franciscan convent alone.”

54.   OCHA has expressed concern about the situation of 400 families living around Manger Square, as they have remained virtually without any humanitarian assistance since the inception of a non-stop curfew regime on 3 April.

N.  The situation in Ramallah

55.   On 29 March the IDF imposed a siege around the compound of President Arafat, which they say has been done in an attempt to force the handover of certain Palestinians inside. Mr. Arafat is currently confined to two rooms in the compound. The IDF has intermittently cut off supplies of electricity and running water.

56.   The IDF has sought to prevent unauthorized persons, including journalists, from entering the compound. On 5 April, the IDF fired stun grenades and rubber bullets at reporters seeking to cover a meeting between the United States Middle East Envoy Anthony Zinni and President Arafat.


57.   The situation in the occupied Palestinian territory remains grave. The High Commissioner appeals to everyone in a position to do so to help the two sides to return to negotiations for a peaceful outcome consistent with international human rights and humanitarian law.

58.   The military operation must be brought to an end. Equally, all attacks against Israeli civilians must end. All actors on the ground must bear in mind their responsibility for ensuring respect for international human rights standards. In particular, such responsibility is vested in those in positions of power who, by virtue of international norms, should be held accountable for its abuse.

59.   A peaceful and stable future in the region can only be achieved on the basis of international human rights and humanitarian law. Full compliance with international human rights standards as laid down in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the two International Covenants is essential to guarantee respect for the equal dignity of all people in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory.

60.   Full application of the Fourth Geneva Convention is vital to guarantee respect for the fundamental human rights of civilian populations in time of war and occupation. Article 1 of the Convention places a duty on all the High Contracting Parties “to respect and to ensure respect” for its provisions “in all circumstances”. The principle of distinction requires that parties to the conflict shall “at all times distinguish between the civilian population and combatants and between civilian objects and military objectives and accordingly shall direct their operations only against military objectives”. The principle of proportionality prohibits an attack on a military target which may be expected to cause incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians, and damage to civilian objects which would be excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated. All parties to the conflict must respect these principles.

61.   It is essential for both parties to end the violence and immediately launch a process that will eventually lead to peace. The Secretary-General has offered United Nations assistance in this regard, including a proposal for a ceasefire to be monitored by international armed forces. This proposal should be implemented without delay. It is essential that the peace efforts and any eventual peace agreement should be based on respect for the human rights of all Israelis and Palestinians.

62.   There needs to be accountability on all sides for what has happened, as well as steps taken to ensure that in future proper rules and safeguards are in place to prevent violations of the human rights of both peoples, Palestinians and Israelis. In this context, there is an urgent need for a comprehensive investigation into alleged breaches of international human rights and humanitarian law, an investigation that would be independent of the parties but conducted with their full cooperation. OHCHR would be prepared to make available for that purpose all the material submitted to it in compiling this report. International human rights bodies such as the treaty bodies might be in a position to make a contribution to the investigation.

63.  Failure to investigate widespread allegations of serious human rights violations and to seek accountability risks undermining the integrity of the international human rights system.

64.   OHCHR stands ready to facilitate human rights dialogue between Palestinian and Israeli NGOs and other civil society representatives in order to enhance mutual understanding.


 1UNSCO estimates based on national income account data provided by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS), January 2001.  The assumption here is that nearly all manufacturing and the bulk of commerce, construction and services are produced in the urban areas of the West Bank.  At the time of writing, Israeli military incursions had not taken place in Gaza.

 2 The World Bank has noted the strong correlation between employment in Israel and Palestinian poverty rates.  See World Bank, Poverty in the West Bank and Gaza (Washington, January 2001), chapter 2.


Sources of information for the report of the High Commissioner

submitted pursuant to decision 2002/103

1.  Official communications 

Permanent Mission of Israel to the United Nations Office at Geneva

Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine to the United Nations Office at Geneva

2.  United Nations

United Nations Headquarters

United Nations Development Programme

United Nations Relief and Work Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East

Office of the United Nations Special Coordinator in the Occupied Territories

World Health Organization

United Nations Children’s Fund

Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

United Nations Population Fund

3.   Non-governmental organizations/professional associations

Adalah: The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel

Addameer Prisoners’ Support and Human Rights Association

Al-Haq Institute

Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights (on the situation in Gaza)

Amnesty International

BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights


Committee to Protect Journalists

Defence for Children International – Palestine

Democracy and Workers’ Rights Centre

HaMoked – Center for the Defense of the Individual

International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims

Human Rights Watch

LAW – The Palestinian Society for the Protection of Human Rights and the Environment

Magen David Adom

Miftah Institute

Palestinian Red Crescent Society

Palestinian Agriculture Development Association

Palestinian Bar Association

Palestinian Centre for Human Rights

Palestinian Counselling Center in Jerusalem

Palestinian Independent Commission for Citizens’ Rights

Physicians for Human Rights

Public Committee Against Torture in Israel

Reporters Sans Frontières

Union of Palestinian Medical Relief Committees

World Council of Churches

4.   International Committee of the Red Cross

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