PCHR Submits Written Statement to the 23rd Session of the Human Rights Council
For the 23rd session of the UN Human Rights Council, taking place in Geneva from 27 May – 14 June 2013, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR), the Arab Organization for Human Rights and the International Association of Democratic Lawyers, jointly submitted a written
statement, entitled “No justice or remedy for Palestinian victims in the Israeli legal system”, regarding the abuse of Palestinian victims within
the Israeli legal system, a system which denies them their basic human rights.
Since the beginning of its occupation of the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), Israel has committed widespread and systematic violations of international law, including grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions and crimes against humanity.However, seeking to pursue
justice for victims within the Israeli legal system over the past few decades, PCHR has observed how the possibility of achieving accountability for Israeli international law violations has decreased dramatically.Various legislative amendments and judicial decisions have imposed legal and procedural obstacles, which preclude the possibility of effective investigations, and lead to the denial of individual victims’ legitimate right to an effective remedy, as well as the loss of considerable investments of time and money.
In particular, this written submission highlights the Israeli Military Advocate General’s partial and biased treatment of the cases arising from the oPt. Additionally, the submission presents the procedural and legislative obstacles posed before Palestinian victims by the Israeli Civil Court System, to systematically deny them their right to reparation, including retribution and compensation.
The information provided in the written statement is based on PCHR’s longstanding tradition of providing free-of-charge legal assistance to Palestinian civilians, and is focused on the status of civil (reparation) and criminal complaints, which have been submitted to the Israeli authorities in relation to alleged violations of international law.
Israel disregards its State duty, under international law, to investigate and prosecute alleged violations of international law, and to make reparations for breaching or violating international legal principles. Palestinian victims are systematically denied the right to an effective judicial remedy. This has led to the development of a culture of impunity, in which Israel is permitted to consistently violate the rule of law without repercussion. While victims of past crimes wait for justice, the lack of accountability continues to give way to future violations.
Written Statement: No
justice or remedy for Palestinian victims in the Israeli legal system.