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The European Union would like to thank the Special Rapporteur for the presentation of his report on the situation of human rights in the occupied Palestinian Territory to this Council.
Respect for justice, the rule of law, international law, international human rights and humanitarian law by all parties are cornerstones of peace and security. The EU is deeply concerned about the continuing violence with victims on both sides, as well as the continued settlement expansion in the West Bank and in East Jerusalem coupled with demolitions or seizure of Palestinian-owned structures and forced transfer. We express specific concern for the humanitarian and human rights situation in Gaza, especially the serious loss of life and over 24,000 injured during protests, and any excessive use of force by the Israeli security forces. We reiterate the need for all humanitarian actors to be granted access into Gaza. We urge Israel to conduct investigations on all alleged violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law in the occupied Palestinian Territory. Principles of accountability are crucial to justice and the rule of law. We call on Israel to abide by their commitment to the principles of accountability.
The EU reiterates the view that the "Human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories" should properly be addressed by this Council as any other specific country situation under the general item on “Human rights situations that require the Council´s attention” (Item 4) or other Items.
The EU also reiterates its reservation regarding this mandate which is limited to "investigate Israel's violations" only whereas we believe that all alleged human rights violations and abuses, regardless of the offending party, should be subject to scrutiny and investigated in accordance with international standards. In this context, the EU appreciates the efforts by the Special Rapporteur to engage with all duty bearers and would welcome a broadening of the mandate to cover violations by all parties of the conflict.
We deplore that Israel has refused access to the current Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967 and to his two predecessors, and we call on Israel to grant access to the current mandate holder without delay and to issue a standing invitation to all Special Procedures.
The EU has repeatedly raised concern over the wide-ranging human rights implications of the occupation, including of the settlement expansion. Based on your latest report, could you elaborate on the main socio-economic consequences of the occupation?