Human Rights under Occupation | Machsomwatch

Human Rights under occupation

Facebook Twitter Whatsapp Email

Machsom Watch condemns the statement of PM Bezalel Smutriz:
"Human rights organizations - an existential threat"

The idea of human rights is a consequence of the conception that all human beings were born equal, that every one of them has the right to “life, freedom and the pursuit of happiness”. On December 10, 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, specifying the 30 articles that are included below

The most prominent human rights violations in the West Bank: the ban on moving freely from place to place and the denial of water from the Palestinians

  • Freedom of movement
  • Equality before the law
  • The right to property
  • Freedom of thought and opinion
  • Freedom of expression
  • Freedom of worship and freedom from worship
  • Freedom of work
Toggle accordion

The 30 articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice, and peace in the world, Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarou

Differences in basic Human Rights:
Israelis versus Palestinians in the West Bank

Human Rights under Occupation

Following the UN Declaration, international conventions were signed regarding human rights in war and under occupation. They are based on the principle of distinction – distinguishing between combatants and uninvolved civilians, and the principle of proportionality:

The Geneva Convention of 1949 addressing human rights in ‘a war situation’ stresses the occupier’s commitment to care for the basic human rights of the occupied population, and enable its everyday life. The convention stipulates: the right to life; the right to freedom of movement; the right to livelihood; the right to shelter; the right to property; the right to due process of law; the right to healthcare; the right to environmental planning; prohibition of collective punishment; prohibition of expelling inhabitants out of the occupied territory; prohibition of the forced settling of citizens of the occupying state inside the occupied territory; prohibition of pressure exerted on the occupied to collaborate with the occupation powers.

The State of Israel has signed the Geneva Convention, but has not anchored it in law nor validated it by rulings of its supreme court.

The Rome Convention of 1998 has defined genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, and accelerated the founding of an international court to prosecute criminals accused of any one of the above. The State of Israel is signatory to this convention as well, but has not confirmed it, and therefore is not a part of the international court at The Hague, active since 2002.

On February 5, 2021, the International Court of Justice in The Hague ruled that the Palestinian Authority is a member under the Treaty of Rome, and therefore the court is entitled to hear petitions that have taken place in Judea, Samaria and Gaza and East Jerusalem. The decision removes the legal barriers previously faced by the tribunal to investigate issues that have occurred in these territories.

Denied Palestinian Access to to Heritage and Holy Places in the West Bank

Takeover of Palestinian Sacred and Heritage Sites

Machsom Watch Published Survey
Who acts to uphold human rights?

Who acts to uphold human rights?

  • Officially – such responsibility lies with parliaments and national and international courts, UN institutions etc. However, in actual fact all types of communication media play a decisive role in upholding human rights by exposing injustices to the general public, and following up on their due process.
  • Sources of documentation and reporting on the ground are usually either private individuals or civil society organizations (usually dependent on volunteer activity). These pass on information to civil authorities and the media about events and processes where severe violations of human rights have been witnessed.

MachsomWatch is one of the civil society organizations that has been constantly documenting and reporting on the state of Palestinians’ human rights in the occupied West Bank since 2001, in an attempt to prevent violations of such rights in all realms of life, and especially the basic right to freedom of movement, vitally necessary in order to implement most of the other human rights.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights