Alwaght- The United Nations' human rights chief sharply criticized Israeli regime on Monday over massacring Palestinians in Gaza, and dire living conditions in the besieged strip inflicted by Israel's 11-year blockade, illegal administrative detention system, lack of accountability mechanisms for violence against Palestinians, illegal settlements, and the so-called nation-state bill recently approved by Regime's Parliament.
According to The Associated Press, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said in a video address to the UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People that the situation in Gaza has escalated dramatically in recent months with "the potential to generate threats to peace across a far broader region."
Zeid, who heads the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said it is essential for all parties to cooperate with the independent, international commission of inquiry into the recent massacre of Palestinians in Gaza that his office is helping to establish. It was authorized by the Geneva-based Human Rights Council on May 18 "to advance accountability" for the killings and violations of international humanitarian and human rights law, he said.
Some 150 Palestinians have been killed since the Great Return March protests broke out on 30 March in Gaza. More than 16,000 Palestinians were also injured, with more than half of them being shot by live gunfire. More than 60 of the wounded had their limps amputated.
The protesters have been calling for return to the homes their families were forced from in 1948 by Israeli regime. Protesters have also called for an end to the decade-long crippling blockade on the Palestinian enclave.
The UN human rights head also said there are "serious concerns" that Israeli accountability mechanisms don't comply with international standards of "independence, impartiality, and effectiveness."
"Very few investigations ever occur," he said. "In the rare cases where an investigation has led to an indictment, the sentence has been extremely lenient in light of the gravity of the crime committed."
Zeid said it is vital to address the root causes of the Gaza.
Dire living Condition in Gaza
The UN senior official said "grossly inadequate living conditions" in Gaza is caused by Israeli regime's 11-year siege on the coastal enclave, adding that restrictive measures have also been imposed by Egypt that have "exacerbated these conditions".
He added that the situation in Gaza may be "severely aggravated" in the coming months by the financial crisis facing the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, known as UNRWA, as a result of dramatic cuts to its budget by the Trump administration.
The Gaza Strip has been under an Israeli siege since June 2007. The blockade has caused a decline in the standards of living as well as unprecedented levels of unemployment and unrelenting poverty.
The Israeli regime denies about 1.8 million people in Gaza their basic rights, such as freedom of movement, jobs with proper wages as well as adequate healthcare and education.
The situation has been compounded by the restrictions imposed since June 2013 by the Egyptian authorities at Rafah Crossing, which had become the main crossing point used by Palestinian passengers in the Gaza Strip and had rarely been opened over the recent years.
Nation-state bill discriminatory
Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein criticized last week's approval by Israeli regime's parliament (Knesset) of a the so-called nation-state bill that defines the occupied Palestine as a Jewish state. He said that it "anchors inherent discrimination against non-Jewish communities," most notably the Arab citizens of the occupied Palestine. He warned that it "could also further inflame tensions."
The legislation, adopted by 62 votes to 55 members of the regime’s parliament, Knesset, makes Hebrew Israel’s national language and defines the establishment of Jewish communities as being in the national interest.
The law prioritizes “Jewish” values over democratic ones in the occupied territories, declares al-Quds (Jerusalem) the “capital” of Israel, and also relegates Arabic from an official language to one with “special status.”
The bill has been compared to South African apartheid by Israeli lawmakers, but regime premier hails it as a “defining moment in the annals of Zionism.”
March 2017, a United Nations report accused the Israeli regime of having established "an apartheid regime that "oppresses and dominates the Palestinian people as a whole".
The report - Israeli Practices towards the Palestinian People and the Question of Apartheid - was commissioned and published by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA).
Zeid also criticized Israel's approval, planning and construction of illegal settlements across with the occupied West Bank and East al-Quds (Jerusalem) which the Palestinians want as the capital of their future state.
Israeli regime attacked West Bank in 1967 and took the region under its military administration. About 600,000 Israelis live in over 230 illegal settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East al-Quds (Jerusalem).
Less than a month before US President Donald Trump took office, the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 2334, calling on Israel to “immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem (al-Quds)”.
The last round of Israeli-Palestinian talks collapsed in 2014. Among the major sticking points in those negotiations was Israel’s continued settlement expansion on Palestinian territories.
This as there have been regular anti-US protests by Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip since December 6, when Trump declared that Washington recognized al-Quds as the “capital” of Israel and was moving the American embassy from Tel Aviv to the holy city. Many say Trump's move has effectively killed any chances of further negotiations.
The dramatic shift in Washington’s al-Quds policy drew fierce criticism from the international community, including Washington's Western allies, and triggered protests against the US and Israel worldwide.
The United Nations General Assembly later voted by a resounding majority to reject Trump's al-Quds move.
Israeli regime lays claim to the whole of Jerusalem al-Quds, but the international community views the ancient city’s eastern sector as occupied land and the Palestinians consider it their future capital.
Administrative detention violation of fundamental Human Rights
Zeid called Israeli regime's detention of hundreds of Palestinians, including minors, some without charge, under a system of "administrative detention," a "fundamental human rights violation."
"It should be absolutely clear that international law requires detention only be used for children as a last resort," he said.
And whether for children or adults, Zeid said, detention without trial "contravenes Israel's obligations under international law."
"An estimated 440 Palestinians are being held in 'administrative detention,' according to the latest figures," he said. "Israel should immediately charge, or release, all of them."
Administrative detention is a notorious military violence that allows the Israeli regime to hold captives for an indefinite period. The inhuman process also allows for arrest based on secret evidence, and there is no requirement to charge the detainees or to allow them to stand trial.
This practice is criticized by human rights organizations as a breach of civil and political rights. As explicitly proclaimed in Article 10 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the right to fair trial is an essential right in all countries that respect the rule of law. The majority of countries in the world are parties to the Covenant — including Israeli regime, which signed the treaty in 1966.
Since the beginning of the Israeli occupation in 1967, Israeli forces have arrested more than 800,000 Palestinians, constitute almost 20% of the total Palestinian population in the occupied Palestinian territories. With the majority of these detainees being men, about 40% of male Palestinians in the occupied territories have been arrested. Palestinians have been subjected to administrative detention since the beginning of the Israeli Occupation in 1967 and before that time, under the British Mandate. The frequency of the use of administrative detention has fluctuated throughout Israel’s occupation and has been steadily rising since the outbreak of the second intifada in September 2000.