Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Human Rights Violations in Palestine: Interview With Richard Falk By C.J. Polychroniou, 19 July, 2010

Interview responses by Richard Falk to questions regarding his Annual Reports as Special Rapporteur for the occupied Palestinian Territories on behalf of UN Human Rights Council

CJP: Upon whose request was this report submitted and what are its main findings?

RF: As Special Rapporteur for the Occupied Palestinian Territories (West Bank, East Jerusalem, Gaza Strip) on behalf of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC), I have an obligation to submit annually two reports, one to the HRC and the other to the General Assembly. The most recent report was to the HRC, covering the period June-December 2009, and is addressed to Israeli violations of human rights law and international humanitarian law in the course of its occupation of the Palestinian territories occupied during the 1967 War. It does not cover violations of human rights law by the Palestinian Authority (PA) on the West Bank, nor by Hamas in Gaza. The report’s presentation to the HRC had been originally scheduled for presentation and discussion in March 2010 but was postponed at the initiative of the (PA) that had sought revision of the original text. Some modifications were made, but the PA continued to be dissatisfied, but their attempt to postpone again the consideration of the report was rejected by the parliamentary official who determines the HRC agenda. The report was presented and discussed at a session of the HRC on June 14, 2010. There was no serious friction although the substance of the report was generally criticized by the representative of the United States, who also complained that the framework of inquiry was biased because it only referred to Israeli violations.

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