Adalah to UN Human Rights Committee: “Israel is completely failing to abide by its human rights obligations under the ICCPR”

This coming week, the UN Human Rights Committee will conduct its periodic review of Israel’s compliance with this treaty; Adalah submitted a critical report and will address the Committee

On 28 February 2022, Adalah presented at the NGO briefing to the UN Human Rights Committee (HRCttee) on Israel’s lack of compliance with its obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). The oral intervention follows Adalah’s submission of a written report to the UN body last month. Adalah and other human rights organizations also answered questions of Committee members during a further NGO session on 1 March, in advance of the Committee’s review of Israel on 2 and 3 March 2022.


To read Adalah's Intervention to the UN Human Rights Committee


To read Adalah’s 2022 report to the HRCttee


The UN Human Rights Committee is a body of 18 independent experts that monitors the implementation of the ICCPR, one of the foundational international human rights instruments. Israel ratified the ICCPR in 1991, and like all State Parties, it is reviewed every few years by the HRCttee. A large delegation from the State of Israel will present at the upcoming sessions.


For information about the Human Rights Committee


In 2018, the Committee adopted a List of Issues (LOIs), indicating its key priority areas. Adalah submitted two reports at that time to the HRCttee in advance of its adoption of the LOIs. In 2019, Israel submitted its fifth periodic report to the Committee for its review. This coming week, the HRCttee will now consider Israel’s report alongside written submissions and oral statements by numerous human rights organizations, before ultimately issuing recommendations in the form of concluding observations.


To read Adalah’s 2018 report to the HRCttee


To read NCF and Adalah’s 2018 to the HRCttee


To read the Committee’s List of Issues


To read Israel’s 2019 fifth periodic report to the HRCttee


In its written submission to the HRCttee, Adalah demonstrated Israel’s grave human rights violations against Palestinian citizens of Israel and Palestinian residents of the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), in violation of the state’s commitments under the ICCPR. Adalah addressed the HRCttee’s List of Issues and refuted false and misleading misinformation submitted by Israel to the Committee in its report.


Among the grave violations of the Covenant by Israel addressed in Adalah’s 2022 submission include:


  • Basic Law: Israel as the Nation-State of the Jewish People


Adalah reiterated its condemnation of the Basic Law, noting that it “enshrines Jewish supremacy and racial segregation as foundational principles of the State of Israel.” Adalah requested that the HRCttee recommend the Law’s immediate cancellation.


To read more about Israel's Jewish Nation-State Law and Adalah’s petition against it.


  • Withholding Palestinian bodies as bargaining chips


As of January 2022, Israel is withholding 93 Palestinian deceased bodies as bargaining chips in violation of international law. Adalah, referring to its petition before the Israeli Supreme Court in the Erekat case and others urged the Committee to call on Israel to cease this practice and to immediately return the bodies of deceased Palestinians to their relatives for a dignified burial.


  • Violent May 2021 Events


Adalah’s submission focused on several major examples of human rights violations committed by the state during the May 2021 events, including: the excessive use of force by Israeli police against Palestinian citizen protestors; the police failure to prosecute Jewish Israelis who assaulted or even killed a Palestinian citizen; the torture and ill-treatment of Palestinian detainees inside Nazareth’s police station; mass arrest operation designed to intimidate and sow widespread fear throughout the Palestinian public in Israel; police collusion with far-right Jewish Israeli extremists who came to mixed Arab-Jewish cities to destroy property and harm Palestinian citizens; and incitement to racist attacks by Israeli government officials.


  • Forcible displacement and dispossession of Palestinian Bedouins in the Naqab


Adalah recommended that the HRCttee call on Israel to stop the forced displacement and dispossession of the Palestinian Bedouin citizens of Israel living in the Naqab (Negev) from their land, halt the demolition of their homes, and improve living conditions in all Bedouin localities, recognized and unrecognized alike.


  • Threats against and harassment of human rights defenders and civil society groups


Adalah condemned Israel’s oppressive measures targeting Palestinian human rights organizations and defenders and other civil society actors, specifically referring to the six Palestinian organizations designated as "terrorist organizations" in October 2021 and requested that the HRCttee recommend that Israel revoke the politically-motivated designations.


(Photo: UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré)