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Press briefing notes Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

Press briefing notes on Israel / occupied Palestinian territory

20 June 2014

Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: Ravina Shamdasani
Location: Geneva
Date: 20 June 2014

We continue to follow closely the situation of Palestinian hunger strikers protesting Israel's ongoing practice of administrative detention. The Secretary-General and the High Commissioner have repeatedly stated that administrative detainees should be charged or released without delay. The health of a number of hunger strikers is reportedly critical and continues to deteriorate.

We are concerned that the legislative amendment on force-feeding before the Israeli Knesset could be passed as early as Monday, 23 June 2014, and that a new provision reportedly allowing for the sedation of prisoners who refuse force-feeding has been introduced in the bill. The High Commissioner has written to the Israeli Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva to express her concerns that, if passed, this amendment would permit force-feeding and medical treatment of prisoners on hunger strike against their will under certain conditions, in contravention of international standards

The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights is closely following the human rights situation in the occupied Palestinian territory after three Israeli teenagers went missing on 12 June in the West Bank near the city of Hebron. We express our solidarity with the boys' families and hope the teenagers will be located, as soon as possible, safe and sound to be reunited with their families. Also, this morning, a Palestinian teenager was reportedly shot and killed in the West Bank, adding to the tragedy of teenagers and children falling victim to the failure to resolve the situation.

We are concerned by reports, that since 12 June, more than 200 Palestinians have been detained in the West Bank in the context of security operations by Israel. Restrictions on the freedom of movement of Palestinians have been tightened, including the banning of men from Hebron between the age of 20 and 50 from crossing into Jordan. The Israeli cabinet has also reportedly decided to impose harsher conditions on prisoners affiliated with Hamas.

We urge all actors to ensure respect for international human rights and international humanitarian law, including by avoiding punishing individuals for offences they have not personally committed or by imposing collective penalties.


For more information or media requests, please contact Rupert Colville (+41 22 917 9767 / [email protected]), Ravina Shamdasani (+41 22 917 9169 /[email protected]) or Cécile Pouilly (+41 22 917 9310 / [email protected])

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