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Joint Written Statement: Human Rights Council Must End Illegal Closure of Gaza as Collective Punishment

04-06-2020 06:39



Joint Written Statement
United Nations Human Rights Council
44th Regular Session – Item 7


Date: 4 June 2020


Submitted by:

  • Al-Haq, Law in the Service of Man
  • Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights
  • Palestinian Centre for Human Rights
  • Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies


Around the world, COVID-19 has exacerbated situations of institutionalised discrimination, shedding light on structural violence impacting the right to health and denying individuals and peoples their inalienable rights. COVID-19 has brought to the forefront Israel’s institutionalised regime of systematic racial domination and oppression over all Palestinians,[1] amounting to the crime of apartheid.[2] For decades, Israel has entrenched apartheid through the strategic fragmentation of the Palestinian people, including the denial of Palestinian refugee return and the prolonged closure of the Gaza Strip, which has systematically isolated and separated Palestinians in Gaza from the rest of the Palestinian people. This joint written statement to the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council highlights Israel’s illegal closure of Gaza as entrenching Israeli apartheid and calls for effective measures to immediately lift the closure and address root causes.


[1] Al-Haq, “Israeli Apartheid Undermines Palestinian Right to Health Amidst COVID-19 Pandemic,” 7 April 2020,

[2] Article 7(2)(h), Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

Tags / #health #coronavirus