46th Regular Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council
Item 9 - General Debate
Joint Oral Intervention
Speaker: Ms. Shahd Qaddoura, Al-Haq, Law in the Service of Man
For decades, Israel has maintained and entrenched its institutionalised domination and oppression of the Palestinian people and the colonisation of Palestine. During the current ongoing global pandemic, Israel’s oppression and domination has manifested in the form of its discriminatory, unlawful, and racially discriminatory roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines.
Throughout the occupied Palestinian territory, apart from East Jerusalem, Israeli occupying authorities have reserved access to the vaccine to unlawfully-transferred Israeli settlers, denying the vaccine to Palestinians, aside from some Palestinian workers working inside Israel.
While this issue might be one ‘obvious’ example of Israel’s discriminatory policies against Palestinians, it cannot be understood without appreciating the decades of fragmentation and de-development suffered by the healthcare system of the occupied Palestinian territory.
In this context, the ICC’s criminal investigation into the Situation in Palestine constitutes an important step towards an end of Israel’s impunity and apartheid and a crucial step towards the long-awaited justice for the Palestinian people.
Recalling the active role third States played in bringing an end to the apartheid regime in South Africa, we call on this Council and all its Member States to uphold the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, including the rights to self-determination and return, by adopting effective and coercive measures to overcome Israel’s racial domination and oppression of Palestinians, amounting to the crime against humanity of apartheid, including by providing cohesive, public, and compelling support to the independence and impartiality of the ICC in all its operations, including its investigation into the Situation in Palestine.
Palestine can no longer be treated as an exception to the application of the international rule of law.