Today, the interim Director of Palestine Solidarity Campaign will address a side-panel of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on the issue of Israeli home demolitions.
Sara Apps will speak about the rise in home demolitions in the West Bank during 2016, and call on states to focus on what they can do to end the occupation rather than just repeating criticisms of Israeli policy.
Ms Apps said: “The facts are well established. Home demolitions are now running at four times the level of 2015. The UN reports that, since the beginning of 2016, Israeli forces have destroyed or dismantled 323 homes and other structures across the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, displacing almost 440 Palestinians. More than half of those left homeless are children.
“These are some of the highest levels of demolition and displacement recorded in a similar time frame since 2009.”
Ms Apps added: “What remains in doubt is what the international community will do to end this situation. Ending the occupying power’s impunity will require accountability – consequences for its actions. The international community is failing the people of Palestine. States must use all the tools at their disposal – not just diplomatic, but political, cultural, financial and economic – to hold Israel to account and end the occupation.”
Palestine Solidarity Campaign also calls on the President of the Human Rights Council to appoint the Special Rapporteur on Palestine this coming Thursday, as scheduled. There are reports that the President is planning to postpone this essential appointment, which would mean the post being left vacant for another three months.
Makarim Wibisono resigned as Special Rapporteur in January, saying that Israel had refused him access to the West Bank and Gaza.
Ms Apps said: “As the situation in Palestine continues to deteriorate, the presence of the UN Special Rapporteur is vital to record and report on Israeli violations. It is not a position that the UN can allow to lie vacant.”
Sara Apps will be speaking at the invitation of the Palestine Return Centre, an accredited UN organisation