According to Bachelet, the denial of visas to UN human rights workers in Palestine is part of a larger, “worrying trend”

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According to Bachelet, the denial of visas to UN human rights workers in Palestine is part of a larger, "worrying trend"

Source: AUN News

The change is taking place as Israeli authorities restrict more of what she called “eyes and ears on the ground” for human rights.

Look for remedies

The 15 foreign employees of the UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR) in Palestine, which has been in operation for 26 years, “had no alternative but to leave” in 2020, according to Ms. Bachelet.

She continued, “Follow-up requests for visas and visa renewals have gone ignored for two years.” “I have sought to resolve this issue during this time, but Israel continues to avoid dialogue,” the speaker said.

International responsibilities

The Israeli government was reminded of their responsibilities as a UN Member State by Ms. Bachelet. Nations’ representatives must be given the privileges and immunities essential for them to independently perform their duties, and countries must work with the UN in good faith to do so.

This includes removing immigration restrictions on UN officials and processing their visa requests as quickly as feasible.

She stated, “Israel’s failure to process visa applications that are required for my staff’s access is inconsistent with these norms, and I call on the Government to comply with its international commitments in this regard.

Refusals and expulsions increase

The human rights chief made reference to the current situation and observed that an increasing number of UN personnel, UN agencies, non-governmental organisations, and other groups are being barred from entering or being ejected.

She claimed that Israel’s treatment of her personnel was a part of a larger, worrisome tendency to restrict access for human rights workers to the occupied Palestinian land. “This begs the question of precisely what the Israeli government is attempting to conceal.”

Violence and homicides are rising.

She stated that 320 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces last year, a ten-fold increase from 2020.

Additionally, the UN reported the most settler violent events since it started keeping track in 2017, while the number of Palestinians detained increased by a factor of two. At least 111 more Palestinians have been killed by Israeli soldiers so far this year.

Assurance of delivery

Despite the visa denials, according to Ms. Bachelet, the Palestine Office is carrying out its statutory duties in ensuring that Israel complies with its commitments under international human rights law and offering technical support.

We openly document Israeli transgressions, as well as those committed by the State of Palestine, Hamas in Gaza, and Palestinian armed organisations. We also give the Palestinian Government the majority of the support it needs to better adhere to its international human rights duties, she added.

“We’ll keep carrying out our mandate. In accordance with Israel’s commitments as a UN Member State, we will continue to demand that our workers be granted access to the occupied Palestinian territories.

Safeguard and assist Palestinian youngsters

Although 1.3 million Palestinian boys and girls are returning to school, they confront difficulties that “many youngsters throughout the globe cannot understand,” a senior UN official said on Tuesday.

Young lives in the West Bank and Gaza have been affected by violence, violations, demolitions, and hardship, according to Lynn Hastings, the UN’s resident humanitarian coordinator in the occupied Palestinian territories.

“The potential and desire to rethink education, co-create new developmental routes, and alter their lives are in the hands of Palestinian children. They are the leaders of tomorrow. Children must not be exposed to violence or used for any kind of exploitation, so we must do more to safeguard and assist them, she said.

Violations relating to education

In addition, there are 56 unfulfilled demolition orders against schools in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, that house at least 6,400 students.

In the first half of this year, the UN has documented 115 violations of education-related laws, including the use of rubber-coated bullets, stun grenades, and/or tear gas, as well as intimidating military and settler presences at schools, detentions, and movement restrictions that prevent students from getting to their classes.

A total of approximately 8,000 kids have been impacted, raising the possibility that they will quit school.

Horrific escalation

Schools are overloaded, with 65% working double shifts, and seventeen students were killed during the most recent escalation in Gaza.

According to Ms. Hastings, the circumstances in Gaza for kids—including the fact that they have experienced four escalations in hostilities—increase the demand for specialist psychosocial support services.

She highlighted the positive aspects despite the many obstacles.

Over 98% of Palestinian adolescents are literate, and 94% of primary school graduates continue their education in a secondary institution.

“The United Nations wishes all children a fruitful and enjoyable year in which everyone upholds and realises their fundamental right to education. We are still dedicated to preventing child abuse and helping kids reach their full potential, she said.

Analysis by: Advocacy Unified Network

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