Norway continues to be concerned about the human rights situation in the Palestinian Territory. We call upon all duty bearers - Israel, the Palestinian Authority and the de facto authority in Gaza- to comply with international human rights in accordance with international law.
A special cause for concern in recent months has - once again – been the situation of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons. Israel‘s use of solitary confinement against children flagrantly violates international human rights standards. Norway is concerned about the extent of the use of administrative detention. Imprisonment without due process conflicts with core values underpinning rule of law, and should be used with exceptional care were allowed under international law. The use of torture and inhuman or degrading treatment of all Palestinian prisoners, whether in Israeli or Palestinian prisons, must end.
The use of illegal detention of Palestinians in the West Bank and disproportionate use of live ammunition in search operations remain a serious cause for concern. We call upon the Israeli army to observe the principles of proportionality and distinction in all military operations.
The increase of unlawful settlements is in violation of many human rights of Palestinians, including the right of property, the right to equality and the right to freedom of movement. The developments in area C and East Jerusalem not only violate Palestinians’ rights, but also threaten to undermine the future of a two-state solution.
Recent years’ increase in settler violence is particularly alarming, and must immediately be stopped.
As an occupying power, it is the Israeli authorities’ obligation under international law to enforce the rule of law in the territories. This includes protecting Palestinian civilians living there against forced displacements and destruction of property. Norway notes with regret that despite continued international calls upon Israel, this responsibility has still not been fulfilled.
Freedom of expression is the backbone of any democracy. Norway welcomes the signs of increased protection of journalists in the West Bank and call upon the Palestinian Authority to continue to ensure their citizens’ rights, as guaranteed by the Palestinian Basic Law, to assembly, free expression and free opinion. It is however with concern that we note that this freedom continues to be curtailed in the Gaza strip.
We have noted with concern that the number of executions has increased in Gaza over recent years. We call upon the de facto authority in Gaza to impose a moratorium on the use of the death penalty. The de facto authority in Gaza also has a responsibility to ensure that members of its armed groups and groups under its control comply with international humanitarian law.
Palestinian women should be entitled to equal treatment and opportunities as men in all areas of life. In this regard we welcome the new law in the West Bank enabling also women to initiate divorce proceedings.
Norway would like to reiterate our contentment with the latest reports from the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Secretary General on the human rights situation in the Palestinian Territory. We continue to support the recommendations made in both reports.