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UN expert on human rights in the occupied Palestinian territory to visit the region

GENEVA (26 April 2011) – The UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, Richard Falk, is visiting the region from 25 April to 3 May. During visits to Egypt and Jordan, the Special Rapporteur will meet officials, human rights defenders, UN agencies and civil society organizations working in the occupied Palestinian territory.

The Government of Israel has not responded to repeated requests from the Special Rapporteur for access to the occupied Palestinian territory. The Special Rapporteur is, therefore, grateful to the governments of Egypt and Jordan for having welcomed his visit to the region. Due to the prevailing security situation in Gaza, the Special Rapporteur has been forced to cancel his visit to Gaza as part of this mission. He plans to visit Gaza later in 2011.

During his visit to Cairo and Amman, the Special Rapporteur will seek to obtain an assessment of the human rights situation in the occupied Palestinian territory. He will give focused attention to how the occupation, blockade, and prolonged refugee status affect the basic human rights of children, and will examine in particular the effects of the Gaza blockade on the mental and physical health and development of children in Gaza. The information gathered will be used for his next report to the United Nations General Assembly, to be released in the second half of 2011.

Since his appointment in May 2008, the Government of Israel has not cooperated with Mr. Falk’s attempts to carry out field missions to the occupied Palestinian territory, thereby impeding his ability to fulfill the mandate given to him by the Human Rights Council. On 14 December 2008, upon arrival in Israel, the Special Rapporteur was denied entry into Israel, detained, interrogated and subsequently deported.

The Special Rapporteur will hold a press conference at 16:00 on Monday, 2 May 2011 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Amman.

END

In 2008, the UN Human Rights Council designated Richard Falk (United States of America) as the fifth Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights on Palestinian territories occupied since 1967. The mandate was originally established in 1993 by the UN Commission on Human Rights.

Learn more about the mandate and work of the Special Rapporteur: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/countries/ps/mandate/index.htm

OHCHR Country Page – Occupied Palestinian Territories: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/countries/MENARegion/Pages/PSIndex.aspx

OHCHR Country Page – Israel: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/MENARegion/Pages/ILIndex.aspx

For more information and media requests, please contact Nikki Siahpoush (Tel.: + 41 22 928 9430 / email: nsiahpoush@ohchr.org) or write to sropt@ohchr.org).