Palestinians trapped in coercive environment, says UN rights official
This is loose. Graffiti of UN news, many Palestinians, living under his rarely occupation suffer from a course of environment were settlements expansion has made people's lives. So unbearable that they feel pressured to move according to a top u n official there James Heenan, head of the UN human rights office in the occupied Palestinian territory said that permits for building in the West Bank were almost non-existent now for Palestinians, speaking to Reema Bauza of UN news in Jerusalem. Mr. Heenan explains the challenges Palestinians routinely face today in the West Bank and east Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip was buying and then he's truce Lamon Gaza will have their own different types of human rights challenges. But some of the challenges of calling across the whole area. One is use of force another is freedom of movement. Another is the way in which space society and human rights defenders dramatically, and if we talked specifically about Gaza, what are the issues that were you the most widely the buzz is really hope for the population Gazans feel and are under pressure from old photos at the moment, they are suffering from an eleven year blockade and closures imposed by Israel. They suffering essentially also under the split between the West Bank and Gaza, the political split and the the factor thirties in Gaza, Mike loss, very hard for a number of people, including human rights defenders for us. The concern for Gaza is all about. Allowing people to have an adequate standard of living, which is a human rod under the ICCPR international could covenant uncivil political rights and towards that end. The UN is working tool to humanitarian response to what's going on in Gaza. Ultimately, of course, it's a political problem humanitarian, what are the other human rights challenges specific to the West Bank and east Jerusalem at the moment, the biggest human rods challenges are generated by settlements the expansion of settlements. And we produced two reports a year on this. In and of itself creates a number of human rights violations. So for example, severance themselves are violations of international, we know that. But when you establish a settlement in areas c in the West Bank, he generally brings populations into proximity brings a settlers into proximity with the local Palestinians, and we know that that proximity generates things like settle of items the take over of land blocking the freedom of movement. The Palestinians nearby things like the blocking of access to services for Palestinians nearby. So the settlement enterprises people call it doesn't just have a problem with the Silverton themselves, but the impact on human rights. The biggest thing that's happening. Most recently is what we call the environment where you have a desire to move, Tulsa and communities for the purposes of settlement expansion or creation. What's happened at the long pass? I communities would have just been forcibly moved. Now. What's happening is those communities are put on the enormous pressure. So feel I have no choice but to move, and that's what we call. The course environment. This comes from the jury's prudence of you hate Trump troubles on the former Yugoslavia this idea that you can make lifestyle bearable for people through combination factors. They feel they have to. So for example, if you have a community near settlement sky to expand they can be subject to settle labontes. They can be subject to demolitions. So they cannot build in the West Bank term ability in the West Bank. But I'll sit ins are almost nonexistent. So any expansion they come undertake the young people get married. They can't start the village because there's no it to live. They can't expect access to services are blocked a firing zone can be declared by military nearby, which will mean that they can't access they land. And it can also mean that there is actual live far near the village which is dangerous last year. We had a sixteen year old boy killed by unexploded ordinance of this in the field. A combination of all of these factors all of which are human rights violations as well. Jen at their base makes life extremely difficult for people, and you see that people are leaving because of this. We know type in the West Bank of people on the huge amount of pressure to leave, and we know cases in Hebron where families of decided to move. Now each case has to be looked at all it's merits businesses, very serious mental. And the thing is Palestinians have a very very strong resilience. So they don't move easily. But it doesn't mean that the pressure is not there for them to move. And we're concerned I'm concerned that saw these communities will feel they have to move at some point. We'll talk about the courts environment. What does your office do on that issue? We have not see role an illegal role. Yeah. I think the office has been instrumental in bringing together this idea and making sure that there's a common understanding about what environments based on the jurisprudence of into. National tribunals, we track the quiz environment that patents to see what's happening through the violence. Not just the instances of settler violence. But also, the trends, and we analyze trends, and we publish them. We are mandated by the UN to be public about these things. What is the final message would like to express? I think the involvement globally. Is not supportive of human rights to seem to be. Since some places ideology, the pasta or system in the past. And you hear a lot said about that these days, but as Kofi man once said, it's not it's not people who so human rights is relevant. It's usually governments he said even real and for us. It's more relevant than ever that not just our office. But everyone stands up for human rights because the car is very very worrying.