On Monday, 15
October, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) has made a written
submission, in the form of an Individual Complaint, to Mr. De Schutter the
Special Rapporteur on the right to food, which draws attention to the case of Abu
Mghasib (40) from Wadi el Salqa, in Deir el Balah, Gaza Strip (Palestine).
On 12 June
2012, Israeli army bulldozers conducted an incursion into the central Gaza
Strip, on the eastern side of Deir el Balah.
They razed 43 dunums of farming land belonging to Palestinian farmers. On 17 June, the bulldozers and tanks returned
to level what was left of the farming lands.
One of the plots of land belongs to Youssef Abu Mghasib (40) from Wadi
el Salqa. On his land, he grew olives
and an assortment of fruits and vegetables to support his family. Abu Mghasib lives with and is the sole
breadwinner for his wife, 9 children, mother and sister. Their home is located approximately 500
meters north-east of their farm. As a
result of the land razing, the family lost its access to food and its source of
income, violating their right to attain an adequate standard of living.
The razing of
Abu Mghasib’s land is part of a larger pattern of attacks carried out by the
Israeli forces positioned on the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel. Israeli authorities have unilaterally and
illegally established a so-called ‘buffer zone’ along the border, which
officially extends 300 meters into the Gaza Strip. However, in reality, the ‘buffer zone’ can
extend up to 1,500 meters from the fence, and is enforced with the use of
lethal force. From October 2000, at the beginning Second Intifada, until
November 2010 PCHR has documented the bulldozing of 55,833 dunums of land in
the Gaza Strip, of which 50,193 was agricultural land and 2,646 was forest
Youssef Abu Mghasib access to his farming lands, which are his and his family’s
primary source of food and livelihood, the Israeli authorities have taken away
the family’s ability to feed and sustain themselves. This is a violation of their right to an
adequate standard of living, as codified under Article 11 of the International
Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) and Article 24 (2)
(c) of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
denial of farmers’ and fishermen’s right to freedom of movement, which results
in the lack of access to their livelihoods, violates these workers’ right to
food, as well as various employment rights, which are guaranteed under the
Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, in particular Article 6 and
PCHR will be
submitting either Memorandums or Individual Complaints on a bi-weekly basis to
UN Working Groups and Special Rapporteurs, to draw attention to issues facing
the Palestinian people.
Complaint: Individual complaint related to the right to food in the Gaza Strip (pdf)
The Right to Food in the Gaza Strip (pdf)
Strip: Destruction of sources of food and livelihood in the Gaza (pdf)
Abu Mghasib famiy in front of their home
Abu Mghasib standing next to his home, looking at his destroyed farm land