Norway remains concerned with the human rights situation in the Palestinian Territory. The occupation itself – of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza - remains the key obstacle for the Palestinian population to enjoy their full human rights and denies the Palestinian people their fundamental right of self-determination.
The developments in area C and East Jerusalem are a particular cause of concern. Norway deplores the unremitting expansion of settlements, which is a clear violation of international law. Unlawful settlement expansions combined with increased evictions from and demolitions of Palestinian houses deprives Palestinians of their rights and undermine the prospects of a two-state solution.
We have seen an increase in settler violence against Palestinians and Palestinian property. As an occupying power Israel has a responsibility to protect the people under occupation.
Norway deplores the rocket attacks from the Gaza strips against Israel. The lack of discrimination between civilian and military targets makes these attacks clear violations of international humanitarian law. The use of torture and inhuman or degrading treatment of prisoners and Palestinian civilians must be stopped. The rule of law should prevail in all layers of Palestinian society. It is the Palestinian Authority’s and the de facto authority’s responsibility to ensure that this becomes reality. In this regard, we call upon the de facto authority in Gaza to impose a moratorium on the use of the death penalty.
Freedom of expression is the backbone of a democratic state. It is therefore with concern that we note that this freedom continues to be curtailed in the Gaza strip. Recent episodes in the West Bank also give reason to call upon the Palestinian Authority to ensure their citizens’ rights, as guaranteed by the Palestinian Basic Law, to assembly, free expression and free opinion.
Politically motivated arrests and detention of political adversaries should not take place in a democratic state. Norway looks forward to the successful implementation of the new legislation forbidding military trials of civilians.
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