The Palestinian Centre for Human
Rights (PCHR) condemns in the strongest possible terms the decision of WHO
Europe to conduct an official conference in Jerusalem, hosted by Israel. The
Health Organisation (WHO) European Conference on the New European Policy for
Health is to take place on the 28–29 November 2011.
By conducting a Conference hosted by
Israel in the city of Jerusalem the UN Agency WHO sends an implicit recognition
of Israel’s annexation of the city and gives implied legitimization to Israel’s
illegal actions in Jerusalem over the past decades.
Israeli Knesset’s decision on 28 June 1967 to annex East Jerusalem to the
Israeli territories, the Knesset’s declaration on 30 July 1980 that "the
whole united Jerusalem is the capital of Israel" and policy of expanding
Jerusalem’s municipal boundaries constitute grave violations of international
law and United Nations Resolutions which explicitly recognise East Jerusalem as
the future capital of a Palestinian state.
The city of Jerusalem is a central issue in the
conflict between Israel and the Palestinian people. It touches upon Palestinian
right to self-determination as well as civil and political rights. The
Palestinian people have made clear their desire for East Jerusalem as the
capital of a future Palestinian state based on 1967 borders. The WHO’s decision
to conduct the Israeli hosted upcoming conference in Jerusalem does not respect
Palestinian’s legitimate aspirations for East Jerusalem as their capital.
– The continued
displacement of the native Palestinian population through forced population
– Illegal house demolitions;
– Palestinians within the West Bank
and Gaza being withheld access to Jerusalem holy sites:
– The building of illegal Israel
settlements as a means of irreversibly changing the demographic balance of the
city in favour of Jewish Israeli’s;
– The Judaization of the city
through public works such as the “The City of David”, to be constructed in the
Palestinian district of Silwan, as well as the destruction of Palestinian
heritage sites within the city;
– The discriminatory targeting and
mistreatment of Palestinians by Israeli occupation forces;
The unequal access of Palestinians
in Jerusalem to public services;
– Such discrimination against
Palestinians in Jerusalem is part of a broader regime of apartheid imposed by
Israel on all Palestinians living in Israel/Palestine historic 1948 borders as
outlined recently by The Russell Tribunal in South Africa.
PCHR call on the conference
organisers to adhere to UN resolutions respecting East Jerusalem as Palestinian
territory and the rightful capital of a Palestinian state by cancelling plans
to hold the upcoming WHO meeting in Jerusalem.