Skip to main content

Press briefing notes Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

Press briefing notes on Occupied Palestinian Territory

11 May 2021

Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: Rupert Colville

Location: Geneva

Date: 11 May 2021

We are deeply concerned at the escalation of violence in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, and Israel in the past days.

According to the Palestinian Red Crescent Society, 915 Palestinians were injured between 7 and 10 May in East Jerusalem, and over 200 in the West Bank, most by Israeli security forces. Reportedly one Palestinian with Israeli citizenship has been killed in Israel. As of 10 May approximately 20 Israelis, the majority of whom were members of security forces, had reportedly been injured as well. We condemn all violence and all incitement to violence and ethnic division and provocations.

Israeli Security Forces must allow and ensure the exercise of the right to freedoms of expression, association and assembly. No force should be used against those exercising their rights peacefully. When use of force is necessary, it should comply fully with international human rights standards. This includes the prohibition of unnecessary or disproportionate use of force. This has not been the case in the past days. We are particularly concerned about the impact on children and reiterate the call by UNICEF for children to be protected from violence and kept out of harm's way at all times. Detained children should be released.

Palestinian armed groups have launched some 250 rockets towards Israel in the past 24 hours, reportedly injuring at least 17 Israeli civilians. The use of indiscriminate weapons, such as the rockets being fired into Israel, is strictly prohibited under international humanitarian law and must stop immediately.

Israeli Defense Forces have carried out airstrikes into Gaza. According to the Gaza Ministry of Health, 24 Palestinians, including nine children and one woman, have been killed and 103 injured so far. Israel must respect international humanitarian law, in particular the cardinal principles on the conduct of hostilities, namely distinction, proportionality and precautions. Any attack, including airstrikes, should be directed solely at military objectives and all feasible precautions must be taken to avoid civilian deaths and injury and damage to civilian objects.

Israel must also refrain from punitive measures, such as additional closures and restrictions, that punish the entire civilian population of Gaza.

We call for re-doubling of efforts to calm down the situation and avoid any further violence.


For more information and media requests, please contact:

Rupert Colville + 41 22 917 9767 / [email protected] or
Ravina Shamdasani - + 41 22 917 9169 / [email protected] or
Liz Throssell + 41 22 917 9296 / [email protected] or
Marta Hurtado - + 41 22 917 9466 / [email protected]

Tag and share

Twitter @UNHumanRights
Facebook unitednationshumanrights
Instagram @unitednationshumanrights