Situation in Palestine is untenable, says rights expert

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Makarim Wibisono told the UN Human Rights Council of a disconnect between the rights offered to Palestinians and the situation on the ground. Photo: UN Radio/Jean-Marc Ferré

The situation in the Palestinian Territories is increasingly at risk amid "desperate" actions by civilians and allegations of "excessive force" by the Israeli military, the UN Human Rights Council heard Monday.

The warning comes from UN Special Rapporteur Makarim Wibisono, who condemned all wanton acts of violence and insisted that peace could not come without accountability.

The region has been gripped by violence which escalated in October 2015.

Here's Daniel Johnson in Geneva.

Speaking to the Human Rights Council in the absence of the Israel delegation, UN investigator Makarim Wibisono focused on the recent escalation of violence in the West Bank, calling the situation there "desperate" and "untenable".

"As frustration at the untenable situation created by the decades-long occupation grows, both parties resort to more desperate actions, putting civilians in harm's way."

Tensions have risen, he said, against a backdrop of illegal settlements in the West Bank and the blockade of Gaza, with a "significant disconnect" between the rights offered to Palestinians under international law and the situation on the ground.

Hundreds of Palestinians remain in so-called "administrative detention", in which they are held for repeated six-month terms, Makarim Wibisono said.

The UN Human Rights Council also heard how the expansion of Israeli settlements had also led to "repeated" rights violations of Palestinians, whose homes have been demolished and their access to water limited.

Daniel Johnson, United Nations, Geneva

Duration: 1'01"


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