“The past few weeks have seen a rising level of violence associated with Israel’s 55-year-old occupation of Palestine,” said Michael Lynk, the UN Special Rapporteur for the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967. “International inaction in the face of these new levels of violence will only encourage more of the same.”
“This entrenched israeli occupation, which has become indistinguishable from practices of apartheid, is based on the institutional discrimination of one racial-national-ethnic group over another,” said the Special Rapporteur.
“Violence and large-scale human rights abuses are inherent in such an unequal relationship. History teaches us the bitter lesson that prolonged and unwanted alien rule is invariably enforced by violence and resisted by violence.”
The level of violence required by israel to maintain its occupation has been steadily increasing over the past 16 months. Last year marked the highest number of Palestinian deaths resulting from confrontations with Israelis related to the occupation since 2014. As well, the number of Palestinian children killed as a result of Israeli violence in 2021 was the most since 2014.
The reported incidents of settler violence towards Palestinians or their property in 2021 was the highest since statistics were first gathered in 2017. And the number of Palestinian homes demolished as a result of israeli orders in 2021 was the most since 2016.
“Israel has chosen to deepen its occupation through the establishment of 300 settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory in violation of international law, where 700,000 israeli Jewish settlers live with full legal and political citizenship rights amidst five million stateless and rightless Palestinians,” Lynk said.
“A permanent occupation – a legal oxymoron – provides the Palestinians with no political horizon and no hope, only the despair of more of the same.”
The Special Rapporteur also urged the international community to adopt a series of immediate and short-term measures that could correct this trend.