The United Nations Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and Israel

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On 27 May 2021, the Human Rights Council held a special session on “the Grave Human Rights Situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem” and adopted the resolution “Ensuring respect for international human rights law and international humanitarian law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in Israel”.

Through its resolution, the Human Rights Council decided to “urgently establish an ongoing, independent, international commission of inquiry to investigate, in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, and in Israel, all alleged violations and abuses of international human rights law leading up and since 13 April 2021”.  The resolution further requested the commission of inquiry to “investigate all underlying root causes of recurrent tensions, instability and protraction of conflict, including systematic discrimination and repression based on national, ethnic, racial or religious identity”.  The commission of inquiry was mandated to report to the Human Rights Council and to the General Assembly on an annual basis as from June 2022 and September 2022, respectively.

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Mandate

The Human Rights Council decided that the independent international commission of inquiry shall:

  • Investigate in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in Israel all alleged violations of international humanitarian law and all alleged violations and abuses of international human rights law leading up to and since 13 April 2021;
  • Investigate all underlying root causes of recurrent tensions, instability and protraction of conflict, including systematic discrimination and repression based on national, ethnic, racial or religious identity;
  • Establish the facts and circumstances that may amount to such violations and abuses and of crimes perpetrated;
  • Collect, consolidate and analyse evidence of such violations and abuses and of crimes perpetrated, and systematically record and preserve all information, documentation and evidence, including interviews, witness testimony and forensic material, in accordance with international law standards, in order to maximize the possibility of its admissibility in legal proceedings;
  • Document and verify relevant information and evidence, including through field engagement and by cooperating with judicial and other entities, as appropriate;
  • Identify, where possible, those responsible, with a view to ensuring that perpetrators of violations are held accountable;
  • Identify patterns of violations over time by analysing the similarities in findings and recommendations with and of previous United Nations fact-finding missions and commissions of inquiry on the situation;
  • Make recommendations, in particular on accountability measures, all with a view to avoiding and ending impunity and ensuring legal accountability, including individual criminal and command responsibility, for such violations, and justice for victims; and
  • Make recommendations on measures to be taken by third States to ensure respect for international humanitarian law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, in accordance with article 1 common to the Geneva Conventions, and in fulfilment of their obligations under articles 146, 147 and 148 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, including by ensuring that they do not aid or assist in the commission of internationally wrongful acts.

The commission of inquiry will report on its main activities on an annual basis to the Human Rights Council and to the General Assembly, commencing in June and September 2022 respectively. The High Commissioner will provide an oral update to the Human Rights Council on progress made in the implementation of the resolution in September 2021.

The commission will be comprised of three expert members, one of whom shall serve as Chair, appointed by the President of the Human Rights Council. The commission will be supported by a secretariat comprising the necessary expertise for the implementation of the mandate, including professional investigators and legal analysts. The commission of inquiry will gather information from a wide variety of sources, including through travel to the region to meet with witnesses and victims.

Call for Submissions

العربية

The Commission invites individuals, groups and organizations to submit information and documentation relevant to its mandate. In particular, the Commission would welcome information concerning:

  • Underlying root causes of recurrent tensions, instability and protraction of conflict in and between the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and Israel; as well as systematic discrimination and repression based on national, ethnic, racial or religious identity;
  • Facts and circumstances regarding alleged violations of international humanitarian law and alleged violations and abuses of international human rights law leading up to and since 13 April 2021;
  • Identification of those responsible;
  • Recommendations on accountability measures, with a view to avoiding and ending impunity and ensuring legal accountability, including individual criminal and command responsibility;
  • Recommendations on measures to be taken by third States to ensure respect for international humanitarian law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem.

The mandate of the Commission is permanent and so it would welcome submissions at any time. However, it would be grateful to receive submissions as early as possible, to enable the Secretariat to process the information, including any follow-up if necessary.

Information can be submitted in English, Arabic and/or Hebrew.

The Commission attaches the utmost importance to the protection of sources, notably concerning the respect for confidentiality and the ‘do no harm’ principle (not to jeopardize the life, safety, freedom and well-being of victims, witnesses and other cooperating persons). It will disclose the identity of cooperating persons strictly subject to their informed consent and will use the information provided by them in accordance with their stated wishes when providing it.

In order to preserve the security and confidentiality of the information submitted, it is recommended to submit it through the secure cloud created by the Commission for this purpose. Please upload the submission to the cloud, along with any relevant attachments.

Should you have any questions, please contact the secretariat at coi-opteji@un.org. If possible, and especially when confidential information is to be shared by email, use of secured email channels (e.g. using tutanota, hushmail or virtru or other encrypted emails) is recommended.

Please note that individual acknowledgements of receipt of information will not be sent to the author(s). It should be noted that not all information provided will necessarily be reflected in public reports. In particular, cases alleging violations falling outside the mandate cannot be considered.


Public hearings

Documentation

Human Rights Council resolution S-30/1 on ensuring respect for international human rights law and international humanitarian law in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, and in Israel.
https://undocs.org/A/HRC/RES/S-30/1

Press Releases

President of Human Rights Council appoints Members of Commission of Inquiry on the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and Israel
English
22 July 2021

Statements

Feature Stories

Infographics

Miscellaneous

Contact

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