Michael Lynk, the special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories, has called on the Israeli occupation to immediately end all practices that amount to collective punishment against the Palestinian people.
“It is an affront to justice and the rule of law to see that these methods continue to be used in the 21st century and that Palestinians continue to be collectively punished,” the UN human rights expert said in a statement on Friday.
Lynk explained that these practices entailed serious violations against Palestinians, including the right to life, freedom of movement, health, adequate shelter, and an adequate standard of living.
After submitting a report to the 44th session of the Human Rights Council, Lynk stressed that the strategy adopted by the Israeli occupation to control the Palestinians violates a foundational rule of “virtually every modern legal system.”
The destructive effectg of the Israeli collective punishment policy can be noticed through its 13-year blockade on the Gaza Strip with hugely damaged infrastructure and healthcare system and economy on the verge of collapse, Lynk stressed.
“While Israel's justification for imposing the closure on Gaza was to contain Hamas and ensure Israel's security, the actual impact of the closure has been the destruction of Gaza's economy, causing immeasurable suffering to its two million inhabitants,” the special rapporteur added.
Collective punishment, Lynk continued, has been obviously prohibited under the international humanitarian law through Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention.